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Expensive lesson

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Joe Tyler
Expensive lesson
on Aug 19, 2010 at 5:42:27 pm

I was running an EX3 with an EFP style setup. In addition to the field monitor, I usually supply a large client HDTV for clients via the component output on the side of the camear.

Long story short, Someone stepped on the cable, yanking the Mini-D (component out) connector loose of its board. Camera functioned normally, I have the client the Composite (monitor) out and finished the shoot.

Replacing that board is close to $600 and if you pay an engineer to do the work, you are looking at between 1-3 hours labor to dissassemble, replace and repair the camera. (The connector alone was $80, but my board was damaged)- Probably about $1000 all said and done.

Learn from my mistake, attach a jumper to the cable somewhere on the frame, yank the cable not the camera. And yes, I should have, would have, could have...


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john sharaf
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 19, 2010 at 5:47:24 pm

This type of problem reveals the difference between a real "pro" camera and a "prosumer" one repurposed for professional work. Even with the $1000 repair, you'll still have spent less than on an more robust professional designed camera like a PDW700 and you've learned a "valuable" lesson.

JS



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Daniel Startek
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 19, 2010 at 6:19:52 pm

Yes, but a REAL camera has pro connectors. Can you spell BNC? Are you listening RED? OK, I admit I own an EX3 but the component out is still a flimsy compromise.



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Bala Chandran
Re: Expensive lesson
on Sep 6, 2010 at 11:06:47 pm

Same thing happened to me this weekend! My monitor fell down and it yanked the component connector loose! Monitor works but the connection is dead.
Thank you for this post (even though I did not heed the warning), I think I will go the Black Magic route and monitor thru HDMI, rather than spending $1000 to fix the socket.


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Bala Chandran
Re: Expensive lesson
on Sep 14, 2010 at 7:58:12 pm

Could somebody tell me if there is any time lag between the camera LCD and SDI to HDMI monitor? Like firewire has? Thanks.
-BC


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Bob Tompkins
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 19, 2010 at 6:48:08 pm

This is very interesting...so nothing ever breaks on a "pro" camera? Because that certainly WOULD make it worth the extra money.



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Michael Palmer
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 19, 2010 at 7:15:23 pm

"the difference between a real "pro" camera and a "prosumer" one repurposed for professional work."

John's statement sounds to me like he is opposed to this side of Sony's professional XD Cam lineup. I'm sure his client base deserves the upper end cameras he provides, but not all productions need these cameras to produce with.

Yes the XD Cam line has the 700 & 800 leading off the lineup with features like the 2/3 Power HAD Progressive CCD sensor, 4 channels of audio and 4:2:2, 50-Mbps recording capabilities all to an optical (BR) disc. Yes these are awesome cameras and IMO completely over priced.

Before the PMW-350, the EX1 hit the market branding the Cinealta badge, taking a new step forward with professional solid state recording, with a new (yes less expensive) full roster HD 1/2 Cmos progressive sensor that allows for custom picture profile gamma settings, and offering recording from 1-60 fps. IMO this is not crossover camera from the consumer line at all.

IF you asked me Sony is headed down the road with smaller smarter solutions. I wonder how many established professionals have had the opportunity to actually use one of the EX cameras and would it be an insult to their client base to use them?

I don't want my "Expensive Lesson" to be holding the (700) bag while technology is changing so quickly.

Oh and back on topic I have replaced a few plastic parts on my EX cameras as well, and these are repairs I can afford.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 19, 2010 at 9:35:55 pm

I have to agree that the difference in price range (notice I didn't call these EX cameras "consumer" or even "prosumer) is things like connectors. I remember when I left the broadcast world and started shooting on Canon XL cameras. Those dinky little Firewire connectors and stuff really disturbed me. One reason why I pull an EX3 off the shelf when I head out instead of an EX1 is for the BNC connectors.

I don't think it's so much a function of size, since it's obvious you can have multiple BNC connectors on these cameras, but a matter of price range. Putting those larger, stronger connectors on these cameras is expensive I suppose. It's money well spent to avoid having to use a dinky little proprietary cable that looks like it fell out of someone's Handicam case. In no way does that detract from the capabilities of these cameras, but it does provide an example of what you get for in those more expensive units.

Cf


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Don Greening
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 19, 2010 at 9:57:18 pm

Several years ago I had these headphone adapters made for all my cameras to combat the terribly weak mini-plugs. They've saved many a camera connection when shooters walk away from the cameras with their headphones still on their heads, me included.



- Don

Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Craig Seeman
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 19, 2010 at 10:06:52 pm

Worse still is when you ask your trustworthy assistant to grab the camera to get a shot while you wrap up some gear . . . still wearing the headphones. I never knew my head could spin like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.



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Dean Sensui
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 31, 2010 at 7:53:27 am

[Don Greening] "They've saved many a camera connection when shooters walk away from the cameras with their headphones still on their heads, me included."

And now the camera's just fine but half the crew are wearing neck braces.... :-)

That's a good idea. I'll have to do that to my own gear, even if it's 1/8 to 1/8. The headphone cable is always getting snagged.

Dean Sensui -- Hawaii Goes Fishing


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Michael Palmer
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 19, 2010 at 10:12:47 pm

"One reason why I pull an EX3 off the shelf when I head out instead of an EX1 is for the BNC connectors."
FYI, They both have HD SDI out with a BNC connector. I like the EX3 for the view finder not the monitor connector.

The EX1 has a HD SDI (BNC) connector. And I would bet the OP hasn't used it is because he doesn't have a professional monitor, they are much more expensive. I'm sure the price of these SDI monitors includes a royalty for the SDI technology, this is why HDMI is becoming popular, it is the poor mans uncompressed HD signal.
The EX3 has 4 BNC connectors that include the HD SDI out, Timecode in, Timecode out, and a Genlock.
All of which are provided for multiple camera use. So unless you are actually shooting multiple cameras both cameras are equal in this department of professional (BNC) monitoring.

A good use for this component port would be for an onboard monitor, plenty of onboard monitors used component. Running 3 wire component cables to a client monitor can trip anyone.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Rick Diamond
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 19, 2010 at 11:00:21 pm

My component output got trashed quite a while ago. One yank on the cable is all it took. I've decided not to get it repaired because it would just happen again...Not a very robust connector at all. I'm still considering getting a blackmagic design SDI to HDMI adaptor. It's $500, I think, but would allow me to use the BNC output. Does anyone have experience with this adaptor?

Rick


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Noah Kadner
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 20, 2010 at 4:16:48 am

That or really wrapping cables carefully and making sure folks don't go running around near the camera....

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.


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Rick Diamond
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 22, 2010 at 12:05:02 am

Regardless of the amount of tension relief or cable wrapping, I feel as if, due to the fragility of the connection, the connection would break again. Why pay $600 for a repair that, in all likelihood, would not last very long. Either a monitor with an SDI connection or using the adapter to get to HDMI seem to be a better solution.

Rick


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Thomas Kist
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 22, 2010 at 8:51:00 am

I have the Black Magic SDI to HDMI adapter.
works great for setting op a large consumer monitor to let clients/directors watch the shoot or footage.
Because HD shows so much detail its nice to see it big.

Thomas Kist
Freelance D.o.P
Amsterdam,The Netherlands
http://www.thomaskist.com


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Bala Chandran
Re: Expensive lesson
on Dec 7, 2010 at 3:07:31 am

Hello Thomas Kist
Could you tell me how you have hooked up the BM SDI to HDMI? I have tried everything I could think of but no picture on the monitor. I can't figure out what I must be doing wrong. I have tried from EX1 and EX3, SD and HD.
Thanks
-BC


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Ryan Johnson
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 22, 2010 at 6:54:18 pm

Was your Camera (EX-3) under the extended warranty ?



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Joe Tyler
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 24, 2010 at 5:32:43 pm

No extended warranty, I bought it almost 3 years ago.
Thanks to everyone for the comments.

I love the ex3 and I own PDW-350 (and conisdering a 700), I disagree with the Consumer tag for an EX3.
A broken connector on any camera would cost you some $$, especially if you end up replacing a board and paying an engineer. That one board is not well designed, should probably be mounted with a right angle connector, but the BNC works great, and I was able to continue shooting because of the camera's multiple output choices. Flipped the monitor to Composite and went BNC out, clients got a little less pretty picture, but the shoot didn't miss a bit. That alone puts the camera much closer to Professional than consumer.

http://www.killianthered.com
DP in the Washington DC Area
EX3 Owner


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Jim Watt
Re: Expensive lesson
on Aug 26, 2010 at 11:59:40 pm

Bottom line...always stress relief ALL cables connected to equipment. How much effort does it take to attach a good tie wrap to your tripod leg and use some throw mats to cover cable in any traffic area or tape it down.

jw

Producer/DP, HD series, "Discoveries...America", "Discoveries...Ireland", "Discoveries...Spain",
"Discoveries...Argentina", Discoveries...India", "Discoveries...Asia", "Discoveries...Africa"


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Bala Chandran
Re: Expensive lesson
on Dec 2, 2010 at 11:52:34 pm

Hello Joe
Did you end up getting the Black Magic SDI to HDMI adapter? I got one from B&H and tried combination of wires and menu but nothing showed on the monitor. Thought may be a bad unit so got a replacement today and still no picture. I have tried everything in the menu and tried different BNC and HDMI cables and monitors, no luck. Used tested working cables. Tried SD and HD in the menu. Tried EX1 and EX3 cameras. The BM box lights up. What am I doing wrong? Anybody? Thank you.
-BC


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Mark Southham
Re: Expensive lesson
on Sep 10, 2011 at 4:26:51 am

This just happened to my EX-3. Where did you go to get your EX-3 repaired?


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