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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 20th, 2007, 12:23 AM   #1
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Any News on Updated Firmware to allow other brand SxS Cards?

Has anyone heard anything yet? I am anxiously awaiting the firmware upgrade and am going to start bugging Sony about it soon. Card prices are outrageous. I understand they're marketing the EX1 towards the film industry and comparing recording times to film, but what about the guys who actually need to shoot for a "reasonable" amount of time? I can't afford $5000 in cards for each of our camers (we're purchasing 4-6 cams very shortly), nor do I want to take my card out every 5 minutes and dump it to a laptop, then have to turn around and dump it again to our editing box. Crossing my fingers big time for this firmware upgrade to happen soon.....

Any News?

Thanks in advance,
Kit
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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:35 AM   #2
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I understand and hope to get cheaper cards too...but what cards are you using that only lets you record 5 minutes? 16gb cards at full HQ record almost an hour!
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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:57 AM   #3
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Perhaps you should consider a tape based camera instead!
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:55 AM   #4
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I understand and hope to get cheaper cards too...but what cards are you using that only lets you record 5 minutes? 16gb cards at full HQ record almost an hour!
I was not literally meaning 5 minutes, Phil. But you know what I'm saying. $899 for a 16GB card is way too much. That will record 50 minutes in HQ mode. We do a lot of things like cheer competitions, graduations, Dance Recitals, etc. Some are only a couple hours, some are 8-10 hours. But just for reference, Lets say I did want to purchase enough cards right now for the 5 cameras we will have in mid January. To record on all 5 Cameras for 5 hours, I'll need 6 cards / camera, so 30 cards total. $899 x 30 cards is $4,495 / camera, $26,970 total. Just for media. That's ridiculous.


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Perhaps you should consider a tape based camera instead!
Find me a camera even close to the same price range that has the image quality and features of this camera that records @ 35Mb/s and 1080p and you've got me sold. We just sold off our last JVC HD-110 and we're not looking back. tape takes way too much time - besides, I don't know about you, but dumping 25 - 50 hours of tape is not really practical for most workflows.

Look, I'm just saying that there needs to be a better solution and soon rather than making people have to buy Sony cards at unreasonable prices. I completely understand the reason behind a tapeless workflow. I think it's revolutionary. But what I don't understand is why it has to be $899 for 50 minutes of recording time, especially when there are other companies producing Expresscards at less than half the price. It's just not practical and there needs to be options. It's not like Sony is going to lose money over this - driving down the prices on SxS cards is only going to help camera sales and get more people into their products. We've never used anything but JVC, but we're pretty sold on the EX1 and "want" to go that route - the only problem for us being that the media costs so much and Sony not releasing a firmware update that they apparently have promised. It is possible that we may look into some other things because of this....
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Old December 20th, 2007, 04:06 AM   #5
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I understand all your points and Sony have promised an update soon. This is official.

Try being an HVX owner, when i got mine a year ago it was 900 ($1800) per 8gb card and all I could get was 8 minutes on it. All I could afford was two! Giving me a total of 16 minutes. How useless was that? 32gb cards are coming out for them and they cost a huge amount and yet just 32 minutes.

EX1 owners are lucky. I would say within two months of it's release we will be able to buy 3rd party cards for around half the Sony price or less.

I know you are buying your equipment now but perhaps you should have waited until this firmware is released as cost understandably is a major issue for you. I have bought 3 x 16gb cards and have 2 x 8 cards. I can record just less than 4 hours. Enough for most days for me. In fact the most I have shot on a full on day with my ex1 was 2 and a half hours. But, as soon as the firmware comes out I will buy another 4 16Gb Sandisk cards. That way I wouldn't have to lug my laptop with me on an overnight.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #6
 
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Kit...
Sold your HD110 because you didn't like transferring from tape? DTE kits would have been cheaper than new EX1's. Nevertheless, I can understand your reasoning. The EX1 is much more automated and the pictures look stunning.

Maybe one of you guys can tell me something about CCing footage from the EX1. My HD110 makes really beautiful images...until I do a little color correcting on the footage. I beleive the noise that I'm seeing is the result of editting color info from 4:2:0 color space. Is the EX1 any better?
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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #7
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What would motivate Sony to allow competitors to take away express card business from them? Manufacturers have lost business (e.g., tape decks) because of new technologies that are faster and cheaper.

I'll be surprised if Sony will allow other companies to get their foot in the XDCAM door.

BTW, Kit, why not just record to laptops and firewire drives?
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Old December 20th, 2007, 10:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit Hannah View Post
To record on all 5 Cameras for 5 hours, I'll need 6 cards / camera, so 30 cards total. $899 x 30 cards is $4,495 / camera, $26,970 total. Just for media. That's ridiculous.
The same argument was made a couple of years ago against P2, and the answer is the same today as it was then: use a portable FireWire hard disk recorder. Meanwhile, recording to inexpensive external FW drives through a laptop is certainly viable. History is repeating itself as I predicted back in July... the exact same topics from the the advent of P2 HD are coming around again. Not a problem though as none of this is new ground for us.

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Originally Posted by Kit Hannah View Post
... nor do I want to take my card out every 5 minutes and dump it to a laptop...
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Originally Posted by Phil Bloom View Post
5 minutes? 16gb cards at full HQ record almost an hour!
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Originally Posted by Kit Hannah View Post
I was not literally meaning 5 minutes, Phil.
For reasons that should be obvious, it's *always* a good idea to mean what you say literally within an asynchronous text-based online discussion platform such as this one
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Old December 20th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #9
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Kit...
Sold your HD110 because you didn't like transferring from tape? DTE kits would have been cheaper than new EX1's. Nevertheless, I can understand your reasoning. The EX1 is much more automated and the pictures look stunning.
No, we sold the 110's because of other things - we used firestore drives pretty much exclusively. The cameras were not bad, they produced a nice image under normal circumstances, but we found that when we tried to do things inside (ie. theaters), we would have to bump the gain quite a bit to get acceptable Iris levels. When the 110 gets grainy, it gets really grainy, sometimes to te point where it's unacceptable. I love the way they look and feel becuase we are used to pro cameras, but they are only 720p. We now have a need, based on some of our clients but mainly ourselves, to produce 1080p content.

About 98% of our work from here on out will all be recorded, edited and displayed natively in 1080p.

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Originally Posted by John Markert View Post
BTW, Kit, why not just record to laptops and firewire drives?
Although that is a great idea, and we have looked into this a great deal, there are many times that we have to be extremely mobile. Dragging around a laptop for each camera is not going to be feasible.


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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
The same argument was made a couple of years ago against P2, and the answer is the same today as it was then: use a portable FireWire hard disk recorder. Meanwhile, recording to inexpensive external FW drives through a laptop is certainly viable.
Well, the laptops are fine for some things, but not for others.


The biggest problem I have with the firewire drives right now is that they will only capture the 25mb/s or 19mb/s streams, whereas if the Sony is putting out a 35mb/s stream, why would you want to lower the quality of that? One of the main reasons for getting this camera is to have a nicer picture with less grain. The 1/2 inch cmos chips are very inticing, as well as the full progressive 1080p. If we're making an investment like this, we want to make sure we are able to get the highest quality we can out of the camera while keeping it as cost effective as possible.


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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
For reasons that should be obvious, it's *always* a good idea to mean what you say literally within an asynchronous text-based online discussion platform such as this one
My bad, I tend to be a pretty sarcastic person, I'll watch that in the future.

Thanks
Kit
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Old December 20th, 2007, 01:51 PM   #10
 
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Kit..

Thanx for answering. Makes sense to me. The JVC is terribly noisy in low light, it's true.

I'm still trying to figure out whether the noise I get after I CC is a JVC codec issue or do other cams, like the EX1, exhibit this noise.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 01:59 PM   #11
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I too am am in a fret with only one 8 gig card at the mo having spent my last penny just to get the camera. With that said I knew what I was getting into long before I considered going with the EX1 and am well aware that early adopters always pay a premium. Seems a bit early to try and make the point that the cards are overpriced. With the ability to swap cards even two 8 gig cards can get me a days worth of footage just dumping em, or having someone dump them, on location. Besides the obvious of being able to continue shooting once the day is done I won't even have to capture.

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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:15 PM   #12
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Hey Bill,
Yes, we did get much more noise when color correcting. Because we do a lot of live events, we try to get all our white balance the same and usually we wouldn't have to do much CC at all, but when we did, we noticed the noise. During the day, the 110's were great cameras, as well as in well-lit situations like school gymnasiums. The problem we had was when we had dance recitals or plays, where some scenes and numbers were extremely dark. It looks like the 110 just threw up the footage in those instances, might as well have been some cheap consumer camcorder. We're also going to be running into a lot more of these situations, so we wanted to be prepared. We're extremely quality driven, making sure that all of our stuff is perfect. We feel this is the right camera with the right features at the right price, but the media really needs to be there too.

And for us...Dumping 8 gig cards from 5 cameras every 25 minutes will just not work. That's just one more person to pay and rely on.......
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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:35 PM   #13
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Great points Kit. Now that the lens problem seems to be addressed, the price/work flow of these cards is the only real reason not to buy this camera. I still like tape, but obviously it's not long for this world, at least in the smaller cams.

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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:36 PM   #14
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What your not factoring in here is that once you've made the purchase, you have those cards, forever, and you can use them over and over again.

I've been working with solid state media all year long and the amount of money that we've saved by not purchasing tape stock is insane.

By the sound of things solid state might not be for you, i'd suggest you look into the full size XDCAM HD range, discs are cheap, and then you'll also get 2/3" ccds which will improve your lowlight levels.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by John Vincent View Post
Now that the lens problem seems to be addressed, the price/work flow of these cards is the only real reason not to buy this camera.
I'm going to completely disagree here, the price of the cards and the workflow is one of the biggest reasons to buy the camera.

Solid state media pricing has dropped so much, with P2 and SxS media prices sitting pretty much level with each other it has never been a better time to invest in solid sate if you are in need of a new camera.
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