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Anyone still using an EX1 or EX3? I was pleasantly surprised using mine recently

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    Anyone still using an EX1 or EX3? I was pleasantly surprised using mine recently

    I was recently hired to do video and editing for a small concert recording. My initial plan was to rent an FS7 to pair with my Fs5 and GH5S, but by the time the job details were finalized it was too late to rent anything. I knew I'd be adequately covered with two angles just running the Fs5 and GH5S (it was 3-4 people in a small recording studio) but a third angle would be nice to have. So I brought out my Sony EX1 on a bit of a whim, as I'd never used it on a paid job (I purchased it just to play around with on personal projects when I found one for a crazy price a little over a year ago).

    To my great surprise and pleasure, this 13-year-old camera worked flawlessly for the entire 4-hour shoot (on a single battery, no less). My only issue was running out of SxS cards for the last few minutes. And even though the footage doesn't match the quality of the GH5S or the Fs5 it is absolutely fine for a third angle, just to add some variety to the edit. I know the codec is a very weak 35Mbps, but it stood up to some light grading in Resolve without any issues. Most importantly, the client was very happy with how the video turned out.

    I wouldn't want to make a habit of relying on the EX1 (the power switch on mine is hair-trigger sensitive to being turned off), but it's great to see that quality tools have this kind of life in them.

    Anyone else still bringing out their EX1/EX3 or similarly "outdated" cameras for work these days? As excited as I am by some of Sony's latest offerings (the FX6 in particular) I have to wonder if they'll be as durable and long-lived as workhorses like the EX series (I certainly hope so).

    #2
    I remember wishing I could own an EX1. While I don't use out of date cameras, I do still film with camcorders for events. Often I shake my head when I hear people trying to use dslr/mirrorless cameras. They're not the right tools despite their angry protestations.

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      #3
      'Polaris' has been patrolling the UK for a decade without being used. aka .. I usually have my EX1 in my van as a ND XLR long roll time, reasonable zoom backup camera in case the FS7 goes bad.

      WHile I sold my FS100 and F3 as trades up to the FS7 the EX1 stayed.

      As for using it .. yep I do BTS videos with it very much around my studio - the XLRs zoom and long roll time just make it something you dont have to think about while ones main concentration is doing the job with the A camera.

      As for a commercial A camera.. for our army work (running around, jumping in Land Rovers) we now find the z90 to be more compact and basically better in every way. For some other 'walkabout' jobs.. more the artisan food fair stuff.. rather than telephoto stuff Ive been moving moving to the Nikon Z6 and 17-80 zoom lens. THe lack of ND and XLR are painful. (Not that weve done army or food fair this summer )

      For the back of a concert (remember them?) .. plug the EX1 into the mains.. and get sound from the mixer board and you have a hell of a tool for that third camera with sound collected.

      Ive also left it on sticks rolling and getting ambient sound and a wide while doing DUMB S+Q on my FS7.
      Both athletics cheeing and airshow (two more things I didnt do this summer )

      Mine will only go when used Z90s become (very) affordable or I get rich enough to buy a fleet of FX6. Yep if I had 3 or 4 FX6 and 2 or 3 28-135s I really would no longer need it.

      I still dont like it for 'A' as - codec too thin, lens too narrow, too heavy to be stealth.

      Last year with did a 'mock doc' where we specifically chose it as part of creating the look of a cheap doc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULJu8P1LTl4 ()paired with z90 and recorded into atmos via SDI
      Last edited by morgan_moore; 12-11-2020, 11:37 AM.
      http://www.sammorganmoore.com View my feature Film

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        #4
        Yep, the above points you both mentioned made the EX1 perfect (aside from its age): no messing with lenses, no worries about tiny batteries, and I got sound (and pretty good sound) via XLR from the studio.

        I had a Z90 for a little while but the lack of fully manual controls (i.e., separate iris/zoom/focus rings) bothered me. But it was a great "set it and forget it" camera paired with my Fs5. From what I've seen from people like Doug Jensen and others the Z190 and Z280 are nice successors to the EX line, although I can't justify that expense for a B cam for my work.

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          #5
          I'm not a big fan of the Z190 because if it's poor performance in low light, but the Z280 a killer camera. It blows the EX1 out of water in every way you want to compare them. If you like the EX1 you would live the Z280. In fact, I'll choose my Z280 over my FS7 almost every time when DoF isn't going to be a factor. The Z90 is a great little camera too but I just sold mine to my brother in Madrid. It was painful to pack it up and say goodbye, but i wasn't using it enough any more to justify keeping it.
          Doug Jensen, Sony camcorder instructor
          HOW TO MAKE MONEY SHOOTING STOCK
          http://www.dougjensen.com/

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            #6
            The Z280 looks really tempting, Doug, based on your videos in particular. For my work the FX6 makes more sense at the moment, but at some point I'd love to add a used Z280 to my setup.

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              #7
              A Z280 and a FX6 would make a nice combo. Like owning a pickup truck and sports car. Both good, but for different stuff.
              Doug Jensen, Sony camcorder instructor
              HOW TO MAKE MONEY SHOOTING STOCK
              http://www.dougjensen.com/

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                #8
                Just pulled out the EX-3 for a balcony camera hard XLR-wired to the audio board for a Christmas service. Set it up on a master wide shot, worked quite nicely with an F55, F3, A7S3 and two gopros in the mix. (poor colorist)

                Still use it now and for ABC news Sat truck shots, since they only want 720 anyway.

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                  #9
                  Used three of them last night with ACM21's and 18 x B4 2/3" lenses on a Christmas concert. With a finely tuned Chroma du Monde 709 preset and most importantly, very importantly decent knee / slope settings the results out of the old EX3 can continue to surprise... considering these cameras came out in, what 2008? Using three of them again next week for another Chrissy job. Used with Atomos recorders you get very nice 10-bit 422 Prores out of these cameras as they have true 10-bit SDI output.

                  Chris Young

                  Edit: There you go! I was just packing away all last night's junk and they were close to hand. Shown with the ACM-21, 18 x 2/3" and DM reinforced base plate and a Genustech VCT-14 Tripod Plate (GAP). Also adapted for 'V' Loc power.

                  IMG_20201213_153656.jpg
                  Last edited by cyvideo; 12-12-2020, 09:49 PM.

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                    #10
                    was on a CNN live shoot last year and they were still rocking EX3's
                    Pudgy bearded camera guy
                    http://mcbob.tv

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by cyvideo View Post
                      Used three of them last night with ACM21's and 18 x B4 2/3" lenses on a Christmas concert. With a finely tuned Chroma du Monde 709 preset and most importantly, very importantly decent knee / slope settings the results out of the old EX3 can continue to surprise... considering these cameras came out in, what 2008? Using three of them again next week for another Chrissy job. Used with Atomos recorders you get very nice 10-bit 422 Prores out of these cameras as they have true 10-bit SDI output.
                      Nice! If you don't mind my asking, what are your knee/slope settings?

                      I didn't realize the EX-series was outputting 10-bit over SDI. I've played with the EX1 hooked up to my Shogun a bit, but never pushed the footage around to really see how it compared to the internal recording. Good to know!

                      Also very cool to see a number of these cameras are still out doing work—I appreciate all the responses so far (and hope to see more).

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by drboffa View Post
                        I didn't realize the EX-series was outputting 10-bit over SDI.
                        Just for future reference, SDI from any Sony camera is always at least 10-bit.
                        Doug Jensen, Sony camcorder instructor
                        HOW TO MAKE MONEY SHOOTING STOCK
                        http://www.dougjensen.com/

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Doug Jensen View Post
                          Just for future reference, SDI from any Sony camera is always at least 10-bit.
                          That's very good to know. Thank you!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Off topic, but that's a great little film. Genuinely funny (especially if one lives in another South Coast English town beginning with 'Br' - familiar characters!).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by drboffa View Post
                              Nice! If you don't mind my asking, what are your knee/slope settings?

                              I didn't realize the EX-series was outputting 10-bit over SDI. I've played with the EX1 hooked up to my Shogun a bit, but never pushed the footage around to really see how it compared to the internal recording. Good to know!

                              Also very cool to see a number of these cameras are still out doing work—I appreciate all the responses so far (and hope to see more).
                              Yes the 10-bit SDI was very popular and a lot of shooters with EX1/3s used to use the Convergent Design Nanoflash with them as the Nanoflash could record the XDCam 422 50-Mbps codec. 50Mbps was the minimum bit rate for a load of broadcasters. In fact, with the last firmware on the Nano you could record anywhere between 17 and 280mbps, and also in I-Frame. That was one hell of a MPEG-2 codec. Chewed up a lot of space though.

                              Excuse the sad-looking VF shots I just grabbed them with an old phone. Below you will see a number of shots which are all pretty self-explanatory if you are used to the EX menus. Also included are the Matrix settings that were the results of a day or so years back setting up an EX3/2 on the DSC Chroma du Monde charts and chip charts along with a fair bit of tweaking. To get the EX's broadcast street legal and looking decent on the WFM and Vectorscope. These were dialed up on an EX3/2 which was the last of them. The EX3/2 and the EX1R were slightly different from the original EX3 and EX1 as Sony had improved on the IR issues that the original EX1 and EX3 models exhibited under certain conditions on certain black materials. Tiffen actually brought out a 77mm IR cut filter called a T1 which proved popular amongst EX1/3users. I've found these settings below work as well on EX1/3 cams as they do on EX1R/EX3/2 cams. Overall these EX cameras were ahead of their time and the price was pretty right and they filled a developing need in the marketplace. No wonder they sold thousands of them. Also if you are interested Alan Roberts from the Beeb did a rundown on the EXs back in their day as the BBC used a fair number of them on regional news.

                              EDIT: Set the camera to STD GAMMA 3 for these settings. Not saying these are the ants pants settings but they will give you a good highly useable image and is good for around 10.5 stops.

                              Chris Young

                              http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rd/pubs/w...X1_and_EX3.pdf

                              Knee.jpgGamma.jpg
                              Matrix 01.jpgMatrix 02.jpg

                              Last edited by cyvideo; 12-15-2020, 06:32 AM.

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