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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 May 31st, 2008, 09:39 AM   #31
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Hey Phil, your thinking the same as me. Not sure what the KH20 will look like on the EX3 though, have you tried it yet?

As for the stock Fujinon lens, here's my take. The higher the zoom ratio the harder it is to keep CA and other aberrations under control. I'de much rather have a good quality selection of medium range zooms than a single mega zoom that suffers from CA, distortion and soft edges. Yes it would be nice to get the same quality but with a higher zoom ratio but I wouldn't want to sacrifice quality over zoom range. I think the stock lens is a remarkably good and flexible lens.

As Phil says the EX3 is still remarkable value. I bet an EX3 with the stock lens recording to a Convergent nano XDR could give pictures that will be very very close to those produced by a 700 with an average lens.

Don't forget your not just paying for the materials that go to manufacturing a camera but also the R&D. Perhaps the problem is not that the EX3 is too expensive, maybe the problem is that the EX1 is too cheap.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 10:06 AM   #32
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Well there is an HD camera that is 4:2:2 with 2/3" CCDs for the price of an EX3. But you have to decide whether you want SD sensors or Full 1920x1080 HD sensors.
That camera you're referring to would be the one and only HPX500. That is a tough decision between the two.
Which is preferable, 2/3" pixel-shifted SD chips or 1/2" HD CMOS? P2 or SxS? If anyone has done a side-by-side picture comparison, please voice your opinions.

I'd take either over an EX1. Shoulder-mount cameras are a must for my style of shooting. The price upgrade from an EX1 to an EX3 is well worth it for the convenience of shoulder-mount and removable lenses.

Plus, all 3 cameras should be acceptable for full-acquisition for Discovery HD programs. I've never even came close to producing a D-HD program, but the ability to have the right gear is a nice bonus.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 10:25 AM   #33
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Shoulder-mount cameras are a must for my style of shooting. The price upgrade from an EX1 to an EX3 is well worth it for the convenience of shoulder-mount and removable lenses.
This is an area where I am not quite a believer.

IMHO, the EX-3 is a quasi-shoulder mount camera. It might function well, but it looks a bit akward to me sort of like the Canon XL series. Just looks like a lot of arm support would be needed to hold the camera as it looks quite front heavy.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 12:27 PM   #34
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Having used an EX3 for a day I can confirm that it is front heavy BUT, its not nearly as bad as it looks. I would much rather hold an EX3 on my shoulder with one hand than try to hold an EX1 in front of me with two hands any day.

I'm quite sure we'll see battery mounts for Anton Bauer or Sony V lock that will put the battery (and Flash XDR) off the back of the EX3 thus balancing the whole rig.

We know the EX1 is approved by Discovery HD, I would guess the EX3 would also get approval. Anyone know if the HPX500 is approved?
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Old May 31st, 2008, 12:29 PM   #35
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According to the specs it's approved (2/3" chips, 100 mb/sec), and by BBC too. But it seems that Discovery may (quite sensibly) look at individual cameras.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 12:33 PM   #36
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Just checked and according to the information I have the HPX is not currently approved for 100% acquisition, it is in the Bronze category along with HDV and the HVX200.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 02:03 PM   #37
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Just checked and according to the information I have the HPX is not currently approved for 100% acquisition, it is in the Bronze category along with HDV and the HVX200.
That would be for Discovery HD, not BBC HD, correct?

Phil Bloom said the XDCAM EXs are approved for 100% Silver acquisition for Discovery HD. I'd call him a reliable source.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 02:15 PM   #38
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Yes that is just for Discovery HD. The BBC's current guidelines specify 1920x1080 native for acquisition on all new commissions and future programming. Having said that the BBC NHU are still using varicams for many programmes.

It's my opinion that almost all future HD programming will require native 1920x1080 cameras. A year ago full HD TV's were rare, now the are much more common. In a few more years the vast majority of HD TV's will be full HD. As TV's get bigger and bigger and the resolution gets higher the difference between 720 and 1080 will become more and more apparent. Admittedly resolution isn't everything but it is a significant part of the HD experience.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 06:25 AM   #39
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Alister,
How did the HPX fail Discovery HD's guidelines? It can shoot DVCPRO HD 100mbps, 4:2:2 color, 2/3" chips, 1080 or 720, what failed it? Was it the SD chips? Was the camera specifically mentioned by name?
I read in another forum where a poster had shot a docu with the HPX and it was accepted by D-HD.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 06:52 AM   #40
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I don't know why but according to my sources it is listed in the Bronze category. The most recent guidelines list many specific cameras in some of the categories. Discovery HD do now specify that all new commissions should be shot 75% 1920x1080. You can however apply for permission to use non-approved equipment. The guidelines are for commissions, I suspect that the rules for buy-ins will be different, probably on a show by show basis.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 08:19 AM   #41
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Alister, is all this info on bronze, silver etc. available or is it just through personal contacts. I can't seem to see anything mentioning specific cameras apart from the refeence to the HVX200.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 10:12 AM   #42
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This information is in the current Discovery HD producers guidelines. It is only available from Discovery when you get a commission and you must sign an agreement not to publicly distribute the information it contains. I have a couple of producer contacts that have the latest documents.

Given that this document is only given out on a per production basis it is possible that there are different versions, but whenever I have seen it it has been the same version.

Discovery are now listing specific cameras and setups. For example bizarrely the F350 at 35Mb with an HD lens is approved in Silver while the F330 is not which really makes no sense at all. They are also specifying workflows and editing codecs. I think what they are trying to do is eliminate as many up front issues as possible and the document is mainly aimed at those new to HD that don't understand the consequences of different formats and codec.
My guess is that if you went back to them and put a strong case for just about anything you may get it through.
If you read through the BBC's guidelines you will see that one of the main reasons the BBC want 1920x1080 acquisition is because the majority of co-production partners (which includes Discovery HD) will no longer accept 720P.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 12:36 PM   #43
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Odd. If the F330 didn't make it, then how so does the EX line? Is it the CMOS chips? Is the codec better in the EX models?
I honestly don't see the difference between the F350 and F330. This is giving me a headache.
Alistair, thanks for your information. You've definitely given us all food for thought.

Back to the original post - I still say go with the EX3. A shoulder-mount camera, even a semi-shoulder design, is far preferable to full hand-held. Believe me, I base this on personal - and painful - experience. Plus, an interchangable lens system is always a positive.
I now have a JVC HD-200, but I'm seriously considering selling it to buy an EX3.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 12:56 PM   #44
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I now have a JVC HD-200, but I'm seriously considering selling it to buy an EX3.
IMHO, the JVC camera is the line the EX-3 is aimed at competing with.

I just wish Sony had designed it with the JVC "mini" shoulder mount design, as I really agree with this body shape.

But, given that so many people have stated that there is a sort of parity in the XDCAM line (EX can be interchanged with the PDW-700 ect...) that I think Sony had to protect its higher end products and not make the EX-3 design too much of a home run. Or why would you spend thousands+ more for incremental gains...

The EX line seems to be the sweet spot right now with the only drawback is the handling of still flashes, which until you use the camera, it is tough to know the impact.

So I would say you are ahead with either one you choose.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 01:24 PM   #45
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Glen, 1 thing in favour of the EX1 over the F330/350 is that it's got 1920x1080 chips vs 1440x1080. In terms of image quality though the F330 and F350 presumably are identical so that is baffling!
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