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Old May 9th, 2007, 09:47 AM   #1
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P2 on the road

I went to an Apple store yesterday to buy a new MacBook primarily to use as a tool for ingesting data from cards on the road. I was distraught when I learned that the new MacBooks have a narrower slot that won't accept the P2 cards..

The clerk looked at me like I had four heads when I asked the last model that had the full size CardBus... Does anyone know, because I'll shop for a refurbished one (No, I don't use PCs)...
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Old May 9th, 2007, 10:06 AM   #2
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Steve,

G4 power books had the last macs with a slots, their is an adaptor that has come out for the new Mac's but has a proplem with drivers as of this writing something to do with the latest MAC OS. Should be solved soon.

I us my G4 15 in in the field all the time with no problems. Also have a 300GB FW drive attached to the PB for backup.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 10:21 AM   #3
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Steve:

The MacBooks don't have any slots. The MacBook Pros have ExpressCard/34 slots.

The dueladapter from duel systems is a new PC Card to EC/34 adapter that works with p2 cards.

Waiting on the 10.4.9 drivers
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Old May 9th, 2007, 11:15 PM   #4
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My G4 PowerBook is almost three years old and works great for the P2 workflow.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 04:14 AM   #5
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Or... get a P2 Store.

It'll stash 7 8-gig cards even while you're walking with it. And it'll double as a card-reader into your MacBook via USB.

That frees up your Express 34 card slot to run a high-speed external Firmtek RAID.

That's what I did on a recent trip and it all worked out nicely.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 02:59 AM   #6
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Yep, I'd have to second using the P2Store -- it is really a nicely made piece of hardware and is perfect for documentary work. I'm working on a feature doc now and use two P2Stores and 4 8GB P2 cards every day, which has worked out nicely. I can get about 8 hours of footage this way, which will get me through a day. If you are running and gunning and don't have an assistant, the P2Store is a great way to go.

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Old May 13th, 2007, 05:29 AM   #7
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Peter, I agree with you. The P2 store is a wonderful little machine. It offers in my opinion an highly efficent way to work with the HVX200 and for now the cheapest too. But I have a question for you. You said you can have 8 hours of footage using four P2 cards plus two P2 Store. Recording in 720 pN (as I usually do) I could have something less than 5 hours with the configuration you've mentioned: 16 minutes each P2 card and 112 minutes each P2 store: 288 minutes total. It's quite possible I'm missing something but how can you get 8 hours from your cards and stores? I'm working with one P2 store and two 8g cards at the moment however I'm seriously considering to buy another P2 store together with a new 16g card to have the same configuration you have.
Five hours are an acceptable amount of time for my daily work but eight hours would be better.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 09:34 AM   #8
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I picked up a P2 Store to take with me out in the field in Yellowstone. It'll allow me to leave my laptop behind for some of the longer hikes. Maybe with the 16gig cards coming out we'll see a price drop since it looks like there are no plans to increase the size of the P2 Store any time soon. I'd love to pick up a couple more to take out with me on longer trips.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #9
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I like the concept of the P2 Store, but at only 60g it doesn't make a lot of sense with 16g or 32g cards.. Too bad, because it is an elegant design, and I really like elegant designs... (I wonder if you could hot rod it and install a bigger drive)...
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Old May 13th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #10
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Hey Francesco,

Yes, I was a little off on my calculations. I actually get 6.3 hours of recording with the setup I described. I think the only error in your calculations was in the time/card. I get 21 minutes/card shooting 720p 24n. Are you only getting 16 mins/card? HOpe that helps ,

Peter

PS I agree with Kevin that if the price on the P2Store comes down, I would consider buying another. I'd probably do this instead of buying larger cards, actually. There's something a little scary to me about having "all your eggs in one basket" so to speak with a 16Gb or larger card. At least with the 8GB, if somethign happens to it or you accidentally format it, you aren't losing 42 mins of ftg. That being said, I'm glad Panny is rolling out the larger cards and dropping prices on the 8GB models.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #11
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Yeah Steve, that has been a complaint of mine on these boards -- that Panny didn't roll out a larger P2Store. I think what they are hoping is that for long form filmmakers, we will just invest in enough cards to get us through a full day's worth of shooting, which, with the price of cards coming down, is becoming more and more likely. I don't think having a laptop in the field with external HDD's is a very good solution, which others have suggested on this forum before.

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Old May 13th, 2007, 06:16 PM   #12
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P2 reliability

Another question I have is about P2 reliability.. I've scanned here and elsewhere for horror stories and have found more than a few, mostly referring to corrupted files...

I am starting a difficult feature length documentary film (for which I am buying the HPX500) in which people will be telling me very painful, intimate things about their past that I do not want to have to put them thru twice...

I will use a Titanium G4 on the road to move files to two 500g ATA drives ('A" drive and backup). I generally average about an hour or two a day when I shoot, so it won't be a huge problem - but it will be over many days... I will be cutting with FCP6 on a G5 quad, not on the PowerBook...

Tell the truth now - anyone have any data loss that wasn't pilot error? How trustworthy is this technology?
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Old May 13th, 2007, 07:16 PM   #13
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Hi Steve,

While past performance is of course never a guarantee of future reliability, I can say from personal experience that the P2 workflow has been pretty bulletproof. I have had a couple of corrupted clips on the doc I'm currently making, but that was due to "pilot error" as you say -- letting the battery run out on a take as a terminal cancer patient was talking about their impending death. I didn't want to stop them and the battery ran out on the take, so part of the clip was corrupted. I'm still trying to recover the non-corrupted portion.

I use a similar workflow to the one you describe while on the road. I travel with my MBPro and two 500GB G-Raids. While I shoot I offload to the P2Store and then transfer everything to the G-Raids (one as backup) while I sleep. It has worked out well so far.

I think that if you are only shooting 1-2 hours of footage per day you will be well-served by the HPX500 and not need the P2Store, especially with 16GB cards.

Back to your original question: the P2 system has been extremely reliable for me. That being said, it is still a data centric environment, and to me that always adds an additional level of fear. What if a 16Gb card corrupts and you lose 42 minutes of footage? Of course you could just as easily lose a tape, or accidentally expose a roll of film, so it's just something we all have to get over eventually.

Now for a favor: let us know how it goes with the HPX500. Right now I have a reservation for a Red One that I should receive in October, but if there are problems with the Red I will likely invest in an HPX500, using it mostly for documentary work. So let me know what you think :)

Peter
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Old May 13th, 2007, 07:45 PM   #14
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Peter: Thanks for your comments - it's true that over the years I have lost footage when film jammed in a magazine without my knowing.. your heart just sort of sinks and your mind starts replaying everything you lost and how you're going to replace it or cut around it.. boy do I hate that feeling - and, additionally, with video you loose the audio too. I do occasionally record audio on a Tascam when I have a soundman, but more often I don't.

I suspect that in 6 months you will be the object of considerable envy. Everything I've heard about the RED has been more than glowing. I would have sprung for one if there was any chance of it being available in time for this shoot. I love everything about the modular design and the STARFIGHTER look of it.. and the footage is unbelievable... It will change everything, as you say - - if it works...

Do you have any special software in your PowerBook? Do you just use it to move files, or do you do any editing as well? Somehow I doubt if FCP6 will work in a G4, but maybe...
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Old May 14th, 2007, 07:51 AM   #15
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Thank you for your reply, Peter. I'm pretty shure I can have just 16 minutes from a 8g P2 card but I'm shooting at 720p 25n (not 24n). Maybe this is the reason for the difference.
In any case I really would like a bigger P2 store (120g for example). I'm planning to travel overseas for a project and I don't like to have too much equipment (as a laptop or/and hard disks) with me. Unfortunately Panasonic seems not interested in a development of this machine.
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