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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 April 25th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #1
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USB to Express card adapter

I am looking at the EX3 (obviously later this summer). I was trying to figure out a good workflow. Obvioulsly a Macbook Pro and a external HD is the best way to to. But if I need to shave some money off the budget could I use a macbook and a USB to Express card adapter as a solution? I think I would like to take the extra money and put it towards some more SxS cards
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Old April 25th, 2008, 10:48 PM   #2
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i suppose you could, but would you edit on this macbook? it does not carry firewire 800, and monitor has a bit less resolution.

for processor speed, i would think the cheapest units are decent at 2.1ghz; the black unit has the same 2.4 ghz chip as the MBP.

beyond that, you may be able to find similar specs in a Vaio or cheaper PC and Vegas Video ($149 at B&H right now) This might get you started and making money to go up to a MPB?
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Old April 25th, 2008, 11:12 PM   #3
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I would not edit anything on the road more then likely. I just want something to get the stuff off the cards and be able to do the usually internet, email and talking to family via iChat when on the road. I already have a FCS2 Suite on a Mac Pro. So I was thinking that I could transfer all my settings and what not to the laptop and have it be my home away from home. I was also thinking about getting some of those WD HD I think they call them Pocket Drives. Strictly as a way to back up the footage. Another option (it is a future option) is to put the files to xdcam disc's On the fresh DV site one of the Sony reps said that the XDCAM disc is going to open up the data section of the XDCAM disc to be able to write the whole capacity of the disc. so if that is true. All I would need is a Drive unit via USB and some disc's to back up the footage. Much more viable way to work in my opion
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Old April 26th, 2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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I have the Sony USB card reader (the only one that works with the SxS cards), and I have used it with older laptops in the field. It works very well and is reasonably fast considering it is USB, but the only issue I have is that it needs power. This makes it much less portable than a MBP. On the plus side the adapter seems to have no trouble running the camera, and is much smaller than the standard charger.

-Sean
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Old April 30th, 2008, 10:59 AM   #5
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any alternatives to this reader? say esata to expresscard reader?
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Old April 30th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #6
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I am able to capture EX1 footage from the SCS cards on my HP laptop that has a built in express card slot. The laptop has two, separate 250GB hard drives, 2.2GHz Core Duo 2 CPU and 2GB RAM. Using Edius Broadcast 4.61 I'm also able to edit, although I normally just store the files for later transfer to my main editing computer. Edius is by far the most efficient editing program as far as real time and rendering performance is concerned that I've yet used.

Good luck,

Geoff
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Old April 30th, 2008, 04:25 PM   #7
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unfortunately there are no real options other than the sony USB card reader, not even 3rd party USB readers. the reason for this is that the SxS cards use the PCIe interface of the expresscard slot, which also has a USB interface. the PCIe side is faster, but the data needs to be reformatted to be sent over usb/firewire/esata etc. which is why the card reader costs so much and has to be powered externally. There is another thread about a PCIe unit for a tower, but I believe you have to restart every time you change a card.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 02:26 AM   #8
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You have to stick the SxS card into such reader, but only for your "first" boot.

If you still have the habit of turning your PC off after work, and booting it up on the next day - yes this is a problem, as you'd need to remember about the above every day.

But most of us put our PC's into standby rather than switch them off; after being woken up they will recognize a new SxS card, if originally booted with one in the reader (you need to ask Device Manager to search for it, though - also when you insert consecutive cards).
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Old May 1st, 2008, 02:48 AM   #9
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wow thaz quit a pain. How do most of u download the stuff? vis USB?
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Old May 1st, 2008, 03:34 AM   #10
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wow thaz quit a pain. How do most of u download the stuff? vis USB?
It's not really, after you find your most efficient way of handling it. And remember that it's even several times faster than USB!

Also, a couple of us (myself included) who used to use the on-camera USB miniport for off-loading, ended up already with it broken for abuse (yes - after just a couple of weeks using it).

To me, a fast (i.e. PCIe based) reader is a must for your workstation (fortunately the laptops we're using for in field off-loafing are already offering the fast ExpressCard readers).
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Old May 1st, 2008, 12:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
It's not really, after you find your most efficient way of handling it. And remember that it's even several times faster than USB!

Piotr, you're in a position to measure the speed of a workstation ExpressCard reader. I used a MacBookPro to compare the Sony USB reader with the built-in ExpressCard slot. The ExpressCard slot topped out at about 45 MBytes/second while the USB reader was about 30 MBytes/second read and 20 MBytes/second write. I suspect that the ExpressCard may have been limited by the MacBookPro's internal disk transfer rate. I used a 1 Gbyte file (from the VIDEO_TS folder of a ripped DVD). Would you please measure the performance of your card? Thanks.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 01:24 PM   #12
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I will post my results at the nearest opportunity, Gints.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 02:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
Piotr, you're in a position to measure the speed of a workstation ExpressCard reader. I used a MacBookPro to compare the Sony USB reader with the built-in ExpressCard slot. The ExpressCard slot topped out at about 45 MBytes/second while the USB reader was about 30 MBytes/second read and 20 MBytes/second write. I suspect that the ExpressCard may have been limited by the MacBookPro's internal disk transfer rate. I used a 1 Gbyte file (from the VIDEO_TS folder of a ripped DVD). Would you please measure the performance of your card? Thanks.
OK Gints, so I measured mine today; it copied some total 5 GB content (in 3 clips) in just around a minute which - if my math is right - translates to some 83 MB/s sustained read speed.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 03:56 AM   #14
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Piotr,you probably know this but when you're transfering or copying,on the pop-up transfer window if you hit the "details" button it displays the transfer speed.

Paul.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #15
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Piotr,you probably know this but when you're transfering or copying,on the pop-up transfer window if you hit the "details" button it displays the transfer speed.

Paul.
No Paul - I don't have any "Details" button; are you talking Windows?
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