Looking to upgrade, is EX1R for me?
Hello all. We are looking to upgrade from our much-loved/used Z1Us. We have mainly corporate clients (event coverage, overviews, training, etc.) I have been eyeing getting two EX1Rs.
More and more, we get calls to cover an event and hand off files, sometimes right in the field. This isn't my favorite type of shoot, but what can you do. Will this be fairly painless with the EX1R? Right now we use a Focus hard drive that records Quicktime files, and just drag it to a hard drive.
What is the best workflow in this case for EX1Rs? An SDHC adaptor and SDHC cards, then get a USB reader, plug it into a laptop and transfer away? Sorry for the noob questions.
Obviously if the client can't handle the XDCAM files, they will get charged for a file conversion after the fact...
There are a lot of shooters out there that are in the same boat as you and the XDCAM EX cameras are just as fast in turn around times as the rest of the newer file-based cameras. The EX1R is the only one in the small camcorder sized category that has half inch imagers. If you're stepping up from 1/3" sensors then you'll see a slight difference in DOF and substantially more exposure latitude.
Other features on the EX1R like 15 seconds of cache record, etc. is the icing on the cake. I'm not going to advise you on what SDHC cards and adapters to use because I don't use them at all. Some folks have good luck with them but others don't. With SxS Pro memory cards I've never had a problem with bad or corrupt footage and I've been using XDCAM EX cameras since December of 2007. In my opinion SDHC is too risky. All it takes is one screw up or lost media and you've ruined your client credibility.
A Vancouver Video Production Company
i don't think you would go wrong with the sony Ex1R. We started our upgrade from SD (PD150,DSR 500) several years ago and chose the first version of the EX-1. The improvement in quality of the image and the speed with which we could be up and running with our edit was super.
Normally, we would come from a shoot with 3-5 tapes from our ZU1 most of the time only partially used. This would take most of a day to rewind then capture the footage in real time. Now when we get back to the office we have our footage on the timeline and we are editing away within a few minutes.
With that first Ex-1 we still used our Zu1 as a B roll and as a back up just in case we has the Ex-1 to go down. We learned years ago that when going to a commercial shoot that one camera was as if you had no camera and two cameras was as if you had one camera. That first year we put about 200 hours on the Ex-1 without a hitch.
Since that time we have moved up to the Ex-3, Ex1-R and the PMW 320 all XDCAM cameras with basically the same chips and same recording format. We never use aftermarket cards on a commercial shoot. On personal projects we always use the Hoodman cards. Since the first Ex-1 came out we have never had a problem with the Sony SXS or aftermarket cards. When using the aftermarket cards we usually load our camera with the aftermarket card in the first slot and a SXS in the second shot just in case there is a problem. So far none of our cards have failed us.
Hope this helps
Kato Video Productions
I upgraded to EX1d in 2007 and later to EX3 and a couple of EX1Rs. I've been extremely pleased with the image quality from the 1/2 CMOS sensors and the low light sensitivity. I still celebrate the death of tape and have no problems with the workflow of getting clips into FCP or onto a clients flash drive. Using Sony's free Clip Browser software is a must. Don't rely on simply copy and pasting the BPAV folder. I have been using 16GB class 10 SDHC cards and M&R adapters with no problems but prefer to have a separate adapter for each card. Even then, I always use SXS Pro or SXS-1 cards for critical client work. If you use a USB reader, keep in mind that the Sony card reader (which reads SXS and SXS-1 cards) will not handle SDHC cards in any adapter and may damage them if inserted (if I remember the warranty warnings correctly).
EX1R; EX3; FCP 7; 17" MBP, MacPro Quad, Matrox MSO2,CS5
Thank you all for your response. I think we're leaning towards two EX1Rs. The change to all digital is not without worries. There have been many times when tape has saved us on a shoot, and its an easy and cheap way to archive footage. Sounds like sticking to SxS cards is the best idea. We've never lost a days shoot with the Z1Us, and we certainly don't want to start now.
There are two types of SxS Sony cards: multi-level cell and single-level cell. The multi-level cell is the less expensive of the two and is good for 10 thousand cycles. The single-level cell is good for 100 thousand cycles.
The more expensive cards are called simply: SxS Memory card PRO.
the less expensive cards are called SxS-1 Memory card.
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Sounds familiar! I upgraded from the Z1 to the EX1R also, and life is better in every way. Better image quality, more light sensitivity, less DOF. The biggest change is going tapeless.
I use regular SxS cards. I have had one scare where the camera didn't like the card for a power cycle, but have lost no media. Luckily I have an older Mac Pro 15" with an Express Card slot, which expedites downloading in the field.
I'm interested in your remark about the Focus hard drive. Would someone else with first-hand experience be able to say whether that could work with the EX1R?
You're going to like life with the EX1R. It's in a sweet spot for price/performance that is hard to beat.
I agree with the positive comments about the EX1r. Now that shallow DOF is in vogue, getting it to work on the EX1r is challenging, but possible. I keep thinking about upgrading, but the camera is so easy to use, I'm just not ready to sell them. I have a Dell Latitude with an Express Card slot and two power SATA external drives so I can double backup when a card gets full. The adapters for SD cards scare me so I rely on the SxS-1 solution.
I think that if the shallow depth of field is what you are after, then maybe you do not want to go to the Ex-1r. In my case, I have not been looking for that effect. For the past few years, I have been shooting racing footage at tracks where lighting is poor at best. With the cars moving at over 120 MPH, in poor light and the gain kicked up to 9DB, with the lens at 1.9, I still get great footage. Thankfully at the best tracks the lighting is good enough to shoot at around f4 with little on no gain the footage is even better. If you are after the "movie look" and your events are all static with little movement, no quick pans, and you need the shallow depth of field then go for that look with another camera. The best of both worlds would be the Ex-1r and a DSLR both in your camera arsenal.
As I stated in my previous post, the move to digital and not tape has been the best improvement in our work flow in a long time.
Here is a link to some information about DSLR video and Camcorders.
Kato Video Productions