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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 November 12th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #46
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2/3" in EX

I was soundly beaten when I suggested, during the speculation a few weeks back, that Sony's "big announcement" might be that 2/3" PDW-700 chips were going into an EX sized cam. That was of course not the case, I have just realised however, that the new PMW-350 will have a 2/3" chip that is CMOS (not CCD) and therefore quite possibly suitable for the EXes. What say you Alister?
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Old November 12th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #47
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Not sure what you mean? To put 2/3" sensors with their larger prism etc in an EX would mean a much bigger camera, which is what Sony have produced in the form of the 350.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #48
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If it means a bigger camera then I suppose there isn't much point. Isn't there any spare room inside the EXes?
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Old November 12th, 2009, 04:04 PM   #49
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Isn't there any spare room inside the EXes?
Not really. Though amazingly the vast majority of the bulk of EX is the lens. Take a look at where the focus point is marked on the body. Quite incredible.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #50
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I promise to have a look when I buy one.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #51
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If it means a bigger camera then I suppose there isn't much point. Isn't there any spare room inside the EXes?
AFAIK, it's not as simple as having room for the sensor, which there most certainly is and more besides, it's that a bigger sensor requires much bigger fans for cooling, and that's what dictates the bigger body, certainly this is true for CCDs, maybe less so for CMOS?
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Old November 12th, 2009, 05:25 PM   #52
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I was soundly beaten when I suggested....... that Sony's "big announcement" might be that 2/3" PDW-700 chips were going into an EX sized cam. That was of course not the case,..........
And bigger chips tends to mean bigger lens....... So the EX1/3 becpme even less ergonomic.... So why not make this new camera shouldermount? ........ Ah, like the PMW350....

Joking apart, I wouldn't be surprised if the next announcement isn't the opposite to what you suggested, Jonathan. By which I mean something like the PMW350 body, but with 1/2" chips, and priced somewhere between the 350 and the EX1.

That would make marketing sense as a replacement for both the existing XDCAM 1/2" disc range AND the EX3 IMO. It would also help explain why we're being told the EX3 won't be upgraded along the lines of the EX1R - it will be discontinued if my theorys right! As things stand, the EX3 sits uneasily alongside the EX1R - more expensive, better in some respects, but not as good in others, now the EX1 has had all the improvements.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #53
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Dave, we are going to need to start a friendly betting circle ;)

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By which I mean something like the PMW350 body, but with 1/2" chips, and priced somewhere between the 350 and the EX1.
My money is on this never happening. Too small a gap.

Incidentally, I'm missing beer. It's time you passed through this way again :)
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Old November 12th, 2009, 07:26 PM   #54
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I've always wanted to get an EX camera but there were barriers that prevented me, most of which have been solved by the R but some still remain. While I understand a manufacture can't make everyone happy there are fundamental areas shared by large user segments that were ignored that just make me scratch my head. To name a few:

SD: Most everyone would agree HD is clearly better but the majority of us still need to work in SD. While I'm thrilled Sony EX1-R addressed this I can't fathom how Sony could have left SD off more than a year ago when the EX was released. With the slow adoption rate of Blu-ray and HD broadcast tv, I got to believe the majority of ppl still need to shoot in SD. So who did Sony build this camera for? Independent film makers and who else?

SXS and memory stick: The price of SXS is so cost prohibitive I couldn't afford record my average 3-7 hrs. I can't imagine anyone in the market for 6k camera who be able to afford to spend the price of the camera in memory cards. It was fortunate that someone came up with the SD work around but no thanks to Sony, if they had their way ppl would be mortgaging their homes to pay for sxs cards. Here again I understand the more expensive technology of the sxs was needed for higher bitrate/overcrank, it was just short sited to not to have one sxs slot and one sd slot or some other affordable storage solution. This gets back to Sony's schizophrenic marketing of an entry level camera that only runs on high end media.

Remote: Lack of a full featured remote control is still the biggest issue that prevents me from buying. Even though there has be progress of recent by 3rd parties which again Sony can't take credit for. How does Sony expect people to film performances without the ability to control the exposure, zoom, and focus remotely? Who wants to stand for 2-3 hrs and not be able to raise the camera high enough to avoid ppl getting up and blocking your shot during a performance? Never mind operating it on a boom.

Bad form factor: We get 1/2 sensors make a camera heavy, but why on earth would Sony try to force a heavy unbalanced camera to be something it is not, a camera that needs to supported in front of your body? The weight class dictates that it should be shoulder mounted and Sony should know better. Its rigid thinking that only ENG cameras can be shoulder mounted. I suppose Sony's twisted logic was they didn't want the EX to be shoulder mounted because it would compete with their higher end shoulder cameras. Better to frustrate you and give you a reason to upgrade.

I applaud Sony for being the first to market to deliver an affordable entry level 3 - 1/2" sensor camera. I just wish they were more in tune with the needs of users in that price range, and I'm specifically talking about event videographers. Now that they've upgraded the EX1 and raised the price to almost the EX3 without upgrading the EX3 it leaves consumers with an odd choice. Either Sony is going to have to upgrade or discontinue the EX3.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; November 12th, 2009 at 10:04 PM.
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Old November 12th, 2009, 10:40 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
My money is on this never happening. Too small a gap.
Panasonic has an appealing 1/3" ENG style camera out, as we know, that is right in the price range of the EX series.

I think Sony will be watching sell through on the Panny shoulder cam very carefully and you may see a product change later next year to counter it. I understand with the PMW-350 about to be released that a 1/2" chipped version of that could be a bad move but if Panasonic's camera is clobbering Sony and the rest, the product releases will change.

Pete, you could be waiting a long time if you wait for the perfect camera. I agree with most of what you say but if you want to shoot with current technology you have to weigh the pros and cons and then choose your weapon of choice. If you are happy with your present camera then...
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Old November 13th, 2009, 03:24 AM   #56
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The Sony PMW-350 is aimed squarely at the professional market as a replacement for cameras like the DSR-570 or DSR-450. Users of these cameras may already have 2/3" lenses that they want to use and are used to being able to use any aperture without the pictures becoming so soft that they can't be used. Any camera with sub 1/2" sensors just isn't going to give the kind of performance that professional users need. Even a 1/2" camera limits you to a minimum of f8.

As for media, well if you work smart you can work with just a couple of SxS cards, using a backup device such as the NextoDi or soon to come Sony PXU-MS240. In the past 2 years using SxS media has saved me money. Sure the initial outlay is higher but over 2 years with 2 EX's I have seen some significant savings. Not only in media costs but also time. My file based workflow is so much faster, allowing me to do more. I can easily provided copies of footage to clients or producers for logging or archive. You really have to look at the bigger picture.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 03:41 AM   #57
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I applaud Sony for being the first to market to deliver an affordable entry level 3 - 1/2" sensor camera.
That's the bit you need to concentrate on Pete. When you look at the big images produced by the EX series then look at the tiny camera that produced them it brings home to me this wonderful age we filmmakers live in. Such quality footage is astounding and I view it like I view Ferraris - I'm never going to be able to afford one, but I'm sure as hell pleased that such technological bravery exists and that such cars are envisaged, designed, tested, marketed, sold and serviced. They brighten our world.

The very fact that the EX series exists and has been so successfully brought to market at such a size, weight and price pleases me immensely. The fact that it's form factor doesn't please all men is no surprise to me at all; I simply rejoice that such a machine exists, and that managerial bravery at Sony ensured that from concept to production the project flourished.

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Old November 13th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #58
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Seems like I've been using 1/3" forever, so when I upgrade I'd like to move to 1/2". The main reason is for increased light sensitivity and gamma range for dark dance performances. Every year I weigh the pros and cons of the current technology. At least for my work the EX-R is too expensive especially with the media. Sure you can off load while shooting but that just introduces more equipment to fail, more money, and more work. Who needs to be fumbling around in the dark swapping cards and praying there are no problems off loading. In the end it introduces more problems than it solves. I'm going to stay patient and re-evaluate my options next year.

I wish the other manufactures would release 1/2" solution for the sub 10k market. Seems like Canon hasn't done much of recent and Panny is sticking to the 1/3". Due to the lack of competition in this are of the market Sony has no incentive to drop the price for the EXR.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 01:24 PM   #59
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AbelCine PMW 350 Video

I've posted my review of the PMW-350. If you've seen the Alister video then you want find many surprises, but I do get into the menus a bit in part 2. Here is the link:

Video: Sony's New PMW-350 Camera
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Old November 13th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
Sure you can off load while shooting but that just introduces more equipment to fail, more money, and more work. Who needs to be fumbling around in the dark swapping cards and praying there are no problems off loading. In the end it introduces more problems than it solves.
Not for me it didn't. I filmed a concert last summer at Evergreen Lake uninterrupted. I only had two cards to work with, but I was able to keep the footage rolling because I didn't have to stop to change tapes. All I needed was a laptop pc for offloading one card while continuing to record on the other. I was working in the dark as well, outdoors even on just laptop battery, but not fumbling. In the end, it solved more problems than it introduced.
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