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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old February 1st, 2008, 06:58 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Key West
Posts: 247
Leaning toward EX1 purchase

I am getting much closer to selecting the EX1 over the up coming Z7U primarily due to the professional features such as: half inch chip set, over crank, and PAL/NTSC features, etc. I still have several unknowns and could really use some help from those who own and use the EX1.

1. How long will the supplied battery last in a continuous shoot and how long will the larger battery last during the same conditions. I do shoot events that last 6 hours (weddings) and would need to cover myself for those occasions.

2. How many minutes of continuous 25mbs footage will fit onto the supplied GB card?

3.I truely believe that I most likely won't remove/replace the interchangable lens on the Z7U so just how satisfied are you with the fixed lens on the EX1 new release issues aside.

4.How would you compare the low light abilities of the EX1 vs: the older Z1U which I own?

5.Has the memory card feature presented any horror stories of lost footage as I can not afford for that to happen with a wedding.

6. Are there any short comings of the camera that you have discovered that would suggest selecting the Z7U over the EX1?

7. How is the roll over footage handled from card to card when shooting a continuous take that spans more than one card?

Thank you all for your help. BTW I do shoot quite a bit for corporate and I feel that the EX1 will fit nicely onto my Glidecam x-10
Best, Craig
www.keystv.com
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Old February 1st, 2008, 08:53 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,777
1 - U30 lasts about 2 hours. The U60 lasts about 4 hours.

2 - 25 minutes at 35mbps XDCAM. 35 minutes at 25mbps. "Forever" with 2 cards and a laptop.

3 - The lens is SPECTACULAR given the price. I'd rather that then spending thousands on lenses that clients really don't appreciate (pay for). On the other hand, look at Phil Bloom's stuff with Letus and you'll have lots of variety and that seems more worthwhile than buying lenses for a Z7.

4 - Better to compare the EX1 with the PD-170. I don't think any other HD hand held compares.

5 - No horror stories for me. Once I got the restore message when I pulled a USB cable while viewing and it worked. Self fixing is a good thing.

6 - Some might think recording only to HD (no SD) and no tape are "shortcomings" but not I. To me HDV tape is a shortcoming. I'd rather shoot HD and downrez too.

7 - rollover is seamless. No problems at all inputing.
Craig Seeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1st, 2008, 09:12 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 143
Hi Craig, answers below

1. How long will the supplied battery last in a continuous shoot and how long will the larger battery last during the same conditions. I do shoot events that last 6 hours (weddings) and would need to cover myself for those occasions.

A: Supplied Battery - More than 2 hours. BP-U60 - Close to 4.5 hours
I do weddings too - so far I have 2 of the big batteries

2. How many minutes of continuous 25mbs footage will fit onto the supplied GB card?

A: 8 GB = 35 minutes (supplied card). You'll need a few more for weddings.

3.I truely believe that I most likely won't remove/replace the interchangable lens on the Z7U so just how satisfied are you with the fixed lens on the EX1 new release issues aside.

A: The EX1 lens is awesome. I have a Z1u from 2 years aswell - the EX1 kills it. I've owned plenty of cameras which allow interchange of lens - I've never done so myself.

4.How would you compare the low light abilities of the EX1 vs: the older Z1U which I own?

A: The other day I did a shot in a room with a 25 Watt bulb. The EX1 was on 0 DB - i had to take the z1u between 9-12 DB to get the same illumination. Safely it is 6-9 DB better depending on your gamma settings. You can take your EX1 to 6 DB before you will probably feel the noise is offending. It's still not bad but if you're picky like me - you will avoid it. The noise is not ugly - its very fine grain. Also note that the EX1 has square pixel 1920x1080 1/2 inch chips. I think this gives it the real low light advantage. Exmor in the Z7 may gave the same noise pattern as the EX1 but I don't think it will be as sensitive with the 1/3 inch chips.
The Z7 chip I believe is 960x1080 (1 million effective pixels). The EX1 chip is 1920x1080 (2 million effective pixels). This is like the Z1u - which is a 960 x 1080. I think both the 1/3 inchers have diagonal pixels which make for some of the non-exist pixels. I don't buy this one bit. The Z1u on a resolution chart dislplays about 550 lines. The EX1 displays around 1100 lines. Plain and simple - bigger imager, more pixels, 1:1 square pixels = superior picture - period. Also note the brochure on the Z7 shows 1.5 Lux with 1/25 shutter and auto gain - which means the gain may be up to 21 DB (which is it's max setting)


5.Has the memory card feature presented any horror stories of lost footage as I can not afford for that to happen with a wedding.

A: I haven't shot a wedding with it yet Craig - but I can't imagine that happening. You'd have to have accidently formatted your card or something to kill your footage. After working with digital photos for 3 years - 50000+ later - with no lost frames - video seems just as simple and safe. Whatever timeframe you think you can afford before dumping cards, take double that with you. Express cards (standard) on the cheap will come out but I feel it will happen after the release of the Z7U. If they did it today - it will significantly affect Z7 sales. Marketing won't allow it.

6. Are there any short comings of the camera that you have discovered that would suggest selecting the Z7U over the EX1?

A: Nope. The only thing that is a turn off for many is the price of the media. Look at it this way - A sony approved flash card for the Z7 (not all compact flash is the same) will cost you say $250 for 16 GB. For the SXS - it is $800 and will come down. So you pay 3x as much for high end cards, but in my opinion you paid 1/3 the price for a camera which video guru's like Adam Wilt and Jody Eldred compare to the 330 / 350. Actually they've also compared it to a F900 :) Yes it is good !

7. How is the roll over footage handled from card to card when shooting a continuous take that spans more than one card?

A: No problem. It closes the file on the first and continues to the second. Later you can stitch it together. The numbering of the files allows the clip software to determine that these two files are one.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 06:38 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Key West
Posts: 247
many, many, thanks....

Thank you both so much for taking the time to write that info. You have confirmed what I was hoping for and wishfully suspected. I am really seeking to advance my shooting quality and client base as well as satisfy a German/US client who needs the footage shot in PAL. Last time I shot it with my Z1U. I will bite the bullet and get the EX1 before the free card deal is up. I have just purchased a new 8 core mac and FCP studio 2...so I'm sure it will handle the EX files fine. I'll now look for a dual layer drive for backup...perhaps there is an external that would work also with my older 17" mac pro laptop(non intel)
Again, many thanks,
Best, Craig
KeysTV.com
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