Affordable solid-state recording? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 10th, 2007, 04:10 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 469
Affordable solid-state recording?

This makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside:

http://ec.transcendusa.com/product/I...=TS32GSSD34E-M

Two of these bad boys should provide 160 minutes of full quality 35Mb/s footage from the EX - and for roughly the same price as one 16Gb P2 card (which only provides 16 minutes of 1080 footage). Granted you're recording in a lesser codec than DVCPro HD, but if the quality is still 'up there' with that of the HVX the EX should offer some considerable flexibility.
Mark Kenfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 10th, 2007, 07:37 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 1,719
I have seen these in stores already.

Even though they use the same interface and are the same shape and size we do not yet know if they will work with the EX. These cards are SSD while the EX cards are S x S. There could be tiny things different that could cause this to not work in the EX camera. I really hope though that they will work because the cost isn't that bad at all. Plus if you need one in a pinch you can stop at a computer or office store to pick one up.

I guess we will only know if they will work once the EX comes out and somebody tries it or SONY tells us if it will work.
Thomas Smet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 10th, 2007, 11:39 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Posts: 70
ExpressCards can use either USB 2.0 or PCI Express interface. Sony's SxS format uses PCIe. It looks like these cards use a USB interface (since they include a USB adapter). I would guess that this would make SxS slightly more expensive than similar ExpressCards that use USB... but we will see.

Tom
Tom Vaughan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2007, 09:59 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 469
I had the impression that the SxS cards were just Sony and Sandisks expresscard offering (with higher transfer speeds than regular expresscards) but that any regular SSD card would work. Hence the big deal Sony's making about it not being a proprietary format. Did I miss something here?
Mark Kenfield is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2007, 11:41 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Pinellas Park
Posts: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Kenfield View Post
I had the impression that the SxS cards were just Sony and Sandisks expresscard offering (with higher transfer speeds than regular expresscards) but that any regular SSD card would work. Hence the big deal Sony's making about it not being a proprietary format. Did I miss something here?
No you didn't miss something here, but everybody here knowing Sony as I do, it's best to be on the side of caution when talking nonproprietary and Sony. It may work, but then, again, it may not. Like others, I'm taking the wait and see position. We should here more about this in about a month.
John Bosco Jr. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12th, 2007, 02:21 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Vaughan View Post
It looks like these cards use a USB interface (since they include a USB adapter).
But SxS and the EX aside, is it these cards that inherently use a USB interface, or is the implication not just that they are bundled with a USB adaptor? (Hence they would work if plugged directly into a laptop with it's own ExpressCard slot?)

My suspicion is that whilst SxS cards need the PCI Express interface to take advantage of the full bandwidth potential of the cards, these cheaper (and slower) cards don't. Of course, this still implies the cards will work with the EX - just that max download won't be potentially as fast as with full spec SxS. For many users that won't matter, the cost saving will be more important than the absolute performance. (And download will still be many times real time.) We'll see.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12th, 2007, 04:15 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 423
I havn't researched Express Cards much but from my understanding, the interface is just a PCI Express interface in a card form factor. PCI Express has no USB interface component so my thought was the USB adaptor with this card is just a USB ExpressCard reader, just like you can get USB Compact Flash card readers etc.

Last edited by Guy Barwood; August 12th, 2007 at 05:15 AM.
Guy Barwood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12th, 2007, 08:41 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
It's worth going back to the original link and clicking on the link to "Datasheet", where page 3 gives pinouts for the cards. It appears that the card spec has pins for BOTH PCI Express AND USB interfaces, together with pins to detect which it is plugged into. Hence it should be fine either plugged straight into an ExpressCard slot or a USB port via the adaptor.

Of more concern may be speed, which the datasheet doesn't give any information about at all.

Also interesting are the alternative sizes ( http://ec.transcendusa.com/product/p...ory.asp?Cid=98 ) - 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.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12th, 2007, 01:52 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Gatos, CA
Posts: 70
Good points. The confusion that we are all dealing with comes from the fact that ExpressCard modules come in 3 flavors (USB, PCIe or both).

The ExpressCard website states ...
"ExpressCard-compliant host platforms must support both the PCI Express and USB interfaces. ... An ExpressCard module may use one or both of the standard interfaces depending on the application requirements."

Page 2 of the datasheet for this card says...
High-speed USB 2.0 specification
Fully compatible with ExpressCard™ standards and Operating Systems (OS) that support the USB standard

While it seems unlikely that a flash memory card like this would have both USB and PCIe interfaces implemented, the product page on Transcend's web site seems to indicate that it does... "Transcend’s ExpressCard/34 SSD is a smaller and faster plug-in module solution that supports USB 2.0 and PCI Express Applications"
http://www.transcendusa.com/Press/in...690&axn=Detail

Of course, Sony has called the flash memory for XDCAM EX "SxS", and they are indicating that only "SxS" memory is compatible. They may have done this because their ExpressCard host (the XDCAM EX camcorder) doesn't support both USB and PCIe - as the specification requires. So if you buy SxS memory you don't have to worry... it will work. But Sony is using the PCIe version of the ExpressCard standard, so PCIe capable ExpressCard memory modules should work also.

Tom

Last edited by Tom Vaughan; August 12th, 2007 at 02:31 PM.
Tom Vaughan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12th, 2007, 03:52 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Vaughan View Post
While it seems unlikely that a flash memory card like this would have both USB and PCIe interfaces implemented, the product page on Transcend's web site seems to indicate that it does....
I find it very likely. (And the data sheet does indeed seem to comfirm it.) My suspicion would be that such a memory chip is most likely to at least have PCIe, since surely the main reason for buying such a chip (and not CF, SD or whatever) is for prime use being in a laptop ExpressCard slot. To then add the USB functionality I would then think would add next to nothing to overall manufacturing cost, whilst increasing versatility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Vaughan
Of course, Sony has called the flash memory for XDCAM EX "SxS", and they are indicating that only "SxS" memory is compatible. They may have done this because their ExpressCard host (the XDCAM EX camcorder) doesn't support both USB and PCIe ..........
I don't think I've ever heard them categorically say that "only "SxS" memory is compatible", (please correct me if that's wrong) though obviously SxS is guaranteed - not just to work at all, but to meet certain performance guarantees, such as download speeds. These speeds may be important for top end users, the future, and still to be announced product, but I suspect that for many on this board cheaper cards may for now be more desirable than absolute performance.

It may be a subtle difference, but I read the press release about SxS as preceding the one about the EX. In other words, they are defining a format specification for future use first and foremost, then announcing the first product that will use it. Hopefully more will be known after IBC.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2007, 12:21 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 1,719
Physically the cards are the same. They are the same shape and size.

One way use the USB2 only path for sending data but that just means it will be slower.

Sort of like putting a USB2 device in a USB1 port. The device still reads the same but it runs much slower.

I "Think and hope" this will be the same case. The SSD cards will physically pop into the slots in the EX camera. The cards if using only a USB2 style bandwidth still have more then enough speed for XDCAMHD video. 35mbits over a 480mbit pipe will have no problem at all.

What it comes down to is the interface software and camera OS for the camera itself. SONY could design it to say sorry only S x S cards please. It's kind of like on the Panasonic HVX200 where a P2 card works to record data to but if you hook up a hard drive via the USB2 port you can only copy video to it from a P2 card and not capture directly to the hard drive. The camera OS just cannot work with any other storage medium other then the cards that fit the full specs. Hopefully since XDCAMHD has a much lower bandwidth need then DVCPROHD that SONY would have relaxed the specs a little bit so other forms of media could be used with the camera.

This is why we will have to wait and see what happens. In this digital age we just cannot assume one device that may look the same will work as another device.
Thomas Smet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2007, 12:56 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
What it comes down to is the interface software and camera OS for the camera itself. SONY could design it to say sorry only S x S cards please.
Yes, agreed. But it is not only Sony - the SxS announcement is a joint one between Sony and Sandisk, and a lot depends on that arrangement. Obviously Sony will stress the link between their hardware and Sandisk memory (SxS) for practical (it's guaranteed to work, and at a given speed) as well as commercial reasons, but will they design exclusivity in?

If they do, the real winner would be Sandisk more than Sony themselves - being able to use cheaper, third party memory could only enhance the appeal of product such as the EX. As you say, we have to wait and see.

As regards speed, I think the underlying memory speed is likely to be far more significant than the USB/PCIe issue. We're all used to differences with CF, SD etc and Sandisk themselves have a variety of ranges at differing prices. Currently they seem to max out at around 40MBs (320Mbs) for the most expensive ranges, so still well within the USB spec. (And theoretically able to provide 9x download speed!) Will Sandisk themselves produce non-SxS (slower) ExpressCard memory? As laptops move from Cardbus to ExpressCard, the market here may be for much more than video usage.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2007, 02:33 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 276
I did send an email to SanDisk last week asking if they had a release date for their SxS cards, but the customer support here in Australia didn't have a clue what I was talking about, and I haven't had a response from their OEM department they told me to forward my request to.

(I asked them if they were planning on having their S X S cards released by the time the Sony XDCam EX cameras were released, and an est. price, so that we could plan accordingly)

Cheers,

Vaughan
Vaughan Wood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2007, 09:11 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,777
At the recent DVExpo East, Sony gave a presentation primarily about the Sony XDCAM EX. They said compatible 16GB cards are selling for about $200 now and pointed to some prices on the web as specific example. Sony (and Sandisk I assume) implied that they will be offering a card with faster transfer times at a more expensive price. This based on my understanding of Sony's presentation and the Q&A that followed.
Craig Seeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 13th, 2007, 10:46 AM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 1,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
At the recent DVExpo East, Sony gave a presentation primarily about the Sony XDCAM EX. They said compatible 16GB cards are selling for about $200 now and pointed to some prices on the web as specific example. Sony (and Sandisk I assume) implied that they will be offering a card with faster transfer times at a more expensive price. This based on my understanding of Sony's presentation and the Q&A that followed.
Well now that sounds like a SSD card and that they will work. According to what you heard it sounds like the only real advantage of a S x S card will be that it will transfer much faster so you can quickly pop the card back into an empty slot on the camera.

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.
Thomas Smet is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:54 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network