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Add EX-3 or second EX-1?

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Clint Fleckenstein
Add EX-3 or second EX-1?
on Dec 8, 2008 at 8:15:47 pm

Since I've found plenty of good opinions and suggestions here, I thought I'd throw out this question for y'all. We're finding the transition to HD pretty smooth so far and are looking to use our XDCAM gear as our primary now. That puts us in the position of needing two sets of gear so we can send our guys in different directions. I've been asked to come up with specs for a second set of equipment.

My first instinct was to suggest an EX-3. We use XL-1s and XL-2s for our SD gear, and have a wide angle from Canon that we shared between them. We purchased the accessory kit with the screw-on wide angle lens for our EX-1, but haven't put it to use yet. That makes me wonder how big a benefit the interchangability of the EX-3 would be for us.

We also use the EX-1 with our Steadicam vest rig quite a bit lately. I know that isn't going to fly with the EX-3, because the EX-1 is on the very limit of what our rig is rated for. No problem; we have one vest rig, we only need one camera to work with it.

The way I see it, and I'm coming up with a lot of this as I type, is that I can get another EX-1 and accessory kit (spare battery, card reader, spare 16GB card, 3 yr extended warranty, wide angle adapter, etc) from B&H for the same money as an EX-3. Then I'd still have to buy the accessories for the EX-3. So is the EX-3 that much of a better camera?

My understanding is that they're the same as far as sensor and image processing, all that stuff. We're not going to be trying to mate the camera to any exotic lenses and are quite happy with the lens on the EX-1 we have now, so it SEEMS to make more sense to get the EX-1 with wide adapter. I also don't mind the idea of having two identical kits for a number of reasons.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a second EX-1. When I make decisions with my boss's money, though, I like to be informed before doing so. Do any of you guys have experience with the EX-3 that would make it a better choice, worth the additional money?

Thanks for reading my rambling, and for any ideas you can throw my way, including questions I should be asking before making a decision.

Cf


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cowcowcowcowcow
David Jones
Re: Add EX-3 or second EX-1?
on Dec 9, 2008 at 3:52:51 am

Hi Clint-

I suppose the big question is to ask, what kinds of shoots do you plan on using the second camera for.

There are three MAJOR differences between the EX1 and EX3:

1. As you have already pointed out, the ability to change lenes.

2. The ability to hand-hold the camera in a more comfortable way.

3. The ability to genlock to other cameras as well as jam timecode to and from other sources. The ex1 can only generate timecode internally.

Before just going with the EX1, really ask yourself if you might not need at least one of these options in the future. Hopefully someone who has actually used the EX3 will post here as well.

Regards,
Dave J


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Andrew Stone
Re: Add EX-3 or second EX-1?
on Dec 10, 2008 at 4:17:21 am

I feel strongly David got it right in summary. This the big focus between the two. In terms of immediate benefit I would say interchangable lenses is a biggie and not just using expensive Fujinon or Sony lenses but you can also throw on 35mm lenses once you have the adapter. I'm not talking about Letus's and Brevis's with a 35mm lens in front but standard lenses with simple lens mount adapter. The only caveat is the lens focal length is multiplied 5.5 times so a 50mm Nikon lens effectively becomes a 550mm lens and so on. There are 2 places you can get the lens mount adapters from. Mike Tapa is the one that I used. The level of flexibility this adds is significant.

The quality of the EX3 viewfinder shouldn't be underplayed. You can buy the HoodPro "sock" device (which I use on my Z1) on the EX1 but in a production environment, if I had the choice I would go for the EX3 viewfinder, if I had it at my disposal.

Access to pro timecode/genlock factored into my purchase. I am not using it now but don't want to be put in a situation of loosing a good gig because my cam doesn't play nice with more expensive cameras in a shoot.

When you look at the cost of all the other gear surrounding the camera the difference in the price is moot (to me). The advantages of the EX3 are worth way more than the price difference and you already have an EX1 so if you need portability and a small cam to get on a plane you are set. You also have the cam that works with the less expensive Steadicam and the other goodies available. I would think the EX3 would be a good piece for your arsenal.



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Michael Slowe
Re: Add EX-3 or second EX-1?
on Dec 9, 2008 at 11:09:03 am

Clint, one MAJOR DIFFERENCE, the ability to actually see the screen for focusing in bright light. The EX3 is a HUGE improvement in this respect. I use an EX1 and don't really want to go with the EX3 and have been trying to source an adaptation to the finder/screen arrangements. There are a few around, one utilising a sock with a magnifying glass in the end!! On the other hand the EX3 is heavier and more expensive and apart from my point there seems little other difference if you don't need to change lenses.

Michael Slowe


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Don Greening
Re: Add EX-3 or second EX-1?
on Dec 9, 2008 at 9:01:46 pm

And don't forget that the EX1 only has a 14x zoom lens. Of course, the EX3 has the same lens but there may come a time when you need longer glass and don't want to simply buy a tele-converter for the front of the stock lens. Fujinon makes some awesome glass for the the EX3. And no lens ramping.

- Don


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Aleksey Severyukhin
Re: Add EX-3 or second EX-1?
on Dec 12, 2008 at 3:34:59 am

Clint, what kind of Steadicam and wide angle adapter do you use for ex1?



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william primrose
Re: Add EX-3 or second EX-1?
on Apr 2, 2009 at 4:24:26 am

we have 2 ex-3's. all I can say is we have never looked back. with the interchangeable lenses feature we are going crazy with depth of field, and 6 lenses we purchased. the ex-3 is by far a better camera, and will give you much more flexibility in the long run.


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