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Article: A Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170

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Don GreeningArticle: A Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Dec 19, 2007 at 8:00:00 am


Sony EX Series XDCAM
A Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170A Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170

In this Creative COW Real Time Report, Don Greening puts the Sony DSR-PD170, long-acknowledged to be a low-light champ, against the newcomer, the PMW EX-1 head to head in a low-light test. Will the upstart unseat the champ? Read on....

Review, Feature   12/19/2007
Author: Don Greening



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Danny GrizzleA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Dec 24, 2007 at 4:39:53 am

I find the side-by-side images to be just as exciting as the low light performance. The EX1 has an excellent wide angle field of view!


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Jim HarveyA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Dec 25, 2007 at 3:31:11 am

Great Information, but I must be missing something. The comparisons at +18dB seem to show the EX1 with substantially more noise than the PD170. Granted the image is far easier to look at (the EX1), but it may be that the image on the PD170 is still so dark that the noise isn't that noticeable on my monitor. The image looks sharper as well on the EX1, perhaps due to the greater light sensitivity allowing the autofocus to work more precisely.

As an aside, the ability of either camera to even deliver an image in such conditions outweighs the amount of noise that is present in either of the images. If you don't get an image, then noise means nothing.


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Mike CohenA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Dec 26, 2007 at 7:18:10 am

Having shot a few weddings in the past 2 years, I see why the low light performance is so key to the reviewer.
While folks doing mainly corporate video would likely do a side by side comparison with a few lights going, at a wedding, inevitably once the cake is cut, the lights go out. People at weddings hate on-camera video lights, and they can make people have devil eyes, so a good low light performer is crucial.
I shot a wedding with the V1U, and the low light performance was poor.


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Tim WilsonA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Dec 26, 2007 at 7:57:39 am

Jim, the confusion at the end of the article is my fault. Don had given me an update about this very issue. I made the earlier changes, and just plain missed adding the rest. It's added now.

I'm giving the article 5 Cows because of the work Don did. Outstanding stuff. I dock myself a Cow for not finishing his updates.


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Jim HarveyA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Dec 26, 2007 at 9:33:22 am

Not a problem Tim. At least I can save a couple of bucks by not having to renew my eyeglass prescription at CVS! It's sometimes difficult to know if your monitor is displaying the image correctly or if you really ARE seeing this artifact or that.

The article itself is great and certainly does deserve 5 cows simply ofr having the information in such a timely manner. It's the first "meaty" review I've seen to date.

As for forgetting to add something to an article, well, I have no idea what that's like as I have always submitted PERFECT articles to Kathlyn, without any speeelllink errors either! Much the way I write here.



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Bengt-GA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 2:16:25 am

This was valuable information. I love my old VX2000 and the FX1 is not good at low light. But: Is it possible for you to publish the full frame picture so it also is possible to examine the resulotion?


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Bengt-GA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 3:45:52 am

Right click or Left click! Left click and then save gave a nice full frame! Then we also see the amazing difference in size, HD vs SD. Sorry for my very first comment on the COW! Tanks



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marx franzenA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Sep 15, 2008 at 4:54:26 am

Hello dudes!
Does anyone know how the ex1 image looks when shooting in SD.
I worked with, agdvc 200 Panasonic and gy dv 5000 JVC( both 1/2 inch ccd).
Ex1 looks like these cameras or give me better image quality, like a DSR-450?
Or worse, like a PD?

Thank you all.


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Don GreeningA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Sep 15, 2008 at 6:16:12 am

Hi Marx,

The EX shoots in HD only but there are 2 modes which are HQ and SQ. The SQ mode is essentially an HDV mode at a fixed bit rate of 25 Mbits/second CBR. You can send an SD stream from the EX SDI port but you need a SDI host card to receive the signal, or a tape deck that has SDI input.

I downconvert SD material using software and the result is equal to a Digibeta SD camera like the Sony DSR 570. Which is a heck of a lot better than any PD170.

Hope this helps.

- Don


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marx franzenA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Sep 15, 2008 at 6:34:50 am

Hi Don.
Thanks for your help!
Im from brazil and theres none information about this subject here.
Can you tell me the program and settings to achieve this good results, or a site where i can find it?
I found this one but i didnt test it yet.
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/ex1_sd_output_young.html

Best regards.




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Don GreeningA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Sep 15, 2008 at 9:26:03 am

Hi Marx,

I have also read the article at Ken Stone's site and this workflow is what I use to down convert to SD, with one exception. Instead of exporting using Quicktime Conversion I create an SD timeline using the DVCPRO 50 codec, which is less lossy than DV NTSC but it does result in a slightly larger file size. I copy and paste the HD timeline into the SD timeline, render and export a self-contained QT movie using the same settings as the SD sequence.

Good luck with your projects.

- Don




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marx franzenA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Sep 25, 2008 at 7:22:05 am

Hi Don its me again.
I did the downconvert, but im still having 16:9 aspect ratio image.
What do i have to change to have good images in letter box 4:3?
And can i have the same crop 4:3 as i view in the camera mark, without letter box?
You know, like a pure 4:3 footage, without distortion and without letterbox...

Thanks again Don.

Marx


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marx franzenA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Sep 25, 2008 at 7:27:05 am

I ve forgot.
To SD downconverting a have to shot in SP or HQ?



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Don GreeningA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Sep 25, 2008 at 2:16:53 am

Hi Marx,

If I'm reading your last question correctly you can shoot in either SQ or HQ mode and still do a successful down-convert for SD. To make a full screen version (4:3) of your wide screen footage (16:9) read the answer to a similar question I answered for someone else a few months ago:

16:9 footage is the same height as 4:3 so all you have to do is what's called a "centre punch" of your widescreen clips. Create your 4:3 sequence and drag your first 16:9 clip into it. FCP will automatically letterbox the clip. Double-click the clip to load it into the viewer. Click on the scale parameter tab in the viewer and scale the clip to 100%. In the canvas window now you'll see the clip filling the frame but the sides are cut off. You can also accomplish the same thing in the canvas window by dragging a corner of the clip until the top and bottom fill the frame. Anyway, after you've scaled up the first 16:9 clip in the viewer just hit "Cmd - C" to copy that clip's attributes to the clipboard. Drag the rest of your widescreen clips into the timeline, highlight them all and the hit "Option -V" to paste the first clip's attributes on to all the other 16:9 clips. All your 16:9 clips are now centre punched to fit the 4:3 sequence.


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Mitch LewisA Creative Cow Real-time Report: EX1 vs. PD170
by on Mar 31, 2009 at 5:45:52 am

It would be great to see this test shooting with both cameras set to 60i (the EX1 was set to 30p). According to Adam Wilt, the EX1 has the following sensitivity:



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