Comparison of Canon XLH1 and Sony PMW EX3 telephoto capabilities 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 March 26th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 811
Comparison of Canon XLH1 and Sony PMW EX3 telephoto capabilities

I shoot with a Canon XLH1 1/3" CCD camcorder using the proper adapter and a 400 mm SLR lens. My effective magnificataion is about 7200mm, which is very useful for shooting small birds.
I will be on a job where the camcorder they would like to provide is a Sony PMW EX-3. The director is asking me, sight unseen, to compare what I think the telelphoto abilities of the Sony will be to the Canon. I haven't a clue. I know the Sony uses 1/2" sensors (less magnification than the Canon 1/3"). The Sony also has an adapter to mount a number of 2/3" standard video lenses. I don't know what lenses are available, but I suspesct that a video lens will not match the 7200mm power of the Canon. Has anyone actually used these two systems, and can provide some numbers?
Steve Siegel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 26th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Teaneck, NJ
Posts: 659
Simple answer-- get one of the two EX to Nikon adapter and use a Nikon prime. Magnification is about 5x.

Ned Soltz
Ned Soltz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 03:20 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Steve, the effective length of your lens is not 7200, it's 400x7.2 which is around 2800 - still more than enough!
On the EX3 it'd about 2000mm as with 1/2" chips it's around 5x magnification.
Options to get to the same magnification as your Canon would be a 500 or 600mm lens, a 1.4x converter or 2/3" broadcast lenses like the HJ40 (which goes to about 1200mm but costs £35,000 or £200 a day to rent).
Or get a hide!
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 06:09 AM   #4
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,483
Steve,

Another thing to add to Steve Phillipps' comments is that you're not really going to be able to use your Canon lens on the EX3. You're going to have to rent or buy a Nikon compatible lens. Why? Because neither of the Canon adapters for the EX3 that I know about will allow you to change the f-stop while it is mounted on the EX3. If you want to change the exposure, you have to remove the lens, mount it on an SLR, change the exposure, and then put it back on the EX3. That is hardly a workflow you'd want to live with. As you know, changing the shutter speed is never an acceptable method of adjusting the exposure on a video camera, so that only leaves ND filters, and those alone do not provide enough precision.

If I was in your shoes, I'd get an Adaptimax and a 500mm Nikon lens. That would put your focal length over 2700 -- plus you'd have 1/2" sensors -- so the picture will be noticablely superior to the Canon you've been using.
Adaptimax Plus - Nikon Lens Adapter


If I was going to buy a 500mm lens right now, I'd seriously consider this one. It has gotten some great reviews and is affordably priced:
Sigma | 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM APO Autofocus Lens | 737306


So, you can get an adapter and 500mm lens for under $1400. Pretty amazing!!
__________________
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 March 27th, 2010, 06:23 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
I didn't realise that Doug - why can't they make an EOS adapter which allows you to change aperture, is the mechanism very different to the Nikon one? Maybe it is.
As for lenses, personally I'd steer clear of anything but the absolute best zooms (like the Nikon 200-400) as with smaller chips the 35mm stills lenses are theoretically sub-optimal anyway, but from my limited experience you can get away with it if the lenses are absolute peaches - like Canon, Nikon and Leica primes (300 2.8, 400 2.8, 500 f4 etc.) We're talking big money and big lenses though.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 07:11 AM   #6
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,483
Steve, normally I'd agree with you about buying top-of-the-line lenses, but a f/2.8 400mm (or something along those lines) is out of the question for most people because of the huge cost.

Also, keep in mind that, due to the smaller sensor size, the EX3 is only seeing the very center of the optics. That makes a big difference. Where I'd never recommend a inexpensive lens like that Sigma for use on a Nikon SLR, I think it is probably acceptable for use on an EX3. I've never used that lens, but that's the conclusion I'd come to based on my experience with other lenses. Even the mid-priced lenses look pretty good at the center. Notice that I did not recommend that he use one of the really cheap zoom lenses.

The main problem I see with using a 400mm lens is keeping it steady. But if Steve has already been shooting with his Canon he must be aware of that issue and have it under control. Personally, I find it challenging enough to shoot with my Nikon 300mm f/4 on a very heavy O'Connor 1030B head. I'm not sure I'd want anything longer than that.
__________________
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 March 27th, 2010, 07:42 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Certainly agree about it being tricky to keep things steady, this is why I think it's a mistake often when folks tend to want to put bigger and bigger lenses on cameras - eg a 600 on a 1/3" camera, that really is huge magnification. I've got the O'Connor 1030B too, but mostly use the much bigger 2060HD (9kg vs 4kg for the 1030B!) and I tend to think the equivalent of a 600mm lens on a 2/3" camera is as much as you'd want to use for most shooting (so this would be a 300mm lens on the Canon XL-H1).
In terms of the sweet spot on smaller chip cameras, that's certainly true, but when it's worked out scientifically at least a 35mm lens is well well below optimum reoslution for a 1/3" chip. Even on 2/3" chip HD cameras you've got be very careful. I use my Canon 150-600, always a massive favourite in Super 16 and 35mm days, and on the Sony HDCam and XDCams it's very good, not far off the results from purpose built lenses like the HJ40, but on the EX3 (where I've only used it briefly) it's not quite so hot, same goes for the Varicam strangely enough, it's not quite sharp enough for my taste. The Canon 300 2.8 on the other hand is fine. In fact you can pick up decent Nikon 300 2.8s and the 400 3.5 for very little these days and they'd be an excellent choices (as long as you don't need a zoom).
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 11:14 AM   #8
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: St. Louis Park, MN
Posts: 15
Canon FD lens adapter for EX3

I am sure you guys know a lot more about this than I but there s a FD lens adapter for the EX3 and with the FD lens you can change aperture just like on Nikon lenses because they are manual lenses. at least this is my understanding.

I have a Eos adapter and somewhat agree it is not ideal because you have to put the lens on the camera to change aperture (which is why I bought the FD adapter) but how many times in a shoot are you really changing the aperture
Ray OBryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
Ray, it's not because the FDs are manual lenses, it's just because they have aperture rings on the lens. Until recently all the Nikon AF lenses had aperture rings too.
As for how often you need to change aperture - all the time hopefully, unless you're just hoping to fix exposure in post.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: St. Louis Park, MN
Posts: 15
Steve

of course you are right. I meant the same thing manual ring on lens. sorry. rather than the electronic on the 5D I use

As for how often you need to change aperture. I find for the short sessions I am out doing & the things I do the light does not change that much. I have read on the forum that many people only use from 2.8 to F4 on the sony Ex lenses. In fact some one on here who writes training manuals strongly suggest you don't use the entire aperture range.

I am brand new to video so I don't know much. have done still photo for 40 years so I do understand f-stops. that is why I was surprised when I read no to use anything greater than 5.6 on the EX1.

I find in doing Still's which I have been doing for a long time in a hours shooting I don't change f stops that much unless it is for depth of field reasons

any way thanks for clarifying what I meant
Ray OBryan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Wales
Posts: 2,130
It does depend what you do of course. If you're doing outdoor stuff with lots of changing light you'll be adjusting aperture constantly. If you're doing a setup lit interview you'd not change it at all. And if you're doing drama and have total control over lighting that'd be OK too I guess.
There are 2 reasons why many folks would prefer not to use f5.6 or less. First is a taste issue, a lot of people liking a narrow depth of field. The second is a technical one - diffraction. With smaller sensors it starts to limit resolution much earlier.
Steve
Steve Phillipps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #12
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray OBryan View Post
but how many times in a shoot are you really changing the aperture
Are you kidding???!!!

How about on every shot -- and sometimes in the middle of a shot!!
There's no way you could shoot professional video and not have any f-stop control on the camera. NO WAY.
__________________
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 March 27th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #13
Vortex Media
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New England, USA
Posts: 2,483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray OBryan View Post
I find in doing Still's which I have been doing for a long time in a hours shooting I don't change f stops that much unless it is for depth of field reasons
Yeah, but you must be changing the shutter speed, right? That option is not available for a professional video shooter. You must NOT change the shutter speed to adjust exposure because it has unwanted side-effects with they way motion looks. Some of the shooting techniques that work for still photography do not translate to video. Video and stills are different animals.
__________________
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 March 27th, 2010, 06:41 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 604
A feature of the EX3 is the possibility of making compensations for various lens problems like “flare”. These adjustments can be stored in a file and retrieved whenever the lens is re-used. On paper this looks as though it should be very useful for those who want to get the best results from assorted lenses. Is it a feature available on the Canon?

Unfortunately I have not been able to get any clues as to the best way of making these adjustments despite posing the question on DVInfo Net, consulting the Manual and the local Sony Service centre. Even the invaluable PMW-EX3 Field Guide offers no clues.
Alastair Traill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2010, 10:46 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 56
Ray, I also started in the still world years ago, and here is my 2 cents....

For a still, yes I would generally decide that for a wider angle landscape shot that I might want to shoot f16,22, or even a smaller aperture with say a view camera where you can stop down even more. But on a Sony EX or similar camera, I would probably shoot f8. I can't give you the exact numbers but I am certain others can, but you sacrifice resolution due to diffraction when you really stop down these video lenses.

Now at least with the stills, like I said before I would probably stop down to my desired aperture for the shot knowing the lenses are great stopped down, and based on my film speed or digital SLR ISO (or basically gain), if the shutter speed is 1/125, 1/60, 1/100, I don't really care as long at it works for that shot. But for video, I need the shutter to remain constant to ensure that motion is recorded with the same characteristics from shot to shot. This generally means riding the aperture on the shots.

Now I am one to constantly break the 23.976 @ 1/48 shutter speed rule, especially with something like watersports, birds in flight, and things that I think really look better with the faster shutter speeds. This faster shutter can lead to less of a "cinematic" or film like look for certain, but I love the way it captures certain events or subjects. "Saving Private Ryan" is a classic example. I have also used a faster shutter for greenscreen work, for reduced motion blur and easier keying, and if I am shooting 1080P since I cannot overcrank @ 60p. I will shoot 1080/30 fps at a faster shutter and use Twixtor (a plugin for Final Cut and After Effects) to build intermediate frames for slo-mo playback, and by increasing the shutter I am going to get sharper, cleaner individual frames. Twixtor will have less motion blur to work around when generating these the intermediate interpolated frames. If the playback is too mechanical in slo-mo due to the fast shutter, you can add back the motion blur in post via CC Motion Blur or RE:Motion Blur from RE Vision Effects.

So at least when I alter shutter speed in video, it is for a purpose, not to dial in an exposure.

This is why you need to add additional ND to shoot something like f2.8 @ 1/48 on a sunny day, yeah you could kick it up to like a 1/250th shutter for example, but that screws with the motion radically.


I recently shot some surf video on a Canon 7D and almost everything was shot at 1/500 second shutter and I just flipped the aperture to keep a correct exposure. Of course with the still lenses this is lame, huge jolts as the thing opens up or stops down very clunky compared to a video lens. The 1/500 shutter was by design and the water droplets of the waves breaking and misting are tack sharp not some mushy mess. I love the look.

Ok, so that was fairly off topic, but somewhat relevant. Now I was kind of going there for a reason though.

I have shot a variety of stuff with the DSLR's with some fairly long lenses, just because I could get further out than the EX1/EX3's I've used which on the long end are about 440mm (35mm equivalent).

Then along came this Nikon to EX3 adapter and I will say that this looks like something very, very useful for long lens work, and I am going to have to pick this adapter up at some point. But here would be my suggestion at least,based on what I have already shot using the 5DMK2 and 7D, and of course the EX1 with the stock glass. The 7D with the Canon 500mm f4 prime and the 1.4x extender which results in about an effective focal length of 1120mm @ f5.6 (if I shoot wide open I am assuming the tele extender is costing me about a stop). I have also shot a bunch with the Canon 100-400L on the 7d which equals about 560mm @f5.6 (wide open).

I usually stop down either lens to about f8 so I am not shooting wide open, which a lot of still lenses are usually sharpest stopped down a little as you know. Also the 7D is using the middle sweet spot of that lens since it is not full frame, so optically the situation is pretty darn good.

Now the Canon 100-400L is a push/pull zoon which I hate but I've used a lot, BUT the Nikon 80-400 ED is a real nice lens with a normal zoom, albeit not a 400mm 2.8 prime, so what. On the EX3 you are getting the sweet spot of the glass, and it is hardly a stinker of a lens even full frame. Its not too fast on the long end, but I would shoot it f8 anyway on the EX3.

But here is why I would recommend a Nikon 80-400mm over something like a 400/500 prime. Remember on that EX3 you are getting like a 5.5x magnification factor, which turns the 80-400 into basically a 440mm-2200mm (!). Having shot my fair share of wildlife on that 1120mm Canon 7D rig (remember the 500mm prime plus tele extender), I will tell you one thing I have learned. While you might want a prime, you will probably loose some critical shots due to framing problems or even finding the shot at some point. Due to the erratic nature of the subject, it is my experience that I get the best shots by pulling the lens back to a wider angle (as if 400mm is wide but its all relative!), and when something is brewing start moving in. It can be unbelievably difficult to even find your subject on those extreme telephoto shots (and that is at 1120, and you will be twice that with the 80-400 on the EX3!) , and extremely difficult to track moving objects. So you might find that running the lens at say 320mm instead of the 400 allows you a little more wiggle room in terms of composition.

I will usually shoot this way because you can start out wider at say the 80mm focal length to get more of an wider overall shot, I hesitate to say establishing shot but in the context of wildlife, that "wider" shot might be considered one. Get a tighter shot, and then really rack in for the closest you can get at 2200mm. Dont even breathe on the camera for that one.

I hate zooms so I am not advocating that, I am talking about different shots you can cut together. This way I can cut between the focal lengths, and I'm not stuck with an extreme telephoto, and then switching back to the stock EX3 lens for my other shots. Also unlike stills, loose framing is a no-no. At these extreme focal lengths, I am not interested in zoom functionality per se, but more of a variable prime in terms of the flexibility. And no way to swapping lenses all the time, I can't afford to be that much of a purist. 90% of the time I am shooting solo, and sometimes standing in mud or other nasty conditions. I am not lugging 7 primes around.

But what I have found that is perhaps most important of anything, is that you can pull back wide, watch an event develop, and move in with that sniper scope 2200mm. Lord knows how many shots you would miss try to FIND your subject at that extreme focal length. By the time you have it framed, the moment is gone. I've had that happen which is why I prefer the zooms given the choice. One of my best shot opportunities ever was compromised by having the 500mm prime on my 7D, if I had that 100-400 I would have nailed it. But I didnt have time to switch lenses so I shot it with the 500 and it was just too tight, its still cool, but could have been amazing. As I already mentioned, you don't want to crop these frames in post, so best to get that composition right in camera, and you WILL be forced into some imperfect compositions with a long prime unless you move that camera, which isn't always possible.

Lastly, the rolling shutter effect is really magnified at these really long focal lengths, so you may find that you need to pull the shot a little wider to prevent the jello cam shots. I know that even bumping the camera at 1120mm doesn't just shake the shot, the shot wobbles really nasty. So the rolling shutter is going to be a problem at 2200mm, prepare to be locked off or moving very slowly and precisely.

There, hope that helps!
Cris Daniels 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 09:30 AM.


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