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DOF EX3


Deji Joseph
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My Film is t 2 sony EX3s, we haven't been able to use them yet in the field though. i have a shot scene next week and i have to chose between an EX3 and a 7D. i want to use the EX3 because the codec is by far better in my opinion and it has XLR inputs, i was wondering though if the DOF with the EX3s stock lens wide open would be shallow enough.

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I own both cameras and you're right that having XLR-ports is nice, but the 7D's codec with 48Mbit is MUCH better than EX3's 35Mbit. Downside is that you gotta convert the 7D's mpg4 to something better suited for editing DNxHD on Avid, Prores on FinalCutPro or Cineform. (The rolling shutter and aliasing problems of the 7D have nothing to do with the codec, by the way.)

 

As to your question regarding DOF. If you're wide-open f 1.9 on EX3's stock-lens and on the tele-end of the zoom, you can get quite nice and shallow DOF, but as soon as you zoom out a little bit everything is sharp from here to nebraska. The size of the EX3's chip is nowhere near as big as the 7D's and the DOF gets very deep quickly on wider lenses.

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They both work well. I find the EX series a bit easier for myself to use, but it's designed that way. The best thing is that I can leave it on for a long period of time and not have it overheat and/or turn off on me. From a usability standpoint, that is a big deal. I would argue the EX's codec will beat out the 7Ds to high heaven in terms of manipulation, but that's a moot point most of the time, and depends on what you're doing afterwards and what you're after. If you want shallow DoF, the 7D is a better way to go, but if you need ease of use and ruggedness, I would err towards the EX.

Also a lot will depend on how you intent to tell your story and what that story is.

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If the EX sensor is around 6.97mm wide and the average APS-C sensor is around 23mm wide, that's about a 3.3X conversion factor (3X if you want to round it off), so the depth of field difference is also about 3-stops -- in other words, once you match FOV, distance, and f-stop, the resulting shorter focal length on the 1/2" sensor camera will look similar to stopping down the 35mm sensor by 3-stops, so you'd have to shoot at f/5.6 on the Canon 7D to match the DOF of the Sony EX1 shot at f/2.0, if not a bit more of a difference.

 

However, I've tested the Canon 550D (T2i Rebel) against the EX3, and the HD image off of the EX3 is a lot better all-around -- sharper, less artifacty -- it's just that it doesn't have the shallow-focus look.

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