EX1 Tips and Tricks at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 22nd, 2009, 07:57 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 59
EX1 Tips and Tricks

Hey everyone.

I am about to work on a shoot with an EX1, and since I have never used this camcorder before I'm wondering if there are any tips or tricks you might be able to offer. I am familiar with camcorders like the XL2, XHA1, and FX1, and so I'm sure it will be fairly easy to get acquainted with the EX1, but I am interested in any of those those little quirks you always have to figure out with a new camera...things to do, things not to do, anything you think might be helpful.

Thanks for the help.
__________________
Jon Betz
www.jonbetzfilms.com
Jonathan Betz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 08:50 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 121
It would be nearly impossible to recommend highly enough Doug Jensen's "Mastering the Sony PMW-EX1" DVD. I have his EX3 DVD and it's brilliant. He assumes that the "student" already has experience with other camcorders and presents just the information you need to get proficient with an EX1.

You can find it here: Vortex Media: VIDEO & PHOTO Tools and Training

... and at fine retailers like B&H, et. al.
__________________
EX3, Z1U, FX1, D1X / NeXTstation Turbo Color / FCS3
Brooks Graham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 09:31 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 59
Thanks for the suggestion Brooks. Since I'm leaving to shoot on Sunday I'm not going to be able to wait for this DVD, but it's definitely great to know it's out there for the future.

Any other suggestions about resources, or just some tips themselves? Thanks all.
__________________
Jon Betz
www.jonbetzfilms.com
Jonathan Betz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 11:36 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 121
Use an IR filter. The two choices at the moment are one from B+W:

B+W | 77mm 486 Digital UV/IR Blocking Glass Filter | 65-098703

and the new one from Tiffen:

Tiffen 77mm T1 IR Filter :: Camera Accessories :: New Arrivals :: Equipment Sales :: Abel Cine Tech

Search this forum for "infrared" "IR" "contamination" and you'll learn why you might need one of these filters.

Don't leave the battery on the camera overnight. Some older firmware revs had an issue where the battery would drain when powered off. YMMV

<controversial> Only record to genuine SxS cards. Avoid consumer-grade SDHC flash/adapter hacks. </controversial>

You need a way to read the flash cards (SxS cards are Expresscard34 format or you can use the camera's USB connector) and the free XDCAM Clip Browser software from Sony to transfer the footage from the SxS cards. If you're going into FinalCut, you'll also need another free program from Sony named XDCAM Transfer.

The camera records so much detail that if you're delivery format isn't 1080 then consider shooting in 720p mode as downconversion is easier.

Download and read the Owner's Manual: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...downloads.html

Of course, these are just my humble opinions off the top of my head - apply grains of salt appropriately.

Okay, guys & gals, what else am I forgetting?

(hope that helps)
__________________
EX3, Z1U, FX1, D1X / NeXTstation Turbo Color / FCS3
Brooks Graham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 11:47 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
Giving us some idea of the nature of the shoot miht help us direct you to pertinent advice. Like picture profiles, or recording formats and speeds.
__________________
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
Perrone Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 12:37 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 121
And also, if you're new to this kind of workflow, you might seriously consider a dry run beforehand - test everything from shooting all the way to the NLE.
__________________
EX3, Z1U, FX1, D1X / NeXTstation Turbo Color / FCS3
Brooks Graham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 12:52 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 29
-When you buy a filter for the front end, be sure it's a thin (3mm instead of normal 5mm thickness) if you want put the lens shade back on...otherwise won't fit back on.
-Be careful to not accidentally hit the Full Auto button with a knuckle...it'll drive you nuts trying to figure out why you can't do any manual overrides.
-Factory settings are purposely rather bland. Sony wants you to set your own Picture -Profile settings. That's where Jensen's video is very helpful. There are many PP settings on threads on this Forum.
-Yes, disconnect the battery on earlier models. Flaw in the firmware will drain them in a couple of hours.
-SxS cards are solid...However, I've had very little problems with MxR reader with HDSC cards...but if it's an important shoot, I might not gamble with the cheaper solution.
-Watch the focus. This lens is so sharp it's easy to be a tad out of focus. If it's an action shot or the camera is moving, I'll go to auto focus since I don't have the luxury of a focus puller.
-Camera runs hot, so keep it cool. I've had it shut down on me with the double whammy of high temperature AND high humidity (which doesn't let the internal heat build up dissipate.)
-Chip management system is a must. I've accidentally recorded over important material because I lost track of which cards had been transferred to a hard drive and which ones were ready to have all their clips deleted for new recording.
-Good news is the LCD screen is very accurate of what you're shooting. Pretty much what you see is what you're getting (Iris setting, Picture Profile settings, etc.)...Lots of other aids here too... Zebra Bars, Histogram, etc.
I love this camera...should do well for you.
Frank Casanova is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 08:05 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 59
Thanks for all the great advice. I will look into IR filters, make sure to disconnect the battery at night, and be careful of the Full Auto button. I will also be sure to be careful of card management as well as the types of cards I am using.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Giving us some idea of the nature of the shoot miht help us direct you to pertinent advice. Like picture profiles, or recording formats and speeds.
I am shooting behind-the-scenes footage for a shoot in the mountains of southern California. The weather should be fairly mild, so I don't expect to experience overheating problems. As far as I know I will be shooting everything in 1080p 30fps. I'm not sure which picture profile to use for this purpose. Any suggestions?
__________________
Jon Betz
www.jonbetzfilms.com
Jonathan Betz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2009, 12:00 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Winter Park, FL
Posts: 55
Turn Zebra off, Learn to use Peaking like it's your religion in conjunction with expanded focus, also learn picture profiles and what each setting does. You should be ok.
Nathan Hudson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2009, 01:45 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 1,684
Re IR filters forget the 486 - The Tiffen is the only one to get.

Nathan , why are you telling this guy to turn off zebras? - I always use them.

The most serious quirk is that you will be out of focus if you let your iris close to f8 or more. Very dangerous and unusual. Due to diffraction I guess, but downright weird in a camera.
Leonard Levy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Winter Park, FL
Posts: 55
because, Zebras are what screwed me, I hate them. They serve me no purpose, I can look at my picture and know what's blown out without having stripes across my picture. My situation involved white plastic rails for wakeboarders to slide around golden hour with the sun setting, of course the zebras went nuts and thought the sliders were blown out because they were sitting on dark water. So I adjusted the camera being a newb at that point and thought it was dark but trusted the camera's decision. LOTS of ruined footage. Never again. If I can't tell by my eye alone what is blown out and what isn't then obviously something is wrong with my vision. I tend to slightly underexpose my footage to be safe and I have a good feel now and am able to push that line. Learning yourself to make good judgement calls for picture quality is far more valuable than depending on a machine to tell you what's right. In contradiction as far as focus, I do depend on the machine somewhat but am constantly double checking myself to be sure. Focus is a tough cookie if you don't get it right. When people pay for HD they want that crisp HD they paid for. If it comes out soft, they are pretty much gonna think it sucks without understanding. So I use Peaking but am constantly hitting expand focus button, while recording. This is one reason, the HPX-300 from Panny looked like a great camera and then became something I WOULD NEVER get because lack of being able to do focus assist while recording. If I can't get in tight and see the edges and keep constantly checking to ensure my picture is crisp, WHILE RECORDING, i have no interest in the camera. Picture Profiles and fully understanding them is also crucial because Sony expects you to give your picture the look you want it and gives you unparalleled options to do so. Panny starts you off with "The Panny Look" and gives you less options.
Nathan Hudson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2009, 03:16 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Winter Park, FL
Posts: 55
in fact up until about 2 months ago, I didn't even use peaking. I would almost say try even doing that at first and then once you get that down, then use the extra tools, minus zebras. Again, I hate zebras. Wish they left them off my camera for a more useful function. Peaking is a way for me to solve my focus paranoia. LOL!
Nathan Hudson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2009, 03:34 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 1,271
How do you judge exposure when there's really bright sunlight in your eyes or on the screen ?
If you're in a hurry and need to get shots quick ?
Do you then use the viewfinder ?
Histogram ?
Even in bright sunlight i can still see the zebras.

Paul.
__________________
Round 2
Panasonic HC-X1, Vinten PB, Sennheiser G3 bits. Vegas pro 14 on i7,AMD Radeon RX480 8GB.
Paul Kellett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2009, 06:27 AM   #14
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,481
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Hudson View Post
Turn Zebra off,.
That suggestion has to be the single worst advice I've ever seen on this forum.

I suggest you:
Use Zebra.
Use Peaking.
Do not use Auto-Focus
Do not use ATW
Use SteadyShot for hand-held shooting

Learn your camera and practice with it BEFORE you go out and shoot a real job.
__________________
Vortex Media http://www.vortexmedia.com/
Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
Doug Jensen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2009, 06:57 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
There are my youtube Tutorials on gamma, timelapse, the matrix and depth of field.
YouTube - ingenioustv's Channel

Soft pictures at f16-f8 is perfectly normal on a 1/2" camera. Until the EX came along very few cameras had the resolution to really show the diffraction limiting up. The higher the resolution the worse it looks, on an SD camera you would barely notice it. 1/3" cameras suffer from it even earlier (f5.6). It's not a fault or quirk, just the laws of physics at work.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:11 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network