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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PXW-Z280, Z190, X180 etc. (going back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.

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Old February 7th, 2008, 06:54 AM   #16
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Aparently it is not just the speed of the components used.

The ExpressCard interface/connection supports both USB and PCI Express and although hosts (ie. camera) must support both to comply, the cards may support either (or both).

It stands to reason that 'budget' cards only implement the USB interface, essentially being a fancy USB Stick. It should be no surprise that that doesn't cut it for use in the EX1.

So although they look the same on the outside only cards implementing the (5+x faster) PCI Express interface and that have a high enough datarate can (and should) be used in the camera.

I don't think Sony will support/approve "limited use" cards that don't meet the full requirements, as was suggested elsewhere in the forum, at a lower price. But the price will drop as it does for any other memory technology.

I believe using ExpressCard is a (big!) plus as this is a non-proprietary standard and "anyone" can manufacture these cards, so that is good for competetion. As long as they meet the requirements Sony should (and hopefully will) support the use of these cards.

The Sandisk branded SxS cards available in Europe can aparently already be used in the EX1, so there's a start.

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Old February 7th, 2008, 07:14 AM   #17
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It is a start, but Sony knows that the time to be proprietary is now, when people are buying the camera.

One needs enough memory to operate and since this is supposed to be a one time purchase, it stands to reason that the purchase of some extra Sony cards with the camera are margins the company is counting on.

Solid state is a nice position for the manufacturers as it forces the consumer to pay it forward (buying memory up front) compared to paying it as you go (buying tape).

And of course people are going to lose, break, run over ect... these expensive items and need to replace them.

Not trying to be cynical, I just think this is an important revenue stream in terms of paying for camera R & D that Sony does not want to miss out on.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 07:30 AM   #18
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On the subject of saving the setup files...
The first time you save your setup, a folder is written on the SxS card. The actual setup file is buried in that folder, several levels down with the .suf suffix. It's an ASCII file that can be editted and saved to a computer hard drive. I routinely make copies of my SUF file, change the name to indicate which one it is, and store them on my laptop.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 10:11 AM   #19
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Considering we need a high-performance storage system, current pricing is fairly in line with, for example the 40MB/s Sandisk Ultra IV which is $249 for an 8GB card. Sure the SxS is twice as expensive, but that is to be expected due to the more complicated interface with higher transferrates and this being a smaller target market.

The CompacFlash interface is spec'd upto 133MB/sec, the ExpressCard PCI Express is a dual-simplex (both directions, not at the same time) 2.5 Gbps differential serial link solution. That means SxS cards can be ~2.5x as fast.

Speed-wise these 'mainstream' high-speed CF cards should also work, but may not support some features (hot-swappability?) and IMHO are less future-proof. SxS is spec'd by Sony for 400Mbps (Acording to Alexander Ibrahim here: http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?p=812338) which borders on the Ultra IV CF specs. Unfortunately you pay more to be on the cutting edge.

At some point, when there is enough of a market/niche, we'll get compatible products for the SxS cards and better prices all around.


P.S. I don't think memory cards are that big of a revenue stream for Sony. This is a coop with Sandisk for a reason. Sure they will have a markup on the Sony branded items, but it's not like tapes (or ink cartridges) which create recurring revenue.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #20
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Just as a follow-up, Lexar has published their sustained write speeds at 150 KB/S (15 MB/S) and the Sandisk cards are 100 MB/S.

So the Sandisk spec'd cards are roughly 6.66 times faster than the Lexar cards per published write speeds (which is what we would be concerned with).
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