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Why buy a PDW-F335?

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Thomas Hughes
Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 20, 2009 at 4:21:33 pm

I own a PDW-F350 and five PDW-F330s. I need to have eight cameras, so I need to buy two more.

I have the $64,000 question:

Why would someone buy a PDW-F335 for $13K sans lens when you can buy an EX3 for $8500 that includes a lens, or an EX1 that's even cheaper?

When you add a lens to the F335, the cost is so much more than the EX1 or EX3. And I'm finding I regularly have small camera envy when I see a lot of the footage that's shot with them, where they have much more mobility, where you can hold the handle and manuever and get in places that are much more difficult with the bigger cameras.

And as I get older, when I shoot all day with the bigger cameras, they're hell on my back. Does anyone know why Sony hasn't fazed out the F335? and even the F355?

Is Sony simply making money on us older chumps who've always been “big” camera snobs, even when there's no advantage anymore?


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Don Greening
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 20, 2009 at 4:59:07 pm

[Thomas Hughes] "Why would someone buy a PDW-F335 for $13K sans lens when you can buy an EX3 for $8500 that includes a lens, or an EX1 that's even cheaper?"

A few observations from an EX "handycam man":

Shoulder mount cameras have properly sized (and more robust) controls and connections.
Shoulder mount cameras by their very construction will have a steadier shot.
XDCAM disk is an instant archive backup.
Certain clients will take a shoulder mount camera operator more seriously.

- Don





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Noah Kadner
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 20, 2009 at 5:06:05 pm

Sad but true. Though I think the era of shoulder-cam= better quality is just about over now except perhaps for rural news channels and C-SPAN.

Noah

Check out my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
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http://www.callboxlive.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 20, 2009 at 5:42:06 pm

I think we are entering an era where portability is a major factor.

In this era of tightening budgets many stations are moving some of their ENG work to one person crews.

In addition the transfer rates of solid state media allow for much faster turnaround.

In the good 'ol days many news stations would recycle stock so archive may not be of paramount importance (at least for those stations).

There may also be maintenance time and cost vs "throw away" costs and it may be easier at least in some circumstances to throw away a $6000 camera (EX1).

Also it may be easier to get shorter ROI and upgrade more quickly as technology improves rather than be locked into a technology and workflow which may be surpassed in a short time.

Certainly the 300 series has its merits as Don points out and I think Sony will let the marketplace decide but if I were a betting person I know where I'd put my six pence.



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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 20, 2009 at 6:04:20 pm

A friend of mine has been shooting news on an EX-1, as the TV network I used to work for is pondering that same question.

Most of his concerns are related to weather, either indirectly or directly:

1- fragile compared to the big cam, and connectors not always in the best location (since there isn't much real estate to begin with);

2- lens fogging, and you can't remove it to air it out;

3- tiny controls which are hard to maneuver when shooting on the fly, especially with gloves.

I'd never risk subjecting an EX camera (or any other "prosumer" cam) to the abuse I saw our "big" cameras take at the hands of journalism school graduates (ahem) on a daily basis.

Cf


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Tim Kolb
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 20, 2009 at 8:39:33 pm

As recently discussed on another forum...I like my chances for carry-on baggage on even smaller planes with my EX1...

I may be able to let go of my large camera envy some day soon...







TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Colin Andronis
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 20, 2009 at 11:20:23 pm

Having recently gone from a 2/3 inch shoulder camera with a wide angle lens to EX-1, I must say I will never go back.
20 years of heavy cameras have not been kind to my back.
I especially like the effiency of the smaller batteries, and how easier they are to charge & transport.
Being able to take EX-1 as carry on luggage is a huge plus.
All advantage aside, if I could have taken my old camera to a fat farm, filled it full of helium & used light batteries I would definetly have kept it.

Cheers
Colin


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Brian Barkley
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 21, 2009 at 12:03:46 am

I am currently shooting a fairly large documentary with my EX-3. I've been to L.A., Detroit, Wash. DC, San Antonio, Atlanta, Kansas City, Topeka, and I'm not done yet. I am a one-man crew. No assistants. I carry the camera case and audio case on board the airplane. This is all made possible by a small camera, andd streamlining my lighting gear into one case. The budget on something like this would be considerable more if I had a larger camera, which might mean hiring an assistant and flying him all over the country with me.

If you know how to operate the camera, and have taste and experience in lighting a location, the EX-3 is performing great.



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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 21, 2009 at 1:31:24 pm

My concerns about the ruggedness of construction and delicateness of connectors go WAY down when it's just me running the gear, since I'm clinically insane when it comes to taking care of equipment. But when there are a bunch of fresh college grads handling the gear and I'm just the fix-it guy in the aftermath, that's when I crave the heavy-duty stuff.

Cf


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Craig Seeman
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 21, 2009 at 1:41:13 pm

"Road" worthiness is certainly a factor . . . but so is the fact that you may be able to toss away 3 cameras to equal the cost of that road worthy camera. There's no simple answer to this but I'm sure the bean counters measure that in . . . along with the technological trend that the camera simply doesn't have to last as long given the frequency of advances.

Again I think the market will speak and judging from what I'm seeing the little cameras are replacing the big ones in many (not all) situations.



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Denis O'Keefe
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 21, 2009 at 3:10:00 pm

I used the 350 for almost two years, now that I have the EX cameras I'll never go back - even a new 800 is no temptation. Images are our business, and the EX cameras make better images than just about anything out there regardless of the price.
As for students beating up gear, you can't expect everything to be idiot proof, and as a line someone uses regularly on this forum says, "you can't fix stupid". I say fail 'em or fire 'em.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 21, 2009 at 7:31:08 pm

[Denis O'Keefe] "As for students beating up gear, you can't expect everything to be idiot proof, and as a line someone uses regularly on this forum says, "you can't fix stupid". I say fail 'em or fire 'em."

And another outlook yielding similar conclusion.

I have a bad back. Considering the weight and bulk of the 355 vs the EX I think it is much less expensive to repair small camera then to repair further back damage cause by big camera.



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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 21, 2009 at 9:33:06 pm

Well, I have one and two year old boys. I can attest to the back thing. OW!

Cf


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Baz Leffler
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 22, 2009 at 12:51:29 am

Well I go way back to lugging a RCA TK76 camera connected to a Sony BVH500 portable 1" recorder AND a car battery to supply prolonged power. They make cars now that weigh less than that rig!

So I can attest the benefits of my Sony Ex1 - nowdays the tripod with head weigh more than the camera... so I really benefit when its just me as the camera support.

Baz

What would I do without the 'UNDO' button!!!!


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Mike Jackson
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 22, 2009 at 3:21:48 pm

Hi Baz .I remember seeing that rig fall out of a helicopter.Can we get to gether and have a mens cordial and talk ex3 and Nano flash stuff.Would be great to get your advice on some of the more technical sides of my EX 3.
Jacko


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Baz Leffler
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 23, 2009 at 4:04:23 am

[Mike Jackson] "I remember seeing that rig fall out of a helicopter."

Hey Jacko good to see you here on the cow! Was it me that also fell from the helicopter? I do remember Rod Finlayson falling from the sky in a Cessna and he kept shooting all the way down - but that was a betacam wasn't it? I do remember putting the TK and the 50 with a car battery in a hot air balloon and letting it drift; just can't remember who the cameraman was.... haven't seen him since.

[Mike Jackson] "Can we get to gether and have a mens cordial and talk ex3 and Nano flash stuff"

I just got your email and will reply there about that but its on my MUST DO LIST!!!! You know I do love a drink and talking technology....

Baz


What would I do without the 'UNDO' button!!!!


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Baz Leffler
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 22, 2009 at 12:55:31 am

[Brian Barkley] "and streamlining my lighting gear into one case"

What type of lighting gear do you take on the road?

Baz

What would I do without the 'UNDO' button!!!!


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Ronnie Martin
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on May 24, 2009 at 10:54:17 pm

It is possible that we may be able to have it both ways. At NAB when I approached the Sony Rep about the possibility of a over the shoulder version of the EX series they would neither confirm or deny that it was being worked on. I went to the Panasonic booth and looked at the new HPX 300 and it really felt good on my shoulder until I looked into the view finder. My ex-1 and especially the EX-3 have spoiled me not only with their excellent viewfinders but with their image quality.

Last year I put over 100 hours on a EX-1 all hand held. My wrist still hurts. I moved up to the EX-3 this year and from an ergonomic standpoint it is much better. Now if I could just get more weight(balance) over my shoulder I would be one happy fellow. What I would like to see is a EX-5?? is a configuration much like the HRV270. I shoot hand held commercials on the fly with the 270 and I really like the balance. I just wish it had the image of the EX-3....

For the best of both worlds would be the ex-1-3 for travel and the over the shoulder Ex for other work.

Probably why Sony has lagged behind on producing an over the shoulder version of the EX series is that it would hurt the sale of the XDCAM 300 series. This series produces outstanding video but is hard to justify when you consider the cost of the lens.

Just my 2 cents..... I appreciate all the info I get from the posts on this forum.

Ronnie Martin
http://www.dirtracingvideo.com

Ronnie Martin
Kato Video Productions
http://www.dirtracingvideo.com


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Dan Hodlick
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on Jun 17, 2009 at 1:42:57 am

We did a side-by-side comparison between the EX3 and the 335 (as well as a 700, a 900 and a Varicam) in different environments. When the footage was played back and put on a split-screen, there was a noticeable difference. I am a firm believer that your picture is only as good as your glass, and that's where the 335 earns its stripes. If you spend the money on glass, it'll look far better than the EX series.


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peter k-marianek
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on Nov 17, 2011 at 10:03:19 pm

Opinion(s) pls......

I'm thinking in purchasing a shoulder mount camera. Can anyone here recommend me one. Recently outta Film school,however, what/when we used the EX1/EX3 I came down w/ a terrible sickness: Prosumer-BS-Syndrome....I never liked hand held nor and DSLR(for capturing video) I love cameras that are firm, durable, & shoulder mount!!....

Also, I've recently purchased a Pany AG-AF100 w/ a micro 4/3 adapter & mounted a Olympus(tele.) 35X100 (actually, it's 70X200), and I love it to death, but I sure wish it had a Zoom/Focus control, especially when I'm doing Dolly/JIB kinda shooting....

How & where can I find a reputable place that I could get one-(shoulder mount cam. Or a zoom/focus that can wrk. w/ my Pany??) for pennies on the dollar (of course used ones-ok;))....

So, in conclusion, I'm left w/ these: Panasonic AG-APX370; Sony PMW350; and/or??!?!?.... sorry for my English, not from the sates.

thank you kindly in advance,

~pete~


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Rick Greenberg
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on Jan 9, 2011 at 2:21:15 pm

Duh. There is a reason the 335 is 13k and Ex are cheaper. Picture quality come on dude. You can't pull the wool over every clients eyes. Hope this helps......

Rick G


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Rick Greenberg
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on Jan 9, 2011 at 2:22:54 pm

Duh. There is a reason the 335 is 13k and Ex are cheaper. Picture quality come on dude. You can\'t pull the wool over every clients eyes. Hope this helps......

Rick G


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Craig Seeman
Re: Why buy a PDW-F335?
on Jan 9, 2011 at 3:59:18 pm

Actually Rick a number of objective tests show the EX camera picture quality can be equal or superior to the F335 (along with other features). CCDs tend to be more expensive and don't have rolling shutter but less expensive CMOS chips have many advantages despite their lower price. Also the XDCAM disc technology drives up the price of the F335. As technology changes, sometimes cheaper is better in many (but not all) respects. Many would get a PMW-320 over a PDW-F335 and people have even chosen the lower models over it as well as they are competitive or better resolving.



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