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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 December 5th, 2007, 11:37 PM   #1
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best media/storage solution for trigger-happy shooter?

Hi,
I'd love some advice.
I shoot sometimes 4 hour-long tapes a day, so I'm wondering how I'll handle the question of card space while out on a shoot... I can only shoot in HDV mode (I'm stuck with this until Avid updates Xpress Pro to handle 35Mb/s), which means I can fit a bit more on the cards... but I'm still in trouble.

So am I best off with:
1. a few extra 16GB cards... these would cost about $1,000 apiece
2. one of the Sony hard disk recording units that fits on top of the camera (holds about five hours of HDV footage)... costs around $2000. Downside to this is that it won't work for me once Avid updates, and I can start recording in 35Mb/s
3. new MacBook Pro, with ExpressCard slot. I'd carry it with me. Awkward, but at least it would also be earning its keep the rest of the time. Cost: $2,500 approx.
4. use my current powerbook (1.67GHz; 2GB RAM; running Tiger), which has no ExpressCard slot... so I'd have the Sony USB card reader attached: cost: what, $300 for the USB card reader? This would be by far the cheapest route... but would an older model (PowerPC) powerbook do the job?
5. ???
6. ???

Thanks for any advice.
Malcolm
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Old December 6th, 2007, 12:06 AM   #2
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I am pretty sure you can just hook the camera up via USB and the card will mount on your Mac desktop.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 06:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Daniel Boswell View Post
I am pretty sure you can just hook the camera up via USB and the card will mount on your Mac desktop.
Yes you can,i've done it,at a demo with my own laptop which i took along.My laptop wasn't a mac though,just a windows pc.My pc just saw the camera's cards as 2 more discs/drives,no software needed,just highlighted files and "copy to folder",eg "my documents" then "my videos" or whatever.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 07:37 AM   #4
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Isn't it funny how fast we can start missing good old MiniDV tapes!? :)

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Old December 6th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #5
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I am pretty sure you can just hook the camera up via USB and the card will mount on your Mac desktop.
Thanks Daniel,
But wouldn't this be slower than the separate USB card reader + powerbook option? Also, if the USB card reader option works with my powerbook, then I can be downloading from one card while still shooting with the other.
Malcolm
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Old December 6th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #6
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Isn't there an Expresscard to PC card adapter? I don't know if this would be any faster than connecting the camera directly through USB, but at least the camera would not be tied up while downloading the files.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 01:38 PM   #7
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Thanks Daniel,
But wouldn't this be slower than the separate USB card reader + powerbook option? Also, if the USB card reader option works with my powerbook, then I can be downloading from one card while still shooting with the other.
Malcolm

True...I was just giving you one option that you might not have been aware of..thats all.

Personally..if you got the cache...i vote for a new MacBookPro. :)
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Old December 6th, 2007, 01:51 PM   #8
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can the EX-1 backup one card (USB) while shooting on the second card ? Or is the cam offline in transfer mode ?
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Old December 6th, 2007, 02:12 PM   #9
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The camera is offline - when you plug it into a computer via USB, a menu choice comes up in the finder/LCD asking whether to connect to USB or cancel.

If you "Execute" the command, the finder goes blank, showing just the USB icon. Only then does the card mount on the computer as a drive.
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Old December 7th, 2007, 01:47 AM   #10
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You can use HD-SDI output in 4:2:2 and record using a HD-SDI input to your computer. AJA or Kona have hardware to do such but maybe not into avid, you could maybe use a Avid mojo.
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Old December 8th, 2007, 07:13 PM   #11
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Hi,

I have an EX1 on order, can anyone recommend one of the hard disk recording units that fits on top of the camera or is there only one (HVR-DR60), If so, how many hours will it give at full quality?

Thanks
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Old December 9th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #12
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Hi, I have an EX1 on order, can anyone recommend one of the hard disk recording units that fits on top of the camera or is there only one (HVR-DR60), If so, how many hours will it give at full quality? Thanks
Hi Simon,
Unless I'm wrong, these hard drive recorder units will only record at 25Mb/s (HDV), and NOT 35Mb/s. I think it will hold about 5 hrs. of HDV.
Sony makes one that costs just under $2,000, I think.
Cheers,
Malcolm
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Old December 10th, 2007, 04:43 AM   #13
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Malcolm,

Thanks for the reply.

I spoke to B&H and was told pretty much the same and that there wasn't really anything else out yet.

Just need to find out whether they are/have done anything about this vignetting problem.

Cheers,

Simon
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Old December 10th, 2007, 06:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Malcolm Hamilton View Post
So am I best off with:
1. a few extra 16GB cards... these would cost about $1,000 apiece
It's been categorically stated on here by others that the EX WILL accept cheaper than SxS cards, though a firmware update will be necessary, and there may be some restrictions, such as losing overcranking ability, and lower downloading speeds. It also seems likely that not all ExpressCards will be suitable.

It depends on timescales, and how soon you need the ability, but that seems like a more straightforward solution than in-field downloading, without as high a cost as you fear.
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Old December 11th, 2007, 10:44 AM   #15
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It's been categorically stated on here by others that the EX WILL accept cheaper than SxS cards, though a firmware update will be necessary, and there may be some restrictions, such as losing overcranking ability, and lower downloading speeds//... It depends on timescales, and how soon you need the ability, but that seems like a more straightforward solution than in-field downloading, without as high a cost as you fear.
Thank you David for reminding me of the possibility of using cheaper flash cards... I wonder how long it might be before this becomes a possibility.
In the meantime, I've been thinking about it, and I'm not sure I really want to carry a MacBook Pro around with me in the field - - I don't have an assistant to look after things, and I'd be so afraid of having it stolen (it wouldn't just be my viz. that would be loaded on it, but probably my whole digital world... I can't afford two computers; if I get a MacBook Pro, it will have to be my editiing computer as well as a hd for downloading)... I'd have to carry it in a backpack at all times, which would be a pain.

So I'm back to wondering about some suggestions I read earlier in this forum, in another post (don't remember which one) about perhaps... being able to transfer from SXS to an iPod???
Was this just extrememly hopeful conjecture, or is there something to this?
And if not an iPod... is there anything else that would work... something small, easy to carry, etc. etc.

Thanks all...
Malcolm
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