What camera can possibly replace the EX3 ?? at DVinfo.net

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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 February 10th, 2011, 02:10 PM   #1
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What camera can possibly replace the EX3 ??

The 500 dollar rebate makes the EX3 tempting. The way some members talk the EX3 was more camera than it was intended to be. So if the EX3 is being replaced, what could possibly make it better ??
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Old February 10th, 2011, 02:31 PM   #2
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The thing that instantly comes to mind is to use the XDCAM 422 50Mbs codec with it. It then becomes fully broadcast acceptable, without an external recorder like the nanoFlash. It should be very easy to do that at little extra cost to the manufacturer..

The other thing would be to improve the handheld ergonomics. The EX3 is better than the EX1 - but Sony could really look at JVC to see how to make it better still, for a similar size/weight etc>
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Old February 10th, 2011, 03:12 PM   #3
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I agree on both points.

It is the BEST workhorse for what I do (corporate), speaking personally, but it's front heavy and now looks a little lacking for broadcast work (which I have no interest in). I think the great thing is that, even after owning one for 2.5 years, it's still regarded by many (me included) as the best in class for many situations, the defacto run-n-gun/corporate cam (or if you want something a bit more "airline carry on transportable" then the EX1r is right up there too). I absolutely love it, it's razor sharp resolution and low light abilities!

However, I got mine in July 2008. It's now Feb 2011.

Sony need to come out with a XDCAM EX 2nd Generation Codec (i.e 4.2.2 at 50 Mbps) to address the fall off in broadcast company takeup - that Canon XF300/305s have no doubt started to make big inroads into (BBC etc...). Sony's aborted attempt at the EX3/2 tweak last year - which was pulled just before launch (but not before some official dealers started advertising it!) was lame and very ill concieved. It was to be nothing more than a very minor, cosmetic bump anyway complete with a little orange paint on parts of the lens.

I'm less concerned about the "less than desirable" semi-shoulder balance thing (as several aftermarket solutions solve that very easily - if you want them). I want it as compact as possible - but still with that lovely viewfinder - but please, next time make the viewfinder either fully detachable or fully "fold-away-able" so I can get the thing in a smaller bag and more easily into airline carry-on overhead bins on regional jets. Plus, give us a decent, sturdy tripod fixing while you're at it!

Most of all, give us a better codec, 4.2.2. at 50 Mbps (minimium), as an option. Give us dual slot parallel recording. Give us 10 second cache recording (on the EX1r it's too short).

OK, so if it might be replaced, when is NAB, should I wait up to hear any news of an EX5???
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Old February 10th, 2011, 04:10 PM   #4
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After reading what Andy puts, I'm reminded that the EX3 never got the very desirable upgrades that the EX1 got to become the EX1R. So add those to the list - things like SD ability, dubbing between cards, cache,etc.

The EX3 is very good - but it could be improved. The Canon XF305, and it's big takeup because of the 50Mbs codec should be a wake up call to Sony.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 04:35 PM   #5
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Oh, and I almost forgot....

Let's have a much better CAMERA<>OFF<>MEDIA switch - just so I don't wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat wondering if my EX3 is slowly cooking itself in the bag because I forgot to switch it off properly! One like on the old PD150 would be just fine.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 05:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
...The Canon XF305, and it's big takeup because of the 50Mbs codec should be a wake up call to Sony.
Sony is still fast asleep. That fact that they can release the F3 with 35Mbs 4:2:0 astounds me.
Sony has the wherewithal since the PMW-500 does 50Mbs 4:2:2 to SxS but they apparently have decided NOT to migrate down the product line.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 06:24 PM   #7
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If Sony were to release a 4:2:2 50mbs EX3 style camera with an EX3 price then they'd antagonize their PMW base. That's why the F3 got the lousy codec surely?
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Old February 10th, 2011, 06:39 PM   #8
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I certainly agree on the switch, 4:2:2, a 10 second cache and the 50 mBits/sec.

I would also add a decent base, an extra infrared sensor facing the operator and provision for more viewfinder adjustment - fore and aft. Ideally I would like to see the finder detachable so that it could be used at the end of a lead.

I have made a few bits and pieces for my EX3, these include a very useful view finder loupe with increased magnification and a single bar lens support. The bar is on the left side of the lens and greatly improves hand holding, as well as being a good support .
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Old February 10th, 2011, 06:48 PM   #9
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And a couple more feature to add to my wish list: -

3 neutral density filters instead of 2 with smaller steps between them.

Finally the ability to remove the infrared cut filter to enable infrared illuminated recording.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 06:51 PM   #10
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Least expensive Canon camera with 50Mbs 4:2:2 Canon XF100 at $3000.
Least expensive Sony PMW camera with 50Mbs 4:2:2 PMW-500 at $25,000.

Not updating models with 50Mbs antagonizes the PMW base. Does Sony wan to wait until Canon comes out with an XF series with interchangeable lenses?

While I have no great urgency to leave my EX1 for anything new, many broadcaster want 50Mbs 4:2:2 acquisition for news and doc work. Not updating to a better codec HAS to HURT Sony EX1R and EX3 sales in a BIG way.

Canon doesn't make a shoulder mount or interchangeable lens camera with 50Mbps so now's the time Sony can grab that market.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 07:09 PM   #11
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Sorry, I meant it would antagonize their PMW-500 base.

Canon and Sony have gone down different routes - Canon is still using 1/3 chip cameras with a higher codec, while Sony has gone with bigger chips (and lesser bit rates for the ex1 / ex3).

Canon must be bringing out a XL4 at some point with the same codec as the XF. Sony must be contemplating upgrading the codec on the Ex3 (but without trampling on their higher end cameras).

But there's no understanding the thinking behind these companies. Why did Canon never make a AF-100 style camcorder using their long running dslr's as a base - they would have had a huge head-start years ago....
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Old February 10th, 2011, 08:01 PM   #12
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Canon strategy could make sense. My guesstimate analysis below.

Canon DSLR/Shallow DOF strategy
Canon sales of DSLR skyrocketed so they have no reason to cannibalize that with a more expensive camera that may yield lower gross sales and lower margins per unit.

Canon sells lenses so someone opting for a low priced HDSLR can mean much higher gross and higher margin on lens sales.

In short, Canon has not much motive to make a low gross sales, low margin body and if people buy the AF100 and Canon lenses they're still making high gross high margin on that.

Canon small camera ENG strategy
XF series cut costs by making lowest cost 50Mbs camera on the market yielding high gross to broadcast ENG divisions. Fixed lens, small chip lowers costs. Large chip not critical for small camera run and gun ENG. Also that market is not likely to invest in interchangeable lenses.

Canon shoulder mount ENG strategy
No reason to make 2/3" shoulder mount interchangeable lens camera with low gross sales. Canon sells broadcast lenses, likely with high margins, to others who make such cameras.

So
for broadcaster on low budget high volume sales, 50Mbs is more important than 1/2" chip so Canon XF series becomes "go to" purchase over EX1R fixed lens or EX3 with interchangeable lens.

Canon does better selling lenses for AF100 type cameras then investing R&D in making a competitor.
Canon does better selling lenses for 2/3" Shoulder Mount ENG market by selling lenses to that market.
Canon does better by selling lowest cost 50Mbs camera to run & gun ENG market.
Canon does better by selling low cost DSLR body with hight gross sales to Shallow DOF market.
Basically Canon has filled voids without having to compete.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 11:11 PM   #13
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We are a few years into this HD pro/prosumer era and it is clear that Sony and Panasonic have to some extent painted themselves into a corner by wanting to have products out early in the game.

For Sony it is the codec, for Panasonic it is the resolution. Something has got to give or there just won't be any new cameras brought to market over the next few years.

For example with the Panasonic HPX-500 user have been asking about an upgraded model. Well, the thing that needs an upgrade the most is lower resolution chipset. But if you upgrade it you have an HPX-2000!

One area which could see some improvement is the CMOS read times. They could keep the 1/2" chips, go to 120fps 720p/60fps 1080p and go to a JVC style mini-shoulder mount. This could be the EX-5 and have an option for the 50mbps codec.

But who knows if this fits in their gameplan.
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Old February 11th, 2011, 06:57 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies everyone. To me it looks like the new stuff will begin showing up very soon. I have said it way to much, the XLH line is gone and now the EX1/3 line is being rebated, something has to be around the corner, NAB ?

As a "money in hand waiting patiently person" I have spent more than 6 months waiting for something to happen. The stumbling blocks have been my budget could barely include a camera and nanoflash, it always felt a bit to much to buy both. The XF line proved cheap memory and 422 was near so I was afraid to take the leap and see the perfect camera the next week.

The EX3 had very expensive memory and instantly needed a mod to the plate. The EX1/3 line always had complaints about switches also. The XLH1S needed the nanoflash immediately and did not have the image quality as the EX3, The XF needed 1/2 chips. The JVC line had CA and didn't come with batteries, the battery options were terribly expensive in my opinion.

If the EX3 replacement will fix the switches, the mounting plate and the expensive memory and add 422 they will get my money. If canon goes to 1/2 inch chips and shoulder mount they will get my money. The answer appears to be an easy grand slam if only they listen. In fact, I do not see how any new camera can come up with a different solution, these cameras specs are the logical next step, but we all know how that goes.

Would it be possible for canon to come up with a video camera that uses it's DSLR L glass lenses, that would be a hoot, interchange the 5D II and your XLF1S with the same lenses ??
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Old February 11th, 2011, 10:13 AM   #15
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Don, I feel your pain. I am always thinking that each camera in this under $10,000 segment has a showstopper to some extent for me. It is like the manufacturers all got together and decided which features to leave out on each of their respective cameras to keep the work flowing around.

Just seems like one could step up and own the segment but it just does not seem to happen.

For example if JVC had 1/2" chips in their 700 series camera I would be on board. I am guessing the canon interchangeable model coming up will still have 1/3" chips as well. I just can't justify buying any camera unless it is at least f10 at 2000 lux.

About the still lenses. It is about sensor size. You can mount a still lens to an EX-3 but the lens will be a lot longer milimeter wise due to the smaller chips in the EX-3 compared to the still camera.
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