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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 22nd, 2008, 09:07 PM   #1
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EX1 questions

Hello

I am thinking of purchasing an EX1 and have a few questions for those of you who shoot weddings with this camera. I did also read the post not too long ago on this camera, but have some different questions. I have been using pd150 and vx2000 combo for 7 years now and am ready to make the jump to HD. I am very impressed with everything I have read and heard concerning image quality with this camera compared to the z1u which was my other choice.

1. Do you transfer the media from the cards right out of the camera to the computer?

2. I am on a Mac Pro with FCP5, do I need any additional hardware or software to capture and edit.

I would imagine for the short term I will archive to blu ray discs. Any thoughts here? I may eventually look into hard drive solutions.

I still have a lot of SD jobs on the books. Does the EX1 still do a great job shooting in SD?
I would be selling my PD150 and using this in conjuction with my vx2000 (broll) for my SD jobs.

Am I missing anything else that I would need that you can think of when switching from my current set up to tapeless HD??

I am sure I will have many more questions as I work my way through this purchase, so thanks to all in advance.

Chad
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 10:08 PM   #2
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Chad

Oh Chad, Chadamonium, Chadalicious, Chaddilly, Chaaaad.

Do you like to bungee jump from helicopters Chad? Spellunking or Base jumping stike your fancy?

If this is not in your make up I would reccomend going to the Z1. I went from the VX2000 to the Z1 to the EX and still have the Z1.


1. Do you transfer the media from the cards right out of the camera to the computer?

YES. This is not as easy as people make it sound. If you are actually busy and flow a good amount of work you will need to LEARN the system WAY WAY before you buy any tapeless workflow cam.

2. I am on a Mac Pro with FCP5, do I need any additional hardware or software to capture and edit.

You will need FCP 6.0.4 ( Maybe 6.0.3 ) in order to not have quirky double entries into your bin. You will have the most amazing FREE Sony XDCAM browser software supplied with your EX (should you choose to jump off that cliff) heavy on the sarcasm.

I would imagine for the short term I will archive to blu ray discs. Any thoughts here? I may eventually look into hard drive solutions.

*** archiving is the biggest PITA that any tapelss system will throw at you. I'm one of those just do it and jump people and let me tell you I'm paying for it right now. You better figure out hard and fast what your solution is going to be for your archiving that footage. Hard drives are what I am using and it is the 900 pound gorilla in my business model right now. Not comfortable with it but taking all my footage to optical disk is just incredibly time consuming.... the cheapest way to get into archiving with drives is to buy a wiedetech combo dock and bare drives. firewire 800 goes fast and it's plug and go. when your done unplug and shelf. around $300 ? +/- i forget.

I still have a lot of SD jobs on the books. Does the EX1 still do a great job shooting in SD?
I would be selling my PD150 and using this in conjuction with my vx2000 (broll) for my SD jobs.


EX wont do SD at all. youll have to shoot in HD and down convert in post. the z1 will do sd.

Am I missing anything else that I would need that you can think of when switching from my current set up to tapeless HD??

your head:) going from sd to tapelss HD is a huge jump as my over the top comments at the start mentioned. stick with tape for a while. save yourself the major upheaval that will be the move to HD let alone to tapelss HD.

The laundry list for the move to HD is long enough. Buy a decent maybe even used Z until there are truly time efficient methods for archiving tapeless workflows. I read for months and researched for months before I bought the EX. All indicators were that is was the best thing since sliced bread. As a cam the thing is everything and more of what you read. amazing images, super fab low light. super flexible in shooting modes, just everything you could want in a camera.... but ..... that tape is a sweet little piece of plastic for archiving.

Shoot and archive at the same time. I could go on and yes tape has it's downside but for your application I would take baby steps.
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 11:08 PM   #3
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Chadalicious? Now you have my attention:) I know the low light performance of the Z1 has been beat to death, this is the main reason I am looking at the EX1. With my 150/2000 I always use an on camera light for most reception footage and rarely set the gain above 6db. I do not like shooting poorly lit subjects or having noisy video. If I could get pd150 like results with the same lighting I am using now (on camera sony LED) I would probably buy the z1u for now. I am referring to noise levels here. Tapeless is not a big selling point to me. Comments?
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 11:48 PM   #4
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Ok,

Mike didn't make any mention of whether he does weddings, so perhaps he does. I do not. I do other event shooting. I also do not work on a Mac, so I'll defer to his knowledge of which version you'll need.

That said, I'll answer your questions as best I can without the sarcasm. (not that it wasn't kinda funny).


1. Yes, start the software, stick in the card, export the video. At least that's how it works on PCs. The Mac isn't that different from what I've heard other shooters describe.

2. I'll defer

3. Archive - Yes, archiving needs to be addressed. Archiving to Blu-Ray is no different than archiving to DVD or CD. Start the software, drop in a disk, write the disk. Nothing fancy there. Disks come in 25GB or 50GB flavors. The 50s are still a bit pricey. The 25s are fairly inexpensive when compared to other methods of storing HD video. People who think they are expensive need to go price some HDCam tape.

4. The EX1 does not shoot SD in any form. I will say that at least from my tests, the downconvert is gorgeous and simple.

5. What are you missing? The switch to tapeless doesn't have to be that big a deal. I did it years ago with a Firestore. I shot dual system (tape and hard drive) for a month, then finally ditched tape. Never looked back. Shooting onto the cards is slightly different. I know people complain that the media is expensive. But I generally only hear that coming from people who shoot DV or HDV. Compare pricing to other media that records 1080p and get back to me. I would GLADLY pay card costs and archive to blu-ray, versus having one time runs of HDCam or HDCamSR.

To me, it's like any other technology. Some people cling tightly to the old ways, some people rush headlong into any new technology, and the majority ride the fence for a while until the bugs are shaken out. Well, tapeless shooting has been around quite a while now. Whether it's shooting to hard drive, SD cards, SxS, P2, or whatever. The ideology is mature. It's now up to you to decide if the additional costs over DV or DVCam are worth it to you.

I am assuming you've been doing your homework on the issues with the CMOS sensors and rolling shutters. They are a showstopper for a minority of shooters, but for most of us, it's just something to be aware of.

One thing that might ease your pain, is to look into buying an older HD firestore. Like the FS4 Pro HD. While it will only give you HDV level recording if you are going to SD anyway, it can give a remarkably beautiful image. And those firestores have 40GB or 80GB (Pro) hard drives in them. My FS4 Pro shooting HDV gives 406 minutes of uninterrupted shooting. You could hold off buying cards for a while and really bring your costs down in the near term.

And when your clients begin demanding real HD delivery, you can either stay HDV, or write HD to cards. Your choice. I say this because this is exactly the path I am taking. I am doing SD delivery and using my firestore to capture HDV for downconversion.

Best of luck!
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 11:55 PM   #5
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Chad,
The biggest thing I see is that an EX1 with cards to shoot a wedding will cost you what 3 of your Pd-150/170's would have cost. That's a pretty drastic change in my book.

If you have deep enough pockets go for it and if it isn't working out for you, then sell the darn thing and buy something else. The EX1 is still in demand and you should be able to fetch a decent price for it.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 01:52 AM   #6
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what player plays the ex1 files correctly?
with the newest VLC i cannot get audio, only video.
(xp sp2)

OR what codec do i need for mediaplayer classic?

thx!
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 02:36 AM   #7
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Sony will be releasing a portable hard drive especially for the EX1/EX3 which will be about 60gig in size so that eliminates the use of cards if that helps

Rob.
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