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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 October 21st, 2012, 01:43 PM   #1
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EX-3 replacement

ANy one here about anything regarding a ex-3 update or replacement ?
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Old October 21st, 2012, 04:55 PM   #2
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Re: EX-3 replacement

Nope. But then again anyone who really knows would be under an NDA anyway.

I will say that since the PMW-100, -150 & -200 it does seem almost inevitable that there might be a PMW-300 in the "near future" to extend the 50Mbps 4.2.2 goodness further. That's the one I am waiting for. More ergonomic than the PMW-200, excellent viewfinder and interchangeable lens, with a fully rotating handle like my EX3 please.....

As to when that might be I don' t know but Sony seem to be spitting out new models at an amazing rate recently and of course we have the "new F3" teaser regarding the announcement at the end of this month too, whatever that might be about. [ I doubt it will have anything to do with an EX3 replacement but it might give us some more clues as to the next cameras in the Sony line up in the near term].

I guess this should be in Area 51.
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Old October 21st, 2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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Re: EX-3 replacement

Here's hoping that it's a completely new design, not reusing something like the upcoming NEX-EA50's body. Something as rugged as the F3, yet shoulder-mountable like the EX3.

The PMW-100, 150/160, 200 just re-used a lot of the NXCAM design in it's body.

And a big no-no would be the DC IN inside the battery socket. If Sony pulls that off again in #TheNewF and the new EX3, you know they are intent on pissing off the 3rd-party battery manufacturers.
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 03:26 AM   #4
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Re: EX-3 replacement

...and not just 3rd party battery makers!

On a number of occasions I've been doing corporate events work and watching the battery on my EX3 creep towards empty. It's then simply a matter of finding mains power and plugging that in the side, no worries, no lost footage. There is no way I could do that with this latest backward step regarding the DC IN plug/jack positioning - as you would have to power the cam down to remove the battery to be able to access the socket (to spell it out).

Sony, if you read this stuff, don't roll this DC IN plug positioning out any further than you already have in the new PMW line-up. These are supposed to be professional tools.
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; October 22nd, 2012 at 06:57 AM. Reason: typos!
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 06:04 AM   #5
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Re: EX-3 replacement

With the PMW100 and PMW200 Sony has created a very illogical situation: camera's like the PMW320 and PMW350, that cost a multiple of he 100- and 200-series, theoretically deliver lower image quality (35 Mb/sec instead of 50, and 4:2:0 instead of 4:2:2...)
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 06:18 AM   #6
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Re: EX-3 replacement

There is a lot more to image quality than the codec alone. In some respects the codec is the least important part, after all, rubbish in, rubbish out. The lens and sensor are more important.

The PMW-350 produces a better image than the PMW-200 in my opinion. The situation with the PMW-320 is little changed really as this was always significantly more expensive than the EX1R but only marginally better (it's basically an EX1 in a big box with slightly improved image processing). If you really need the best image quality then you have the PMW-500.
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 06:53 AM   #7
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Re: EX-3 replacement

350 + Nanoflash seems to be popular to get around the codec limitations.

I'd be very surprised if 3 2/3'' sensors make it into a body around the size of the F3 and be shoulder-mount compatible like the EX3.

One thing we will be guaranteed not to see anytime soon is 1080p50/60. Broadcast is likely to skip to 4K before 1080p50/60 becomes a broadcast standard.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 01:05 PM   #8
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Re: EX-3 replacement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
Here's hoping that it's a completely new design, not reusing something like the upcoming NEX-EA50's body. Something as rugged as the F3, yet shoulder-mountable like the EX3.

The PMW-100, 150/160, 200 just re-used a lot of the NXCAM design in it's body.

And a big no-no would be the DC IN inside the battery socket. If Sony pulls that off again in #TheNewF and the new EX3, you know they are intent on pissing off the 3rd-party battery manufacturers.
Causing some headache, probably. But the really smart ones (SWIT) already have a battery that talks natively to the camera and does not need the DC Jack, like with EX1/EX3 :-)
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Old October 24th, 2012, 06:18 PM   #9
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Re: EX-3 replacement

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
There is a lot more to image quality than the codec alone. In some respects the codec is the least important part, after all, rubbish in, rubbish out. The lens and sensor are more important.
That can't be said too many times.
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The situation with the PMW-320 is little changed really as this was always significantly more expensive than the EX1R but only marginally better (it's basically an EX1 in a big box with slightly improved image processing).
I suspect you are talking from an image quality point of view, in which case you are perfectly correct. But the PMW-320 offers significant benefits in other ways - ergonomics, ease of use of accessories, pro batteries etc, connectivity and so forth. It becomes possible to think of it as a true pro shouldermount camera, you can use it with such as radiocamera backs etc.

That's why I bought one. The PMW350 would undoubtably have been better - but it's a LOT more expensive than an EX1R. The PMW320 was not THAT much more expensive than the EX1R yet it gives all the benefits of true pro styling, ergonomics, connectivity etc.

At the moment, the 35Mbs codec is OK for me, the ability to use SDHC cards via an adaptor is important, but I can't deny that I now find it strange that cheaper cameras in the XDCAM range have the 50Mbs codec whilst the 320/350 don't. If work needed 50Mbs, I'd have to get an external recorder. It would be far more satisfactory to just switch the codec, even accepting that it would need "real" SxS cards. In that respect, I agree with Luc De Wandel that the current situation is illogical.

It means that in broadcast terms the PMW200 is considered acceptable - the PMW350 isn't. Even though I think we both agree that the 350 will give the better image! As Alister rightly says - lens and front end are generally more important than codec, at least within reason.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 08:15 PM   #10
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Re: EX-3 replacement

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Originally Posted by Alex Dolgin View Post
Causing some headache, probably. But the really smart ones (SWIT) already have a battery that talks natively to the camera and does not need the DC Jack, like with EX1/EX3 :-)
Huh, would it also happen to offer a D-tap out? That's what's important because I would need to power my Nanoflash at the same time.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 09:36 PM   #11
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Re: EX-3 replacement

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Even though I think we both agree that the 350 will give the better image!
Well, I sure wouldn't agree with that. I will put up an EX1R, 320, or 200 up against the 350 any day of the week. I've used them all and I know without a shadow of doubt which one is the weakest, regardless of the supposed benefits of a larger sensor.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 03:27 AM   #12
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Re: EX-3 replacement

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Well, I sure wouldn't agree with that. I will put up an EX1R, 320, or 200 up against the 350 any day of the week. I've used them all and I know without a shadow of doubt which one is the weakest, regardless of the supposed benefits of a larger sensor.
Doug, I'm sure there must have been something wrong with the PMW350 that you had. I often intercut EX1/3 and PMW350 footage, I have never had a single occasion where I would prefer the 1/2" camera image. I haven't used a PMW200/320 so can't comment on those models, so I'm just referring to the EX1/3.

The EX line has significantly more noise, the highlight handling is worse, the processing can lead to plasticy skin tones, the built in/kit lenses are worse. Granted there are times when they can be made to match very closely but particularly under challenging conditions, the PMW350 has a significant lead over the EX line in my experience.

Can you elaborate on the issues you had with the PMW350? I'm aware that you know your stuff so I'm intrigued why your experience is so different to mine.

I agree with the point about codecs - it now seems illogical that the PMW100 has 50Mbps 4:2:2 and the PMW350 does not, at 5 times the price! It was clearly Sony trying to protect it's PDW700/800 models when they released the 350.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 03:45 AM   #13
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Re: EX-3 replacement

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I often intercut EX1/3 and PMW350 footage, I have never had a single occasion where I would prefer the 1/2" camera image. I haven't used a PMW200/320 so can't comment on those models, so I'm just referring to the EX1/3.
I have to say Doug surprised me with the comment about the PMW350 as well. I'm very pleased with the PMW320 - it's fantastic value for money - but everything I'm heard would suggest the extra cost of the 350 does bring improvements. Just not enough to make it worthwhile for me personally.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 05:47 AM   #14
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Re: EX-3 replacement

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Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
Huh, would it also happen to offer a D-tap out? That's what's important because I would need to power my Nanoflash at the same time.
Yes, it got the D-Tap!
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Old October 25th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #15
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Re: EX-3 replacement

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Can you elaborate on the issues you had with the PMW350? I'm aware that you know your stuff so I'm intrigued why your experience is so different to mine..
We had a long thread about this a few years ago and I'm not going to go into it again. There is something about that 2/3" CMOS sensor (the only camera that uses it) or it's image processing that does not look good.

It's not just my opinion. In the past few months I was contacted by a couple of Fortune 500 companies and a major league sports franchise to consult with them on new camera purchases. All three were leaning towards the 350 when they first contacted me. I suggested they get demo cameras and do their own testing. None of the three one ended up buying the 350. I also know two individuals who have purchased and returned them.

Alister says there is a lot more to image quality than the codec alone, and I totally agree with that. But I would also say there is a lot more to image quality than sensor size. Everyone just assumes the 350 must be better than 1/2" cameras because it is 2/3". But I find that doesn't hold true at all.

If you want me to be more specific, sorry, I don't have time to run over this old ground again.
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