which camera is best?

There is much heated debate on which camera is best. The HVX or the EX1.

Everyone knows my opinion, but that is only my opinion but it is based on owning both of them. Using them in different circumstances, operating them, workflow and of course how the images look.

There seems to be an incredible amount of quite irate people defending both cameras quite irrationally!

Look…The EX1 has many flaws. The HVX has many flaws. The new XDCAM HD F700 has many flaws, the RED has many flaws. THERE IS NO PERFECT CAMERA! After all, if there was then we would all own it and nobody would bother making anymore.

Currently the camera I use 75% of the time is my trusty DSR 450, SD and DVCAM. 25MPS, 4:2:0. I think the picture is lovely. It’s my workhorse.The DSR series 570 and 450 are the most popular and used cameras for freelance shooters here in the UK.

When it goes to handheld HDV cameras, it’s the Z1 all the way in the broadcast sector. Everyone has one!

Now neither of these cameras are the best out there, but they do what they say on the tin very well.

There will always be Sony bashers out there and there will always be Panasonic bashers out there. It’s a shame, because both of these manufacturers make amazing cameras. Come on, look at the Varicam. How lovely is that camera?

If I had more money I would probably have kept my HVX, so if needed, I could shoot on P2 for a client. Sky News has gone P2, albeit with those nice 2/3″ models, not sure which one it is, it’s certainly not the 500…its the one up from that. I have played with it. It’s a lovely camera, shoots gorgeous pictures, weighs a tonne though! Costs a lot more than the 500 yet has no over and undercrank. How rubbish. But so often the more expensive versions have less features than the cheaper ones!

I think the EX1 interests many people due to the lens and I am convinced due to the longer recording times available on the cards due to LONG GOP. Talking of which I have no problem with at all, been shooting and editing it with my F350 for over a year and it’s a dream!

The HVX has still got a long life left in it, certainly until Panny replace it with something which I am sure will be great.

So in the end , if you get an HVX or you get an EX1 you are a winner as both, in the right hands, are capable of producing quite astounding pictures.

Oh and a reminder for UK readers. I will be on the Sony stand fiddling with the ex1 next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday! Hope to see you there!



  1. Phil, if you asked me, methinks they’re all lousy in one way or another. They could all be a lot better. And they could all sell for a lot less.

    Of course, we all want to get the most of a camera, but the camera manufacturers also want to get the most out of us.

    Guess who wins?

  2. Hi Philip. Coming to the show on Wednesday and will come and say ‘hello,’ it would be nice to meet you. Are you going to be there with your letus by any chance?

  3. HI Phil you see it as I do. I am not a fanboy of either Panasonic or Sony. I don’t care if my camera is made by Tonka, if it is a decent improvement on my previous camera, I will move to it.. I used to own the HVX200 and shot about 30 weddings on it in SD, and did quite a few shorts on HD onto P2. The SD was great. The P2 DVCPROHD excellent. Thought the pic was a bit soft but overall a good camera. Downside was 8 mins on a P2 card which costa fortune. No good at all and a massive downfall with the camera. When 64 Gb P2 cards come out at £200 it wil be a better bet overall.

    Looked at the EX1, followed it for a couple of months, saw the reviews and the footage coming out of it and decided to go for it. best decision I made. 2 16Gb cards give me 140 mins. I treat the 16Gb cards as a DV tape. I will buy 5 of them, or two 32Gb cards when they come out, and have enough space to shoot a full day. I could never do that on the HVX in HD.

    If Panasonic come back with a better cam, ie a HVX300, with superior lcd, cheaper P2, half inch chips etc, I will evaluate and consider moving to it. The idea is to have in your posession the best possible camera and the best possible price. As I said I don’t care who makes it, as long as it is well made, and does what it says on the tine. Oh, and is supported in FCP.

    So far the EX1 has fulfilled everything I have asked of it. Does it have faults? Sure does. The on/off switch is a bitch. The battery drains if you leave it on the camera, the buttons are too small, the usb is ion a terrible place…..etc etc etc. But overall its a step up from the HVX200 IMO.

    I will come and say hello next Thursday Phil. Was coming on Wednesday but the guy I am coming up with has a gypsy wedding in Cardiff that day. Offered to be second camera as it sounds the ideal opportunity to get something special ( or have my camera knicked!!!)

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