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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 May 2nd, 2010, 07:17 AM   #1
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down converting EX3 or PMW350

Has anyone shot HD (1080i or 720p) with either the EX3 or th PMW350 and downconverted it to SD (720x480)? I'm wondering what the quality of the SD down conversion looks like?

thanks for any replies!
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 07:43 AM   #2
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Many times from 1080i & p to 720x576 from EX3 and last week for the first time from my new PMW-350 as I am in a PAL area. Always great results on DVD. Use Bitvice.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 07:55 AM   #3
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I have used Final Cut Pro 7 to down convert both 1080P and 720P footage for SD for broadcast and it was very high quality. I just used a SD time line and let Final Cut handle all the details.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 09:28 AM   #4
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I sometimes use the Monitor Out BNC to feed a live truck. It doesn't look any better or worse than regular SD in that application. When I do it in post, it oftentimes looks better, but that's because there are so many things you can do to manipulate it in post.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by David Issko View Post
Many times from 1080i & p to 720x576 from EX3 and last week for the first time from my new PMW-350 as I am in a PAL area. Always great results on DVD. Use Bitvice.
David . . . thanks for the quick reply! Is the SD (or even HD for that matter) noticeably better from the PMW-350 as opposed to the EX3?

I'm on the fence between the 2 cameras and am trying to justify to additional cost of the 350 :)
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 09:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Harry Christensen View Post
I have used Final Cut Pro 7 to down convert both 1080P and 720P footage for SD for broadcast and it was very high quality. I just used a SD time line and let Final Cut handle all the details.
Harry . . . is this with the EX3? or 350? Thanks for the help :)
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 10:39 AM   #7
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The 350 produces a better image than the EX3. It is noticeably less noisy, has slightly better highlight handling and is a little better in low light. Will your clients notice?? That's a tough one, maybe they will not, it's not a night and day difference. But if you are striving for the best you can get then the 350 is better and the clean, less noisy images will hold up better in post, plus the massive range of 2/3" lenses can be advantageous.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 03:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ralph McCloud View Post
David . . . thanks for the quick reply! Is the SD (or even HD for that matter) noticeably better from the PMW-350 as opposed to the EX3?

I'm on the fence between the 2 cameras and am trying to justify to additional cost of the 350 :)
Ralph,
Pretty much what Alister posted. Just looking at the camera and holding it is enough to justify the cost difference. (sorry, couldn't help myself.) Seriously, the 2/3 inch sensors/lens really make a difference all round.

My 350 down convert looked great and it was under tough theatre lighting (no back light etc) to boot. That was from 4.2.0 SxS cards. Today I have an edit from the 350 that recorded onto 4.2.2 nanoflash @ 100Mbps. I will have to make a DVD of that video as well. I will post my results in a day or 2.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 03:56 PM   #9
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Alister & David,
Regarding the 350 . . . that's not what my wife wanted to hear :)

Thank you guys so much for your input and helping others on this board. I really appreciate it!
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 05:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
The 350 produces a better image than the EX3.
Ralph,

I disagree with Alister's opinion. In side-byside testing I conducted with an 350 and EX1 (which is electronically identical to the EX3) the EX1 was clearly superior. Was the 350 we used a lemon? I don't know, but at this point I'd never choose a 350 over an EX3 even if they were the same price. I didn't see any reason at NAB to change my opinion.

Keep in mind that not only will the 350 cost more initially, you'll also spend more on accessories. 2/3" lenses cost a lot more equivalent 1/2" lens if you choose to upgrade. The EX3 comes with battery and charger. The 350 does not. You'll need to spend over a thousand dollars on batteries and a charger if you don't already own them. What about your current tripod? Will it handle the weight of a 350 smoothly?

Even if Alister is correct, and he is certainly entitled to his opinion, you have to wonder if the difference is really enough to matter.

Just some things to think about. You owe it to your wife to find a way to compare the two cameras side-by-side for yourself before you spend your hard earned money. Come to your own conclusions, but I think the EX3 is the best bang for you buck you're ever going to find.

I don't want to get into a debate again about the 350 vs. other cameras, so if that's where this thread goes, I won't be participating. However, I think it would be wrong for me to sit by and not speak up when I disagree about which camera is better. Thousands of your dollars are at stake.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 07:02 PM   #11
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Hi Ralph,
I agree with Doug to a large degree I have had the opportunity to compare the two camera's side by side and the 350 produces a better image with less noise in the blacks. This was of prime consideration for me because most of my work is low light and I found the difference not to be enough to warrant the extra price. Unless you know what your looking for you would actual be going to pick the difference about 10 percent. By the time you covert your video to your distribution medium it really makes very little difference as far as picture quality. The the form factor the 350 is much better than the EX3, more of a traditional ENG camera easy to handle but you also get used to handling the EX3.
The real difference is price I have just purchased my second EX3 and negotiating for my third camera with the release of the 350 you can get some real good deals need I say two for the price of one. The SD down conversion on the 350 is easier and quicker and better than the EX3 but once you have worked out your work flow with the EX3 it not a problem, David also put me onto Bitvice great software.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:14 AM   #12
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Alister & David,
Regarding the 350 . . . that's not what my wife wanted to hear :)
If it comes down to budget, then the EX3 is THE best bang for bucks XDCAM camera currently available, followed by EX1r. You may even like to reverse the above if you don't need another lens for the EX3.

So, Mrs McCloud, you can rest assured that either of the 2 wonderful EX cameras will do an admirable job and yes, you can take that holiday or renovate with the saving compared to the PMW-350.

BUT..... I LOVE my new PMW-350!!!!!!
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:39 AM   #13
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I'm curious Doug as to which areas you feel the EX1/EX3 to be superior to the 350?
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 04:29 AM   #14
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Ralph,
I have an EX3. I work for a local TV station and they don't broadcast in HD so if I shoot something that we can use I convert it to SD. Like I said once Final Cut finishes up it looks like very good SD. A little soft but better than the stuff we air that is shot by the reporters. The only way to tell would be if you had the HD source for reference.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 06:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I'm curious Doug as to which areas you feel the EX1/EX3 to be superior to the 350?
It's difficult for me to put what I saw into words, but some words that come to mind include: flat, lifeless, dull, neurtral, boring, ugly. There was just no "wow" factor like I see with the other XDCAM models. These are also the kinds of comments I hear from other people who have used a 350. In our testing we compared the cameras' "standard" settings as well as paint setting that have been touted by people here at DVi. In my opinion, none of them made the 350 look acceptable unless you prefer a neutral look and/or want to do a lot of grading in post.

I'm not saying anyone should take my word for it, all I'm saying is not to assume the 350 is better just because it costs more and looks better on paper. Comparing specs or shooting test charts or table top displays in a studio is not real-world conditions. If someone is going to spend thousands of dollars on a camera, I think there is enough doubt that that they should compare them for themselves and come to their own conclusions. That's the advice I'd give to a friend.
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