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Old May 22nd, 2009, 08:24 AM   #1
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New E-P2 cards

I was reading the Panasonic info on the new P2 cards announced at NAB, but had a few questions. The price has been lowered significantly, but I got the impression that the new cards will not last as long as the previous P2 cards. I believe that Panasonic said that with once-a-day recording, the new e-P2 cards will last about five years. Is card wear only dependent on recording, or would they also wear out in five years if the card were played back daily? They also seemed to imply that the new cards may not be quite a physically rugged as the earlier cards. Either way, they would be fine for my purposes, but I was curious about the differences.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 08:44 AM   #2
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I have just ordered a 301 with four 32gb E cards, five years is the quoted time span but that will be fine for me and it ties in with the five year warranty.
They certainly look robust enough as they are still alluminium cased, I will haev them in about a week so can report more then.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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Gary

Where did you order them, I was under the impression they weren't out yet?

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Old May 22nd, 2009, 12:34 PM   #4
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Prestons in the UK have them:Panasonic AJ-P2E032XG P2

John Preston said all my kit was in stock so it will be with me by the end of next week.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 12:41 PM   #5
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According to my sources the time limit on the E Cards is software controlled. Panasonic is using a different internal technology compared to the previous cards as well which helps with the price. It will be interesting to see if someone cracks the software code to extend the cycle limit on the cards or whether there is a true technological reason for the time limit.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 01:14 PM   #6
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Use of once a day for five years is plenty enough for me, I have ordered the duel adaptor for the mackbook so the cards will be used in rotation and dumped to pro res daily.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 02:58 PM   #7
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On my shoot yesterday we used 1 32 Gig card, 3 16gig cards and we used the 32 gig for 2 cycles and 2 of the 3 16 gigs for two cycles so it is relatively easy to see how having only a few cards could cycle faster than people might realize. Still not a big deal but worth noting
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 04:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Daniel Epstein View Post
According to my sources the time limit on the E Cards is software controlled. Panasonic is using a different internal technology compared to the previous cards as well which helps with the price. It will be interesting to see if someone cracks the software code to extend the cycle limit on the cards or whether there is a true technological reason for the time limit.

In another thread, maybe on DVX user, Barry Green said they worked like a disk drive. As memory locations stop working, they are mapped out of availability. So, you'd see a gradual decrease in space over time and eventually they'd announce themselves bad.

Yes, disk drives do the same thing--totally transparently. They generally have a reserve space so that is mapped in so you don't notice a decrease.

Yes, it is a software process but it is not planned obsolescence. I don't know this for a Panasonic-given fact but it makes sense.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 06:27 PM   #9
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Andy,
I also heard the explanation you are referring to of how the new E cards worked when they first came out. I heard a different explanation more recently which made me doubt the initial explanation. I don't take this sources opinion lightly as they have had many years in the business. My experience with harddrives is they tend to fail to be reliable when the software has to map out new bad sectors. It remains to be seen if someone will try and extend the life of an E version card after the software has reached its designated cycle cut off. Most manufacturers would underestimate the durability of their products in this case so they don't run into too many early failures requiring reimbursement. Guarantee it for a number of cycles which 99.9 percent of the cards can achieve without problem. There is a good chance that 95 percent of the cards would last substantially longer. An example in this field was how long would video heads last on a machine. Some machines would last double the hours the manufacturer would recommend before needing replacement while others barely lasted what the manufacturer recommended. The person I was talking to thought the new E cards could function a lot longer than the software cycle was going to allow. Maybe he is wrong maybe not
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 09:47 PM   #10
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Gotta admit the idea of software-determined obsolescence feels like usury to me. Why not just let gear wear out on it's own the old fashioned way?

-Noah
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 11:55 PM   #11
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Gotta admit the idea of software-determined obsolescence feels like usury to me. Why not just let gear wear out on it's own the old fashioned way?

-Noah
the old fashioned way?
V
Latest Technology,

Days of Quality, long lasting products, are a fast fading memory, kinda nice idea though.
You just have to make it pay for it's self prior to it reaching it's "expiration" date.

Cheers
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 12:57 AM   #12
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Another viewpoint is this. If I am shooting on P2 - I want the data to be recorded with 100% certainty. Not 99.9999%. If Panny could only guarantee its E-P2 cards to be of a certain lifespan - I am not going to argue with that. If I am shooting a once-in-a-lifetime video - I don't want that E-P2 card to fail on me, just because we need to extend it's recording lifetime by a couple of months.

I also noticed an interesting question posted earlier on - does the wear and tear of the E-P2 cards only happen on the write cycle or both read and write? Meaning, if I record once, but read 100 times - does the 100 read cycles contribute to the shortened lifespan of the card?
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:48 AM   #13
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Hi TingSern Wong

sounds like you don't want it "Both Ways", a good question, I think that for 99% of P2 users the E-series cards will be fine, Every thing has a "Use BY" date, even the Highest quality, Highest priced R-series cards won't last forever they may fail any time also. I bet most R-series are redundant prior to being "worn-out", there is most likely a better/cheaper medium for aquisition on the drawing boards already.
Only wish the E-series were out prior to me purchasing three 32's and four 8's, all R-series, all very expensive.

E-series card buyers will turn a profit much faster than us early investors in P2.

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Last edited by Tom Klein; May 23rd, 2009 at 01:50 AM. Reason: typo's
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 02:03 AM   #14
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Hi Tom,

Yup - I deliberately delayed my purchase of higher capacity P2 cards for nearly 6 months - using the 60GB HDDs to offset the lack of capacity in the original P2 cards. Whew - I was lucky here.

Now, waiting for the 64GB E-P2 cards to be available - was told by end-August this year.

Of course, the question might be theoretical ... for me, I shoot on my HVX172, then read them into my workstation's RAID hard-disks and then work from there. So, for my case, one write, one read, then erase.

Other people who have the P2 enabled card readers from Panny or other sources - might not be the case. For them - one write, many reads, then erase. So - for them, this question of read cycles contributing to the degradation of memory cells might be relevant to them.

I do know - a newer technology of doing memory cells will put this degradation away forever. Panasonic could incorporate them into another series of P2 cards when this is available ....

Cheers,
TS
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 02:44 AM   #15
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Prestons have the 64gb cards now:AJ-P2E064XG

I suppose it makes sense to limit the card lifespan and as stated this happens on hard drives too.

What will be happening is that if the card sees a bad block it will automatically add it to the bad block map.

There are normally two bad block maps on a drive, the first one at manufacturer and is fixed. The second is dynamic and every time the disk is formatted it adds any new found bad blocks to the map and then knows not to try to write to them.

For big broadcasters like the BBC and SKY who use P2 a lot this E card mapping is good news as it allows them to manage their card useage and maintain integrity of rushes data.
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