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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 April 10th, 2011, 08:13 PM   #16
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Re: input from ex users appreciated/

I have an EX1 and EX3 and for single camera shoots, I always choose the EX3. I should admit part of the reason is being used to the layout of buttons on the EX3 whereas my assistant uses the EX1. I do a lot of ENG work so here is what I have added and why:

1) upgraded from Sachtler FSB-6 to FSB-8 for the EX3 because the FSB6 is just not stable enough for long telephoto use. Also, begin adding any extra gear, and the FSB 6 cannot handle the weight (ie its counter-weight becomes useless). I also upgraded from the base 2 stage legs to the one stage Carbon Fiber legs. They are a bit lighter and setup time is much much quicker.

2) bought a Zacuto Newsman Baseplate shoulder rig plus a v-mount plate, double mount and a couple accessories. Hand-holding either camera causes me back pain between the shoulder blades after a couple minutes so I desperately needed something to alleviate all strain on my back (all thanks to a bad car accident 5 yrs ago). My EX3 is now mounted 98% of the time to this Zacuto rig and is worth every penny (at $2400, it better be, plus everything has a lifetime warranty).

3) I use a Varizoom Pro-EX zoom controller on a tripod and a Varizoom Rock-EX on the Zacuto right handle. The Pro-EX is amazing and has a speed dial which allows for easy and perfect start and stop zooms. It also is all metal so it can withstand field abuse.

4) nanoFlash for higher quality recordings and greenscreen use. I find the PP settings really need to be finely tuned due to the high noise of the EX-cams. However, these cameras have such high resolution that I can get the noise levels down quite a bit at the expense of a little resolution. Also, heavy grading (in After Effects) works much better with the 280Mb 422 I-frame nanoFlash files.

I used the EX1 for 15 months and then I needed something with Genlock so this was my ultimate reason behind getting the EX3 as I can lock the EX3 to the EX1 via the EX1's composite or component output into the EX3's Genlock.

Personally, I would go for the EX3 but some other considerations should be made.

1) The EX1r is MUCH easier to travel with due to the EX3's VF.

2) The EX1r does not require an IR filter; however, I have never ever had someone say anything about brownish/reddish blacks. I have the Tiffen T1 IR filter but never use it on either camera due to the light loss and yellow tinge.

3) The EX3 has 2 shoes and many more buttons on the body for easier use; however, I have the 'Full Menu' on so some of the switches & buttons are disengaged, which requires changing of certain settings via the LCD.

Here are some photos (taken with my EX1 and lit with a Litepanels SolaENG 3 fresnel LED light). I LOVE LOVE LOVE this light and use 2 of them instead of Arri 300w fresnels. In these images, I have a Dedo LEDzilla fresnel and nanoFlash, 88whr Swit v-mount battery, Varizoom Rock-EX and 3.5lb counter-weight. In the left photo, the rig is perfectly balanced. Before I bought everything in this photo, I tested this setup versus a PMW-350 in addition to a few other shoulder rigs and nothing came close to the Zacuto's balance, adjustability and build quality. I really think that this rig plus EX3 gives all the benefits of a true ENG camera but is much smaller, lighter and more modular/adjustable.
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input from ex users appreciated/-zacuto1_small.jpg   input from ex users appreciated/-zacuto2_small.jpg  

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Old April 10th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #17
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Re: input from ex users appreciated/

While the EX3 is preferable to the EX1, in a similar situation I would be looking at the similarly priced NEX-FS100. Timing might not be ideal because it is a very fresh product, but now you're jumping from SD to HD I'd be considering the camera form factor and modularity, operational flexibility of the wide range of available lenses, and the industry move to larger format sensors.
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Old April 10th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #18
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Re: input from ex users appreciated/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serena Steuart View Post
While the EX3 is preferable to the EX1, in a similar situation I would be looking at the similarly priced NEX-FS100. Timing might not be ideal because it is a very fresh product, but now you're jumping from SD to HD I'd be considering the camera form factor and modularity, operational flexibility of the wide range of available lenses, and the industry move to larger format sensors.
Except for ENG use, this camera is horrible because it has no ND filter, small buttons and no HD-SDI. At least with the AF100 and F3, these cams can be made into ENG cameras. The AF100 can use B4 2/3" lenses via an adapter and it looks great. The F3 will eventually have electronically controlled zoom lenses. Both cameras also have TC, Genlock and HD-SDI. Most gear designed for ENG use is HD-SDI based.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 12:52 AM   #19
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Re: input from ex users appreciated/

Good points. Not sure that the lack of built in NDs is the problem people think it is, but otherwise I haven't had my hands on one to try. Bit cheaper than the F3! Superficially it does look better suited to the more controlled filming environments
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Old April 12th, 2011, 01:54 AM   #20
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Re: input from ex users appreciated/

The argument for internal ND filters is strong only for ENG (or run-n-gun) and in any controlled situation changing filters and lenses is normal operation, and there the lack of internal NDs is of no consequence. Those arguing that the FS100 is not suited to ENG may well be right (they said the same of the EX1, buttons too small, etc). The point about the benefits of bigger sensors is that resolution is determined by the sensor characteristics together with lens characteristics, but in small sensors (0.5") the sensor is so powerfully limiting that maximum resolution can be achieved only with large lens apertures (f/4).

My point may be better made supported by data. The sensor is nominally 13.3mm "vertical", so for 1080 lines, red light of 630nm, any aperture wider than roughly f/16 resolution will not be degraded by diffraction. For a 0.5" sensor, the corresponding aperture is f/4.4. So using 0.5" camera with a built in zoom lens you have a working range of aperture of, say, f/2.8 to f/4 (or even f/2 to f/4), so you really need more than 1 ND for working around shade and sun. The FS100 will allow you another 4 stops, so a single ND suited to, say, a sunny day, will allow you the exposure control you need. Indoors, take off the ND. And under controlled conditions, where is the problem? And is this really a problem for ENG? And note, shallow DoF is a different issue and, I suggest, only pertinent under controlled conditions.

Last edited by Serena Steuart; April 12th, 2011 at 01:57 AM. Reason: DoF
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