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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 September 5th, 2010, 03:06 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
I didn't have night shots in mind, its the overuse of shallow depth of field that is so common place in most TV productions. I think you would be one of the first to say don't use f8 or f11 on a video camera. ;-)

Maybe a Zebra skin on an Elephant or Lion was a UK thing. The point I was making was that effects are being used for the sake of effects rather than making a statement etc. "Look how clever I am", springs to mind
Not surprisingly, I don't watch much TV. In fact, I don't think mine has been on in 3 months, so I am not aware of the current trends. In any event, I am not so optimistic that we'll see the end of shallow DOF for quite some time. There's a whole lot of 1/3" shooters out there who've not yet discovered the trend.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 10:31 AM   #77
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Shallow DOF is just one more tool in the story telling toolkit. Keep in mind that one of the features we found attractive about the EX was 1/2" chips in a camera size that would have previously been 1/3". And now there's a reasonably priced 2/3" EX camera.

It's also interesting to note that Canon, which has been a leader in the affordable large chip shallow DOF for video use market, also just came out with the XF series video cameras that are only 1/3" chips. But their concept camera is 2/3" chips in an EX1 sized camera.

Yet the 1/2" and 2/3' chips we hunger for in small form factor and cheered so mightily when the EX1 arrived seems to pale in comparison to a $900 Canon T2i.

Basically what's happening is an attempt to describe the smallest and largest chip sizes useful for video work. There are times when it may be easier not to battle SDOF such as shooting live sports when trying to track a fast moving subject across "focal planes." Maybe it's when shooting news and the background detail adds important context and information.

So is the smallest "acceptable" chip size 1/3", 1/2", 2/3" for enough control and yet easy to have a deep DOF when needed? We know at the other end we want deep DOF but we really need an easy way to move between the two (and everything in between).

There are times you want to see the monster's eyes peering in the back window across the room and there are times you want to force the viewer to focus on the terror of the would be victim's face.

One question worth asking, is it easier to have the flexibility of an EX with 35mm adaptor kit or to have a camera dedicated to SDOF capabilities? Canon's XF line is 1/3" and FIXED LENS so far . . . very different than their XL interchangeable lens cameras.

On the other hand Sony might be sending up a new direction in moving away from fixed lenses with the VG10.

Right now, many of us on this thread seem to be looking at EX and Canon DSLR as a two camera solution. The fact that the OP presented this as either/or (sell ex/buy DSLR) seems to indicate a desire for one camera capable of SDOF.

A good DP knows when SDOF helps tell a story but also knows that Deep DOF can help you see monster's eyes in the back window.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #78
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A good DP knows when SDOF helps tell a story but also knows that Deep DOF can help you see monster's eyes in the back window.
A good DP also knows when his tool is going to be over-matched. Ironically, it can be just as hard to get a large sensor camera to get deep DOF as it is for a small sensor camera to be shallow. There aren't a lot of deep focus movies on film any more.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 10:59 AM   #79
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A good DP also knows when his tool is going to be over-matched. Ironically, it can be just as hard to get a large sensor camera to get deep DOF as it is for a small sensor camera to be shallow. There aren't a lot of deep focus movies on film any more.
Yes, and that's why I mention one vs two camera solutions. One might get an EX with a Letus kit for example. I think the problem we discerning folks face is how to move between Deep and Shallow DOF without having a radical change in other qualities such as resolution or "look" (color, gamma, etc).

To me, the crux of the question is how have a BROAD range of control over DOF and not have radical changes in the "character" of the recording.

If you're shooting an entire production with a DSLR with Shallow DOF the choices are simple.
If you're shooting an entire production with EX and 35mm adaptor you have to deal with setting up the adaptor which might be a bit more of a pain than just using a DSLR.

One is faced with the aesthetic issues of mixing the two though. Ease of use vs more closely matched looks.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #80
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Or you could just wait a few months and buy a video camera with a big sensor. The AF100 is due in Dec and something from Sony soon after.

Andy
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Old September 5th, 2010, 03:47 PM   #81
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We shoot with the EX1 and two 7D's, personally I feel the EX1 is still an amazing camera. I would not trade in a EX1 for a 7D, the two compliment each other. The 7D is a short term solution next year this time the 7D/5D will be old tech as the video world catches up to DSLRs. Our 7D's also constantly overheat which causes a lot of stress. If I had to choose one trust worthy camera it would be the EX1. Sell something else to fund a DSLR.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 01:59 AM   #82
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To me, the crux of the question is how have a BROAD range of control over DOF and not have radical changes in the "character" of the recording. ......................

One is faced with the aesthetic issues of mixing the two though. Ease of use vs more closely matched looks.
I think you have nailed it in your post Craig, SDOF, is just another option which if used correctly will add another dimension to the overall production.

Don't get me wrong, I am all in favour od HDSLR cameras and see them as an affordable option for boths SDOF and extreme wide angle shots - the long shots are well covered with my set of Nikon lenses and Adaptamatic adaptor. Hopefully we will be seeing some more developments from Nikon- in terms of more choice in shooting formats and frame rates. I have a lot of Nikon lenses.
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Old September 6th, 2010, 02:03 AM   #83
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Not surprisingly, I don't watch much TV. In fact, I don't think mine has been on in 3 months, so I am not aware of the current trends. .
The trend I was referring to was something being done in the very early days of digital imaging. You haven't missed anything special in current TV programs.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #84
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B&H has a massive subsection of their website devoted specifically to HDSLR description and use. It mentions all of the advantages and disadvantages that we've discussed. It's really worth the read through.
HDSLR Guide

There are far more tabs than you'll initially see on the Left. If you keep using NEXT PAGE on the Upper Right it will take you into the next series of tabs.
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Old September 7th, 2010, 01:09 PM   #85
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Or even try moving along the line at the base of the screen.

All interesting stuff, I love the opening picture - Heath Robinson would have been proud of this construction.
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