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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 May 13th, 2007, 09:34 PM   #1
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Thoughts on XDCam EX

Hi Guys,

As an FX 7 user doing weddings and events, I have been quite disappointed with the HDV cam after many years using VX 2000's.

I have ordered a EX ( yeah I know, no final specs and no firm price, What am I doing?), but I had a credit from winning a small cam at the Sony roadshow here in Melbourne last year, so after trying out the FX 7, didn't want to order the V1.

Here's my thoughts. For wedding work, the FX 7 takes almost 10 seconds to turn on and start recording, with about 4 seconds to stop and start again because of the long GOP to tape, an extra-ordinary long time at a reception.

1. Will the EX address these two issues? Will it pre-write when in standby like when using a hard drive can?

2. The lock to turn my FX 7 ON is a reasonable idea, but you don't need to press the lock to turn it OFF.

This is really the wrong way around, as I've managed to touch the knob and turn the camera off while recording!!!!! I've also had a VX 2000 turn off when the On/Off button gets a little worn, this was not possible with a locking OFF position button (my old Panasonic DV1 had that!).

Can we have a a press lock to turn it off please?

3. The new Sony HVL-LBP light is too heavy for the FX 7. After two months it keeps working the screws holding the shoe to the camera loose, making the light wobble. The shoe probably would be better at the rear of the handle, making the camera better balanced for hand held event work.

The new Sony light needs a more secure (and better balanced) positioning on the camera.

Can these thoughts be communicated to someone (who cares) at Sony?

My thoughts from the field!!! (about 100 functions a year)!

Cheers Vaughan
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Old May 14th, 2007, 08:02 AM   #2
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Thoughts on XDCam EX

With regard to the screws coming loose on your shoe mount: I use the Sony HVL -20DW2 light on my PD-150 and was having the same problem with the light being too heavy, working the screws holding the shoe to the camera loose. I replaced the screws with slightly larger screws, and added a drop of super glue before inserting the new ones. This was about 4 years ago and I've never had a problem since. I use the light with the heavier 970 batteries.
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Old July 2nd, 2007, 08:55 PM   #3
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Yes please on the lock!

I meant to reply this earlier and forgot but, you really hit the nail on the head with that $%&^ switch! On the A1U it is really easy to turn off and I after a year using the Z1 I need to really be careful where I put my thumb and not shut the cam off!

I am a wedding shooter and feel your pain with the 10 sec to start... I hit the Z1 rec button every now and then to keep it in GO mode. I like the firestore feature of "pre-recording" a few seconds before you hit the start button.. It would be unbelievable to be able to program that into the EX! The amount of spontaneous stuff I have lost to that tape spool up is rediculous.

Obviously many here are excited to see this cam. The big chips I hope improve the low light over the Z1. I dial mine to 30 and 9db 1.6 when I don't want to use the light at night but still yearn for a little more :)

I sold 4 VX2000 and really don't miss them. The A1 stinks for low light but that is not what it was built to do anyway.

I read somewhere that the codec and the chips from the other cinealta line give a more organic grain which is really the holy grail it seems. That friggin guy from 50' films made me loose sleep about the look of video :)

My shooters have the home movie effect down!... now we just need the footage to look like film and were in the money :)

Can anyone guess how this thing might be on a Glidecam? There were speculations about it being lighter than the Z1 somewhere due to the no moving parts thing. Par or maybe 5lbs would be fine even with no vest. I don't use a vest with the Z1 and the GC.

Those are my thoughts for now..

Mike
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 12:44 PM   #4
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This camera certainly has a lot of potential, sort of like the VX-2000 when it first came out.

It could really be a milestone.

Although, I am waiting for the other show to drop.

When I think how much this camera is going to cost, and how much it is supposed to do, then compare to the full size XDCAMs, I have to think something is not being told yet.

Why would Sony put the exact same image quality and features into a retail ~$7,000 camera with a decent lens that the $14,000 to $20,000 cameras have without a lens?

It just does not sound like Sony!

I am still shocked that the express cards are not proprietary.

I hope I am wrong, because this camera will do a lot for an affordable price.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 02:18 PM   #5
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I too am waiting to see the goods. I think (at least would like to think) that Sony realizes there is a hugh market for a camera like this and many of the loyal VX and PD users (even those of us that use the DSR250) are jumping ship to other brands for the tapless shooting and for obvious reasons want to keep us all in the house as it were.
Something tells me that the camera will not replace the XD330, 350 or the new one they're coming out with aand may very have a few fewer goodies and controls so therefore the lower price point (along with the smaller form factor) I HOPE they stay with it and really produce it and market it at the price point we've all heard, I think with the Express Cards they could kick butt with the gear. Lets hope.

Don
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 09:43 PM   #6
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Deja Vu all Over again

It seems I have read these same sentiments regarding the price point and performance of new cams vs higher end cams...when the Z1 came out. Perharps we are all getting out panties in a bunch for nothing but I think (hope) this thing is going to kick booty.

The French guy from Sony on the web vid said a press release July... I really can give up tape today. Loading in real time is a PItA!

I am a little concerned with how to back up my files. Maybe a mirrored Raid.

It looks like the cards are going to be relatively affordable so a stack of cards could be an alternative. I read about the optical drive option for 3-4k but this cam is going to be a transitional cam for us and a stand alone unit just for back up plus the cam and cards is going to be tough.

Can we ramble here ? I feel a little wierd about just doing stream of conciousness writing on this cam but it says thoughts so....

Mike
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 10:03 PM   #7
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Ramble on, but we covered a lot of this ground re: tapeless, archiving etc. when the Panasonic HVX200 was first announced a couple years ago. You can find a lot of good discussions about these topics in our P2 forum. We'll probably go through that entire process once again when EX starts to ship. No biggie though, as that's what we're here for.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #8
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Thanks for the invite

Just to see my post count one would garner that I'm new here. I probably should have put together that my concerns would have been talked about somewhere else like the P2 area but I saw a few fellow wedding videographers here so I hung out.

Specifically with weddings as one can get into hot water when things fail. I wondered if there was a redundacy built into these cards. The P2 looked very attractive but just not viable for my line.

I will go over and search for how others archive thier footage on the P2.

Thanks

Mike
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Old July 6th, 2007, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Why would Sony put the exact same image quality and features into a retail ~$7,000 camera with a decent lens that the $14,000 to $20,000 cameras have without a lens?
I own a Z1 but regularly work with footage from a DSR-570 with a lovely, expensive Fujinon on it. It's the lens that makes the difference.

It really does.

The EX will be the 'Z1 done right', because the form factor is perfect for event work. The F-330 and 350s will sell to those who know their glass and are used to the heft of a shoulder mount camera and the budget for quality glass.

If you're really in the market for an F-350 or F-330, the EX doesn't make sense - low end glass, fiddly SxS format, low end viewfinder, key features like TimeCode Increment missing. If you're really in the market for an EX, the Fs are too big, bulky, visible, expensive to run and unautomated (gotta love shot transition) to be viable.

I think Sony have really weighed up the pros and cons sensibly. Based, of course, on the proposed specifications of course!
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Old July 6th, 2007, 08:45 PM   #10
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I'm guessing that Sony sees HDV/XDCam/Express Cards as the future of video, eventually reaching all the way down into the one chip consumer cams.
Maybe the XDCam EX is the trial run in this direction. Next maybe they'll put out a 1/4" or 1/3" 3 chip version @ $4,000 to replace the Z1/V1, then 1/3" single chip to cover the A1 market, etc., until it's all tapeless.
Home Video consumers would love it. No fiddling with tapes, firewires, etc. Just stick the card into the computer (same like your digital still camera), do a little edit, burn it out to Blu Ray and there it is- Sally's 5th birthday in Hi Def on the 60" screen for all to see.
Could be a good plan!!
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Old July 7th, 2007, 10:06 AM   #11
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Cards for storage

Perhaps we will be keeping cards like we keep tapes soon. "Good HDV" tapes are almost $20 for a little plastic box and rollers, guides, tape inside... moving parts etc. How old is this technology?

I could see cards becoming a complete replacement for tape. Somewhere there has to be people trying to stamp these suckers out on the cheap to make this happen.

I shot a wedding this weekend for a filmaker from GA who had a Panny P2 HVX200 and said he hates the thing because of the limitations of the cards.

I could see his point. He had shot some footage and filled the cards with no way to dump easily while away from the studio.

No flames or anything just some thoughts

Mike
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Old July 7th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #12
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I believe that 16 Gig SxS cards are around $190 each right now- and this thing is just starting. Since SxS will have broad usage, way beyond video recording, I imagine capacity will increase and prices will drop very significantly over a couple of years.
I can see a time where a shooter could have 10-15 hrs worth of cards in his pocket at an affordable price, which could be offloaded onto Blu Ray DVDs on a laptop, or an even smaller portable device made for that purpose.
Imagine 32 Gig cards @ $50, blank Blu Ray DVDs @ $1- this could be the future.
Maybe Panasonic had the right idea, but went with the wrong card.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 06:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Young View Post
Maybe Panasonic had the right idea, but went with the wrong card.
It's a matter of timing. Solid state certainly was/is the right idea, but many felt that Panasonic went for it too soon, before the technology was really up to it, before it was generally viable. I disagree that P2 was "the wrong card" - it was the only way to go about it at the time. But time and technology move on, and SxS now certainly seems a far more viable route into solid state for the majority.

And XDCAM is not intended to be solid state OR disc, but either as most appropiate to the situation.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 07:30 PM   #14
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I disagree that P2 was "the wrong card" - it was the only way to go about it at the time.
Within a few months of when the HVX200 started shipping in volume, there were high-end CompactFlash cards with the necessary throughput for a fraction of the price of P2 cards. P2 was the wrong technology from a cost-effectiveness standpoint and is the Achilles heel of the HVX camera, especially for anyone doing long-form recording or working in remote locations. Of course that hasn't stopped it from being popular and useful for some folks, but the XDCAM EX will be more practical for others. I know several people who are looking forward to the EX camera in a way they didn't respond to the HVX200, so there's a market segment waiting to be served which Panasonic missed.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #15
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That was my problem with the P2 cards from the beginning. It was based on a card bus that was on the way out when Pany released the cards. The express card interface is much faster. No need for all of the "engineering " to make a raid on a card for the speed output. That and the fact that it is going to be the standard for awhile should help with the pricing.

I may be wrong but I think the thought at Panasonic was to get out quick. Once your invested in the P2 system you might not be as likely to jump to another camera brand. If the other cards are a lot cheaper that may not work as well as they hoped.

The XDCam EX is exactly what I need for a lot of the things I do. It would be the perfect cam for me to have and rent the bigger brothers as needed. I'll just have to wait and see if it delivers the pictures.

K
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