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Old October 12th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #1
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EX 1 Mitigating the drawbacks

I've been watching the threads here since this camera came out and have been hesitant to pull the trigger given the various issues folks are having. By all accounts it's an excellent camera and there are no perfect tools in the world. In all my reading I haven't seen too much about how to mitigate the drawbacks. The big ones for me are:

1) Jello vision. I shoot about 50% off the tripod and subjects that move around a lot. For every post that says this is a huge problem there is one saying it isnt. That leads me to believe there are ways to control it. How, other than not panning too quickly?

2) Color shifts r/t IR. The more I read about this the more it sounds like the fiasco with Leica's M7 needing an IR filter. Is this fixable through firmware or must I always have an IR filter handy when near tungten light?

3) It sounds like they tackled the "power down" issue with a new curcuit board. Is this true and are new cams shipping with the repair?

4) Ergonomics: I'm going to rent before I make a final decision but I'd be interested to know if anyone is using theirs primarily handheld and, if so, offer their assessment.

Thank you
Bob
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Old October 12th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #2
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It's like you said, "there's no perfect tool".
Many EX owners do not complain because we are happy with the results.
Many also use the EX handheld. Not all images will have skew and wobble, unless you are thrashing around with the camera.

If this is your plan, this is NOT the camera for you.

If you want to run around with a camera, I'd seriously think about the HPX170.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #3
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Thanks Steven. What methods have you employed to avoid the wobble issues?

I have a CMOS-based camera now (Canon HV 20) and people complain about the rolling shutter in it, too, and I've never seen it in my footage.

I want to be able to give it a fair test, including using methods to control for likely problems.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #4
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If you're going to rent the EX for a day or so, you can answer most of these yourself; and there is simply no substitute for that.

The shipping units should not have the battery drain issue, or any of the inital (year old) problems. Also make sure you get an up-to-date camera, firmware wise.

Whether or not you'll always need an IR blocking filter? Probably not as "standard", but you may have it in the old toolbox.

On to "Jello TV". This is down to camera/motion control. It starts with realizing that the EX sensors are read in 1/30 of a second in 1080 mode. Wobbly camera handling or subject movement can be exaggerated especially when you shoot with shutter off or big shutter angles. Not a problem if you have a steady hand/camera support and use the appropriate shutter.

George/
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Old October 12th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #5
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The HV20 camera's CMOS rolling shutter issues are worse than the EX1 series.

Just swing your HV20 side-to-side and you should see skew.

Bob, it's just a matter of being aware artifacts can exist. You really need to check the camera out yourself. This is the only way to be sure.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 03:31 PM   #6
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1) Can't add more than what others have already said.
2) I leave a B&W Slim 486 filter on my camera.
3) I have my camera with Sony at the moment for this upgrade. I hear it reduces the battery drain but doesn't entirely eliminate it. Keep in mind that many cameras draw some power from the battery even when off. My approach is to always take the battery off the camera before putting it away. It's all too easy to put the camera in the box / bag with it still turned on and end up with a very hot camera.
4) A very difficult camera to use hand held without some form of 3rd party assistance. We use the Zacuto rods, shoulder pad, battery plate etc. Even then it's difficult to come up with a configuration that gives you the same ease of use / balance as a shoulder mount camera.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 11:38 PM   #7
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I used the EX-1 over a few weeks and found it to have great images. I have a Canon XL-1, and that is a feather compared to the brick EX-1 hand held.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 11:38 AM   #8
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Bob, got it right.

I'll add:

1- Rent one and see if it fits you. I tried and decided that was not for my kind of shooting. Even on a tripod if and subject if passing fast in front of the camera it will create the JelloVision. So, it's one substantial limitation.

4 - Consider the EX-3, much better design and worth the extra $.

Other than these limitations (which you'll find some in any camera) the footage is great.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #9
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I'll second (third?) the "try before you buy" mantra. Nothing like first-hand experience to let you know for certain about your concerns.

Regarding "jello-cam", for me it's a non-issue. In all the footage I've shot with it, and for the thousands of people who have seen it, not a single person has ever mentioned anything about it. And almost everything is shot handheld.

Also, this past Sunday we had a booth at the Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival. Along with our hosts and a 32" LCD screen showing the program, I set up 40 8x10 prints that were frame grabs from the show. They were all photographic-quality prints. Well, actually they were 5.75" x 10" prints (16:9 aspect ratio).

festival_display
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Old October 15th, 2008, 07:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Sensui View Post

Regarding "jello-cam", for me it's a non-issue. In all the footage I've shot with it, and for the thousands of people who have seen it, not a single person has ever mentioned anything about it. And almost everything is shot handheld.

festival_display
So why are people getting such different results? One person says there's jello even on a tripod and yet you are able to shoot a fishing show handheld?

This is what I don't understand. Some folks are obviously able to mitigate this problem and make wonderful images, while others are not. Does it come down to technique or are there settings to tweak?
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Old October 15th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #11
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I've "only" seen jello on the tripod.

1.) Put the cam on a sturdy tripod, on solid ground like a concrete sidewalk surface.
2.) Lock the tripod down
3.) Turn the optical image stabilizer off
4.) Zoom in on something
5.) With an open palm, rap on the handle several times, the LCD image "jiggles."

Where I cannot see jello, is anytime I'm shooting normally. I don't think you could reproduce the jello effect handheld either. It's more of a vibration phenomenon. If you set the camera on top of a blender...
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Old October 15th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #12
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Yes, it would have to be of higher frequency vibrations. Banging on the side of the camera on a locked down tripod would cause this problem for sure.

Then again, this kind of shot is useless regardless what camera you're using.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 09:32 AM   #13
 
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Unfortunately, software image stabilizers, like Prodad's Mercalli, don't handle rolling shutter effects very well. Images stabilized tend to get that jello look after processing by Mercalli.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 01:00 PM   #14
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Tom and Bill got it right.

If the sensor gets scanned 60 times per second, then it requires a repetitious lateral shift of image at least that fast to make Jello Cam effect happen. In which case the image would be shaking so rapidly that it would be tough to watch no matter what kind of camera is being used.

And as for the slanted vertical lines, that's going to happen during whip pans. Those fast pans will either be cut out or, if they're kept in, then it's probably because something dramatic suddenly happened or something very interesting is being tracked in the frame.

If your audience starts to notice the artifacts in a panned shot and calls to complain, then something is wrong with your content, not the camera! :-)
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Old October 15th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Kerner View Post
1) Jello vision. I shoot about 50% off the tripod and subjects that move around a lot. For every post that says this is a huge problem there is one saying it isnt. That leads me to believe there are ways to control it. How, other than not panning too quickly?
Bob
You're smart to rent. I couldn't, so I gambled and won. There are complaints of rolling shutter issues with the EX1. Compared to my Z1 handheld footage, the EX1 is so much better. HDV falls apart with blockiness around movement. The EX1 seems to have none of that.
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