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HVX or EX-1 for ski/snowboard action sports

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wil drake
HVX or EX-1 for ski/snowboard action sports
on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:43:29 pm

Hello
I have been reading just about every review out there that I can get my hands on regarding the HVX vs. EX conversation.

I am a Senior in college, I recently launched my own production company, and I am looking to move into the 1080p lifestyle.

I shot almost entirely on Canon XL-1 last season, which was good footage, but the camera was TOO big and heavy for my application and the Quality image it was producing was non-HD, which has become the industry standard.

I am noticing that a lot of the forums/discussions boards go back and forth on which camera is a better pick. In addition most forums/discussions point out that it its largely dependent on what your individual application is with the camera. I hope to explain my application and would love for some experienced advice if at all possible. Thanks.



I will be shooting medium to close shots AND would like the ability to have interchanging lens as a future option. (one day a BIG tele lens to shoot from the Heli)

Spending most of my time in the Cold, damp, low-light conditions of the Pacific Northwest.

Weight is crucial, as I will be hiking with camera in backpack and each ounce matters

I use FCP, and the idea of using my Express Slot seems very effective. Am I wrong?

This will be my first chance to shoot 1080P and I want the MOST for my money, like everyone.
If you have any EXPERIENCED quidence or adivce I would appreciate it.

thanks

wil drake

Empty Roll productions
Bellingham WA 98225









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Don Greening
Re: HVX or EX-1 for ski/snowboard action sports
on Oct 16, 2008 at 5:56:07 am

Hi Wil,

Welcome to Creative Cow. Your question regarding the choice of the Sony EX series cameras or the Panasonic HVX cameras has been the subject of much debate recently here at the COW. Here's just one of them:

http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/193/872155#872210

Just a few suggestions: if weight is a big consideration the new HVX 170 is probably the lightest. It has the same size imagers as the 200 but with new and improved signal processing. If you have your heart set on interchangeable lenses then the only choice on your list is the EX3. If you really want to know which camera will suit you best then you need to rent each one you're considering and try before you buy.

- Don




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wil drake
Re: HVX or EX-1 for ski/snowboard action sports
on Oct 16, 2008 at 4:47:16 pm

Don-

Thanks for getting back to me.

I have a follow up question that I was hoping you would probably have some good insight on.

What are the problems...or extra steps invloved in using the EX-1's format of Long GOP? I have been editing in FCP 5.14 using standard DV/NTSC footage, and I don't understand fully the codec issues that I continue to read about on your forums. Is there anyway/one who can help me understand this better?


Oh and I looked into renting one of the cameras, but unfortunately it's not much of an option, where I live in Bellingham, WA.



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Don Greening
Re: HVX or EX-1 for ski/snowboard action sports
on Oct 16, 2008 at 7:36:53 pm

[wil drake] "What are the problems...or extra steps invloved in using the EX-1's format of Long GOP?"

This is a great question. There is no real or fundamental difference in shooting with an EX compared to any other camera. This particular long GOP recording format employs a variable bit rate as opposed to HDV long GOP which is recorded at a fixed bit rate. With the EX this means that areas of fast motion within a given frame of video will have more bits assigned to it, whereas HDV will not.

Problems with EX shooting arise when the operator doesn't set the camera up properly for the type of subject matter they want to shoot, just like any other professional camera. For example, if you're shooting a bunch of snow skiers racing by, you don't shoot with a setting of 1080p 24 and a shutter speed of 1/30th sec. It will look awful with lots of motion blur and CMOS picture skew. If you used something like a Sony F900 studio camera the picture would look just as bad with those same settings, albeit without the picture skew. Fast action requires faster shutter speeds, regardless of the camera used.

A lot of folks are making the jump from prosumer cameras to the EX, which takes more setup and shooting knowledge to achieve the look they want, but the benefits are definitely worth it. The EX can be a great "run and gun" type camera if you set it up to shoot that way. But if you quickly zoom in tight on your subject instead of just moving physically closer, your DOF goes very shallow. Don't expect the EX to do your job for you and keep your subject in perfect focus. You have to know what you're doing and I'm still learning.

- Don







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wil drake
Re: HVX or EX-1 for ski/snowboard action sports
on Oct 17, 2008 at 5:41:21 pm

Don-

thanks once again.


As a third and hopefully final follow up question I have to ask: Do you know of any sub-$10k cameras that have the ability to shoot faster shutter speeds? Weight is always an issue to consider too........is there something out there that I'm not aware of? I am privy to the RED ONE, yet after placing my deposit and realizing that the RED ONE is not for me, I've decided that I am waiting for Scarlet like everyone else. But is there anything else out there that shoots is FAST for my type of application. I'm looking to buy something for this upcoming season to be the Main Camera shooting in FULL HD 1080p.

thanks

wil


everynight i fall asleep and dream. oceans. forests. mountains. streams. magnificent little dreams. merely minutes, maybe more. wake up. eyes open. no longer seeing in RED. it all seems con.





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Don Greening
Re: HVX or EX-1 for ski/snowboard action sports
on Oct 18, 2008 at 2:11:28 am

[wil drake] "Do you know of any sub-$10k cameras that have the ability to shoot faster shutter speeds?"

Faster than the cameras on your list? Not in the under 10k class, that's for sure. But if you're thinking that shooting faster than 1/2000 sec. is going to be beneficial for shooting sports, I'm not so sure. After a certain point the picture starts to take on a real stroby, stuttery look some folks refer to as the "Private Ryan" look. You probably don't want that either. It's okay for special effects but not for realistic day in day out looking video.

[wil drake] " I'm looking to buy something for this upcoming season to be the Main Camera shooting in FULL HD 1080p. "

There's nothing made in the handheld class that's shoots full raster 1080p other than the EX series cameras. But you may end up being happy with a Panny HPX170 even though it's a a pixel shifted 720p camera. I've seen some very nice footage from an HVX 200 and I can only assume that the 170 picture will be equally as good or better with the improved signal processing. It's also light enough to packpack around in the bush.

It's only about 40 miles from downtown Bellingham to my doorstep. Next time you're up in the great white north you're more than welcome to try out my EX1 for a couple of hours. At least then you'll be able to cross one camera candidate off your wish list.

- Don



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Anne Wright
Re: HVX or EX-1 for ski/snowboard action sports
on Dec 2, 2008 at 1:44:20 pm

Are you a snowboarder or photographer?



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wil drake
Re: HVX or EX-1 for ski/snowboard action sports
on Dec 2, 2008 at 10:51:50 pm

I am a skier and filmmaker. is this my aunt? her name is anne wright as well.



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