EX1 Arctic Norway Trip at DVinfo.net

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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 7th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
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EX1 Arctic Norway Trip

I'm up in northern Norway with both an EX1 and an F350 XDCAM HD camcorder. Thought you might like a brief summary of my trip.

Arctic Day 1 update.

After an uneventful trip we arrived in Tromso, Norway. Although it was only 3 in the afternoon it was dark, but for me the worst thing was the weather, it was overcast and snowing so not much chance of seeing the Northern Lights. After reviewing the forecast for the next few days we decided to get some dinner. When we came out of the restaurant we notice that the sky was clearing so we headed out of town away from the city lights. Eventually we found a nice dark spot and started to watch the sky. Slowly we began to notice a bright patch against the pitch black star filled night sky. We were in luck the Aurora Borealis was putting on a show for us. I set up the EX1, switched the slow shutter to 64 frames and turned on the timelapse function. Within a few minutes I had managed to capture the faint glow of the northern lights on one of my SxS memory cards. Despite the freezing cold sub zero temperatures everything performed flawlessly. At just after midnight I packed my gear away satisfied that my arctic trip was already worth the effort. Tomorrow we head further North towards Alta as we make are way into the wilderness in search of Reindeer herds. We are expecting to reach the town of Karasjok on Saturday where the temperature will get as low as -20c / -4f and our transport will be snowmobiles. A geo-magnetic storm is predicted to hit the earth some time Sunday so we may get an even better show of the Northern Lights Sunday night.

Flow this link to see some northern lights video:

www.ingenioustv.com/clips/arcticday1.mov
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Old February 7th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #2
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Fantastic.

I was in Tromso on my way to Svalbard where I shot aerial and ground footage with the Panavision Genesis.

It was on that trip that I realized that HD cameras (and especially the Genesis) work really well in cold weather becasue they provide lots of their own heat.

I assume the EX1 is no exception. Would love to know how it does.

I see that you ran across one of my major complaints about the EX1. At the very end of your clip, a plane flies by (probably on the way to Longyearbyen) and, because the frame accumulation times and the timelapse interval are not compatible mathematically, there is a staccato effect. It affects the plane more noticeably because it is a small object with a linear motion at a constant speed.

The Northern Lights footage is truly amazing!
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Old February 7th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting Alister, glad to hear it's going well. I was at your XDCAM HD workshop at the video forum show last week where you mentioned the trip.

Are you using anything to protect the EX1 from the temps?

regards

Paul.
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Last edited by Paul Joy; February 7th, 2008 at 08:45 PM.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 02:15 AM   #4
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Alister, you're on the wrong side of the planet. We just had a major tornado outbreak this past Tuesday. Very unusual for this time of year. Over 200 tornados reported YTD.

The line stayed intact all the way across the southern states having formed about 20 miles east of my house north of Dallas. Sadly, the current death toll stands at 50.

Props to the Storm Prediction Center as they had forecast this event a day or two in advance.

Glad you're getting some good stuff up there in the arctic region. I'll never forget the first night time slow shutter time lapse I did with the F350. How cool to watch the big dipper constellation rotate throughout the clip.

-gb-
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Old February 8th, 2008, 02:30 AM   #5
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Greg, I've been watching the tornadoes and my heart goes out to all those affected. I am hoping to get over for NAB, then on to chase storms straight after NAB.

Eric, the miss-match between the frame accumulation and timelapse is annoying, but just having the ability to capture something as faint as the Aurora is one of the great features of the XDCAM cameras.

So far no problems with the cold, my F350 is wearing a Kata camera glove with the rain cape over the top and the EX1 is inside a woolly hat! Tomorrow will be a harder test as we are expecting it to be around -20c or -4f.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 02:37 AM   #6
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Being Norwegian it's still cool to watch. I live in the south and those northern lights never appear here.

About the Sony cameras performing in the cold - we've been making ski movies for many years (www.skifilm.no) with sony's cameras including FX1, Z1, V1 and the EX1. All these have performed without trouble in -20 to -30 degrees centigrade. Even dropped some in the powder snow - soaking wet - still performing without trouble. The HVX200 on the other hand had a lot of trouble with cold weather.

Just got my EX1 so really looking forward to get out and do some nature shorts.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #7
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Had 2 further nights of incredible Aurora filming. The slow shutter is perfect for this. take a look at this new clip. The aurora is so bright it lights up the snow.

www.ingenioustv.com/clips/karasjok-nl.mov

Had both the EX1 and F350 out in -18c (-26c with wind chill) without any problems. The EX1 actually became coated in ice while shooting on saturday night but continued to work.

To test the robustness of an SxS card and an XDCAM disk I froze them into a block of ice, then thawed it out using the log fire in our cabin. Both un-affected and still working fine... Video to follow!
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