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Old December 17th, 2005, 08:12 PM   #1
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P2 transfer to USB drive?

I know this has come up a bunch of times but I am still confused if its firewire or USB or both. If the P2 cards are filled up, still in the camera, can I connect a USB drive to the camera, empty the cards, and begin shooting again. I do not want to stream to the hard drive just transfer the full P2 cards to a USB hard rive. I'm asking this because there are a lot of self powered USB enclosures and no firewire ones. Thanks.
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Old December 17th, 2005, 10:05 PM   #2
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Re: P2 transfer to USB drive?

I am pretty sure the USB is for camera to computer hookup and the firewire port allows for offloading from the P2 card to a external drive.
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Old December 17th, 2005, 11:17 PM   #3
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It's to firewire, not USB. The USB port can only be used when the camera is in "USB Device" mode; it requires whatever's plugged into it to be the host.

What I'm curious about is if a USB "on the go" drive could quaff the contents of the cards in the camera.

A self-powered firewire enclosure would be the ideal solution.
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Old December 18th, 2005, 12:04 AM   #4
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Thanks for the clarification. It somewhat dismaying to have to purchase an $1800 P2 store with only 60gigs when there are many self powered USB drive enclosures that are cheap. There seemed to be several firewire drives a couple of years ago but I guess it never was popular enough. Hope someone sees the need again.
And correct me if I am wrong but when the HVX200 was first announced wasn't the USB port able to do what the firewire does now. Why the change?
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Old December 18th, 2005, 01:35 AM   #5
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When it was first first first announced, back at the Apple press conference, they made no mention of the USB capabilities -- they said that the firewire port would have both AV/C and SBP2 protocols. (AV/C is camera-style video device protocol, SBP2 is file transfer protocol).

Then when we did an interview with the Panasonic people, they brought up the notion of the file transfer capability, and said it would be implemented through USB2. So that's what we reported. That's what the plan was, that's how they intended to implement it.

A few months later the engineers told 'em that that's not how it was going to work, that the file transfer protocol would work through the firewire port as originally announced.

So that's where it stands now. It can control and offload data to a firewire device. It cannot do so through a USB device, as the camera has no host protocol for USB.
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Old December 18th, 2005, 08:31 AM   #6
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I believe that 60gig P2 drive is for streaming as well, not just transfer, hence the price of it
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Old December 18th, 2005, 09:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley Harmon
I believe that 60gig P2 drive is for streaming as well, not just transfer, hence the price of it
The 60GB P2 Drive is only for offloading data from a P2 card it can't record live video streams. The price is indeed a little rediculous. But you also have to figure that it's geared toward a specific audience or niche - ENG. The P2 drive is a compact HDD device (you can clip it on your belt if you want) that has a PCMCIA slot for reading P2 cards... You drop the P2 card in and in a couple minutes it spits out the empty card for you to put back in the camera. This is really the only current solution for highly mobile camera operators that need some form of long-form recording or the ability to rotate out P2 cards on their own while doing run-n-gun style shooting. For the rest of us, a decent notebook PC with a large HDD or even a bigger firewire/USB2 HDD will serve us better for offloading P2 cards and will be a cheaper, if not as compact of a solution. For recording directly to a drive, we will have to wait for the FireStore and CinePorter drive solutions, which should be released within the next 3~4 months.

As for transferring P2 contents to a directly-connected hard drive, it appears it is just as Barry says. Firewire only. The USB2 connection is for connecting the camera to a computer so the camera itself acts as a P2 reader and nothing more. I noticed that when Panasonic updated their site with the current pricing and specs they also changed the FAQ, removing any mention of USB2 from the paragraph about direct file transfers, now only still mentioning a firewire hard drive and firewire-equipped iPod. The only mention of USB2 is for "file transfer", but the FAQ doesn't say any more and I think they are being intentionally vague since they left the USB functionality crippled and I can't figure any technical reason to justify them doing so, they probably saved this no-brainer, easier-to-implement-than-firewire-transfers type feature until the very end and they ran out of time. That would be my guess...
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Old December 18th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #8
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I do not believe the P2 store streams. And we may be defining it differently. I take streaming as directly acquiring live footage as you shoot into a hard drive. The P2 does not stream in that definition as this explanation from a respected dealer has written me in an email:

"Panasonic P2 Store Drive only (60GB Portable Hard Drive).* The 60GB HDD can hold the equivalent of 150 minutes of 720p 24PN footage (CANNOT be used for live recording from the firewire port;*designed for offline transfer of P2 cards only, by plugging the P2 card into the P2 Store HDD). A continuous flow of filming is achievable by constantly removing the inactive P2 card and dumping its contents into the P2 store, while the other P2 card is recording.".
I really hope Panasonic explains these thing more clearly in the future. There are so many nuances to this camera its hard to get a handle on it sometimes.

And Barry I really hope you or someone tries the On the Go USB drives and see if it works as it will be a really affordable solution when no power is around or carrying a laptop is not practical. Or maybe, if you have the time, you can get an answer from the manufacturer.
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Old December 18th, 2005, 09:26 AM   #9
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ah yes, i was thinking of that 3rd party...cineporter i think?
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