Adam Wilt: "Three three-letter cameras: EX1, F23, RED" 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 March 17th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #1
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Adam Wilt: "Three three-letter cameras: EX1, F23, RED"

An interesting read from Adam:

http://provideocoalition.com/index.p...s_ex1_f23_red/
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Old March 17th, 2008, 12:01 PM   #2
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He didn't talk much about the EX1, but I was amazed, looking at the results, at how well it stood up, given what it was up against... The RED is more than five times the price of the EX1 (how much more depends on how the RED is configured), and the f23 is close to 50 times the price. I was especially amazed that the RED didn't have that much more usable resolution - about 30% (I would have guessed closer to twice)!Of course, this kind of thing has been happening in digital still photography for a while now - you can get surprisingly close to the state of the art with well chosen, moderately priced equipment - the last 20-30% more than triples the cost! I was pleased to see the EX1 with a dynamic range similar to the RED and not too far from the f23 - good dynamic range is hard to get, and many DV cameras are notably lousy (aside from the poor resolution, limited DR is what I've noticed when trying to mix stills and DV). I wish they had a sunny day to really test DR in the real world, rather than just with charts!
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Old March 17th, 2008, 12:07 PM   #3
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I'm getting real fed up with being told just how good this camera is when what I want from these great reviewers is hints on how to best use it in various situations (even though I'm slowly getting there)
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Old March 17th, 2008, 12:17 PM   #4
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Adam clearly stated he was showing us the data, not adding his thoughts on how the EX1 stacked up against the "big" guys. He offered a link to his EX1 review for his thoughts on the EX1 performance.

I believe the EX1 is quite the camera for $7K.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #5
 
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I love the EX1. My HD110 has become my B camera. The EX1 always gives me exactly what I ask of it. I don't understand those who are still trying to figure out how to use it. Guess they spend more time arguing about how to use it than actually using it....LOL
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Old March 17th, 2008, 12:36 PM   #6
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I was about to buy a EX1 but I think its ergonomics are the worst ever on a handheld camera. Button placement is not logical, buttons feel flimsy and there is a very big strain on the pulse. It also found it weird that there is an "airtunnel" trough the middle of the camera. I think the image quality of the EX1 is unsurpassed (price/quality) but the handling really stopped me from buying this camera. This camera really does not work for run-and-gun. It is nice to see that Adam notes the same in this article. You can't compare these cameras (because of huge price differences) but I feel that the costs of the PMW-EX1 are made in the sensor/tapeless/lcd department and have not been spend on the build quality and ergonomics. Which is wished they did.

Anyway, nice article and good information and descriptive images.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #7
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Bill,
I ended up selling my JVC HD100. I really liked the camera. I can't say I missed adjusting back focus with it all the time. That screwed me a couple times.

I recently have been working with some of my HD100 clips with a client that wants to work up a promo package. It's concert footage shot with a couple HD100 cameras a while back.

I sure wish I had the EX1 during this show. The noise levels in the footage are higher than I'd like. I'm using Neat Video in Sony Vegas 8b to help clean up the footage. Neat Video does a decent job without destrying the image. BTW, Neat Video is slooooooooooow to render...............

The EX1 would of been a lot better with the constantly changing light dynamics of the show. The HD100 has some over exposure issues that I could not recover in post.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 01:36 PM   #8
 
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yeah, the HD doesn't fare well with more than slight CCing...the image gets noisy as hell. Neatvideo is a lifesaver...but, I'm so tired of waiting for renders or previews as soon as I drop a filter on the timeline. I agree.

It's kind of sad that people spend $6500 on the EX1 and expect a $25K-200K level camera.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #9
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The EX1 clips I downloaded and burned within Liquid to SD DVD looks absolutely fantastic and while I thought I have seen too many things (as far as the image quality) as a director all of these years, I haven't.
After the theft at my home where I have lost a VX2000 a PC115 and HV20 with my 112p set and ME66/K6 I am struggling to buy this instead of a V1E or XHA1. The image I have seen is unbelievable.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #10
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I believe the air gap is to help prevent heat from the processing and memory circuits from warming the CMOS sensors which would lead to more noise.

The ergonomics aren't that bad. Sure the balance is off, but if you stick a hand grip on one side of a heavy object that's what will happen. Until we come up with a totally new way of holding and operating this style of camcorder this will always be a problem especially when you use a quality lens with large sensors and as a result a large prism which adds to the weight.

I think placing all the lens control buttons around the lens, using the industry standard layout for gain, white balance and shutter and placing the menu controls on the rear to be entirely logical. The manual/auto sliding lens ring is brilliant, the joystick for navigating around the LCD icons is great. It's not perfect, the menu scroll wheel is poor and the power switch is hard to use but then every camera has its foibles.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Until we come up with a totally new way of holding and operating this style of camcorder this will always be a problem especially when you use a quality lens with large sensors and as a result a large prism which adds to the weight.
But it's a comparable size and weight to the JVC HD100/200 cameras - why not simply style it in a similar fashion? That also reduces the length of the camera sticking out in front, puts it by the side of the head, which must help in tight locations.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #12
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Are EX1 users having issues with noise?

If so, how are you able to optimize the noise levels. Of course the obvious is using gain at -3dB. I have seen that some of the cine gamma curves are cleaner than others. Cine2 looked the cleanest under low light, but it also did not offer as bright as an image under the same lighting. The blacks were more crushed.

One thing for sure is the EX1 is a HECK of a lot cleaner than my JVC HD100 and the HVX200.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:02 PM   #13
 
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my ex1 is nowhere near as sensitive to noise in post as my HD110. Underexposure with the ex1 is VERY noise prone...that's pretty clear. The ex1 is considerably more tolerant to CC when the captured image is on the right side of the histo. It's a LOT more tolerant than the HD110 ever was. All this is somewhat to be expected since the very nature of HDv's 4:2:0 color depth does not lend itself to CC in post. Wish I could capture in 4;2:2, as I'm sure it would CC even better than the ex1 via SxS.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 10:37 PM   #14
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Bill, if I under expose, I'm not finding the EX1 very noisy. There's more noise, but I'm not sure if I 'd call it very.

The JVC footage I'm working on now I'd call that "very" compared to any under exposed EX1 footage. Well, in the HD100 camera's defense, it was low light concert footage
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Old March 18th, 2008, 12:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floris van Eck View Post
I was about to buy a EX1 but I think its ergonomics are the worst ever on a handheld camera. Button placement is not logical, buttons feel flimsy and there is a very big strain on the pulse. It also found it weird that there is an "airtunnel" trough the middle of the camera. I think the image quality of the EX1 is unsurpassed (price/quality) but the handling really stopped me from buying this camera. This camera really does not work for run-and-gun. It is nice to see that Adam notes the same in this article. You can't compare these cameras (because of huge price differences) but I feel that the costs of the PMW-EX1 are made in the sensor/tapeless/lcd department and have not been spend on the build quality and ergonomics. Which is wished they did.

Anyway, nice article and good information and descriptive images.
with the el cheapo shoulder mounter it is absolutely brilliant for run and gun. I have been shooting for long days with it all handheld and I barely got tired.
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