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Old August 31st, 2009, 01:41 AM   #1
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Lifespan of E-series P2 cards

I always see this spec from Panny -

*P2 card E series are reusable for an average of five years when recorded
on once daily, at full capacity (100%).

Question - if I record at only 10% capacity (let's say) at once a day ... is the lifespan still 5 years? Or longer? If longer, how much longer?
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Old August 31st, 2009, 06:39 AM   #2
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I don't know either, but my guess would be that it's down to how many times you format it. So if you use it 10% per day until it's full then re-format then that's 1 cycle, but if you use it 10% then re-format it then maybe it'll only last the same amount of time as if you'd filled it?
Anyone know for sure?
Steve
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Old August 31st, 2009, 06:49 AM   #3
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Steve, you are correct.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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Hi guys,

I just got the official reply. The specification of the E series card is 2000 write cycles. The card is smart - it will keep track of the memory locations you previously written into and will allocate "new" memory locations until it is 100% full. Then it wraps back to starting point. So - if you use 50% of the capacity on day 1, and on day 2, you use 25%, that 25% does not come from the memory that was written on day 1 - but, "new memory". If you write on day 3, 25%, that counts as 1 write cycle. So, assuming you write 100% of the card per day, 2000/365 = approximately 5.5 years. But, if you write 10% of the card each time (let's say) per day - then it will last 50 years (or basically ... forever).
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Old August 31st, 2009, 03:53 PM   #5
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So does formatting count as a 100% write and therefore 1 cycle?
Steve
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Old September 1st, 2009, 12:13 AM   #6
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Formatting the E-P2 card before it reaches the full maximum capacity does NOT count as a new cycle.

Example -

a) Write 30%
b) Format
c) Write 40%
d) Format
e) Write 30%
---> End of cycle
f) Format
g) Write 50%
h) Format
i) Write 50%
---> End of cycle
j) Format

etc.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 02:57 AM   #7
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Thanks TingSern,
Are you 100% sure about that? Be good to know.
Having said all this, my initial thoughts were that even if it lasted only 5 years who cares!? In 5 years' time we'll probably have 1TB cards for $100! Or an entirely different media, it's a long time in camera technology.
Steve
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Old September 1st, 2009, 03:28 AM   #8
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Steve,

It is as official as it can get. This information was supplied by Panasonic Technical Support in Singapore.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 08:58 AM   #9
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I can't believe how many threads and discussions there has been on this all over the web for the past 6 months! It seems like people think that Panasonic is trying to get away with something, but they are not.

The E Series cards will easily last long enough for the life of any P2 camera, by the time the cards are used up, the camera will be long gone, unless you are a news shooter. Really the E Series life span is only of concern to news shooters, I can't think of anyone else who shoots this much footage this often.

Dan
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Old September 1st, 2009, 09:28 AM   #10
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My thoughts exaclty.
Steve
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Old September 1st, 2009, 02:51 PM   #11
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Still it makes me wonder why this replicant-like lifespan was imposed at all when the format will likely be gone long before it's necessary.

Noah
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Old September 1st, 2009, 04:03 PM   #12
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Cynical Steve here again! It seems to me that Panny have heard what folks have been saying for a long time that P2 cards are far more expensive than they should be, and rather than just asmitting it and slashing the prices they've introduced a "new" type of card to justify it!
Steve
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Old September 1st, 2009, 09:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
P2 cards are far more expensive than they should be
I don't know about that statement. What does it cost to be able to guarantee the workmanship, durability and ability to read and rewrite with such throughput such a device? Sure they cost a bit, but what does a D5 machine cost?
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah Kadner View Post
Still it makes me wonder why this replicant-like lifespan was imposed at all
Er, because it wasn't? Nothing was "imposed".

All flash memory has a limited lifespan. The original P2 cards use single-level cell (SLC) memory, which has an inherent lifespan of approx. 100,000 rewrites.

The new E cards use the much cheaper, and faster, MLC memory. And MLC memory (multi-level cell) has a much shorter lifespan of 10,000 rewrites, maximum.

You want cheaper cards, they used cheaper memory, it causes a shorter lifespan. There's no "replicant"-style artificial limiting going on.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 11:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Cynical Steve here again! It seems to me that Panny have heard what folks have been saying for a long time that P2 cards are far more expensive than they should be, and rather than just asmitting it and slashing the prices they've introduced a "new" type of card to justify it!
Or instead of attributing some self-admitted cynical intent to it, you could just actually look at the facts. MLC vs. SLC. It's painfully obvious if you just look into it.

Look, here's the plainest example I can give:
An Intel X25-E 64GB solid-state drive (part #SSDSA2SH064G1) costs $799 at newegg. It uses SLC memory.
An Intel X25-M 80GB solid-state drive (part #SSDSA2MH080G1) costs $359 at newegg. It uses MLC memory.

The X25-M is larger and costs less than half as much. What's the difference? MLC vs. SLC. No need to go looking for cynicism or replicant theories when you can just verify the facts. :)

Last edited by Barry Green; September 3rd, 2009 at 10:15 AM.
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