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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old July 4th, 2010, 03:25 AM   #1
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EX1 and Z7 Nanoflash

Just would like to ask you experts out there is the nano worth investing in for these 2 cameras

I use the Z7 for wildlife video and have a sigma 150- 500mm lens for close ups, And I have been lucky enough to have been filming Peregrines and just wondered if the nano would improve things, not that there is anything wrong with the quaitiy of the footage

And the EX1 i do cloudscapes and wide views of the lovely countryside were i live and also wildlife,
Will the nano inprove the picture on both these cameras, I know that new cameras are around the corner and would expect them to record at 50mbs but going by the new canons are very pricey and i would like to keep these cameras a few more years if the nano would extend there life

Any advice would be most helpful

Many thanks
Ian
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Old July 4th, 2010, 05:34 AM   #2
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Well, I can only comment on the EX1, which is the only camera of the two you mention which I have. I now use nothing but the nanoFlash, 1920x1080 30p at 100 Mbps, Long GOP, and I'll NEVER go back to the EX1 35 Mbps 4:2:0 output again because of the superlative results produced by the nano files! The only variation I'm considering at the moment is all the same, except 60i for better renditions with action or fast pan shots.

The major reason I'm such an over the top enthusiast for the nano is plain, straightforward and simple - the substantial improvement re discernable artifacts (I'd say misquito noise, but I can't spell it!), and particularly the substantial reduction or absence of interline twitter with very fine detail or sharp edged objects which the EX1 picks up in such stunning detail! Since I and most of my customers watch my productions on screens from 50 to 140 inch diagonal, this is of utmost importance to us all. If your customers are watching only on 2 1/2 inch cell phones, then forgetaboutit!

That's it in a nutshell - the product, the results, and the superb and so timely service and responsiveness of the principals and tech staff of nano's company, Convergent Designs. Please, please see the Convergent Designs Forum on the DVI Network for a full up to date presentation of all the great pluses, in addition to the warts!

MY ONLY CAVEAT: Please, please go to the Convergent Designs site and be certain that your NLE will handle the nano files - for instance, from my own experience, and as confirmed at CDs site, if you're on a PC, you can edit very nicely with Premiere CS4 with the Main Concept Plug-in and with Sony Vegas Pro 8 straight out of the box. Vegas Pro 9, however, is reported to show a few green frames in the editor with the beginning of each clip. And Premiere CS5 is still an abomination - it handles nano's video files soooooo beautifully (and boy, talk about speed with the right PC and video card - my personal experience), but the audio, even with Adobe's first update, is still garbage, with one of two stereo audio tracks lagging the other - but that's Adobe for you, even though according to the prinicipals at Convergent Designs, Adobe has a couple of nanos in hand for at least some weeks.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 06:21 AM   #3
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And the improvement in the Z7 should be even more obvious as it's starting with a much poorer codec (hdv vs XDCam).
The thing that the Z7 doesn't do which would rule it out for me for bird filming is slow motion. Some sort of slomo even at just 60fps would be number one priority for me. EX1 can do it, but fixed lens of course, that's why a lot of wild guys get the EX3 and Nikon adapter, with or without Nanoflash.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 06:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
And the improvement in the Z7 should be even more obvious as it's starting with a much poorer codec (hdv vs XDCam).
The thing that the Z7 doesn't do which would rule it out for me for bird filming is slow motion. Some sort of slomo even at just 60fps would be number one priority for me. EX1 can do it, but fixed lens of course, that's why a lot of wild guys get the EX3 and Nikon adapter, with or without Nanoflash.
Steve
The Z7 might not be capable of slowmo, but the nanoFlash is ....

Plus, I agree that the nanoFlash improvement potential can be greater with the Z7.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 06:37 AM   #5
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The Nanoflash can only do slomo if your camera will do a 720/60P mode. The Z7 is only 1080 AFAIK.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 06:47 AM   #6
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I stand corrected!
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Old July 4th, 2010, 07:37 AM   #7
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Hi Thanks

William, Steve, Piotr for your comments

William I edit with the Casablanca S2000 which seems to manage all formats up to now, Steve my friend has the EX3 and Iam not really a fan of the form factor ( like the canon XL cameras) and for carrying its not that light compared to the Z7 which gives very good results to my eye+ I have all the kit for this camera
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Old July 4th, 2010, 07:54 AM   #8
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The other downside to the EX3 is it's 1/2" chips which give less telephoto power than the z7, so you need to carry bigger heavier lenses. It really is just the lack of slomo that would bother me.
As for form factor I assume that everything you shoot is tripod based so I wouldn't have thought that would be a problem?
It is a lot of money though.
If you were interested in a new camera the JVC HM700 might be a contender. CCDs so no skew issues, 720/60P, XDCam codec.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 08:54 AM   #9
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Thanks again Steve

But what i was hopeing was to be able to film at a higher bitrate with the Z7 hopefully to fill the criteria that broadcast requires and i find the Z7 footage to my liking even compared to the EX1 and if it is good enough for Simon King it must be good enough for me!!!!!!
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Old July 4th, 2010, 09:10 AM   #10
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It still won't fulfill BBC HD requirements as they stipulate 1/2" or bigger chips.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 11:57 AM   #11
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Ian you are in a tricky spot in terms of moving forward with equipment acquisition. I think you see now, if you want broadcast acceptable material you would have to move to the EX1 with a nanoFlash.

If you don't have any paying gigs right now to justify the nanoFlash I am not sure I would jump at it right now and it is not because the nanoFlash isn't good. It is very good and is accepted by broadcast outlets.

Your problem is you will probably be upgrading your Z7 in the next year or I would in your shoes.

4:2:2 50 Mbit will be the new normal before long in prosumer cameras and 2/3's inch chips will be trickling down to the prosumer level as well. There have been indications of this from many quarters including high ranking Panasonic executives. 1/2" CMOS chips will become very common. It is with this thinking that you will probably want to consider a new camera to replace what seems to be your present workhorse.

If you want to go Broadcast you are going to have to let go of the 1/3 chip camera as being acceptable.

I have hung onto my Z1 but have it as a backup and a rental camera. Should I sell it? Yes. Do I use it? Almost never as I run with the maxim that most of what I shoot I want to be able to sell to a broadcast market should the opportunity arise.

If you can't shoot wildlife with an EX1 due to the weight, form factor or lens restrictions then maybe you should look at other cameras other than Sony.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #12
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I'm not sure about the 1/3" limit staying. Alan Roberts at the Beeb was very impressed by the new Canon XF cameras and thinks the Beeb should give it serious consideration.
Like him, I don't see the 1/3" chip size being a big problem in a lot of genres.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #13
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It's a problem though if you are selling your material to broadcast outlets that require 4:2:2, 50 Mbit minimum on either 1/2" or most likely 2/3" image rasters inside the camera. The original poster's wish is to sell to Broadcast. 1/3" cameras are used a lot in "reality" TV and have been but we have all witnessed how the production values in many in this genre have been increasing dramatically over the past couple of years.

Wildlife photography can fetch big bucks but unless you have a wickedly good resume and/or an established relationship with a broadcast outlet or absolutely fabulous and unique material they will not cut you slack when it comes to their minimum broadcast requirements.

It's a business decision... If a shooter feels there is a good chance that they will be breaking into the broadcast market, it is seriously worth considering to up the ante in your gear.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 02:20 PM   #14
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For the BBC at least the chances of getting any wildlife on TV that has not been commissioned is very slim. And yet things that have been commissioned tend to come with kit anyway (ie Varicam).
This is why I sold my Varicam - all the jobs I was doing for BBC and others tended to be with kit (either owned by the company or hired in from facilities), so they were not using my gear and it was just sitting there depreciating. I started filming wildlife in Super 16 film days when you bought your camera and it lasted for ever, but times have changed!
So unless you're going to ante up and buy a Varicam type kit (which'll set you back 80k or so for a 2 lens kit) then you're not going to have material accepted for programmes like Planet Earth, Life, and the Natural World strand. What you're left with is the lower echelon programmes like Springwatch which will accept lesser tech spec material, and for these uses I don't think there wouldn't be much differenciation between a Z7 and an EX3.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 02:22 PM   #15
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Thanks everybody for your replays

But surely the Z7 with nano at say 100mbs what would be wrong with that!!, The new canon records at 50mbs and costs to much in my opinion, I love the Ex1 but watching both footage on a 42in panny can't see that much difference or is it me i don't know, but comming back to the old argument if content is good does it matter wether its 1/3 1/2 2/3
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