ready to buy EX1 + extras - - please advise me at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 27th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 836
ready to buy EX1 + extras - - please advise me

Hi there,
Even though I'm still waiting for Avid to update Xpress Pro, so I can actually edit what I hope to be shooting with the EX soon (I hear that's coming soon)
I think it's finally time for me to outfit myself. Very briefly, so you have a context for this: I'm a long-time tv producer/director (also learned to edit), let go after twenty years when the show I worked for was cancelled (can't complain - 20 years was a long run). For the last five months I've been shooting (renting a Sony Z1U) and editing videos for various AID organizations. Am I a great shooter? No. I'm really weak re the technical stuff/settings, but I've watched so many good cameramen over the years, I know what works for me, and (speaking as my own editor now) I seem to get what I need; I think visually, and I also move the camera quite nicely (I do a lot of hand-held). I have no real aspirations to shoot hour-long docs for Discovery, or put together the next great indie flick. I want to keep doing the smaller-scale things I'm doing now, as a one-man-band. Shoot, edit, produce.
On a forum frequented by so many first-rate camera operators, I wouldn't blame any of you for wondering why I feel I need as good a camera as the EX1. Really, it's because I want to get something that's going to last me years; I want to be able to shoot in lower light levels (less lighting needed), and I'm tired of tape, to boot.
So there it is: I have some money to set myself up with gear now, and might never have this opportunity again... so I want to do it right.
Hence my plea for help and advice.
Here's my wish-list:

- Sony EX-1 camera
- extra (large capacity) battery
- Monfrotto 503HDV Fluid Head + Monfrotto 525MVB tripod legs
- Rode Microphone NTG-2 (shotgun)
- Sennheiser EW100 ENG Combo (wireless mics)
- Porta-Brace camera case
- Lowel Rifa lighting kit
- 16GB SXS card
OR
- Sony HVR-DR60 hard disk recorder
- ”Mastering the Sony PMW-EX1” training DVD
- raincover for EX?
- polarizer?

I'd really appreciate anyone's advice re any gear I should add to the list, or take off the list, and/or whether I should change one model or manufacturer for another.
Regards,
Malcolm
Malcolm Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 12:32 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Utrecht, NL | Europe 3rd Rock from the Sun
Posts: 612
I'm a bit confused by the "OR", but everything above it looks good.

I don't think the HVR-DR60 is a particularly good choice as you can only use it to capture from the i.Link (Firewire) at SP (non-square pixels) and not HQ. I.m.h.o. you're better off putting that towards a notebook for in the field offloading (maybe even some editing).

As for the raincover and traing DVD, those may come in handy but it is really up to your preference.

I consider a polarizer a standard part of kit. You never know when you have to take care of some glare...

George/
George Kroonder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 836
Thank you George... the ”OR“ was just meant to indicate that I'd get either the 16GB SXS card, or the hard disk recorder. I think you're right... use the card(s), and download in the field.
What's the best polarizer, would you say?
I appreciate your help... I'll be patient and hope that other people weigh in on things too. (I particularly want to make sure I get really good mics; once hard lesson I've learned in the last few months is that I have to give sound as much attention as pictures)
Cheers,
Malcolm
Malcolm Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 498
You might want to looks at some other tripods/heads. Cartoni, Miller, etc. A bit more money, but worth it, in my opinion.
Eric Pascarelli is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Pascarelli View Post
You might want to looks at some other tripods/heads. Cartoni, Miller, etc. A bit more money, but worth it, in my opinion.
thanks Eric. Can you suggest one that would work really well with the EX?
Malcolm
Malcolm Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Los Angeles CA USA
Posts: 507
Hello Malcom

Good call on the gear.

If possible I'd hunt around the forums for the items you want first (for instance, I'm selling a copy of the EX1 DVD for best offer at the moment) and you could probably do well in the tripod and lighting areas as well.

For the Sony gear no doubt I'd go new.

Your audio setup looks okay, one on-camera short shot and one wireless lav is the way most people do it. I'd save a little money on the items I've mentioned above and get a couple of Sony MDR 7506 headphones and also a short mic boom, zeppelin and furball for the Rode.

I know the entire video industry uses Porta Braces but look into Petrol or Lowe Pro as well. For these I'd even look in craigslist or eBay for bargains - besides, you won't really want your equipment bags to look brand shiny new on location...

Apparently the EX1 raincover that's out now still needs a little work (see elsewhere on this forum) so unless you're going into rain from day 1 I'd hang back on that a little.

A circular polarizer is always nice to have. The regular (cheaper) polarizer screws with our exposure meter as you turn it (which is why they invented the circular polarizer). I'd spend money and go with a more reputable brand here, like Tiffen. Also a Tiffen UVa filter to protect your (expensive) camera lens in adverse shooting conditions. I'd check out the UVa lens on the camera before you leave the store because some of them won't allow the lens hood to be remounted on top of them -- they're a tad too thick.

Personally I'd save my money on the HDD recorder and either get a late version MacBook Pro or the equivalent in PC, and then go as many smaller cards as I could. Even the 2x8GB cards that come with the camera will give you 25 minutes apiece, around the same as 20 minute tapes.

I'd get an extra one or two 8GB SxSs and some means of downloading the cards and archiving - you'll need at least two copies of your media before you wipe your cards or your DR-60 drive anyway, so give some thought to data backups and archiving.

With 4x8GB cards you'd have up to 100 minutes of shooting time before you need to break for a reload.

Why not 4x16GB? Present price, probably. They'll come down eventually. Plus I'm kinda old fashioned, I don't like too much data on one drive.

Mainly though it forces me to tend to the camera at least twice an hour. Which is the minimum, IMHO that you need to tend to it. Mainly to check that the lens and filters are clean and the battery's still good. These new HD cameras show dirt like nobody's business.

I've been shooting since 1975 too, BTW, and editing.

For me the hardest decision is what to do about Blu Ray authoring...

HTH
YM2C, YMMV
Cheers
Chris
__________________
"The content, not the container."
Chris Leong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Key West
Posts: 247
in the same boat

Hello Malcolm,
I too wanted a camera that would last be for year to come( I'm 57), which is one of the reasons that I selected the EX1. I have owned a Z1U ever since its' release and while it is a fine camera, it can't even begin to compare to the EX1 in picture quality. I have never been so excited about a camera since I purchased my XL1 in 1998. With the EX1 you can shoot for networks and make an indie! It is amazing.
I agree about the recorder...you really don't need it. I purchased a dell Vostro 1500 with dual layer DVD drive and 7200 rpm hard drive with 2 GB of memory, higher quality screen, larger battery and it has an express card slot for around $750. It works great!.
Also, BluRay discs are here an those are an affordable way to back up and convey footage.
I would suggest the larger battery for the EX1 as well. It is a battery hog.
Now the bad news:

The EX1 is not the easiest camera to hand hold so I would suggest shopping for a support system that you feel comfortable with. I am an industrial designer so I build my own.
I'm sure you could save some money on the Porta Brace case with somthing like this:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_X_Large.html
I use this with my EX1 and am very happy.

I would not suggest the Sony WA adapter lens because it doesn't have a removable sunshade precluding it from working with a matte box. I purchased one and do use it but will purchase the century product down the road.
The new WA .6 adapter from century I beklieve will be a better choice.
The circular polarizer is a good choice but be sure to purchase a "slim" type perhaps from B+W
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Circular.html

A matte box is a good solution as well for square and rectagular filters and I hope to have a new, affordable one just released posted on a web page next month.

I hope that this helps and feel free to contact me with any other questions.
Best, Craig
keystv@aol.com
Craig Hollenback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 01:02 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Key West
Posts: 247
in the same boat

Good luck with your selections.

Last edited by Craig Hollenback; February 28th, 2008 at 06:40 AM.
Craig Hollenback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 01:11 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 836
Chris, this is great. A few questions, if you don't mind. First, where would you recommend I look for a used tripod and lighting case (do you mean Craigs list? I just did a search for Cartoni tripods in all the big Canadian cities, and nothing comes up; maybe I have to look in NY or LA?).
Would a boom do me any good, when I work alone? What's a zeppelin? Furball, yes. I've added it to the list. And taken the raincover off the list (thank you). I've also added the two Tiffens to the list.
I have a MacBook Pro, so I'll take the HDD hard disk recorder off the list.
So should I take two portable fw drives into the field, to make two copies of my footage before wiping the cards? I hadn't thought of that, but it makes good sense. I guess both hard drives should be powered via firewire, so I don't need access to AC?
Do you want to contact me off-list re my buying your DVD? If so, I'll send you my email address.
Thanks so much for this!
Malcolm
Malcolm Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,778
Sachtler FSB6 or for a bit more money DV6 for tripod.
Craig Seeman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 836
O.K., thanks for the tips everyone. I really do appreciate this.
I'm now investigating other (better) tripod options (I've just asked someone on another forum about a used DV6, but I have now idea how much he'll want for it); I've dropped the idea of a Hard Disk Drive recorder; I'll check out other carrying cases, but Craig, I shoot mostly locally these days and don't think I need a big hard case like that.
I have to admit I hadn't even thought of a matte box. I once worked with a cameraman who used one, and it took a lot of fiddling. Are they expensive? (you mention a ”new affordable one just released“... is it one that you built?)
If they are expensive, could I not get by with a few screw-on filters? How does the Kaeseman Circular Polarizer that you recommended, Craig, compare to the Tiffen polarizing filter or the 77mm MRC Circular filter? Are all three of them slim?
Good advice, I'm sure, about a support system. Even using a Z1U for hours at a time (handheld) can really hurt, and from what I gather, the EX will be harder. I've been following a thread about some of these support systems here on this forum, so I'll keep checking it.
I'll hold off on a wide-angle lens until Century releases their new one (I may not have any money left by then, but who knows)... from what I gather the EX gets a wider shot than the Z1U, so I should be happy for a while.
Thanks again for helping me,
Malcolm
Malcolm Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 06:10 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 84
I really would try and work through the 3 hour "Mastering the PMW-EX1" DVD before rushing into any backup solutions. There is a very good case made on the DVD as to why Blu-Ray discs or forms of backup other than cheap external hard disk drives are not the best solution for archiving and the author makes a compelling argument for added resilience and a much cheaper cost per GB using external hard drives.

I bought the Miller DS20 tripod (on the recommendation of my supplier and Phil Bloom). I'm VERY happy with it although if you're in very windy situations you MIGHT want something heavier (personally the lighter the better as far as I'm concerned and I've had no problems with the Miller DS20.

Think about recording times (ie battery life, card capacity) and especially about the fact that the charger/power unit for the camera can EITHER be used to charge a battery OR used to power the camera but not both at the same time so you might want to buy a second one.

Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new camera and accessories as much as I'm enjoying mine.
Ian Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 07:00 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Smith View Post
I really would try and work through the 3 hour "Mastering the PMW-EX1" DVD before rushing into any backup solutions. There is a very good case made on the DVD as to why Blu-Ray discs or forms of backup other than cheap external hard disk drives are not the best solution for archiving and the author makes a compelling argument for added resilience and a much cheaper cost per GB using external hard drives.
I bought the Miller DS20 tripod (on the recommendation of my supplier and Phil Bloom). I'm VERY happy with it although if you're in very windy situations you MIGHT want something heavier (personally the lighter the better as far as I'm concerned and I've had no problems with the Miller DS20.
Think about recording times (ie battery life, card capacity) and especially about the fact that the charger/power unit for the camera can EITHER be used to charge a battery OR used to power the camera but not both at the same time so you might want to buy a second one.
Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new camera and accessories as much as I'm enjoying mine.
Very interesting, Ian. Working backwards through some of your points... did you get two batteries, then, AND to chargers? I can see the logic.
I've just googled Miller DS-20... it's $1,599 at B&H. Is that the one you mean?
Re Blu-Ray... just so I'm clear, are you saying that Blu-Ray will have ”added resilience and a much cheaper cost per GB” over external fw hard drives, for archiving?
Thanks so much,
Malcolm
Malcolm Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 09:00 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Hollenback View Post
Malcolm,
BTW if you are interested in the DVD, I'll sell you mine for half price.
Hi Craig,
I'd like to buy the DVD. I've sent an email to your aol.com address.
Cheers,
Malcolm
Malcolm Hamilton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2008, 10:48 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 376
What is wrong with the Manfrotto 503HDV Fluid Head + Manfrotto 525MVB tripod legs. I just bought this setup and find it to be excellent for the $$$
Granted some of the other heads feel a little smoother but I did not notice a huge difference at least not 1000-2000 worth for just the head. I am not a cheapo at all, I am looking at a Steadycam rig. I was told this combination was a great setup and reviews say the same. Maybe I will over time notice issues? Can someone list the pros and cons of this setup, My EX1 is on order but I am using this setup with a Z1 and it has been great but then again I have only had this setup a couple of months. Not trying to highjack the thread as I think this is relevent to Malcolms gear question. No one has given a reason that this setup is bad. I am wondering if there is something I do not know about Manfrotto?? As several people have also said don't buy this setup but please details why?

Last edited by Jason Bodnar; February 28th, 2008 at 01:43 AM.
Jason Bodnar is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:40 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network