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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old December 24th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #1
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Ex1 or EX3

OK...in a couple months I will probably make my upgrade from DV to HD, and it will probably be one of these two cameras. I will be upgrading from a Canon XL2. My XL2 has been a workhorse, and is well used. One of the attractive features to it is the interchangeable lens function, which I use a lot with my 3XXL and the 20X lens. I use both lenses frequently.
IMO, the newer Sony's are a league ahead of the Canon HLH1 series, and that's probably where I am heading.
We know that the EX1 and EX3 output the exact same picture, the lens is the same, etc. The big difference is the EX3 lens can be swapped with another.

Here's the question:
While I love the interchangeable lens feature on the EX3, realistically I will probably never use it as a good lens is way outside my budget. I will probably opt for a wide angle converter and go with that.
Both cam's are within budget, and I am comfortable with the ergonomics of the EX3. So, for you EX3 guys out there, would the camera have been worth it even if you never intended on swapping lenses? Why?

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Old December 24th, 2008, 04:50 PM   #2
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We bought the EX3 because of:

1) Form factor. It was similar to the Canon XL-1S we're replacing.
2) Viewfinder. The EX3's viewfinder is fantastic.
3) Interchangeable lens. We're going to use a Letus Ultimate 35mm adaptor, and we're looking forward to Letus coming out with their relay lens so we don't have to use the EX3 lens. Just remove the EX3 lens, install the Ultimate and you're set. An easy swap.
4) Dedicated S&Q Motion button.
5) SDHC card adapters fit behind the door. The Sony external hard drive also fits better due to the addition of a cord slot.

If those reasons don't justify the EX3 for you, then save your money and go with the EX1. They are both good. :)
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Old December 24th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #3
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I don't know if the EX3 had been available when we ordered, if we would have stretched the budget a bit and gotten it, but it has a number of very nice advantages over the EX1.

To me, the most helpful are the cable connections instead of mini-plugs for everything, the genlocks and time code in/out (for multicam or dual system audio lock), the S&Q motion being outside instead of on a menu, and the option to remove the lens. The relay lens will be HUGE for this camera. The ability to go to 35mm glass of different mounts without the stock glass being in the way is just HUGE. With a Nikon mount, you could go from true fisheye out past 1000mm. That's amazing on a camera of this class. Truly amazing. For the difference of a couple grand, I'd say it's totally worth it.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 09:13 PM   #4
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To me the question is, could the extra couple thousand be spent better? That is, I'd rather have an EX1 with a good tripod than an EX3 with a cheap one. Or apply that to lights, audio, etc. If you're set in those areas, and can afford the extra cost, then it seems like the EX3 is worth it even using only stock lens. Coming from a happy early EX1 owner.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 09:27 PM   #5
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The big question for me was do i need an interchangable lens.
Yes it is nice but I only ever changed my Betacam lens once.
A nice tripod is a good idea.
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Old December 24th, 2008, 10:36 PM   #6
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For me, the form factor was also important. I like have the option to change a lens, but never did on my JVC HD100's, so I figured that I'd probably never change this one either. But the size/shape of the camera is something I really liked. With the shoulder mount, it is very comfortable and the shape of the back of the camera is conduscive to the mount.

Also, with the lens looking a little longer, and the back being a little larger, and all those jacks that I may or may not use, it looks impressive to my clients and I consider that a plus....

...up until I began to shop for a bag and consider traveling with it and trying to get it into smaller spaces. During those times, I wished I'd gone with the EX1!

Also, I've heard the the default PP on the EX3, with all it's various settings, is very good right out of the box. The EX1, I've been told, desperately needs some settings changed to look good and it's settings don't correspond to the EX3.

Oh, and the EX3 has two extra holes on the bottom in case you are concerned about the weakness of the included 1/4x20 mount on the camera. With the EX3, you just use someone's aftermarket base plate like VF Gadgets or DM-Accessories. The EX1 doesn't have anything like this.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #7
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I liked that the EX3 didn't have that huge useless viewfinder hanging off the back. I like that it had a hood thingy built on the LCD. I like that it was already semi shoulder. I like to have the possibility of changing the lens even if I never use it. It looks more professional. I like having a useful 1 megapixel viewfinder if I need it, although I just use it in LCD mode 99% of the time. I like that the controls are more like a proper camera.

It's just better. I would have been happy with an EX1, but I would have always been dreaming about the EX3, so I decied to just wait and buy that. No regrets.
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Old December 25th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #8
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From what I'm hearing about the FX1000/Z5, sounds like the OLED 1.5 megapixel VIEWFINDER is going to trump even the EX3 LCD. Technology is rolling fast.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 03:48 AM   #9
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Z5 is LCD same as the Z7 and S270.

I have both the EX1 and EX3. I much prefer the form factor of the EX3 over the EX1. A much nicer user experience and far more versatile. However as has already been pointed out the EX1 is quite a bit more portable if you do a lot of traveling.

In my book if you are going to make a big investment get the most versatile, flexible model you can. If you buy the cheaper but less flexible model you may regret it in the future and upgrading tends to be difficult and costly. You can always add a better tripod or lights further down the road.

Having said that a really good tripod and decent lighting kit will out last many cameras. My Vinten 5 tripod head is 15 years old and works as well today as the day I got it. My 20 year old red heads are still perfectly useable although I tend to use Arri's and kinoflo's these days.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 06:54 AM   #10
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The one point that sold me on the EX3 is the fact that you gan rest it on your sholder, on the EX1 the viefinder is at the rear of the camera which means constant support with both hands for the camera. Having said that, you can buy an adapter to mount on the EX1 flip out LCD screen. But I would still buy the EX3 again _ I also have the Canon XL1s and XHa1
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Old December 26th, 2008, 06:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted OMalley View Post

Oh, and the EX3 has two extra holes on the bottom in case you are concerned about the weakness of the included 1/4x20 mount on the camera. With the EX3, you just use someone's aftermarket base plate like VF Gadgets or DM-Accessories. The EX1 doesn't have anything like this.

Where are these holes, I only have the tripod and alignment holes on the base of my EX3
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Old December 26th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
Where are these holes, I only have the tripod and alignment holes on the base of my EX3
The additional holes that Jeff and others have used for mounting systems are under the shoulder/chest pad. If you extend it, you can see them at the rear of the camera. They add a HUGE amount of rigidity when a plate is connected to both the standard mount and the two of them.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Z5 (viewfinder) is LCD same as the Z7 and S270.
Oh jeez then, I'm sorry. Thanks for correcting!
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