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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 July 1st, 2010, 01:09 PM   #1
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Am recommending an EX3 but afraid I'm missing something...

We're looking to streamline some of the production aspects we're currently using. We use a lot of freelance shooters, shooting to tape, that gets captured and dumped into the Avid system. We're running Media Composer to edit.

One thing we want to do is more short form, news style stories with in-house crew. We want to shoot in the field, then string together rough cuts, and turn over to our senior editor to finish.

From my research I think the EX3 would be great for that. A tapeless workflow where I could pop out the card and stick in a Mac Book Pro to do the rough cuts on while on the plane, in the hotel room etc.

So basically I'm looking at an EX3, a Mac Book Pro running Media Composer, A Nanoflash for green screen work and utlra critical shooting (though most field shoots would be to SxS card), along with a wireless mic kit etc.

We'd also get card readers for the editing suites, and maybe the Deck, but not sure about that.

I've spent a lot of time researching cameras and workflows and I've ordered the sample footage disk from vortex to make sure everything will play nice in the Avid. I'm thinking of running 8gig cards and archiving to dvd.

So am I missing something (something big, not like filters or on camera lights) but like a major piece of the puzzle.

I can't help thinking I'm forgetting something or are these cameras that much of a game changer?
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Old July 1st, 2010, 02:59 PM   #2
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Everything is fine (with the EX3)....it's a totally brilliant workflow and a superb camera. I LOVE it as much as the day I got it almost 2 years ago.

Only problem with your intended workflow is that you're now (alas) restricted, in the field at least, to the only MBP that offers the Express Card 34 slot left in Apple's lineup, the 17 inch. Big thing to lug around on planes - and I used to live on them, constantly travelling globally for many years so I know. That's assuming you want it to be a super easy/seamlessly wonderful like my workflow (luckily I got one of the last 15 inch MBPs with this slot 2 years ago....).

There are other solutions....

I guess the worst that can happen is Apple delete that 17 inch model (or just it's "ugly" Express Card 34 slot) and then you'll need to start thinking about KxS etc. approaches for field off-loading (I use KxS, they work well), just so you can slot the SDHC cards from the adapters into the (newer) MBPs "improved/more beautiful/smaller" interface slots for SDHC (....let's not go there....we've discussed this to death on here and everywhere else....).

I love 8GB SXS cards as I burn the BPAVs onto DVD-DL, very simple and saves fiddling about with files off larger cards (and so risking error in a critical part of the workflow when out in the field/in the bar etc.).

Solid state is King - just make sure you double (or like me triple) back-up everything! Also, the ability to show the clients the footage just after capture in the field on a decent MBP screen is a game changer/helps a lot with what I do (Corporate).

If it helps, this is my take on the EX3 (mostly written some time ago!)

http://www.shootingimage.co.uk/Sony%...EX3Review.html
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 01:48 AM   #3
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You could run MC on a laptop PC with an express card slot.

The EX3 is heavier than most handy cams so you'll need a suitable tripod.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 06:55 AM   #4
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Just suggestions.

EX1? That's what was suggested to me when I was buying a camera to do news\docs. The lighter weight vs a bigger cam has been a godsend since I'm solo. If you use two person field teams, then the EX3 makes more sense. Solo shooters\journalists who travel a lot will probably be happier with the smaller cam. Then again, the EX3 is probably more similar to what your shooters have been using.

I'm running and EX1R, plus PC Avid, and it flies.

A wireless mic setup for doc work is an absolute must, especially for a solo shooter. A good shotgun mic used wirelessly is also very handy, but this technique might not be so easy with the EX3.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 07:06 AM   #5
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Awesome! Thanks for the input!
I wasn't aware of the card slot limitations on the MBP so I'll look at PC versions. And I'll look at the other card options as well.

Once again, this forum proves how invaluable it is.

Andy, that was a great write up...

Last edited by Reid Bailey; July 2nd, 2010 at 07:36 AM. Reason: Forgot something
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 11:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Swinn View Post
EX1? That's what was suggested to me when I was buying a camera to do news\docs. The lighter weight vs a bigger cam has been a godsend since I'm solo.
Ergonomically, I'd go for an EX3 every day. It may be a bit bigger than an EX1 but being able to brace against the shoulder makes it easier to handle handheld. It's also possible to use it with pro style batteries which bring the centre of gravity back further towards the shoulder, and are a big plus if you're using on-camera accessories such as a camera light or radio mic receivers etc.

You may also find it worth looking at the JVC cameras, especially the HM700, which has far and away the best ergonomics in this price/size range. Same codec as the EX (optimised for FCP) but uses SDHC cards natively.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 11:53 PM   #7
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You won't need a Nanoflash for green screen work. Media off the SxS cards can provide imaging that will end up seamless in the composite. I've done a lot of this and getting excellent edges has never been a problem.

What you will want to invest in is a green screen from EEFX.com. It lights very evenly and keys nicely. You'll also want to get Primatte for After Effects.

What counts in green screen is careful lighting, precise exposure of the green screen, and good software.
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