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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 March 14th, 2008, 08:03 PM   #1
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Do I need a card reader

Hi guis, quick question to lucky EX1 owners, do I need a card reader , or there is straight download fom SxS to hard drive via ilink or USB available?
Many thanks!
:-)
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Old March 14th, 2008, 08:20 PM   #2
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You do not need a card reader...You can dump the footage by way of USB directly from the camera, if you use iLink it will only be SP footage. The best way is to have a Laptop with Express card slot then you can just transfer it this way which is the fastest. I may pic up a card reader at some point to have in the studio but a price drop would need to happen before I order one...That is if they ever become available.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 08:21 PM   #3
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When you plug the USB into your computer, the EX1 memory cards will show up as drives on your computer. Just like a thumb drive.

The reader is expensive, but I really like using it. It's a lot easier to deal with just the cards. You don't have to grab you camera just to view your clips.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 09:01 PM   #4
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USB is slower to transfer than the Express34 slot. If you have a laptop with that slot, it's your best bet for transfer.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 09:17 PM   #5
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Many many many thanks guys,
sure xspress card slot on laptop would be nice, but mine doesn't have it , just a few months back when I bought it, didn't think hard enough :-(
thanks again
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Old March 14th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #6
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I purchased the card reader after the 5th time I picked up the camera forgetting it was still plugged into my G5 tower. I destroyed the USB jack on the camera in this manner.

$250 well spent.
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Old March 15th, 2008, 11:27 PM   #7
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I'm planning to buy the card reader right away, because I don't like the flimsy cover on the USB port - it looks like it will break off immediately. Why can't Sony look at the rubber port covers on digital SLRs in the same price range as the EX1, and put something similar on their $6000+ camera? For that matter, why is a camera in this price range using a USB data port instead of FW800? The only FireWire port on the EX1 is the FW400 port used for video out, which they haven't enabled for data transfer. Even stranger to me is the fact that the only card reader they offer is ALSO USB only... With these superfast cards, shouldn't they be interested in putting out a faster card reader? I would assume that most of us edit on a desktop or workstation (although possibly using a laptop for field transfers), and that very few people's desktops have ExpressCard slots... Am I wrong?

-Dan
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Old March 16th, 2008, 04:51 AM   #8
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Dan, you are absolutely right. I have already injured my USB port because of the complicated access; also it's not fast enough. Therefore I have found and ordered a reader like this:

http://www.synchrotech.com/products-...-drive_03.html

I do have an ExpressCard reader on my laptop, but used to download through USB to the main editing PC, anyway... What a hassle!

I'll report how the reader is performing soon.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 07:09 AM   #9
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Ah-ha, so I'm not the only one to have damaged the USB port because you can't see a cable plugged into it. Picked up the EX forgetting it was plugged in and broke the USB socket.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 07:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Ah-ha, so I'm not the only one to have damaged the USB port because you can't see a cable plugged into it. Picked up the EX forgetting it was plugged in and broke the USB socket.
No, you're not alone in this, Alister :). See here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=116444

...if you care to scroll down a bit, you will even see the damage I've done (though for quite another reason).
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Old March 16th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #11
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wow, for sure that's gonna happen to me sooner or later;
I wonder if this
http://www.synchrotech.com/product-u...t_adapter.html
would be cheaper solution, compare to original one, and it doesn't need power adapter,
:-)
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Old March 16th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #12
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That won't work with the SxS cards, because it only passes the USB signal through. ExpressCards actually have two different signal types - USB and PCI Express. The fast ones (like SxS cards) use the PCI Express signal, while a slow card can use the USB signal. Of course, if you're building a USB card reader, it's awfully tempting to only read the USB signal, because you don't have to convert anything - simply wire the USB lines on the card straight to the same pins on the computer's USB port - cheap, simple and doesn't take any power. If you want to read high-speed Express cards, though, you have to convert the PCI Express coming off the card to USB (or whatever else your reader wants - I'd love to see FW800 or eSata) , because the fast cards don't have anything hooked up to the USB signal wires - they expect to be read by a PCI Express controller.
The Sony card reader is actually a somewhat complicated little box containing a PCI Express to USB bridge, which explains its need for power, and at least part of its price. It still shouldn't be as expensive as it is, though - removable hard drive chassis with a SATA to FireWire bridge sell for about $100 (fixed hard drive enclosures aren't really a fair comparison, because, although they contain a bridge, they aren't designed to have things plugged and unplugged from them). The Sony reader should probably cost somewhere between $75 and $125, but they know they've got us over a barrel (and they aren't making very many of them, which always makes things more expensive).

-Dan
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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:53 PM   #13
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These might be closer

http://www.synchrotech.com/products-...-drive_03.html

http://www.synchrotech.com/products-...-drive_02.html

They even link to SxS driver.

Apparently the issue is on Mac one MUST reboot the computer to recognize the device after changing the card.

On Windows on has to find new hardware after changing card.

They do mention, regarding the 2nd device, that they are working on resolving Mac issues. The first device is more attractive as a reader though.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 11:13 PM   #14
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This will certainly work - those of us on the Mac have to deal with the fact that it's an internal device that needs access to the front of the computer to insert cards, which will require modification to the case of a Mac Pro - the simplest way would probably be to use the second optical bay (the one most of have marked in our heads "reserved for Blu-Ray burner when Apple gets around to updating DVD Studio Pro"), and either remove/stick permanently in the down position the aluminum door to that bay or Dremel out a hole in the door. Someone really creative could use one of the INTERNAL hard drive bays and Dremel the access port in the side panel of the Mac Pro! Why can't these people make an external version of this thing - all it would take is rerouting the cable to the back of the interface card and tossing the reader in an external hard drive housing?
It shouldn't be a problem for most PCs, since almost all PCs have an accessible bay left (and those that don't tend to have a bay taken up by something obsolete like a CD-ROM drive or a 3.5 inch floppy drive) - this thing is 3.5 inches, but they sell a 5.25 inch adapter on the same page.
The unit they make without a drive bay component solves one problem on the Mac, but creates another. It puts the slot on the BACK of the Mac Pro - how many of us have our 65 pound Macs set up so the back is easy to reach? I know that mine is under a desk with a couple of hard drives on top of it, and I suspect that's about average. Before you think "I'll just turn it around permanently", imagine reaching the DVD burner with the computer mounted backwards. The slot version just about commits users to have the 2 foot deep computer placed in a strange position, taking up a lot of extra space, in order to have access to both the front and back panels.
Please, Steve Jobs, let us have a 3.5 inch bay without a door on the next Mac Pro - we'll promise not to put a floppy drive in it (legend has it that the exposed bays were removed from tower Macs to keep people from foiling Steve's dream of a floppy-free world). Most Mac Pros sell to photographers and videographers - both of whom would promptly put a media reader of some type (whether it was SxS, P2, Compact Flash or some combo device) in a spare bay. Barring an extra bay marring the sleek lines of the Mac, Apple could put a media reader in themselves, at least as an option - something that did ExpressCard (SxS), PC card (P2), CompactFlash and SD wouldn't be terribly hard to do, and it would get a lot of use.

-Dan
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Old March 19th, 2008, 09:59 AM   #15
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OK, so I have just installed the "PCI Express to ExpressCard 34|54 Drive
Read-Writer Front" device (see http://www.synchrotech.com/products-...drive_03.html). However, I'm disappointed that neither under Windows XP, nor Vista is the device hot-swappable with Sony SxS cards:(

Once I remove a card, upon another insertion it cannot be seen (Windows says I need to format it before use). I have to use Device Manager to manually UNINSTALL the device first, then SCAN FOR HARDWARE CHANGES each time after re-inserting an SxS card.

If somebody finds a way to automatically unmount/remount SxS cards, I'm all ears...

PS. I think I did saw a reference to some automation script for uninstalling/reinstalling a device, that can spare digging into the Control Panel each time.
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