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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 June 3rd, 2009, 02:38 PM   #16
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One more thought . . . EBAY!!!

I found an excellent Schoeps CM4 mic for only $800.00 on Ebay.

EBAY might be a way for you to make the most of your very small budget.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 03:03 PM   #17
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Look at the following, organized by price. My preference is the 416. No one ever gets fired for buying Sennheiser and it's tough as nails.
Rode NTG-1
Sennheiser ME67/K6P
Sanken CS1
Sennheiser MKH-416
Schoeps CMIT5U
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 03:18 PM   #18
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For UV filter I still recommend the B+W 486 slim Ir filter. it is also a UV filter. Try filming some different black material and you'll see that you often get dark brown instead of black with the EX family (and is nearly impossible to fix in post), there are whole threads about this problem. anyway it is always good practice to protect your lens with a UV filter.
The base plate is also pretty essential as the tiny screws that hold the mount of the EX3 are not reliable (the screws can fall off and the plate isn't all that strong, I had a previous sony camera with the same piece and it eventually broke). I have the DM mounting plate and feel much better knowing that the bottom is solid and well connected to a tripod, it is really well built and has many more mounting options.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #19
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First, this is only a suggestion to try and be helpful. A Devil's Advocate approach, with a little outside-the-box thinking.

Don't spend $8300 on an EX3 and leave $5K for other essentials. Maybe buy an EX1 (same quality image) for $6100, or about $5K used, and have a bunch more money for the tools you need to really take advantage of the image the XDCAM EX series can produce.

Redrock Micro's M2 Encore Complete package: $4100 -- includes matt box and filter holders, follow focus, rails, bases, tools, crank and whips, and of course, the M2 Encore lens adapter and flip accessory for using low cost and wonderful SLR lenses. Everything for less than the cost of a second lens for the EX3.

An EX3 alone won't give you a matt box, filter holders, or great depth of field. Renting lenses for the EX3 will cost you a lot of money before you get experienced with them, and you have to deal with the availability. The $4K Redrock package on top of a $5K EX1 lets you have a lot of gear to use right away, and you can own a couple great Canon or Nikon prime lenses for less money than renting a couple of lenses for an EX3 for a week.

That should leave about $3500+ for other gear. Budget up to $2K for a good fluid head & tripod. I use a Sachtler DV6, but I don't have a ton of gear on top adding extra weight. The HD image of either EX will make you regret using a cheap head - my old Bogen 501 (not the newer HDV) was just too sticky to get smooth pans, and it showed on screen.

Unless you need awesomely pristine sound, you could scrimp a tad on mics and get by for a while, and upgrade later. Rode NTG2 = $270 and decent sound, plus the battery means you're not stuck using phantom power (but can if you want). An Oktava MK012 kit for $350 gets you a good sounding mic with cardiod, hypercardioid and omni capsules. They seem to be more susceptible to handling noise, but if you boom mount it overhead on a stand for interviews, it should work well, and you don't need a sound guy. The AT875R is getting nice reviews for both on-camera and off, $200. None of these will sound like a Schoeps or a Sennheiser MKH60, but will leave you a lot of money for cables, a small mixer (SoundDevices MixPre, 2 inputs - $675, or SignVideo ENG-44, 4 inputs for $545 shipped). A decent Sennheiser wireless lav setup will run about $600 with the stock mic, not as good sounding as with a better lav mic, but commonly used with success. Of course, you may need two for an interview if going all wireless. You can almost always sell your decent (but much cheaper) mics later when you want to buy more expensive ones of better quality.

Greenscreen and crappy indoor lighting means you need at least some lights. Steve Kaeser sells cheap daylight-balanced fluorescent lighting kits with decent quality stands and great 3-second open softboxes for $300–$900, depending on the set-up and how much light you need. has a 600w LED light with barndoors that dims and you can switch off banks as well, $425. You never change a bulb, they don't get hot, they can can run off a battery (optional adapter required) and they only weigh 3 lbs (10" x 10"). Daylight or Tungsten, spot or flood. Comes with a very well-designed nylon case. For on-camera or hairlight (or lots of other uses), consider the Microbeam 128 LED from FloLights, $329 - you get 686 lux at 3 ft, dimmable, 5400K with filters to convert to tungsten, etc. Requires a camera battery (your choice of mounts) that you probably already have.

$4100 isn't much to outfit a video biz, but you probably have some stuff you already use. A used EX1 (typically sold with an extra battery and SxS cards) and some wise choices on the rest of the gear would let you end up with a camera that produces images every bit as good as the more expensive EX3, and allows you to afford better audio and critical lighting components that will last a long time (longer than the camera, probably). Having the coolest cam won't make your video as good as using a cheaper cam with enough lights and much better sound. If you go for the EX1 and don't get the $4K Redrock setup, you can have a really complete set-up with a choice of good mics for all conditions, a good audio mixer, an array of lights to handle most any job, good light stands and backdrop supports for your greenscreen work.

Spending most of your money on a cam and not leaving enough for other tools is like buying a new Jeep to drive off-road but then having to settle for used tires. The end result will leave you less happy than if you have a great total package. Best of luck to you, and be prepared to visit countless sites for information on all the products out there to drop your money on.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #20
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This is how I configured my new EX3.

ex3 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The Bebob V-lock adaptor is solid as a rock since it attaches to the top and bottom, and the battery in back makes the camera much more stable for hand held work. I have my wireless mounted to the battery adaptor so both front and back shoes are available.
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Old June 5th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #21
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I think you're being wildly unrealistic, Lucky. To get the camera up and running requires a much bigger expenditure than you have in mind. When just buying two bpu60 batteries is going to run you $400 and 2 sxs cards $1500, that $2k is already gone. Saying the ex3 is an $8500 camera is like saying the red costs $17K. Double it.

$2k will go towards any ONE of the ancillary areas needed for shooting: audio, lighting, memory/storage, greenscreen, tripod/bag. And there's no point in trying to skimp on quality.

A good wireless system, like the Lectrosonics, will run you over 2k (including mic). If you don't go wireless, then you're looking at close to $1k for shotgun mic, boom pole, stands, cables, headphones.

A good tripod system, like the Vinten 3, will run you $2k. People have been happy with the Kata bags, either 195 or 197. (You can't just get any bag, the viewfinder won't fit-check the older threads.), another $250.

A good lighting package, like an Arri kit, (but not including greenscreen lights), is over $2K

A greenscreen package, including flolights, screen, stands, sandbags will run you about $1k-1500

And last, but what should be first on your list, memory and storage: You'll need to decide whether you're going to spring for sxs cards, or go with sdhc's/adapters.

2 32gb sxs cards will cost $1500;
2 drives for the field could run you $900, if you go with something like the g-raid minis, altho people have been using cheaper usb drives, but download times are slower.
2 drives to dump your footage onto once you're back in the edit room, another $1k
If you don't have a laptop for the field, another big expense. And even if doesn't have an express card slot, add another $200 for usb reader.

That's why people are gravitating towards the adapter/card solution, so you don't have to monkey with footage in the field, but you have to weigh that against the risks, which are quite evident in recent threads.

Also, the phu does not suck, and is an excellent tool for filming long interviews. I've not had any problems with it, but if you're nervous about it based on some posts here about bad units, then look into Barry's new SSD solution in a recent thread.

And you still haven't touched editorial: to start editing you're going to need a big monitor in addition to your desktop lcd's--even a Vizio tv is going to run you $1k--and you'll need a minimum of two more drives to archive your footage, and that's presuming you already have your computer, NLE, and LCD's, (unless you're cutting on a MBPro.)

As for baseplate, filters, matte box, 35mm adapters, wa lenses, field mixer--you're going to have to put those on your next Christmas list.
EX3, Mac Pro, FCP

Last edited by Mike Chandler; June 5th, 2009 at 06:58 PM. Reason: addition
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Old June 5th, 2009, 09:56 PM   #22
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Don't know if anyone's mentioned it, but the Nanoflash is at the top of my shopping list.

Convergent Design, experts in HDMI, SD, HD, and HDV
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Old June 6th, 2009, 07:09 AM   #23
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If you read his post - not just the budget but what he shoots, then it does not make sense to suggest many of the "must have's" here.
A $4100 matte box set-up is not required to shoot indoor interviews or inside factories. Neither does he need a $2,000 tripod. He can easily spend $500 on this since he probably shoots locked down most of the time. At this stage he has enough going on by acquiring the Ex-3, so the stock lens is fine for most of his work. Neither does he need to spend $1500 on 2 SxS cards - if his interviews run past one hour, worst case: he can stop the interview and switch cards.

Let's be realistic. I am pleased he is moving up to the Ex-3. He can build has he goes. For now a Libec tripod or similar and 2 budget mics - say AT875R (as someone suggested) would work fine (he can boom his interviews). Some SDHC cards/adapters and he's all set. He still has spent only $1,000. Down the road, a wireless lav set-up would be nice.
I am presuming he has soft-box lighting for shooting green screen and he has post taken care of.
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Old June 6th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #24
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Continuing Thanks...

Thanks for all of the input so far.. I really appreciate it.

And for those of you who have commented about ancillary items like lighting packages...wireless mics etc. I do have all of that kind of stuff along with dollies, jibs...all of the grip stuff one could think of. I have been at this for a while.

This is simply a camera upgrade along with specific additional gear for the EX3.

And for the record I did indeed get another gig I was not expecting so my total budget on top of the camera is now...$6500 - $7500 give or take.

Again thanks for the great comments...please feel free to continue with any ideas.

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Old November 21st, 2010, 10:46 PM   #25
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Shoulder mount

I hope everything worked out for you and you are enjoying your EX-3 !

You may want to consider the EX-3 shoulder mount from - a Custom Shoulder & Tripod mount for PMW-EX3 cameras
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