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About to buy EX1, have some questions

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wing poon
About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 9, 2009 at 5:34:34 am

Hello everyone,

As the title says, I'm about to buy an EX1. I've been reading up and researching them and I really think this is the camera I want to get. However, I've had two questions that I can't seem to find an answer for:

1) I'm planning to invest in several SDHC and SDHC adaptors for the unit. However, I'd like to keep the stock 8GB SxS card in the camera for overcranking. Should I need to, could I switch from SDHC to SxS on the fly or does it require a shutdown or a pause in recording?

2) Speaking of overcranking, I'd like to know how much overcranked footage I can get on an 8GB SxS card. I'd really like to use the SxS for overcranked footage only, but am not sure that an 8GB card is enough (plus they're so expensive). I know that you can get around 30 minutes of footage (although I have no idea whether it's shooting in 720 or 1080) on an 8GB SxS. But are those 30 minutes then reduced if I were to overcrank in 720 at 60 frames or 1080 at 50 frames?

3) I've read that the EX1 had problems with back-focus. Has that been resolved with the latest firmware or should I adjust it manually?

I hope you can get the gist of my questions. Also, if they were answered in previous threads, my apologies. I've searched the forums for an answer to my questions but haven't found any. Thanks for all your help!



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Don Greening
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 9, 2009 at 6:03:19 am

I'll respond to your questions in reverse order. No, I don't know why. I just feel like it for some reason.

3. I haven't heard of any back focus problems with cameras that have the latest firmware so I think it's a non-issue with regard to buying a new EX1. If you were buying someone's used early EX1 I'd have some concerns, but this isn't the case for you. The original EX1 back focus issue happened when using the built in ND filters. This changed how the light focused on the sensors and the original firmware wasn't compensating for the difference. This has since been fixed.

2. You can't use overcranking with any setting higher than 720 anyway, because the data rate is too high even for the SxS Pro memory cards. That's why there's a 720 60p (regular speed) mode but not 1080 60p. Only 1080 30p. You can, however, undercrank using any of the shooting formats. With that in mind you'd be able to get the same amount of shooting time on the 8 Gig card (27 minutes) doing overcranking, the same as shooting regular speed in 1080 30p or 1080 25p, etc because the overall amount of data would end up being about the same.

1. [wing poon] " Should I need to, could I switch from SDHC to SxS on the fly or does it require a shutdown or a pause in recording? "

I don't know, since I don't use the SDHC setup. I do know that the switch between 2 SXS Pro memory cards is absolutely seamless without losing a frame of video. I am going to go out on a limb and say that yes you can jump from SxS card to the SDHC card and visa versa without issue since I haven't heard anything to the contrary. If this wasn't possible I think I would have heard by now.

- Don



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Steve Wargo
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 9, 2009 at 6:20:09 am

[Don Greening] "yes you can jump from SxS card to the SDHC card and visa versa"

I believe that you just press the button that controls which card you're recording to. As I recall, we did it at a time when the on person camera took a breath.



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
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Don Greening
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 9, 2009 at 6:54:47 am

[Steve Wargo] "I believe that you just press the button that controls which card you're recording to."

Yup you can do that for sure but I believe the poster is asking whether or not the camera will automatically switch recording from an SxS Pro card to the SDHC card (or visa versa) without issue once the first card is full. Unless I misunderstood the question.

- Don

-addition: You know I don't think I've ever tried to manually switch cards without first stopping the recording. I'll have to try that to see if any footage is missing afterwards. I don't know why anyone would want to do this because the whole idea of switching cards is to keep the clips on each card self-contained to that particular card.





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Steve Wargo
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 14, 2009 at 4:46:17 pm

[Don Greening] "I believe the poster is asking whether or not the camera will automatically switch recording from an SxS Pro card to the SDHC card (or visa versa) without issue once the first card is full."

10-4 on that Don. I think we tried it as an experiment. And maybe, if I ever think about it when the cameras are here, I'll test it again, just so i know.

That recording across the cards makes my stomach feel kinda funny. The whole recording to cards makes me a bit queezy.

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
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Don Greening
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 14, 2009 at 5:46:55 pm

[Steve Wargo] "That recording across the cards makes my stomach feel kinda funny. The whole recording to cards makes me a bit queezy. "

Agreement, and this is because of past practice. We both know that tape-based recording is a tried and true medium. But when you think about it, recording an image digitally to tape (as opposed to analogue) has been around now for about 10 years and we both trust it, yes?

So now I'm starting to think about what's a more reliable way these days: tape or card because they're both digital. The tape is being recorded as it is dragged across recording heads. The card has a solid electrical connection that doesn't move. I'm starting to think the card idea is the better one. It's the post-production workflow that's still got everyone in a tizzy.

- Don


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Rafael Amador
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 15, 2009 at 2:58:54 am

I agree.
We go to "no moving parts" system.
I understand why Apple is not pushing the BR (I bought a BR burner to stock my EX-1 footage).
It won't be able to compete with the solid memory.
Flash cards are already bigger, cheaper and faster than BR.
For me tapes would be the best if would exist the "Random Access Tape":-)
Rafael

.

http://www.nagavideo.com

(and here some clips for the friends: http://www.vimeo.com/2694745 )


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Don Greening
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 15, 2009 at 3:56:09 am

[Rafael Amador] "We go to "no moving parts" system. "

If your name is "Panasonic" then this certainly seems to be the current trend. When they come out with a P2 version of their flagship VariCam camera then you know they're banking heavily on the end user acceptance of solid state recording.

I think Sony is a little different in their thinking and want to continue offering their customers both tape-based as well as tapeless recording options. Consider the new 650F HDCAM camcorder from Sony. It's tape-based and because of this I don't see Sony walking away from tape any time soon. Not with 43,000 HDCAM camera and deck users worldwide.

- Don



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Rafael Amador
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 15, 2009 at 5:40:10 am

Hi Don,
Despite of the efforts of SONY, I think that the death of the tape is just a matter of time.
Sure will survive high-capacity tape-based formats for archiving or some special tasks.
CDs and DVDs will disappear in the next few years.
DVDs, CDs and tapes will remain for certain time in Thirld World countries.
The only place in Earth where the "Diskette" still alive.
HDs have a future as long as they will keep faster than solid memory.
This is my forecast for the nest few years.
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com

(and here some clips for the friends: http://www.vimeo.com/2694745 )


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Rafael Amador
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 9, 2009 at 7:12:16 am

[wing poon] "2) Speaking of overcranking, I'd like to know how much overcranked footage I can get on an 8GB SxS card. I'd really like to use the SxS for overcranked footage only, but am not sure that an 8GB card is enough (plus they're so expensive). I know that you can get around 30 minutes of footage (although I have no idea whether it's shooting in 720 or 1080) on an 8GB SxS. But are those 30 minutes then reduced if I were to overcrank in 720 at 60 frames or 1080 at 50 frames? "
When you overcranck you are really writing some 100Mbps instead of the 35Mbps of the normal recording.
You will get some 10 minutes footage in a 8GB SxS card.
rafael
PS: Steve, the "dry heat' is not reason enough for you to disappear from this forum for months.
Are you getting RED?



http://www.nagavideo.com

(and here some clips for the friends: http://www.vimeo.com/2694745 )


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Don Greening
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 9, 2009 at 8:34:15 am

I just did a little test. I recorded in overcrank mode to an 8 Gig SxS Pro card. My setting was HQ 720 30p with the S&Q frame rate set at 60. The camera displayed the card's empty record time as 28 minutes but it only took 14 minutes of real time to fill it up.

- Don


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Rafael Amador
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 9, 2009 at 9:20:27 am

That makes sense. if you overcrank 25/50 or 30/60, you are duplicating the number of frames. You half the duration of the card.
If you would overcrank 24/60 you would get only some 12 minutes.
Rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com

(and here some clips for the friends: http://www.vimeo.com/2694745 )


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Steve Wargo
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 10, 2009 at 7:05:16 am

[Rafael Amador] "PS: Steve, the "dry heat' is not reason enough for you to disappear from this forum for months.
Are you getting RED?"


No, I didn't go anywhere, especially RED. When the Red was first announced, there were quite a few people who dropped into the HD forum and advised us that we needed to toss our Varicams and F-900s into the sea. They went on to accuse me of being closed minded about the future. All I said was that I thought that we should have an actual working model to test, instead of the word of the sunglasses guy.

When the Red was getting close to being a real product, my advice was to make it modular in design because they would spend years figuring out that there's a lot more to a professional camera than a huge imager and if it's modular, they could upgrade it in sections. I was referred to as an idiot.....

Well, it got released and they sold thousands. I hear about a lot of work being done with the Red and yet I hear about numerous Red cameras gathering dust because the owners aren't qualified cinematographers who can take on a job worthy of the Red camera or they can't quite get their hands around the workflow, which has gotten easier, by the way. To bad the workflow was such a disaster when it was first released.

At first, the Red fanboys said "No worry that the sound doesn't work. I'll just use second system sound like the big boys. Now, I hear a lot of bitching because "We always have to sync the sound". I thought that the sound was fixed. ????

Red has been out for how long? 18 months? And it's still in Beta? So, they've stopped development of Red One and have moved onto Epic and Scarlet, to be released in 2009 or so. Keep in mind that Red One is on build #17. My 7 year old Sony F-900 is version three and everything works just fine, and has worked fine since September 2002.

It's true, I can't shoot a 4K image so therefore I can't adjust my shots in post, but then again, I happen to be a very talented shooter and I don't have to adjust my shots in post. I shoot a take and a backup and we move on. So sad that the newbies have to roll 12 takes before they can get it framed right. But, they can fix it in post, remember. By the way, Red doesn't shoot a 4K image either. It's a 2.8k recorded image.

A crazy as it may seem, my biggest squawk with Red is the fact that those ding dongs put the control panel on the back, instead of on the operator side of the camera. (Key word here is "operator side) There are so many kick ass things they could have done with that big plate on the left side of the camera instead of that self indulgent Red billboard that they put there. It could have had a touch screen, an LCD, level meters, or god forbid, a switch or two. The Red camera is a huge imager and a computer panel. Yeah, there's a couple dinky little connectors on the right side but they should have put a removable block on the side that had a gang cable box that screwed on. This camera was designed by computer geeks, not professional camera operators. Some say that I am unwilling to adapt. Well, I'm just not willing to adapt to a problem.

If the initial comment was in response to the fact that I have listed my F-900 for sale, it is simply because I have a huge project coming that will require something different as far as acquisition. We are looking at the Sony 700 XDCAM HD. 100 Gb BluRay is right around the corner. Shoot and put the disc in your pocket when you're done. No downloding cards. No data wrangler. The wireless receiver drops into a slot and away you go. It's all self contained, records to a proven, protected media and is very advanced. Also, it has switches for all of the important things that need changed right now. Sony did not finance R&D by suckering over three thousand people into putting down a thousand dollar "deposit". What a scam.

And, if I could choose any camera on the planet to shoot with, it would be a Sony F-35. And who needs 120 frames per second. My HDCAM deck has Dynamic Tracking. I'll bet that 95% of Red owners don't even know what Dynamic Tracking is.

The Red definitely has it's place but it's not everyplace. It's just not my cup of tea. Would I use one for a shoot if asked to do so? Of course. However, what I have works fine so why change? No one has ever complained about the image that our company lays down. And now, we do the bulk of our work these days with EX-1s. Small, cheap, portable = all profit. That little guy is very impressive.

While I'm in a bashing mood, I think I need to ask the usual camera manufacturers why in the hell they have the settings on the gain switch the way they do. On all of the cameras, the low setting is at the top and you push the switch DOWN to go up. It must be the same dizzy idiots who put a legend near an elevator and they have what's on the first floor, listed at the top and then the higher floors are listed in descending order. I would put floor one at the bottom and go up from there. Does that make any sense at all or am I just crazy? If it (the elevator thing) never bothered you before, it will from now on.

By the way, that F-900 had four channel, 96K sound from day one.

So there.

Thanks for asking Rafael.



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
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Rafael Amador
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 10, 2009 at 10:32:11 am

My friend Steve,
I just asked because i don't see you around too often. Guess you are busy. The question on the RED was just to joke a bit. I know your opinion about the RED history.
And i love to see how clearly you expose your arguments about.
I'm sure that you have nothing against the RED and as a professional the RED would be your option if you would think was your best solution.
I love the camera and the idea. Who wouldn't like to shoot with such quality after years bounded to shoot DV?
But I agree as well that is not a camera for all occasions, but the opposite. is a camera that requires a full team around.
The fever of the RED in one side is due to our human nature: We want to have the faster, the better, the last one.
As you say, people that have been sailing in a small boat suddenly see them self with a transatlantic in their hands. This remind me some twenty years ago in my country when the economy started to boom.
People that never in their life have driven an scooter, people in their 40's and 50's, started to buy big motorbikes: BMW 900, Guccis or Harleys.
Few months later you had big bikes for sell in every corner.
The camera you want to buy looks really incredible.
I can not afford such machine, but I try to get as close as I can to the quality of that camera.
I'm behind to buy the Nano-flash for my EX-1. Recording 422 50/160 Mbps i think I'll be happy for a long time.
My only problem is that the pre-order offer (they do the same than the RED boys) is only for the USA.
Now is 3.200 US$ but when will be available around here can be some 5.000 bucks. Too much for those crisis times.
Enough of writing. I'm very slow for writing in English. to put all this letters together takes me some half hour. So now I go to the Mekong to drink a could beer to combat the Vientiane heat.
Here some times is dry, some times wet, but mostly heat.
See you around,
Rafael





http://www.nagavideo.com

(and here some clips for the friends: http://www.vimeo.com/2694745 )


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Steve Wargo
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 10, 2009 at 3:44:11 pm

Thanks Raphael. I just need to vent that once in a while. One thing that the Red accomplished was to get some other companies back to the drawing board and show that a lot can be put into a package that doesn't cast so much. As for the F-35, I think that would be a rental. We have one on our equipment list on an upcoming feature.

Panasonic just released their 300 camera and it is quite the machine. My holdback would be the P-2 format. Since working with the SxS cards, I would have a difficult time with it's downside. They certainly have some nice accessories, though.

One of my clients is spending a few weeks in Vietnam right now.

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
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Rafael Amador
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 10, 2009 at 5:58:50 pm

[Steve Wargo] "Panasonic just released their 300 camera and it is quite the machin"
I wish i can see that one day. Imagine, almost Proress in camera!!
I will re-read all the good things I heard about the High Data Rate MPEG-2 :-)
Is one in the morning time to sleep.
I'll dream with my EX-1. The people of Convergent-Design told me that I can order the device. I'll do it. I'm really excited with the machine. i don't want a new camera,I don't need it, but I want to take as mach as I can from mine.
Cheers,
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com

(and here some clips for the friends: http://www.vimeo.com/2694745 )


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wing poon
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 15, 2009 at 7:04:13 pm

Hey guys,

Thanks so much for your input. It's definitely helped me to understand how the EX1 uses the SxS when recording. If you don't mind me asking one more question (and I'm pretty sure this will be the last):

As I mentioned earlier, I am contemplating getting the MxM SDHC adapter to use in the EX1. From what I've read, in order to use these cards, the EX1 has to be updated with the latest firmware. Now, I don't have an EX1 and will be getting one soon. However, once I get it, I won't have time to ship it to Sony to update the firmware (I'm going out of the country at the end of the month). So, would the EX1 that I am about to buy have the latest firmware? If not, then I'm not going to bother getting the MxM cards. Any thoughts?

Thanks so much for helping me out. You guys are awesome!



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wing poon
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 15, 2009 at 7:15:50 pm

Whoops. Guess I should have done a simple Google search before typing up that message:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/archive/index.php/t-144711.html

Yes, they've confirmed that a new EX1 comes with the latest firmware. That's pretty sucky for the early adopters who had to pay $100 to get it updated.



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Don Greening
Re: About to buy EX1, have some questions
on Mar 15, 2009 at 7:21:44 pm

[wing poon] "Yes, they've confirmed that a new EX1 comes with the latest firmware."

Yeah but make sure your vendor doesn't try to sell you a N.O.S. camera. That stands for "new old stock." If they do chances are that it won't have the latest firmware update.

- Don


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