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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 12th, 2008, 03:55 AM   #1
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HVX vs. XDCAM EX

I am aware of the spec differences and have viewed some online test footage, but would love some real life feedback on how the two cameras match up. I hav been on the HVX for almost two years and love it. I recently read an article in DP magazine on the Sony and find myself tempted to make a change.

How is the compression? Color and light sensitivities?

Thanks for the imput.

Joe.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 05:06 AM   #2
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General consensus is the EX1 has most of the image controls of the most expensive Cinealta cameras such as the F900 and in many shooting scenarios you could pass the EX1 footage off as being from the F900, how does the HVX hold up to that, you be the judge.
Of course the EX1 isn't even remotely close to the F900 in many, many ways, most obvious being the price. So you'll have to put up with all the things that were done to keep the price down. A quick browse through the threads here will reveal all of them in great detail. When you're reading some of them just keep in mind the camera does produce awesome images, some of us EX1 owners forget to mention that in our haste to complain about fiddly switches and the like.

Oh, sorry, you asked about the compression. Well I've had a reasonable go at trying to break the HQ encoding, crashing waves and waterfalls. So far no luck and I can't see any point in trying harder to break something. I'm certain it can be done but not with anything you'd actually want to shoot. If you're really worried about it Convergent Design will have a little box (XDR) that'll record 4:2:2 at some extreme bitrate

Last edited by Bob Grant; February 12th, 2008 at 05:15 AM. Reason: Added extra comments
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Old February 12th, 2008, 05:11 AM   #3
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Use one before you buy! It's quite a pig to use!

Image looks great, but that is far from everything.

I guess that by owning an HVX you're used to the tapeless workflow.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 06:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Marriage View Post
Use one before you buy! It's quite a pig to use!

Image looks great, but that is far from everything.

I guess that by owning an HVX you're used to the tapeless workflow.
Actually it's a joy to use. It has a lot of tweakable parameters, a decent lens,
continuous iris. And MOST important, the image does look great.

Last edited by Steven Thomas; February 12th, 2008 at 09:51 AM.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 06:47 AM   #5
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Actually it's a joy to use.
Sorry, I should clarify. It's a pig to handhold IMO. On a tripod it seemed fine to me.

Like with any camera, check it suits your shooting style/requirements otherwise you are unlikely to achieve the best results.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 07:42 AM   #6
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the EX1 is a very good response to the HVX on Sony's part. I've used an HVX for quite a while, even side by side with two F900s, and was very happy with it, except for low light performance, lack of HD-SDI, and the iris control was far too easy to bump without noticing. The EX solves all of those. At first I dismissed XDCAM as overgrown HDV, a format I avoid like the plague, but it is distinctly different. I borrowed one from a local camera house, and I am now convinced. the rolling shutter exists, but I actually consider that a good thing. In the quest for a more filmic image, it makes sense for the shutter to behave like that of a panaflex, and I'm not concerned about the effects of strobe lights. It's certainly not without its faults, but it fits my needs very well.

-Sean
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Old February 12th, 2008, 10:42 AM   #7
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Thanks for the help. The thing I could use a bit of clarification on are the cards. On my HVX, 16 GB means about 15/16 mins, @ 100 Mbps. Sony's is around 35 Mbps.

Anything worth worry?
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Old February 12th, 2008, 03:51 PM   #8
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It's a bonus. You get 25 mins on a 8 gig card in HQ mode so you need fewer cards, need to backup footage less often and the transfer speed is much faster than PCMCIA.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 06:04 PM   #9
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One of the smartest ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Marriage View Post
Use one before you buy! It's quite a pig to use!

Image looks great, but that is far from everything.

I guess that by owning an HVX you're used to the tapeless workflow.
bits of equipment I bought is the Marzpac (out of business at this point.) It works very well at holding the smaller cameras up so the hands are free. I've also used my monopod to good effect in crowded streets with heavy action, so, I don't think it's such a big problem. The EX is a pig but you can handle it with some extra support. Mobility and stability are key for me!
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Old February 12th, 2008, 06:35 PM   #10
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I demoed an HVX 200 last year and thought it was really hard to use handheld. I was mostly bugged by the menu system being turned on its side relative to the arrow buttons. The EX joystick is MUCH easier to use to navigate the buttons.

Sure it's harder to use handheld than my XL2 and I miss the shoulder mount but I think it matches the HVX in some ways in terms of ergonomics and beats the HVX in others ways. I don't think it's weaker in any category. (except maybe the 4:2:2 Interframe codec - but I haven't seen a difference in everyday use there)
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Old February 12th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #11
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I notice a real difference when viewing EX1 1080P footage on a 1080P monitor. This really is quite amazing for a camera in this price range.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 07:54 PM   #12
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Excellent footage ...

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I notice a real difference when viewing EX1 1080P footage on a 1080P monitor. This really is quite amazing for a camera in this price range.
There is no doubt that the EX produces outstanding footage but as every knows the rolling shutter problem and the wobble problem are not going away. These problems limit the camera in live events where motion is heavy and light flashes mess up the image. We all want these problems to get solved. The EX is an outstanding camera for interviews and slow pans of scenic vistas. I've seen good action footage as well; so it's appealing!
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Old February 12th, 2008, 08:38 PM   #13
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Not all true. I've been doing live events. Red carpet, no, but flashes can be fixed in post. Of course non stop flash would be an issue.

I don't see many bailing on dropping $25K to $50K on a RED ONE setup which has the same CMOS issues.

It's all about the percentage of time artifacts cause image problems.

I'd rather deal with occasional issues.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 08:40 PM   #14
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It seems to me from all of the footage I have seen with this camera, as long as you stay out of the disco the shutter issue will not be much of any type of issue.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #15
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But how is hand held, steadycam and jib footage? Does the rolling shutter skew and wobble kick in under these shooting conditions?
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