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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 October 31st, 2010, 02:21 AM   #1
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b cam for ex3

im finally leaving the dv world, saying goodbye to the dsr 300 and the pd150. what is a good cam to act as my pd150 b cam for my ex3?
nxcam doesnt really excite. anything small but pro enough to give me good hd quality?
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Old October 31st, 2010, 03:28 AM   #2
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Ignoring the obvious EX1/R: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...-xdcam-ex.html

Cameras on my list:
Panasonic TM700
Panasonic GH-1 hacked for higher bitrates
Theoretically the GH-2
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Old October 31st, 2010, 03:30 AM   #3
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One or two people have bought the Canon 7D or 5D as a second camera for short takes and the "35mm-look" specialty shots.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 03:57 AM   #4
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If you need a B camera that is small enough to fit inside your EX3's camerabag then the Canon Legira/Vixia HFS11 is ideal:

Finding A Small Camera ? The Canon Legria HFS11

Great for sticking into places I don't want the EX1. Just the other week we put ours on the conveyor in a huge distribution warehouse to show the journey through the building. Since the conveyor travels between floors there was no way I would have risked the EX1. Too heavy and there was a serious risk of damage. But a lighter camera could be fixed down easily and sure enough there were no problems

The Z1 is still the true B cam, but the Legria gets a surprising amount of use because you can bring it along with you without even noticing you have it. In terms of weight it's no more than taking an extra EX1 battery.

Depends what you are looking for. Quality or portability.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 07:20 AM   #5
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Some good points there Marcus. I'm looking at a small palmcorder such as the HFS21 or Panny TM700...or possibly a stretch is size and cost to the new Canon XF100 for stuff like this (as well as many other B/C cam uses). I've put my EX3 inside some pretty risky factory/industrial environments (inside safety cages, unmanned of course, very hot and dusty places too) and did not feel at all happy about it so your converyor belt example was a good illustrator and I'm already using my ageing HC1 in some of those type situations, not leaving it at home any more! Having small non-valuable cameras for this kind of work is great. The GoPros are another option for this particular kind of stuff - I would imagine (a mate has one for his EX1).

But at the moment my true B cam to the EX3 is my 7D (and a growing kit of lenses). It's an excellent choice until a much better Canon HD Video capable body eventually comes along (with no aliasing!), as it surely will (2 years?). The 7D is small, very rugged/weatherproof, great in low light with fast glass and is also a stunning stills camera too (I often pick up extra stills work while shooting video for my clients). It's great to be able to get extreme wide angle shots, shallow DOF shots, run it on the Merlin Steadicam etc...so much flexibility and a great supplement for the main workhorse EX3 in my personal work flow. Jim, your needs may of course be very different. Hope this helps.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 08:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
Some good points there Marcus. I'm looking at a small palmcorder such as the HFS21 or Panny TM700...or possibly a stretch is size and cost to the new Canon XF100 for stuff like this (as well as many other B/C cam uses). I've put my EX3 inside some pretty risky factory/industrial environments (inside safety cages, unmanned of course, very hot and dusty places too) and did not feel at all happy about it so your converyor belt example was a good illustrator and I'm already using my ageing HC1 in some of those type situations, not leaving it at home any more! Having small non-valuable cameras for this kind of work is great. The GoPros are another option for this particular kind of stuff - I would imagine (a mate has one for his EX1).
And the great thing is, once you have a small camera you can start to think of other uses. Just a few weeks back I purchased the B Hague suction mount. Great for in car shots.

I think the disadvantage of the Go Pro cameras is the lack of ability to add the nice little extras us professionals expect. The ability to add wide angle lenses (which gets away from that "camcorder look"), filters, sound input, zebras, etc. The Go Pro's have alot of potential but lack a certain flexibility you get with a slightly larger unit. But they are just another tool and its always the question of what you have in your toolkit and using the right tool for the right job.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 04:57 PM   #7
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B Cam for EX3 - My List

Yep, good comment.

I suppose to make this B cam for EX3 list a bit more complete I should outline some of the others I've casually been looking at recently as this may help Jim (and others).

The tiny new "Pro" Sony (MC50), basically (in my view) is an overpriced Sony CX550 with a lens hood and a mic stuck on the top. I ruled this out early on as I'm done with interlaced cameras as it just adds yet another stage in my workflow to get it to progressive (with a loss in resolution, obviously). I'm only interested in something that shoots 1080p25. It's pretty good in low light though and the stabilisation/Steadyshot seems top notch - for such a small cam that is. There is a good review of it linked on another recent thread in this forum section.

The Pany TM700 is the exception to my 25p rule as it only shoots progressive in one mode, 1080p50 (or 60p, for those of you on that side of the pond etc. - which is something even my EX3 can't do!). It's also 3 chipped and very keenly priced. The average LCD is a weak point and I'm sure the little fan might annoy me at times (as it can be audible in recordings, I've read). It's AVCHD, which I'm not over keen on though, albeit at a healthy sounding 28Mbps in the only progressive (50/60p) mode it does. Bit better than the Canon HFS21 in low light.

The little JVC HM100...hmmn. Maybe, but it just does not excite me (did when it first appeared - handled them a number of times at various Expos). Low light performance will be marginal for a camera of this cost in todays market (as it's three 1/4 inch chips). Workflow would work very well with me (FCP) and it's a very compact size. Just seems a bit pricey for what you get and I do seem to read of a number of little problems (but then people are more likely to post if they have an issue...I need to do more research and a lot of reading on that part of the forum). I think if I'm spending this much I'm more likely to go for the new Canon XF100 as it seems much better built/thought out (but of course we don't know what it's images are like yet, or indeed it's price!). The attraction of the JVC or the Canon XF100 is that they have got true manual controls, albeit with some compromises in features because of size, as well as XLR audio inputs. Thats assuming I want to spend the price that these cameras might cost for a B or C cam....certainly too much for a crash cam, at least for me!!!

Canon HFS21 (and similar models (HFS20 and 200), depending on how much money you want to spend with on board memory and the little tiny viewfinder on the 21. This is probably the most likely candidate for me as it's got 25p (albeit AVCHD), a very good LCD, but a touch screen menu system that looks to be a little annoying (the one on my HC1, although dated, is actually pretty good and intuitive, especially after customising). Not as good as the Pany TM700 in low light but if I'm spending about 700-800 area the HFS21 or 20 or 200 would be the strongest contenders at the moment.

Just some ramblings...I'm sure others could add to this list.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 02:43 AM   #8
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b cam

Hi marcus, I've been reading your posts on the HFS11 for some time now and am looking at getting the HFS200 which seems to be dropping in price here in aus

I have an EX3 and will be filming a wedding soon. I don't have a second camera (sold my Z1) but realise I need one.

In your opinion how well does the HFS11 cut in with the EX3. I normally shoot 720 50p
As a second camera left on wide, how noticable would be the drop in quality in a 720 timeline and when converted to SD. How about when it was zoomed in slightly?

Thanks
steve
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Old November 1st, 2010, 09:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
...The Pany TM700 is the exception to my 25p rule as it only shoots progressive in one mode, 1080p50
According to here: HDC-HS700/HDC-TM700/HDC-SD700/HDC-SD600 | HD Camcorder | Panasonic Global

the Panasonic TM700 has a Digital Cinema mode that shoots 24p (25p for those on the other side of the pond).

It's also mentioned in the Luminous Landscape review which includes a comparison to the JVC HM100:
Panasonic TM700 Video Camcorder
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Old November 1st, 2010, 09:26 AM   #10
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Hi Les. I was going from information in this thread. I must admit the tech specs on the official TM700 UK web page are far from clear...!!!

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...ional-use.html

In particular this information....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Carter View Post
Not to dash anyone's hopes, but the TM700 does not shoot 24p. It shoots 1080/60p or in HA/HG/HX/HE 1080/60i. Sorry, no 30p or 24p. With these exceptions it is a very powerful device......
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Old November 1st, 2010, 11:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Browne View Post
Hi marcus, I've been reading your posts on the HFS11 for some time now and am looking at getting the HFS200 which seems to be dropping in price here in aus

I have an EX3 and will be filming a wedding soon. I don't have a second camera (sold my Z1) but realise I need one.

In your opinion how well does the HFS11 cut in with the EX3. I normally shoot 720 50p
As a second camera left on wide, how noticable would be the drop in quality in a 720 timeline and when converted to SD. How about when it was zoomed in slightly?

Thanks
steve
The HFS11 cuts well with the EX1 given enough light and some grading (Colorista really is your friend for this). In low light it will struggle, but any small camera will.

However the camera only does 25p or 50i so I'm unsure how well it would work in a 50p workflow. Not something I've tried. I now shoot 1080p at 25fps and then drag that into a Prores 720p 25fps timeline.

But let me be clear, if you need a camera that will exactly match your EX3 then you need another EX3. I shot some outdoor footage a few weeks back with the Canon and edited it into footage shot on the same day at the same location taken on the EX1. Only us professionals would be able to tell them apart. However I'm currently editing an interview where the cutaways were done on the Canon. The difference is more pronounced. There is a slight softness, even with colour balancing it isn't quite right. However when converted to SD and burnt to DVD you'll barely be able to tell the difference (or so I hope based on past experience).

In short its a 1000 camera v a 5000 camera. But at the end of the day you have to be able to accept what it is and use it to its strengths. Certainly for the size it is amazing.

BTW RE the interlacing problem in 25p mode I have mentioned in the past. I'm now becoming convinced that it is Final Cut's transcode process that is introducing the problem. Because FCP sees an interlaced frame (the camera flags its progressive output as interlaced for some odd reason), it encodes it as interlaced, therefore introducing the artefacts during the conversion to Prores. Just a theory!
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Old November 1st, 2010, 12:30 PM   #12
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sony cx550/pann tm700

how do these 2 compare. id rather go with the sony since it would match better with the ex3.
and how can you bring in good audio? using an xlr adaptor like the one from beachtek? going into the small mic input?
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Old November 1st, 2010, 12:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Steve Browne View Post
Hi marcus, I've been reading your posts on the HFS11 for some time now and am looking at getting the HFS200 which seems to be dropping in price here in aus

I have an EX3 and will be filming a wedding soon. I don't have a second camera (sold my Z1) but realise I need one.

In your opinion how well does the HFS11 cut in with the EX3. I normally shoot 720 50p
As a second camera left on wide, how noticable would be the drop in quality in a 720 timeline and when converted to SD. How about when it was zoomed in slightly?

Thanks
steve
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Stamos View Post
how do these 2 compare. id rather go with the sony since it would match better with the ex3.
and how can you bring in good audio? using an xlr adaptor like the one from beachtek? going into the small mic input?
I have no idea how the 2 cameras compare but keep in mind that the cameras from Sonys consumer division have no relation to an EX1 or any of the other professional cameras. Different departments.

I went with what suited my needs at the time. 6 months is a long time with these cameras. Could I get better today? Probably. Am I happy with my purchase? Yes I am.

Everyone has different requirements. I wanted certain professional features (as much as something like zebras are pro these days), but a really small size. Basically something that was small enough to slot into a gap in my EX1's bag, including battery and accessories. I found it.

On a two camera shoot, the EX1 is doing the audio. But there is a minijack input if you need one. But given the use I put it to, I don't have the need. If I wanted audio I'd be looking at whatever the HD equivalent to the PDX-10 is. But no doubt that would cost nearly twice as much.

I treat it as a vision only B cam for certain situations. Going back to my toolbox analogy, it suits certain jobs during a shoot. You may use many tools within your toolbox to complete a job.
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Old November 1st, 2010, 02:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Stamos View Post
id rather go with the sony since it would match better with the ex3.
Jim what's the basis for this assertion?
FYI...an in depth evaluation:

ProVideo Coalition.com: Camera Log by Adam Wilt | Founder | Pro Cameras, HDV Camera, HD Camera, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, RED, Video Camera Reviews
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Old November 1st, 2010, 02:42 PM   #15
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and how can you bring in good audio? using an xlr adaptor like the one from beachtek? going into the small mic input?
The MC-50 has a shotgun mic, a shock mount and a 3.5mm mini jack. You can do the same on the TM700 with a Rode or Sennheiser that have a shockmount.

The TM700 sensor is a 3-chip 1/4", the MC50 is a 1/3" single chip
The TM700 is sub $800, The MC50 is twice that.
The TM700 shoots 60p and 24p, the MC50 does not.
THe MC50 has Night shot, the TM700 does not
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