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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 March 18th, 2011, 05:04 PM   #1
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EX1R vs NX5

I thinking of upgrading from Z1U but need to make sure either of these cameras can do what my current camera can.

1) Recording to multiple sources at the same time. My Z1U records to tape, DVD recorder via composite out, Firestore via firewire. I understand the NX5 doesn't have firewire but can do: SD card, FMU flash drive (simultaneous?), DVD recorder comp out. The EX1R SXS/SD card, Firewire out to Firestore (simultaneous?), comp out to DVD ???

I do a lot of deposition work where recording to multiple sources is essential for backups and DVD are nice to be able to avoid post production of videos under 1.5 hours. Another concern is if the analog out for the DVD recorder is hdmi what happens when shooting in SD?

2) Timestamp visible date and time.
edit: I found out EX1R doesn't

3) Import process. I've heard both cameras aren't as straight forward. For my depo work the PC with Adobe Premiere is used. My other stuff I use mac FCP 6

4) Remote LANC controller. For my dance recital work its essential to get smooth slow zooms. I've read that the EX1 didn't have a good option but I believe some progress has been made but I'm not current with its status as of now.

I understand the EX1R with 1/2 chip will have better quality and low light ability. With the cons of being more expensive and heavier thus hard to hand hold. Am I missing anything in regards to my intended use depos and dance recitals?

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; March 19th, 2011 at 09:02 AM.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 05:53 PM   #2
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

Pete

I can't answer all your questions but as a new EX1R owner from z1s I can answer some.

The EX1R is cards only, no tape option built in. We used MRC1s with our Z1s and frankly the option of using both media is over-rated. Once you move to solid state you'll never go back.

The file structure is different to the z5. You must use the clip browser just as you must use the software supplied for the MRC1.

There's no LANC on the EX1R, it's really only found on consumer cameras. The remote control is a standard Fuji link and at present I'm trying to get the actual pin-outs for the modification from LANC of our hotheads.

My view of the comparison is that you're not comparing like for like with the EX1R and the Z5. The EX1R is a much superior camera. But I loved our Z1s and were it not for an available budget to move to EX1Rs we'd have been happy to upgrade Z1 to Z5 which the MRC1 were really designed for.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 11:34 AM   #3
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

Philip,
He's asking about the NX5 not the Z5. Totally different camera's. The NX5 is an H.264, SD card unit. I looked at the NX5 before I bought my EX-1r. You are right that they are not like for like. The EX is in a higher class all the way around. The lensing on the NX is not as sharp and the build quality is more like the PD-170 frame. The NX is cheaper on purchase and a lot cheaper to operate considering the cost of the media.
However, it seems that the optional camera mounted drive and other features are heavy factors.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #4
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

You must realize that using the iLink aka firewire from the EX1r means recording only 1440x1080 in camera as well as the MRC1. However, I don't know how this would affect the Composite output.

If you can, wait til NAB to see if any new cameras in this price range are announced.

4) I have a Varizoon Pro-EX zoom controller and absolutely love it. It is worth its weight in gold! It has a speed dial which controls the speed of the zoom and is adjustable while zooming; so, getting perfect fades is easy.
VariZoom VZ Pro-EX Professional Sony EX Zoom Control VZ-PRO-EX


3) Premiere Pro supports direct import of both formats but FCP 6 requires either conversion to Pro Res or purchasing a plug-in ($80-100 I believe). However, for very smooth editing of H264, it is a major PAIN unless you have a very fast computer (at least an i7). Yes, an older quad-core computer can edit it, but quality settings must be cranked all the way down. But, if you use effects and/or 2 or more layers, then even an i7 will get bogged down. On the other hand, MPEG2 from the EX1r is very easy on the computer to edit.

Which Premiere Pro version and what are your computers specs?

I would build/buy a computer around Premiere Pro CS5 for many reasons. The biggest reason is Premiere's AMAZING speed thanks to being 64bit and having CUDA enabled GPU acceleration. For a basic system, you can get the new Sandybridge CPU which is as fast as Intel's 6-core i7-980x even though its only 4-cores. If you are interested, go to the Adobe forum and start a new thread and many of us will assist you.

PS Exporting to MPEG2 and H264 with CS5 is faster than real-time for basic edits. For example, on my 12-core HP Z800, I can export H264 2 times real-time and MPEG2 is 3-4 times real-time. Many effects are GPU accelerated; so is scaling and a few other things. Furthermore, with MRQ enabled (Max Render Quality) and exporting to 720p or SD from 1080p, I haven't found any other program that can match Adobe's quality and speed. If you use Photoshop and scale down images using Bicubic, you know how much sharper an image can become. Well, this Bicubic algorithm is what is used for MRQ.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 03:30 PM   #5
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

Even though I wanted the EX the more I research, it looks like the NX makes my life easier. Its not to say I couldn't make the EX work, its a tough decision.

Most importantly the NX does the timestamp. This can always be added in post but if the ex doesn't display the time in the viewfinder (like the FX1) that makes my job harder. For depo work you need to announce the on and off times and keep a log of other events. I found that the internal camera clock loses time so if you use your watch to keep track of the time, it will be out of sync with the timestamp, unless you remember every time to sync your watch with the camera (which is easy to forget). Can anyone tell me if the EX displays the time in the viewfinder?

The EX does have an advantage of having a firewire out which the NX doesn't have. Currently I use a firestore which captures it in DV avi which is easy to dump into an editor for basic edits. The NX does have on camera slot for the Flash drive which makes up for the firewire deficit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
You must realize that using the iLink aka firewire from the EX1r means recording only 1440x1080 in camera as well as the MRC1. However, I don't know how this would affect the Composite output..
as long as it outputs in SD thats all that matters to me.

In the depo business its all about speed. After a day of shooting I need to go directly to the office and drop off the footage and still have empty media to record to the next morning. I don't do the production work so I don't want to make their life more difficult.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 07:01 PM   #6
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

If you record TOD timecode on an EX1 then you can display it on the camera screen, viewfinder and output via analogue and digital. It also records the date as the user bits.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 09:27 PM   #7
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

Duncan is correct. I use TOD on my EX3 and EX1 95% of the time.

Also, you can have the Info on the LCD displayed through the SDI/Composite outputs and I believe you can choose what is displayed. What you see on the LCD/VF is what is sent through the outputs and you can choose what is displayed. So for depo work, you can have the timecode sent to the output and recorded if you want.

To be honest, using the EX1r to record only 1440x1080 is a waste of money. If you have the budget, look at the nanoFlash as an external recorder. It has sooo many features and benefits including recording to DVD ready m2v files and Blu Ray ready files. I have one and am planning to shoot high school graduations where I use the nanoFlash to record DVD files so I can burn and produce DVDs immediately after the event to sell.

Back to FCP: I was incorrect about converting XDCAM EX to Pro Res. It only needs to be rewrapped in a MOV container. However, H264 must be converted to Pro Res.

About media: you can use SD cards with adapters in the EX1r. For the nanoFlash, you can use an inexpensive Nexto to backup the data in the field. I think you might be able to use the Nexto with SD cards from the adapters but I'm not 100%.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 07:37 AM   #8
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
...I think you might be able to use the Nexto with SD cards from the adapters but I'm not 100%.
Steve is correct. The Nexto will backup SD cards used in an SxS adapter. I have the ND270500G and used it that way with a Hoodman Raw 32gb card first copying my SxS to the Hoodman in the camera and then backed up on the Nexto. Once or twice I had to record onto the Hoodman and also backed it up directly on the Nexto.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 10:22 AM   #9
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

In my opinion, the EX1R and the NXCAM are too much camera for what you intent to use them for.

Video depositions never leave a courtroom, if they make it that far. You can shoot a depostion on VHS, as long as it's time/date stamped and the identity of the person is clear. You sure don't need a $6,200, 1920x1080 35mbps HD cam for that.
My friend owns a video law production company and he uses an old Sony DVcam for depositions. He uses the PMW350 for bigger projects.
Is the Z1 not good for depositions? Why do you want to move on from this camera?

I think the NXCAM is better suited for you, only because the price is lower. But I wouldn't even go that far. Unless you intent to move on to bigger projects, like broadcast and corporate work, there are cheaper alternatives that will suit your present needs.
You can even buy older 2/3" SD cams for a cheaper price than an EX1R. Do you need HD for dance recitals?
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Old March 20th, 2011, 11:48 AM   #10
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

I'm starting to get tape error code C:31:22 with my Z1 and they are becoming more frequent (1 out 10 tapes). So instead of spending a lot of money on trying to fix an intermittent problem, I thought it be best to put the money towards a new camera.

For the depo work I agree the EX is overkill. It be nice for the dance recitals which drive me crazy with the low light but they probably don't pay me enough to justify the EX. There is about a $1,500 price difference between the NX and EX. I also like convenience of tapeless.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 12:37 PM   #11
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

If the camera is starting to malfunction, then yeah, it's time to move on.

If low light is an issue, any 1/3" cam will be so-so in low light. I've used a Z1 and it was terrible in low light shooting. I've never used an NX5U, but with its CMOS chips, it's gotta be better. The EX1 is definitely better for low light.

If you want tapeless, time/date stamp and cheap media, the NX5U still seems like a better buy for you. My opinion, of course.
You can always buy used. Used EX1s are going for as low as $4,000 these days. NX5Us are even cheaper. As an example, here's one on ebay:

Sony NXCAM HXR-NX5U - eBay (item 190513777935 end time Mar-21-11 15:10:33 PDT)

I'm not endorsing you buying this one, I'm merely showing it as an example of used prices.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 02:31 PM   #12
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Re: EX1R vs NX5

thx for the suggestion that is a good price
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