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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #1
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Next step from the EX1

Looking for advice on the next step up from the Sony XDCAM EX1. I love the EX1 and will keep it working hard for my business.

I am just beginning the search for the next camera to add to my business. Better picture quality is always my goal. I know the next price jump is big so the more I learn the better spent my hard earned dollars will work for me in the near future.

Spring time is when I plan on making the next step.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:53 AM   #2
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I suppose a 355 Xdcam will be the next step or if you can go all the way a 700 Xdcam 422.

Ex-3 may be an option but it will not give you much more than the EX-1
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Old October 20th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #3
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Gary all cameras on my list along with the Panasonic cameras. I do not know if the XDCAM 3** series is worth the step up for picture quality but that is one of the many things I am trying to find out first hand. The XDCAM 422 700 now 2/3" HD is a definite big step up. Not sure the EX3 picture quality is much better for the added cost. There are of course other reasons but my first check on the list is picture quality then I will narrow down one more time.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #4
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Off the top of my head would be the PDW-700 or any other 2/3" chip HD camera.

Though you need to pay a lot for this upgrade in comparison.

Larger cameras are much more expensive as you know and if you are working well with the EX-1 (rolling shutter does not affect your shooting) then I would wonder how much of an improvement you would see for the extra $15,000+?

Will your clients notice?

Just playing the devil's advocate.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 09:22 PM   #5
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Tim is correct. You're already shooting with 1/2 imagers. The next step is going to be 2/3. But the accessories you have to add are going to get pricey. The 2/3 cameras are all going to want high end batteries, chargers, lenses, and viewfinders.

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Old October 20th, 2008, 10:20 PM   #6
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Maybe get a glidecam or a new software package or something. Seems the EX cameras can look like HDV or a motion picture depending on how you use it.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #7
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Why not go with the XDR Flash or Nano Flash with your EX1 and get the quality jump with higher bit rates/less compression? That's the nice thing about the EX1 at this price that you have the option to bypass the default codec. Otherwise, maybe a RED ONE shooting RAW might be good bump.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:31 PM   #8
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Stepping up might mean renting vs. owning.

There are numerous cameras available that would move you up from an EX1. The beauty of the EX1 is its value for money. Getting into a Red One or one of the higher end pro Panny or Sony cams will easily add tens of thousands of dollars. As everyone knows, lenses cost as much or more than the cameras themselves, so getting to $40,000 and beyond is easy to do. Spending the money is the hard part.

If your projects support a purchase, then by all means, it makes sense (in general). However, you have to look at the option of renting vs. owning if it means say a $40k camera package vs. renting the same camera for $2000 per week. Also, rental houses will let you run tests and this would be my first step (if I wanted a better image than your current EX1) in deciding what camera fit the needs of the project. Then I'd decide whether to buy it or rent it.

Another consideration might be a DOF adapter and still lenses to give your EX1 more of the look of 35mm. This would effect the biggest change for the least amount of money.

We all love to own the gear, but in the end, it's what we put on the screen that matters. The EX1 can do a great job in the right hands. But if you need something beyond, you will have to make a move. If it is only a single feature film, then renting would most likely make more sense than buying, but you have to evaluate a lot of factors to make this decision.

One last thing to consider, with technology creep ever lurking, renting cutting edge technology is a safer business decision than locking yourself in to today's "latest and greatest" by purchasing it. No telling what the next NAB will reveal.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 01:15 AM   #9
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REd Scarlet?! after its re-design. 3K - $3000 but better?

Late 2009?! Luckily, Sony sees this and will respond at NAB most likely.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 02:02 AM   #10
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Paul,

I have both EX-1 and F-350 (which should be almost identical with F-355 picturewise).
I use the EX-1 for 90% of my work. F-350 is with me when my client "expect" to see a bigger camera, but my personal opinion is that the picture from EX-1 is better due to its light sensivity.

The next step for me will be PDW-700 or even better a Panasonic HPX2100, I really like the picture tonality of the Panasonics.

You should read this:
Five more useful things to buy than a new camera | Simon Wyndham - Video equipment reviews, tutorials, and news.

Bjorn
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:27 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the input. Let me give a few more reasons for looking at better picture quality. I have a few clients that are requesting 2/3" HD cameras. Yes they love the EX1 but know and see the difference and pay for the 2/3" camera. Is this all of my clients no. And will it be worth the investment well that is part of my research. $40,000 is what I was thinking it would cost to go 2/3" HD so the numbers John suggest are the same I have found in my early research.

I agree the F350 is a great camera but 2/3" is the next step to really see the difference. I have not read the five more things to buy I will read it now been out on a shoot all morning.

I am just starting to research Red.

I agree renting is a great next step prior to buying. I will use that as a tool to see what I would buy. There are times I am gone for 6 weeks on a shoot then back a week then gone a month so owning is more cost effective for me in the long run. 35mm adapters are not going to work for me on most of my shoots. I need to grab stuff fast and set up and break down very fast.

Glide cam will also not work for my shooting and software I am dialed and always upgrading.

"Why not go with the XDR Flash or Nano Flash with your EX1 and get the quality jump with higher bit rates/less compression?" Now this is a great idea and one that has not been on my radar. I will look into this further and see what I can learn.

Thanks again and please keep the ideas coming.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 01:17 PM   #12
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The XDR Flash looks like a great next move. 100Mbpsec 422 on four 32GB cards now this needs further inspection. Is anyone using this system?

Well I answered this question by finding out they are not on the market yet. Looks like a great option when they hit the market. Sorry I just got so excited when I read the Specs on the unit.
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Last edited by Paul Cronin; October 21st, 2008 at 04:13 PM. Reason: answer my own question.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 04:30 PM   #13
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Bjorn I read the five more useful things to buy then a new camera. All make sense and I have most covered.

I did buy recently the following which is on its way:
Zylight - Intelligent LED Lighting

But just so you don't think I am just trying to spend money I really have a few of my best clients asking for a better picture. And a few TV stations I work with love the EX1 footage in HD so it is hard to please all.

I did contact one client about the XDR Flash footage and he liked what he was hearing but oh well only time will tell there.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 05:09 PM   #14
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Get a Sony F35.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 06:32 PM   #15
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Interesting Andrew at a cost of? Have you used this camera?
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