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Old August 8th, 2011, 10:48 AM   #1
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Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

I am gearing up to buy some new camera hardware and I'm looking at purchasing an F3 with an EX3 as a second camera/ENG camera. The ENG use is the highest priority as I'm worried that the F3 might struggle in some of those situations.

I was wondering if you guys had any opinions on whether the EX3 is still a good buy or if there is something else in the same price range that might work better for the ENG-type uses.

I like the fact that both cameras are XDCAM so the workflow would be simple and the cameras may match a little better in post. But it does feel like maybe the EX3 is getting a little long in the tooth?

Thanks for any help!
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Old August 8th, 2011, 01:03 PM   #2
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

that is a hard one,
EX3 is a three, or even four years old camcorder, I mean design wise, and it is mentally hard to spend that much on a piece of getting outdated hardware, but strange enough there is nothing better ( in the same price range) for ENG work than EX1/R/3 on the market at the moment , F3 is a beauty, but if you do plan some ENG work, I would still get maybe EX1, not EX3, and most likely used, but low hours.
I'm using my EX1 on every job, along with DSLRs, and for event steadicam work I can't find better camera,
hope Red Scarlet will change things around :)
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Old August 8th, 2011, 03:16 PM   #3
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

Yeah - it's definitely tough to overcome that thought that there might be a hardware refresh very soon.

As long as the camera works though right? Hopefully the ENG lens coming next year for the F3 will help that camera take over anyways.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

The EX3 is still my favorite camera.

There is nothing better in my opinion, and it can be very comfortable as a shoulder rig.

I also have an AF100, EX1R, 5DmkII, and a 7D.

The 1/2" chip is really sweet and with a NanoFlash the quality is fantastic.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 05:04 PM   #5
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

I faced the same decision two months ago. Ended up buying an EX3 and don't regret it a bit.
Of course mine is not stock. Lots of add-ons, a pair of Lectro wireless mics, wide angle zoom through adapter, stronger base plate and the rest of the toys bigger cameras have.

It performs beautifully. Plus I can use it for live shots as well. Fed video via fiber to New York from Miami last week and they couldn't believe the quality.

Sure, you show up with the smaller looking camera and people wonder...and then they see the video and they don't wonder any more.

An F3 would have been my first choice but...I went for the best bang for the buck and got the extras I wanted.

I hit the middle market perfectly with that and still tap into the high end and don't have to be ashamed of the video/audio quality. Plus it's an easy work flow for a variety of client needs. I do everything from BBC and a couple of the American networks to corporate and smaller local production work. I'd rather work every day I can, big or small, than limit myself to just "big" or "small" clients.

But that's just me. You have to get what works for you in your market.

Just saying...there's always going to be some newer toy no matter when you buy. The EX3 has been around long enough to have plenty of the bugs worked out of it. I'll work this one for three years or so, then get something else.

Remember...no camera lasts forever.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

The EX3 is still the best bang for the buck of any camera in history. Period.
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Old August 8th, 2011, 07:04 PM   #7
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

Hi, Doug, from what I know I agree with you, but could you qualify that a little, as you operate with the EX1 as part of your camera offerings, instead of the EX3?
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Old August 8th, 2011, 07:57 PM   #8
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

I sold my EX3 because I didn't need it anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't think it is the best bang for the buck. If I only had ONE camera, it would be an EX3 because it's a good jack-of-all-trades camera. It offers all the great features, functions, and workflow advantages of XDCAM; fantastic picture quality with the right picture profile and exposure settings; fairly small size; easy to hand-hold for long periods of time; low power consumption; allows the use of a variety of lenses; better viewfinder than any camera in it's class; etc.

I sold mine because I have an F800 when I want a big, full-blown, shoulder-mount ENG/EFP camera . . . I have the EX1 for times when I need a super-portable backpack camera . . . and I have an F3 for when I want a true cinema camera with shallow DoF and use PL lenses.

The EX3 just didn't have a place in that line-up. But, if I could only have one camera, that would be the one.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 04:12 AM   #9
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

It is always difficult to choose when a model have been out for so many years. Sony must be out with a camera soon, that make 1920x1080 50P and can do 3D - not that you need 3D but the framerate would be lovely. They are not very good in telling what they are working on - guess it will destroy the sales.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 06:20 AM   #10
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

This is the 3D camera that is just around the corner, and it is NOT a substitute for the EX3. Two different cameras for two different purposes.

Sony | Broadcast and Business Solutions

If you want 1920x1080 @ 50P or 60P, then get an FS100 now.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 12:53 PM   #11
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

In my case, I'm far from the level of Doug Jensen. From the standpoint that I'm not one to own a variety of cameras. The few times a person has wanted to hire me but desires a different camera model...I'll rent what I need to get the job.

In Doug Jensen's case, it makes sense to go for the EX1 as a keeper in his stable. It is smaller than the EX3 and will fit in tighter spots...when a GoPro just isn't enough. And his plenty of other horses to ride to meet his wide variety of client needs.

When it comes down to it...I'm a very low overhead guy while still reaching into the network pie from time to time.

This is when the question of "what camera to buy" can not be answered simply. There are many variables and if you are one of those who owns several cameras, you approach the question very differently from those of us who only own one!

That doesn't make one person "better" than the other.

Just different business models to achieve the "happiness formula" both in life and the wallet.

All this said...I could not be happier with my new EX3. It is living up to everything I'd hoped it would be and more! Especially with the help of some very talented people who take the time to share their knowledge and shorten my learning curve! ;)
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Old August 15th, 2011, 01:18 PM   #12
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

Both Olof's and Doug's comments resonate with me... Like you are planning Jeremy I own and operate both the F3 and the EX3. If you do event/ENG work you will need an EX3 or something similar. As you suspect the F3 will struggle (rather the camera operator will struggle) with a lot of shooting situations in an event/ENG scenario. If anything the F3 has clarified for me how fantastic the EX3 really is on so many levels.

Right now there is nothing on the market in the half inch chip arena that compares with the EX3 in terms of cost/benefit. It matches easily with F3 footage. You want the EVF on the EX3. I wouldn't consider the EX1R unless you have non-negotiable space considerations that factor into play.

I have no intention of selling my EX3 and have no itch to get something better or different as an all-purpose camera.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 02:39 PM   #13
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

As long as the camera fulfils the function to a suitable standard in your market there is little reason to worry about buying a camera. People have used older versions of professional cameras for many years after the latest version came out, because they still gave the required quality of images.
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Old August 18th, 2011, 04:58 PM   #14
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

We have shot more than 200 hours with the Ex-3 in very hostile environments . It has never missed a beat. We also own the ex-1R and like Doug it fits the bill when I want to go unnoticed or low profile. For those shoots where we need a full size studio configured camera, we have added the PMW 320. All three cameras are superb and I believe will serve us for several years to come. However, I must say that the work horse of our small company is the EX-3. Every time I hold another brand of camera the first thing I notice is the difference in the viewfinder. The EX-3 and PMW 320 have excellent viewfinders. The only draw back of the Ex-1R is the viewfinder.

If you purchase the Ex-3 I don't believe you will regret it.

Good Luck

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Old August 19th, 2011, 05:26 PM   #15
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Re: Purchase of an EX3 still worth it?

Yes, the viewfinder sold me on this camera. And of course the way the images look - I love the way it handles color. I can actually use this viewfinder to focus! I also think 1920x1080 will be with us for awhile...

Great viewfinder, great color, and an economical codec - I'd buy it again!
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