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Sony EX1..."NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW"

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Philip Johnston
Sony EX1..."NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW"
on Jan 3, 2008 at 8:50:15 pm

I have filmed a couple of jobs with the EX1 and so far I am very pleased with the camera but unlike other Sony camcorders I have owned like the DSR-150, 170, Z1E this has the good old CineAlta badge which should take this camera way beyond the Z1's etc but Sony seem to have cut some very stupid corners in my opinion.

1. The power switch is a joke, many times I have switched from camera to recorder missing out the middle off position, it's a very un-positive switch.

2. The auto focus is back to the bad old days of zooming in on a well lit subject only for it to loose focus, fortunately this camera gives you a true manual lens but with one exception...you need to use AF if you are going to use macro. I can't believe Sony have got this technology so wrong with such a top flight camera.

3. I like most users suffer the mid lens vignetting to the top right side of the camera fortunately it is only seen with underscan so as yet does not present a problem but I have read some where that Sony can fix this, can anyone confirm this. I first saw this at the IOV show last year and was told by Sony that it was a bug with the image stabilizer and would not occur in the production models.

4. If like most users you hold the camera by the handle you can on occasions hit one of the stupidly placed touch sensitive switches that lie right under the handle and switch on bars or information that you never intended to switch ! This is a very poor oversight with Sony and should be addressed in the future with a cover of some kind.

5. The battery charger/power unit is nothing short of a JOKE on Sony's part, a permanently
connected power lead...!!! This isn't seen on domestic charger/power units let alone a so called CineAlta badge camera and a kiddy on set of green/yellow led's, how this was passed by Mr CineAlta I shudder to think.

So that's the fault log over with, in practice the camera pulls in some amazing pictures I doubt there is a camera on the planet that can pull in stunning pictures as good as this at the price range and from what I have read it is equal if not better in some cameras 3x the price. I had a dilemma when 1st using the camera as to what HD mode to shoot in but it became clear when my NEW AJA io HD acted up using the 1.1 Leopard drivers by freezing after about an hours use. I had intended to film full 1080 50i and use the AJA to convert to 720p but with a


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tofutodd
Re: Sony EX1..."NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW"
on Jan 3, 2008 at 10:37:01 pm

Philip, thanks for the terrific review. As we are looking at picking up a few more cameras the decision has come down to the HVX and the EX-1.

Having played with the camera a bit, I am familiar with some of the "faults" you noted. One, as silly as it is, that you didn't mention but was quite annoying for me was the balance of the camera. The softball with zoom controls and a pivoting feature stuck to the side of the body really make the camera awkward to hold with one hand.

Over the years we have shot with everything from the vx2000 to the v1u and even the HVX. They all feel quite balanced and if you're adjusting a setting on the fly it is fairly easy to hold any of these camera with one hand and not be too shaky about it. We are in the field a lot dodging bullets, or chasing them, climbing in/out/up/down things, running, crawling, etc. and the EX-1 seems like it would make for really bad handheld work (bad as in ultra difficult).

Besides that, I think the camera is top notch!

-todd-
http://www.combatfilms.com
http://www.sansommedia.com


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Steve Wargo
Re: Sony EX1..."NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW"
on Jan 4, 2008 at 8:48:05 am

[tofutodd] " seems like it would make for really bad handheld work"

Contrary to that, the rotating function of the grip more than makes up for the fact that the grip itself is off center by an additional inch and a half, or so. After all, who actually shoots hand held with one hand? I found it to be exceptionally steady because of the additional weight. I do an enormous amount of handheld and it's hold with the right hand and steady with the left. You're not holding it in the same position as a shoulder mount camera, are you? It's not a Handycam. It's a serious contender.


Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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Juan Martinez
Re: Sony EX1..."NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW"
on Jan 4, 2008 at 8:12:09 pm

Hi, this is Juan Martinez from Sony. Actually, if you pivot the hand-grip forward at about a 45 degree angle and place your left-hand thumb under the camera, the Ex1 is not uncomfortable to hold. Please try it.

I was also told (by an user) that by using the large battery, he could rest the camera on his chest while looking into the viewfinder...

Juan

Juan Martinez


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Steven Thomas
Re: Sony EX1..."NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW"
on Jan 5, 2008 at 6:21:02 pm

Juan,
please email me at,
Steve Thomas
vx2000@cox.net

I want to talk about my vignetting issue which still exists after sending in for the adjustment. Actually, it appears to be worse. Sorry, I could not find an email to get hold of you directly. This is a boring shot of my living room LOL, but it clearly shows my vignetting issue. I'm seeing this in a lot of my footage.


1080 24P HQ
1/48th shutter.
Approx. 12mm focal length
fstop: 1.9 (open)

http://members.cox.net/proaudio4/EX1_Vignette_f19_24P_48.tif

Thank you,
Steve


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Steve Wargo
Re: Sony EX1..."NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW"
on Jan 3, 2008 at 10:39:57 pm

Did you notice that there is no indication that the camera is powered up except for the light above the card slot. I have killed my only battery several times by not noticing that the power is on when I set it down.

Also, why in the world is the HD-SDI a 3-2 pulldown signal only? We shoot with an F-900 and wanted to co mingle foorage but this makes it difficult to do so.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Sony EX1..."NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW"
on Jan 4, 2008 at 1:06:04 am

[Philip Johnston] "1. The power switch is a joke, many times I have switched from camera to recorder missing out the middle off position, it's a very un-positive switch."
Me too on this one. I'd rather that though than one of those switches where you accidently power down while shooting!

[Philip Johnston] "you need to use AF if you are going to use macro"
Actually there's AF/MF and Full Manual Focus. AF/MF is servo controlled. Actually you can use the macro under servo control. You do not need to have the AF switch engaged.

[Philip Johnston] "The auto focus is back to the bad old days of zooming in on a well lit subject only for it to loose focus, "
You use auto focus? Generally I'm on servo manual and use push auto. Sometimes it works better than others and I've been playing around to see what confuses it.

[Philip Johnston] "3. I like most users suffer the mid lens vignetting to the top right side of the camera fortunately it is only seen with underscan so as yet does not present a problem but I have read some where that Sony can fix this, can anyone confirm this. I first saw this at the IOV show last year and was told by Sony that it was a bug with the image stabilizer and would not occur in the production models. "
Yes, it's a bug and Sony will fix it free of charge. Contact them and they should send you a free shipping label.

<[Philip Johnston] "you can on occasions hit one of the stupidly placed touch sensitive switches that lie right under the handle"
Kind of like playing a musical instrument you learn where to place and move your fingers. I was able to stop doing that after a few hours of playing/retraining my brain.

[Philip Johnston] "a permanently connected power lead...!!!"
This is the "freebe" throw in. I don't doubt they'll be a better more expensive version that will part you from your spare change. I suspect this is a Sony trademark.

[Philip Johnston] "I had a dilemma when 1st using the camera as to what HD mode to shoot in"
I will never shoot interlace again unless a project forces me to. It's nice to have so many choices isn't it.

My own beefs and tofu.
I want to have both a 3200


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ken hon
Re: Sony EX1..."NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW"
on Jan 4, 2008 at 3:07:25 am

Aloha Craig,

If you hit the the menu select roller without hitting menu, it lets you toggle the OIS on and off right on the LCD screen (along with a couple of other things you can adjust). Anyway, you can get to the OIS really fast that way.

Aloha,

Ken




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Steve Wargo
Mahalo
on Jan 4, 2008 at 4:34:41 am

Mahalo Ken,

Can you give us a bit more details on this? This is the first I've heard of it.

Anybody else?

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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ken hon
Re: Mahalo
on Jan 4, 2008 at 5:11:59 am

Aloha Steve,

Well I could get all snooty and say read your manual, but the truth is I found it by just poking the buttons the way you do.

With the LCD screen flipped out (may work in viewfinder too, don't know), pust the SEL/SET roller in the upper left of the back of the camera. A yellow box will appear either on the things listed on the lower left or on the bottom line.

If you then roll the roller you can cycle between SHT, Gain, Apeture, PP, White Balance, MF-AF, OIS, and TLCS.

Roll the roller to the item you want and depress it and it brings up the choices.

Roll to the choice you want and depress it again and it changes it.

Doesn't have everything, but it's a lot easier than going through the menus.

And thanks for the many, many educational and entertaining posts you've made here.

Aloha,

Ken





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Don Greening
Re: Mahalo
on Jan 4, 2008 at 5:14:39 am

You can also use the joystick on top to do the exact same thing with regard to changing things on-screen. I find it far easier to use the joystick than that infernal roller at the back.

- Don


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mahalo
on Jan 4, 2008 at 1:02:43 pm

And you can also set All or Partial control of the LCD screen menus. All disables other means to access them though.


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Steve Wargo
Now I get it Ken. Mahalo again.
on Jan 4, 2008 at 7:18:30 am

You left something out: Turn on the "direct menu".

Since I got my EX-1, I've loaned it out to a dozen people and I haven't been able to go through the manual thoroughly. I had seen the Direct Menu thing but didn't investigate what it really was. Thanks for the info. It makes a huge difference.

And as for the posts, they would be a little more creative but Ron threw me off the COW a few years ago and I had to promise to be a good boy and bite my tongue (or my fingertips) or I couldn't come back to play. This is, by far, the best forum on the web. It's easy to navigate and has some of the best of the best both at the top of the page and throughout the entire barn yard.

I was in Maui in July '07 on a job and my wife and I spent our honeymoon also in Maui in 2000 on Memorial Day and we visited Pearl Harbor. It brought a lot of things to life for me. I had studied Pearl harbor for years.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Now I get it Ken. Mahalo again.
on Jan 8, 2008 at 2:32:22 pm

[Steve Wargo] "And as for the posts, they would be a little more creative but Ron threw me off the COW a few years ago and I had to promise to be a good boy and bite my tongue (or my fingertips) or I couldn't come back to play. This is, by far, the best forum on the web. It's easy to navigate and has some of the best of the best both at the top of the page and throughout the entire barn yard."

Oh come on, Steve. You are a hell of a lot more entertaining with a bit of restraint placed on your ire -- it adds a heretofore missing bit of comic edge to your vitriol.

;o)

It's been an honor to have you here for all these years, Steve. Kathlyn and I are very happy that you are healing up and that you beat the odds after your horrible motorcycle accident. It wouldn't be the same around here without you.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
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Craig Seeman
Re: Sony EX1..."NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW"
on Jan 4, 2008 at 1:01:05 pm

[ken hon] "If you hit the the menu select roller without hitting menu, it lets you toggle the OIS on and off right on the LCD screen (along with a couple of other things you can adjust). Anyway, you can get to the OIS really fast that way.
"


I know. I've done that. I find it awkward. I want to hit a button and toggle on/off as needed. When doing run and gun and need to chase something, dealing with either the scroll in the menu or joystick on the LCD screen to move it over the right function etc. takes too long.

As to white balance, one can set up a 5600


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Steve Wargo
"NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW" ????????
on Jan 4, 2008 at 7:22:25 am

Phillip,
i've been trying to figure out what you mean by "No Holes Barred". Is that a play on words for the wrestling term "No Holds Barred"?

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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Philip Johnston
Re: "NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW" ????????
on Jan 4, 2008 at 9:01:12 am

It's just a way to attract people to view the post... after all we all read with interest the reviewers who were given the pre production models no names no pack drill, I never get the point in getting "Sony lovers" to review kit as they both wrote extensive reviews and never commented on any of these short comings !

6. Just remembered what about the flip out viewfinder and that stupid spring loading ? It jumps out and back with a good thud if you don't ease it out and in like I do...I don't like this feature.

7. I have the bigger battery the BP-U60...I feel it's a tad to heavy for the way it mounts onto the camera I hope we don't get issues 12 months down the line.

PS. Does the Cow allow one to mention kit or manufacturers other than the ones who advertise on this page ?


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Steve Wargo
Re: "NO HOLES BARRED REVIEW" ????????
on Jan 4, 2008 at 10:14:08 pm

[Philip Johnston] "Does the Cow allow one to mention kit or manufacturers other than the ones who advertise on this page ?"

The COW does not censor the posts except for the usual things that aren't nice. Go for it!




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
Sony EX-1 has arrived and it's fascinating.


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