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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 August 25th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
One thing Sony EX lacks (and a MAJOR one IMHO) is lack of record cache (pre-record). I can't imagine designing a non tape based media camera without it.
I can see how that would be a big deal to some, but I've just never missed it. I do a pretty good pre-roll on my material but I can do that. If you are running and gunning, or event shooting, I can see how this would be missed. But the media is SO cheap, especially with SDHC, that you can let the thing record nearly all the time.

And a pre-record cache should be able to be added in firmware. Nothing needed to add on the cam to make it work.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 01:20 PM   #32
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Perrone,
Generally I let the camera roll. SDHC is certainly cheap and two 32GB cards can keep me going for nearly 4 hours.

Sometimes people don't want to wade through all that video though.

I'm thinking press conferences and sports for example where there's a moment you want to hit record and get a few seconds before and you need fast turnaround for a VNR (video news release) or the equivalent.

Sony was thinking of adding pre record to the EX (you can even see it in the file metadata) in a firmware update but I'm now doubting that will happen. I don't get why Sony hasn't done this. BTW the JVC HM series (uses EX codec) can do this with the SDHC cards I understand.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 04:52 PM   #33
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Sony's got the chip set. They've got the shell (any of the XDCams will do), they've got the media, they've got the lenses. The question for Sony, is what to do about the codec. XDCamEX is fine for many applications, but honestly, for critical stuff, I'd prefer a much higher bit-rate or an intra-frame. Integrating something like the NanoFlash would make all the rest of this non-sense just disappear. I'm all set for cams for a while, but could you imagine Sony dropping a bomb like this at the next NAB? A shoulder cam with 1/2 or 2/3 CMOS, interchangeable lenses, and a high-bitrate codec. Give it the same controls as the EX3 (peaking, zebra, etc.) and maybe a waveform monitor like the HPX170 and you've got an instant winner.
That can be said of any of the manufacturers. The tech is there, it annoys me when they seem to purposely leave out features that would make the product "kick ass"
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Old August 25th, 2009, 04:55 PM   #34
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Vimeo is not a 52" plasma. I am sometimes still impressed with the images coming off my DVX. The differences in the cameras is not night and day, in ideal conditions. But in less than ideal conditions, the differences really start to
show.
What would you consider less than ideal conditions?
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Old August 25th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #35
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How do you guys feel about customer service? Does that make the difference in your decision as to what camera to buy?
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Old August 25th, 2009, 06:01 PM   #36
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Getting back to rolling shutter vs Panasonic CCD image quality...

To me the rolling shutter only a negative with motion tracking or smoothcam post processing. In those cases the EX1 rolling shutter does show up as jello-like artifacts, and while imparting a dreamy effect, for normal smoothcam post processing to depict reality it has limited use. Perhaps some day CMOS technology will advance to the point where this is not a problem, I've heard that in fact Panasonic may be solving this in upcoming CMOS technology.

As far as picture quality, I've used a EX1, HVX200 and HMC150. In my opinion the 'solidity' of the EX1 image is better than those Panasonics. The HVX200 is heavy and in HD mode you either need an external hard drive or plan not to shoot very much. The HMC150, is lighter, 1/2 the price, has ok image quality, but is much 'softer' than the EX1. One thing that is a problem with both Panasonics is the workflow and codec. For the image quality vs storage (you have to transcode AVCHD to prores or something equivalent to edit) the XDCAM EX codec is hard to beat.

So my challenge to Sony is to make the issue of rolling shutter, minor to some, major to others, to be a non-issue. Develop the CMOS technology so there are no artifacts, and the frame is virtually captured all at once, rather than as a raster.
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Old August 25th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #37
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I don't think a comparison of the ex1/3 to the hvx200 is a fair comparison. You need to compare the hpx300 to the ex1/3 sonys.
In price terms, comparing the EX cameras to the HVX200 is very fair - as long as you count media costs. Whilst the basic EX is more expensive than the basic HVX200, when you buy sufficient memory to actually use them for a couple of hours, the overall costs are about the same.

The irony is that this comparison holds true at quite low figures for recording time IN SPITE of Sony, not because of them, because it's the use of SDHC cards that gives the Ex the real edge. Use SxS cards in the EX and the break even point differs.

And my feelings are that the EX cameras are the clear winners, at least on a decent TV. On a 1920x1080 42" plasma the EX is far sharper, and doesn't seem to need the detail enhancement the HVX200 does, a more natural sharpness.

Compare a HPX300 to an EX3, and it's a different story. The EX3 is ahead in some respects, behind in others. But an HPX300, fully loaded with memory is far more expensive than an EX3.......
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:05 PM   #38
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In price terms, comparing the EX cameras to the HVX200 is very fair - as long as you count media costs. Whilst the basic EX is more expensive than the basic HVX200, when you buy sufficient memory to actually use them for a couple of hours, the overall costs are about the same.

The irony is that this comparison holds true at quite low figures for recording time IN SPITE of Sony, not because of them, because it's the use of SDHC cards that gives the Ex the real edge. Use SxS cards in the EX and the break even point differs.

Compare a HPX300 to an EX3, and it's a different story. The EX3 is ahead in some respects, behind in others. But an HPX300, fully loaded with memory is far more expensive than an EX3.......
If you gonna do it like that David, then you should factor in "CUSTOMER SUPPORT"
It seems Panasonic is way ahead of Sony on that front. I notice Panasonics presence all over these boards; where is Sony? Sony only offers 1yr warranty, Panasonic offers 3-5yrs. I have read a post on the horrors of Sony's customer repair/support services on these forums. http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=165623 What kind of a price tag do you place on that?
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Old August 25th, 2009, 09:44 PM   #39
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Why is it that nobody includes JVC or CANON in these comparisons?
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Old August 26th, 2009, 12:42 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Keith Moreau View Post
So my challenge to Sony is to make the issue of rolling shutter, minor to some, major to others, to be a non-issue. Develop the CMOS technology so there are no artifacts, and the frame is virtually captured all at once, rather than as a raster.
Keith's nailed it. CMOS in camcorders is fledgling technology, a bit like CCD was back in the early 90s. So it can only get better, and the thing is you don't have to wait very long these days for it to actually get better. And cheaper, And use less power.

I'm waiting till the CMOS frame is captured all at once as Keith says, only then will I be happy to join up.

tom.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:11 AM   #41
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This is a combined answer to John and Tom.

John, the JVC HM series is very much the "other" EX. Tom, the JVC HM is your CCD choice if that's what you want for now. I'm not sure where Canon is. It seems Canon's focus is on the 5D Mk II which is the DSLR with HD video and is probably what stalled RED's Scarlet to some extent.

Tom, CMOS will improve and I don't doubt within 2-3 years rolling shutter will be all but gone. Given CURRENT ADVANTAGES CMOS has, I think it's a big business mistake to wait. EX, RED, 5D, and now some of the Panasonic cameras are using CMOS. The only odd bird is that Panasonic, using 1/3" chips, doesn't seem to be taking advantage of the big gain CMOS offers. If really depends on your price point. If you have an Sony 950 or F23 maybe you don't need RED. If you have Sony 355 maybe you don't need EX. CMOS gives you as big or bigger chip in a smaller camera. Either that's important to you or not. CCD also has a set of problems but apparently that's acceptable to you but not many of us. Point a CCD camera at street lamps or car head lights and you'll see (any bright point of light) the problem. IMHO rolling shutter issues are less obvious.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:39 AM   #42
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A very interesting discussion.

However, IMHO it boils down to EX vs HPX300 - at least, in terms of the overall cost of use.

Still IMHO, I'd personally trade my EX1 for the HPX300 - the reason being the latter's form factor. Even if the HVX200 came with the same form factor, I'd prefer it over my EX1, too. I guess the same applies to the JVC (never had a chance to put my hands on it, though).

So it's clear that to me (still IMHO), it's not a CMOS vs CCD dispute. The so called "rolling shutter artifacts" are nothing compared to the practical importance of a camera's ergonomics.

But that's just me; with my terribly back neck spine after three unsuccessful surgeries, still loving my EX1.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 09:45 AM   #43
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I like that hm700. Sharp pics, beautiful form factor, nice colors but not so good in low light. The footage gets grainy quickly, atleast in 1080. I wonder if the manufacturers will revert back to single chip tech, since the dslrs and the red are doing very well.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #44
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I'm waiting till the CMOS frame is captured all at once as Keith says, only then will I be happy to join up.

tom.
In an earlier post you mentioned that you had 65 flashes in a 5 second period, and that the half quarter frame result was unacceptable.

I assumed you had shot using a EX1/3 on a wedding job, and were not happy with the results. From reading in between the lines you have made your mind up based on other people using the camera(s).

"Should I want this as a slo-mo snippet in my highlights (as I invariably do) then I don't want it made obvious that quarter and third frames are lit up with ugly (CMOS) monotony. I want the overall brightening of the entire frame as CCDs supply, as this looks far nicer and more natural. "


I will add my two-pence worth and say I do not find any problems with other flashes going off. Sure I get the odd half/quarter frame here and there, but it is no big deal on one frame in a 30fps shoot.
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Old August 26th, 2009, 03:02 PM   #45
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Vincent - you're shooting PAL at 25 fps, not 30 fps aren't you? I've shot two weddings with an EX1 and many more with a Z1. The EX1 images (as you'd expect) are far and away better than the Z1's, and if the whole film is 'real time' then the CMOS flash capture is no big deal, as you say.

It's only slo-mo that shows it up. The EX1 (unacceptably in my view) dictated the edit when it came to the slo-mo sequences, that's all I'm saying. The Z1's CCDs positively love flash, and I delight in the way slo-mo displays them.

It's all over now Baby Blue. CCDs have had their day.

tom.
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