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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, 11:22 PM   #1
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Any progress on ExpressCard SxS for Mac Pro?

I have a simple request: I just want to dump footage from my EX1 onto my Mac Pro (not MacBook Pro) at ExpressCard speed. Not USB speed.

Has anyone had any luck discovering a viable way to do this? I've looked through all the threads I can find, and here's my understanding:

-- You can dump from SxS card to MacBook Pro via its built-in ExpressCard slot.
-- You can dump from the EX1 to Mac Pro via Sony's USB card reader.
-- You can buy a cheap third-party card to allow you to dump from SxS to a Mac Pro via ExpressCard, but you'll need to reboot every time you change cards (!!).

But you *can't* dump from your SxS card straight into a Mac Pro via ExpressCard.

Do I have this right? Is this possible? There is no card, box, dongle, geegaw, or contraption that will allow me to get footage from EX1 to Mac Pro at speeds faster than USB?

Is this bizarre state of affairs really where we are?
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Old April 26th, 2008, 09:12 AM   #2
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http://www.synchrotech.com/products-...-drive_02.html

As you can see the problem is you have to reboot the computer negating any speed advantage. In addition this unit would be at the back of the Mac.

I could see this working as more like an external unit
http://www.synchrotech.com/products-...-drive_03.html
but unless they can resolve the reboot issue (actually Apple should resolve it IMHO) you lose the speed advantage having to reboot.

The result is that a boot the much more expensive Sony Express to USB reader. Maybe someday Apple will find away.

BTW the issue is only slightly better on the Windows side where you have to "Find New Hardware" with each card change.
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Old April 26th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #3
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Thanks, Craig. That was my understanding-- that you'd have to power cycle your Mac each time you switched to a new SxS card. I guess I'm stuck with the Sony USB reader (SBAC-US10) for now.

Apple was very quick to add support for the ex1 in FCP, which is great. But the speed advantage of being able to plug an SxS card directly into a Mac Pro would be enormous. I hope others are requesting this too!
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Old April 26th, 2008, 10:28 PM   #4
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Actually, a FW800 interface would be even better since the SxS is 800mbit anyway. I'm sure someone would come out with one soon.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 12:47 AM   #5
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David,

I hope your optimism is well founded. Somebody needs to come out with something! An ExpressCard-speed transfer from SxS direct to Mac Pro seems pretty basic (but then again, this is all relatively new, so maybe I shouldn't complain so much).
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Old April 27th, 2008, 01:00 AM   #6
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The odd thing about it is that Sony is one of the "supporters" of the iLink (firewire) standard. You'd think that they, if anybody, would have come out with Express card to iLink over USB.

Really how many people are editing XDCAM EX on computers that don't have iLink/firewire.

Who knows what challenges there are though since the EX itself doesn't send HQ over iLink/firewire.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 07:21 AM   #7
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I use a Dell PC laptop/ express card slot

I use a Dell PC laptop/ via the express card slot, copy the card to the internal drive, then copy that file to an external LaCie via High speed USB. I then connect the Lacie to my mac pro. so far so good. On occasion, I will burn the laptop file to a data DVD, either single sided or dual sided. Thye pc is really just a $700 card reader but works well in the field.
Best, Craig
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Old April 27th, 2008, 04:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel Chiefetz View Post
I have a simple request: I just want to dump footage from my EX1 onto my Mac Pro (not MacBook Pro) at ExpressCard speed. Not USB speed.
While I haven't used the ExpressCard transfer on my MacBookPro, the Sony ExpressCard USB reader seems to operate at flash Flash Read speeds. That is, the stated SxS target transfer speed of 800MBits/second probably isn't possible given the transfer rates of current flash chips. SanDisk's fastest flash device is the Ducati at 45 MB/second, which is 360 MBits/second. USB2 tops out at 480 Mbit/s (60 MB/s). I have a feeling that Sony won't have any faster flash devices in products over the next 1-2 years, so you may as well just plug the EX1 into your computer for the transfer. There is some utility for the Sony USB ExpressCard reader, but I don't think there is a major speedup. I'll have a chance to do the speed measurements soon.
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Old April 27th, 2008, 06:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
While I haven't used the ExpressCard transfer on my MacBookPro, the Sony ExpressCard USB reader seems to operate at flash Flash Read speeds. That is, the stated SxS target transfer speed of 800MBits/second probably isn't possible given the transfer rates of current flash chips. SanDisk's fastest flash device is the Ducati at 45 MB/second, which is 360 MBits/second. USB2 tops out at 480 Mbit/s (60 MB/s). I have a feeling that Sony won't have any faster flash devices in products over the next 1-2 years, so you may as well just plug the EX1 into your computer for the transfer. There is some utility for the Sony USB ExpressCard reader, but I don't think there is a major speedup. I'll have a chance to do the speed measurements soon.
My understanding is that people are reporting close to 9x transfer speeds via ExpressCard transfer, and close to 2x or 3x transfer speeds using the Sony USB card reader. So I'm not sure if your theory is correct...
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Old April 27th, 2008, 06:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Craig Hollenback View Post
I use a Dell PC laptop/ via the express card slot, copy the card to the internal drive, then copy that file to an external LaCie via High speed USB. I then connect the Lacie to my mac pro. so far so good. On occasion, I will burn the laptop file to a data DVD, either single sided or dual sided. Thye pc is really just a $700 card reader but works well in the field.
Best, Craig
Thanks for sharing that. I think you should sell the Dell and try the HP 2133 mini-note, which just started shipping:

http://gizmodo.com/377132/hp-2133-mi...ch-mans-eee-pc

Same price as your Dell, but tiny and portable. Why don't you get one and tell us how it goes?!
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Old April 27th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #11
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Sounds like a plan

Good tip Gabriel....When our sales rep comes on board, I'll give her the dell and pic up the HP.
Best, Craig
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Old April 28th, 2008, 12:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Craig Hollenback View Post
Good tip Gabriel....When our sales rep comes on board, I'll give her the dell and pic up the HP.
Best, Craig
Extra bonus points if you combine the little HP with ShotPut EXpress:

http://www.freshdv.com/2008/04/shotput-express.html

"Simply insert the SxS card into a PowerBook or Notebook’s ExpressCard slot and ShotPut EXpress makes secure, verified copies of the SxS card’s video contents (the BPAV folder) in up to three (3) locations."
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Old April 28th, 2008, 01:25 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gabriel Chiefetz View Post
My understanding is that people are reporting close to 9x transfer speeds via ExpressCard transfer, and close to 2x or 3x transfer speeds using the Sony USB card reader. So I'm not sure if your theory is correct...
For the Sony USB SxS reader on WindowsXP, I measured 22 MBytes/sec write speed and 26 MBytes/second read speed.
That's ~6 minutes to write and ~5 minutes to read a full 8 GByte card.

For the Sony USB SxS reader on both a MacBookPro and MacPro, I measured 20 MBytes/sec write speed and 31 MBytes/second read speed. That's ~6.5 minutes to write and ~4 minutes to read a full 8 GByte card.

For an SxS card in the ExpressCard slot of a MacBookPro, I see 43 MBytes/sec write and 45 MBytes/sec read. *NOTE* It is possible that the transfer speeds are greater as they may be limited by the speed of the MacBookPro's disk. That's ~3 minutes to write and ~3 minutes to read a full 8 GByte card.

Tests involved a stopwatch, a single 1 GByte file and an 8 GByte Sony SxS card.

Last edited by Gints Klimanis; April 28th, 2008 at 02:02 PM.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #14
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(Bump this thread up)

The 45 MBytes/second is strangely coincident with speed ratings for SanDisks's fastest flash product: their Ducati line. On the other hand, we could be seeing two banks of 20 MBytes/second each for write (Total 40 MB/sec) and 40 MBytes/second (total 80 MB/sec) for read with the upper transfer limit actually limited by the MacBookPro hard drive.

Hopefully, SanDisk will offer something in the 100 MB write/200 MB read speed range that Intel announced.

http://www.computerworld.com/action/...icleId=9060581

Last edited by Gints Klimanis; April 28th, 2008 at 06:21 PM.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 10:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
For the Sony USB SxS reader on WindowsXP, I measured 22 MBytes/sec write speed and 26 MBytes/second read speed.
That's ~6 minutes to write and ~5 minutes to read a full 8 GByte card.

For the Sony USB SxS reader on both a MacBookPro and MacPro, I measured 20 MBytes/sec write speed and 31 MBytes/second read speed. That's ~6.5 minutes to write and ~4 minutes to read a full 8 GByte card.

For an SxS card in the ExpressCard slot of a MacBookPro, I see 43 MBytes/sec write and 45 MBytes/sec read. *NOTE* It is possible that the transfer speeds are greater as they may be limited by the speed of the MacBookPro's disk. That's ~3 minutes to write and ~3 minutes to read a full 8 GByte card.

Tests involved a stopwatch, a single 1 GByte file and an 8 GByte Sony SxS card.
This is super useful info-- thanks for running those tests. That makes me feel like we're not taking that huge of a hit by relying on the Sony USB reader. Let's see... 4 minutes to read an 8GB card, so (hopefully) 8 minutes to read a 16GB card, so that would put us at around 7x realtime transfer via the Sony USB SxS reader. That's great!

I have an EX1 + Sony SxS reader showing up later this week, so I can do some more tests with the SxS reader plugged into a Mac Pro.
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