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


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Old April 23rd, 2008, 01:47 PM   #1
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New EX1/ Macbook Pro kit - For international Documentary - Thoughts on gear?

Hi folks,

First off big thanks for all that I've picked up from reading your posts :)
Great community here!

I'm currently planning/ building a EX1/ Macbook Pro Package for an international documentary project that I will shoot and edit around the world (mostly based in India) over the next 3 years. Yes I have done this before but with the PD150/ Powerbook combo. I will mostly be a one man band with occasional help.

I have less than 6 weeks put a new kit together! Already got the EX1.

Below is a rough list of items that I feel could best serve for this project. Please feel free to comment on anything you feel could improve the kit or that could be switched out for something better or newly emerging. Also any advice on workflow would great!

SHOOT

Sony PMW EX1
$6449

SBP-16 16GB SxS PRO Memory Card for XDCAM EX Camcorders
$875

- Will grab 6. Ouch!

Century Optics
.75X HD WIDE ANGLE CONVERTER EX1
$994.95

- The camera is pretty wide already.

Century Optics
.6X WIDE ANGLE HD ADAPTER EX1
$399.95

- Like it but not tested and no zoom through

Sony
BP-U60 Lithium-Ion Battery - for PMW-EX1 Camcorder, INFO Function, 56 Wh
$234

- Will grab 4

Libec
ZC-9EX Zoom Control PMW-EX1
$269.95

or

Manfrotto 521-ex (New and very cool)

- When is it out?

CVP SM1 Shoulder mount (Dubbed the "el-cheapo") camcorder support bracket system - Ideal for most for handheld DV / HDV camcorders
$103.58 also on ebay for cheaper.

Tripod/ Support

Vinten VISION 3 Fluid Head (75mm Ball Base) with Spring #3 - Supports 6.6 lbs
$969.95

I hear great things about this head. Would love to pair it with a set of Gitzo legs (probably the GT3530LSV) as I find they pack smaller than traditional tripod legs but still offer a solid platform.

I now understand that I will need a 75mm adaptor that lets either head ride the Gitzo Series 3 bases but the combo will stand a smidge taller. The Gitzo series 5 will allow the half ball to drop right in but these legs are bigger and weight more.

The short securing knob for Vision Heads (3321-30) will allow the tripods to achieve their minimum adjusted height but comes with a $289 price tag from Vinten. Ouch! - Just got conformation that this has been discontinued - Off to Home Depot to adapt something...

Other tripod options below.

Gitzo G-1380 Video Fluid Head (75mm Ball Base) - Supports 2.2 to 22 lbs
999.95

- I understand this is pretty much the same head as the Vinten Vision 3. Same parent company.

Miller DS-20 Fluid Head (75mm Ball Base) - Supports 20 lbs
$1159.95

Gitzo GT3530LSV Systematic Series Two-Stage Carbon Fiber Video Tripod, with G1422 75mm Bowl Adapter (without Column) - Supports 39.7 lbs (18 kg)
$649.95

SOLO DV Carbon Fiber 2-Stage Tripod Legs (75mm Bowl) - Supports 44 lbs
$682.95

- Don't like neoprene on my tripod thanks. Gitzo still get lower with the replacement knob.


SOUND

Sennheiser MKH-416 - (P48) Super-Cardioid Short Shotgun Condenser Interference Tube Microphone
$1099.95

Sennheiser SKP500G2C Wireless Plug-In Transmitter for Evolution 500 Series Wireless System (C 740-776 MHz)
$465.95

Sennheiser EW112P-G2 Evolution Wireless System
$629 CAD

Rycote 18cm Small Hole Softie with Mount and Pistol Grip - for Beyerdynamic 716 / 726, Sennheiser MKH 416 and Sanken CS3.
Rycote Medium Hole Softie Mount with pistol grip.
$229

Shure FP-33 Stereo Mixer for Field Use
$1274.95

Need Mic Mount for camera (EX1 rubber mount is too small)

EDIT

Macbook Pro 17" Loaded or 15"?
$3648

- Still love the size of my old 15" but want the 1920x1280 resolution.
- Yes cheaper ram is available from 3 party.

Final Cut Studio

STORAGE

- I figure I'll shoot about 2.5 terabytes of footage.

LaCie Biggest Quadra 4TB - Firewire 800, Firewire, 400

- Buy 2 extra hot swappable drives with this.
- Con: Very heavy at 25.3 lbs. Can you say extra baggage charge or over-weight?

G-SAFE 1TB
$1,199.00

Sonnet Fusion D500P (5TB)
$3695

- Heavy

Sonnet 640 Gig RAID Drive
$895

Tempo SATA Express 34
$99.95

Sonnet FireWire 400 Adaptor
$15

LaCie d2 Blu-ray Drive USB 2.0 & FireWire
$729.99

Whew.......!

I will be add to and updating this list over time.
Looking forward to you comments/ ideas :)

Last edited by Jonathan Bland; April 23rd, 2008 at 05:25 PM. Reason: Update
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:40 PM   #2
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I have been traveling the world since December with an EX1 and Macbook Pro combo.

Here is what my setup entails:

Sony EX1 with (2) 16 gig cards, (2) 8 gig cards, 3 U60 Batteries
Miller Solo DV10 Tripod (love the legs, hate the head)
Macbook Pro 15", 4 gigs ram, 250 gig HD, FCS 2.0
(3) OWC Travel Drives 250 gigs, FW800
(2) Sennheiser G2112P wireless
Tram wired lav

If I were to change my kit I would get another battery and 2 more 16 gig cards, though I can fill 2 cards in a day and this forces me to back up everything each night. I copy the BVAP folder from each card to a drive into a folder describing the shoot it came from. It then make a redundant copy of this folder to another drive as a backup. I can fit 2 weeks of footage onto each drive.

So far this has worked well. These days weight is so important. I carry the camera and extra gear in a Portbrace run bag. Gets me through customs no problems. I then have a backpack for the laptop, drives, etc.

The camera bag and backpack weigh around 40 lbs combined. So far I have been able to carry these on most planes without any problems.

Good luck,

Daniel Weber
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 05:01 PM   #3
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I was at NAB last week shopping for an EX1 package. I looked at Bogen/Manfrotto, Sachtler and Cartoni.

I have rented the Cartoni HiDV. It has nice usability, but I didn't care for its feel. I looked at the next model up, but wasn't that impressed. The Sachtler FS6 head was sweet, but expensive. I ended up recommending the Bogen 519 head with 525 legs. The 519 lacks a quick side release, but feels great. The 525 goes down to 12.6" and up to 61.4".
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 05:31 PM   #4
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Now we're talking....... Keep it coming!

Wow Daniel! Happy to hear that I'm not alone in the living out of a camera backpack scene :)
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Old April 24th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #5
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Jonathan,

You might want to look at the new G-Tech mini Raid drives that are bus powered. I thought I read that they are now RAID 1 or 0. having RAID 1 would be nice for backup. You will want to research that for yourself though since I may be confused with another product.


Another point why I love the Miller Solo DV legs. I can fit the tripod and head into my hard bottom rolling duffle bag. My bag is 36" in length and I can fit the tripod, reflector and enough clothes for 2 weeks of shooting in there. Great way to hide a tripod while going through customs.

Good luck with your project,

Daniel Weber
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:02 AM   #6
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Awsome Daniel. Had a look through your site and your work is beautiful! You will love mongolia. Keep a low profile when there. We were arrested in the capital while shooting because they though we were missionaries.

I had a talk with the mac tech guy yesterday and he suggested this for storage:

http://www.lacie.com/ca/products/product.htm?pid=10952

I still have to make sense of raid drives buy practical use. This one is 25lbs.

I hear you on the hiding of the tripod through customs and love my rolling duffle bag. I've also used a smaller set of Gitzo legs with a crappy Manfrotto head that fit into the camera backpack but now I want a real head which means a bigger set of legs. I will most likely go here:

Vinten VISION 3 Fluid Head (75mm Ball Base) with Spring #3 - Supports 6.6 lbs
$969.95

or

Gitzo G-1380 Video Fluid Head (75mm Ball Base) - Supports 2.2 to 22 lbs
999.95

with

Gitzo GT3530LSV Systematic Series Two-Stage Carbon Fiber Video Tripod, with G1422 75mm Bowl Adapter (without Column) - Supports 39.7 lbs (18 kg)
$649.95

I had just learned that there was a short securing knob for Vision Heads (3321-30) will allow the tripods to achieve their minimum adjusted height has been discontinued - Off to Home Depot to adapt something...

Need to solve this ASAP but it's tough not having a dealer of these products nearby. Anyone working with this combo and similar?
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:27 AM   #7
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I need to update my site. I did the Mongolia trip in February. It was nice, though the weather wasn't that great the day we went outside the capital to shoot. We had no problems and I was there with missionaries!!!

I am not a fan of Lacie drives. They are expensive and every one that I have had has failed within a year. I know that drives fail at some point, but not that quick.

Check out Other World Computing, their stuff is great. Not sure if I can put the link here or not, but just Google them. Great prices and real good people.
Good prices on RAM as well.

Good luck with your tripod choice. I found that I want to use a tripod more with the EX1 than I did with my Z1.

Daniel Weber
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Old April 25th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #8
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Jonathan,

I travelled to India with an EX camera last december. it was an interesting trip and I am sure you will enjoy it over there. I wrote an extensive review about it.

The kit (summary): AKG condenser mics, Neuman KMR mic, Vocas mattebox, a bunch of 4x4 filters, Sachtler tripod, Lowel Rifa light kit, dedolights etc.

We had a small laptop and 2 small WD portable harddrives for daily backups. No editing was done.

2 BP-U60's are enough for one day, they hold quite long. And if you can empty your cards daily, 3x 8Gb SxS cards was enough on this trip.

I've put some adhesive foam in the mic holder of the EX, even the smaller mics fit now.

I can recommend the .75 Century Optics convertor.

The result is on YouTube by the way:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8n7z9WkS8Y


regards,
Erwin
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Old April 25th, 2008, 09:11 PM   #9
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Daniel:

I've been reading a bit on other forums about Lacie drive failures but my 2 have been holding up well for the past 4 years. Maybe they still built them with quality drives inside back then. I'll also be leaning quite heavily towards G-raid as folks say good things about them.

Just about the make the decision about the tripod head/ legs. Vinten Vision 3 head of Gitzo 1380? I understand that the heads are built on the same design. Gitzo comes with all the springs and it matches the grey/ black powder coated legs. No illuminated level bubble.
Vision 3.... everybody loves this in the forums. Springs sold separately. Not thrilled about the bright white color. illuminated level bubble is good.

Erwin:

Decent promo piece. It has a good balance between East and West. Thanks for the gear tips. I had been wondering if the Century wide angle was worth while seeing as the camera is already pretty heavy and the camera's lens is fairly wide to begin with.

Anyone got any ideas on how to manage drives and work flow? Raid +-01?
I think I'm going to stay with the 15" Macbook size unless someone can point out a good reason the for 17".

Looking forward.....
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 10:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Bland View Post
Hi folks,

SBP-16 16GB SxS PRO Memory Card for XDCAM EX Camcorders
$875

- Will grab 6. Ouch!
Hey Jonathan,

Thanks for posting this. I am in a similar boat as you and just ordered my EX1! Your list is a big help.

Just wanted to let you know that if you buy the SanDisk memory cards from B&H it will save you a few bucks. Once you put them in your cart the price is coming up as $799 each for the 16GB cards. They are the same cards as the Sony cards, just with a different sticker.

cheers,
-sutton
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 10:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutton Yamanashi View Post
Hey Jonathan,

Thanks for posting this. I am in a similar boat as you and just ordered my EX1! Your list is a big help.

Just wanted to let you know that if you buy the SanDisk memory cards from B&H it will save you a few bucks. Once you put them in your cart the price is coming up as $799 each for the 16GB cards. They are the same cards as the Sony cards, just with a different sticker.

cheers,
-sutton
Sutton,

Be careful with the Sandisk cards. They will work later this summer after the camera gets a firmware update. I believe that if you tried the cards now they would not work. I would hate to see you buy a bunch of cards and then have them not work right away. The Sony cards are more expensive, but they are guaranteed to work right now.

Daniel Weber
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 07:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Weber View Post
Sutton,

Be careful with the Sandisk cards. They will work later this summer after the camera gets a firmware update. I believe that if you tried the cards now they would not work. I would hate to see you buy a bunch of cards and then have them not work right away. The Sony cards are more expensive, but they are guaranteed to work right now.

Daniel Weber
Hey Daniel. I appreciate the warning. I am a new newbie, of the newest kind and appreciate you all looking out for me :)

I am not 100% sure but folks on this thread (http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=119766) were discussing and it seems that they are working.
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