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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 February 29th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #1
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Any Way to Back-up Without Computer?

Is there any way to dump EX-1's full resolution files (NOT HDV) from the SxS cards to an external hard drive or other device without a PC, and do it inexpensively? Inexpensively therefore obviates such devices as Convergent Design Flash XDR ($5k) or Wafian ($17k) or any such similar. I'm interested in just copying and storing 1080p files on something such as a couple of portable hard drives until I can return to home base and then capture the files to my editing computer. I'm interested in spending around a thousand dollars on such back-up equipment, instead of $9,000 or so on nine or so 16GB SxS cards.

My shoot will be over a fifteen day period in and around New York City, in two months. Almost all of my regular work is in and around Austin, Texas, and in Austin I have no problem ever in lugging a laptop around for dumping, so a 16GB and an 8GB are fully sufficient under any and all circumstances. But in New York I will be going solo, and I will not be able to transport a laptop along with all the other gear. And since Cineform is not likely to have their proposed device up and running within a couple of months, my purchase of that will have to await their production of the unit!

Someone from the Netherlands posted on this forum a couple of weeks ago stating that we could attach any external recorder for the supported interfaces/output modes - I assume that included transfer of 1080p data over some form of USB. But there was nothing else in that thread supporting the statement, and short of the incredibly expensive devices, my seven hour searches of these and other forums has developed nothing substantive.

Having written this far, another possible solution just occured to me. Upon arriving New York, purchase an appropriate and just barely acceptable laptop, use it to dump the SxS files to two of the tiny portable external HDs, and then carry the external HDs back to Austin with all the precious data, and ship the expedient laptop on a slo boat to China. Yes, and that would involve only a $1,000 expenditure instead of $9,000!

But I really would be most appreciative hearing from anyone out there who might have any successful experience in saving the data without a computer, at a relatively inexpensive price! And if anyone has found a way, I'll bet there are hundreds of others who would also be thrilled with a solution.
William Urschel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29th, 2008, 09:17 AM   #2
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Many members have looked around William, nothing yet unfortunately

Best way is to spend 1K on a laptop with an express card reader
This way you can do offload, live viewing etc on site and editing, rendering etc in the studio.

If a solution did come out i'll bet you it would be overpriced :)

Paul
Paul Dhadialla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #3
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Just get a cheap small lightweight travel laptop and string it on your belt for now. You don't need any power to download, just the port.
Michael H. Stevens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 29th, 2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William
Someone from the Netherlands posted on this forum a couple of weeks ago stating that we could attach any external recorder for the supported interfaces/output modes - I assume that included transfer of 1080p data over some form of USB.
That might have been me. However your assumption that that would include the USB port is incorrect ;-). The only way to get the HQ full res out of the EX digitally, other than the SxS cards, is to use the HD SDI.

You can get HDV over firewire. The USB is only for computer connections (not video). Component and A/V is analog.

The thing is, is that there was no market for "entry level" HD SDI 10-bit 4:2:2 recorders before the EX1 was introduced. And still you could argue that this is not a mass-market proposition.

However, I'm sure this void will be filled. It will not be in time for your New York trip. It may not be this year (but hopefully by next years NAB).

The Flash XDR costs as much as the camera, and if you saved on a 35k camera, getting the set for <15k is not a bad deal at all.

However if you're just stepping up, you have just arrived at a brave new world, where others still have to follow. Even though the cam is relatively inexpensive, HD 1080p is not a "for value" proposition.

Your only choice exept for a stack of SxS is to lug a notebok around. And for the latter; there will be ultraportables, available soon, weighing in at <2 lbs. Look out for one with an ExpressCard slot (unlike the MacBook Air).

George/
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