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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 November 29th, 2007, 03:06 AM   #1
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EX1 Storage

Forgive the seemingly silly question, but how are you storing your EX1 footage? After downloading the SxS cards onto a hard drive, what are you doing to archive the footage?

It appears the the optical drive solution from Sony is a possibility, but at $30+ per disk, plus the cost of the disk writer itself where is the advantage of SxS versus more conventional tape capture and storage options?

How accurate are the disk storage options? Do they capture the footage in RAW format, or is there some compression that alters the initial footage? If there is compression on optical disk, what other lossless choices are there?

My concern is that with all of these new formats the future will likely make several current formats obsolete, so I'm very concerned about current footage surviving a decade or so out and still being viable to transfer to the then current format in usable form.

Guess I'm still bitter about buying into betamax instead of VHS (;->)
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Old November 29th, 2007, 05:44 AM   #2
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If it's only storage you want and not to be able to hand the archive to a client or edit directly from it then I'd look at standard data backup options. I'm going look in to a SONY AIT drive or something similar, with a proven track record as a data archive media.
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Old November 29th, 2007, 06:35 AM   #3
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It all depends on what you mean by "archive."

There's DVD, DL-DVD, Blu-ray. Given the burn speeds you can make 2 or multiple backups in the time it takes to make a real time "video tape" output.

Most of my material doesn't need to last generations. If it lasts 5-10 years it'll have served it's purpose but quality discs certainly can last longer.

The long term "risks" are having the reader available to play the format or a disc gets damaged rendering all content unrecoverable.

BTW Sony has said if you change the .mp4 to .ts the file itself will be playable in a Blu-ray player. That would mean that if Blu-ray doesn't go the way of Betamax, you'll be able to pop the disc into a player and view the raw video sans computer xfer.

If you think HDV is a long term archive think about the incompatible aspects of Sony, JVC, Canon and how you're going to play that HDV tape 10 years from now sans the RIGHT deck/camera.

Now if you want to get into the longevity of tape transport mechanisms vs disc readers as well as devices to play a given format there's another debate. CDs have been out since the early '80s and burners not too many years later. Assuming your CDs have survived you can still find players common and cheap if you need to replace old disc players. Even the latest Blu-ray players can handle the CD discs. In 25 years do you think it will be easier to find a new HDV deck of your given format or a disc player?

I have 1" and D2 video tape. The players are becoming scarce. On the other hand, data CDs 20 years old can be read in any computer.

In short. I'd much prefer a disc to an HDV tape.

I'd much rather hand a disc to client, which doesn't obligate them to have a specific tape playback mechanism. In the case of the EX1 data, burn a disc and include the free ClipBrowser for both Mac and Windows . . . or change the extension to .ts if they happen to have a Blu-ray player. They certainly won't need the correct deck as they would for HDV.
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Old November 29th, 2007, 07:13 AM   #4
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I agree with Craig...

I used to back up project files to DLT (back when I thought I could go forever with 2 16 gig drives.)

My DLT has a SCSI interface so what Craig said is true, I think the interface will die before the media will... I sometimes have to retrieve old projects and I have to keep an old G3 around to be able to read from my old DLTs.
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Old November 29th, 2007, 08:24 AM   #5
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Maybe bit off topic but i didn't see a reason to start new one for it.

Will any expresscard/34 slot on any laptop be able to read SxS cards? Acer has one really cheap and small model that has a slot for it and i'm thinking of buying it to accompany my EX (which unfortunately hasn't arrived yet)? Anyone tested SxS cards with standard expresscard slots?

I'm also wondering should i buy some larger third party express cards and simply take backups to them (as we all know we can't trust hard drives) with help of laptop when travelling.
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