Sony PMW-EX1 & EX3

Sony EX1R VS JVC 750/790 VS Panasonic 160/250? Any Suggestions?

Colorado Video Pros

Colorado Video Pros

Hello There,

I am looking for a Main Camera and a Back Up Camera. Since this is a Big Investment, I feel like I need to do as much research that I can. i also want to Future Proof Myself as much as I can. I don't really want to Invest too much into a camera that is 1/3" censor, I see an affordable large censor camera with a nice servo zoom lens in the next 2 or 3 years. The Sony F3 just had a servo zoom lens and with the rebate it is $22,000. I heard the lens is slow and I don't want to invest $22,000 into one camera, if I can help it. I realize the bigger censor the more careful you have to be with the DOF.

I came up with these 5 choices in cameras:

The Sony PMW-EX1R XDCAM EX Full HD Camcorder (without SxS Card) $5,899

The JVC GY-HM750 ProHD Compact Shoulder Camcorder w/Canon 14x Lens $6,695

The Panasonic AG-AC160 AVCCAM HD Handheld Camcorder $4,575

The Panasonic AG-HPX250 P2 HD Handheld Camcorder $5,199.95

The JVC GY-HM790U ProHD ENG / Studio Camera w/Canon 14x Lens $8,995

Here are some of my Priorities for the Camera:
Sensor Size:1/3", 1/2", 24P, Over/Under-Cranking Color Sampling:4:2:2 or 4:2:0, HDMI, HD-SDI, Over The Shoulder

I realize it depends on what my priorities are with the main camera and back up camera. My background is that I shot news for 5 years with Sony Betacams and the past 3 years, I shot mostly with 1/3" censor cameras. I also shot with 1/2" Cameras, but may be one or two shoots with those. I am mostly shooting event video with some post.

Here is My Choices again:

1. Sony EX1R ($5899 with Rebate): I believe the Sony EX-1R is my First choice because My Biggest Pet Peeve is how the 1/3" censor cameras perform badly in low light! I can't stand it! So the Sony EX1R is The Big Winner for that Priority, since it is a 1/2" Censor. But it seems that EX1R is old Technology and it is 4:2:0 color sampling. I don't know how important the 4:2:2 is for what I am looking to do. Plus the Media for the EX1R is more expensive than the SDHC Cards for the JVC 750/790 and Panasonic 160, but Cheaper than the P2 Cards for the Panasonic 250. I watch a review for Philip Bloom on the Original Sony EX1 and He didn't seem convinced that the original Sony EX1 was a good camera for Run & Gun Type Shooting. In fact, he said go buy a camera that over the shoulder used on ebay. I don't know if he was talking about form factor or why he said the EX1 is not a good Run & Gun Camera? Any of you have used the Sony EX1R and how do you like it. I used the Sony EX1 2 years ago for half a day, but I was more concern about shooting VS critiquing the camera. I can't think of a Good back up camera for the Sony EX1R, except for another EX1R. I like that you can add a 35mm adapter to get that film look for the Sony EX1R. I noticed you can't get that film look on the 1/3" Censor Cameras.

2a. Panasonic 160/250 ($4,575/$5199.95): These cameras have all of the features, especially the 250, but P2 media is the most expensive, but the 160 uses the cheapest Media the SDHC Cards. The 250 is 4:2:2 and the 160 is 4:2:0. I have taken a look at all of the low light video from vimeo for these cameras and I have been disappointed. I am not too excited about the videos. Plus when they are in direct sunlight, they seem to shoot a little bit over exposed. I got to pick the 160/250 up and it was on the little heavy side. A nice thing on the Panasonic 160 is that it should match well with the Panasonic AG-AF100. Can't think a back up camera, except for another 160 or 250. I also heard you can't really mix match the 160 and the 250 well together in post.

2b. JVC750/790 ($6,695/$8995): For an over the shoulder type of camera, the JVC 750/790 is the Big Winner, but not crazy about the 1/3" Censor and there is no HDMI output on the cameras. The media is SDHC Card and it is the cheapest and the Panasonic 160 uses it. The 750 can record to 2 cards at the same time. The 790 is $2300 more than the 750. The 750 is $2000 more than the Panasonic 160 and the 750 is $1500 more than the Panasonic 250 and the 750 is $800 more than the Sony EX1R. The 750/790 is 4:2:2. I have had my eye on the JVC 700 forever since it was the cheapest over the shoulder camera out there. I thought the over the shoulder feature was the most important, but I am now 35 getting older, so my Tripod is getting to be my Best Friend and that feature has gone down on the list. Plus the form factor of the rest of the 1/3" cameras I shot the past 3 years have been decent to work it. If I get the 750 or 790, this may get me more freelance work with other larger production companies who need an extra shooter with his own gear compared to the other cameras I am looking at. I do have my own company and do my own productions, but I will also do freelance work on the side to. I can't think of a good back up camera for the 750/790.

The Bottom Line is: I am trying to find a Main Camera and a Back Up Camera that would match for color reasons from the same manufacturer that is the Biggest Bang for the Buck. I realize that you can't find that Perfect camera, but out of these choices, i am trying to figure out what would be the most logical choice out there. Please tell me what you think and your opinions on these choices. If you have anymore suggestions for choices, please let me know. Also I am looking for suggestions on what would be a good back up camera for each of these choices.

One more thing, how does the media from these cameras work with your workflow? Do you have to do any transcoding or log/transfer? I have Final Cut Pro 7 and I just purchase Adobe's CS5.5 Production Premium Suite.

Does 4:2:2 really matter? I also want to do some Chroma Key Work.

Thank you so very much for your time and words of encouragement on this Big Decision. Very Much Appreciated! ;-)

Take Care,
Chad Graves
Colorado Video Pros

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