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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 27th, 2011, 01:13 AM   #1
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PMW-EX* Successor?

Given the time proximity to NAB, I would normally refrain from speculating. But, out of curiosity I was wondering if anyone foresees Sony consolidating their PMW-EX1R and EX-3 into one camera with an interchangeable lens system with in-camera 4:2:2 recording?

This, of course, given the fact that the FS100 seems to be aimed at the lower end of the cinematographic scale while the PMW-F3 seems to be aimed at the upper end of the scale.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 02:09 AM   #2
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

I think that the EX 1&3 are such terrific all around cameras that they will likely be around for quite a while.
You can shoot ENG full auto like it's a Handicam, you can use a 35mm adaptor, matte box, & follow focus and shoot a feature film. It's a piece of work indeed!
I can't imagine what Sony will do in the way of future upgrades to the line, but I'm skeptical that the FS100 can knock the EX out of the marketplace. It seems to be a different sort of animal with more limited applications.
Maybe Sony has been so busy with all of the new releases that we won't see EX changes this year, but who knows.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 03:16 AM   #3
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

Sony could release a firmware update to EX1-3 and PMW-EX320 - 350 so they will record 50 mbs. That will bring the cameraes back in compettiting with Canon.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #4
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

You may have noticed that the price dropped $3k US on the PMW-500, Sony's 4:2:2 50Mb camera with SxS storage. Thus, it is doubtful that we are going to see anything else. Convergent Design confirmed two years ago that 50Mb/s on the EX-1/r and EX-3 are not possible because of the hardware design and codex chip used. Then there is the whole debate that the EX1/3 line video is two noisy to obtain any significant benefits from 50Mb/s. Hence the reason why Sony choose to go with 2/3" sensors on its PMW-500. But who knows, the market is heating up, especially now that the Convergent Gemini is on the horizon. Cheers!
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Old March 27th, 2011, 11:01 AM   #5
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

In terms of sensors and image, the PMW-500 is really more like the 800 or 700 series cameras, with CCD rather than CMOS sensors and their inherently higher power requirements -- it just records to SxS cards instead of to disc. Also remember that when recording to 50 Mbit 4:2:2 it uses a different file structure (UDF) on the SxS card than when recording 35 Mbit 4:2:0 (FAT).
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Old March 27th, 2011, 05:07 PM   #6
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry J. Anwender View Post
Convergent Design confirmed two years ago that 50Mb/s on the EX-1/r and EX-3 are not possible because of the hardware design and codex chip used.
If it's possible to put the 50Mbs codec into the new Canons - the XF100 series, let alone the XF300s - I don't see why it is not possible to put it on an upgraded EX.
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Then there is the whole debate that the EX1/3 line video is two noisy to obtain any significant benefits from 50Mb/s.
I think the debate you're thinking of centres around the potential benefits of 10 bit v 8 bit acquisition, and there is indeed a big question mark over whether 10 bit working brings any real benefit except to very high end (and noise free) cameras. But the 50Mbs codec is still 8 bit, and the advantages are more down to colour space and lower overall compression, and an improvement is noticeable when a nanoFlash is used.

I don't know whether Sony will implement an EX with a 50Mbs mode, I certainly think they should, but I suspect the answer will be "no".
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Old March 27th, 2011, 05:15 PM   #7
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

I suspect we may be on the cusp of a paradigm shift toward larger sensors. If that is true, cameras such as the EX1/EX3 may be the last of the breed. We may be seeing clues of this with some of the newer models such as the Sony NEXFS100U. I bought an EX1R a year ago ago. If I were making the decision now, I would look carefully at the NEXFS100U
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Old March 27th, 2011, 05:49 PM   #8
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

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I bought an EX1R a year ago ago. If I were making the decision now, I would look carefully at the NEXFS100U
As a VG10 owner (the junior version of that camera) my opinion is that such cameras compliment the EX1, they don't replace it.

Select your own lens? Nice! The ability to take a 11mm lens with me on shoots that gives lovely wide shots while the EX1 does the donkey work is great.

But no power zoom? Aliasing? A shallow depth of field that makes run and gun next to impossible? It's hard work compared to an EX1 which just, well, works really.

These cameras are aimed at "film makers" who are prepared to sacrifice features for shallow DoF and the creativity of different lenses. Certainly the VG10 is a difficult and slow beast to shoot with. The results can be very rewarding but it can be a struggle getting there. If you have lots of time it isn't a problem but on shoots where time is at a premium it can be a challenge.

Cameras that can use DSLR lenses are extremely interesting but the technology is far from mature and they aren't really suited to the same kind of applications an EX1 is.

And of course if Sony haven't fixed the aliaising issues on this new camera it's not going to be able to justify its price tag.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 09:54 PM   #9
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

Marcus, I agree with your assessment from the perspective of an overview of the current crop of cameras but I believe 'trump' has been changed and we will continue to see larger sensor video cameras ascend to the forefront. I agree that these cameras need the accouterments of VIDEO cameras. It is a pain to be constrained by the photo-centric limitations of some of the early renderings but I believe market forces and competition will propel a maturation of the coming crop of full-featured VIDEO cameras.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 10:31 PM   #10
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

I think were forgetting that the laws of physics have a part to play here. Most broadcast lenses are f1.8, fast lenses. They are also 14x or greater zooms and they are parfocal, that means the focus does not change throughout the zoom range. With a larger sensor, you need larger glass elements to achieve the same f-stop. Large lens elements are expensive to make, especially if you want low chromatic aberration. A f1.8 (or even f2.8) parfocal 14x zoom lens for super 35mm will be very big, very heavy and extremely expensive. While large sensor cameras may be getting more sensitive, when it comes to low light performance the lens is crucial. For that reason alone for many applications large sensor cameras are not going to replace 2/3" and 1/2" cameras as general purpose, all round cameras any time soon.

Yes we will probably see a dramatic increase in the use of large sensor camcorders in some genres such as documentary, corporate and drama. But for sports, news and event television the 2/3" sensor and 1/2" sensor will remain the sweet spot for many years to come.

I think there will be many people that will rush out to buy one of the new super35 camcorders only to be frustrated by having to change lenses for different shots or not having servo zooms or parfocal lenses. Eventually they will get fed up with all the extra hassle, especially if shooting on a tight schedule or on the run and end up going back to a more conventional camcorder.

I love my PMW-F3, but I'm definitely not ready to give up my EX1 yet.

I doubt we will see a new EX at NAB. I suspect the engineers have been busy on the F3. Maybe next year, but I doubt it will ever be 50Mb/s.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 10:43 PM   #11
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

The more I learn about this stuff the more it comes down to what type of shooting you do. If you are shooting staged drama then you need an different camera that if you are shooting live sports. Sure there can be overlap but this is at the heart of new camera model design.

In this economic situation I would be surprised at very many refreshes of exisiting cameras. Quite frankly a lot of people are just making do with what they have. Take the 5DMKII. If I was Canon I would see no economic reason to update it yet. It is still a leader in its class. Same goes for the EX-1. We all want improvements but that does not make them econimically viable for the companies that make the cameras.

Alister raises great point about the the shear cost and physics regarding lenses. 2/3" is about the limit of sensor size for "video" style cameras. Anything larger and I do not think you can classify it as a video camera. It becomes more of a film type camera.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 12:05 AM   #12
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

Thanks for the explanation Alister. Would the cost/ size issue be helped if the "kit" lens on a large sensor camera was a maximum aperture of f4 for example? Since the lens is removable, faster lenses could be used as needed. I know there is a difference between an engineering challenge and a miracle worker but there is a big reward to those who can make headway on this issue.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 02:48 AM   #13
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

Hi
Always heard that it was the the same chip that Sony and Convergent Design used. Sad to hear that the EX1-3 will not be upgraded to 50 mbs. Hope still for PMW-EX350 ?
Regarding the sensor size - what would the problem be making a large sensor with a readout of the 2/3" part for broadcast and the hole chip for filmmaking?
I have orderd a Canon 600D and as far as I can read, it can digitally zoom up to 10x without loss of quality. I am aware that using a smaller part of the lens reduses resolution a bit but if you change your lens for whatever job you need to do ?
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Old March 28th, 2011, 03:03 AM   #14
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

There is a S35 lens that is fairly close to the aperture and and field of view of the EX lens. It's only 11kg and totally manual.

Down the bottom, 24-290. Optimo PL mount zoom lenses

On the more practical side, Tamron have a few light weight zooms. Aperture ramps hugely, 3.5-6.3, and I doubt it holds focus zooming, probably varifocal.

Tamron -All-in-One Zoom Lenses (Di II Lenses)

So those are about your physical limits lens wise. Some where in the middle would be useable hand held. Sony have a few planned which look good.

Sony PMW-F3 Zooms and Updates Film and Digital Times: News
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Old March 28th, 2011, 05:45 AM   #15
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Re: PMW-EX* Successor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Skelmose View Post
digitally zoom up to 10x without loss of quality.
That is impossible.
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