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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old August 29th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #31
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Honestly, I just can't see buying a DSLR for video at the moment given the large chip video cameras are on the way. I think between IBC and NAB Sony and Panasonic are going to fill the void. We're already seeing it. The flaws such as ergonomics and audio will be major improved in those models.

I just can't see anyone recommending "buy DSLR now" as sound business advice. Sorry if I'm being redundant but I keep seeing posts saying implying people should buy one in addition to the EX. Against that onslaught I'm going to repeat, large chip video style cameras are on the way. The first round ALREADY announced by Sony and Panasonic.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #32
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Craig, I see your sentiments mirrored by a number of shooters, and I guess it really does make a statement more about background than anything else.

If you are an event shooter, or ENG, these cameras are not aimed at you. For those shooting narrative, neither the size/layout of the camera, nor it's audio is any big deal. The camera never lives in your hand anyway, you're already used to recording sync sound.

Calling these "flaws" is like saying a pickup truck that doesn't go 200mph is flawed. It's not the purpose or target for the product. And yes, large sensor cameras are coming. But if you can't see that a $1500 DLSR and a $6000 large chip video camera are vastly different markets, I don't know what else can be said.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 11:37 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
If you are an event shooter, or ENG, these cameras are not aimed at you. For those shooting narrative, neither the size/layout of the camera, nor it's audio is any big deal. The camera never lives in your hand anyway, you're already used to recording sync sound.
Your arguments do reming me of the early days of Panasonic 8GB P2 cards with their short record times. Some would claim the frequent card changes were no worse than frequent film changes. People didn't settle for that. Some people even bought EX cameras with longer record times for narrative work.

It's a lot of things wrong for narrative work as well. It ranges from monitoring both internal and external to the heavily compressed AVCHD codec to rolling shutter issues (people shoot action movies too). And many dramatic films certainly have scenes in which there's a "hand held" look. There's going to be improvements in all these areas in the next few months IMHO.

There's no reason to accept limitations especially when they're about to be improved upon within a very few months. There will likely be indy film makers and doc producers flocking to the new cameras as they arrive. Sometimes, guerilla film makers don't have a lot of time to set shots and conveniences (improvements) expedite workflow.

A year ago, when there was not apparent changes on the horizon it was an easier decision given the options available. The options are changing and announcements are already being made by manufacturers.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #34
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I tend to agree with Craig now. If you don't specifically need a SDOF setup or a very wide lens or very good low light camera. I would wait until the new crop comes out.

However they are not here yet. And these DSLRs are very cheap even the 5DmkII is really very cheap. And they do things my EX1R and EX3 don't do. So if you need those capabilities for your clients go ahead.

I was shooting in a train this week, I had to shoot food prep in the very cramped galley (kitchen). So I used a 16mm lens on my 5DmkII and it was fantastic. I could get the whole kitchen and serving staff, chef all in one shot. I could do closeups of carafes with ice water with the background just slightly OOF with the staff in the back working away. I could never have got those shots with my EXcams. I was also shooting in the dining car, very cramped, but the wide angle made the car look like it does to our eyes. I love getting wide angle shots with shallow DOF, it puts the emphasis on your chosen subject, this is pretty much impossible with small chip cameras. The other thing is the good glass with beautiful OOF and sundogs (instead of the 5 sided cheap lens ones in most video cams including the EXcams) because of the round diaphragm.

Later when I rode down the "notch" out on the gantry in the front of the engine. I used my EX3 on my shoulder and hand held by the handle hanging off the side of the train. I could not have got those shots easily with the 5DmkII or 7D.

There was also a dedication ceremony at a stop in the notch with a 1/2 hr speech, I shot that with the EX3 with a sound person with a shotgun on a pole and a lav on the principal speaker, that of course called for the EX3 with great sound features.

So there will be many new fantastic tools coming, but if you need it now rent or buy what your clients (your own creative ascetics) dictate. It is all great stuff and it will only get better. I hope!
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Old August 29th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #35
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Some good points here certainly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Your arguments do reming me of the early days of Panasonic 8GB P2 cards with their short record times. Some would claim the frequent card changes were no worse than frequent film changes. People didn't settle for that. Some people even bought EX cameras with longer record times for narrative work.
I was one of those. But the problem was that the cards were originally 4GB, and would only record 4 minutes of 1080p which for narrative work would have likely been 1 take or perhaps 2. Nothing film like about that! Unless you were buying ends... MANY people settled for it, and P2 absolutely took off. But it wasn't the indies that were buying them. it was broadcast. Because their cameras held 5 cards at a time, and they needed 10 minute interviews at 720p. I bought an EX camera, but not for longer record times, I bought it because it was the best camera at the price. Best for me that is.


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Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
It's a lot of things wrong for narrative work as well. It ranges from monitoring both internal and external to the heavily compressed AVCHD codec to rolling shutter issues (people shoot action movies too). And many dramatic films certainly have scenes in which there's a "hand held" look. There's going to be improvements in all these areas in the next few months IMHO.
Monitoring is a significant issue. That I will grant you. It's ok on the 7D. The others, not so much. The codec isn't great. But it's "good enough". It's at least as good as the XDCam35 in the EX series. Better in some cases. Rolling shutter isn't going to be fixed any time soon at these price points. A hand-held "look" is vastly different from being a hand-held camera. Unless you think someone is going to take an Arricam or a Millineum and run around with it in their arms...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
There's no reason to accept limitations especially when they're about to be improved upon within a very few months. There will likely be indy film makers and doc producers flocking to the new cameras as they arrive. Sometimes, guerilla film makers don't have a lot of time to set shots and conveniences (improvements) expedite workflow.
As I see it, the new cameras fix two major things:

1. They will record sound in camera
2. They will give better monitoring.

The codecs appear to be the same, the sensors are the same, etc. Is that worth the jump from my $800 T2i to a $6k-$8k solution? Just to get audio that's worse than (or maybe equal) if I use my sync sound now? Or to get a flip-out monitor? Maybe it is for some.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
A year ago, when there was not apparent changes on the horizon it was an easier decision given the options available. The options are changing and announcements are already being made by manufacturers.
I guess it's a question of use and value to me. The larger cameras aren't bringing much to the game that I can see, and at a LOT higher price point. If we were talking about $3k cameras, it would be one thing. But we're talking about camera's costing nearly 8-10x the money. I'd be far more interested in a larger body, big sensor camera if they did solve the global shutter problem, improved the codec, etc. But I don't see that happening for a good long while.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 12:16 PM   #36
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Even the ability to hook a NanoFlash will be major for those who need a better codec. I think the improvements will go beyond audio in, monitoring, ergonomics in the $6k price range. If that were the case the cameras wouldn't compete with the current DSLRs and I think the manufacturers know this.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Even the ability to hook a NanoFlash will be major for those who need a better codec.
I completely agree. But who are those buyers? Right now, you're looking at a market segment who is complaining that the 7D is "expensive" in many cases, which is why the 550D is such a hit. How many of those buyers are going to move to a $6k camera, and then put a $3k recorder on it? I am not saying there aren't buyer's who'd do that. I'm just saying that we are talking about a VERY different market segment. People willing to drop $10k on a camera and recorder without glass are not the people lining up for the 550D and 7D in most instances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
I think the improvements will go beyond audio in, monitoring, ergonomics in the $6k price range. If that were the case the cameras wouldn't compete with the current DSLRs and I think the manufacturers know this.
Well, I've looked at the specs for the Panasonic offering and I can't see anything else it's adding. Maybe the Sony will, or maybe you've seen something I haven't.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 01:42 PM   #38
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Isn't the AF100 supposed to fix the ugly stuff like noise & banding, moire and so on?

I'm really considering what many people suggested, keeping both. In the end, the EX1 is a camera that can surely be milked for money for many years to come, besides me deciding to shoot my own stuff with DSLR.

With the money made I can start buying more stuff for my T2i and that's it.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #39
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Isn't the AF100 supposed to fix the ugly stuff like noise & banding, moire and so on?
Moire has been a problem in recorded images since we started recording images. I don't know how you "fix" something that is following the laws of physics. Noise is an issue more with light, or the lack of it, than anything else.

But hey, I'm not a physicist, and I abandoned my Mech Eng. major a long time ago. I'm sure Panasonic has some smart people working for the company. Maybe they'll succeed where others have failed.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #40
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But it can be reduced... nobody's talking about moire in the EX1! Or noise banding.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 02:29 PM   #41
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But it can be reduced... nobody's talking about moire in the EX1! Or noise banding.
It's a WHOLE lot easier to do when you know what lens is going to be put on the camera. Just like fixing CA, pincushion, and barrel distortion. When you know what the lens is going to give you at every aperture and focal length, you can do a lot in software.
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Old August 29th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #42
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I am curious about those here who mix and match your EX cameras with DSLR's. When you are matching the colors on the cameras do you eyeball it or simply set the cameras to near factory default or do you use a DSC chart (or equivalent) either to prepare profiles or shoot charts at the start of your shoots or scenes?

I was impressed with the intercutting with Olof's posted test clip from a few weeks back showing cuts between his DSLR and his EX. He mentioned that he had done some tweaking but one got the sense it wasn't with scopes, charts and such.

It would be good to know how much one has to do to get the cameras in the same ballpark color wise.
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Old August 30th, 2010, 09:45 AM   #43
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Hedging bets... have both.

Don't sell the EX1, but invest in glass.

I added a T2i/550D with Tokina 11-16 because the EX1 isn't - let's admit it - good at those w-i-d-e shots. I prefer the mix to having an EX3. But I couldn't function with DSLR-only. Not even with three bodies. Don't get me started about audio, and the moire and aliasing. Just treat the DSLR as a special effects camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh View Post
I had to shoot food prep in the very cramped galley (kitchen). So I used a 16mm lens on my 5DmkII and it was fantastic. I could get the whole kitchen and serving staff, chef all in one shot. I could do closeups of carafes with ice water with the background just slightly OOF with the staff in the back working away. I could never have got those shots with my EXcams.- rent or buy what your clients (your own creative ascetics) dictate. It is all great stuff and it will only get better. I hope!
And that's the bottom line. DSLRs will do wides like an EX just cannot.

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I am curious about those here who mix and match your EX cameras with DSLR's... It would be good to know how much one has to do to get the cameras in the same ballpark color wise.
Still playing with camera setups, the biggest problem is with crushed blacks vs EX1 setup, which I will not change. About to test out 'Super Flat' but the problem with that setup is that it then requires CC on every shot.

But the bottom line is that I am going to invest in 4/3 and 1.6x lenses for when the inevitable marriage happens, when the EX1s are retired and we have grown-up camcorders that don't exhibit alias or moire, and hopefully shoot to a strong codec. I see a future of interchangable lens cameras taking the 1.6-4/3 format, rather than full frame glass. But like tripods and mics - invest in good glass that never goes out of date. The T2i back is pretty much a disposable item in the mean time.

And of course I may be wrong about Full Frame losing out to 1.6x, of course.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 12:26 PM   #44
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While I certainly appreciate the shallow depth of field, the ability to go very wide, the low light ability of a large sensor, I do think the $6000 video camera version will resolve many of the issues people are seeing with the DSLR as video cameras.

I recently came across a blog post from Stu Moskowitz (of Red Giant fame amongst others) and he pointed out the issue with aliasing and resolution. A properly downscaled photo to 1080 from the same camera looks much better than the 1080 video from the same camera. The camera is throwing out a lot of data when used in video mode.The result is lose of resolution, aliasing/moire in some cases.

It's not that DSLR's aren't at all workable but that a $900 to $2500 camera is not going to match what I think will eventually be done when we see a $6000 large chip video camera engineered for video use.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 12:43 PM   #45
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5tu's post... says it all

Which is why I hedge my bets with the hope I can attach my glass to the new cameras.

5tu shows how the back end is showing its price point, whereas the glass is capable of so much more.

Or maybe it's all sounding like: "Ben, let me say one word to you: Glass. There's a great future in glass."
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