Rapid movement 'Fly on the wall' on EX3
I'm researching the EX3 for use shooting 'fly on the wall' style doco work. Up until now I've opted to use DSR500s or other ENG style shoulder mounted cameras with good lenses over the portability of little camera like the PD170etc.
So now I'm going HD I'm hoping to get the best of both worlds (compact camera with changable lenses) However, as I've been reading forums and discussions around the EX series a disturbing trend for us 'fly on the wallers' seems to be emerging... these cameras don't produce good run'n'gun styled footage. IE quick pans and zooms to find action sorta 'cops' style if you know what I mean. Through my research I've seen loads of pretty lock off shots of ducks and but no down and dirty kenetic stuff.
So my question is...is anyone using the EX3 for this kind of work? If so what kinds of setting are they using to get good results. Or is it just a fact that at the moment HD cameras in this price range are not up to acquiring this kind of rapid moment.
Thanks in advance for any comments.
Not sure what you mean by Cops style. The Cops show is shot on Digibeta and Beta SP ENG shoulder cameras at 60i. That couldn't be more different from the 24p modes offered by the EX3. Perhaps you can define a little more what it is you are concerned about on an aesthetic or technical level?
In general, rapid movement like whip pans and running and gunning, etc are going to cause some sort of motion artifacting on any camera- be it 60i, 24p and 35mm file. This is because at a certain speed of movement you are photographing motion that occurs faster than the interval between the frames being captured the camera. So you either increase your frame or shutter rates or slow down your camera movement. There's really no special way around this other than experience.
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Other than the ergonomics ( and there are ways to improve that) this camera is fine for running with a story. It took me a few weeks but I cobbled together a shoulder rest,anton bauer battery plate and dual wireless systems - and ended up with a great eng rig. I believe the EX cameras will be adopted by many for news coverage and documentary work.
Part of the reason you might not be seeing a lot of run and gun in HD is the nature of the format - it is more effective to frame a shot and allow the action to occur in the frame. The constantly moving camera of pre HD shows was a result of low resolution and small screens. To see the expression on a face, or the infamous close up when a tear appeared, the camera either moved or zoomed in. With HD the viewing experience is much more ( and I apologize using the term, but it fits) "organic", like witnessing a real event in real space. Your eye can concentrate on the tears without losing sight of the face, surroundings etc.
We're going to have a lot of really bad video until people settle down and get comfortable with HD. Hopefully the days of shaky cam, unmotivated dutch angles, whip pans instead of real content will disappear quickly ( but I won't bet on it).
But back to the question at hand - the EX 3 will shoot fine video whatever the project - the greatest limiting factor with this (for that matter any) camera will be the eyes and brains operating it.
Noah, it would seem somewhat likely that the poster is referring to the issue of too much data for the EX's GOP format to handle ie "breaking" the codec, as is often evidenced with HDV cameras. Paul, most agree that the higher and variable data rate offered by the XDCAM HD and EX camera's makes the codec very much more difficult to break. You should test drive one and see for yourself.
[Paul Crowe] "these cameras don't produce good run'n'gun styled footage."
Actually they do quite well but require more set up to get the look you want. The EX series cameras are not "prosumer" in nature but a lot of prosumer users are stepping up to the EX cameras without first learning how to use them and therein lies the problem.
The short answer to shooting fast motion with an EX is to choose the right recording format:
- HQ 1080/60i or
- HQ 720/60p
These two modes are "as listed" in the Sony manual, although some folks will refer to them as "30i" and "60p". These shooting modes offer the most temporal resolution of all the settings. So you have a choice of interlaced or progressive shooting, depending on what's required.
Make sure your shutter is set to 1/60th sec. minimum to reduce motion blur. And check out the Sony website for footage from an air show where several EX1's were put inside aerobatic planes and set to 720p 60. The stuff looks great.
Thanks so much for your responses. This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. My apologies, I realise I was being a bit vague in my original post.
But never the less Andy has hit the nail on the head I am worried about a 'broken codec'. Which is exactly why I've avoided HDV.
Cheers again to all of you for all your help. I'll do the tests but I'm now satisfied this camera should be able to do what I want it to. Shame it's not 4:2:2 right out of the box though. Ah well can't have it all for 10k.
This subject is one of my concerns about the EX3. I certainly like (from what I've seen so far) the physical aspects of the camera such as the lens and viewfinder. I've started shooting with the HVX 200 and so far the focus and viewfinder are making me crazy... One of my current projects is about Le Mans style sports car racing, another is a doc on shore birds and their habitats, and I'm concerned about the long GOP motion blur issue with fast moving objects. I am also realizing there is a need to alter shooting styles to take advantage of the way the camera works. I'm working on that...
When shooting either 60i or 60p are you still able to get the "film/non video" look? What settings other than frame rate impact this, such as gamma, etc?
Last question- Anyone using a 2/3" lens for long lens shots? I have a Fuji 20x, and the prospect of carry an EX3 with that lens vs. a DSR450 with a 33x and a Sacthler 25 sure looks like a better idea to me!