My Panasonic DVX100A has died on me and I am, at last, ready to make the leap to an HD format. I have used the DVX100A and will use the new camera I buy for clients who cannot or will not pay the full rate for a videographer, which ends up making me the videographer if I want the client (corporate and education). I also have used and will use this camera for my own personal projects, one of which aired on a regional PBS station last year.
I am considering the Sony EX1 but, in calling around, various salespeople have suggested other cameras - Panasonic HMC150, Sony HXR-NX5U, Panasonic AGHVX-200A. The EX1 is the most expensive, by far, camera in this list. By the way, none of the salespeople suggested I buy the EX1 for the purpose I just described. They all recommended one of the other cameras.
I like the idea of the 1/2" sensors in the EX-1 and I'm thinking that the MPEG-2 Long GOP in that camera would be superior to an AVCHD type or the 1/3" sensors. But salespeople tell me you can't tell the difference.
Any opinions out there about what I should do? I'd really appreciate your advice.
Of all the cameras you mentioned the EX1r (current model) is easily the best for MANY reasons.
Bigger chips means better Depth of Field Control and Low Light performance.
XDCAM EX is MUCH EASIER to deal with than AVCHD.
AVCHD has to be converted to another codec to edit with and that takes time.
XDCAM EX is a fast rewrap to MOV (just a lossless wrap, not a transcode) if you're using FCP or with CalibratedQ (or Cinemon) the MP4 can be used directly.
Get the EX-1 if you can afford it. I use the EX-3 and it is much more versatile in its use than some of the others. Having an Iris ring on the lens is a big help as is the focus ring with stops at each end of the range. The viewfinder is superb and overall I think you will like the handling of the -1 better as well.
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