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Old March 9th, 2012, 01:46 AM   #16
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Re: A couple of questions about Panny XPX170/250 cams

Seeing as this thread seems to be over, let me OT: as Daniel said, CF is not 100%. You have to test it first, it has to be the right speed, etc., etc. With P2 you don't have to worry about this things. You just buy it and forget about it - that's it. And as I said before: is this worth the 50% - 70% price difference (if buying cheaper cards 80% - 90% difference), now that's another debate... If I'm doing projects that span over 5k yeah it is. If under, or low budget, no, I don't care, then even CF is overkill, SD will do just fine thank you.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 06:19 AM   #17
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Re: A couple of questions about Panny XPX170/250 cams

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Originally Posted by Sanjin Svajger View Post
Seeing as this thread seems to be over, let me OT: as Daniel said, CF is not 100%. You have to test it first, it has to be the right speed, etc., etc. With P2 you don't have to worry about this things. You just buy it and forget about it - that's it.
It's hard to generalise, but I will agree that part of the cost of P2 (and SxS) goes to individually testing and guaranteeing the cards. That is true of the higher spec CF cards as well (hence the higher prices) but is it that big a deal anyway? A very small percentage of basic cards may not reach the quoted speeds, but it's easy enough to weed them out - just be sure to test any new cards before serious use. A little extra hassle, true, but the cost savings can well repay a small amount of time. Effectively buy it, test it, forget it.

It's rare for cards of any type to fail subsequently, and P2 and SxS may not be any better than CF. (Subject to caveat below. :-) )
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Originally Posted by Sanjin Svajger View Post
And as I said before: is this worth the 50% - 70% price difference (if buying cheaper cards 80% - 90% difference), now that's another debate...
I wouldn't recommend buying cheap CF cards, end of story. I have heard of CF card failures - in each case they were cheap non-branded types.

As far as cost goes, then the 50-70% I believe is on a per GB basis? Take the 50-100Mbs bitrate difference into account and on a *per minute* basis the figures improve by a factor of 2 in favour of the Canon system.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 08:25 AM   #18
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Re: A couple of questions about Panny XPX170/250 cams

David, the way you look at the net cost of media for any tapeless camera is EXACTLY how I do it. I don't care how many GB's a card is, what matters to me is how many minutes of footage I can shoot on it before I'm forced to dump. I look at storage media from a cost per minute standpoint.

Just for the record, the CF cards I'm going with are not the cheapest ones I could find. I'm buying Sandisk Extreme Pro 64gb cards (90MB/s, $380 at B & H) to begin with. I should get 160 minutes of footage from the XF300 on each of these cards. With these cards, cost of media will run roughly $2.67/minute of footage.

The fastest, most expensive CF card I could find on B & H (Sandisk Extreme Pro, 128GB, UDMA 7 rated, $800) are going to hold 5 hours of footage and cost $2.67/minute of footage.

If I had gone with the Panny, my choice of media would have been the 64GB P2 cards. At $650 per card that equals roughly $10/minute.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 11:45 AM   #19
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Re: A couple of questions about Panny XPX170/250 cams

I'm shooting a documentary at the moment and have 3 P2 cards. 2x64GB and 1x32GB. I like the "big" codec and have no problem with bigger file sizes.

P2 is overpriced. Period. I think we can all agree on that. Everything from "pro" film/video companies is overpriced bi a factor of 5 to 2. Just look at the cheap (but perfectly workable) chinese redheads, fresnel lamps, sliders, jibs, dollies, etc. Overpriced equipment is ok when you've got the market to sustain it. Here in Slovenia the average monthly salary comes to 1100 which equals to 1300 dollars. But the equipment costs the same or actually it usually cost 30% more than in USA. Do the math...:)

As I said, if Panasonic was to produce an AVCintra camcorder with CF support that would be great. I understand their logic: AVCintra and DVCproHD are high end codecs and so they deserve high end media BUT, the codec and the media are all that's professional about this 5k Panasonic camcorders IMHO. It's kinda funny that way. Remove the expensive P2 and add manual lens rings and everybody's happy:)

@Tyge: but do you really need 90MBs cards? I never really understood the point of buying these insanely fast CF cards for video acquisition. A 100Mbs codec comes down to app. 12 MBs. A 50 Mbs codec (like the one from XF300) is half that. I get that these cards are probably safer, but aren't the slower ones also safe? This fast speeds are primarily targeted at RAW photography where even such a high bitrate isn't enough. Aren't there any slower equally safe CF cards? This transcend cards are the most expensive. Why is that, does anybody know? Are they individually tested as David said or what...? I see transcend 64GB cards for 120...
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Old March 9th, 2012, 12:52 PM   #20
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Re: A couple of questions about Panny XPX170/250 cams

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P2 is overpriced. Period. I think we can all agree on that. :)
You may think this strange after what's gone before but I'm not sure overpriced is the right word. When P2 was first developed, recording even 25Mbs to solid state media over a sustained period was difficult enough, let alone 100Mbs. To do it reliably meant a RAID built into the card, selection of the fastest media, distributing between 4 cards in each P2 card..... Expensive. And for legacy reasons a lot of the complication and hence expense has to remain. But technology caught up very quickly, and many of the expensive techniques are now redundant - that's why P2 costs more than other technologies, not because anyone is making huge markups. You could say it was developed too soon, and that's given legacy problems.
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@Tyge: but do you really need 90MBs cards? I never really understood the point of buying these insanely fast CF cards for video acquisition. A 100Mbs codec comes down to app. 12 MBs. A 50 Mbs codec (like the one from XF300) is half that. I get that these cards are probably safer, but aren't the slower ones also safe?
The answer to your last question is "probably yes", but I'd take headline figures with a pinch of salt, and that includes P2 and SxS. I believe P2 cards are nominally rated to 80MBs (640Mbs), I'm sure they're secure at 100Mbs, but wouldn't be so sure at 500Mbs...... Also faster speeds means faster downloading, and may also mean they will be more future proof to be used in future equipment.

And I'm not sure about the Canon, but certainly the EX records a far higher bitrate in slow motion mode - such that REPLAY is always 35Mbs. So in 2x slo-mo expect it to be writing 70Mbs to card.

With all this talk about reliability, the whole subject is a funny thing. It's human nature to obsess about some things, yet be blase about others which in reality are a much greater risk. My mother used to put many locks on the front doors at night out of concern about burglars - but the locks themselves being a potential danger in the event of a fire never seemed to concern her. Similar here - great concern about card reliability - yet what are the actual risks of failure through this (P2 or CF) compared to dropping the camera, it being stolen, battery failure - or even finger trouble? Sounds like a good student research project!?
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Old March 10th, 2012, 05:11 AM   #21
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Re: A couple of questions about Panny XPX170/250 cams

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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
You may think this strange after what's gone before but I'm not sure overpriced is the right word. When P2 was first developed, recording even 25Mbs to solid state media over a sustained period was difficult enough, let alone 100Mbs. To do it reliably meant a RAID built into the card, selection of the fastest media, distributing between 4 cards in each P2 card..... Expensive. And for legacy reasons a lot of the complication and hence expense has to remain. But technology caught up very quickly, and many of the expensive techniques are now redundant - that's why P2 costs more than other technologies, not because anyone is making huge markups. You could say it was developed too soon, and that's given legacy problems.
Yes, I totally forgot about this. Do the new E series of cards also use raid? Seeing as media got a lot faster there would be no need for such things. And also if you think about it they had to use raid 0 which doubles the probability of failure. Seeing as not one P2 card failed they had to be made real good.
They were made to soon. You're right. A year or two latter... But even so Panasonic would still probably want to have it's own media to make money off.

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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
The answer to your last question is "probably yes", but I'd take headline figures with a pinch of salt, and that includes P2 and SxS. I believe P2 cards are nominally rated to 80MBs (640Mbs), I'm sure they're secure at 100Mbs, but wouldn't be so sure at 500Mbs...... Also faster speeds means faster downloading, and may also mean they will be more future proof to be used in future equipment.

And I'm not sure about the Canon, but certainly the EX records a far higher bitrate in slow motion mode - such that REPLAY is always 35Mbs. So in 2x slo-mo expect it to be writing 70Mbs to card.
But still... 90MBs is overkill even if the stated speed is half of that. 70Mbs is a joke compared to 90MBs.
That's 70Mbs vs 720Mbs! And about transfer speeds - most people use a usb 2.0 card readers which tops out at 15MBs. So that is also a moot point. But even if using a usb 3.0 card reader I would still rather use a slower card that costs 100€ vs using a faster card that costs 300€ or more. I think I could live with the slower transfer speeds - no problem. If my workflow needed faster transfer times than I would buy faster cards if not I really don't see a reason to buy them.

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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
With all this talk about reliability, the whole subject is a funny thing. It's human nature to obsess about some things, yet be blase about others which in reality are a much greater risk. My mother used to put many locks on the front doors at night out of concern about burglars - but the locks themselves being a potential danger in the event of a fire never seemed to concern her. Similar here - great concern about card reliability - yet what are the actual risks of failure through this (P2 or CF) compared to dropping the camera, it being stolen, battery failure - or even finger trouble? Sounds like a good student research project!?
We humans take control of what we can. And taking control of card failure is something we can do. We watch out for our equipment the best we can. Doing more than this would involve what? Hiring body guards or what?:) So what I'm saying is that it's easier to buy better media than to take other failure factors to the next level. Plus there is a big promotion buzz around this cards. Everybody is talking about them so it's only natural that everybody is buying them. This is consumerism one o one. First create the need for the object in the consumers head and then sell it to him. And we are all consumer!:)
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Old March 10th, 2012, 06:55 PM   #22
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Re: A couple of questions about Panny XPX170/250 cams

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We humans take control of what we can. And taking control of card failure is something we can do.
But speaking in very general terms, the question is do we humans always take control of the right things, or take control in the right way?

I always remember doing a first aid course and we were asked if we had been present at an incident where first aid skills were used for real. One person put their hand up to say they had come across a bad road accident seconds after it had happened, found the occupants unconscious, had tried to check breathing and maintain an airway, but been thwarted by the car doors being locked. (The fire brigade arrived within minutes, and fortunately they were still breathing.) We were told that basic safety advice was to always drive with doors unlocked.

A couple of days later, a memo came round where I worked from the local police warning that a few cars in the vicinity had been targeted and the drivers robbed whilst waiting at junctions. Yes, you've guessed it - the advice was to always drive with the doors locked!!

So that's two branches of the emergency services giving completely contradictory advice, and each able to make a very good case for their point of view. So what to do? My own opinion is that if it had to be an all or nothing choice, I'd rather be robbed than deprived of oxygen for minutes that may make all the difference between life or death - so drive with doors unlocked. (In practice, I normally drive with them unlocked, but if it's a dodgy neighbourhood and the traffics moving slow, then lock them until the traffic speeds up.)

Please excuse the digression, but the point is that risk, reliability etc are not as easy to quantify as is often thought. In this context, having a very slight improvement in hardware may not be a good thing if it forces you into a less reliable workflow, and that's how I regard field downloading.
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Old March 10th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #23
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Re: A couple of questions about Panny XPX170/250 cams

Well as we are getting off topic I have a couple of comments.
1 My car automatically locks the doors after the car is in motion. I don't think I have a choice in the matter.
2 I figure that production is governed by Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong will go wrong). I find that field downloading material from P2 is necessary for the producers to walk away with the material most of the shoots I am on. What I can control is how many copies I make of material before I reuse media and one copy is not enough. Also checking the transfer before I say the copy is good is part of the process. Managing the day for transfers has become part to the job so it doesn't delay us too much at the end.
3 Copying CF cards can take longer than P2 cards due to slower connections to the computer. The extra time can make the copy process less reliable in the field. I do try and avoid rushing but labeling the cards and securing them until they are transferred seems like a risk whether I transfer them in the field or later.
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