Video Accessories Misc

Sony PMW-EX1 Prosumer 1080p High Definition Video Camera

ARTICLE INDEX

 

The Sony PMW-EX1 In Use

The PMW-EX1 is a pleasure to work with. It has all the features I like for sure, but basically it just has a terrific picture quality.

The 3.5" LCD viewing screen slides out from underneath the microphone and then tilts into place for viewing. Shown below is the basic data display. It tells you how much battery time is left, how much time you have in the two available memory card slots (I only had one on hand, but you can keep two in the camera at any one time), f/stop, color temperature, etc. I used HQ 1080i for all the tests, but it will shoot at 1080p30 if you like. Various other menu screens are also illustrated below, and they contain menu items much like on other video cameras, except for the third screen, which is for the SDI output, which would likely be used by Indie film producers for obtaining the highest quality video stream possible, recorded externally on a PC hard drive.

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Once you have taken your videos, you can switch over to "Media" and see thumbnails for each shot, as shown below.

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Each one can be played back on the camera just to make sure all is OK.

If you are ready to transfer the video clips to your PC for editing, you must first install the included software, then plug the camera into your PC via USB 2.0, and you will see the following screen (click on the figure to see the larger version.

Highlight any video, double click it to play it, and then hitt to convert it to a format that your video editor (NLE or Non Linear Editor) and store it in whatever directory you like for editing later.

I like to do hand held shots low to the ground and the PMW-EX1 is perfectly balanced to hold with the main handle and view with the external LCD screen. There is of course a small eye level LCD screen that is automatically active if the larger one is not folded out. You can view it through the eyepiece at the rear of the camera. However, for 95% of my shooting, I use the external LCD.

Here is a vase of flowers sitting on my coffee table in late afternoon twilight.

As twilight fell to night, I shot the flowers again, by candlelight. Many cameras would render this with muddy shadows, but not the PMW-EX1.

Blues are deep and rich. Shooting in deep shadows is just not a problem for this camera.

Here is a red silk lampshade, illuminated from behind, so close-up, the lens shade was touching the silk.

This lemon was so appetizing, I picked it after the photograph to use in my dinner salad.

Deep pink was no problem for the PMW-EX1 sensors.

Neither was deep red an issue.

Look at the detail on these green leaves.

The grocery store vegetable rack test is illustrated below. The Fujinon lens is somewhat wider than other lenses we have tested. Usually, we can't see the left end of the rack, let alone a shopper. All the vegetable colors are perfect (look at the red, green, and yellow bell peppers), with no highlight blowout.

To show you the incredible detail that the PMW-EX1 renders, I shot the grocery store soft drink rack one row over from the vegetable rack, shown below. If you click on the photo, you will see a full 1,920 x 1,080 frame, and you can actually read the labels on the bottles (copyrights and trademarks owned by the various bottlers).

The spotlight test outdoors at night yielded the following image. Notice that the vertical, horzontal, or diagonal lines seen with other cameras are not present here. This means less sharpness loss near specular reflections.

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