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The French-speaking video forum I frequently visit has devoted a lot of space to the SATIS which ended earlier today. A forum member has even posted footage from the PMW-EX1 (the soon to be released Sony XDCAM EX camera) he took during the show at the Sony booth. Other forum members have reported successfully importing and editing the footage which can downloaded here : http://www.vecomvideo.com/pages/test_ex1.htm
Mobutu, give it a try and report back.
OK, I have a follow up to my earlier post. I did some testing and I can confirm that PPro CS3 can indeed import and edit footage from the PMW-EX1. There is no need for additional codec or third party hardware/software.
This is very good news indeed.
It's my understanding that Premiere cannot fully support that camera and all it's shooting modes. Edius, Vegas and I think Avid are supposed to have support by year's end, according to one article.
I wouldn't write off other cameras just yet, though. The EX's price tag is still kind of high. You can get two XL-H1s for the price of a single EX. And I myself still cannot justify investing in an MPEG camera, so the Panasonic is still my only serious choice, despite it's slightly softer picture by comparison.
XDCAM EX still has a low-sampled 4:2:0 color grid (far from ideal for keying and color correction), while DVCPRO HD is 4:2:2 (and they are coming with AVC-Intra which is much better).
This is not to say that DVCPRO HD is always better (or better at everything) than XDCAM EX. Far from it. It's just that the notion that XDCAM EX will have everything else for breakfast is unlikely to materialize.
Adolfo, forget the stats. Try the camera. When you pan, you don't get the smear effect you get from other cameras (such as the canon G1). You don't get the hot spots (such as on the Z1). You don't get the crushed blacks (such as on the V1). You don't get the soft background (such as on the JVC 101 or 201). The picture is cristal clear without any artifacts. You're closer to the high end than the low end.
The fact you can record in FULL HD makes it the perfect film emulation camera. Let's put it this way, you get the performance of X.D CAM HD for a price barely above the Z1. Plus: You can change lenses, it is the half-inch format, it is non-linear (which means no more fragile tape mechanism), you have a film camera focus ring, and the list goes on and on.
I will say this: The camera does it all!!! All resolutions, all frame rates, 3 different bit rates, interchnageable lenses. The only way to do better is to buy an HDCAM camera. So yes, this camera will eat everybody for breakfast. Even the guy on the JVC stand told me he would buy the Sony if he had to choose.
Now the question is the following: Can I shoot in the EZ 35 mb/s rate format at full HD resolution, and import to premiere and edit in Premiere without having to worry about performance speed, codec, etc... Do I need Aspect? Does Aspect support it? These questions are more are totally unanswered. I was hoping somebody here such as Steven Gotz might share some light on this.
A couple of corrections to previous posts.
The EX1 has a fixed lens. The price is significantly lower than the G1 or H1.
I agree with Mobutu, this is one hell of a camera, especially at this price point. And the SxS system is already adequately priced, even with two 16G cards for 100 minutes recording time, it is less expensive than the H1 and you can expect those prices to come down rapidly.
>for a price barely above the Z1
>The price is significantly lower than the G1 or H1.
I'm curious where you guys get your info. I understand the EX will sell for around $8,000. That's about twice the price of the top level HDV cameras.
>Can I shoot in the EZ 35 mb/s rate format at full HD resolution, and import to premiere and edit in Premiere
Not yet. And knowing Adobe, who knows when.
> The fact you can record in FULL HD makes it the perfect film emulation camera.
Ha ha ha, sorry :-)
Resolution has NOTHING to do with emulating the "film look". The film camera itself is nothing fancy, the physical film has a huge contrast ratio. This is key to a "film look": dynamic range!!
The next factor is the glass on the camera ie the lenses. A Panavision lens is an amazing piece of glass. The physical way film travels past the gate at 24 fps creates a certain feel which video does not have.
Only big fat expensive (RED, Viper, Dalsa, Genesis, F23, F900, & Varicams) have a "film-look". Also another factor contributing to the look is the DI and CC process in post. When you take your DI and grade it on this: http://images.autodesk.com/adsk/files/lustre_2008_brochure_high_resolution_for_print.pdf it helps.
> I'm curious where you guys get your info. I understand the EX will sell for around $8,000. That's about twice the price of the top level HDV cameras.
At least in the Netherlands here are some current prices:
1. Z1 4.450
2. XL-H1 8.495
3. EX1 5.450 (temporary offer, regular price is 6.500)
all excluding VAT.
B&H is taking pre-orders for $7000.00 usd
Moboto's a little excited as usual. The lens is not interchangable, and while it looks like it will be a great camera, so will it's replacement 11 months later. I for one cant replace cams every year. I need to make a profit, so I have to build a studio that doesnt need to be re-purchased every year.
One review of a protoype was disappointed in the low light capability. For event work, the lens could be a bit longer; since it cant be changed. (its 14x vs the more common 16 or 20x for event cams.)
>I'm curious where you guys get your info. I understand the EX will sell >for around $8,000.
Street price in the US ranges from $6449 to $6949. Buy from an authorized reseller and get an additional 8GB card free from Sony.
>Only big fat expensive (RED, Viper, Dalsa, Genesis, F23, F900, & Varicams) have a "film-look".
I might argue with that a little. The RED footage I've seen doesn't quite look like film.
As for the price, even at $7,000 from B&H, it's still twice the price of an XL-H1, which goes for about $3,500. Not sure why the H1 is so much more in the Netherlands.
There is no way the XL-H1 is 3,500. It is over 9,000. I think you are referring to the XH-A1.
Jim, you must be referring to the canon XH-A1; which is indeed about $3500.
Well, the A1/G1 from Canon goes for 3,500. It is the cheapest HDV camera in that category (Z1, V1 semi prof category).
Here are the prices in France:
Sony EX1......... 7,400 Euros TTC
Sony Z1.......... 5,400 Euros TTC
Sony V1.......... 4,500 Euros TTC
CanonA1 (G1)..... 3,500 Euros TTC
Now to me the debate is quite simple: Either you go for the performance in which case the EX1 wins.... or you go for getting the least expensive bang for the buck in which case you go for the Canon. The Z1 and V1 seem have no more sales arguments against the the EX1 and the Canon.
My mistake. I was confusing the H1 and the A1. B&H has the H1 for the same price as the Sony EX.
But, I was thinking of the A1 when I was writing. The reviews I read have the A1/G1 as pretty much the top tier HDV camera. It came out after the H1, and seems to be lacking only in features (like jacks and interchangeable lenses), not performance.
Peace my friends, I shot an hour on the EX yesterday (1920 x 1080) and compared it directly to the Z1. The results were disappointing to say the least both in resolution and chroma levels. DoF and the manual operation of the lens is as good as more expensive cammys but a lot is lost in the CMOS chips. Sony admit that the CMOS technology hasn't yet reached second generation and I firmly believe this.
I also don't think Sony knows where this camera fits in the market. Some describe it as a shoulder mount but it is much shorter than the Z1 and the same viewfinder setup. So unless you want your nose pressed on the LCD it remains hand held.
And I wouldn't buy solid state technology until the price is down and by the industry's own forecast that will be two years (time for the next generation)
I watched a side by side presentation each on a new 50" Sony Bravia (XDCAM v Z1) straight from the cameras and there was no doubt the Z1 was superior.
I appreciate your input and experience. I have some doubts about the obvious discrepancy of Nigel's review and yours. I admit not having used the camera, so I am relying on your experience and others to give the full picture.
> The results were disappointing to say the least both in resolution and chroma levels
In what mode did you shoot?
> Some describe it as a shoulder mount but it is much shorter than the Z1 and the same viewfinder setup.
The pictures I have seen and the physical dimensions published by Sony do not confirm this. It appears to be slightly longer than the Z1 and definitely heavier.
> I watched a side by side presentation each on a new 50" Sony Bravia (XDCAM v Z1) straight from the cameras and there was no doubt the Z1 was superior.
Are you sure you are talking about the EX1? What settings were used for recording and playback? It seems inconceivable that a two year old camera can deliver a better picture than a new camera with much better specs and much better glass. I like the Z1 but it can definitely be improved upon and I would expect that after two years Sony would be able to do so.
I find your statements confusing in relation to Nigel's statements. Please elaborate.
I'm not a fan of any MPEG source, but I too find John's hands on observations a little contradictory from the posted review. Now granted, the review was on a preproduction model, and John likely saw a final release model, but you would think things got better, not worse.
And I have to admit, the other reviewer did come through as very knowledgeable and as having a very critical eye, hence the confusion about such different observations.
I disagree with John. The EX blows all cameras in its category out of the water. Why? For one, it does full HD 1920 X 1080!! That's HD CAM resolution. Second, it runs at 35 MBPS while HDV runs only at 25MBPS! Those two facts alone place the EX way above the Z1.
As for CMOS, granted it may be less sensitive than CCD but if you consider Sony is going CMOS all the way, it can not be that much of a problem.
Finally, the picture on this camera is crystal sharp. Even the backgrounds are crystal sharp. When you pan, you don't get the smear effect but rather a professional clean picture.
The Sony memory cards are not a problem, because you can transfer your day recording straight to your laptop hard drive and keep on shooting.
Whatever you saw, you did not see what I saw.
I agree, all reviews are subjective but after 25 years in the industry moving down from film through high end video I simply base my judgment on what I see. I've been immunized against manufacturers specs (and hype) to a certain degree and find hands on the final product to bear true results. Mind you, I used this camera at a Sony Roadshow so it was in pristine condition.
We all know by now that the chain to good results starts with the lens and moves to the sensors and finally the tape/disc format. If the first two aren't right the recording format matters little.
Sony reps agree that the CMOS technology has a way to go and I'm sure that's the only thing that lets this camera down.
You can't theorize about good pictures - you've got to experience it first hand. I did. But it's still just my opinion and I respect others who have had hands on.
With your hands-on experience, would it be too much to ask in what format you recorded? 18, 25, 35 Mbps?
I had the cammy for a day and used all the recording formats. My comments were based on 1920 x 1080 35Mbps and a side by side comparison on the Sony 50" Bravias. Both cammy's were used for playback using component output.
John, do I understand you correctly?
You compared this:
35Mbps / 1920 X 1080 / 1/2-inch lens
25Mbps / 1440 X 1080 / 1/3-inch lens
And after looking at the image on a FULL HD TV you believe the second image is better than the first?
Well, what is it exactly you saw ? Did you playback straight from the cameras or did you make transfers along the line? Did you have the cameras on normal settings? Was your TV set correctly? All I can say this is impossible.
Without having seen the images, I would not call it impossible, but highly unlikely. It just makes no sense from my perspective and is in clear contradiction with Nigel's statements. Maybe we will have to wait for the first 'official' reviews to appear on-line to get more feeling for this. It would be nice to see some side by side comparisons.
Is this review official enough?
That is the link I gave, but Nigel clearly states it is based on a pre-production model, that was the reason he gave only four stars instead of five. Had it been the production model and had it shown the same charateristics, he would in all likelyhood have given five stars.
Many of your questions are answered in earlier posts.
I took the cammy out for a day and brought back the results to an official Sony Roadshow. Sony provided and set up all the gear as they usually do. They also had tapes available from this cammy.
Like I said earlier, my opinions are subjective but there were over 60 people participating in the roadshow and across the board they were of the same opinion. We had a production camera but that means little - back focus could be shot or knee and gamma could be out of whack but Sony were demonstrating and it shouldn't be.
I guess the moral to this story is that you shouldn't take hype and specs for granted. I saw and used a camera first hand that was a mile ahead with technology (lens etc.) but certainly no great advance with the picture on the screen and Sony was in control.
> They also had tapes available from this cammy.
How could that be? It is tapeless, using only 2 SxS cards. Or are we talking about different cammy's?
Did you also try the Canon G1?
Hi Mobutu, no, not at a SONY Roadshow.
Could you be very specific in describing what it is you did not like about the EX image?
And in the interest of fairness, do you own a Z1, Redgum? My gear always looks better to me :)
And a couple of comments you make puzzle me, casting doubt on other assertions.
Who suggested the EX1 is a shoulder-mount camera? Sure looks handycam size to me. Then, in the very same sentence, you describe the EX1 as being "much shorter" than the Z1. The side-by-side picture within this review tends to contradict that statement.
As far as other shortcomings you mention (resolution and chroma levels), not a single review I've read supports you. This is not to say you are wrong, as I've never actually used one, and you said you have. For all I know the reviewers were promised a free unit in exchange for a positive review ;)
G'day Bill, in all fairness I was a little disappointed in the EX. We're a production house in Oz that specializes in doco's and normally we hire or rent equipment as we need it. We've got three Z1's that are used constantly for all manner of work and they've serviced us well over three years or more. We intended to replace these with the XDCAM EX. The camera features are quite good and my CTO was happy but after road testing the margin in picture quality is so small we've decided to wait another year.
There seems to be some contention with the codec/CMOS which I admit I don't fully understand but all the technical guys present were on to it straight away.
I added my comment here because a) we were disappointed and b) too many people buy this sort of product on spec.
I'm also a journalist so I understand your comment about reviews which often reflect the views of the manufacturer. The old saying - try before you buy - should really apply here.
The shoulder mount issue may have only applied in Oz - some prerelease articles here made a feature of this aimed at the wedding videographer market.
I would say the EX is not the best candidate for wedding work. Wedding guys (like me occasionally) like a longer lens for shooting from the balcony, and better low light performance. Both weak spots on the EX according to the reviews I have read. I would certainly try one before buying one.
Yes! A 14:1 lens may be a bit short but this is a standard size for entry level professional lens. I didn't have a chance to test low light capability but the specs are respectable at 0.14 lux.
Harm's reviewer did point out that it's low light performance was less that that of the Panasonic HVX200. And other reviews have pointed out the 200's reduced low light performance compared to the DVX100B, for example. This does cast serious doubts upon the EX's viability as a wedding camera.