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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 February 22nd, 2009, 12:35 PM   #1
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Looking for books to make the best use of the EX1

I am looking at a book that would give me clues on how to make the best use of my Sony XDCAM-EX1 camera, and more generally how to improve techniques in making video movies to attract the interest of the audience. I am particularly interested in making good video movies of my vacation trips. Can someome tell me which books I can get and where I can get them?
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 12:45 PM   #2
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Are you interested in editing or how to use the camera?
Vortex media is the way to go if you need a "camera how to" use DVD.
I keep a copy in my camera bag, and use it with my laptop if i ever have any questions.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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Well, I already bought the Vrotex DVD which I found very useful. But now what I want to to find a book which teaches me how to make the best video films, whatever camera you have, in particular how to make the best shots of a vacation trip abroad, how for example what are the Best Practices when filming people. Should we ask systemaically permission? Should we propose a tip?
Is such a book available?
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:02 PM   #4
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I think you would need to read up on producing documentaries or something like that. I dont think you are going to find a book that focuses on vaction shooting.

there are many books out there about producing. go to barnes and noble, or amazon, and use the search tool.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 05:01 PM   #5
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There are good places to look to start learning though.

Do have a "Travel Channel" on your cable system? Are there other channels that might have travel segments. All these videos are targeted to vacationers. What they won't do very well is show you how to "inject" your family into various scenes.

Things you should watch for as a cinematographer might be:
Use of Depth of Field as well as rack focus techniques
Use of natural lighting. Be aware of sun and shade and time of day (golden hour).
Camera motion and how you might replicate such moves as needed.
Use of time lapse
There are probably other things but that'll give some basics to look for

The challenge is without knowing technically how they're doing these things you'll have to try to figure out how to do them with the EX. There's some irony in this in that you can certainly find photography books on shooting landscapes and buildings but not much for video in which one might want motion or change over time.

Editorial you should watch for
introduction
pacing
how key points are emphasized
conclusion
use of voice over narration (and on camera/location narration)
Use of music
use of natural sound
transitions between shots in the same location vs location to location
the way locations are identified (graphic, on camera host, narration, inherent image identification such as signs)
graphics and how they are used
how all this changes based on subjects (scenics such as mountains, civilization such as villages to urban areas, regional even flavor such as festivals, sporting events, etc.)

You'll have to be able to discern what are good general techniques vs those that might be applied to a specific situation as an editor.

The one thing missing again is your family. You'll need to think about how to introduce family activity. This part might be more human interest documentary. Creating interest in the characters.

You'll also want to learn any graphic techniques you see such as building an open, lower third IDs, special fx transitions.

The tricky part about style is that innovation often means breaking existing "rules and conventions." It's hard to teach that.

Believe it or not there are places that teach the above specifically.
Travel Channel Academy
Film School - Travel Channel Academy - Learn to Make a Film
All the more reason to pay attention to those videos on cable. You can actually make a living doing this. I did. I used to edit these things for CNBC about 20 years ago.

Getting back to the EX1, you have a powerful, feature reach, portable camera.
Learn Depth of Field control provided by the 1/2" chips.
Learn Overcrank for slow motion
Learn Time lapse
Learn the art of camera motion which can be a special challenge with the EX1 (think of hand held or shoulder mount tools you might want to add to your kit).
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 05:04 PM   #6
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Travel Channel Academy even has an Alumni Portfolio so you can see what you might learn.
Learn about Video Production - Travel Channel Academy Alumni Portfolio

Also see these user videos
http://yourtrip.travelchannel.com/Cl...spx?type=video

and this for more ideas
http://www.travelchannel.com/Video_%26_Photos

Last edited by Craig Seeman; February 22nd, 2009 at 05:36 PM.
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