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EX1 and EX3 real 1080p? color sampling, slow motion


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#1 John Russell Schmidt

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:52 PM

I am set to shoot a series and need 35mm lenses, slow motion, and to shoot at 1080p 24p. I'd like at least a 422 color space.

I am trying to push RED but budgetary concerns may need me to go EX3 or even EX1 series plus a lens adapter situation.

I have extensive experience with the adapters and will probably go Letus but am wondering people's feelings on the rig. I am tired of sticking a crappy product between decent glass but budgets are budgets.

Basically what I really need to know is if even though the chip may capture full res HD, is that what actually gets imported via cards to FCP or does the codec compress it. The bit rate is low and I am wondering what it gives up to do this. Is it actually 1080i, is it 4:2:0, is it at 60i only?

Also what does the slow motion look like? Last season we shot HVX+lenses and I am generally looking for a similar or better quality.

I appreciate any links to other posts but really need an answer asap and had just stumbled upon this page so please give pity on a noobs questions.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:11 PM

A little searching online reveals:

This review:

http://provideocoali...d_camcorder/P2/

Specs:

http://pro.sony.com/...product-PMWEX3/

The 60Hz (NTSC countries) model offers these recording formats:
HQ mode:
1920 x 1080 / 59.94i / 29.97P / 23.98P
1280 x 720 / 59.94P / 29.97P / 23.98P
SP mode:
1440 x 1080 / 59.94i

And these shooting speeds:
1-30 fps at 1080P / 1-60 fps at 720P

XDCAM EX recording to flash memory is 4:2:0.

http://en.wikipedia..../XDCAM#XDCAM_EX

XDCAM EX

Sony introduced XDCAM EX with the PMW-EX1 camera in November 2007. It offers a similar recording profile to XDCAM HD, but records on SxS memory cards. The codec is employed at either 25 Mbit/s CBR for SP mode (1440x1080), or 35 Mbit/s VBR for HQ mode (1920x1080). The recorded video is carried in an MP4 file wrapper, versus XDCAM's MXF file wrappers [3]. These differences meant that existing implementations of XDCAM HD codecs in editing applications were not functional with XDCAM EX when the product launched.
The PMW-EX1 camcorder employs three 1/2-inch "Exmor" CMOS sensors with over 2 million pixels, the camera was exhibited at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) 2007 show. It uses an 4:2:0 MPEG-2 Long-GOP codec when recording to SxS solid-state memory cards, but is 4:2:2 internally and a full 4:2:2 signal is present on the HD-SDI out connection. It is branded as a member of Sony's CineAlta family of production equipment. The EX1 offers variable framerate modes, from 1 to 60fps (1 to 30fps in 1080p)[4].
The PMW-EX1 made its debut in November 2007 with a street price of just under (US$) 6500.

In April 2008, Sony added a new interchangeable-lens camcorder, the PMW-EX3, to its XDCAM EX lineup. The internal components of the EX3 are identical to that of the EX1, but the EX3 is of shoulder mount design, implemented in a fashion much like the Canon XL series. The EX3 retails with a street price of around (US$) 8300.
In September 2008, JVC debuted a dockable SxS recording unit, the KA-MR100G. The MR100 docks with JVC Pro HD cameras (GY-HD200 and later models) between the battery mount and the camera. The MR100 records in XDCAM EX format through a 68 pin multi connector with the attached camera. The KA-MR100G has a MSRP of (US$) 3000. The KA-MR100G has been implemented in a retail camera package with the JVC GY-HM700 providing a complete solid state recording option for JVC users.

XDCAM HD422 (MPEG HD422)
Third generation XDCAM uses the 4:2:2 profile of the MPEG-2 codec, which has double the chroma-resolution of the previous generations. To accommodate the chroma-detail, the maximum video-bitrate has been increased to 50 Mbit/s.
In the second half of 2008, Sony released the PDW-700 camcorder and the PDW-HD1500 half-size deck. Also, Sony has expanded full XDCAM HD422 support to the PDW-U1 drive, through a free firmware-upgrade.
Despite its recent introduction, Sony's HD422 format has already been adopted into major video-productions.. Two primetime reality TV shows, CBS's Survivor and Fox's Cops[5], began on-location shooting of the 2008 fall-seasons using the aforementioned Sony equipment.


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#3 David Williams

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 09:56 PM

David covers most of it. I use one daily, and wouldn't trade it for anything else in it's price range. The codec is 6 or 7 generation, and is very reliable motion wise in normal use. Like anything, you can break it if you try, but in setups you would actually use it's great. It's VBR, and actually peaks near 90Mbit in slowmo, and the 35Mbit average applies to all HQ frame rates and modes. It runs at 16GB per hour roughly. It is 8bit and long-gop, so for any heavy grading or processing I'd suggest transcoding to a 10bit intra-frame codec designed for editing, but for butt editing, and basic stuff it's easy to use.
It does have 10bit 4:2:2 HD-SDI out. With a Letus Ultimate, Letus EX3 Relay, and using a HD-SDI recorder, you can get fantastic quality. Depending on your output medium, 99% of people would not be able to pick that from a Red. You actually have a touch more latitude with the EX3. Use Cine Gamma 1, leave the high and low lights, and crush the mids a bit to give more contrast in post.
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 29 May 2009 - 06:58 AM

It is 8bit and long-gop, so for any heavy grading or processing I'd suggest transcoding to a 10bit intra-frame codec designed for editing, but for butt editing, and basic stuff it's easy to use.


I think you'll find that no matter what you do, if you decide to grade or process it, it will either have to be transcoded to a higher precision format, or it'll happen internally anyway.

These cameras are often very, very good at making pictures, though they tend to suffer horribly from the tape compression. 35 megabits a second is about four and a half megabytes a second; uncompressed 1080p is about 180 megabytes a second, so you are looking at an absolutely massive compression ratio - the answer to "what it gives up to do this" is rather a lot.

Recording it uncompressed is a distinct possibility which may be worthwhile depending on what you want to do with it.

P
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