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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 20th, 2009, 11:44 AM   #1
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EX1R over the HPX-300?

Trying to decide between HPX300 or buying the new SONY EX1R - thought I'd see if anyone has some thoughts on the better image overall? 1/3" vs 1/2" sensors may sell the SONY EX1R for me but the 4:2:2 and 10-bit Panny makes me think as well...

Any thoughts on why EX1R is the way to go over the HPX-300? Or maybe you don't think so...


Thanks

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Old November 20th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #2
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Do you shoot at 24p? If so, the HPX is considered nearly unusable. It's also much larger, and the codec is not widely supported in NLEs.

On the other hand, for the same money, you can buy the EX1R, add a Nanoflash, and shoot darn near uncompressed onto CompactFlash instead of P2 at 1/3 the price. And if you really want 10-bit, you can hook at 10-bit recorder to the SDI port.

That's what I would do, but that's just me. Who the heck wants to lug around a huge shoulder camera ALL the time? Big camera, big case, big heavy battery, big tripod. Blah...
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #3
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1/3" sensors restrict the range of exposure you can use to above (more open) than f5.6. Now I am a fan of the EX range, so that makes me biased. I do like the ergonomics of the HPX-300, but I dislike just about every other aspect. Consider your media costs as well. At 100 Mb/s the Panasonic's get through P2 cards 3 times faster than EX's. So for the same record duration you need 3 times as many cards. The Pana is restricted to P2 only while there are other options for the EX's including the new Sony memory stick adapter plus the various 3rd party SD card options.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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I'll probably go for the EX1R, just need some confirmation...trying to also figure out how the sony PHU-60K (or do they now have a 120K?) will work instead of buying expensive 32GB cards. Anyone know if this hard drive solution is good for EX1R? And will it record slo/quick motion as the cards do?
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:12 PM   #5
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No slow and quick with the PHU-60 :( I'd save your money and wait for the memory stick adapter which should be shipping by the end of the year. No S&Q with that either but you can shoot S&Q using the SxS card and then copy the clips from the SxS card to the memory sticks to free up more space on the SxS.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice - so would the PHU - 60k be a good solution other than S/Q mode? Seems far less costly than 32GB cards...I know about the cheap memory cards but will probably only use SxS Pro for now, but would like the 60k hard drive better if it indeed performs flawlessly. And did I hear SONY may have a 120k version?
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Beeson View Post
Trying to decide between HPX300 or buying the new SONY EX1R - thought I'd see if anyone has some thoughts on the better image overall? 1/3" vs 1/2" sensors may sell the SONY EX1R for me but the 4:2:2 and 10-bit Panny makes me think as well...
My own thoughts are that the differences are far more down to other factors than "better image", ergonomics being the most obvious. I much prefer the form factor of the HPX300, but it's a far different beast to the EX1 - much bigger, heavier etc. It has other benefits such as connectivity, and will integrate well with pro radio mics, for example.

But the downside (as Alister says) is the 1/3" chips and more limited (and expensive) media options. The chip size is more significant for depth of field and diffraction issues than such as resolution - but obviously they are just as relevant to a "better image" as more teccy statistics. (I'd argue more so than 4:2:2 and 10 bit at this price level.)

But it's really comparing apples and oranges.

What about the EX3? A better comparison, and has more of the pro features such as genlocking, timecode options, interchangeable lenses, and able to take pro batteries via adaptor.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #8
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"do you shoot at 24p? "if so, the hpx is considered nearly unusable."

THE LATEST FIRMWARE UPDATE LARGELY IMPROVED UPON THAT ISSUE.

"It's also much larger..."

AGREED.

"...and the "codec is not widely supported in nles."

FCP 7 INGESTS THE CODEC WITHOUT ISSUE.

"On the other hand, for the same money, you can buy the ex1r, add a nanoflash, and shoot darn near uncompressed onto compactflash instead of p2 at 1/3 the price."

IN RE CF CARDS, ACKNOWLEDGED. BUT THE NANO ADDS NEARLY $3000.00 TO THE COST NOT TO MENTION THE BULK AND EXTRA WEIGHT. ADD TO THAT THE FACT THAT THE EX1 CAN HARDLY BE CONSIDERED A COMFORTABLE CARRY.


"Who the heck wants to lug around a huge shoulder camera all the time? Big camera, big case, big heavy battery, big tripod. Blah.."

IT FEELS LIGHTER ON THE SHOULDER THAN THE EX1 IN THE HAND.

But as was stated above, a more meaningful comparison would include the EX3 which, IMO, is neither a handheld nor a shoulder mount camera. But before you all start throwing stones, I'm not knocking the EX series, but I did just dispose of my EX3 due to the tiresome and costly purchases that were required to morph the camera into something that it should have been right out of the box. Did I replace it? Yes! And you guessed right, with an HPX 300 that does not require a VFGadgets under-mount for reinforcement, a Rube Goldberg system designed to enable, in a less than satisfactory manner, shoulder support, or a Nanoflash to provide a 4.2.2 environment.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 04:22 PM   #9
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Ok Ron,

First a bit of etiquette. Typing in all caps is akin to yelling at someone.


Ok, that said...

Nice to know the firmware updated improves on the wobble. Is it as good as the EX1/EX3 now, or merely, "better".

In regards to price, B&H lists the HPX-300 at $8495 with no media. An hour of the new, cheaper P2 media (2x32GB) is $1230. So the out the door price to shoot an hour of footage is $9724.90

The EX1R lists at $6299 and comes with an hour of media in the box. Price gap is $3429.90 The Nanoflash is $2999. Added to the cost of the EX1R we are now at $9298. Price gap is $426. 32GB Compact Flash cards are $180 at Amazon. So an hour's worth is $360. Price gap is $66.

So the math means that I can walk away with a EX1R, a NanoFlash, 2 hours of recording time and save $66 over the camera with smaller chips. And I can be recording 280Mbps I-Frame off the SDI port, with an instant 35Mbps proxy if I so choose.

Now I will grant that the HPX-300 being shoulder mount is going to feel lighter on the shoulder than the EX1 in the hand. But frankly, unless you are doing ENG, that is an awful perspective. Who makes movies that are solely shoulder perspective? Any time that camera comes off the shoulder, the EX1 is going to have an advantage in weight. That's 5.25 pounds vs. 11 pounds. The HPX-300 is more than twice as heavy, and that's with stock glass.

If someone needs the form-factor, then the HPX deserves a look, but that's a heavy burden to deal with if you don't need a shoulder cam. And honestly, for a couple hundred bucks, you can shoulder mount the EX1. You can't change the HPX into any lighter configuration.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ron Wilk View Post
FCP 7 INGESTS THE CODEC WITHOUT ISSUE.
Awesome. If you use FCP 7. The NanoFlash can be ingested by every major NLE on the market. And the Sony software ensures for their native format also drops into FCP, Avid, and Vegas. Not sure about Edius.

By the way, is AVC-Intra drag and drop into FCP7 or do you have to log and transfer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Wilk View Post
IN RE CF CARDS, ACKNOWLEDGED. BUT THE NANO ADDS NEARLY $3000.00 TO THE COST NOT TO MENTION THE BULK AND EXTRA WEIGHT.
Bulk and extra weight? The HPX300 weighs more than twice as much as the EX1 and is almost twice the size. Is that not bulk and extra weight? The Nano adds 1 pound, and is the size of a wireless reciever. Put it in your pocket. Done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Wilk View Post
but I did just dispose of my EX3 due to the tiresome and costly purchases that were required to morph the camera into something that it should have been right out of the box. Did I replace it? Yes! And you guessed right, with an HPX 300 that does not require a VFGadgets under-mount for reinforcement, a Rube Goldberg system designed to enable, in a less than satisfactory manner, shoulder support, or a Nanoflash to provide a 4.2.2 environment.
Ahh, so a disgruntled EX3 owner who bought a camera not suited to his needs. Gotcha. Again, if the NEED a shoulder mount camera, then buy one. They are absolutely the right tool for some folks. But for someone looking for a handycam layout, the HPX300 is all wrong, and the EX1 will get you there. Maybe not as nice in the hands as an HPX170, but I don't find myself shooting many movies with the camera in my bare hands, so it's pretty moot.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #11
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I read the bulk and extra weight meaning when holding it up in front of you. Balancing a camera on the shoulder is so much easier. I damaged my right shoulder last year, and have problems with something called a rotator cuff - until keyhole surgery to cure it as soon as I have some time free, I cannot use even a lighter camera than the ex's - it's too much strain, but I can use even older, heavier shoulder mount cameras (and keep them steady, which is so much harder holding them out in front!)
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Old November 20th, 2009, 05:03 PM   #12
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So don't hold the camera out front. Problem solved.


Here's how I solved it:

Redrock microShoulderMount

Cost = equivalent to 16 minutes of P2.

And this is far from the cheapest solution. Toss the Nanoflash and a battery on the back of the rails and now you have a balanced solution that drops right onto your tripod with no modification. Dead simple.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #13
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Ok Ron,

First a bit of etiquette. Typing in all caps is akin to yelling at someone.


Ok, that said...

Nice to know the firmware updated improves on the wobble. Is it as good as the EX1/EX3 now, or merely, "better".

In regards to price, B&H lists the HPX-300 at $8495 with no media. An hour of the new, cheaper P2 media (2x32GB) is $1230. So the out the door price to shoot an hour of footage is $9724.90

The EX1R lists at $6299 and comes with an hour of media in the box. Price gap is $3429.90 The Nanoflash is $2999. Added to the cost of the EX1R we are now at $9298. Price gap is $426. 32GB Compact Flash cards are $180 at Amazon. So an hour's worth is $360. Price gap is $66.

So the math means that I can walk away with a EX1R, a NanoFlash, 2 hours of recording time and save $66 over the camera with smaller chips. And I can be recording 280Mbps I-Frame off the SDI port, with an instant 35Mbps proxy if I so choose.

Now I will grant that the HPX-300 being shoulder mount is going to feel lighter on the shoulder than the EX1 in the hand. But frankly, unless you are doing ENG, that is an awful perspective. Who makes movies that are solely shoulder perspective? Any time that camera comes off the shoulder, the EX1 is going to have an advantage in weight. That's 5.25 pounds vs. 11 pounds. The HPX-300 is more than twice as heavy, and that's with stock glass.

If someone needs the form-factor, then the HPX deserves a look, but that's a heavy burden to deal with if you don't need a shoulder cam. And honestly, for a couple hundred bucks, you can shoulder mount the EX1. You can't change the HPX into any lighter configuration.
Thank you, but however misguided the use of capitals were, the intent was to set the response apart from the text.

Now, as for B&H price, their actual selling price is $7800.00 (place the order in the cart and the reduced price shows up). Subtract from that the Panasonic $800.00 rebate and you're down to $7000.00 and, of course, the 300 does not require a Nano. There is no argument in regards to media, P2's are indeed more costly than CF cards or, for that matter, SDHC cards but not much different than the SXS cards. But the issue does not reside with the initial cost, it does, however come into play when one finds the need for a bevy of accessories to achieve what the manufacturer should have anticipated as an potential issue.

In regards to various "perspectives," although the EX1 is lighter (don't forget to add the Nano, its power supply and mount) the HPX300 even with its greater weight is more evenly balanced for those ground level perspectives... but, granted, that may be subject to personal preference.

As for a shoulder mount for the EX1, I have a closet full of shoulder mount "almosts" for my late EX3 and assuming that the EX1 versions are not much better, they have all been uncomfortable, particularly, in view of the EX's front heavy attitude.

But in closing, I must admit that the EX's are a great concept with wonderful photographic abilities but, IMO, neither one of the two models represent a well balanced or comfortable approach to videography and if that weren't the case, they would not have spawned an entire cottage industry of products designed to improve upon their usability.

And BTW, I would not say that I am a "disgruntled ex-EX owner," but, rather, a disappointed prior owner who could not find an agreeable method, short of tripod mounting, for EX3 deployment. But, of course, the preceding is simply my opinion and what works for one may not for another but I do wish the HPX 300 had existed at the time of my EX3 purchase... I would have saved the equivalent of 1/2 of the EX3's purchase cost, the money I lost with its sale!
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Old November 20th, 2009, 05:49 PM   #14
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"I must admit that the EX's are a great concept with wonderful photographic abilities but, IMO, neither one of the two models represent a well balanced or comfortable approach to videography and if that weren't the case, they would not have spawned an entire cottage industry of products designed to improve upon their usability."

I may get the EX1R but the above quote is exactly how I feel as well...
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Old November 20th, 2009, 05:59 PM   #15
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Alright, so $7k + the 1 hour of media puts us at $8230 vs $9298 for the EX1 with the Nano and a second hour of media. A $1428 advantage to the HPX. Add the second hour of media though and the EX1 pulls ahead on price again. But your point is clear.

Now, as for a "bevy of accessories", I've shot my EX1 for about 18 months now. I've not added a single accessory to it to make it do what I bought it for. Zero. My needs are changing somewhat as I am having to produce to a higher level, so the Nanoflash and a shoulder mount have become necessary. But honestly, I am getting pictures that a few years ago I would have needed an F900 or Varicam for. For under $10k invested total, I'd say I'm making out like a bandit.

I'll take your word for it on the balance for low shots with the shoulder mount. It's been a long time since I shot one. I've got one sitting right here at my feet, but I have touched it in years.

The EX3, from what I've heard, is more front heavy than the EX1. But I can say with the rail set and shoulder mount, handling the EX1 was nearly effortless. When I drop the Nanoflash and battery on the rear of the rails behind my shoulder, it will nearly be a hands off affair. I am sorry the mounts you bought didn't give you the same success. I've found that many shoulder mounts don't actually put the camera on your shoulder. They place it well in front of you and may give you a pole to brace against your body. I wanted a solution with rails so I could move the camera back far enough to alleviate the pressure on my arms.

As for the cottage industry that's spawned up around the cameras, I'd say that's due more to their popularity than anything else. We watched it happen with the DVX, we've watched it happen with RED. Two of the most wildly popular cameras in recent years with cult like followings. Do you consider them poorly balanced and uncomfortable? If they are, it sure hasn't slowed sales any. I see the EX1 and EX3 in much the same vein. Wildly popular cameras with some ergonomic flaws.
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