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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 6th, 2017, 04:25 AM   #16
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

Still a capable camera and worth considering if the price is right. Still using my EX3 (bigger sister, same tech) regularly.

Two things:

Make sure to upgrade firmware so it can use later generation SxS card. Older EX1 cannot use 32GB cards. Harder to find the smaller cards these days.

The other thing you will run into is low light / noise performance. While the camera is still the same, the client's perception what workable conditions are and what to expect from challenging conditions has changed due to current generation of cameras having a lot more latitude.

So if you use it in well lit interiors or for exterior shots, not a problem. If you use it a lot in dark interiors consider another camera. Realistically the EX series cannot be rated higher than ISO 200 without pushing image quality. Most current generation cameras are rated at ISO 800 or higher with the use of SLog. That's at least two stops of light you're losing.

An alternative to consider which is similar and also available second hand at good prices is the F3.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 12:03 PM   #17
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

Yes, but... the ex1's lens is a constant f1/9, if comparing to a dslr's iso performance, remember that long and fast lenses are either non existent, or very expensive. it's a really really great lens range and speed, i wish i still had it for certain shoots...

If i recall my ex1 days, i was quite happy up to 9db.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 12:39 PM   #18
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

Yep, up to 9db was acceptable. I had an EX1R and an EX3. Between the two, the EX1R had slightly better picture quality. The EX1 and EX3 both suffered from blacks that looked almost magenta in some lighting conditions. I believe that it was referred to as IR contamination. The EX1R was much better at producing "blacker" blacks.

I have been shooting with a Sony PMW-300 (EX3 replacement) for the past of couple of years and love it, the best camera that I have had in over 30 years of shooting. Just wish Sony would come up with a 4K replacement for it.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 12:54 PM   #19
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

actually the ex1 only SAYS it's constant aperture...even though it says 1.9 through the range, it actually loses something like a stop as you zoom all the way in.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 11:56 PM   #20
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

Older EX1 cannot use 32GB

with ver 3 firmware no problem. haven't tried 64gb, but 32 are working fine for me.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 06:00 AM   #21
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie Wand View Post
with ver 3 firmware no problem. haven't tried 64gb, but 32 are working fine for me.
Right. We had one the other day which was still on 1.03 and it wouldn't take any 32GB cards.
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Old March 8th, 2017, 08:06 AM   #22
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

Hello there,

had the chance to look up close and personal the EX1 on offer.
Pretty beaten up, with lots of cosmetic wear and tear, and lots of hours. Didn't inspire much confidence to me, so I passed.
I noticed that the current owner uses an SD card to SxS adaptor, so that reduced a lot the operating costs, I suppose.

Now, I am looking toward an NX100 or similar. I know that's a different animal, but cameras in the EX1 category (or the Canon XF300) are out of my price range...

N.F.
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Old March 9th, 2017, 08:02 AM   #23
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

I'm not sure how much to worry about hours except as an indicator of use for other mechanical parts.

I bought a used Ex1r about 5 years ago and it still is a great camera -- good enough that I'm going back to it for a current project because of the quality and professional flexibility it gives me. The only thing that has stopped working is the rear thumb wheel on the back that changes menu options. A HUGE plus for the camera is the redundancy of key functions including this which allows me to use the joystick on the top to perform the same function. It's not quite as convenient, but I adjusted to it almost immediately.

As long as it functions properly, I wouldn't worry too much about cosmetics unless it's really bad and might possibly be an indicator of misuse and poor care.

If it wasn't so darn big and heavy and perform relatively poorly in low light compared to newer cameras, I'd still use it all the time.

(NOTE: The extra weight is a plus during springtime in Texas when the wind blows steadily giving far less shake on zooms. It also makes jib moves smoother as long as it's well balanced.)
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Old March 9th, 2017, 10:37 AM   #24
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

The viewfinder on the original EX1 is just about useless, it's about like the viewfinder on a VX-2000. I don't know why they even bothered to put that viewfinder on an HD camera. But the LCD screen is very nice, so I use a hood on the screen and it works well.

The EX1R had an upgraded viewfinder, but IIRC there were still some complaints about it.
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Old March 9th, 2017, 03:19 PM   #25
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

@ phil - i'm the other way - i always use the joystick, hated the wheel at the back ;-) also like the fact you can so easily change parameters on the lcd screen with it - very neat indeed.

@ boyd - it's bad, but not THAT bad. i use a hoodman on the lcd when possible, but quite often use the viewfinder when outside in inclement weather. it works, and with peaking i haven't had any problems with focus.
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Last edited by Leslie Wand; March 9th, 2017 at 07:38 PM.
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Old April 12th, 2017, 11:01 AM   #26
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

I would really like to find a modern 4k replacement for the EX1 I bought in Jan 2009. The camera has been such a workhorse when I think about it, and it's still in great condition.

I just filmed some theatre shows with my EX1 (left), an EX1R (right) and my JVC LS300 (wide and in 4k so I could zoom in post). With a simple talkback system between me and the EX1R operator it worked out nicely:


I've just spent three days shooting my regular tool demo videos with the EX1 on my jib. It certainly is heavy, and while the lens does bump a little on low speed zoom-outs I can work around it. I shoot on 32GB SD cards with the latest firmware and have no problems. The main screen backlight is starting to fade a little it seems, perhaps I'm just used to better screen on other cameras. Of course I'll never sell the camera as it's worth so little, which is both a good and bad thing I suppose!
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Old April 19th, 2017, 02:38 PM   #27
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

Probably the closest Sony 4K cameras are the Sony PXW-Z100 or the PXW-Z150.
They may not handle as well in low light as the EX1 which I owned from when it was introduced (early 2008 I believe) to when I sold it in 2015. I currently use a PXW-X70 because I need a small camera.

Sony moved to single chip cameras in this area. The codec is generally much better than the EX1 in that it's XAVC and may be 10 bit 4:2:2 Long GOP or Intra depending on the settings. On the Z150 the aperture does stop down a bit when zoomed. I can't recall if the Z100 does the same. I wouldn't be surprised if Sony replaces or updates the Z100 at NAB since I don't think they consider the Z150 (which is newer and less expensive) an actual replacement for the Z100. The Z100 is a 1/2.3" sensor and can shoot Intra in 4k. The Z150 is larger 1" sensor but only shots 8 bit 4:2:0 Long GOP in UHD. Z100 widest aperture is F1.6 whereas the Z150 ix F2.8.

The "real" last in the EX series is probably the Sony PXW-X200 which has 3 1/2" sensors like the EX1 but it doesn't shoot 4k/UHD. This is why I think we may see a model beyond the Z100 and Z150 (a Z200?) that might be a little more EX1 like.
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Old April 19th, 2017, 03:47 PM   #28
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

Thanks Craig. Very useful information to continue my reading!
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 07:52 AM   #29
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

I have owned an EX1r for many years. It has been used to collect footage for all kinds of programs. The zoom reach is great for event shooting. Slap a wide angle adapter on it and you can run and gun with the best of them. The zoom is touchy when you try and creep zoom, a known issue. Yes, the lens ramps up an fstop when you zoom in, but the camera has served me well. I keep looking for a 4K version of this camera, but I have yet to find one. The closest I have come is the Sony FS5, but you have to add lenses to make it as versatile. The 18-110 zoom lens makes it come close, but then the price ramps up.
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Old April 24th, 2017, 08:27 AM   #30
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Re: Is the Sony EX1 still a good camera?

My Z150 feels a lot like a 4K version of my EX1 except with a better viewfinder that can actually be used for shooting.
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