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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 December 31st, 2010, 08:23 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: germany
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How long will an EX1 live?


ive a Sony Ex1 and now I just wanna know how long it will normaly life. approximately.

Ive no conception how much hours it will work. How much hours are much, how much many?
How much hours are on your EX1?

I know at which countercount my car isnt that good as new, I know at which countercount my dslr can go broken...

I know, stupid question, bad english, but maybe someone can tell me how much hours your ex1 have given you a nice carelessly time...

Also a happy new year.
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Old December 31st, 2010, 08:28 AM   #2
Obstreperous Rex
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Hi Tobias,

Welcome to DV Info Net. It's not a stupid question and there's
nothing wrong with your English. If the camera is properly cared
for, then it should continue to function normally long after the
recording format itself becomes obsolete. Having the camera
serviced professionally by a factory-authorized technician at
yearly intervals is the key to insuring a long and productive
life... assuming, of course, that it does not encounter any
physical or electronic damage throughout its career.

The short answer: a very long time, if you take care of it!

Hope this helps,

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Old December 31st, 2010, 08:33 AM   #3
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Looking at equipment over the past 20 years or so, what's very clear is that the electronics carry on working, and as every bit of quick drops the component count, reliability is getting even better. The mechanical parts wear out, but apart from capacitors which tend to dry out with ages, and sensors with the odd missing pixel - your ex-1 has a realistic lifespan of a very long time - but you will break it, or get fed up with it long before it fails. New formats will appear, gadgetry will get more complex and plenty of technological improvements will happen, and these may or may not drive you to ditch it. However - you only have to look on ebay to see video gear from the 70s and 80s that is still in perfect working order - and it's getting better all the time.

Your car and DSLR have mechanical bits that wear out with use - I'd bet the dodgy bits of an ex1 will be plastic knobs and covers that might physically get broken - apart from that, there's not much to wear out?
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Old December 31st, 2010, 10:05 AM   #4
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This is an interesting question that I too have wondered about in the past (being the owner of a 2.5 yr old EX3).

My guess is that, as stated, most of the electronics will last a very long time but any plastic/nylon cogs (say in the lens servo system) might be the first to go, along with exterior plastic parts/switches prone to getting bashed/caught, e.g. the feeble feeling frame rate knob etc. on the EX3. Mind you, I rarely use the servo or autofocus etc. so hopefully my lens gears will last a good long while. (I might have to use autofocus if my eyes ever get bad though!)

To my amazement (I do try and "baby" my gear) I've yet to break off the flimsy clear plastic cover over the EX3s audio controls, the weak SXS slot cover door is still like the the day I got it on July 29th 2008, looking like it'll get ripped off the first time I catch it on any clothing... but is otherwise working exactly as intended, so far that is! Fingers crossed! (Note: The EX1/EX1rs is a much better design than the SXS door on the EX3). About the only thing I took off early on was the "well known to be prone to breaking" Sony EX mic holder (I used alternatives from Rode and now Rycote to better support any on camera mics). I also circumvented the weak and "high disaster potential" single 1/4 inch tripod mount screw by attaching a sturdy DM Plate early on too.

It's been amazingly (= totally) reliable so far and I hope it will be in years to come (but I've paid for extended Sony Silver Support in case the worst happens, it was only 150 for the 3rd year)....and of course it's insured.

Best thing to do is treat your gear well, get it professionally looked at if and when it needs it and have fun shooting with it before it's obsolete - something that seems to happen and an increasingly alarming rate (although I still think the EX1/3s have kept well ahead of most of the competition - even now there is not much to touch them at this price point for the uses I need a camera for - mostly corporate and low light run-n-gun etc.)
Andy K Wilkinson -
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
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Old December 31st, 2010, 11:09 AM   #5
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Thank a lot for the answers
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Old December 31st, 2010, 12:38 PM   #6
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Willkommen, Tobias!

The thing that would concern me most is proprietary parts breaking down (as others have said) and things like batteries (which are fairly specific to these models, instead of a more universal mount like an Anton Bauer Gold Mount) becoming obsolete at some point in the (distant?) future.

But I suspect by the time THAT becomes an issue, you will have made your money back or received fair value in enjoyment from the camera and will be looking to buy the NEXT camera (perhaps a holographic 3D imaging system by then!)

Shaun C. Roemich Road Dog Media - Vancouver, BC - Videographer - Webcaster Blog:
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