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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old August 13th, 2007, 08:30 PM   #16
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Vaughan, I'm not really surprised about local customer support not having a clue about SxS etc They are likely just kids out of school getting $10/hr there to help people put Flash cards in the cameras and computers etc...

For some time I imagine that the best option for SxS cards will be importing them from the US. Maybe online Flash shops like powerinnumbers.com.au will eventually carry such stuff at good price. First up the other option will be vendors like VideoCraft etc but I still think gray imports will be cheaper initially.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #17
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This of course is assuming these guys know the truth or if they are also just thinking the SSD cards are the same thing like we all are. It wouldn't be the first time a tradeshow rep got their facts wrong.
I'll mention that it was a Sony rep using a powerpoint presentation which I assume was approved by Sony. There were many questions which he refused to answer but this was one he was pretty decisive about. Of course that's not proof of accuracy but I got the impression that his presentation had be vetted by Sony and he stuck very tightly to a company line.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 03:14 AM   #18
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None of this can be 100% certain until the product actually ships, of course. But it would all make sense. The SxS and EX announcements should perhaps best be thought of as two separate (but strongly linked) items - SxS is a spec with a lot of room for growing into and may be targeted with broadcasters and future high end cameras (HDCAM equivalent) far more in mind than the EX and it's average user. It would allow for much higher bitrate recording than XDCAM disc ever will. SxS will obviously work in the EX, but may be unnecessarily high in performance (and cost) most of the time. Why pay more than you need? A bit like buying designer clothes to do the gardening in.

This would be more analogous to the current situation with solid state memory in forms such as Compact Flash. Fast cards are available for demanding applications, cheap ones for run of the mill uses.

It will also be very interesting to see what other manufacturers (JVC and Canon being the obvious two) come up with in the next year or two. Hopefully not another format! (ExpressCard does have a lot to commend it, as so many laptops now come with the slot as standard.)

IBC is not that far away now.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 07:41 AM   #19
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Perhaps a S x S card is just a raid version of the SSD cards. The P2 cards actually are raided flash cards so they can run fast enough. Perhaps S x S just is a short form name indictaing 1 SSD card + 1 SSD card raided together and stuck inside the same shell for faster bandwidth. It would mean that the SSD cards would work no different then a S x S card. It would be like using an external USB2 drive on your PC or using a external USB2 drive that has two internal drives raided together for faster sustained bandwidth. A Expresscard slot is basically a PCIExpress x1 slot so no single device could ever run fast enough to fill the bandwidth of the slot itself. The only way to really get cards that could use more of that bandwidth would be to use some type of raided device.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 08:28 AM   #20
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A Expresscard slot is basically a PCIExpress x1 slot so no single device could ever run fast enough to fill the bandwidth of the slot itself.
Thomas, I've learned over the years that where technology is concerned, never say never. The example I always like to quote is my internet connection. I'm pushing 6mb on a regular two wire copper phone line. In the early 1980's when 300 baud modems were the rage, they told us we'd never (there's that word again) go faster than 1200 baud on a standard phone line.

So don't cross that single device off your list just yet. (grin)

-gb-
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Old August 14th, 2007, 08:34 AM   #21
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I'll mention that it was a Sony rep using a powerpoint presentation which I assume was approved by Sony. There were many questions which he refused to answer but this was one he was pretty decisive about. Of course that's not proof of accuracy but I got the impression that his presentation had be vetted by Sony and he stuck very tightly to a company line.
I can guarantee you it had to be approved by Sony. For my NAB class, I had to use Sony's slide templates and submit the whole thing for approval beforehand.

The many questions he refused to answer are corporate policy. Japan hasn't given the okay for everyone to spill all the beans as yet.

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Old August 14th, 2007, 08:47 AM   #22
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Perhaps a S x S card is just a raid version of the SSD cards. The P2 cards actually are raided flash cards so they can run fast enough.
I hope the SxS cards aren't RAIDed because that would likely keep the cost high, as has been an issue with P2. And it's not technically necessary to use that approach these days when high-end standard flash cards offer almost ten times the bandwidth required for XDCAM HD recording. The main benefit of having a faster solution would be so you can transfer your footage to a computer quickly, but again we don't really need fancy memory cards for that. I'm surprised video camera manufacturers don't just adopt CompactFlash for cost-effectiveness, but then they couldn't make money selling us memory cards for several times the price. :-(
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:08 AM   #23
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And that's why I believe the presenter when he talked about cards currently on the market for about $200 that can be used in the EX. He was clear that Sony would have cards with faster xfer times (he would NOT mention how much faster for example) but the $200 would certainly work.

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I can guarantee you it had to be approved by Sony. For my NAB class, I had to use Sony's slide templates and submit the whole thing for approval beforehand.

The many questions he refused to answer are corporate policy. Japan hasn't given the okay for everyone to spill all the beans as yet.

-gb-
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #24
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BTW this alludes to another key issue.

It seems clear that, unlike P2 cards, one will be able to buy a cheap (slow xfer) card that one can hand to the client after a shoot (tacking on the reasonable cost of such card to the price of the shoot). The client would be able to use the card in a modern laptop without the need for any special decks (or the equivalent like an XDCAM disk player).
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:48 AM   #25
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I hope the SxS cards aren't RAIDed because that would likely keep the cost high, as has been an issue with P2. And it's not technically necessary to use that approach these days when high-end standard flash cards offer almost ten times the bandwidth required for XDCAM HD recording. The main benefit of having a faster solution would be so you can transfer your footage to a computer quickly, but again we don't really need fancy memory cards for that. I'm surprised video camera manufacturers don't just adopt CompactFlash for cost-effectiveness, but then they couldn't make money selling us memory cards for several times the price. :-(
But thats where the SSD cards come in. If you don't want the fast transfer speeds you can use the cheaper SSD cards. Also like somebody pointed out the S x S cards may be designed for more then just XDCAMHD in mind. Perhaps SONY wanted there to be a universay card that could support HDCAM or some new form of it in the future. That way the same media cards could be used on any type of format. For XDCAMHD and XDCAMHD50 the SSD cards would be more then enough.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 09:52 AM   #26
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Thomas, I've learned over the years that where technology is concerned, never say never. The example I always like to quote is my internet connection. I'm pushing 6mb on a regular two wire copper phone line. In the early 1980's when 300 baud modems were the rage, they told us we'd never (there's that word again) go faster than 1200 baud on a standard phone line.

So don't cross that single device off your list just yet. (grin)

-gb-
Very true. As of today however I would tend to think you would get a lot more bandwidth from a raided card. Even as SSD cards get faster a two card raid will be even faster yet. At some point I'm sure a single device will reach the speed of PCIEx1 but a two card raid-0 will get there much faster not to mention today it would give the bandwidth needed for even HDCAM and maybe HDCAMSR.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 10:23 AM   #27
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Good point about having a choice between SSD and SxS - and I see Transcend is already shipping a 32 GB SSD card for about $500.

As far as RAIDed versus non-RAIDed memory is concerned, why not just use two slots and put the RAID controls inside the card reader? Ah well, that's up to the manufacturers to decide...
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Old August 14th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #28
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I can go into the Office Max a block from my place and buy a 4 GB SSD card right now. The things are very small. Smaller then a miniDV tape I would say. Although the 4 GB card wouldn't hold a whoe lot of video it is only a little bit more then $100.00 at the store. Buy it online and it should be even cheaper. My whole point is that is you only ever shoot quick short shots a 4 GB card may be all you need for now and it wouldn't really add that much more to the cost of the camera. The card should fit about 15 minutes worth of video which is pretty good for indie productions.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 01:39 PM   #29
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BTW this alludes to another key issue.

It seems clear that, unlike P2 cards, one will be able to buy a cheap (slow xfer) card that one can hand to the client after a shoot .......
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
Good point about having a choice between SSD and SxS - and I see Transcend is already shipping a 32 GB SSD card for about $500. ....
Yes, exactly. And that was one thing on my mind when I wrote post #8 referring and linking not to speed but the availability of different size cards. "(........8GB for $153, anybody? That's about 22 minutes of XDCAM-HD - enough for many interviews, say - at a price which is cheap enough to not have to worry about immediate downloading in the field. Four 8GB cards for about $600 may be more useful in some situations than one 32GB for about $500.)

Whilst even $153 may still be too much to write off or make an extra charge for, it is certainly low enough that you may be able to give away the card for a few days, say. And also low enough for many clients to fork out for enough cards to issue to cameramen as required.

Large, fast expensive cards may suit some scenarios - smaller, slower, cheaper ones may be more appropiate for others. ExpressCard cameras may give you the choice.
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Old August 14th, 2007, 02:50 PM   #30
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I'm surprised video camera manufacturers don't just adopt CompactFlash for cost-effectiveness, but then they couldn't make money selling us memory cards for several times the price. :-(
Well Kevin, your statement doesn't hold much water with respect to XDCAM HD EX. Sony stated right of the bat that there would be other vendors making the SxS cards and it would be fine to use those instead of theirs. Of course they'll have their own, but you will have a choice, just as you do with XDCAM discs. At least 4 or 5 manufacturers of XDCAM discs out there at the moment.

Let's not forget the fact that using a camera in a professional situation means [ij]it has to work.[/i] That being said, I wouldn't necessarily trust just any storage solution out there. I've already lost some JPGs to a corrupted SD card. So I know from personal experience it can happen.

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