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Thread: EX1 - issues with standard definition

  1. #1

    Default EX1 - issues with standard definition


    I am seriously considering buying a EX1 - although I need to understand the technicalities of it not being about to record in standard definition.

    It will be used mostly for filming wedding and some corporate video - the final out put of which must be able to be played on non-HD TV's - additionally, it will be exported for web - I am assuming that because of the quality and the fact that it uses SxS memory cards, it will greatly increase the size of files, making it unfeasible for the web? Maybe I am going overkill with this Camera.

    If indeed these are problems to be seriously considered, then what would be the next best camera? i.e. good in low light, minimal drop outs etc. I am told that HDV is a pain and DVCAM is better, but on it's way out. Is this true?

    Also I will be using the Camera in all likelihood with the Merlin Steadicam and vest, so weight will need to be considered.

  2. #2


    Hi richmondfloyd.
    First of i'll say that i've been using an EX1 since January last year so i know what's what with it now.

    I also shoot weddings, and find the camera ideal for these events (and everything else i've shot with it).

    First off, you're right about the camera only shooting HD, but don't let that put you off.

    What editing program will you be using ?
    I use sony vegas pro 8, and the SD/ DVD's i produce give excellent pictures with no fuss. You've probably heard a lot of people complaining about the crap SD results from this camera, you'll probably notice that most of them aren't using vegas, there transcoding from one program to another etc etc blah blah blah, none of that fusss with vegas.

    Also if you get the EX1 then you're probably going to be using a program called Sony Clip Browser, this program takes the footage from the camera's cards and converts them very fast to a compatible formt for your editing program, MXF format for vegas.
    Clip browser can also rewrap the footage into SD (DV AVI) in an instant (more or less), this is not a rerender, just a very quick rewrap to SD, so forget your SD worries.

    Next, memory cards, yes the camera uses expensive but now massively dropped in price sony sxs cards, originally over 550 for a 16gb card, however, with the latest firmware in the camera it's now possible to use ordinary SDHC cards with an expresscard to SDHC adaptor.
    Adaptors for 15 and 16gb SDHC cards for 25, bit different to 550 eh.
    You only need to buy 2 adaptors, then after that just get the cards, they're so cheap that some EX users are using them as they would tapes, ie put them on the shelf for archive.

    If you buy a second hand camera and it doesn't have the latest firmware then don't worry because i've got it and it's easy to install yourself using a pc.

    Next, lowlight, oh yes !! Excellent, and i've got a picture profile that cuts down on noise when using lots of gain.

    Next, HDV or DVCAM, what's that got to do with the EX1 ? It's neither HDV or XDCAM format.

    Steadicam,,, i use a glidecam pro 4000, the weight of the sled, camera, big battery and sennheiser reciever is 14lbs.

    Any more questions then just fire away.


    ps, whereabouts are you based ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    Given some of your questions, I mean the OP, it sounds like you are very inexpirienced.

    I would not reccomend an ex1 as a first camera for someone who does not appear to have yet learned the basics of film making.

    Are you sure you have the skills to deliver ?

    HDV is not a pain - it just isn not a smooth to edit on as sd dv video and requires a faster pc to do so.
    DVCAM is nothing more than DV that uses tape faster.

    A the ex1 is best thought of as recording in XDCAM foramt to cards - it has the same not so long gop, ie shorter than hdv, and a subtantially higher bit rate at 35mbit/sec.

    My contention - contentious contention, is that hdv is compromised by it's same as DV bit rate.

    However a decnt hdv cam is perfectly adequate for weddings, as indeed is a top line DV camera ( pro) but the camera is irrelevant if you dont have the skills needed. Good cameras dont after all make good films, good film makers do.

  4. #4



    Thanks very much for your advice. In answer to a few of your questions...

    If I don't get the EX1, I was interested in the next best thing, i.e. HDV or DV.

    I am not yet experienced; however, I know myself well enough to know that I will learn quickly and make a success of being a videographer. It is an area of work I have been interested in for many years and although I have not produced any material for professional purposes, I have produced some good results in the past. That doesn't mean of course that I will be the best film maker in the world, lol.

    Plus, if I am going to invest money in a camera and give it a go, I might as well spend a bit more and get a camera like the EX1.

    BTW pkbristol, do you use your glidecam pro 4000 at weddings? Do you find that our detract from the bride? Also, I have heard that the EX1 is very heavy (compared to the Z1 for instance) - do you wear a shoulder mount at weddings, or just use the camera hand held. I am looking to purchase the Steadicam Pilot as the Merlin won't support the weight apparently - although I cannot find a used version and they are way to expensive at present to buy new!

    I am using FCP. I have heard that FCP works well with the EX1 - although without trying it out, I will not know for sure. I think I need to do some more investivation into the output of SD with FCP using the EX1.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    You need to be expirienced BEFOR you dare to take money as a professional.
    We often get posts from very unhappy and sometimes litigous people who had a poor service from a wedding vidder - one was posted today in fact.

    The camera is irrelevant if you dont have the skills and you get us all a bad name by learning on the job. Your questions show you have a very poor grasp of techincal basics. I think you may get your fingers proper burned.

    Have you considored what else you need ? A good tripod, a decnt shot gun mic, some radio mics, a second cam, an assistant - MINIMUM.

    Wedding vidding is one of the hardest, not the easiest ways of scam er making a living with a camera.

    There again the wedding business is full of people who are totally inexpirienced rip off merchants with very poor cameras, so with the ex1 at least you are just ahead of the worst of the pack.

    ( good guys excepted from this tirade )

  6. #6



    I appreciate your concerns. I realise I will need PLENTY of practice before taking money professionally. I also understand that reputation and referrals are crucial to a successful business. Everyone has to start somewhere.

    I have a full list of equipment I want to purchase and understand that a decent tripod and mic can easily out live a camera. For the tripod I was thinking of the Vinten Vision 3 System V3-CP2 Video Tripod Kit Two-Stage CF. I did also look at the Manfrotto 501HDV, 525 Tripod Kit, but it looked a little light for the EX1.

    I haven't found many wedding videographers that use two camera (or if they do they charge a lot more) and none as yet that used an assistant, although I am happy to be proved wrong.

    Maybe you could recommend some decent equipment at an affordable price - I am quite happy to buy 2nd hand as long as it is from a reputable dealer.

    My technical skills have dramatically improved and I have delved very deep into the pro's and con's of each camera. I am set on the EX1, my only last concerns were that the 1/2 CMOS chips would cause unwanted and potentially damaging artifacts, but it seems that if the electric shutter on the EX1 is set to off, any unwanted effects as greatly diminished (I was thinking of lots of flashes at weddings!). Also, I was concerned that some people had reported bad picture quality when they rendered out their EX1 footage in SD. Although from what I have found, the best way of editing in FCP is in naitive GOP, rendered to proress422 - following this guide Outputting Standard Definition in FCP from the Sony XDCam EX1

    Plus, because the EX1 is solid state - there are no worries of drop out, which I understand can be 15 frames in one go with HDV. My only remaining concerns with the camera is that the grip is away from the camera, upsetting the balance and making the camera lop sided - this can obviously be solved by a 2nd hand or a hand grip/moose bar type attachment. Also I was concerned that if i used the 'Kensington 33407 7-in-1 Media Reader adapter card' (that the camera wasn't designed for) instead of SxS cards - that it would cause problems, although I think as long as I use the Transcend 16Gb Class 6 card, instead of cheaper versions, it should be fine.

    I have worked through the basic FCP training series and will soon take my accreditation and will then work through the advanced FCP training book, plus then motion. Obviously the talent lies in the users skill, not the knowledge of the software!

    Of course, then there is the skill of using the camera! -but that's the really fun part! As I said, you have to start somewhere and I have plenty of time to learn, I won't rush it and ruin my reputation. I am not out to scam anyone, I am out to make a living doing something I immensely enjoy and can produce results both myself and the customer are proud of.
    Last edited by richmondfloyd; 01-21-2009 at 08:09 PM.

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