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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 August 27th, 2008, 06:12 PM   #1
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Cost of Sony XD Cams.

I am just curious.....When one buys this Sony XDCam...How in the world do you manage the cost.....With these Solid State Drives, I know it only gives you 25min of footage when recording 1080p, but its not much when you record in other formats. Because an average wedding does have atleast 2 hours of recording time...If not more.

Also, what about a backup!...i.e recording to a solid state drive and simultaneously to a hard drive.

No doubt the camera is amazing, but I am assuming you would need atleast 4 solid state drives...(4 x 8Gb = $2000!)...Of course it would be more if you go with the 16Gb drives.

Then, in addition, you would need a backup hard drive....Just to Be Safe...Rather than being Sorry!.....All in all, the final cost of the whole thing would be around $12k..if not more.. for everything

Any thoughts???
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Old August 27th, 2008, 06:16 PM   #2
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Moved from Wedding / Event Videography to Sony XDCAM EX.

Keep in mind that SxS cards are reusable and pay for themselves eventually.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 06:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akbar Ukani View Post
Also, what about a backup!...i.e recording to a solid state drive and simultaneously to a hard drive. Any thoughts???
That is why there are Blu-ray discs at 25GB and 50GB for backup. Weddings and such are precious memories and surely worth the cost of a couple of Blu-ray discs.

By the way, if your clients also want to see their memories on XDCAM/EX then you will also wanting to be delivering the footage of their once in a life-time commitment in High Definition on a Blu-ray disc so they can view it on their living room HD plasma/LCD whatever television :-))
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Old August 27th, 2008, 06:51 PM   #4
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A two hour wedding! - does that include the honeymoon?

That's a long wedding - mine took about 25 minutes and that included the drive over!

Anyway back to the EX - I tend to shoot more conservatively now. I don't just let the camera roll when I know it's a weak shot. I think this makes me a better photographer. I did a shoot yesterday with my new EX3 that was 8 scenes, lasting five hours with set-ups - all on 2 x 8G cards and a Macbook Pro. But when I looked at the footage I had recorded less than 75 minutes total, whereas wwith my tape cams I would have shot every single minute.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 08:39 PM   #5
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Or

Alternatively, get a Convergent Designs Nanoflash (US$3,500) and a stack of CF cards (US$cheap - 32GB about US$150) and enjoy.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 09:02 PM   #6
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Would you please compare the cost of shooting on SxS solid state cards to other recording mediums that can record 1920x1080 in native resolution?

Also, could you please describe the backup methods for those alternatives?

Thanks,

-Perrone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akbar Ukani View Post
I am just curious.....When one buys this Sony XDCam...How in the world do you manage the cost.....With these Solid State Drives, I know it only gives you 25min of footage when recording 1080p, but its not much when you record in other formats. Because an average wedding does have atleast 2 hours of recording time...If not more.

Also, what about a backup!...i.e recording to a solid state drive and simultaneously to a hard drive.

No doubt the camera is amazing, but I am assuming you would need atleast 4 solid state drives...(4 x 8Gb = $2000!)...Of course it would be more if you go with the 16Gb drives.

Then, in addition, you would need a backup hard drive....Just to Be Safe...Rather than being Sorry!.....All in all, the final cost of the whole thing would be around $12k..if not more.. for everything

Any thoughts???
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Old August 27th, 2008, 11:49 PM   #7
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The "start up" cost is certainly pricey but I believe the 16GB cards are under $800.
Two 8GB were FREE and we bought one 16GB card for around $900. So we know have over 100 minutes of storage for a total cost of $900.

In addition we bought a MacBookPro for around $2000 (and there are cheaper if you go PC). So we now have CONTINUES recording. I haven't done weddings with it but I have done events going 3 hours long. With laptop at hand there's NO need for a tape change. The entire 3 hours as one shot without losing a single second to a tape change. No more worries about loosing a key moment or coordinating a stop in the event to change. That's a MAJOR WOW!

Import is 4x to 8x and that's a bit WOW too. A MAJOR time savings. I've been backing up to DL-DVD at under $2 a disk each storing about 25 minutes. Not much worse than miniDV there. Backing up at about 4x actually results in something close to "real time" so not fast but not bad.

Big savings though in that I need NO DECK. Card slot in Laptop. My PD-170 $3500 with DSR-11 deck $1500 was $5100. So not having a deck is a BIG SAVINGS which offsets other costs.

So EX 1 camera (around $6500) plus one 16GB (around $750) plus one laptop ($2000 for MacBookPro but less for PC) is well under $10,000 (not $12,000). Sure my rates have gone up a bit but the quality of my "product" has gone up immensely.

BTW I can give a client the DL-DVD backup (and making a 2nd backup is easy) which can be read by cross platform Sony Clip Browser (FREE!) and my client doesn't need a deck at all so that's a BIG convenience.

Add a couple more grand and you've got EX3 with interchangeable lenses.

What you have is QUALITY at a BARGAIN price IMHO.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 12:20 AM   #8
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Cost of media is one of the considerations you have to take into account when going tapeless.

For my own applications, I can't download with a laptop because of the conditions I work in. Just not practical at all.

Even if I could I wouldn't do that. There's too much going on to try to keep track of which card was downloaded and which ones weren't. Make a mistake and there goes an hour of material.

Instead I invested in enough cards to cover a day of shooting. Everything gets transferred to a mirrored RAID at day's end. And now I'm thinking of putting important data on a third drive which will be kept off-site, in case something happens to the RAID.

Just keep reminding yourself: consider yourself lucky that you aren't shooting film or DVCProHD tape!
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Old August 28th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akbar Ukani View Post
...only gives you 25min of footage when recording 1080p, but its not much when you record in other formats.
25 minutes is on the 8GB at HQ. Which as everyone mentioned you'll receive two free cards with your EX purchase. So 50 minutes (70 is SQ) out of the box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akbar Ukani View Post
Also, what about a backup!...i.e recording to a solid state drive and simultaneously to a hard drive.
I did a three hour corporate meeting to SxS and out the Firewire to Adobe On Location. For the edit, I didn't even need to go to the OL file. IMO, additional backup is a necessity for anyone doing video. This is really a push. but the kids here laid out some good options

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akbar Ukani View Post
No doubt the camera is amazing, but I am assuming you would need atleast 4 solid state drives...(4 x 8Gb = $2000!)...Of course it would be more if you go with the 16Gb drives.
Acutally you are looking at less than $900 for two additional 8GB cards. OR $805 for a 16GB.

Seeing as we are neighbors, and without naming names ;) there is a warehouse that sells tape here in town that is selling SxS a lot cheaper than even B&H ($70 less for a 16GB) than the place that showcases cameras. So deals can be had, money saved.

Hope this helps.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 04:47 PM   #10
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A laptop with an ExpressCard slot will do you wonders.

A Toshiba laptop is going for $550.00 at Best Buy right now. 250 GB hard drive, Dual Core, 2GB RAM...plenty to use an an offload device. Cheaper or equal to the price of an 8GB SxS card.

Now I own one 16GB SxS card and two 8GB cards. That's over 100 minutes of footage. 140 minutes using SP mode which I use for event videography. They weren't cheap but in the long run I will save more than what professional tape that has zero drop outs (sorry MiniDV, you don't qualify) cost. So for one SONY BCT-94HDL HDCAM TAPE that costs $72 vs. memory cards that can be reused and don't have to be captured...I'll happily pay for the initial start up cost and luxury of not having to log/capture footage. Quick...good...cheap, pick two as they always say.

Not only that but I don't have to miss a frame of action since the camera automatically switches to the other card when it runs out of space. Tape can't do that.
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