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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 28th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Thomas View Post
I hear you...
This is why we all don't drive the same car. We're all entitled to our own likes and dislikes.

Throwing on light on the camera gives you the close lit up look, but for capturing more natural lighting, especially in the church, there's no substitution for sensitivity.

Also, I agree, the EX1 is hard to hold. For that matter, I find all handheld cameras a pain to hold, some are just better than others.

For weddings I would get a shoulder mount, or some sort of steady cam vest for the EX1.

Steve I own and use a Steadicam Flyer with the EX1. It's a perfect combination, although a killer on my back after an hour! Trouble I found was switching from tripod to donning the vest and hooking up the camera then balancing it without missing anything!

Agree with you on lighting. Only use a light ( Vidled, excellent) for interviews and on the dance floor at reception.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #17
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Benjamin - - is there not a way to dump (via the MacBook Pro) directly to the external fw drive? Do you have to dump to the internal MBP drive first?
Malcolm
Wow this thread has been hijacked a little. But to answer your question, Malcolm, I can dump to the Maxtor and not the internal. I just do both cause I can, and then I have both.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #18
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Wow this thread has been hijacked a little. But to answer your question, Malcolm, I can dump to the Maxtor and not the internal. I just do both cause I can, and then I have both.
Sorry about the hijacking... but I'm eager to figure out the best workflow... can you dump to the external and the internal at the same time??? (that would be great)
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Old February 28th, 2008, 07:46 PM   #19
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Sorry about the hijacking... but I'm eager to figure out the best workflow... can you dump to the external and the internal at the same time??? (that would be great)
Malcolm
It wasn't you that hijacked the thread...you stayed on topic. Anyways, I don't think you can because you can only set one location for the import in XDCAM Transfer. One 16 GB card only takes about 5 minutes or so to transfer from the internal to the Maxtor though.
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Old February 28th, 2008, 08:06 PM   #20
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You could probably set up an automatic script to backup everything from the dump to the internal hard drive to your external USB drive with no effort on your part. I would assume that is a trivial task for Automator (although I haven't tried it myself).

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Old February 28th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #21
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What I really hope the folks at Sony do is to come up with a way to transfer your video from the inactive SxS card to a drive like the DR60 while you're shooting on the active card. All this would happen between the camera and Firestore or DR 60- ideally in the background while you're shooting. I think something like that would be great. A DR60 would give you almost enough space as 4 16gb SxS cards, and it would negate the necessity of lugging around a notebook and portable drive with you. It's awful tough to go on a backpacking trip or extended hike onto the Alaskan tundra with a bunch of extra gear!

I would think that it wouldn't be all that difficult to provide a firmware update or something containing a basic file transfer system/protocol, but then again, programming and coding isn't exactly my strong point!
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Old February 29th, 2008, 03:20 AM   #22
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Lets face it, you can pick up a dirt cheap laptop with an express card slot for less than 400. Don't think of it as a laptop, think of it as your transfer device. Stick the SxS card in it, copy the files to an external USB drive by simply copying the BPAV folder, then set it to burn a DL-DVD while you carry on shooting. If you use 8Gb cards you can do simple one card - one disk backups, you don't have to think about it. If you use bigger cards you must use the transfer tool to split the cards contents into 8Gb chunks which is a pain. Unlike digitising a tape there's no need to sit and watch the computer while it does it's job, just stick under a table or in a quiet corner. Then when you get back to base mount the USB drive on your PC or Mac and import the files as you would direct from the cards. The 0.50 DL-DVD's get put away as a long term backup, the USB drive can be erased or kept, whichever suits you.

If Sony bring out a transfer unit it's probably going to cost more than a cheap laptop. You can also use the laptop with the transfer tool as a viewer giving nice high resolution playback.

I've got a couple of 16Gb cards and 6x 8Gb cards. I far prefer working with the 8Gb cards.

I've taken my EX1 and a laptop to the Arctic and everything work just fine, if you go to NAB or IBC this year you'll be able to see the video for yourself.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 03:46 AM   #23
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Hi Adam,

My advise. You are there to 'capture' the day.
You "must" have redudancy for anything that you are "relying on"
Anything that is a single point of failure - get a spare, rent it, borrow it.

We can't say that the card is too expensive so therefore I am going to take a risk. You cannot "accept the risk" on behalf of a customer for a once in a lifetime event and not bring backup to the weddings.

-If one of your SXS cards doesn't work, you need a spare
-If your camera dies - you need a spare
-If your battery fails - you need a spare or a AC adapter
-If your bulb blows - you need a spare
-If your laptop fails - you need a backup (you can get an HP laptop with an express card reader for $499

..ok you know what I mean :)

It's not only peace of mind - it's a requirement. It's due diligence.
If for some reason something goes wrong and you get sued, the question would be, did you do what a normal responsible person do in your case.
Did you apply standard care.

I work as an IS Compliance officer for a big computer company so we deal with these risk based questions daily :)

Sidenote:
I think the EX1 is an excellent cam for weddings. I do monopod or tripod always so the handle etc - doesn't bother me.

Steve's comment is so true - regarding archiving. I started shooting weddings when I was 16 and been doing so now for 15 years. I accumulated so many VHS, SVHS, HI-8, DV, DVCAM, HDV tapes over those years - it makes me sick. It's very costly, and a big waste of space. Just this year I've started throwing them out slowly or selling the DV/HDV tapes

After I've handed over the tape or DVD to customers, they NEVER come back. With DVD if they want copies after like 6 months (some don't know how to copy DVD'S or are afraid they'll erase it - serious ha ha) I just ask them to drop off the DVD and copy it will they sit and have a coffee.

EX1 --> HDD1 ---> Backup HDD2 while you edit (chances of both drives
failing is practically zero)

Blu-Ray or DVD for customer delivery

Keep the Backup HDD for about 3 months in case the customer comes back
Flush your Backup HDD and write newer stuff.
Keep samples of the good ones on BD-R

Every 12-18 months replace your drives you'll never have a problem

After 24-36 months - buy an EX2 :)

Cheers
Paul
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Old February 29th, 2008, 04:18 AM   #24
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Great post Paul.

Just ooking at my year planner I have 22 weddings booked so far for this year, and am bound to get a few more over the course of the summer.

The EX1 was purchased in the UK on 12 months interest free credit. I don't pay a thing on it until next January. So I have two choices. Keep it and pay the 4500, or sell it on Ebay for 800 less than I paid for it and make up the difference. So basically the camera would have cost me 800 in rental over the year. Then I go get a new one for 2009 on 12 months interest free!

So I get a new camera every year for around 800.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 04:31 AM   #25
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Hi Steve, that's awesome.
A great deal - and the EX1 will hold it's value well.

I have a z1u (basically new) - I sold my other one which was 2.5 years used. This one was my backup and still is. It's docked with a 5 Hr Battery and HDV tape ready to shoot "always".

I bought my z1u for 6K and sold it for 3K after 2.5 years of good use.
I don't know if I want to get another EX1 for backup. I think post NAB we'll see some other interesting options. I wouldn't mind having something different simply for POV shots.

Even if Adam purchases a laptop - he could go for a use one or buy new and sell it a year later when SXS media drops.

Backup gear sometime becomes experimental stuff for the next best thing.

Like when I had a SVHS camera - i bough a mini-dv camcorder - loved it and then went all DVCAM. Had DVCAM - borrowed a hdv camera to test and for backups - loved it and moved to DVCAM (same for the EX1). Next level up would be a 4K digital cinema camera. Speaking of which - I'm interested to see what the Red - Scarlet is all about.

Ok i don't want to hijack the thread - back to backup issues :P

Thanks
Paul
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Old February 29th, 2008, 04:57 AM   #26
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I use a cheap HP DV6000 laptop for backup. A good little laprop for the price but I am in the lookout for two cheap 16Gb cards. Got 2 16Gb and 2 8Gb SxS at the mo but 5 16Gb cards is ample for a full day shooting and then I won't have to worry about backup.

If I can get a single 32Gb card that would be great but costs will be prohibitive for a while and it wil cost a wedding for the card.

I need a new second camera for pickup/POV. Last year I was using a small Sony HC3 stuck at the back of the church on a trip but although HDV the quality was not good enough when viewed wit the other camera and it took a fair bit of work in post to get the image to reasonably match.
Anyway thats way off topic.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 05:26 AM   #27
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Where's these cheap 400 laptops with sxs card slots ? I haven't seen them .

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Old February 29th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #28
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Paul, most laptops have express cards lots and the SXS cards fit into that. The slot looks wider but the SxS card slips into the left hand side of it.

Check out the HP DV6000. Cheap and works very well. Guess there are others just as cheap which work as well. There's one on ebay right now currently at 349
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Old February 29th, 2008, 06:25 AM   #29
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There are dozens out there Paul. Almost every HP & Compaq machine has one.

I have 2 laptops from HP - both have them. One is like 2 years old - the other about 10 Months.

Here is one i just saw the other day in Canada. 400 pounds ($800 USD or CDN dollars)

http://www.sonystyle.ca/commerce/ser...ductId=1004759


Paul
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Old February 29th, 2008, 01:56 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Lets face it, you can pick up a dirt cheap laptop with an express card slot for less than 400. Don't think of it as a laptop, think of it as your transfer device....
If I'm lugging around a camera, tripod, batteries, and a DR60, combined with all my clothing, food, water, sleeping gear, tent, etc., I don't want to have to tack on an additional 10 pounds with a cheap (flimsy) laptop with it's own batteries and a bunch of blank DVDs. Not to mention that all those extra batteries have to kept warm in very cold environments.

Quote:
If Sony bring out a transfer unit it's probably going to cost more than a cheap laptop. You can also use the laptop with the transfer tool as a viewer giving nice high resolution playback.
I think you're misunderstanding what I was trying to convey. I'm not talking about a dedicated piece of hardware to go between the camera and a hard drive. I'm trying to go towards using LESS hardware. If I have a DR 60 connected via Firewire to an EX1, why can't there be a small program or executable within the EX1 that will just transfer those files to the hard drive? Heck, I had a tiny little PDA that could transfer files between different media cards while I was working on it. I don't think it would be impossible to achieve this on a $7000 camera.

Quote:
I've taken my EX1 and a laptop to the Arctic and everything work just fine, if you go to NAB or IBC this year you'll be able to see the video for yourself.
I can't make it to NAB this year, but I'm gunning for next year... I'd love to see what you were able to shoot with the EX1. Since you brought a laptop out there with you, I'm curious to hear about some of the logistics involved. Were you far away from a road system? Did you have to hike a long way or travel via snow machine? Were you working alone or did you have people with you to help carry equipment and such? Were out in adverse conditions for an extended period of time? Did you have to sleep in a tent or did you have a cabin or bunkhouse?

I don't want to say that having to carry around a laptop is bad- only that it's not for everyone or suitable for every situation. I'm sure there are others like me, because I don't necessarily have several hundred dollars to spend on yet another piece of equipment that I need to lug around with me.

Just my two cents.
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