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Old April 4th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #1
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EX1 speed, picture sharpness, stabilisation, AF questions

Hello,

I would like ask couple of things about the EX1, before I buy one.

Currently i have a Sony HC5 HDV handycam, but I need a new camera with better real resolution. I am usually making movies about car shows, making interview, making short videos about the my family events, etc. I have seen tons of vimeo / youtube ex1 video samples, but these are usually made by pros, who use tripod, manual settings, etc. In these evens I don't have time for such things.

I usuallly have no time for set the correct settings, so If I don't want to miss an importand happening, like a car is moving away from the parking place, a children starts running, etc,
then I have to use the camera as a Point and shoot device.

It doesn't mean I don't like manual settings or find the right settings, but I have only a couple of minutes before the events starts, to find the right settings for the video, then I should use that settings for the whole event.

I am using the camera as a 'document everything device', so not like others, like 10 seconds from one angle, the stop, 10 seconds from another angle. I am not making material for a 5 minute 'look kids, it was a car event, wow' report, I make some materials about all the objects (cars, people, area of the event, etc).

A good example are the car shows, where there are 500+ cars, and there is only 2-4 hours to make some 10-30 seconds of video of every cars, so i usually don't stop the camera, but start filming from the front size, then walk around the car, some seconds from behind, etc. As I filming the cars, several cars comes to the parking place, other cars immediately leave, so I should constantly use the cam. No time for tripod, or manual setting, this is not a 'lazy' type of making video.

As you can see most of the time I should use auto or minimal manual setting, autofocus, no shoulder stabilization tool, and without tripod.

But in some case I make interviews with people, so I can use tripod, manual settings, etc.

To sum it up - I need a camera with:

- mindblowing sharpness and real resoultion - like the ex1 (vdslr like resoultion, where the video is 1920x1080, but the real resoltion is about 700x600 is not ok for me)

- maximum 1 seconds 'turn on' time

- maximum 1 - 1,5 seconds of autofocus time (I can accept focus hunting)

- very good stabilisation - OIS is ok, active ois is not necessary

- very good low light picture

So here are my problems - lots of forum discussion in the net and vimeo / youtube comments says the following - are these true ?

- to get the maximum sharpness, lots of things should be changed in manual mode - I have no time for this usually

- there is a very confusing test at slashcam: Camcorder test charts comparison

Select Sony PWM-EX1 on the left, and Panasonic SD707 on the right. Now move your mouse to the flower on the top left (top of the robot). Why is a cheaper sd707 has sharper image that a 6000+ usd ex1 ?

- turn on time is too high (I haven't read real numbers, like 5 seconds, but some notes that it is not as fast as a handycam)

- autofocus is useless, so it takes like 4-5 seconds for the AF to find the correct AF (not acceptable by me)

- there is almost no stabilisation in the EX1, so I want to walk, i should buy a glidecam

- the low light quality - i mean the noise + resoultion in low light - is much better in the canon 5d mk2 / 7d vdslr photo cameras.

At the moment as I see if I want fast turn on time, fast AF, good stabilization, then I need to buy a Sony CX550. But If I want quality with non moving objects and static focus then I need the EX1.

Please help me to find answers for my questions.

Thank you.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #2
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I have just moved up from the Z1U to the EX1.

A lot of my work involves awkward positions (hanging from a scaffold over water tanks, reaching under moving mechanical devices, etc) which preclude two hands on the camera.

When in those situations, I will grab the Z1U. Its full auto setting is extremely good. The auto focus is quick and the iris settings in auto are reliable so long as there is not a strong backlighting situation.

A lot of people don't like the auto focus of the the EX1, or using auto focus of any kind for that matter. What I have found is that the manual focus mode and using the push to auto focus button is not bad, but not nearly as quick as the Z1U.

From your description, I think you may be happier with something along the lines of a Z1U.... maybe the Z7 or Z5.... or the new NX.

Regardless of the camera, the best and most important factor in your image acquisition is practice, practice, practice. Make that camera be as familiar to you as you can. It's not enough to just know the controls and what they do.... you have to use them. You'll be surprised at how much better you become with a camera if you just mess around with it for a couple of hours. If the auto focus isn't fast enough for you, then the only alternative is to learn how to do it faster manually
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Old April 4th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #3
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Short Summary:

The EX1 is not a good camera for you. Read further for more details:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
To sum it up - I need a camera with:

- mindblowing sharpness and real resoultion - like the ex1 (vdslr like resoultion, where the video is 1920x1080, but the real resoltion is about 700x600 is not ok for me)
Ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
- maximum 1 seconds 'turn on' time
EX1 is 5-8 seconds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
- maximum 1 - 1,5 seconds of autofocus time (I can accept focus hunting)
EX1 is not even close to this fast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
- very good stabilisation - OIS is ok, active ois is not necessary
I've rarely used the OIS. But doesn't sound like it would be good enough for you anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
- very good low light picture
I don't know what "low light" means. To some, it means susnset. To others it means a scene lit by a candle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
So here are my problems - lots of forum discussion in the net and vimeo / youtube comments says the following - are these true ?
Let's see..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
- to get the maximum sharpness, lots of things should be changed in manual mode - I have no time for this usually
EX1 is a very sharp camera. Even when it's not maximally sharp, it's sharper than most other cameras that try to compete with it. But if you don't want to focus the camera, then don't buy an EX1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
Select Sony PWM-EX1 on the left, and Panasonic SD707 on the right. Now move your mouse to the flower on the top left (top of the robot). Why is a cheaper sd707 has sharper image that a 6000+ usd ex1 ?
I don't know. Maybe the camera was faulty. Or maybe the operator was incompetent. Or maybe they didn't want to take the time to focus the camera. Who can say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
- turn on time is too high (I haven't read real numbers, like 5 seconds, but some notes that it is not as fast as a handycam)
Correct, it's not as fast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
- autofocus is useless, so it takes like 4-5 seconds for the AF to find the correct AF (not acceptable by me)
Then don't buy an EX1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
- there is almost no stabilisation in the EX1, so I want to walk, i should buy a glidecam
True with nearly any camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
- the low light quality - i mean the noise + resoultion in low light - is much better in the canon 5d mk2 / 7d vdslr photo cameras.
I have zero idea what this means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tans Mark View Post
At the moment as I see if I want fast turn on time, fast AF, good stabilization, then I need to buy a Sony CX550. But If I want quality with non moving objects and static focus then I need the EX1.
The EX1 can focus nicely. It can do well being moved. But you cannot use it like a cheap point and shoot, and that seems to be what you want. So save yourself a bunch of money and time, and buy your point and shoot.

Just for fun, check out these videos:

Cobra Teaser By Perrone Ford On ExposureRoom

Camaro Sequence on the Fig Rig By Perrone Ford On ExposureRoom


Best of luck with your choice.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 03:25 PM   #4
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Dear Marty Baggen, Perrone Ford

Thank you. So it seems I should think about ax2000e or cx550ve. Bye bye EX1.
Tans Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2010, 09:26 PM   #5
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The EX1 is not for you. I would never use autofocus on the EX1, it is just too slow. I always use full manual focus and peaking.

Startup time (from off to on and ready to shoot) is slow. I have never timed it, but I would guess it is somewhere between 5 and 10 seconds. It is also slow to switch between shooting mode and review mode.

Plus the EX1 is heavy and a tad awkard to hold, especially for long sessions. I use a figrig to enhance my handheld shots and sometimes a 'fishpole' stabilizer (with the figrig).

Another area where the EX1 is 'slow' is auto white balance. The camera can be slow to change white balance when the light source changes, plus the WB can drift (such as on a sunny day with intermittant clouds).

The EX1 works best as a fully manual camera. In that mode it excels.
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