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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 10:05 PM   #1
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Hoping to get some info or advice about the EX1. I've been shooting on a year long project with a JVC HM100, three months into the project and I'm looking at possibly switching cameras to finish the project. I know, I know, not the most optimum time to decide this. I've shot a small amount of footage with the HM100 so far but will soon, in the next couple of weeks, be shooting tons of footage. I'm wondering if I made the switch to the EX1 would the footage match well or will there be lots of post correction. Will the difference in workflow create issues in post ? Is there a camera that might be better suited to do what I'm asking ? I'd like to stay tapeless and have decent low light capabilities, something the HM100 doesn't do well. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Steve
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 01:21 AM   #2
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Unless you are consistantly intercutting the JVC pictures with a new camera's output then I am sure no one will notice. I have just completed a project shot over 10 years on many cameras and formats and solved the inevitable problems by hiring a top professional FCP colourist for a day. The results have been spectacular and the client is very satisfied. Cheap at the price.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 12:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply and info Bruce. Now that I feel comfortable about matching the footage I'm wondering about which camera to use, the EX1, the HXR-NX5U or maybe just go back to shooting with the XH-A1 and the dreaded TAPE..... As an ex HDV and tape user I was more than happy to be able to switch to the .mov capture with the HM100. Switching to Sony has me a little worried about issues we might have with AVCHD format, the MPEG-2 Long GOP HD HQ process and FCS6. Do we have enough computer to handle this ? We're running Mac OS X 10.5.8 on a Dual 2.5 GHZ Power PC G5 with 8 gigs of ram, 2 tb internal drive, 750 gb internal drive and a 1 tb external drive. We've sort of ruled out the Pannys AVCCAM format and expensive media. The new Canon stuff looks great but hasn't been on the market long enough to get a good impression. We were thinking about the JVC HM700 at one point but we're shooting lots of run and gun with auto focus and my understanding is that the HM700 is completely manual focus and the shoulder mount would be tough for run & gun. Just too many choices I'm afraid. 8^)
Any suggestions that you guys out there might have would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Steve
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 12:39 PM   #4
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I am not an advocator of auto focus but I think the Canon XF cameras have had very good write ups on this matter. The Canon at 50mbts gives superb pictures and is BBC HD approved.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 02:11 PM   #5
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I would love to shoot manual focus all the time but unfortunately at 50 yrs old my eyesight just ain't what it used to be. Plus I shoot lots of stuff on a Glidecam & Varizoom rig so the auto focus really helps. I posted my original question to another forum and actually had a guy reply that real professionals ONLY shoot manual focus and that auto focus shouldn't even exist. Oops, guess those corporate clients that are putting my kids through college probably wouldn't want to hear that I'm apparently a non professional. 8^)

Thanks for the Canon info, I always liked the XH-A1 but didn't like shooting to tape. I'll check the new Canon cams out.

Thanks again for the info.

Steve
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 03:22 PM   #6
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A suggestion that may seem like overkill but some tripping on this thread may wish to go the route of getting a color reference chart. If you use a reference chart at the start of your shoot or better with each scene or take (if you are doing commercial work say) you can they match your color on the scopes in either your NLE or your grading program (like Apple's Color). The charts are expensive but can save your bacon. You can get them here:

Welcome to DSC Labs

The "CamBook" variety are their more affordable ones and the "ChromaDuMonde" series are the ones the film industry/DP types use and have that ever so special Hollywood price tag associated with them.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:47 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve Rawls View Post
at 50 yrs old my eyesight just ain't what it used to be. Plus I shoot lots of stuff on a Glidecam & Varizoom rig so the auto focus really helps. ...Thanks for the Canon info, I always liked the XH-A1 but didn't like shooting to tape. I'll check the new Canon cams out.

Steve
Steve, as a fellow 50 something shooter, I spent gobs of time plowing through the current cameras and settled on an EX1R. Just moving to a modern camera with colored peaking will change your life ummmm well at least the part that does focussing. haha. The features on the EX1R are fabulous. Also, the XF is quite a bit bigger in height and length. I understand the autofocus need tho. Renting one for a day to try it out is probably the only way to know.... YMMV
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 09:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Andrew Stone View Post
A suggestion that may seem like overkill but some tripping on this thread may wish to go the route of getting a color reference chart. If you use a reference chart at the start of your shoot or better with each scene or take (if you are doing commercial work say) you can they match your color on the scopes in either your NLE or your grading program (like Apple's Color). The charts are expensive but can save your bacon. You can get them here:

Welcome to DSC Labs

The "CamBook" variety are their more affordable ones and the "ChromaDuMonde" series are the ones the film industry/DP types use and have that ever so special Hollywood price tag associated with them.
Thanks Andrew, I'll look into those color charts...

Steve
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 10:09 PM   #9
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Steve, as a fellow 50 something shooter, I spent gobs of time plowing through the current cameras and settled on an EX1R. Just moving to a modern camera with colored peaking will change your life ummmm well at least the part that does focussing. haha. The features on the EX1R are fabulous. Also, the XF is quite a bit bigger in height and length. I understand the autofocus need tho. Renting one for a day to try it out is probably the only way to know.... YMMV

Les,

Do I ever know what you're talking about.... I don't care who says 50 is the new 30, they've obviously never been 50. 8^)

I'm looking hard at the EX1R and love everything I've read about it. Almost ready to place an order, but.... My only concern at this moment is editing. We have a great system but it's not Intel it's Power PC, dual processor, 2.5 ghz, yada, yada, yada, actually have two of these system with Apple Cinema screens, FCS2, FCP6, etc.. It's plenty big enough to edit the HDV stuff we shot with the XH-A1 cameras and the stuff we've been shooting with the HM100 but from what I've read about the EX1 I'm not sure it'll be up to snuff. We don't want to go through the hassle and down time of reconfiguring one or two new editing systems at this point so we need to come up with a plan to utilize these systems for another year or two.
Don't want to go back to tape as this project we're currently shooting on could end up with 30-40 hours of footage and that as you know means 30-40 hours of capture. We're very familiar with the Canon A1, having shot a bunch with them, but we were never really happy with it's low light capabilities. We have a few days of downtime before we continue on the project so gotta get this figured out in the next couple of days.

Steve
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 10:28 PM   #10
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Well for sure stay away from the AVCHD cameras then. For that matter, going to a 50MB 4:2:2 XF is roughly 1/3 more data your G5 has to muck through. Also, the EX1R lets you record in various 1440x1080 formats which are only 25MB.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 03:18 AM   #11
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My only concern at this moment is editing. We have a great system but it's not Intel it's Power PC, dual processor, 2.5 ghz, yada, yada, yada, ...
I think you misunderstand the EX1R Codec. From what I can tell, JVC is using the same 35MB MPEG2 long GOP CODEC....in fact it may be they licensed it from Sony....I seem to remember reading JVC uses XDCAM for their solid state models.

Ingesting clips from the EX1R is a re-wrap of the video data from the camera file format to Quicktime. I sent you a sample EX1R clip to try out on your G5. HOWEVER, I don't know if the Sony ingest software that does the re-wrap runs on non-Intel Macs....something to look into. Clipwrap may be a solution to re-wrap the native files into Quicktime. But I know that you don't have to transcode XDCAM like you do AVCHD. Searching for posts on that topic may help. The transition from HDV to XDCAM on FCS 2 was seamless for me.

As far as your concerns about flash banding and skew from CMOS, I think it may not be as bad as you think. I know the Sony ingesting software scans the video data and repairs flash banding. As for skew, there's no magic bullet. Getting better low light these days means going to CMOS. Going with 1/2" delivers more performance...sometimes a whole stop or more better performance. For me, the benefits of the 1/2" sensors, ergonomics and that it's a version 2.0 product are large factors in why I picked the it over the version 1.0 XF.

I think only you can evaluate a camera against your focus requirements. I rented an EX1R and spent a couple hours with it including manually focussing on a dragon fly hanging on a cattail leaf in a stiff wind. Combined with a Marshall 7" SDI monitor and the way I do focus is revolutionized.

I found experiencing the camera was very different from reading other people's opinions. I actually think Sony's Focus Assist feature is pretty cool and something I've never experienced in the Canon line. I experimented with it just last night. The idea is that with assist turned on, you focus the camera manually and when you stop, the camera automatics take over and make fine adjustment....I don't know how it works with a moving subject but there's the fully automatic mode. I'm not sure any camera is actually better than the other with moving objects but a hands on at a dealer or rental will let you evaluate that.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #12
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Thanks Les, I REALLY appreciate ALL the info.
You are correct, the JVC HM100 shoots XDCAM as either mpeg or .mov but for some reason I wasn't connecting the two. Duh.....

So all should be good on the editing side now. I'm excited about the EX camera and look forward to working with one.

Thanks again for helping me get this all figured out !

Best Wishes,


Steve
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Old September 5th, 2010, 09:49 PM   #13
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Your welcome. I had my first shoot with my EX1R Saturday and it was wonderful. I decided to take some closeups today and so I reset the scene which was near windows. Being in Florida I took the regular sun for granted but just when I went to record, clouds rolled in and changed the natural light significantly. No worries, I had plenty of f-stop left in the camera to compensate.
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