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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 November 25th, 2008, 01:00 AM   #1
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SDHC card backup

Nexto DI - Next Generation Storage with Digital Interface

Looks like it could be a stand-alone battery power-able SATA drive controller that copies SDHC and other memory cards without a laptop. Rudimentary OS, looks like EPROM burnt, which would be interesting...

It doesn't have an SxS port (yet), which is a pain, but it will take the Sony adaptor to USB, or plug into the camera's USB if you have the time or the mains power. 8GB in 10 minutes, or so, not bad, not good. Of course, I'm just told that the SBAC runs on 12v too, so with the proper Dolgin or similar adaptor, you have full portability and laptop freedom!

Price is right, though, around $330 for a 500GB but caveat emptor on this one - the EX1 blurb on the manufacturer's site says the NextTo model is ND2725 and the only US website it points to only sells ND2700's.

More as I learn more...
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Old November 25th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #2
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Got one here for review. Real cool. I have the Video version, which will connect via USB to Sony or Panasonic and transfer via USB, while maintaining directory structure.

Only caveat I issue is that it is hard drive based. Hard drives scare me.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:31 AM   #3
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One other caveat - they don't use NTFS file systems. They are limited in file size and for long-form events this could introduce problems.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:52 AM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by Ned Soltz View Post
Hard drives scare me.
I read that a lot here, and I don't understand it. I've owned several computers over the course of 18+ years and many more hard drives, and only once have I had a hard drive fail.

If hard drive failure was as common as some would have us believe, the computer industry would be in some serious trouble.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 10:11 AM   #5
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I've been using computers for 25 years. I've had many hard drives fail. All it takes is ONE hard drive failure for major havoc.

My lose analogy is jaywalking and getting hit by a car. You can jaywalk for YEARS without issue. You get hit once in a lifetime and you may be maimed or killed.

One hard drive crash anywhere in the life of your business can kill a job, lose a client, cost you thousands in reshoot. Masters lost FOREVER.

Now for corporate or even local cable spot work, after about 10 years I'm not too concerned because material that old is rarely revisited or reused in my experience.

In every case I had a hard drive crash, the drive ranged from just a year old to well under 10 years old.

In addition to crashes there's also accidental deletion and file corruption. There's also the changes in interfaces as years go by. It can be a bit of a bear if you have old scsi drives with material on them for example.

I like things written to a "write once" device that I can store away safely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell View Post
I read that a lot here, and I don't understand it. I've owned several computers over the course of 18+ years and many more hard drives, and only once have I had a hard drive fail.

If hard drive failure was as common as some would have us believe, the computer industry would be in some serious trouble.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 11:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Gladwell View Post
I read that a lot here, and I don't understand it. I've owned several computers over the course of 18+ years and many more hard drives, and only once have I had a hard drive fail.

If hard drive failure was as common as some would have us believe, the computer industry would be in some serious trouble.
Well, this is a funny thing as everyone seems to extrapolate their own personal experiences to the industry as a whole. Some people have had good luck in this area and others like me....., well I have been in business for about 7 years and have had SIX TOTAL hard drive failures in that time. So it can and does happen, and I don't know that I think it's all that rare. (I know, I know,
I'm doing the same thing, judging from my experience...:-)

Important thing is to back up your important data somehow....burn to DL DVD and
have it on hard drive maybe? That way you have two different sources....I dunno, just a
thought.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 12:14 PM   #7
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As a pro editor (I'm working on a Bravo TV show now), I tend to prefer XDCam EX projects to be shot on 8GB SxS/SDHC cards because I can then back each one up to a DL-DVD.

Then I make one master copy on a standalone HDD and copy its contents onto the RAID on my NLE system.

I'm in the process of converting my firewire HDDs to Drobos, BTW. You should all check that one out anyway - at drobo.com - I think they're very cool, especially for the price.

So now I have a) one copy of the original BPAVs on DL-DVDs, b) one copy of the BPAV's on a standalone HDD (soon to be Drobo), c) one BPAV copy on my editing RAID, and d) the imported media in my FCP drives.

Plus now with the SDHC solutions being so cheap, if I were shooting, I'd have the client buy the original set of 8GBs just to sit there until the job was done. Those would be the camera originals I'd deliver back to client.

When the job is done, I back up my FCP/Avid sessions and consolidate media to another HDD (near-line) on another computer, which would then automatically be backed up to my LTO3 system.

My editing originals and the NLE BPAV copies would then be cleaned off my RAID (save usually a zero-handle consolidated final cut, usually the color corrected and mixed master session), leaving me with the media and sessions on LTO tape, the media on DL-DVDs and one copy still on a standalone HDD. I sometimes add the sessions to that HDD after the event. When the Drobos arrive, that will be regular practice. My assistant has had the habit of backing up user preferences, daily sessions, cool effects, etc., on regular CD -ROMs and so that's an added bonus.

I then rotate my standalone HDDs depending on how many I have and how many jobs come in. I don't think I've had a show on those drives for more than six months to a year.

I've had many HDD failures (more than 50), DL-DVD mis-reads (in the tens), but no LTO failures so far (this system's been more or less set up for 3 or 4 years). With the Drobo, individual HDD failures will be a thing of the past, the LTOs seem to be working well thus far and who knows about the CD/DVDs?

However, between the three systems I think I've lost much more work due to forgetting to hit Control-S often enough than to any data failure. Especially lately, when trying to cut an 8 camera multiclip show in full res HD. (airdate was too close for an upres, on that show)

Machines can and will fail. It's just a matter of when.

So you pick two or more machines with different failure rates and duplicate your data across them. That way, hopefully, you don't have more than one type of failure at a time.

I think when my Drobos arrive I'll probably relax a little on the HDD drive situation.

HTH
Cheers
Chris
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Old November 25th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #8
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I've been made aware of this guy for field storage:

HyperDrive - The World's Fastest Memory Card Backup Device

I wonder if there is a SxS adaptor that would work?
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Old November 25th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #9
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Wouldn't heard to ask, right?
Interesting how little support the Expresscard system in general has been receiving. Nobody seems to want to have anything to do with it, except to make adaptors to and from the format.
I mean, the format's been out for quite a while now, hasn't it? And nobody's even got a carrying case for it yet. I now have 8 SxS cards and no wallet for them, unlike my spiffy Pelican one made for SD cards...
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Old November 26th, 2008, 05:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Leong View Post
Wouldn't heard to ask, right?
I mean, the format's been out for quite a while now, hasn't it? And nobody's even got a carrying case for it yet. I now have 8 SxS cards and no wallet for them, unlike my spiffy Pelican one made for SD cards...
How about one of these for each card? Seems appropriate.

SL6736 - Gold Plated Regular/King Size Double Sided Cigarette Case

John
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Old November 26th, 2008, 09:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Leong View Post
I'm in the process of converting my firewire HDDs to Drobos, BTW. You should all check that one out anyway - at drobo.com - I think they're very cool, especially for the price.

I think when my Drobos arrive I'll probably relax a little on the HDD drive situation.

HTH
Cheers
Chris
One caveat about the Drobo, Chris: I have the new one. It's supposed to be firewire 800. It does not work currently via FW with Windows. Blue screen of death. They're "working on a 3rd party driver." It works fine via USB2.0 but is slow transferring (like 20MB/s vs 70MB/s with a Lacie FW800 drive on same computer). Fine for backup but useless as media drive. If you're Mac, then I hear it's no problem.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Bland View Post
I've been made aware of this guy for field storage:

HyperDrive - The World's Fastest Memory Card Backup Device

I wonder if there is a SxS adaptor that would work?
Seems to be essentially a clone of the Nexto.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 09:37 AM   #13
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Chris has posted a highly professional , reliable and secure media management workflow.

It is important to note here that he archives to LTO3. I have been touting this for some time in my posts and in my articles. LTO is the only bondable archival medium. Because it is an ISO standard, it guarantees downward compatibility as new versions of LTO release.

As to the other posts regarding Drobo, I would only use Drobo as a redundant storage device, preferably with the network version, but would not use it for editing. There are far faster solutions.

Ned Soltz
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