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Old July 23rd, 2008, 06:42 AM   #16
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New 32GB SxS will be available later this year. One of these plus the PHU-60K will give you >6.5 hours of continuous 'taping' in SP mode and ~5 hours in HQ mode.

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Old July 23rd, 2008, 08:41 AM   #17
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I'm looking forward to seeing how the HMC150 performs, once it's released. SDHC cards are a whale of a lot less costly than either P2 or SxS.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 09:28 AM   #18
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Eventually all cameras will be solid state, end of story, but that's probably a fair while off yet for many people. Whether they will be P2, SxS or something completely different is another matter.
P2 and SxS will never be mainstream solutions due to their high cost and limited production volume, plus they're unnecessary for standard video recording purposes. Solid state will take over when you can fit an hour of decent footage on a $5 memory card, which is ~3-4 years away at current rates of technology advancement. Until then, tape is still the most practical medium for long-form recording, with hard drives a close second.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 10:46 AM   #19
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Solid state will take over when you can fit an hour of decent footage on a $5 memory card, which is ~3-4 years away at current rates of technology advancement. Until then, tape is still the most practical medium for long-form recording, with hard drives a close second.
I could not agree less. SxS is absolutely a viable medium for long-form recording and has many (workflow) advantages over tape. Even PD workflow is much better than tape, if you'd ask me. And although P2 is based on ancient technology and more expensive per minute than SxS, I'd prefer that to tape any day.

Going tapeless doesn't just mean replace SxS/PD/P2 for tape; it requires a significantly different workflow and will "never" be a long time storage/archiving solution.

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Old July 23rd, 2008, 10:55 AM   #20
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Interesting. I have an original FS-4 Pro, and it's been absolutely bulletproof. I ran it parallel with tape for a month or so, then abandoned tape. Been shooting without tape for years now.

What was unreliable about your firestore? I do have to say that I never let me get very hot as nearly all my shooting was indoors. My occasional outdoor shoots didn't last long enough for the unit to get very hot. But on a recent 3-day shoot, we had 2 firestores in operation in the Florida summer sun and they apparently did just fine.

I've also not noticed the fan noise others speak of, but I do use a long shotgun on camera, or off-camera mics, so maybe it just didn't capture the sounds. Were you using the built in mics on your camera?

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I suspect he means 5+ hours before getting the chance to offload, not as a continuous take.

They come with issues of their own (though the latest model is improved) such as long boot up time and high level of fan noise when they heat up. I also found mine to be less than 100% reliable, though when used *AS WELL* as tape it didn't matter too much, and still greatly speeded up the workflow. But I wouldn't recommend one as the sole recording medium.

Eventually all cameras will be solid state, end of story, but that's probably a fair while off yet for many people. Whether they will be P2, SxS or something completely different is another matter.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 11:08 AM   #21
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Going tapeless doesn't just mean replace SxS/PD/P2 for tape; it requires a significantly different workflow and will "never" be a long time storage/archiving solution.
Ah, but it could be and will when standard solid state memory is as cheap as tape - which as I said before should happen in about 3-4 years. Until then solid state recording isn't as convenient as tape for long-form work, because you have to worry about off-loading your master footage to make room for more. Granted that SxS makes this more practical than P2 given the faster transfer speeds, but it's still a hassle if you need to record several hours of footage without stopping. With tape you can record 10 hours or 100 or 1000 without worrying about how to store the footage, other than protecting the tapes from damage. And you can do all this out in the field with nothing more than a camera and a box full of tapes, as opposed to having to carry a laptop and a power supply and so on.

When standard memory cards become as cheap as tape then it's a whole different ball game, because you'll be able to save your master footage indefinitely on the original media like we do now with tape. That isn't going to happen with either P2 or SxS but it will happen with CF and SD, so those will become the prevailing solution for basic video recording. Higher-end users may still enjoy the benefits of more expensive memory, but then they'll be stuck with the workflow requirements of backing up their master footage.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 11:31 AM   #22
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Ah, but it could be and will when standard solid state memory is as cheap as tape
What kind of "Tape" are you talking about? Because from where I sit, solid state media is more expensive, but it's not that big a gulf. If you want to compare, compare apples to apples. Go price tapes that can record what solid state records. Don't compare miniDV tapes to P2 or SxS because they can't do the job.

What is the price of tape (and a deck if you want to be fair) to record 1080p, 1080i, or 720p long form at 4:2:2. Say, an hour a tape.


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With tape you can record 10 hours or 100 or 1000 without worrying about how to store the footage, other than protecting the tapes from damage. And you can do all this out in the field with nothing more than a camera and a box full of tapes, as opposed to having to carry a laptop and a power supply and so on.
Yea, but you can't record it continuously. In fact, trying to record 90 minutes without gaps is why I moved away from tape in the first place. Yes, I could have dragged my full-size DV deck with me, but that was less convenient than a firestore. I got 5+ hours of seamless recording, and could dump footage to my NLE drive(s) at lunch and/or the end of the day.


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Higher-end users may still enjoy the benefits of more expensive memory, but then they'll be stuck with the workflow requirements of backing up their master footage.
We back up master footage anyway. What's the big deal? And I backed up master footage when I originated with tape. Take the raw footage off tape, edit, color correct, grade, add audio, titling, etc. Then print to a master. The difference now is that I get my footage into the NLE 10x faster or more.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:04 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
What is the price of tape (and a deck if you want to be fair) to record 1080p, 1080i, or 720p long form at 4:2:2. Say, an hour a tape.
The price of a Fuji or Maxell one-hour HDCAM cassette is $67.50 while a one-hour HDCAM SR cassette is $140. Cost of a VTR in HDCAM or DVCPRO HD format begins at about $20,000. No doubt about it, solid state is *already* the more affordable way to go. The cards pay for themselves quickly, within about a dozen to 15 cycles or so.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:19 PM   #24
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The price of a Fuji or Maxell one-hour HDCAM cassette is $67.50 while a one-hour HDCAM SR cassette is $140. Cost of a VTR in HDCAM or DVCPRO HD format begins at about $20,000. No doubt about it, solid state is *already* the more affordable way to go. The cards pay for themselves quickly, within about a dozen to 15 cycles or so.
Yea Chris, I know. But you and I both know that to record 1080p 4:2:2 you're going to need HDCam SR, and those decks are approaching $100k. And the $140 per hour tapes are no joke either. Can you imagine having to show up in the field with enough to record a 8-12 hour day versus SxS?

And if people think the Firestores are expensive, they need to go check what the Wafian's are going for. I was THRILLED with the price of the Convergent and compact flash cards by comparison.

No, I'd say being able to write an hour's worth of XDCam footage to a 50GB BluRay for what it costs is an incredible bargain compared to HDCam/HDCamSR.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:19 PM   #25
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I'd agree that tape is limiting in terms of continuous recording, so that's a fair point in favor of other solutions...including drive-based recorders for tape-based cameras. Where tape excels is being able to record unlimited amounts of footage out in the field without any backup work required until you get back to the studio.

As far as cost is concerned, the "Red" camera proves that standard flash memory can capture high bandwidth video at much lower cost than either P2 or SxS, so the latter clearly aren't cost-effective solutions. They're moderately useful until manufacturers admit they don't have to charge us $15-50 per minute of recording capacity, and after that they're only useful to those who have already invested in them.

Maybe we all go tapeless in two years instead of four because the benefits outweigh the drawbacks before then, but the full benefit of solid state recording isn't realized until memory cards are dirt cheap.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:25 PM   #26
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Getting back to the original question, SxS is more practical than P2 unless someone wants you to shoot DVCProHD, in which case you don't have much choice.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:30 PM   #27
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What was unreliable about your firestore? I do have to say that I never let me get very hot .............
Sometimes (about 1 in 10?) I would import the material into Avid and whilst there would be a clip for every shot, a few of them would not contain media - an error message came up during the import. I'd guess it might affect typically 3-4 clips out of 2-300 on about 1 in 10 occasions.

I couldn't tie it down to any particular circumstance, and on some occasions it definately wasn't heat. In practice, I just used to go to the tape for any missing but indispensible shots (once it was an entire interview!) and still found it saved a lot of time. (It was an FS-4 Pro.)

Colleagues experiences have varied from far greater problems than mine, to no problems at all. There is also the possibility of cables coming loose, and the long boot up time was a big irritation sometimes - I've powered up the camera and Firestore together, and on more than one occasion started and stopped recording to tape before the Firestore was ready at all!

Overall I think they're a good device - but I'd never have it as my sole recording media.
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I've also not noticed the fan noise others speak of, but I do use a long shotgun on camera, or off-camera mics, so maybe it just didn't capture the sounds. Were you using the built in mics on your camera?
Various mics on various occasions, but on one memorable occasion it was an interview in a normal living room (quite large) at an average temperature, 20degC, say. Personal mics on the contributors, long continuous takes of 30min +.

The Firestore was on a fairly long cable, off the camera and by the side of a chair, but even so the fan noise was so obtrusive after a while that not only did the mics pick it up (Sony ECM77s), but the interviewer/interviewee found it distracting, especially as the pitch changes as the unit heats up/cools down. Next time we resorted to a very long Firewire cable, and putting it in the next room.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:35 PM   #28
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Yea, I'm with you on the CompactFlash/SDHC stuff. BUT, to be honest, if I am working in the field, I'd rather have something a bit more robust than an SDHC card. Regardless, how many people that have reds are shooting compactflash? A modern compact flash on a RED gives about what, 4-5 minutes of recording for $150? Want to do the financial math there?

So even at that level, the answer is not solid state, but hard drive. It still offers the best bang for the buck. I don't know ANYONE on RED trying to write to tape. Everyone wants to move away from tape for originating footage. It's slow, cumbersome, and inflexible. What happens if you dump a load of cash on an HDCam deck, and next year, a new standard is embraced? You're stuck. With solid state and hard drive, it's a firmware change.

I think where we tend to disagree is that pros already see solid state as "dirt cheap". It's those coming from $2 miniDV that see solid state as expensive. The other thing that you seem to be conveniently overlooking is that solid state is renewable. Tape is not. If I shoot onto tape, it's a consumable. So if I buy a $70 HDCam tape or a $160 HDCamSR tape, that is money lost. Solid State means I can shoot again on that same media 1000 times. HD is not SD. If you want to step up and play with the big boys, then you're going to have to open the wallet. And you are going to have to shift your opinions of what "reasonable cost" is. Reminds me of the day I found out what Kinos and HMIs costed! :)

It's a brave new world.

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I'd agree that tape is limiting in terms of continuous recording, so that's a fair point in favor of other solutions...including drive-based recorders for tape-based cameras. Where tape excels is being able to record unlimited amounts of footage out in the field without any backup work required until you get back to the studio.

As far as cost is concerned, the "Red" camera proves that standard flash memory can capture high bandwidth video at much lower cost than either P2 or SxS, so the latter clearly aren't cost-effective solutions. They're moderately useful until manufacturers admit they don't have to charge us $15-50 per minute of recording capacity, and after that they're only useful to those who have already invested in them.

Maybe we all go tapeless in two years instead of four because the benefits outweigh the drawbacks before then, but the full benefit of solid state recording isn't realized until memory cards are dirt cheap.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:41 PM   #29
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Wow!

I've never had any of these issues. Did you ever speak to Focus about any of them?

I just pulled out my Firestore to test. Took 9 seconds to go from pressing the power button to ready to record. The DVX takes about 5 seconds I think, and my EX1 takes a bit longer.

I have the unit sitting on the corner of my desk right now. About 2ft from me. And I can't hear it. At all.

I definitely think you had either a faulty unit, or one in need of some attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
Sometimes (about 1 in 10?) I would import the material into Avid and whilst there would be a clip for every shot, a few of them would not contain media - an error message came up during the import. I'd guess it might affect typically 3-4 clips out of 2-300 on about 1 in 10 occasions.

I couldn't tie it down to any particular circumstance, and on some occasions it definately wasn't heat. In practice, I just used to go to the tape for any missing but indispensible shots (once it was an entire interview!) and still found it saved a lot of time. (It was an FS-4 Pro.)

Colleagues experiences have varied from far greater problems than mine, to no problems at all. There is also the possibility of cables coming loose, and the long boot up time was a big irritation sometimes - I've powered up the camera and Firestore together, and on more than one occasion started and stopped recording to tape before the Firestore was ready at all!

Overall I think they're a good device - but I'd never have it as my sole recording media.

Various mics on various occasions, but on one memorable occasion it was an interview in a normal living room (quite large) at an average temperature, 20degC, say. Personal mics on the contributors, long continuous takes of 30min +.

The Firestore was on a fairly long cable, off the camera and by the side of a chair, but even so the fan noise was so obtrusive after a while that not only did the mics pick it up (Sony ECM77s), but the interviewer/interviewee found it distracting, especially as the pitch changes as the unit heats up/cools down. Next time we resorted to a very long Firewire cable, and putting it in the next room.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 02:45 PM   #30
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