EX1 as Camera A results

XDCAM EX1 as camera A continued…

Carrying on from yesterday’s blog. Detailing my first broadcast shoot with the Sony EX1 for a five part series look at five different families across Britain who follow five different religions and to see how it affects their daily lives over Christmas.

These are pictures of me shooting in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull in Scotland.

Here are some stills from the shoot in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Here is what I loved about the camera during these shoots as opposed to my F350.

The size, especially when you are flying on small planes it makes life so much easier. It also meant I was able to take a much smaller tripod with me.

The LCD screen is amazing, the viewfinder isn’t…but that screen is great for critical focus, the first on board LCD screen that can truly let you do that.

Other than that I preferred my F350 for most other things…not to say that the EX1 isn’t good at what i does, far from it, it is an amazing camera that makes to my eye indistinguishable pictures to my F350. I had some problems with the solid state recording, in that I had to bring my laptop and external hard drive with me to dump off and make backups. I much prefer a nice XDCAM disc that is solid, and not just on a hard drive. I missed my 20x lens. But, I was able to get some cracking stuff out of the 14x. The shot in the linked short below of the highland cows is right at the end of the lens, still looks pretty damn sharp to me and these guys were on the hill opposite to where I was. It is by far the best built in lens I have ever used. That’s before you take into account the manual iris, proper focus and zoom controls. JUST like a real lens!

I missed the weight of my F350 and Vinten Vison tripod. In the high wind and rain it was almost impossible to get steady shots. I used the OIS to help me out which was very useful and also “smoothcam” within FCP 6.

The other ergonomics of the camera are very fiddly. The on off button is awkward. Most of the buttons are too small. The roller is too fiddly, but there is a nice joystick by the mic that is much better which also lets you fiddle with lots of settings easily. I also couldn’t mount my Matte box on easily. The Screen was in the way and I was only able to use my non moving stage as the rotating one was impossible to get to vertically, which is what I need for grads.

I still haven’t worked out the problem of what happens when importing shots that bridge two cards, they come up as .smi and there seems to be import problems. But, it could just be me being a bit stupid.

So of course there are many negatives, but they are mostly compared to my full size £20,000 F350 and lens so it will never compete truly fairly…BUT, the picture quality is as good if not better sometimes than the F350, it’s better in low light and for doco work it is far less intimidating than a full size camera. I am also able to get shots in private places that my big camera would stop me from getting. Compared to all the other other handheld cameras I have used it blows them all away. Especially my old HVX200 which was potentially the most amazing camera ever but let down by poor chips, poor controls and terrible LCD screen.

Here is the link to the first completed short again and the F350 short which is part of the same series. It’s good to see who the cheap and expensive camera compare.


  1. Hi Philip. Is the protestant-story shot with the EX1 ? I’ve noticed that exterior colors are very nice (good skn tones) but the interior inteview is redish; is that because the 4:2:0 color sampling of the EX1? I took the liberty to color correct the interior shot and came out pretty ok, just some red spots on the chest.
    I’m purchasing soon the EX1 and Letus Extreme. I.ve noticed Zacutto rods on your gear, can u tell if letus rods are more ok?

    sorry for the many questions.
    when will be expected a feature film project 🙂

  2. Hello,

    It’s actually my choice of white balance and grading. I wanted a very warm, cosy feel to it.

    I bought Letus rods but found the Zacuto ones much much better for my purposes. I have a special tripod plate that I couldn’t mount on the Letus rods without raising the camera too high

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