Image quality or ergonomics?


Well-known member
I just did a comparison of two smaller HD cameras we are looking at to replace our dieing tape cameras. Side by side in the real world, as the sun went down then some in the darkness although there were streetlights and traffic.
The notorious Sony EX3 and the JVC GY-HM 700. I didn't tweak anything and did my best to keep the white balance and exposure consistent between the two. As it got darker I left both irises wide open then added gain up to 18db. I thought the difference was pretty dramatic. The Sony looked better in nearly every shot. The darker it got the more difference there was. The JVC also had some nasty smearing with headlights and other bright spots. Again, I didn't change picture files or shutter or matrix or any of that. Just set everything to normal and shot.
The JVC does have some nice features, it will save multiple shots as a single clip, you can edit directly from the camera with FCP and it does sit on the shoulder.
So, what wins out for daily use? The Sony is very different to hand-hold but I don't find it awkward. The JVC is very lightweight and easy to use. Neither one has the solid feel of a traditional ENG camera and to me the Sony feels better built but that is just an impression. The viewfinder on the Sony is amazing, the JVC's is good but not in the same league.
If you were to choose based on the quality of the image vs ease of use which way would you go?


Well-known member
apples to pears?

Interesting experiment you got to try. Thanks for writing about it.

I used the EX3 a lot this winter. Shooting fast action outdoors under the sun and then later in the day under not enough light. I was always impressed with it's performance. The viewfinder is also very good, although somewhat bulky and often in the way when raised off the LCD. However, it fees very solid in your hands.I have not had a chance to play with the JVC yet. I've been doing research on it and like the items you mentioned. Shoulder mount, direct to FCP, etc.

To address the low light performance: I think the SONY wins because of the 1/2 inch chips. The JVC has 1/3 I believe.

Aside from that. I like the idea of the shoulder mount for ENG purposes. Try to run around with an EX3 strapped to your forearm during a breaking news situation. I give you 5, maybe 10 minutes before needing a break.

We could get into a whole discussion here that wouldn't even touch the cameras. I am referring to what does an ENG shooter encounter and need to be prepared for vs EFP? With both cameras being able to record a lot of data that can turn quickly in a computer and accept other different glass, it kind of comes down to a form issue. For news I like the shoulder mount. Because it is news, the image is not always pretty. Would having more room in the iris at low light help? Maybe. How often do you actually shoot in these conditions compared to needing your shoulder to steady a shot?

Not having used the JVC my answer doesn't really count. I would have to say that I would really miss the shoulder mount option for ENG and that alone might wipe out the other differences. Hope this helped.
after market

aren't there after market shoulder cradles you could add? ugly looking, but it would reduce the strain on your wrist.

Capt. Slo-mo

Well-known member

Take the Ex-3, add the fold-out shoulder brace which doubles as a mount system for an Anton Bauer or IDX brick, and you've got a camera that is pretty comfortable to shoot handheld.

The bigger question to pass up the food chain is the long term durability of cameras like the Ex-3 in a run and gun news environment. There are times when you indeed get what you pay for.


Active member
I own the JVC and was just assigned the EX3 at my shop

The ergonomics and work flow of the JVC is great, although I use it primarily to shoot packages and features in a controlled environment. The EX3, while having a larger chip, is front heavy and cumbersome to handle, even with the Anton Bauer mount. Try holding the camera with your right hand and holding out a stick mic with your left and you will quickly see how difficult it is to use, It also is almost impossible to adjust iris and focus with your right hand, as it is holding up all the weight of the front of the camera. With the JVC you can iris and focus with your right hand, and hold a mic with your left. I lean to the JVC because of the ergonomics


The EX-3 makes a nice picture with enough light, and we have had no problems importing into FCP7 with Sony's XDCAM Transfer. We have been using Sony XDCAM Clip Browser to transfer the clips into our servers and drives for later editing.

When we bought our cameras we got a 5 year extended warranty program. Unfortunately that means we need to send any cameras away for approx 3 weeks to Sony for maintenance because if your engineers open the camera up it voids the warranty. Of a fleet of around 20 cameras about a third have gone in for maintenance this year. I'm not as hard on gear as many, and mine has gone twice in a year and a half for things like the Viewfinder image inverting (upside down and mirrored left to right) and for card slot not working.

The Stock lens is just barely adequate for news, and it is not dealed against the weather so it seems to fog up more easily than our old lenses, we bought a few of the 1/2" Canon and Fujinon 17x with extenders to give a little bit more reach, they also make it easier to handhold the cameras and adjust the iris and focus like you used to.

My recomendation is to buy good lenses for every set of gear, and budget for a couple extra bodies with stock lenses as spares.

Has anyone tried an EX-3 with the new FCP X? does it work?

Butch Henderson
KCPQ-TV, Seattle


P.S. we have the DM-Accessories DM-Accessories Flip out shoulder mounts that help with the counterballance, and got the same Sony tripod plate (VCT-14) that we used to use, it is really helpfull.


Active member
Just got the DM flipout mount for the EX3 and actually somewhat balances when extended all the way out with a full size Anton Bauer brick battery, although unbalanced to carry.

On another note, I'm finding that my cheek seems to change the audio switches when shooting handheld. Anyone else running into this?

Also using a Mini Frezzi mounted to the front hot shoe, and it completely snapped off the body of the camera with my first locker room gang-bang.


Yes on the switches, till I put a piece of gaffers tape with a tab over them. As for the top light I'll probably do that soon enough. It's all plastic under there unfortunately.
Last edited:


Active member
Best bet for the hot shoe until I can get it fixed is thin wire ties looped around the front and back of the hot shoe and wrapped around the mic. seems to be holding for now.
As far as the audio switches..
I'll try the gaffer tape, Thanks!
I have a Sony EX3 and it looks better from others products and with sharp lenses .Sony EX3 has great picture quality and you can click sharp and clear shots in it . The Sony EX3 look better for in nearly every shots . I can also use it in low lights for captures beautiful moments in my life and I have clips so many wonderful moments of my life .