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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 March 17th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #1
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EX1r to HMC150 (Panasonic)

I am considering selling my EX1r and replacing it with a 5D II and a HMC150.
I have thought about this many times and deciding to keep the Sony.

I am asking here because I really want to be well informed of pros and cons, and to get the advantages of the EX1r over the HMC150, figure this is where to find out.

I need to explain my uses and current equipment to help get some good input.
I am a full time photographer who does some basic video with weddings, mostly unmanned camera at reception and some fun stuff for highlight shows mixing stills and video. I do have a Sony pcm-D50 for an audio source with Sennheiser wireless and boom mics.

I have 1ds III, and 1D IV bodies with lots of L fast glass.

I can probably come up with the $$ for the 5D II, with out unloading the EX1r, but just keep thinking that with only 2 hours of time on the counter, and having it for 3 months, its overkill.

The hardest part of getting rid of the EX1r is the extras I have with it like 16 gig pro cards and hicap battery, card reader etc.

Hope to get some input here, I know if I did much video, would be a no brainer, but I have been saying I want to get more into video for 3 years and just don't do it.

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Old March 17th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #2
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Find a direction first

First you have to find out what you really want to do. Do you want to be a photographer, a videographer or both? First of all, you can't be both at the same event. So you have to choose per event. Being both makes a double investment in gear, but you can play only one role at a time. Your earnings stay on the same level at best. Besides that, you have to learn a lot of new skills. Reading, practice and watching professionals and their work and asking questions to them. An investment in time. The EX1r is a good camera for the job. Stay with it if you want to become a professional videographer. Otherwise sell it, ditch the video and become the best photographer in your area.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 06:02 PM   #3
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I'll trade ya my HMC-150 for the EX1r!
Oh yeah...guess I'd have to come up with a boatload of cash too!

Anyway. like previous post, video guys like me would love to own an EX1r. It's a far better camera than the 150. BUT if you don't use it that often, that investment is not making you money. Same could be said for the 150. Why not go for an HMC40 with the audio pack? If you just need something to record long events, it'll do fine and is a LOT cheaper than the 150. I borrow my friend's for stationary b-cam work every so often and it takes good video. The only downside is the low light performance and rolling shutter.

Then get your 5D and trick it out with Zacuto or Redrock goodies (which will cost more than the camera!) and you're all set for pics or video!!
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Old March 17th, 2010, 06:06 PM   #4
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I have to disagree, I have had success adding video highlights to wedding packages, gets me an addition $800.00 per package.
I under promise and over deliver, I sell this to brides who are not going to hire a videographer, but do want something better than Uncle Tom can do hand holding his handycam. I clearly show them what they will get, I explain its one camera, although I do shoot with more for safety reasons.
As for gear, yes there is more equipment, thats why I plan on doing more and more with the DSLR's that I have.

What this area is really after is the video mixing stills and video, and this is something that only someone doing both can do.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 06:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Turchick View Post
The only downside is the low light performance and rolling shutter.
I know the EX1r has the rolling shutter, but thought it would be better in low light than even the HMC-150
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Old March 17th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #6
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EX1r will blow the doors off the 150 in low light. 1/2" vs 1/3" sensors
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Old March 17th, 2010, 07:24 PM   #7
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Here's a crazy idea...

Buy a bunch of ContourHD 1080 cams and place them strategically for capturing the ceremony. They're so small no one would notice them. No need to worry about things being in focus. Hide one in the bride's flowers and tape one to the preacher's head (well maybe that's not a good idea). Then edit the footage down to 720 so you could reframe the shots in post. Sell your customers a multi-camera HD shoot!

In my experience MOST people looking for wedding video only look at the price and wouldn't know quality if it jumped up and bit them on the nose. I had one person show me her daughters wedding video, the sound was so muddled you couldn't make out what they were saying, in one shot the people were orange and the next edit they were blue - and she thought it was great. I was shocked how bad it was, then I looked at the guy's web site and he was using this video as a sample of his work!
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Old March 18th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #8
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Here's a short list of Pros and Cons:

Pro: EX-1r gives you about 1 additional stop in low-light

Pro: EX-1r shoots full raster 1080P video, so your shots have more detail than the HMC150.

Pro: HMC150 has a CCD sensor, so no rolling shutter issues at all.

Pro: HMC150 is 2lbs lighter than the EX-1r ( 4lbs vs 6lbs )

Pro: HMC150 costs about half the price of the EX-1r, so buying a second camera is a lot more affordable.

Potential Pro: HMC150 some people like the Pansonic "mojo" look.

...You can produce professional results with either of these cameras, so it really comes down to how you like to work and which camera suits your shooting style.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 04:19 PM   #9
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A thought: Since it sounds like you are primarily a photographer who wants to make use of some video- why not just go with the video capable DSLRs for video and skip the video cams alltogether. Then your inventory of cameras can be used for either purpose depending on the particulars of the job.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy McLoughlin View Post
Here's a short list of Pros and Cons: ........
Guy, there a quite a lot of very significant facts left off that list.

Such as codec used - the EX is far easier to edit than that of the HMC150 without transcoding, as well as being higher quality.

Media? The EX uses high performance SxS, especially useful when high speed downloading is necessary. But with adaptor it can also be used with SDHC, with may be more appropriate at other times. The HMC150 only has one memory slot, the EX two - and the EX1R can dub from one to the other (very quickly).

Viewfinder? That on the EX is vastly better than on the 150, and there are more subtle differences as well, the zebras on the EX offer far more control than on the 150.

Yes, the EX is heavier, but it has a far more solid feel to it, it just seems a lot more rugged?

Connectivity?

I could go on, but having compared the two I found the EX to substantially outperform the 150 in most respects. I also think you're understating the sensitivity difference between the two. The 150 is noisier at 0dB, visible at that setting, but also meaning that for a given level of degradation the EX can be used at a higher gain setting than the 150.


Quote:
...You can produce professional results with either of these cameras, so it really comes down to how you like to work and which camera suits your shooting style.
For some types of programming, top end broadcasters will accept the EX (especially with a nanoFlash) - they won't accept the 150. Even if that's not who you'd normally work for, it's worth taking note of. It gives the EX a credibility that the 150 just does not have.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 09:23 PM   #11
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>>Guy, there a quite a lot of very significant facts left off that list.
>>Such as codec used - the EX is far easier to edit than that of the HMC150 without transcoding, as well as being higher quality.

Right now there are a few editors that can work natively with the AVCHD CODEC ( Sony Vegas Pro and Premiere CS4 come to mind ), and I expect this list to grow significantly over the next couple of years.

>>Media? The EX uses high performance SxS, especially useful when high speed downloading is necessary. But with adaptor it can also be used with SDHC, with may be more appropriate at other times. The HMC150 only has one memory slot, the EX two - and the EX1R can dub from one to the other (very quickly).

If absolute speed is an issue I imagine the SxS cards will win out over SDHC cards, but transfering 3 hours ( 32GB ) of HD footage shot with the HMC150 at it's maximum bit-rate takes about 20 minutes with a high-speed SDHC card reader. ( 30MB/sec throughput )

>>Viewfinder? That on the EX is vastly better than on the 150, and there are more subtle differences as well, the zebras on the EX offer far more control than on the 150.

Yes, the EX viewfinder is better, but HMC150 is definitely usable. Depending on how and what you shoot, you may want to use an external monitor anyway.

>>Yes, the EX is heavier, but it has a far more solid feel to it, it just seems a lot more rugged?

I don't know of any impact tests done to compare each camera, but I have read some horror stories about the HMC150 smashed on to concreate or flying off a car-mount and on to the road, and despite being partially broken the cameras were still useable.

Also, the weight difference means that you can shoot stedicam shots with the HMC150 with a light and UHF mic receiver attached, mounted to a Stedicam Merlin with or without the vest. Buying an equivalent stedicam rig for the EX is a lot more money. ( the Merlin is good for only 5 lbs without the vest, and 7 lbs with the vest )

>>I could go on, but having compared the two I found the EX to substantially outperform the 150 in most respects.

Myself, I can't live with a CMOS sensor right now, perhaps in the future as CMOS technology improves the problems will eventually disappear.

>>I also think you're understating the sensitivity difference between the two. The 150 is noisier at 0dB, visible at that setting, but also meaning that for a given level of degradation the EX can be used at a higher gain setting than the 150.

From the tests that I've read, and from a small amount of first hand experience with both cameras ( I borrowed an EX-1, a HPX170, and the HMC150 for two weekends, and decided to go with the HMC150 for now ) it appears that the low-light sensitivity difference between the EX-1 and the HMC150 is about 1 stop in favor for the EX-1.

If low light is a big issue, then right now nothing can touch the Canon DSLRs. Yes, they are pretty sh*tty as video cameras, but if you can work within their limitations the low-light results are 4-5 stops beyond what any prosumer video camera can do. It seems likely that Canon will eventually release a video body that uses the DSLR technology, but it won't be this year.

Credibility is earned by your work, not by the gear you own. I've met lots of video guys who think that owning a RED camera puts them in an elite class, but their work still sucks.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 08:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy McLoughlin
Credibility is earned by your work, not by the gear you own. I've met lots of video guys who think that owning a RED camera puts them in an elite class, but their work still sucks.
Well, yes, but that makes it sound like a choice between "camerawork sucks but he's got a Red" *OR* good camerawork/poorer camera. Surely what is most desirable is a good cameraman with a good camera?

I see how good any cameraman is and how good any camera is as two totally separate issues.
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