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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 July 24th, 2009, 06:36 AM   #31
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And then, of course, we have those who do not have a problem with using BOTH! See the latest first season DVD collection of the cable series, "Leverage", and the extras segment on "Cameras", featuring their equipment - RED, and EX-1.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #32
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all very intriguing discussions about pixel count and pixel quality, but RED puts out a true 4096 x 2048 that is visually lossless, and that is all I need to know. there's a lot of politicking in these discussions. Would you expect a Panavision engineer to have kind things to say about the RED camera or come out publicly endorsing the quality of the footage?... of course you would not.

I've shot test footage a fulldome screen and was told that the image was the best quality live-action footage ever projected on the dome - and this was an unprocessed REDSPACE image, with ample room to push the blacks for richer contrast and color tones - this same dome was the very first in the nation to incorporate live-action footage into an actual commercial project, using Sony high-def cameras to acquire the footage.

You can debate pixel count and pixel quality all you want, but what matters is what you can do with the footage, at the end of the day. Very few of us will ever shoot for fulldome delivery, but the point is that, measured under the most strenuous environment, there is flexibility to the RED image that is not present in the HD cam images.

I've regularly stated that, until we have common 4K delivery systems, the revolution isn't pixel count, anyway. It is shooting RAW that gives the image its elasticity. RAW is the revolution, not so much 4K which, while very nice for future-proofing footage, has very few real-world applications, besides the advantages of downsampling and a very clean 2K output.

There are any number of blockbuster features (KNOWING, THE BOOK OF ELI, DISTRICT 9) in the pipeline that are forthcoming, shot on RED. Would you see these same budgets trusted to an EX-1 or EX-3? Amir's original question was, would these cameras stand up equally on a 40-ft. screen. I believe the answer is no, they are not equal, otherwise everybody would be out there banging out major blockbusters on the EX-3.

The EX series are phenomenal cameras. There are situations where I wish I owned an EX-1, and I may buy one still - what holds me back is that SCARLET's lens mount may accept my existing body of Canon EF lenses, and that would be a game changer which is well worth the wait.

But we are at a juncture where the available technology is so good, it all comes down to the issue of how good is the operator and how compelling is the story. Content and artistry matter way more than the camera that you use.

Camera choices, based on their output, are increasingly less relevant than ever. Seeing how great camera technology has become means ergonomics has more relevancy to me, it is the last mile. I have a lot of challenges with RED's ergonomics and the style of shooting that I do most. But then again, I have heard a lot of EX-1 users lodging complaints about its ergonomics. Har de har, they should run around doing doc and event work with a RED, they would never complain again....
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Old July 24th, 2009, 02:23 PM   #33
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Please let me first clarify that for me the idea of experimenting a shoot on EX for the big screen is dictated only by my budgetary constraints than wanting to spin a controversy of running down one camera over the other. Honestly, and this is the bottom line..if I had the money I'd shoot on film, period. No EX no Red, no matter if it was 4k, 6k or whatever. Film is no pixels, nor lines, it's molecules.

And in the end it perhaps seems that that EX is considerably close to RED.. but RED is no where close to film. I'm sure you all know that.

In an interesting test, here's an opportunity to judge EX and Red footage side by side at the link below. Make your guesses first as to which is which and then scroll down the thread for the result. I bet you'll be surprised..

EX1 and RED playing nice together... - DVXuser.com -- The online community for filmmaking
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Old July 24th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #34
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well, that's funny - that is my test - well Jim Arthurs' test, really, I just supplied the RED camera and the fun,...

I am planet E on my barely-ever-used (I have posted a grand total of 11 times...) DVXuser account. Unmasked!

...and I'm glad you resurrected that old thread, because this is exactly what I mean by basing assumptions upon using dated material - in fact, I had that exact thread in my mind, the first time that I pointed this out...

we did that test over a year ago (a light-year in RED time...) and that test was made, if my memory serves me, on Build 15, and the camera has undergone 2 major transformational Builds (16 and now 20) since then. People are still using that thread as a viable comparison. It was, once. Now it probably isn't...

Moreover, as Jim stated, he was doing a very specific test for keying the footage at 1080p, but of course, everyone steamrolls over that context and uses that test to assume that these cameras are therefore of equal value...

And it begs the question, how many landmark firmware re-writes has Sony supplied to their users, in the same time frame?

The right tool for the right job is all that really counts...or--the right tool for the right budget, I guess.

The rest is you.

P.S. I don't really enjoy defending the RED ONE, but since there is no longer a forum here, and DVinfo seems to be the de facto EX-1 users site, this question of which camera is better receives a lot of lopsided opinions and some outright misinformation - just trying to add some balance.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #35
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And it begs the question, how many landmark firmware re-writes has Sony supplied to their users, in the same time frame?
I suspect Sony wouldn't introduce a camera to the market at such an early stage of development as the RED ONE was, so there usually isn't the need for major upgrades, perhaps more tweaks due to unexpected problems. The new Sony products currently seem to be doing extremely well on major productions and TV series, so I suspect both manufacturers will continue to exist side by side in the market place.

Both company's products have advantages and disadvantages and it's up to the user to decide which is best for their production.

Having said that, the old F900 was upgraded by Sony to the V3.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 04:28 PM   #36
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I suspect Sony wouldn't introduce a camera to the market at such an early stage of development as the RED ONE was, so there usually isn't the need for major upgrades, perhaps more tweaks due to unexpected problems.
Right, to access the major upgrades released by Sony, you have to buy a whole new camera.

RED could have reasonably stopped at Build 17, called the camera complete, and withheld new innovations for the release of their new line of cameras. But they didn't.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:34 PM   #37
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all very intriguing discussions about pixel count and pixel quality, but RED puts out a true 4096 x 2048 ...
It depends what is meant by "a true 4096 x 2048". Most people would take it to mean that many pixels, each of which could take any colour - that's certainly what would be meant in projection or film scanning terms. Practically, that means 3x4096x2048 bytes.

In the case of Red it does not mean that. It means a total of 4096x2048 sites - of which half represent a green value at that point, a quarter red, and a quarter blue.

In the case of the EX, it's valid to describe the front end as "a true 1920x1080" because you do have R,G and B values at each of those locations. Of course, some of the colour resolution is lost through subsampling before recording.

None of this is intended to decry Red, on the contrary, the figures back up the claim that it will produce a sharper image than the EX. It's intended to try to point out the differences between Bayer and 3-chip sensors, and try to give some ballpark measures for comparing the two technologies. As already said, it's impossible to compare directly two things with such different characteristics.

Practically, Red and the EX are such different animals that I find it impossible to say that one or the other is "best" - it depends what you want to use them for. For cinematic type of work, Red surely must be the winner, for more run of the mill type work, I'd go for the EX. That's as much down to practicalities as "quality".
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Old July 25th, 2009, 04:02 AM   #38
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Right, to access the major upgrades released by Sony, you have to buy a whole new camera.

RED could have reasonably stopped at Build 17, called the camera complete, and withheld new innovations for the release of their new line of cameras. But they didn't.
It wasn't a new camera it was also an upgrade available to existing cameras, although I suspect you needed to pay for it.

Being basically a computer, the upgrades for the RED ONE are easier and people can download and do the upgrade themselves rather then involving servicing technicians etc. Certainly, you can run your own custom curves in a number of the Sony cameras, which allow you to extract the best from them. They are different animals, although the upcoming RED cameras may, perhaps, be less amiable to large upgrades compared to the RED ONE, but with gains in start up times and other things.

The RED ONE doesn't really need defending, like all cameras it has its strengths and weakness. It's out there making films and all this can come down to comparing those apples and oranges.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 04:32 AM   #39
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I had been involved in a Red feature film shooting and I have to say that Redcode Raw behaves very differently than video or film. If your cinematographer doesn't have experience with the Red or you can't afford a color technician on set, go with the Sony, because your footage may not live up to your expectations and/or your budget can skyrocket. I also thing the Red workflow is cumbersome and can be very slow unless of course you have very fast machines.

You can have much better results from Sony if you can afford an external recorder such as KiPro or FlashXDR.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #40
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It wasn't a new camera it was also an upgrade available to existing cameras, although I suspect you needed to pay for it.

The RED ONE doesn't really need defending, like all cameras it has its strengths and weakness.
It's not the camera itself that needs defending as much as the remarkable amount of dis- and mis-information - for instance, I've never yet paid for an upgrade to the camera itself, so your suspicions are entirely unfounded.

The first upgrade that RED will charge for the camera itself will be its new Monstro sensor technology. At $4500, it's considerably less than replacing a camera and will be a much more substantial breakthrough in image quality -- the primary focus seems to be increased latitude.

As for workflow, there have also been dramatic breakthroughs in workflow, some of them emerging as we speak (FC 7 has some pretty important new offerings), and the recent Adobe release, it's already right there - integrated metadate, the ability to toggle freely around your resolution and playback in real time in Premiere, and true 4K output in After Effects - it's pretty complete from end to end.

If you think the RED workflow is challenging, then that means that you aren't informed about the current options, once again working from old information.

Definitely working with RED requires more current hardware than an EX-1 and that can rack up the expenses on the post side.

But at the end of the day, I can still edit RED footage with my 17'' laptop and a 500GB portable hard drive or 1 TB LaCie piece of crap hard drive, and the Adobe suite...

It really can be that simple.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 02:39 PM   #41
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It's not the camera itself that needs defending as much as the remarkable amount of dis- and mis-information - for instance, I've never yet paid for an upgrade to the camera itself, so your suspicions are entirely unfounded.

The first upgrade that RED will charge for the camera itself will be its new Monstro sensor technology. At $4500, it's considerably less than replacing a camera and will be a much more substantial breakthrough in image quality -- the primary focus seems to be increased latitude.

If you think the RED workflow is challenging, then that means that you aren't informed about the current options, once again working from old information.

Definitely working with RED requires more current hardware than an EX-1 and that can rack up the expenses on the post side.
I was referring to the F900 upgrades, not the new RED builds, which can be downloaded from the on line site.

The current concerns I hear about RED work flows are on TV projects with complex post production on very tight schedules. I expect once the industry has set up a larger infrastructure to handle RED on these productions those concerns will settle down. I suspect these refer not only to the RED, but handling any of the RAW cameras, which have their own post needs for the best results.
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