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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 March 31st, 2009, 05:31 AM   #16
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Post production removal of barrel distortion is of course possible but Dean - I'd like to see three frame grabs: 1) the camera's max wide-angle, 2) the barreled 0.8x and 3) the corrected shot.

My guess is 3) won't look a lot different to 1), which somewhat defeats the object. Same with a 0.5x I had. By time you'd zoomed in far enough to remove the worst of the barrel distortion it hardly seemed worth fitting it in the first place.

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Old March 31st, 2009, 05:34 AM   #17
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The reason to go Sony is to limit the barrel distortion and to have full zoom through. The reason to go Century is to pay less and have more coverage, lighter weight, less bulk.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 12:42 PM   #18
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Tom...

The stock lens without the WA adapter still shows some barrel distortion. So if you're looking for straight lines and use AE to fix things, there's still some loss of the image. Having the 0.8x still helps.

I don't do much correction for most of the things I shoot. But this was for a commercial and the curved lines were too obvious.

The only other way to get a very wide shot with straight lines is to get a lens that's designed from the ground up to do just that. But the lenses I've seen that's capable of providing that kind of image usually cost about $25,000 to $30,000.
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Old April 1st, 2009, 02:50 AM   #19
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The only other way to get a very wide shot with straight lines is to get a lens that's designed from the ground up to do just that. But the lenses I've seen that's capable of providing that kind of image usually cost about $25,000 to $30,000.
And the problem with the EX1 is that its fixed zoom lens won't let you fit such a lens, however many of them you have lying about. It's probably why EX3 owners say the price difference is worth while.

All my Sony zoom lenses have barrel-distorted down the wide end too. My Z1 is embarrassingly bad I'm sorry to say, and on paid-for shoots I wince when straight lines coincide with frame borders. Of course I'm somewhat paranoid about this as readers will be well aware, but then clients should be more engrosed with your story-line and have no time for technical matters.

Rather than use AE to sort the barrel distortion on my Z1 I simply fit my aspherical wide-angle adapter. This completely cures the Z1, meaning (in effect) that the lens adds pincushion distortion as a correction. Of course adding a single element aspheric ups the CA noticeably, but in my view, CA is far less noticeable than bendy-curvy horizons, door frames, church pillars and telegraph poles.

My lens won't work on the EX1's Fujinon, before you ask.

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Old April 1st, 2009, 03:31 AM   #20
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And the problem with the EX1 is that its fixed zoom lens won't let you fit such a lens, however many of them you have lying about. It's probably why EX3 owners say the price difference is worth while.
When I bought the EX1 there was no way I was going to spend more money to get an EX3 ... because it didn't exist yet. :-)

Of course all the effort goes into making all the lines straight, then a client might start to complain about the strong converging lines of perspective.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 03:23 AM   #21
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So, for the normal mortals at the moment there are these 5 choices only:
  • Sony VCL-EX0877: Zoom through, mild converter 0.8x, little barrel distortion, lense hood, NO filter thread in front, ~$400-500
  • Century Precision Optics 0HD-06WA-EX1: NO Zoom through, adapter 0.6x, noticable barrel distortion, filter thread in front ~ $400
  • CAVision 0.7x adapter or 0.75x converter, probably good image quality, NO filter thread, price ++$1000-1200
  • sell car and buy more expensive lenses and/or cams
  • wait till judgment day for a 0.6x payable converter with filter thread and good image quality

At the end it looks like as if the Sony would be still my choice. 0.8 only, but more than nothing, good image quality, but no filter thread, that is essential for me.
Mmmhhh. Do not punish me, but is it possible to put a, say 106mm filter just in front of the Sony and tape it somehow? I would do this just when I fear smoke and droplets blowing towards me. Of course any professional will just shake head, but is this a (dirty) way at all or not possible because of optical reasons?

Thanks again for all your help,
Markus
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 03:38 AM   #22
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is it possible to put a, say 106mm filter just in front of the Sony and tape it somehow? I would do this just when I fear smoke and droplets blowing towards me. Of course any professional will just shake head, but is this a (dirty) way at all or not possible because of optical reasons?
Marcus - the main reason wide-angle converters and adapters don't have filter threads is because adding a filter almost guarantees that you'll increase the flare levels and tiny imperfections of dust etc will show up horribly in against the light shots. Omitting the filter thread means you've deleted two extra air-to-glass surfaces, and with it the three glass surfaces that must be kept absolutely spotless.

Remember adding a 0.6x means your focal length is a minute 4 mm or so, Space your fingertips 4 mm apart and marvel. And again - if the converter has 'filter threads' they've been incorrectly described - they're in fact hood threads.

Go ahead - get yourself some squares of Cokin as tape them in position as front element protection. After all, the rolling shutter CMOS effects that I've seen show the EX1 is NOT the camera to use for firework displays, and especially not if you plan to slow the footage (or overcrank) at all. So having a clear Cokin in place will be the least of your worries my friend.

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Old April 2nd, 2009, 03:50 AM   #23
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After all, the rolling shutter CMOS effects that I've seen show the EX1 is NOT the camera to use for firework displays, and especially not if you plan to slow the footage (or overcrank) at all. .
Tom...

Have you tried to shoot fireworks with the EX1?

This guy did: YouTube - Walt Disney EPCOT Fireworks - IllumiNations Reflections of Earth 2008 in HD 1080p with Sony PMW-EX1
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 04:06 AM   #24
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Have you tried to shoot fireworks with the EX1?
No, only weddings. I'm going on the experience of an EX1 owning friend of mine, who says, quote: ' I also captured one fireworks event. I have determined that the rolling shutter factor pretty much disqualifies the camera for intense fireworks however.'

Note the adjective 'intense'. The YouTube film you tagged was more light, less explosions.

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Old April 2nd, 2009, 04:22 AM   #25
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More fireworks: Fireworks on Vimeo
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 06:45 AM   #26
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To continue this offtopic part (maybe a moderator can split it to new thread eg. "EX1 for fireworks displays", I think it is worth it):

I've shot 3 hours of displays with the EX1 already, but on one event only. So no way to change some settings (besides resolution) and check again at another display. Since I film fireworks for more than five years now (for my website and for DVDs, ago with Sony TRV900, then Canon XM2, then Sony VX2100) and I am a licensed pyrotechnician, who knows how effects should look like, I would comment the EX1 for fireworks as follows:

CONTRA:

- hard audio limiter even in manual audio mode is KO criteria for audio recording. I have to check if one can limit the effect with other settings (see different thread)

- rollowing shutter is clearly visible when you have flashes in front of large smoke clouds. This can be the flashes from the audience taking photos at very close, small displays, or the flashes of salute shells and some bursting charges in the sky. You clearly see the horizontal breaks of the flashes from one frame to the next. But, for the bursts in the sky, if you are in ~300m distances, this is not that disturbing.

- in fast upwards moving effects, like comets from roman candles, one can notice vertical deformation of the effects

- visible noise in night sky even at -3db

- low light capabilities tend to blend/overexpose the picure at very bright effects (especially in smoke), even when closing the iris manually very fast


PRO

- incredible sharp at 1080/50i (25p ist to few frames for my taste -> stuttering effects), ok in 720/50p. I prefer 1080i (tried both), even for downsizing to 720p

- wonderful low light capabilities. It is more bright at low light golden and brocade effects at -3db then the "Queen of the night" VX2100/PD170 at 0 or even +3db.

- good wide angle with standard lense (but to small for me)

- incredible dynamic range. One can almost keep iris open all the time and just regulate very bright sequences manually. No smear, little spoiling of effects - that's CMOS large, large, large advantage over CCD.


All what I described was controlled on 24'' TFT and 50'' Kuro plasma.
In the end there is -at the moment- no alternative, I would say. The FX1000 is "ok", but it uses tapes for HDV only. Panasonic 171 did not fit my needs for low light, noise and sharpness...

Regards
Markus
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 09:51 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markus Klatt View Post
So, for the normal mortals at the moment there are these 5 choices only:
  • Sony VCL-EX0877: Zoom through, mild converter 0.8x, little barrel distortion, lense hood, NO filter thread in front, ~$400-500
  • Century Precision Optics 0HD-06WA-EX1: NO Zoom through, adapter 0.6x, noticable barrel distortion, filter thread in front ~ $400
  • CAVision 0.7x adapter or 0.75x converter, probably good image quality, NO filter thread, price ++$1000-1200
  • sell car and buy more expensive lenses and/or cams
  • wait till judgment day for a 0.6x payable converter with filter thread and good image quality
Marcus, I actually own the CAVision 0.7x adapter, and for me it is pretty good quality, much better than the fisheye Century, which I also own. The price is good, street price around $300, rather than the $1000 you mention. It doesn't accept a front filter though, but you could use it with a Matte box.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 10:16 AM   #28
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Thank you, Keith!

A quick search just found this BWC07X86BEX1 Cavision Broadcast Series 0.73x Wide Angle Converter Lens with Clamp on Mount for Sony PMW-EX1
$ 1109

Do we speak from the same adapter?
Cavision 0.7x Wide Angle Converter for Sony EX1
This one is full zoom through...

If we talk about same adapter and if the street price in Europe is payable, then there would be two choices:

* The Sony 0.8x converter, zoom through
* The CAvision 0.73x adapter, zoom through (optional big lense hood)

Which one should I prefer? Is the image quality comparable and one can just decide by angle width and price?

Thanks again!
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 10:29 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Markus Klatt View Post
Thank you, Keith!

A quick search just found this BWC07X86BEX1 Cavision Broadcast Series 0.73x Wide Angle Converter Lens with Clamp on Mount for Sony PMW-EX1
$ 1109

Do we speak from the same adapter?
Cavision 0.7x Wide Angle Converter for Sony EX1
This one is full zoom through...

If we talk about same adapter and if the street price in Europe is payable, then there would be two choices:

* The Sony 0.8x converter, zoom through
* The CAvision 0.73x adapter, zoom through (optional big lense hood)

Which one should I prefer? Is the image quality comparable and one can just decide by angle width and price?

Thanks again!
Hi Markus

The CAvision adapter I'm talking about isn't the zoom through, it's the adapter rather than the converter, so perhaps it's not what you want, which is to be able to have it on all the time and zoom throughout the range. The CA vision adapter I have, you can zoom maybe 1/2 of the range and you have to have it in AF/MF Macro mode (auto preferred). For me it was the preferred lens because of the price and that I don't need or want to have the heavy glass on all the time, just when I need a little wider shot.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 11:15 AM   #30
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Note that by Cavision's own admission, quote: '*Please note: this adapter causes a small amount of vignetting at corners of frame at full wide (outside 90% safety zone)'.

This happened with me when I had a Cavision 0.7x for my VX2k years ago. If you zoom up to eliminate this vignetting you've suddenly got a 0.8x rather than the 0.7x you paid for.

Why is this important? Because all films shown on computers (and I include YouTube and so on here) show the entire frame. Having blacked out corners of your wide shots doesn't look too good. Many modern LCD and plasma TVs have no overscan when they show DVDs, mine included.

tom.
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