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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 July 7th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
You'll have to prise my EX1 out of my cold dead hands.
Same here!
Some of the negative stuff written here is way off beam.

OK - my EX1 had to go back to Sony for the backfocus treatment. It was with me again in about five days and works perfectly now.

This is clearly the best video camera I've ever owned.
Fantastic workflow - Final Cut Pro edits it like a dream.
Fantastic images - simply streets ahead of anything even several thousands of GBP more expensive.

And (possibly best of all) - YOU CAN FOCUS THE DURN THING!

It's the first "prosumer" camera I've experienced that you can focus accurately - every time.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 01:25 PM   #17
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Steve, perhaps I should have said that FCP was a NO-NO for me; my apologies.

Regarding the EX1, I can only echo the comments of Matt and Andy; you only have to look at Phil Bloom's footage to appreciate the image quality that can be attained.

Geoff
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Old July 7th, 2008, 03:09 PM   #18
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I've been using the EX1 since February.

Time code is set to time-of-day which makes finding specific coverage a bit easier. It's set to shoot 1080p30 in HQ mode. And the 0.8x Sony WA adapter almost never comes off.

There's a CAVision rail system with shoulder brace to help steady the camera. The matte box won't fit over the WA adapter so that solution has to be figured out sometime later. And I have a Kata cover to protect the camera from getting drenched by the occasional salt water splash.

We have three 16-gig cards and two 8-gig cards (those came with the cameras). Each are labled from one through five.

At the end of the day, each card is transferred with a MacBook Pro to a mirrored RAID. Each BPAV folder is copied into a unique, numbered folder for that day's shoot, and that matches the card's number.

The shots are transferred en masse with XDCam Transfer software, and dragged into FCP for editing. After a story is assembled, it's media-managed to get rid of anything that hadn't been used, then transferred into Color for color correction and grading.

I intentionally set up the camera so the shots look slightly flat. It's then brought up to spec in Color. This way I avoid crushing shadows or blowing highlights. The camera's histogram feature is a big help and the results always gets great compliments. A TV reporter asked if the show was being shot with a Red One camera.

I already posted this elsewhere in this forum. It's a sample segment from our show: http://hawaiigoesfishing.com/videos/hgf_103_ulua.mov

We invested in a second camera to handle our in-studio two-camera shoots, and also provide a backup in case one camera went in for service. So far the only thing we needed fixed was the four-way switch at the top of the handle. That selector switch wasn't working properly from day one. Also, the paint rubs off easily but I'm not too concerned. I'm thinking of covering the vulnerable parts with clear tape just so we don't have to send in the camera until absolutely necessary.

We're thoroughly pleased with what the camera can do. Never had any issues with the rolling shutter at all, and almost everything is shot hand-held. It has great dynamic range: when shooting people against the glare of the water I'm always surprised to see lots of detail in the shadows, rather than silhouettes.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #19
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Dean, I had a chance to see your footage earlier today. Stunning images. And honestly, I didn't know that the female talent doing the show intro was greenscreen until I read it elsewhere. If you don't mind, I am adding that snippet of video to my library so that when my bosses ask why we dropped nearly $7k on a camera, I can show them.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 06:10 PM   #20
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I'm quite happy

When I first started working with my EX-1, there were a few concerns, well noted on this forum. But I kept hearing this sound in my edit studio: "I can't believe how good this looks." and "My god, I can't believe the color you are getting." And "we are just thrilled with the way this has turned out."

I waited for 2 years to buy this camera. Had the HVX 200 in my hands and money in my pocket, just couldn't buy it. Too many concerns. (but granted, some folks have done stellar work with it)

I feel this technology is a little new--a few bugs need to be worked out. But wow, what pretty pictures and clean sound.

Workflow: FCP, Mac Pro, USB transfer tool 2.7, Bill Ravens PP settings.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #21
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Dean,

With all the exterior stuff you're shooting, I'm wondering what f stops you are using.
I've notice that my Ex-1 gets soft after f8 and it's quite noticeable at F16.
I assume this is just diffraction from the smaller lens opening, but I haven't noticed it with other cameras - Maybe I didn't look before this either.

On those exteriors it might require higher shutter speeds or an additional ND or polarizer.
just wondering what you guys do.

By the way iI also think the camera is lovely and I like the workflow. Only issue is the rolling shutter with flash. I won't use it for some jobs because of that.

Lenny
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Old July 7th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Mike Williams View Post
3) What do I wish I knew now what I knew then? If I knew that if you didn't EXACTLY follow the reccomended workflow long (read very important) clips WILL NOT GET IMPORTED and you may format the card without having the data on your HD!!!!
hey, what's this about long clips? What's happening? And how long is "long"?
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Old July 7th, 2008, 08:24 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
Dean,

With all the exterior stuff you're shooting, I'm wondering what f stops you are using.
I've notice that my Ex-1 gets soft after f8 and it's quite noticeable at F16.
Leonard...

I use the built-in ND2 filter for the most part, and it's usually kept in place until late in the day when the sun starts to set. As for F-stops, it's usually less than f8 as the camera does go soft when closing down to f16.
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Old July 7th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
If you don't mind, I am adding that snippet of video to my library so that when my bosses ask why we dropped nearly $7k on a camera, I can show them.
Perrone...

Sure thing. Just be sure to keep the "Hawaii Goes Fishing" portion in place.

Aloha,
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Old July 7th, 2008, 08:52 PM   #25
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Dean nice job on the video. It's obvious the EX1 worked well for that project.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 12:44 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mike Williams View Post
long (read very important) clips WILL NOT GET IMPORTED and you may format the card without having the data on your HD!!!!
What's this about Mike?

I've never had a clip fail to get imported.

I suspect this has happened to you because where you have one clip spanned over two cards, XDCAM Transfer can show "No Media" (and a black display) for the first part of a clip. This is confusing because if you look at the timeline of that clip, you will see a mark where the 2nd card footage actually begins. Move the playhead to there, and start importing!

It took me a while to suss that out but I don't have any problem at all with long clips - sometimes 30 minutes or more on an 8GB card, so they span two cards.

I don't format my cards until I've checked that every clip is on my hard drive AND backed-up onto a second HD.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #27
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Just a fast THANK YOU to all for the thread participation.

It's helped a lot in resolving issues, tho I'm still wondering a bit how people here handle the post part of the process, not so much editing, which seems pretty straightforward, but rather adapting the EX1s picture frame size and resolution for delivery for legacy SD formats.

What are you guys doing when a client needs output for BOTH HD and SD - as in feeding a program for both types of broadcast stations?

And is anyone originating in 16x9 High Def, then transcoding everything to 4x3 SD for delivery? And if so, how's that working for you?

Thanks again.

(BTW, Dean - your stuff look GREAT! Are you delivering to the local cable company station in HD? If so, what are you delivering? Tape? Files? Hard Drives? Thanks.)
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Old July 8th, 2008, 05:33 PM   #28
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I've cut SD DVDs from 1080i. Pretty straightforward workflow for me. Video came in as 1080i MOV files. I transcoded to 1080p AVI Cineform files then did all my editing, grading, and so forth. Then I output 2 versions.

1. 720p 16x9 for web use
2. 480p 16x9 to go to SD DVD.

Easy as could be.
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Old July 8th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
Just a fast THANK YOU to all for the thread participation.

It's helped a lot in resolving issues, tho I'm still wondering a bit how people here handle the post part of the process, not so much editing, which seems pretty straightforward, but rather adapting the EX1s picture frame size and resolution for delivery for legacy SD formats.

What are you guys doing when a client needs output for BOTH HD and SD - as in feeding a program for both types of broadcast stations?

And is anyone originating in 16x9 High Def, then transcoding everything to 4x3 SD for delivery? And if so, how's that working for you?

Thanks again.

()
I dont use an EX1 but all you need to do to create a SD delivery is to drag the HD sequence into a new SD timeline and it will letterbox the clip ready for broadcast.
It keeps the 16.9 aspect and couldnt be easier.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:18 AM   #30
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Regarding long clips, I had the chance to see how well one continuous shoot would work, recording an event. I never stopped recording but let the EX1 span from card A to card B (I have 2 8GB cards). When card A was full, and the clip was still recording onto card B, I popped card A out of the slot and downloaded the contents via the Expresscard slot in my Macbook Pro, taking about 5 minutes. Then I popped card A back in the Ex1 and deleted the clips on it while the EX1 was still recording on card B. Then when B was full the EX1 started recording onto the now blank card A. I ejected card B, downloaded, popped in and erased it, and so on. I think I did this several times back and forth.

When I was done, I was a little concerned that the Sony XDCam transfer software would blow it and somehow I'd have a hard time getting the clips together. No problem. The Full 2 hour clip appeared on the preview for clip the last card I recorded on. The long clip played completely seamlessly. It's good to know this can work in the field, and this would have never worked with a tape-based camcorder. It's pretty amazing.
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