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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old June 16th, 2010, 10:18 PM   #1
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EX1 Owners

From those of you who have switched from HDV or a similar 1/3" chip HD format camera to the EX1...

How has it improved your overall business?
Do you market any differently?
Has the switch allowed you to raise your rates and get what you are asking?
Are you getting any business that you previously could not with another camera?

I currently have been shooting with a Z1 for a couple years and recently purchased the Sony Ax2000.I have overall been unhappy with the AX2000 images and have decided to cut my losses, sell and buy what I really want... The EX1. Thanks in advance for hopefully providing me with many more excuses to follow through with my decision!

Chad
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Old June 17th, 2010, 05:21 AM   #2
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For me it made my material more marketable. The local channel I produce for went "HD" a few years back and I made sure I was right there.

But to be really honest, what makes the show isn't just the camera. It's the audio and the editing. Capturing all aspects of what happens out in the field, then turning that into an engaging story.

Think of it like making a wooden rocking chair. The camera is a saw. Just one tool among many that will finally turn out a great-looking, functional keepsake.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 08:57 PM   #3
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I've had my EX-1 for over 2 years now. I'm very happy with it. And in those 2 years, I've only had 1 client want their finished project in full HD. Everyone else needed good old DVDs. Yet a lot of my clients want their projects shot in HD. The last project I bid on required "full 1920x1080 HD", yet also stated the final output was DVD and web.

Dean's right about it being just a tool. It's what you do with that tool that matters. Having seen some of Dean's work, he knows what to do with it. Would love to see more of your work, Dean... hint, hint.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 09:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sims View Post
Would love to see more of your work, Dean... hint, hint.
OK. Here are some episodes online at OC16.

OC16.TV - SHOWS

Hope you like fishing! :-)
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Old June 18th, 2010, 06:53 AM   #5
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Just realized we are neighbors Michael!
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Old June 18th, 2010, 07:54 AM   #6
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I shot with a Z1U for a couple of years before the EX1 was announced.

I ended up buying 2 of them. I immediately sold my Z1U and never looked back.

I don't think I charge any more for my services with the EX1 than I did with the Z1U.

The EX1 is an incredible camera. I own 2 of them, and love them.

It looks like you do weddings Chad, the EX1R would be a great wedding camera.

Great in low light.
It has the pre-record cache so you won't miss the action.
You can switch between overcrank and normal on the EX1R with the push of a button. Very handy!
It produces an amazing image.

In my opinion, a camera, relatively speaking, doesn't allow one to charge more for an end product. What allows you to charge more is the quality of the cinematography and the editing.

Someone who's good, creative, etc. could charge more for a video shot on a VX1000 than someone who's not as creative, etc. shooting on an EX1. That's my 2-cents.

Jim
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Old June 18th, 2010, 08:38 AM   #7
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Hi Dean,
like what I have seen on the website. Couple questions in regards to the EX1.
What picture profile do you use and also where are your zebras set at.
Skin tones look great, oh, also are you using any filters at all.

Cheers
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Old June 18th, 2010, 03:27 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the segments, Dean. Actually, I don't care for fishing at all. Which is strange since I live a couple of miles from the Gulf of Mexico and fishing is a passion around here. But I do enjoy watching your work on fishing and Hawaii.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 07:48 PM   #9
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Simon and Michael... thanks!

Sorry to see how the oil spill is fouling up the coastlines along the Gulf.

I'm keeping it pretty simple regarding profiles. I use a 5500k white balance the whole time.

Matrix: Standard
Color correction: off
Preset white: 5500k
Detail: off
Skin tone detail: off
Gamma: Level, 0; Cine4
Black; Black gamma; Low Key Sat; all are at 0

I recently started turning off the zebras, although I have it set at 80. I'm now using the histogram and to help warn me if I'm about to clip whites. The zebra pattern becomes too distracting if I'm trying to find something flipping around in the white water. And I've learned to see if I'm clipping highlights through the viewfinder, so I'm safe without the zebras.

And I'm not using any filters. I'd like to use a polarizer but that means installing a matte box and having to somehow cut the lens shade off the Sony wide angle adapter.

All the footage is color corrected and graded in post using Apple's Color software. The footage looks somewhat flat without it, as I'm trying to capture as much dynamic range as possible in the field.
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Old June 18th, 2010, 09:25 PM   #10
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Thanks Dean,
How do you find grading with color?
Oh, one last question. What lighting did you use with the sushi kitchen seg?

Thanks
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Old June 19th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #11
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Storing your EX1 clips in file format gives you an incredible opportunity to have your own "stock library". I mean... sometimes I can use my old clips for a new project.
If you use tags and store your files in a clean folder system, its quite easy to find something useful later by using clip browser. Try the same with tapes...

I don't think many of HDV users keep their footage in a digitized storage system which gives the similar possibility.

Even if you don't use your above mentioned stock library, the time saving alone on digitizing and tape rewinds or forwards or search on a tape is huge.

And time is money.
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Old June 19th, 2010, 11:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
Thanks Dean,
How do you find grading with color?
Oh, one last question. What lighting did you use with the sushi kitchen seg?
Grading with Color is relatively fast and very controllable. For me it's faster to make adjustments than using the built-in 3-way color corrector filter in FCP.

I think you're referring to the sushi kitchen segment that was shot at Shelter Lodge? That was the inexpensive tungsten video lights that Richard, the lodge owner, had. Richard is the guy on-camera with Chef Wayne.

Gradients were added in post to give the scene a little more depth.... using Apple's Color software, of course! :-)
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Old June 24th, 2010, 11:50 AM   #13
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I recently sold my 2 Z1s as they hadn't done any useful work for me since switching to EX1. They quickly paid for themselves and were profit generators - until the EX1. Nobody wanted Z1 when they saw what the EX1 could do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Whelan View Post
How has it improved your overall business?
It has brought the quality associated with DSR570s with expensive glass to my market. Clients see the difference, and whilst they don't want to know why, they want to know they can have it on their show. When you're shooting people who don't want to be shot, a 570 is a liability. The EX1 delivers more, and looks like a Z1. The end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Whelan View Post
Do you market any differently?
No change in marketing, other than the videos look nicer. Maybe that's all it takes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Whelan View Post
Has the switch allowed you to raise your rates and get what you are asking?
Yes. Rates went up by 10-15%, but the Z1s were 'written off' over two years in accountancy terms, and the EX1s are too - it means they generate profit sooner. I had considered the 350 series from Sony, but the payback period versus the 'life' of the camera made it difficult to justify. The EX1s are similar to Z1s.

Clients got a daily hike, BUT they saved money by not paying for 'ingest' of tapes. It all worked out nicely for everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Whelan View Post
Are you getting any business that you previously could not with another camera?
For me, that's a difficult one to answer. I am getting 'big thumbs up' from the directors I shoot with because of the kit and the images they know it can produce - because of the overall look of CineGamma, 1/2" DoF and progressive - even if they can't spell it. I am getting similar 'big thumbs up' from producers because they get DSR570 (and better) pictures for Z1 style budgets, even if those budgets are actually a little higher (but nowhere near the 5 crew budgets they were thinking of).

The overall impression I got when switching from 1/3" to 1/2" and CineGamma was that I can now charge a little premium for producing the results that would have been triple the cost.

OTOH, I am shooting jobs as a one-man band that - five years ago - were made as a 7 man crew. I work like a *-ing dog, but my friends are hungry for work. What can I say? Get an EX1, learn to use it well (your own picture profile and in full manual), find amazing repeatable shots you can make with it, and it will do well.

My only concern is that the same could be said for the Panny and JVC cameras too. What they did, what the EX1 does and what the Z1 didn't do was to go beyond the video look, but you as the owner have to make them do that. We the community can help you, but only you will be able to actually do that.
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