I asked in a previous post here for recommendations on what cameras one should use to film reality TV, and in response saw EX3s listed as a possible choice of camera to use for filming it. Online I read articles regarding the camera after reading responses to my previous post, and saw a site where it was used on a recognizable production --for example-- and thought it to be odd due to it's inexpense that it'd be capable of pulling off the job mentioned. Filming a reality TV show seems like a grand feat, and that choice of camera seemed questionable to a novice since I usually see photos online of crew members filming reality TV with seemingly much larger --and maybe more technically capable-- Sony cameras regularly --maybe 800s/900s. As a result of the regular use of those cameras, I wondered if they were being used out of choice or for a more practical and wise reason.
Below is a video clip of footage filmed with the EX3, and I feel it came out bad.
In my opinion the crew member using it to film may have had something to do with it coming out the way it did --with no camera stabilization/movement equipment being used, and it looking shaky as a result of it. The member also seemed to zoom in/out roughly adding to the bad result, in my opinion-- but did the camera as well? Was it the wrong choice? Used incorrectly? Not a fit for that type of job? Could you have used it better? Created better result? How, if so? Why not, if not?
Here's the EX3 footage mentioned above:
Here's a picture of a reality TV show being filmed -- I don't know if the camera being used is a Sony 800/900 or other camera, but it may be. It isn't the EX3 from the looks of it:
I mean it all comes down to shooter, lens selection and post work.
EX3 is an inexpensive ENG camera and it's small so you can shoulder it OR push it against your body for lower angle shots, making it ideal for reality work. I used one on a pilot once and really enjoyed working with it for TV stuff.
But like any camera, if you're not a great shooter, it's not gonna come out good.
The camera in that still is an optical disk camera. Not sure the model off the top of my head, but not part of the same family for sure.
the XDCam optical are the same fam as the XDCam EXs if memory serves. Very similar codec if not the exact same, one is just disk based. Maybe the 750?
And the EX is a very good camera, but like a hammer, just because you have a useful tool doesn't mean you can do anything good with it.
I would agree withTyler.. not really the same family. EX1 and EX3 are definitely of a way lower order than the PDW700/800 disc cam,s.. and alot cheaper..
EX cam,s are only 1/2 inch chip and limited to 35 Mbps.. ( non broadcast level).. I think the EX can be recorded to better spec from the SDI to an external recorder..
PDW 700/800 is a 2/3 inch 3 CCD sensor and although XDCAM .. can record 422 HD 50 Mbps.. a much superior cam to the EX,s.. the 800 was the main workhorse for just about all broadcast TV.. till s35 sensor cams took over
Edited by Robin R Probyn, 06 December 2015 - 03:28 AM.
Yes sure.. but alot of stuff has gone over to F5/C300 and now even more Fs7.. I sold my PMW500 as my F5 was the only camera working.. the move for doc,s over to S35 cam,s was much quicker than I thought .. all corp shoots had gone S35 a few years back.. i guess news,reality tv and sports will still be 2/3...
I would agree that many dont have to be S35.. and the ENG camera,s would be better suited for many shoots.. but now the s35 look is the thing.. and 4K is begining to creep in.. often because you can re frame from the 4K to HD.. even pans and zooms.. and get a close shot on interviews from the wide..
Also the bigger budget doc,s that would have been F900/PDW800 they want to shoot Log now.. and 10 bit.. for a proper grade.. and often UHD now too.. to future proof them.. (in theory anyway )
So now I have to tote my F5 and CN7 at over 10 kgs.. and run around as before with the much lighter,better balanced PMW500 .. I think this is giving easy rigs a whole new market .. !
Edited by Robin R Probyn, 06 December 2015 - 07:32 AM.
I did a TV pilot on the Red One some years ago, a cop show, but for some shots, I switched to an EX3 with an ENG zoom on it because I needed to fit the camera with a long ratio zoom inside a car, and there are no tiny 10:1 zooms made for 35mm camera.
Borrowing a bit from a school of Architecture thought, "Form follows function." Essentially meaning that the aesthetics offered are of less importance than the functionality offered. Brian said it well with, "It's really a matter of the right tool for the job."
If you want a good image, choose another camera, frankly. It was once considered good quality, but standards have changed. The highlights blow far too easily in both the EX3 and PMW300, the EX3 has a horrible on-board monitor, and you can forget dialing-in a custom White Balance with any ease. However, on networks like ANIMLPLNT, HGTV, TLC, etc., these particular models are still popular for a few reasons due to, not their image quality, but their functionality:
1. They're simple and they have a Full Auto feature - the camera is often used by Shooter/Producers. These are folks who sometimes do, but often do not know how to operate a camera. They often only know how to point and use the servo zoom. They're primary purpose as a shooter is often to get just enough content to tell the story. This position is becoming more and more popular as some shows have completely eliminated actual Camera Operators.
2. Zoom Lens - As David mentioned, the zoom covers quite a range. It's also very small considering that it covers such a range. If covering spaces smaller than the interior of a car, I recommend the Wide Angle adapter.
3. Price - Low-budget shows means low-budget gear. The folks who invested in these cameras years ago, likely did very well on these cameras - having paid them off long ago. They've been inexpensive to rent or buy for a long time, now. Although, it's my understanding that the value of replacement parts has actually gone up because they're often damaged in the field, and the parts are no longer being made.
4. Camera Size - As David mentioned above, the size of the camera becomes very important when fitting into small spaces and running and gunning. I've used them while jumping in and out of police cars, climbing trees, repelling, caving, running, crawling through snow, etc. Camera size is also tremendously important because Production Companies frequently ship these cameras and check them as baggage. So, in a relatively small Pelican, you can fit two cameras with substantial zoom lenses, on-board mics, media, etc. To do the same with a C300 requires at least one more case (lenses), maybe two (Shoulder Rigs/AKS).
For many reasons, I imagine that these cameras only have another two years on even the worst low-budget shows. ...But, someone probably said that same thing two years ago.
Edited by Jeremy M Borg, 10 December 2015 - 03:42 AM.