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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 May 14th, 2009, 03:07 PM   #1
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From dsr 370 to Ex-3

Hello!

I'm the owner of a DSR 370 which I've had for a long time now and I'm still quite happy with it. However the project I'm going to do the photography for now, is going to use an EX-3.
To start with we are only going to do some talking heads lit with Kinos and a black background.
I'd like to know if there's anything essential to know about going from shooting SD to HD. (The whole editing work flow is sorted to some other guys. It's of no concern.)

However, everything else with light and audio would be highly appreciated with any input. (The mic's gonna be a Sony ECM 44)

They will also most likelywant me to use the 24p feature too.


Thank you.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #2
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I have used an EX3 now for the past 8 months up from a DSR 500.

It is really easy to make the switch.

Just play around with the camera to get used to it.

The biggest thing to make sure of is critical focus, make sure you nail it HD is brutal on soft shots, if you are down converting to sd it is not as critical, but nail it anyway. If possible use an hd field monitor, to be really sure.

Audio is just like the DSR series cams most of the settings are external.

I recommend getting the field guide from Vortex media, the DVD is great too. His pic profiles are a great start, you may wish to tweak them a little more, but you don't have too.

Another thing about the EX3 is the mounting plate is totally inadequate for a pro cam. I recommend getting the VF gadgets plate and vct-u14 adapter, then you can use your old sony plate on your sticks. There are other adapter plates but I like the sony plate.

Good luck, I think you will love the cam.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #3
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Getting used to progressive v interlace may take a while, it's a very different look and needs a slight change in technique - most notably in panning, due to the blur that's introduced at 24/25 fps. This blur also makes focussing a bit more tricky. The EX3 viewfinder is pretty good though, unlike many of the semi-pro cams.
Steve
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Old May 14th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #4
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I'm about to make a move from the dsr 390 to Ex-3. I'm getting the Vortex media DVD so thats a help. I was thinking of the VF gadgets plate and vct-u14 adaptor.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 11:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony McErlean View Post
I'm about to make a move from the dsr 390 to Ex-3. I'm getting the Vortex media DVD so thats a help. I was thinking of the VF gadgets plate and vct-u14 adaptor.
Just a FYI, you know you can use a Canon TA100 Tripod Adapter instead of the longer VCT-14. You only use the front anyway with the VF plate. You don't have that extra bit hanging off the back.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 01:48 AM   #6
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I made the change from a DSR-300 to an EX3 many months ago. One of the things that I had to adjust to is the fact that the DSR was 4:3 and the EX is 16:9. You will find an appreciable difference in framing techniques between the two.

Also be aware that the EX3 does not have the same latitude like the SD DSR cameras. You have to be careful not to blow the highlights when you light up. Such a thing was unimaginable with the DSR's!
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Old May 15th, 2009, 02:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Davenport View Post
Just a FYI, you know you can use a Canon TA100 Tripod Adapter instead of the longer VCT-14. You only use the front anyway with the VF plate. You don't have that extra bit hanging off the back.
Thanks Jason, I do have the Sony VCT-14 plate.
Are you saying if I buy the Canon TA100 it works/fits better with the EX3?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Cassar View Post
I made the change from a DSR-300 to an EX3 many months ago. One of the things that I had to adjust to is the fact that the DSR was 4:3 and the EX is 16:9. You will find an appreciable difference in framing techniques between the two.

Also be aware that the EX3 does not have the same latitude like the SD DSR cameras. You have to be careful not to blow the highlights when you light up. Such a thing was unimaginable with the DSR's!
Hoping to get the EX3 this incoming week Brian, Thanks again for the advice, I'll watch out for that.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 02:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Cassar View Post
Also be aware that the EX3 does not have the same latitude like the SD DSR cameras. You have to be careful not to blow the highlights when you light up. Such a thing was unimaginable with the DSR's!
You might find that a bit of tweaking in the picture profile will provide better latitude. My EX1 now far outstrips the DSR570 and 450 footage I've been working with previously especially in the roll-off of highlights.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 03:20 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
You might find that a bit of tweaking in the picture profile will provide better latitude...
just a quick question.

I thought I read somewhere that the PP for EX1 is different to the EX3. Is this correct?
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Old May 15th, 2009, 03:26 AM   #10
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AFAIK, the two cameras are essentially identical, save for the viewfinder optics, removable lens and 'big blue button that goes to 11' (and other trifling details) on the EX3.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 07:12 AM   #11
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Thanks Matt
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Old May 15th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #12
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Hi Matt,

What settings are you using to roll of the highlights.
I use the Vortex settings from the video but still find the top end getting hot.

Would like to hear your thoughts.

Simon
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Old May 15th, 2009, 08:16 AM   #13
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I want to piggyback on the issues of dynamic range. I also find most of the automatic modes to be pretty anemic. I went from the DSR 300 to the EX1 and I found the EX1 to be very fussy in comparison. When I had time to be careful with 300 I got great pictures. If I did not have time even on full auto it would repeatedly be my friend and get me out of tight spots. No such luck with any EX. I get great pictures with the EX1 but I have very little confidence in it if I don't have a way to monitor the output and the time to fool with it to get a picture I want.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the useful input! I really appreciate it! Since I won't have access to the camera before the day of shooting I'd really appreciate some standard tweakings you all do to make it look a bit better. Then I can try them on site..

On the 370 I crushed the M.Black slightly and diminshed the gamma a bit too.. I shot with the 450 once and really liked the image. If this camera is even better.. then wow!

I probably won't have an HD monitor available but how would my Sony monitor (for the 370) work out for me. Can I still check focus? Is the WF any good for focus checking?

Thanks.
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Old May 15th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #15
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I'd suggest your first stop is the Picture Profile thread in the sticky part of this forum.

My settings (sorry - camera is in house and I'm editing today) are heavily based on Paul Cronin's settings FWIW. It varies. People in sunnier climes will like Bill Raven's setup, I tend to shoot in conditions that resemble being inside a huge tupperware sandwich box. What's good for you needn't suit me and vice versa.

I spent an afternoon trying most people's recipes, and although Bill's settings are very popular, I did something to Paul's WCV (blush - I've forgotten what) and suddenly I was getting detail in cloudy sky whilst retaining shadow detail.

I'm still playing with detail and sharpness. I 'should' add it in post if required, but a lot of my stuff is cut and shut, and quite a lot of stuff has DSR570 in it, and therefore my stuff needs to share that slightly zingy look. Philip Bloom would wince, but then he's shooting longer form stuff in a 35mm adaptor and his shots in my edits would look like a trout in a goldfish bowl.

Each to their own situation, never mind taste! But to business...

Please note, read carefully:

There are two approaches to your picture profile settings: you could develop a look that you're happy with 'out of the can' which deals with the lighting conditions you mostly deal with - that may have a wide latitude, but maybe not extreme. The second approach is to create a profile that expands the dynamic range as widely as possible, but EVERY SHOT you take will need colour correction. If you're shooting indie, then the latter approach is cool, but your rushes will look FLAT, because they're SUPPOSED to.

If you use the BBC settings, or some from PVC, this is what you'll get. It's like looking at RED rushes. Dull. Once they've been through grading, they come alive in a way that will hold up to the tightest scruitiny.

But I took a view that most of my work is fast turnaround, I won't get paid for long periods spent grading, I don't have a neutral grey room and a $7k monitor, and I can get what I want with Colorista and Magic Bullet Looks. Therefore I've gone for a look that looks good out of the can, with special attention to the way that highlights are handled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marc Myers View Post
I get great pictures with the EX1 but I have very little confidence in it if I don't have a way to monitor the output and the time to fool with it to get a picture I want.
Sorry, but we all will HAVE to spend time playing and tweaking. That's the fun part. See it as an investment.

BTW, Alister Chapman (also publishes some PP settings) did a great preso at a Sony event recently which went into what quite a lot of the PP stuff does and means, hopefully this will make its way online soon. Alister?
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