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Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200

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Robert Bryant
Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 26, 2008 at 4:17:22 pm

I am about to buy an HD cam for my film studio...I want to shot in the highest quality HD I can for under 30k (for the camera at least)

So I am picking between these 2

Sony PMW EX-1
Panasonic AG-HVX200

According to B&H they are both 1080p but the AG was 1080/60i , 24p, 30p not sure what that translates to.

I am producing HD content for the web and then for DVD/Blu-Ray release. Which camera would you all suggest.

I shoot mostly indoors using lighting rigs and occassionally I shoot pool side. With close-up shots often times of rapid movement so I need something that can process that (I know the TV's now 120khz to deal with motion better, will these cams take advantage of that)

Thanks


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 26, 2008 at 9:08:06 pm

If you have 30k to spend on a camera, you probably don't want either of those.



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Robert Bryant
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 27, 2008 at 1:09:29 am

Well thats the thing, my entire budget is a little more than 30k so the cam needs to be in the 10k range...

Of those 2 cams that shoot in 1080p which 1 is best for HD straight to blu-ray and SD -DVD and for HD web content if the vast majority of my shots are interior shots using a 3 light system.

Which one of the 2 will react the best to quick motion (and would utilize the 120khz of new HDTV's) to smooth out movement.






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Steve Wargo
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 27, 2008 at 5:46:43 am

[Robert Bryant] "I want to shot in the highest quality HD I can for under 30k (for the camera at least) "

Looks to me like you said that you had "$30k for the camera, at least". Did we read this wrong? Just wondering...



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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Robert Bryant
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 27, 2008 at 6:55:36 am

my apologies for not being clearer with my initial question.

I have a total budget of about 40k to get everything...I am looking for a camera in the 10k or less range. Out of the 2 camera models I mentioned above which one would you recommend?

Sorry for the confusion.



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Dan Brockett
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 27, 2008 at 6:18:22 pm

Hi Robert:

I own the HVX and have shot with it since they were introduced. I was a technical producer on a tv pilot that shot with three HVXs and shot over 800 P2 cards worth of material in a week http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/tv_pilot_hvx_200_brockett.html
I am presently in productio on a feature documentary on the life of a famous musician and his band that I am shooting on the HVX.

I did a shoot this week with four of the EX-1s and a tabletop shoot last week with it. So I don't know the EX-1 as well as te HVX but I did spend a few days with it and shot some nice stuff with it.

HVX-200 Pros
Better color and gamma for my taste
Like P2 better than SxS
Better ergonomics
More filmic look
Less expensive
IMHO, 4:2:2 DVCProHD codec is a better codec than XDCAM EX codec

HVX-200 Cons
Noisier picture
Not as good in low light
1/3" imagers
960x540 imagers with pixel shift
Not as good of a lens
Crappy LCD, low resolution


EX-1 Pros
Sharper picture with native 1920 x 1080 imager
Much cleaner picture with much less noise than HVX
Better lens
Better LCD screen that is actually useful for focusing
Longer run times on equivalent sized cards

EX-1 Cons
4:2:0 color space (it works but it is not as good of a codec as DVCProHD IMHO)
35 Mbps long GOP codec (Long GOP is a PITA IMHO and experience with HDV)
Very video like image
CMOS imager has rolling shutter which artifacts in certain situations
Camera has well documented initial defects which are not being addressed and repaired to many users satisfaction, read the boards over on DVX User.
Higher cost

Frankly, with the EX-1, you may see CMOS rolling shutter artifacts with rapid movement. I like both cameras and would own both if I could afford it. I can't so I am sticking with the HVX for now. The initial defects on the EX-1 have alienated me from considering it for at least the next six months. Panasonic will eventually have to answer the EX-1, not sure how or when.

If I needed a camera TODAY, I would order another HVX. In six months when they work out all of the initial defect issues, I would seriously consider the EX-1 if I could live with a lot more video-like image (most of my clients wouldn't care). They are both good cameras with some serious limitations, it just depends on which set of limitations you can live with. If you are a filmmaker, you should also wait and see what the RED Scarlet will be, they are showing something at NAB in a few weeks.

Good luck,

Dan


Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Ken Zukin
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 27, 2008 at 9:45:00 pm

Panasonic is responding to the limitations of the HVX-200 with a $6,000 camera that raises the bar a little higher:

http://www.digitaltechnews.com/news/2008/02/panasonic-hmc15.html

looks promising...


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Dan Brockett
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 27, 2008 at 11:57:21 pm

Hi Ken:

You should read carefully...

The new HMC-150, while it promises to be a nice camera, is slated more as the HD replacement for the DVX-100B.

1. No DVCProHD codec
2. No variable frame rates
3. Unknown as far as which data rates Panasonic will include for the problematic to edit AVDHD codec. This is the same codec that Panasonic's consumer HD cameras shoot, I have tried editing it, it's a PITA as far as I am concerned. Long GOP that needs to be transcoded by the editing application into something that the application can handle.

This is designed for wedding videographers and event videographers who balk at the high cost of high run times using P2 cards and will be stoked that they will be able to buy storage at Best Buy and Radio Shack. Still 1/3" CCD imagers. A decent camera, but as Jan Crittenden from Panasonic has pointed out elsewhere, definitely not a replacement for the HVX-200 and not meant to compete with the EX-1. Also, the $6,000.00 list is a bad guess, more likely to slot in at $3,500.00 to $4,000.00 list.

All the best,

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Stuart Allman
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 28, 2008 at 8:00:43 pm

I'm curious about the "filmic look" characteristic that people have talked about with the HVX. Sony has included some alternate gamma settings to the standard rec.709 curve in the EX-1. Has anyone compared these to the HVX? It looks like Sony lets you control gamma past anywhere you would really want it to go.

I guess this makes the assumption that the difference is really just in the gamma curve and not some MTF tweaking that Panny is doing as an "special sauce" process to emulate the color dependent blurring of film layers.

Also, has anyone confirmed the SDI-out color space on the EX-1. Is it stuck to 4:2:0 (hopefully it's better than that)?




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Dan Brockett
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 29, 2008 at 12:35:14 am

Hi Stuart:

I think that the difference goes way beyond just gamma settings although those do help in making the EX-1 look less "video" looking.

I am not enough of an engineer to know why exactly the HVX has better looking color (at least in my humble opinion) but to my eye, the HVX looks much more like S16 than the EX-1. And the EX-1 looks good but it certainly doesn't emulate 35mm film. The camera operators on the shoot last week where we used four EX-1s all called the look of the EX-1 "typically Japanese". If you watch Japanese television, the Japanese tend to favor interlaced really clean and high key looks, which the Sony nails to a "T" except with a progressive scan.

The SDI out of the EX-1 is 4:2:2 uncompressed. Neat feature for shooting greenscreen in studio if you have a spare system sitting around to capture it or an HDCAM SR deck.

Best,

Dan

Providing value added material to all of your favorite DVDs


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Stuart Allman
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 29, 2008 at 6:43:43 pm

Dan,

I would assume with four cameras and a one day shoot you didn't have time or a reason to dial in a film "look." Who really does? If I had an EX1 handy I'd like to take it over to my friend's studio (outfitted with HVX200's) and see if the user parameters could make them come close. On a personal level I'm curious about the extent of how color balance and gamma choices were made between these two cameras. I don't doubt that Sony made some "video" look choices as defaults, but you aren't necessarily stuck with those. I guess this is kind of a pie-in-the-sky luxury experiment.

S.



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Michael Murray
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Apr 2, 2008 at 9:01:15 am

Hmmmm thats an interesting option. For a cost effective solution one could record the Sony EX1 hdsdi signal to Panasonic's HPM-110 with AVC-i codec and end up with what would be close to an SR / D5 quality 1920x1080 unscaled image.

Michael Murray
Adrenaline Films
Orlando, Florida


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Karl Krummenacher
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 28, 2008 at 5:06:27 am

With a 10K budget and mostly studio work, I'm going to throw in the JVC HD-250 as a strong contender. It has interchangable lens (the Fujinon 17:1 is really pretty) and has HD-SDI out. This camera could put JVC back in the game.

We use the Camera's HD/SDI 4:2:2 out into a Kona3 card on our Mac, and you get 10 bit uncompressed at a variety of frame rates from 24p up to 60P. You could also dump into a AJA IOHD and edit 4:2:2 on the MAC with the Apple PRO-Res codec. (not bad, really.)

You can store all settings on an SD card for a variety of setups.

It is an HDV camera, and if you go to tape, you get HDV 4:2:0. Still very sharp, perhaps the best of the class, but any chroma key work would be harder.

At 60P with a fast shutter, you get tack sharp video with no noticable motion artifacts.

The camera shoots native 720 (full 720 pixels wide) unlike the HVX, without the Pixel shift. It is sharper in my opinion than the HVX (Which I would also like to have for field work). I agree with other postings that the HVX is a dream if your making an Indie or really want "film look" gama.

But if you want tack sharp video, easily edited on a MAC, with HD-SDI and interchangable lens, you got to check out the JVC HD 250.

Karl Krummenacher
Co-Founder, Chief Creative Officer
Activated Marketing




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Robert Bryant
Re: Sony PMW EX-1 or the Panasonic AG-HVX200
on Mar 31, 2008 at 4:13:00 am

My shoots are straight to video and web for download and sale.... we will be authoring in Blu-Ray and shipping to stores probably by X-mas 08 early 09 so we are kind of future proofing.

The vast majority of the shoot will be indoors using lighting to closely resemble natural lighting and to show accurate skin tones. The shoots are usually fast paced with a lot of motion in a confined environment so I need a camera that responds to motion well. The shoots usually consist of anywhere from 1 person to an entire room full of people with a lot of close up shots. Every detail must be displayed.

The filmic or video looks are not a major deal to me I just need something with nice Crisp 1080p HD to show off blu-ray and HD web-downloads.

Hope this helps narrow it down a bit.... I am open to suggestions even outside of these 2 but it needs to be native 1080p and under 10k.

Thanks



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