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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old June 29th, 2009, 08:26 AM   #1
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EX3 Pros and Cons

I expect people have been using the EX3 long enough now to list the pros and cons of this unit. If anyone would care to list them (in language newbies would understand) that would be helpful and appreciated.

Many Thanks
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Old June 29th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #2
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Pros: Image quality is pretty much as good as anything out there, viewfinder excellent for a small camera (easy switch from colour to BW), small but quite solid feeling, lens good optically and handles excellently, cheap price.
Cons: Menus bit fiddly to use, massive problem with rolling shutter on fast moving subjects (in my opinion!), some prefer I-frame codecs rather than long GOP.

Steve
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Old June 29th, 2009, 08:53 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Pros: Image quality is pretty much as good as anything some prefer I-frame codecs rather than long GOP.

Steve
Steve what's the difference between these codecs...or can you point me somehere that explains them please.

Thanks
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Old June 29th, 2009, 09:39 AM   #4
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I frame codecs have all the information from each frame, while long GOP (group of pictures) codecs have all the information in 1 frame and then for the rest of the group of pictures (typically 7 or 15 frames I think) it uses a lot of info from the first frame and fills in the blanks - sort of!
So what this means, theoretically, is that in scenes with lots of detail and movement the I frame codecs should look better.
Not the best explanation, maybe someone else can do a better job!
Steve
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Old June 29th, 2009, 09:52 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
I frame codecs have all the information from each frame, while long GOP (group of pictures) codecs have all the information in 1 frame and then for the rest of the group of pictures (typically 7 or 15 frames I think) it uses a lot of info from the first frame and fills in the blanks - sort of!
So what this means, theoretically, is that in scenes with lots of detail and movement the I frame codecs should look better.
Not the best explanation, maybe someone else can do a better job!
Steve
Is this done in camera or post-production ?
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Old June 29th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #6
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In camera. The chip sees the image and it goes through the codec process and onto tape/disc/card.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 11:25 AM   #7
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Pros: 1.stunning image quality,
2. the viewfinder is a real plus in exterior shooting
Cons: 1. hand-holding--by using the same adjustable grip as the ex1, Sony has insured terrible ergonomics with a constant listing to port;
2. getting the right bag for it--the viewfinder, which is such a plus, also makes for awkward storage.

I've yet to have the rolling shutter be an annoyance, much less a problem, but I don't do much sports/action shooting and haven't noticed it on regular pans/tilts.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 11:46 AM   #8
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Ex3 and the "Right Bag"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Chandler View Post
Pros: 1.stunning image quality,
2. the viewfinder is a real plus in exterior shooting
Cons: 1. hand-holding--by using the same adjustable grip as the ex1, Sony has insured terrible ergonomics with a constant listing to port;
2. getting the right bag for it--the viewfinder, which is such a plus, also makes for awkward storage.

I've yet to have the rolling shutter be an annoyance, much less a problem, but I don't do much sports/action shooting and haven't noticed it on regular pans/tilts.
In re the "right bag," I have found the Kata cc-197 to be a perfect fit for the EX3 w/ VFGadgets base plate and rod holder, Zacuto 12" rods and Cavision matte box and extended hand grips all attached, leaving room to spare.
As for hand holding, a pair of Cavision extended hand grips, along with their shoulder mount, goes a long way in providing both comfort and controllability at a reasonable cost but, of course, there are other devices available, albeit, at greater cost.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #9
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Pros:
Interchangeable lens
Lots of buttons instead of digging through menu
timecode and genlock sync
Best lcd screen around
Fantastic image
Good lowlight qualities
Tapeless workflow. Much faster to get ready to edit.


Cons:
Color shift in some blacks under tungsten lights. 486 corrects somewhat. New Tiffen option soon.
Rolling shutter? Not so much if you understand limitations.
Bad tripod mount. Correctable with 3rd party options.
Expensive SXS media. MxR etc. option out there much cheaper.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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First small camera accepted by Discovery HD network.
Very nice viewfinder.
Interchangable lenses with many options/adapters available.
1/2" chip is much better in low light than a 1/3" chip.
Aftermarket SDHC cards make media VERY cheap and affordable.

The 'far red' IR issue needs to be resolved, hopefully soon by tiffens solution.
The electronic back focus takes too long and needs to be done when changing between the 2 stock mount lenses. A real pain when you are in a hurry.
Some aspects of the build seem very good but some things seem flimsy, like the card door and the tripod mount; two very important items.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 08:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Pros: Image quality is pretty much as good as anything out there, viewfinder excellent for a small camera (easy switch from colour to BW), small but quite solid feeling, lens good optically and handles excellently, cheap price.
Cons: Menus bit fiddly to use, massive problem with rolling shutter on fast moving subjects (in my opinion!), some prefer I-frame codecs rather than long GOP.

Steve
I have ex1, but it is very similar....
I agree images are stunning.
Menus need improvement.
Buttons are too small.
I have no problem with rolling shutter in my racing videos on the sample section of this forum.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/ex-series...ng-sample.html
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Old June 30th, 2009, 05:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Tyrer View Post
I expect people have been using the EX3 long enough now to list the pros and cons of this unit. If anyone would care to list them (in language newbies would understand) that would be helpful and appreciated.

Many Thanks
Hi Dave,

It is practically impossible to describe all the pros and cons of the EX3 in a forum posting. You might be interested in watching this video I put together last year.
What's So Great about XDCAM EX?

Doug
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Old June 30th, 2009, 09:29 AM   #13
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I'm still in the honeymoon phase with my EX3, so there's not much negative I can say about it other than the on/off/media switch is lame.

Regarding a good bag for it, I use the Portabrace Quick Draw.

0625091054a on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Even though I have the Rycote system isolator and softie on the mic, and even with the Bebob V-mount battery adaptor on the back, it fits nicely and the viewfinder is protected.
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Old June 30th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #14
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Doug...thanks for posting the video I'm finding it very imformative. I see you're shooting the kind of stuff I want to do e.g. Widlife & Landscape. Are you using any kind of field monitor when doing this or just the built-in VF.

Everyone...I've seen mention here about various bags...is anyone using a suitable backpack? I hike a bit to get good views so a bag would be a bit cumbersome.

Thanks
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Old June 30th, 2009, 10:16 AM   #15
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One of the great "pros" for the EX3 and wildlife photography is the ability to use an adapter to directly attach a 35mm SLR camera lens.
As a result of the optics versus chip size you get more than 5x magnification with no loss of sharpness or f stop.
For between 200 and 300 dollars (US) you end up with amazingly long, fast and sharp lenses.
Search for the wildlife posts by Ofer Levy on this forum, he has done some extraordinary work with this combination.
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