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Old January 12th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #61
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Right, well, it is an "unofficial" hack, meaning if your EX1 begins performing not up to spec while shooting with SDHC cards, Sony isn't going to help you out. I think that is why both of my biggest clients who own EX1s passed on doing it. If you are on a low budget, it may be a viable option but for higher profile, more demanding clients and projects, both of my clients just said, "eh, that's kind of neat" but then went out and bought loads of new SxS cards.

It is interesting that there are so many new AVCHD camcorders coming out that do shoot to SDHC cards and for a certain number of shooters and clients, AVCHD fills the bill. I am purchasing my first AVCHD camcorder for a travel project in Europe where I will be frantically following a subject all around France with just myself as crew most of the time so smaller, lighter and cheaper overrides me taking my HPX170 and dealing with a laptop and P2 cards so I totally see where you guys are coming from. But for a lot of P2 owners, we already own enough P2 cards to do what we do so the high cost of P2 cards isn't an issue for us.

I guess if I were a beginner with no system or a pro switching systems, I would think long and hard about P2 or SxS, they are both expensive cards and you are right, it does seem that the SDHC option is perhaps going to become a defacto standard in lower end pro gear and definitely it already is in consumer gear.

Dan
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Old January 12th, 2009, 04:01 PM   #62
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Certainly in the past, there was a need for the proprietary solutions to get the needed speed and capacity of P2. However, that need is now gone. And frankly, storage is the largest ongoing factor of camera ownership for owners. Not necessarily for those renting, or those who have clients footing the bills.

You mentioned that your clients went out and bought loads of SxS cards. That's awesome. But when that's your OWN money coming out of your pocket, and you need 2, 8 hour days worth of cards, the game is a bit different. I can't take a laptop into some of the places I shoot, and since I often work alone, there isn't always time to transfer a full day's footage on site if I want to get sleep. With tape this was ok, but it meant some LONG hours when I got back to the editing machine. With the firestore, the drive to drive transfer over firewire was fast enough (and hands off) to make the process trivial. If I was shooting a days worth of 16GB P2, I'd be in trouble.

The SDHC solution means that I can buy 2 days worth of storage for the price of a single SxS card. So my issue is essentially solved. If I need overcrank then I am working with a very different kind of project, and I am not so worried about shooting 6-8 hours of continuous footage.

The future leads us to non-proprietary media, even on the high end. The need simply isn't there any more. The new problem with HD is not how to acquire the footage, but how to archive it all!
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Old January 12th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Right, well, it is an "unofficial" hack, meaning if your EX1 begins performing not up to spec while shooting with SDHC cards, Sony isn't going to help you out.
But why should the spec of the camera suddenly change? If you mean "it develops a fault" then I just don't see how using SDHC or MxR makes things in any way different or can invalidate any warranties. It's not as if you'd drilled holes in the camera or taken a soldering iron to it. There is absolutely no way any other party could know whether it had previously been used with SxS or an SDHC substitute.

It doesn't even involve "hacking" any software or firmware - just making sure the latest official Sony version is installed!
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It is interesting that there are so many new AVCHD camcorders coming out that do shoot to SDHC cards and for a certain number of shooters and clients, AVCHD fills the bill.
And even more interesting to see the JVC announcement of a camera that's SDHC native, comparable price to the HMC150 (?) but with the XDCAM-EX codec. We'll wait and see what it's like for real, but surely that must be very appealing from an ease of editing point of view? Not need any time spent transcoding as AVC-HD effectively does?
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I guess if I were a beginner with no system or a pro switching systems, I would think long and hard about P2 or SxS, ........it does seem that the SDHC option is perhaps going to become a defacto standard in lower end pro gear and definitely it already is in consumer gear.
For lower end pro gear, the obvious answer to me is an SxS capable camera, which can be used with EITHER SxS cards OR SDHC cards via an adaptor. Surely it gives you the choice of the best of either world?

Buy an HMC150 and it gives you cheap media - but no option of having facilities like overcranking at a higher data rate. Buy a 171, and you have all the overcrank etc options, and a more edit friendly codec - but you're stuck with very expensive P2 media, HAVE to frequently download, and lose any option of giving your rushes straight to client on a card you can easily charge for.

Get an EX, and you can use either SxS or SDHC as appropiate, AND have the highest spec camera for less than $10,000. If you haven't got P2 legacy issues, it seems a no-brainer.
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Old January 12th, 2009, 07:47 PM   #64
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But why should the spec of the camera suddenly change? If you mean "it develops a fault" then I just don't see how using SDHC or MxR makes things in any way different or can invalidate any warranties.
You misunderstand me, I am not saying the hack will invalidate the warranty, I am just saying if you are using the hack and your camera loses half of the media for some mysterious unexplained reason, when you are trying to troubleshoot it with Sony service, they are going to throw up their hands and say that you were using the camera in an unsupported configuration with an "officially" unsupported adapter and unsupported media. I have owned three Sony broadcast Betacams and have dealt with Sony broadcast service for decades. They can be really picky about stuff like this.

No different than if you are using the frame rate hack on your HVX/HPX170. And since I use SD cards in my Nikon D80, I am also of the opinion that SDHC cards are also built to a much higher acceptable error rates and much lower physical specifications than P2 or SxS cards, which are much closer to Mil-Spec. I wonder if SxS and P2 cards are Mil-spec?

Not saying that the hack will discontinue the warranty, just saying, when you are doing unrepeatable shoots and events, to many of us, we would not take the chance to save the money. I would shoot my own family's events with the hack (I have done that actually), but I wouldn't use the hack for a shoot for Warner Bros. But that's just me. Bottom line, SDHC = much cheaper construction with much higher statistical error rates. P2 and SxS = much more costly but much better construction with zero statistical error rates. Buy what you are willing to take a chance with. It will be interesting to see if there will be HPX3700 level cameras in a few years shooting to little plastic consumer SDHC variant cards. At least CF cards like RED uses seem to be much more robustly constructed than relatively delicate plastic SD cards. I have some metallic cased CF cards that are much like P2 and SxS cards in construction.

Does that new JVC camera actually use the XDCAM EX codec? Or is it some new variation of it that JVC just licenses from Sony, then re-wrote for thir cameras. Can you use the Sony software to manage footage from the JVC.

Dan
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Old January 13th, 2009, 04:09 AM   #65
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I would shoot my own family's events with the hack (I have done that actually), but I wouldn't use the hack for a shoot for Warner Bros. But that's just me.
But the real beauty of the EX camera must be that it gives you the CHOICE. Buy a 171 and you're stuck with P2. Buy a 151 and it's SDHC or nothing, no chance of variable frame rates. Buy an EX and it's up to you, on a day by day basis if needed.
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P2 and SxS = much more costly but much better construction with zero statistical error rates. Buy what you are willing to take a chance with.
I think you need to look at the whole system, at every aspect where error may creep in. Physical failures may be one aspect, but I'd suspect that the possibility of human error during downloading must statistically be far greater than errors due to card failure, be they P2, SxS, or SDHC.

So given the choice of P2 or SDHC workflows, where P2 involved on location downloading with a laptop and constantly formatting the original cards, whereas SDHC meant the cards were never formatted, and formed the backup after downloading, the P2 workflow seems intrinsically far less reliable. Not because of the construction of the cards, but because the possibility of human error is far greater.

And I have heard one first hand account of a P2 disaster with a lot of lost material. Nothing due to faulty equipment, it was human error, but it wouldn't have happened with the SDHC workflow.

That's what I like about the SDHC concept - it shouldn't be seen just as a way of saving money by using a cheaper card, rather that it completely changes the workflow, and in my opinion makes it far more reliable overall.
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Does that new JVC camera actually use the XDCAM EX codec? Or is it some new variation of it that JVC just licenses from Sony, then re-wrote for thir cameras. Can you use the Sony software to manage footage from the JVC.
Don't know the answer to the last one, and from what's come out so far it appears you get a choice of what to record - choose Quicktime and no need for rewrapping for FCP, let alone transcoding. JVC do state that it will be 35Mbs MPEG2, so any NLE shuld deal with it as easily as XDCAM files, even if there is a difference. I think AVC-HD is good for the consumer world, but this seems a better bet for semi-pro.
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Old January 13th, 2009, 07:07 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
And even more interesting to see the JVC announcement of a camera that's SDHC native, comparable price to the HMC150 (?) but with the XDCAM-EX codec. We'll wait and see what it's like for real, but surely that must be very appealing from an ease of editing point of view? Not need any time spent transcoding as AVC-HD effectively does?

For lower end pro gear, the obvious answer to me is an SxS capable camera, which can be used with EITHER SxS cards OR SDHC cards via an adaptor. Surely it gives you the choice of the best of either world?
Well, according to the specs on the new JVC HM-700, it does record to either SxS (using the KA-MR100G adapter) or SDHC cards, no second-party adapter necessary, in a codec that seems to be XDCAM EX (although nothing definite has been officially stated in that regard). But it does record in a high bitrate of 35mps at 1920x1080/60i.

edit - Since the JVC KA-MR100G does record to SxS cards using the XDCAM EX codec, I guess it does mean it can record in EX, correct?
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Old January 29th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #67
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That's incorrect - sorry.

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But there are some things you don't see in a still-frame comparison -- like the fact that if you want to play a clip back on the HVX, you have about a 1.5 or 2-second wait. On the EX1, it's 14 seconds. 14 SECONDS.
No it's NOT!
I just shot a short clip on my EX1 (recording to SxS card) and from pressing the replay button to the image appearing was less than ONE second.

Maybe you should get your EX1 serviced - I don't know where you got 14 seconds from.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #68
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Barry is referencing going from Record mode to Media mode. Which is not necessary to play back the last clip. But which is necessary to play back anything other than last clip. Frankly, last clip review, and last clip delete are some of the best tools on the EX1 for narrative shooting, and they are very fast. If I am going to take the time to review the past hour's shots, I'm not really concerned about the 14 second changeover.

It takes me about that long to uncap a bottle of water, take a swallow, and cap it back. I have that kind of time. :)

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Old January 30th, 2009, 02:13 AM   #69
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Frankly, last clip review, and last clip delete are some of the best tools on the EX1 for narrative shooting, and they are very fast
I agree 100%.

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If I am going to take the time to review the past hour's shots, I'm not really concerned about the 14 second changeover.
I find the Last Clip Review so useful, I very rarely use Media mode - that's why I assumed Barry was referring to Last Clip Review.
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