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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 October 10th, 2008, 08:54 PM   #1
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EX1 or Z7U im ready ...

ok i FINALLY got the green light to pull the trigger on a new cam[thanks wifey]... i was there all ready to hit submit my order to B&H for the EX1 ... then i started surfing and ran across the Z7U ... now im stuck in a quandry ... EX1 or Z7U of course there is a $1100 price difference but id like some feed back on the pro's and cons of the two. will be making some kind of decission within the next couple of days and since this will be my only cam for a while need to make a healthy wise decission. I shoot weddings / church events and on occasion music videos and looking into going into short film and documentary. Had a HVX-200 and sold it a while back and now ready to get back into the game. all suggestions are certainly welcome

thx in advance
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Old October 10th, 2008, 09:01 PM   #2
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Ron,

I was in the exact same boat you are now. What I am doing, is getting an EX1 for my primary camera and then 2 Z5s that are coming out in December. These Z5s are basically the same camera as the Z7U, minus the interchangeable lens and are expected to be $1000 cheaper than the Z7s. They are expected to be even cheaper but you need to buy the CF recorder separate which is expected to result in $1000 cheaper than the Z7 for basically the same cam minus the interchangeable lens. If you haven't seen the other posts about using the SD cards instead of the expensive SxS cards in the EX1, be sure to take a look since you will save alot of money. Instead of a 16GB SxS for $850 you can buy a 16GB SD card for $60 that will record the same amount of footage. (search for Cards that will & will not work with EX1 & EX3)
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Old October 10th, 2008, 09:07 PM   #3
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ok that does shead some light on the matter ... what are the advantages of SxS cards over the CF cards?
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Old October 10th, 2008, 09:24 PM   #4
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Check out this page that has been so graciously put together summarizing the results several people have done testing what works and what doesn't. http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...sxs-cards.html

I have an EX1 on the way so if others want to jump in please do. My understanding is that while both will record HQ, the SD cards with the Kensington adapter will not record so mo. Another difference is the SxS cards can be downloaded via an expresscard slot much faster than the SD cards. Also, the use of the SD cards with the adapter will not allow you to clsoe the media door on the EX1.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #5
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i think what im gonna do is take a field trip to B&H on sunday and get a hands on with both cameras providing they have them out and working. Kinda leaning towards the EX1 for now but that can change. Going to aruba in 2 weeks and want to bring along for a music video shoot on those clean beaches.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #6
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Be prepared to pop an extra $500 on two BP-U60 batteries to get you through the day on a wedding shoot. One won't be enough. Now that there are alternatives to the SxS cards,
the EX1 is the way to go. a couple of 32gb Ultra IIs and your shooting all day on those suckers. I suggest buying a 1TB drive for backing up your media as well. One drive for working project files, one drive for storage in case of failure. I am going out today on my second wedding shoot with the EX1. Not having to capture tapes is priceless.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 09:47 AM   #7
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wow so i take it that the battery life is not that great .... seems that i have been seeing posts about a firmware upgrade that helps a lil for battery life? I wonder if since i will be getting in next few days if cams already have that firmware installed would hate to buy cam and then have to ship it right out for upgrade . that would bite ...
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Old October 11th, 2008, 10:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ron Williams View Post
wow so i take it that the battery life is not that great .... seems that i have been seeing posts about a firmware upgrade that helps a lil for battery life? I wonder if since i will be getting in next few days if cams already have that firmware installed would hate to buy cam and then have to ship it right out for upgrade . that would bite ...
Ron I have owned both cam shot several weddings side by side. The EX1 as an overall better image Quality, although I think the build quality is better on the Z7 it feels more solid. I sold my Z7 and now own two EX1'S and yes you are going to need those extended life batteries.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #9
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wow so i take it that the battery life is not that great ....
Actually, the BP-U60 is good for 4HRS.
They are excellent and a very good buy at $240.

I remember spending over $800 for an IDX charger and battery for my JVC HD100 camera.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 12:02 PM   #10
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What's your editing system? Yes, it does make a big difference because if you are on a Mac with FCP you will have to do transcoding and other hassle full things to get those .m2t files that the Z7 records to CF cards into FCP. On the other hand, FCP and the EX1 work together like a dream come true.

My opinion either way... go with the EX1!
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Old October 11th, 2008, 01:51 PM   #11
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i have a 8 core mac and mac book pro 2.33 ghz and will be editing using FCP 6.0 ... so your saying that the Z7 is more difficult to edit than the EX1?
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Old October 11th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #12
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With your system, yes. You can't just drop in the native .m2t files that the the Z7 saves to the CF card into FCP and start editing. You will have to use software to do lengthy transcoding of the .m2t to a .mov file. (Many people use MPEG Streamclip)

You can't just drop the .mp4 files the EX1 shoots right into FCP either. However, Sony provides a great piece of software with the camera that integrates wonderfully with FCP, called the XDCAM Transfer tool. This will read the video files from the EX1 and QUICKLY (short clips take seconds) place them in a nice clean .mov wrapper to drop right into FCP and start editing.

For this reason alone, I'd go with the EX1. This ease of use with FCP was a driving factor in my EX1 purchase.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #13
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ok... lo and behold .. i went to B&H sunday and got hands on with the EX1 i gotta say i am impressed but check this out me being me went over and started playing around with the EX3 and MAN now of course im now juggling thoughts of do i go EX1 or EX3 now ... the interchangeable lens is not a big seller for me due to i dont seeing the need to spend $$$$ for lens no time soon...i am now leaning on the EX3 side slightly now ok somebody please give me what the pro and con are of plunking down another $1800 ... i knew i shoulda kept my butt home .. lol
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Old October 13th, 2008, 12:34 PM   #14
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Based on what you said you're doing, I can't see ANY reason to plunk down another $1800 for an EX3. Now what I COULD see is you buying an EX1, a 35mm adapter, and then being able to buy nearly any lens you want. That might work out nicely.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 01:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Hayes View Post
Be prepared to pop an extra $500 on two BP-U60 batteries to get you through the day on a wedding shoot. One won't be enough. Now that there are alternatives to the SxS cards,
the EX1 is the way to go. a couple of 32gb Ultra IIs and your shooting all day on those suckers. I suggest buying a 1TB drive for backing up your media as well. One drive for working project files, one drive for storage in case of failure. I am going out today on my second wedding shoot with the EX1. Not having to capture tapes is priceless.
Scott I'll be calling you this week. I'm thinking about plunking down some cash on 2 EX-1s and ditching the XH-A1s (not that I'm unhappy with the quality)...just can't stand capturing dozens and dozens of tapes....not to mention occasional drop-outs.
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