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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.

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Old June 4th, 2012, 02:57 PM   #61
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Miami, Florida
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Hey Bryce,
I really am happy with my Sony EX3. I was surprised to find that the work necessary with tapeless format is really no more than with tape. You do have to upload, review and catalog your material soon after obtaining it, so you can format and reuse the memory chip, but when the time comes to actually use the stuff, there is no capturing to do, just import the file into the editor.

The EX3 has a greater dynamic range than the XLH1, and more ability to adjust the knee and gamma slope. I think there is less burn out of highlights, but it's marginal. The viewfinder is tons better, and screw threads allow you to screw one of those diopter lenses into it to give a (30%) bigger image in the viewfinder. You can dial in up to 18HZ of gain for owls by flashlight. The rec button is tiny and poorly placed, but you get used to it. It doesn't shut off automatically after a few minutes, so you really have to pay attention to the power button when you are not shooting. I can shoot all day one one and a half battery charges and half of a 32 GB chip. Audio is equal to or better than Canon.

It uses a small battery, like the Canon, not one of those Anton Bauer monsters. There is an adapter to use less expensive SDHC chips instead of expensive SxS chips. It shoots in 4:2:0 like the Canon at 35mbps (XLH1 was 23 mbps). I sometimes use a Nanoflash to improve on those numbers, but not often.

Canon 35mm lenses are not a good choice with this camera. There is no way to adjust the iris without going into the menu!! I use a Nikon 80-400 zoom which has a manual iris ring. Mike Tapas (MTS industries) makes an adapter for about $250 US. My biggest complaint is that the crop factor is only 5.4.
The XLH1 with the EF adapter was 7.2, and the old XL1 was 9, I think.

The only other bad thing about it is that the handle and the viewfinder are not removable, making packing it for air travel an exercise in contortion.

I would dearly love to see a new camera with one of those full size sensors where you could cone down to a fraction of it to get a big crop factor for wildlife and use the whole thing for scenery. Have you seen one?

Last edited by Steve Siegel; June 4th, 2012 at 03:00 PM. Reason: forgot something
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Old June 7th, 2012, 09:11 PM   #62
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Location: Rossland, British Columbia
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

Wow Steve,
Thanks for the very informative reply! Sounds like you're enjoying that camera! All positive things pretty much. Yes the crop factor is not as great as the H1, but you are still talking some serious magnification with a 400mm lens on it! What tripos are you using with it to get steady shots? I will inevitibly need to upgrade my tripod to be able to get some decent shots using lens' over 200mm. Currently i am using a Miller DS10 with carbon fibre sticks, & with the XH A1 & a 1.8x extender, i can get reasonably smooth pans with it, but that's only about 1200mm equivalent. I am currently looking here & on ebay to see if something comes up. I would love to buy one new, but it's a heck of a lot of money, & knowing my luck, since i've waited all this time, if i bought one new then for sure a newer cam would come out that i wished i had waited for!!
As far as a camera goes like you talk about with a crop factor on a FF chip, yes that would be ideal. Something that would give those awesome wide shots using the whole frame of the sensor, then being able to just use the middle portion of that same sensor would make for an incredibly flexible camera for sure. I guess the Nikon D800 is the closest that comes to that. I'm just not sure i want to go the route of the DSLR just yet. Too many work arounds still for me.
Again, thanks for the reply,
There's never enough hours in the day!
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Old June 7th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #63
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Re: New challenges for wildlife videographers

I've been really tempted to spring for an EX3 for the crop factor. I'm shooting wildlife as well. But the camera is four years old now and overdue for an update, a higher bitrate, maybe 4:2:2. Sure wish I had a crystal ball sometimes...
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