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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 05:18 PM   #1
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Letīs get rid of the viewfinder!

I got my EX1 this wednesday and have been playing with it as much as possible since. I love it! It fulfills most of my expectation but ironically what occupies my mind is not all of the wonderful things it does but a few annoying quirks about it and camcorders of this size in general.

One thing that really puzzles me is why Sony puts a huge viewfinder on the camera with very poor quality compared to the LCD. I had a PD150 for seven years and I did not use the viewfinder once. I realise that your supposed to use it when the light is too bright but I never felt the need to in my seven years with the PD150. I got a "hoodman" to shade the LCD and that worked well in broad daylight.

So - where am I going with this?

Firstly - I have one question to all of you - are you using the viewfinder and if so in what situations? Would you miss it if it was not there even if it ment you got rid of that big lump of plastic on the back of the camera?

And secondly - I just realised that you can remove most of the viewfinder on the EX1 just leaving a little stump of plastic. This makes the camera less bulky but I don't want to expose the poor little viewfinder that is left there.

Wouldn't it be great if someone could make a piece of plastic that covers the hole you get when you remove the eye-piece? You would then have a less vunerable and smaller camera and could carry the eye piece with you if you needed it.

And who will be the first brave company to make a camcorder without the viewfinder? I think it's coming...

Or is it just me...?

/ola
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 06:52 PM   #2
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Well the XL series from CANON is made 'without a viewfinder'... in as much as the viewfinder is a separate attachement. I don't use the Stock viewfinder with my XL2, I prefer the FU 1000 monochrome viewfinder. I COULD leave it off, and mount an LCD 7" viewfinder and run it 'studio' style.

So yeah, those cameras that are already 'modular' in nature, like the XL series, the RED, other 'professional' cameras give you the option of assembling the unit for shoulder mount ENG, or Studio mount LCD or whatever.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 01:19 AM   #3
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I have yet to get my hands on an EX1 so I have a quick question... Is the size of the viewfinder at least as large as the HVX200? My VX2000 and FX1 are very small compared to the HVX200 and I was hoping the EX1 viewfinder would be at least as big has the HVX200.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 03:04 AM   #4
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I had the same tought as Ola - I wish someone produces a very thin piece of plastic that slides in, instead of the removed viewfinder hood - thus shielding the exposed tiny screen. The viewfinder hood is way too bulky for something which will be rarely used (if ever).
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 03:43 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ola Christoffersson View Post
And who will be the first brave company to make a camcorder without the viewfinder?
It's already started with consumer cameras. I just purchased a Sony CX6 and it relies on the LCD alone.

I like using the viewfinder when using my cameras on a shoulder mount though, although given that the EX1's viewfinder doesn't perform as well as it's LCD Panel it does make it difficult to choose the viewfinder.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 10:34 AM   #6
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Keep the viewfinder. My $0.02
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 02:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Paul Joy View Post
It's already started with consumer cameras. I just purchased a Sony CX6 and it relies on the LCD alone.

I like using the viewfinder when using my cameras on a shoulder mount though, although given that the EX1's viewfinder doesn't perform as well as it's LCD Panel it does make it difficult to choose the viewfinder.
The problem is with the EX viewfinder is it's position at the very back directly behind the camera instead of off to the left like on a Canon XL or JVC camera. On top of that, the EX is incredibly awkward to use handheld - making using the eyepiece a near impossibility.

I'm just glad Sony is the only camera company to wisely invest in a good LCD viewfinder. I've used Canons, JVC, and Panasonic and their viewfinders are bottom of the barrel junk compared to the EX1. Even the Z1u is starting to look a little tired :(
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 10:32 PM   #8
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What happened to the small rubber viewfinder on the Sony VX-1000? You could put on the big bulky one like the EX1 or a keep the small one one.

Oh well, you could always trim it smaller. ;-) I'm sticking with the lcd and a hoodman.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 10:44 PM   #9
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lol, funny I said the same thing to a bud the other day, really wish I could just take the viewfinder off, doubt I'll ever use it and it makes it a tighter squeeze in my Kata backpack.

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Old December 24th, 2007, 05:55 AM   #10
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lol, funny I said the same thing to a bud the other day, really wish I could just take the viewfinder off, doubt I'll ever use it and it makes it a tighter squeeze in my Kata backpack.

- Ray

I'm telling you - if someone would come up with a small peace of plastic to replace the viewfinder I'd be willing to pay an unhealthy amount of money for it.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 06:08 AM   #11
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Guys, don't you think that should the EX1 be sporting the XtraFine EVF (852x480x3(RGB)), you wouldn't want to get rid of it so quickly? It beats me why it doesn't, while the Z7 due out only two months later does!
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; December 24th, 2007 at 07:07 AM.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 07:05 AM   #12
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I'll add my vote to loosing the EVF, just so long as the even more useless mic can also be removed. Of course then we're left with the problem of where does the LCD go. Well I'd like it removeable with a short cable so I can mount it on a Noga arm and have it anywhere around the camera depending on how I'm rigging the camera.

I kind of agree with Piotr, a higher quality EVF would maybe make it less useless but the LCD panel seems to work so well in bright daylight that the EVF becomes redundant.
The one thing I really don't like about any of the current EVF designs that Sony are using is they're night impossible to keep clean. The eye cup creates a vortex in windy conditions and crud gets sucked/pushed into the housing and onto the LCD screen. Then you start fretting about have you got blown pixels or just grot on the LCD. So you pull the thing apart and try to clean it. At times it's taken brushing and major blasts of air to get the grot off the screen and at times 10 minutes later it's back.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 01:35 PM   #13
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I started with a Canon XL and stayed with Canon through the whole series but dropped out when the H1 rolled out, opting instead for the A1. I also used the optional Black & White CRT almost my entire time with Canon and simply loved it. I will still say I was better able to grab focus faster/easier with that then anything I've used.

Honestly, never been much of a fan of the LCD's in general but I realize thats more of a personal preference then anything else. But with a camera that has an LCD, even with the A1, I'm just baffled that they bother putting on these viewfinders that, when looking through them, seem to me as cheap as those on any basic video camera that you could get at Wallmart.

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Old December 24th, 2007, 05:35 PM   #14
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Why are people using mattebox, jibs, tripods, external monitors and external storage with hand held cams?

It's those items along with the letus, brevis, redrock that need to go.

Save the viewfinder!
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Old December 24th, 2007, 06:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
Why are people using mattebox, jibs, tripods, external monitors and external storage with hand held cams?

It's those items along with the letus, brevis, redrock that need to go.

Save the viewfinder!
Because we'd rather spend the money on matteboxes, jibs, tripods, external monitors, letuses, brevi, and redrocks than spend the money and get a really big camera.

And then still need to buy the matteboxes, jibs, tripods, external monitors...
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