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Sony XDCAM EX CineAlta
Sony PMW-EX1 / PMW EX-3 / PMW 350 XDCAM recording to Express Card flash memory.


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Old October 17th, 2008, 04:27 PM   #1
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iPhone SxS transfer app

Until SxS card prices tumble I'll be lugging a laptop around to transfer footage onto portable external drives. A more elegant solution would be to use an iPhone to control and verify the transfer via daisy chain (or something). I need to carry a phone anyway so I'm not lugging unnecessary extra bulk.

I would gladly pay for such an app. I've searched this forum and the App Store to no avail so I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist. I'll be surprised if no-one else has thought of this. It's more likely that someone has thought of it but for technical (power, OS limitations) or financial (not enough iphone EX1 owners) reasons it's not feasible.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Or, even better, can someone make it so?

Paul
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Old October 17th, 2008, 07:10 PM   #2
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SxS card prices tumble . . .
have you read this thread at all?
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...sxs-cards.html
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Old October 17th, 2008, 10:26 PM   #3
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Except with the smaller hard drives (like a Lacie Rugged) you'd need a power supply, which IMO are near impossible to come by... so then you may be carrying a larger hard drive.

And sourcing a Y-cable... iPhone to USB and Firewire cable, (or dual USB).

And unless its a custom cable, you'll need an adapter to go from USB Type A into a hard drive (USB mini B)

And Craig Seeman will want CRC checking in the software.

Its a long road, but maybe doable.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 11:09 PM   #4
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No need for drives now when you can own 16GB memory cards that are less than $70.
You could have TEN of these for less than ONE 16GB SxS card.

As Craig mentioned, read the SDHC thread.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 05:53 AM   #5
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Paul,

Might not be exactly what you are looking for but the Apple store does have an application that allows you to take remote control of your PC called WinAdmin. You didn't specify what platforum you are so this will not work for a Mac. I have used it for about two week both at home and work over WiFi and it works very well on my Touch.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 05:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kousoulides View Post
A more elegant solution would be to use an iPhone to control and verify the transfer via daisy chain (or something).
[...]
It's more likely that someone has thought of it but for technical (power, OS limitations) or financial (not enough iphone EX1 owners) reasons it's not feasible.

Can anyone shed some light on this? Or, even better, can someone make it so?
Apple devices like the iPhone/iPod are really limited connection wise. Also although powerful phones, by no means are they powerful enough to play back SP or HQ footage from an EX1.

Using non-SxS cards you may be able to use a portable disk with media card 'offload' (copy) function to copy the data, but they also cannot view it.

You will need a PC of sorts to actually verify (play) the files.

The mini ITX form factor may be able to support this, but I haven't been able to delve into that deep enough to come up with a viable/working system. And even that wouldn't fit in your back pocket like an iPhone does.

George/
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Old October 18th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #7
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Thank you for your feedabck.

To Craig and Steven: I have, indeed, read that epic thread and I am very excited by developments. That is brilliant news for many people unfortunately, I don't think there is a clear solution, for me, there - yet. As soon as there is I will update to the necessary firmware.

I often shoot HQ 720P 60FPS so I'll be forever swapping cards. This is Britain so outdoor shooting with the card door open is not prudent - one moment bright sunshine, horizontal rain the next.

One possible option the thread raises for me is to shoot onto SxS and later to archive onto cheaper SD (etc) media in camera by cloning from one card slot to the other. Since the data rate will always be in the 35megabits/s ballpark then any media safely capable of that will suffice. Other than playing back the footage in camera I don't know if the transfer is verified in camera.

That is why I was thinking more along the lines of an app like "ShotPut EXpress" for the iPhone. Ideally able to copy to single or multiple targets and automatically verify those copies. I wouldn't need to see the footage on the iPhone's screen (although that would be nice), George, if the app could detect and report transfer errors.

Hopefully, Andrew, the drives could be powered by the USB connection to either the camera or phone although this is sounding optimistic. Please excuse my ignorance can you explain what "CRC checking" is?

Thanks

Paul
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Old October 18th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kousoulides View Post
I often shoot HQ 720P 60FPS so I'll be forever swapping cards. This is Britain so outdoor shooting with the card door open is not prudent - one moment bright sunshine, horizontal rain the next.
All HQ modes are the same data rate (35mbps), regardless 60P or not.
The combo only has an issue overcranking more than 40FPS.
In overcrank, the data rate is written at higher speed to mantain 35mbps HQ
quality during playback. The SxS 32GB is $1500 USD!!! This is WAY to much.
In the near future we will be laughing that we spent this much on this amount of
memory.

The combo will shoot HQ 720 60P with no issues.
Also, in less than two months, SanDisk will release the 32GB Ultra II which is only $150 USD.
This will allow over 100 minutes of HQ footage.

Also, I would not be surprised if an expresscard that allows the EX1 door to close pops up in the near future. BTW, if you place the Kensington in the rear slot, the door can be closed up the the SHDC card which only sticks out a couple millimeters.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 10:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kousoulides View Post
if the app could detect and report transfer errors.

Hopefully, Andrew, the drives could be powered by the USB connection to either the camera or phone although this is sounding optimistic. Please excuse my ignorance can you explain what "CRC checking" is?
A couple problems you would run up against:
Grabbing power from the phone or camera would be a huge battery drain.
The standard iPhone Y-cable would need adapters USB Type A to Mini B to go from iPhone to hard drive, and the same adapter to go to the EX1. OR if it can work the FireWire 400 cable to go from the iPhone to the HD. AND now with Firewire 400 being dropped from this new gen of MacBook/Pros, this makes future proofing difficult. (getting a dual USB cable or USB-FW 800 for the MBP)
What happens when your client is trying to reach you with important news, during a transfer? Does the call pause or screw the x-fer?
Do you have to loose use of your camera when your cards are full, to xfer to the drive, or will the software work with the card reader? Now you are carrying the card reader.

CRC checking: Best to let wikipedia explain, but its the error checking you were hoping for... Cyclic redundancy check - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old October 18th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #10
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Personally, while I think an iPhone app is a fun idea, and the SDHC is a good idea, I wish there was a way to get an eSATA or FireWire800 Expresscard adapter slotted into the EX1 with a massive hard drive pigtailed to it. Then we could have days of storage for a lot cheaper than even SDHC.

• Better quality than the iLink out (HDV)
• Obviously cheaper than SxS
• Even cheaper than SDHC (and Firestore and Convergent design's offerings)
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Old October 18th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Thomas View Post
All HQ modes are the same data rate (35mbps), regardless 60P or not.
The combo only has an issue overcranking more than 40FPS.
In overcrank, the data rate is written at higher speed to mantain 35mbps HQ
quality during playback. The SxS 32GB is $1500 USD!!! This is WAY to much.
In the near future we will be laughing that we spent this much on this amount of
memory.

The combo will shoot HQ 720 60P with no issues.
Also, in less than two months, SanDisk will release the 32GB Ultra II which is only $150 USD.
This will allow over 100 minutes of HQ footage.

Also, I would not be surprised if an expresscard that allows the EX1 door to close pops up in the near future. BTW, if you place the Kensington in the rear slot, the door can be closed up the the SHDC card which only sticks out a couple millimeters.
Hi Steven,

The price of 32GB SxS is indeed too high for me which is why I haven't and won't buy one. Hopefully "the combo" alternative will force Sony to slash prices for their SxS media. I'll be watching Ebay for used SxS cards from people switching to the combo option trying to recoup their SxS investment.

As you mentioned in your post the combo is, apparently, good for up to 40FPS. Since I like to shoot overcranked at 60FPS this is not sufficient. Until this changes I'll stick to SxS and continue to look for easy, reliable and more portable off-loading solutions.

I have dropped a line to "Imagine Productions Inc." - makers of "ShotPut EXpress" to find out if they have plans for an iPhone version or if they think it's even a viable solution. I'll report back if/when they reply.

Thanks again

Paul
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Old October 18th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hollister View Post
A couple problems you would run up against:
Grabbing power from the phone or camera would be a huge battery drain.
The standard iPhone Y-cable would need adapters USB Type A to Mini B to go from iPhone to hard drive, and the same adapter to go to the EX1. OR if it can work the FireWire 400 cable to go from the iPhone to the HD. AND now with Firewire 400 being dropped from this new gen of MacBook/Pros, this makes future proofing difficult. (getting a dual USB cable or USB-FW 800 for the MBP)
What happens when your client is trying to reach you with important news, during a transfer? Does the call pause or screw the x-fer?
Do you have to loose use of your camera when your cards are full, to xfer to the drive, or will the software work with the card reader? Now you are carrying the card reader.

CRC checking: Best to let wikipedia explain, but its the error checking you were hoping for... Cyclic redundancy check - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hi Andrew,

Thanks - you've raised some interesting points. As far as I know the iPhone can run some apps during calls. I'm not sure if Apple allow third-party apps to run in the background however. If not, this could be a serious problem if you don't want to use "airplane mode" and you use your phone a lot during shooting. If it were a problem then, perhaps, the app could automatically apply airplane mode during the transfer and switch it off afterwards?

The camera would be tied-up during the transfer but it is anyway with the laptop alternative. This app, at best, would be a possible stop-gap solution until the price of SxS tumbles or the combo option improves. Now that others are licencing the SxS media from Sony that may happen sooner rather than later.

Thanks

Paul
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Old October 18th, 2008, 11:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kousoulides View Post
Hi Steven,

The price of 32GB SxS is indeed too high for me which is why I haven't and won't buy one. Hopefully "the combo" alternative will force Sony to slash prices for their SxS media. I'll be watching Ebay for used SxS cards from people switching to the combo option trying to recoup their SxS investment.
Paul
Yes, I good idea.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kousoulides View Post
As you mentioned in your post the combo is, apparently, good for up to 40FPS. Since I like to shoot overcranked at 60FPS this is not sufficient. Until this changes I'll stick to SxS and continue to look for easy, reliable and more portable off-loading solutions.

Paul
Yes, I plan on keeping my SxS around for overcrank, but like most, slo-mo effects take up far less than 1% of my footage.
In fact I like the idea of having SxS dedicated for only slo-mo effects.

Also, Sony's own PHU-60K 60GB capture drive will not run overcrank. Actually, it barely works for HQ.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #14
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Also, Sony's own PHU-60K 60GB capture drive will not run overcrank. Actually, it barely works for HQ.

Steven Thomas

relatively heavy, bulky, thirsty, vulnerable, limited and limiting - the PHU-60K 60GB isn't the worst EX1 accessory I've ever heard of - but it's not far off it. The combo option - especially with card-door-closing EX3 owners, I think, will stamp the life out of that particlar product.

If it had much more capacity it might be useful for backing-up.

Whilst it's true that modern codecs are squeezing amazing performance from ever smaller file sizes it's also true that we demand higher standards. The BBC, I believe, recently published their minimum technical requirements for HD content. Although the EX1's 35Mb/s is ok in small parts it doesn't meet the 50Mb/s overall standard. I bet the EX1's replacement will.

I like shooting 720P 60FPS but I'd love to shoot 1080P 75FPS. 8bit 4.2.0. is fine but 10bit 4.2.2. is finer. The trend seems to be towards higher/faster storage requirements. And until high-performance solid-state media like SxS prices tumble I suspect there will be an increasing need to offload, back-up and re-use.

Backing-up to cheaper lower-performance solid-state media, in-camera, is an option I haven't explored. Without the latest firmware I won't be able to either - so I'd be intersted if anyone regularly uses this workflow.

Thanks

Paul
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