Renting EX-1: short course please at
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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PXW-Z280, Z190, X180 etc. (going back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.

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Old November 22nd, 2008, 11:14 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: New York
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Renting EX-1: short course please

I'll be renting an EX-1 soon to evaluate it for purchase. I'm interested in image quality, workflow and ergonomics. Given the price of the rental, I'll likely only have it for a weekend and, as such, don't expect to be able to digest the entire operator's manual and all the nuances of the technology. I'm hoping the helpful folks here can give me a quick course on how to get the most out of this device for evaluation purposes.

1) What settings for blow-your-socks off HD image quality?

2) How do I get the data into my NLE in the most direct manner? I'm using FCS and will likely be transferring directly from camera to computer.

2a) Must I make sure the shop provides software to facilitate the transfer? I think I've read that you can't import directly from the card to FCS without using a Sony conduit.

3) How do I want to encode the final test footage in Compressor to get the best image out? My best viewing options are: HD tv (can I send footage back to the card and then play through the tv?) or my Mac w/ HD Cinema display.

I'd appreciate any other "need to know" suggestions before I undertake my test.

And BTW, can anyone explain why two rental houses, 4 miles away from one another, would have day rates that are $200 apart from one another? I can't figure that out, but the decision will be based on whether the one will apply rental fee toward purchase price.

Thank you
Bob Kerner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2008, 12:06 PM   #2
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Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
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Personally I'd recommend viewing a training DVD first. Vortexmedia has both a training DVD and a DVD of sample clips. Callbox also has a training DVD.

1) There are no ultimate settings just as there's no formula for "The Great American Novel" or "best" way to build a house. It all depends on what you're shooting and what your target is.

2) Sony ClipBrowser 2.00.01, Sony XDCAM Transfer 2.7.1, FCP 6.0.2 and up (now at 6.0.5)

2a) You can go USB from the camera, SxS into laptop with Expresscard port, Sony SxS card reader to USB. BPAV folder must be converted to .mov with XDCAM Transfer. FCP 6.0.3 and up can import with Sony Log & Transfer plugin too.

3) It all depends on your target, web, blu-ray, AppleTV, iPhone, iPod, desktop playback. Generally you can't send video back to the SxS card for playback from card. I can play the XDCAM EX .MOV files from my Mac DVI out to HDMI in to my 46" HDTV. I also use high data rate H.264 played from Quicktime to the HDTV.

Rental houses are not one size fits all either. They have different expenses, services, business models. Cheaper isn't necessarily better, in fact, can cost more in the long run if there are service issues.

Get the Training DVDs BEFORE you rent and you'll be able to use your rental time more efficiently to learn/test.
Craig Seeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2008, 01:28 PM   #3
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Location: New York
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Good idea, Craig. Dare I ask which one you prefer?

I looked at both online and it looks like the Callbox is a little more focused on editing, whereas the Vortex focuses on the camera controls. Just my take looking at the advertisement.....

Thanks again
Bob Kerner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2008, 07:29 PM   #4
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Location: Republic of Vancouver Island
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I bought the Vortex Media DVd set before I bought the Ex1.
Doug does a great job explaining how to run the EX1 and this disk set would be good to look at before you get your camera.
After watching the dvd a couple of times i decided to buy the ex1.
I still look at it every once in awhile.
Good reference on how to set up camera and its operation.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable
from magic. AC Clarke
Bob Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 22nd, 2008, 09:05 PM   #5
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
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The Vortex DVD was great for me. I bought it shortly after getting an EX1 and if you're new to the HD and/or tapeless workflow world it was a tremenous help in getting my feet under me.
Chad Hucal is offline   Reply

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