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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 November 30th, 2014, 08:44 PM   #1
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EX3 still worth getting?

Hi guys,
Have a chance to pick up an EX3 for under 3k Aus dollars. Compared sold listings on net it seems like a good deal.
I currently shoot mainly live events (concerts, some weddings).
I have a Z5 and MRK1 unit which is my work horse, and various GH 1 / 2s and a 4 for different applications.
The low light on the Z5 is ok, but gets grainy very fast in darker venues.
The low light on the GH4 is amazing with certain lenses, but the only lens that comes close to the range I need is the 14-140 and that is terrible in low light.
Anyway, enough observations.
Question-
Is the EX3 worth getting at this point in time or am I better to save some more coin and look at the PMW300 or something else?
Basically just want a Z5 that is better in low light.
Any thoughts appreciated.
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Old November 30th, 2014, 08:47 PM   #2
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Re: EX3 still worth getting?

It will be marginally better in low-light, and far worse than the GH4.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 10:07 AM   #3
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Re: EX3 still worth getting?

Tough call. I sold my EX3 nearly a year ago (to get the PMW-300). I also have a C100 and a ton of Canon glass.

EX3 is a truly lovely run-n-gun or events cam and is not too bad in low light compared to some out there (cr@p compared to my C100 though). My EX3 was a totally reliable, solid workhorse for 5 and a half years. The PMW-300 is basically and upgraded EX3 and has improved low light/slightly cleaner image thanks to more modern processing technology whilst still (essentially) using the same 1/2 inch sensors (if I understand it correctly). It's a lovely, lovely cam for the kind of work I often do. You also now get the benefit of the 422 50Mbps broadcast codec should that be important to you (e.g. green screen work) and XAVC for any really important stuff with it's much higher bit rate.

Now here's the thing. With the rate Sony are spitting out cameras and looking at what else they have released recently, I would not be surprised to see a 1080p50/60 capable successor to the PMW-300 announced sometime in the next 6 months....a PXW-X300 maybe?

That, if I'm correct, brings several possibilities to you:

1. Pick up a PMW-300 then (as they will be heavily discounted to clear stock or off-loaded by upgraders).
2. Jump on that cam if you've saved enough by then. 1080p50 is really nice in a lot of situations...and weddings is one where I think it's an important option.
3. Buy this EX3 now but keep saving and off-load it when item 2 is available.

Nothing wrong with the EX3 (and I can't comment on if the price you mention is a good deal) but with the rate Sony are releasing (more capable) cameras, then my main concern would be that the EX3 is going to look long in the tooth pretty soon/and so second-hand values will fall dramatically.

Just some musings.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 01:08 PM   #4
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Re: EX3 still worth getting?

Thanks Andy and Gary. Very worthwhile advice.
Im struggling to make this purchase. It just seems like a lot of money for old tech.
I dread Ive put the EX3 on a pedestal and the reality of it will not live up to that perception.
I prob should rent one for a weekend job to actually see if it is that much cleaner than my Z5.
Thanks again.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 02:27 PM   #5
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Re: EX3 still worth getting?

Glad to be able to try and help. I know I always really agonise over camera purchases...still debating if I trade my 2-year old C100 for a MkII version....or wait for the C300 MkII.... ;-)

Renting one (or, if pushed, the same technology EX1/r - but lacking the superb viewfinder of the EX3 of course) is a REALLY good idea to see if the 2007/2008 era EX family live up to your expectations, image wise (...my clients NEVER complained).

Good luck deciding what's best for you - and let'd let us know how it pans out!
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 08:47 AM   #6
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Re: EX3 still worth getting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerald Webb View Post
Is the EX3 worth getting at this point in time or am I better to save some more coin and look at the PMW300 or something else?
Any thoughts appreciated.
I don't see where it makes economic sense for you to spend $8000 on a PMW300 when for $8600 you could buy a Sony Fs7 with the Sony 18-105mm lens and be good to go.

In it's basic form the Fs7 is very small in size. Roughly the same size as the Ex3 and maybe even less weight than an Ex3 when paired with small glass like the Sony Alpha lenses.

Tony- I was pleased to see you give the Ex3 it's due. I hear so many bash this camera. I also found it to be a workhorse and perfect for run & gun. I could easily sling the Ex3 around and did so in swamps, deserts, extreme heat, extreme cold. It never locked-up on me like the F5 has done to me numerous times already. And unlike the F5 it wasn't needing boards replaced less than a year into ownership or constantly needing firmware updates. The Ex3 had a manual iris servo zoom in a very usable range for R & G, something that has yet to come to be for s35 cameras.

me with the F5- "Uh, no, sorry Mr. Field Producer, I missed it. You see, I was swapping from the 16-35mm to the 70-200mm and trying to get the sticky Optitek EF to FZ adapter to function...and my lens case was several yards away...and the F5 was asking me to perform "APR"...and...and..."

me with the Ex3- "Yep, I GOT it."
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 10:26 PM   #7
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Re: EX3 still worth getting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. David Pope View Post
me with the F5- "Uh, no, sorry Mr. Field Producer, I missed it. You see, I was swapping from the 16-35mm to the 70-200mm and trying to get the sticky Optitek EF to FZ adapter to function...and my lens case was several yards away...and the F5 was asking me to perform "APR"...and...and..."

me with the Ex3- "Yep, I GOT it."
Yup. The critical difference between a cinema camera and a ENG camera. Very good analogy!
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