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Sony ENG / EFP Shoulder Mounts
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Old May 7th, 2013, 12:48 PM   #1
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Expresscard vs SDHC slot transfer speeds

I have an EX-1 so I use the SxS cards. My 2008 MBP died in January and it had an Expresscard slot on it for uploading footage from my SxS cards. My new MBP doesn't have the Expresscard slot to I'm looking at my options. I was originally going to buy one of the Sonnet Expresscard/Thunderbolt port adapters so that I could put my SxS cards into the adapter and connect through the Thunderbolt port on my MBP. However I also want to buy an SxS adapter for SDHC cards which I can use in the camera. If I do this, would I even need the Thunderbolt adapter. I only have two 8GB SxS cards so I wouldn't be able to use those, but if I got the SxS adapter for the camera and use bigger (say 32GB) SDHC cards, I could just use them solely and import through the SDHC slot on the new MBP. Have I made that idea clear?

So I'm asking if there's any issues or transfer speed differences between the old MBP Expresscard slot and my new MBP SDHC slot? Are there any other steps or problems I'm not considering?

Thanks for any input.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 07:43 PM   #2
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Re: Expresscard vs SDHC slot transfer speeds

Class 10 SDHC cards still transfer slower than SxS Cards. And Doug can attest that they're not guaranteed to be reliable. Your best bet is just the Sonnet Expresscard to Thunderbolt adapter. That will yield speeds just as fast (if not faster) than your old Macbook via Expresscard.

Something else you could try is XQD. The EX1 has an update to support XQD (Firmware 1.30) but I have not heard of any first hand accounts that the firmware works well with XQD cards. I have the 1.30 firmware in my camera, but lack XQD cards and the adapter to test in my EX1R.
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Old May 7th, 2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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Re: Expresscard vs SDHC slot transfer speeds

Thanks for the reply Jack. I will probably get the Thunderbolt adapter anyway, but I also need more shooting storage so I'll get the SDHC adapter so I can use 32GB Class 10 cards in it. Sony's full SxS cards
are still really expensive.

I bought my EX-1 back in 2008 and it hasn't had a single firmware update since that time, as I don't get many chances to use the camera. But just today I dropped it off at the Sony service center out in Coquitlam so they're going to bring it up to date with the latest version. I plan to use the camera much more now.

I'll look into the XQD cards, I haven't heard of them.

Thanks again.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 12:45 AM   #4
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Re: Expresscard vs SDHC slot transfer speeds

If you are getting 1.30, please report back to see if XQD functionality works if you choose to go down that route.
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Old May 8th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: Expresscard vs SDHC slot transfer speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
Class 10 SDHC cards still transfer slower than SxS Cards. And Doug can attest that they're not guaranteed to be reliable. Your best bet is just the Sonnet Expresscard to Thunderbolt adapter. That will yield speeds just as fast (if not faster) than your old Macbook via Expresscard.
In terms of transfer speed, a lot will depend on factors other than max theoretical card speed - such as speed of the hard drives being written to. Hence the speed advantage of SxS cards over SDHC may be nowhere near as much in downloading practice as the numbers may lead you to believe. You really have to try it on your system to see. Certainly, I find just putting an SD card directly into the laptop desirable, without any need for leads, adaptors etc.

As regards reliability, then I and many others have never had a problem with SDHC card usage. That's not to say there haven't been reports of problems - but in every case I've heard of directly it's been down to certain "basic rules" not being followed. That's in respect of such as not switching the camera off too quickly after finishing recording, or hitting the run button twice in quick succession.

Even allowing for that, I've heard of far more lost data stories through human error, typically thinking a card has been copied and formatting it by error. (And this is true of P2 as well as SxS.) The advantage of SDHC card working is that it can become possible to have enough cards to do all filming without having to copy/format a card for reuse midway - and that removes a major possible source of error.

Finally, it's worth being aware that if you really, really can't bring yourself to trust yourself to use SDHC for actual filming, then remember it is possible to shoot to SxS, then clone in camera to an SDHC card. This may be useful (for example) to make a quick copy on location, with no equipment other than the camera, to immediately give away to such as the producer.
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Old May 15th, 2013, 09:45 PM   #6
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Re: Expresscard vs SDHC slot transfer speeds

My experience with transfer speeds from SxS cards was not notably faster when I used to transfer to bus powered USB2 drives, but since USB3 it's been night and day. I'm on the PC side, but going to a cheap (less than $100 for a Terabyte), bus-powered USB3 drive from an SxS-G1A card via internal expresscard slot (yes, there are still PC laptops with this combination as well as fast eSata ports) I typically get constant throughput around 106-115 MB/sec. This means that a full 32 Gig SxS-1 card transfers in just over 5 minutes.
When I do multi-cam shoots I make sure that all the camera use real SxS cards, and at the end of the day the data's all done transferring before we've finished wrapping the rest of the gear. (I make sure there is 1 transfer station for each 5 cameras.) In this kind of situation, my experience is that you're lucky if it only takes three times as long with SDHC cards. If you shoot enough that you are worried about waiting for transfers, definitely go with real SxS cards.
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