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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 28th, 2010, 02:06 PM   #1
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Why should I buy a Sony PMW-EX1R ?

I'm now using a Canon XHA1 and I'm very satisfied with this camcorder. I need another camcorder and I've read some threads/info etc. about Sony PMW-EX1R. Some yars ago I had a Sony VX2000 and was very satisfied with that one too.

I am making documentary DVD's. Many times I'm shooting scenes in low light in the northern part of Scandinavia. But in summer time we have a lot of light the whole day and night. I need a camcorder to use both in winter time(with snow) and in summer time, also in the mountains......

So why should I buy this camcorder and why should I not buy this one?

Leif S
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Old March 28th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #2
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Five years ago I upgraded from dial-up to broadband. Last year I went from tape to digital. I never want to go back to either.

Canon camera: 1/3" chips HDV,

Sony: 1/2" chips, full raster HD, over/under cranking, 24p, 30p (not 24 & 30F)

To name a few.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 03:34 PM   #3
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In your case it might be interesting to compare the minimum operating temperature of both cameras. There is a chance the EX1R can handle lower temperatures (because it's solid state?).
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Old March 28th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #4
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I've had EX1's and 3's down to -36c without any big issues.

The EX1R is best in class when it comes to sensitivity and low light performance, mainly thanks to the larger sensor chips. Big chips have big pixels so the collect more light. A big pixel can also store more electrons before they overflow, so big pixels normally have higher dynamic range. Again the EX1R excels in this area too, so it will handle bright snow scenes very well.

The file based workflow is fast, but you do have to consider that you will need to make copies of your footage before you can use the cards again. This isn't hard, but has to be done. In the long run, with the low cost of hard drives, even when make double copies on two drives for security the media costs end up very reasonable.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #5
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I suggest that you go to your Sony dealer and test out the camera for yourself if that is practical. On this forum we will almost always tell you why you should buy this camera - and all for good reason too. However, the camera may not suit your requirements so although it is a fantastic camera in so many ways, you need first hand experience with it and at least understanding the storage & editing workflow that follows.

It does fit your criteria.

Best wishes
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Old March 28th, 2010, 06:53 PM   #6
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Most arguments for the EX1 are already mentioned.

Just want to say that I upgraded from Canon XHA1 to EX1 two years ago. The Canon was OK but Sony is much better.

Only when at max telephoto, Sony loses in sharpness - I never zoom more than Z80. Otherwise, picture quality is stunning.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 02:40 AM   #7
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HDV is horrible, and the EX1 is essentially free of artifacts except in the most complex scenes, such as an ocean wave breaking on the beach. If you're shooting DV for DVDs, you may not see a huge improvement with the EX1 except for shallower DOF due to the larger sensors and lower noise with gain boosted in lower light.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 05:02 PM   #8
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Sorry Gints but I don't agree with you at all about HDV being horrible, particularly not first generation video from the XH-A1 which I owned along with the EX1. But I would agree the EX1 makes a much better choice for low light and 24/25/30p and tapeless workflow. The XH-A1 produced some stunning footage for me that included breaking waves and motion. The codec holds together nearly as well as the XDCAM 35mbps HQ because it only has to store 1440 across. The XH-A1 is much worse than the EX1 when it comes to CA fringing. The EX1 audio is also much better.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Roper
TI also don't find HDV he codec holds together nearly as well as the XDCAM 35mbps HQ because it only has to store 1440 across.
Ah, more complicated than that. Full 1920x1080 has 33% more pixels than 1440x1080, so it would seem that for similar compression you'd need 33% more bitrate. So compared to HDV (25Mbs), an extra 8Mbs to give about 32.

What that ignores is redundancy within the data - the initial 1440 enable the coder to make a pretty good guess at what the extra are likely to be, and the coder can exploit that. Hence the 1920 aspect of the format doesn't need all the extra bitrate of XDCAM EX when compared to HDV, and the extra can go into lower overall compression - not simply more resolution.

I also don't find HDV "horrible", though there is room for improvement. There is no doubt the 35Mbs codec is more robust. (And 50Mbs better still, and not just because it's 422.)
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Old March 30th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leif Skoglund View Post
So why should I buy this camcorder and why should I not buy this one?
rent it for a day and you will answer that question yourself,
I did the same thing 2 years ago and posted my XH A1 on ebay the next day
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Old March 30th, 2010, 10:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leif Skoglund View Post
I'm now using a Canon XHA1 and I'm very satisfied with this camcorder. I need another camcorder and I've read some threads/info etc. about Sony PMW-EX1R. Some yars ago I had a Sony VX2000 and was very satisfied with that one too.

So why should I buy this camcorder and why should I not buy this one?
If it is coming to real lowlight you will love the EX1R. I owned the Sony VX2100 and loved its lowlight capabilities with low noise. I bought the EX1 and immediatly knew that I would never turn on the VX2100 again. BTW, the Sony VX2100 was much, much better compared to my Canon XM2. I know the XH-A1 and it cannot be compared to the EX1.

Because I really loved my EX1 I've sold it and got the EX1R. Its picture is not really better but its what you get at the moment, so buy it!

Last edited by Markus Klatt; March 30th, 2010 at 01:29 PM.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #12
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EX much nicer than XHA1

The Canon XH-A1 was my first camera. Then I bought an EX-3. I use them both, and usually at the same time. Whenever I go back an forth between cameras I see a HUGE difference between the two-- EX is far superior. I'm planning to get another EX camera in the very near future and sell or retire my XHA1. I also find the tapeless workflow to suit me much better, and backing up onto 2 hard drives is less expensive than keeping 1 copy on tape.
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Old March 30th, 2010, 01:33 PM   #13
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Thanks....

Thanks for the replies on my question here. Your answers has made it easier to decide to buy a Sony EX1R. The low light capabilities are very important. Another main reason is the tapeless workflow. It also seems to have a very good image stabilization. I'm looking forward to get this camcorder.

Leif
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Old March 30th, 2010, 02:23 PM   #14
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Leif,

You will not be disappointed. I moved to an EX3 from an XL H1a and XH A1. I still have my HV20 as my small backup. so as you can see I was heavy into the Canon line. I also used the Sony MCR1 to record to CF as well as tape.

First as has been mentioned, the low light capabilities of the EX line is much better than the Canon's. It really blew me away how much more detail is retained by the EX3 as well as the low noise levels. I can now film a night scene an make it look like a night scene. Also, for theater or dance shows the EX is far superior.

The SxS cards are expensive but now with the new firmware on the older EX lines and the new EX1r SDHC cards are very reliable and give full OC functions. as I mentioned I was tapeless before but the EX seems to be a more reliable system. I had a few problems with the MCR1 unit.

The biggest thing is the picture quality. The EX is a far superior picture. Colors as well as sharpness there is just no comparison. I recently did a long educational conference where I used my EX3 and had an XH A1 shooter do B-roll and pickup shots. Just viewing the footage from the XH A1 it looks very good, but put side to side against the footage I shot, and you see why the EX gets so much praise.

There are a couple of things I did like better on the Canon. I still find the layout of the Canon a little more intuitive. I also like the feel of Canon lens' focus and zoom ring better. I love the fact that the Sony lens operates like a true manual lens but the Canon rings just feel better to me.

And, the biggest thing you have to get use to is the fact that anything for the Sony is just way more expensive. From filters to batteries to wires. As in everything with film, it all costs about 10x what it should.

Also, you might want to check out the link on the bottom plate:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...orthwhile.html

It's a good investment IMHO if for only peace of mind.

Have fun with the new camera,
Garrett
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Old March 30th, 2010, 03:08 PM   #15
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One of the reasons why EX footage looks so much better than HDV is because when you view the 1440 pixels of HDV they are getting stretched to 1920, so any artifacts are also stretched and enlarged making them more noticeable. In addition any post production work that isn't done at 1440x1080 will introduce further artifacts as the image gets stretched and shrunk.
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