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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 22nd, 2010, 07:43 PM   #1
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Thinking of switching to EX cams

I'm debating switching to the EX format from P2. There's nothing wrong with P2, this has nothing to do with a preference for either format. Rather, it has to do with the camera's weight: I own an HPX500 now, and after using an EX3 for a few days, I fell in love with the reduced weight (I'm almost 50!). Plus, the picture quality and the viewfinder is outstanding. I do not want to go to 1/3" chips, CMOS or not.

If I do decide to switch, I will probably go with used equipment, so I'd go for an EX1 instead of the upgraded model. As such, I couldn't find info on the Sony website for the original EX1
So, without reading through years' worth of postings here, I'd just like to know:
What are the differences between the EX1 and EX3? Don't they have the same CMOS chips? How about output connections?
.
Has anyone else switched from P2 to EX? 2/3" chip to 1/2" chip cams?
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 08:33 PM   #2
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Review of the EX-1:
ProVideo Coalition.com: Camera Log by Adam Wilt | Founder | Pro Cameras, HDV Camera, HD Camera, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, RED, Video Camera Reviews

Comparison between EX-1 and EX-1R
XDCAM-USER.com The Sony EX1R. An EX1 only quite a bit better.

Off the top of my head the improvements are:
Fixed the power button that was notorious for leaving camera ON
Redesign of handgrip
Cache recording
S&Q
ATW
HDMI out
SD recording
Soft start/stop
Upgraded Viewfinder
Redesigned camera mount

Last edited by Les Wilson; July 23rd, 2010 at 04:26 AM.
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Old July 22nd, 2010, 08:43 PM   #3
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You might find these videos helpful in your decision making.

Vortex Media: VIDEO & PHOTO Tools and Training

What's So Great about XDCAM EX?

If you fell in love with the EX3, you might be disappointed by the ergonomics and viewfinder of the EX1R or, even worse, the original EX1. Better test drive them before buying.
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Sony FS7, F55, and XDCAM training videos, field guides, and other production tools
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 04:11 AM   #4
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Biggest difference in my limited experience is the viewfinder. On the EX3, as you've seen, it's very very good, but on the EX1 it's appalling (maybe that's a bit strong, but certainly nowhere near as good as the EX3).
Steve
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 04:27 AM   #5
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I remembered this two part briefing on the whole line up from Sony. I am pretty sure the EX1 vs EX1R was in part 1 here:
Updated & New: Sony XDCAM & NXCAM, Part 1 - 3.17.10 on Vimeo
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 05:37 AM   #6
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I think the EX1R also brought in a change where you can "copy all clips" from one card to the other in camera, rather than just one clip at a time with the EX1. So maybe useful if you shot on SxS, and want to make an SDHC copy, or just want to make a copy to give to producer, say, whilst keeping the original elsewhere.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 10:31 AM   #7
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Before I switched over from P2 to XDCAM EX, I'd look at my workflow. Good paths for both but they are different and have gotchas in terms of third part software, your acquisition methods, your intermediate codecs, etc. Need to evaluate the entire work environment not just the camera.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 11:56 AM   #8
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Further to Marc's comments, evaluating the impact on your market and your potential clientele.

Your present camera offers a lot of stuff the EX3 does not. Frankly I am having a lot of trouble figuring out why you would be willing to ditch your camera for an EX3. Weight, in my books, wouldn't be enough to ditch what you presently operate with.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 07:28 PM   #9
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I agree, this isn't a decision I'll just jump into. That's why I'm asking the question on this forum. Maybe others have tried it.
I like the EX3 because it shoots great video, the viewfinder is the best I've ever used - far beyond the 500's SD finder. The weight is a pleasure to work with.
I worked with the EX3 on a shoot at a railcar train depot, all day in 90+ heat. I tell you, the weight did make a big difference to me. After hours of working and sweating, I still was eager to try new camera angles, seeing what I could do with the camera.

Anyway, I came away mightily impressed with the EX3. It was so easy to use. One of the best cameras I've worked with in my 25 years as a videographer. The person who owns the camera sold his HDX900 to buy 2 EX3s and has no regrets.

But like I said, I'm thinking about it.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 07:40 PM   #10
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The way I have my EX3 rigged (DM shoulder brace and V-lock battery), it weighs 14.5 pounds. It seems heavier to me than my DSR 500 did, but I think that's because even with the shoulder brace and full-sized battery, the camera is still front heavy. I feel like I've got Popeye arms after a short period of handheld shooting. But it makes such pictures, and I love not having to mess with tape.
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Old July 23rd, 2010, 08:28 PM   #11
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I have both the EX3 and EX1....and I must say I like the EX3 quite a bit better.

The EX3 viewfinder is second to none in its class....the EX1's doesn't compare. There are a bunch of other minor differences between the two cameras and in my opinion the EX3 wins everytime.

One of the biggest differences is the ability to swap lenses on the EX3...you can't do that with the EX1.

If it is in the budget go for the EX3!
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Old July 24th, 2010, 04:17 AM   #12
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Also, considering it only costs about 2k, the wide angle lens for the EX3 is a really good bit of kit. Makes the camera quite front heavy though.
Steve
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Old July 24th, 2010, 06:14 AM   #13
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Have you considered the PDW320, Glen? I know it's bringing the weight back up again, but it does give real shoulder mount ergonomics, and apparently is very frugal with battery power - you can get away with a much smaller, lighter battery than something like the HPX500.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 08:17 AM   #14
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Actually, I know very little about the PDW320. If my local video products dealer has one, I'll have to check it out.
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Old July 24th, 2010, 09:07 AM   #15
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Glen,

Do you shoot tripod or handheld most of the time?

If tripod, then maybe the EX-1 with a tripod mounted monitor like the Small HD?

I have only held the EX-3 once but its semi-shoulder design does not seem like the best long term hand holding type of camera without mods.

I use the HPX-500 and an EX-1 and they both are excellent cameras. Overall, I find I am drawn to the HPX-500's image over the EX-1 (in 720p). The EX-1 has a really nice (adjustable) image and at 1080p it delivers more than the HPX-500 imho. It is small and I have used it for jobs where I scooted around easily which would have been more difficult with the HPX-500. It is a brick to handhold though.

No doubt, the EX-1 is the best value in HD imaging.

I thought about switching to an all Sony lineup but I am staying put. The PMW-350 is a little too much for this age of IPhone video for me to invest. Quite honestly I am waiting to see if the Scarlet camera ever surfaces as a small 2/3" alternative. If it is the real deal then I might sell it all for those.

If you can get two cameras (EX-1 &3) with the sale of the HPX-500 and the lens then it would be a good trade. If you need the light weight then let that be your main reason. Workflow is tapeless. Neither need a cray computer to edit with.

Good luck with your decision.
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