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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 December 13th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven S. Miric View Post
Give Ross a break!
He came up with "work around tool" to save everybody some serious $$...
Why being finicky and ask about warranty? It's all there on the site.
This is kind of device (I am sure) not better or worse than any other Kensington or Delkin or... I would assume that if if you order it and it's not working out of the box, Ross would be willing to replace it. But asking for any other warranty for electronic device like this is just "chocking the guy who tried to help"... Come on! It's $35.00. Just couple of Starsucks coffees. Right?
I initially wanted 2. But, I ordered 4. I have 4 Ultra II now in Kensigton adapters. When Ross delivers, I will be able to close the door on my EX1. End of story. If one breaks while in use, I will spend another $35+shipping to get replacement. I will not ask for warranty replacement, because the price of the adapter pays off after only one day of using it on assignment (daily rental of SxS 16GB is $20-40, here in Toronto).
Get it?
You're out of line, Steven. I'm asking a perfectly legitimate business question and you're acting unprofessional.
First of all, I congratulated Ross on his initative and did express the fact that I'm 'potentially happy'. Secondly, Ross is not Santa Claus, he's a businessman. I think his prices are fair but that's also smart business.
Thirdly, if I ordered two, which I want to, that would be 95 dollars. If by any chance it wouldn't work, I'd be out of what I consider a good amount of money plus the hassle. Even if he would accept returns: returning also cost money and time.
Besides, it's not a matter of money alone. If Ross guarantees his products, it means they are sufficiently tested for what he's selling it for (ie they work with the Sandisks).
I have 2 useless Delkins sitting here. That's at least 20 cups of Starbucks I won't be drinking...

If I buy something from a business, I'd just like to know if there's a warranty on their products. That's all.

So... to speak in your terminology: get it?
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Old December 13th, 2008, 11:38 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Ola Christoffersson View Post
Looking forward to a proper test/review of the card as soon as somebody gets one. Also - it would be interesting to hear what endurence tests Ross has done and for how long he has been running the card without errors. Don't want to order before I know that this actually is THE solution.

Great initiative!!!
Hi Ola,

Thanks for the question.

I was very concerned about testing the cards to make sure they stand up to the rigours of our work. We videographers don't work in nice clean offices, and file our cards into well laid out drawers. Most of the videographers I know work in the rough and tumble of shooting on the run, (especially wedding videographers). We need to have equipment that will run first time every time. It's hard enough doing our job without worrying about whether our equipment may fail on us. I remember the first gig I did with the EX1 and the speeches went longer than I had planned for and the camera said it was going to switch cards, I was so excited to shoot with the camera, I hadn't even tested that before I took the camera out on the first shoot, I can tell you I nearly .... myself. It worked,... but the stress.

I had beeen playing around with Lexar SSD, and some generic cards which were rated as Class 6,but really were like Class 0.5 if you ask me. But what happened in testing them was I found a whole lot of limitations.

NB These aren't scientific measurements, this is me counting Mississippisp? one Mississippi two... and writing down the results and a bit of guesswork, along with the terrific work of Steve Thomas in particular.

My conclusions are what I found under my testing, but we did try these same tests in three EX1's.


1) How fast the card can go from button on, to button on, to button on again. A common enough situation. We hit the record button because something finished, but then something else happens. How fast can the camera start recording again. I found that slow cards took somewhere around 6-8 secs to finalise TOC (Table of Contents) and the Lexar 7-9 secs, as registered by the record light above the slot going from red to green. I found that I could go to record again with the SxS in about 2-4 secs. If the card cannot write it's table of contents then we get the "Media needs to be restored message". We haven't lost any data, but you will need to eject the card and reinsert to let it rebuild the TOC. Which can be difficult, or impossible if the other card is full, as the camera tries to swap to the other card to record on automatically.

Result on MxR with Sandisk Ultra II : I couldn't get it to fail after many, many attempts. I tried recording 1,2,3,4,5,10,20,30, even went to 20min, then button off, then go straight back to record. It never failed once. Conclusion, same as SxS.

2) What about going from record to review? It has to write the TOC before we can review the shot, so how fast can it do it. Slower cards, and Lexar SSD all failed here.

Result on MxR with Sandisk Ultra II : We tried shot after shot after shot, never missed a beat. Conclusion same as SxS.

3) Can the cards switch automatically, without a hitch. Worked fine letting camera do the switch. conclusion same as SxS.

4) Overcrank: Obviously for those who have been following the huge thread on this topic, it is the USB interface which limits the amount of overcranking possibile. We have tested in PAL up to 48fps, on a start stop sequence, like in point 1) above and in long sequences crossing cards. No probs at 48fps.

5) Inserting / Ejecting cards in camera and computer. We have tested putting into both, was the card recognised each and every time by the camera. Yes. Was it recognised by the computer, yes. Compare to SxS. I have a 16GB SxS which is recognised by the camera each time, but only sometimes by the computer. I have to sometimes reboot my Dell laptop, to make it recognise it. Never had that problem with MxR.

6) Check the Push in / Push out, to see if movement loses integrity. You know how some people using worry beads, or flick pens while they are working, well I did that to the card I was testing. Pull the card in of the adapter, push in/push out for about,... well most of a couple of days, while I was doing other things (obviously I wasn't editing those days). It passed that test fine. With any mechanism there is a chance for failure, but I did what I would think most people won't do, constantly removing, reinserting. No probs.

BTW the Push in Push out mechanism we are using is designed to ONLY work with SDHC cards. So it doesn't have to compromise on function. Do one thing and do it well, was the idea.

7) We put a camera on record with one card in it, and we recorded on the card, then deleted the files and recorded again, and again, I think we did 8 hours straight in a non air conditioned office, to see if the card would overheat. We had heard there were some cards which did this, and they would stop being recognised by the camera. MxR had no problems. I'd like to do more testing on this to see if our high summer temps here in Sydney, (it was 34C and felt like 90% humidity today) will affect it. so far no problem.

8) We also tried 8GB, 16GB Sandisks, 8GB and 16GB Transcends, no problems, all worked fine.

9) I haven't inserted and reinserted the card thousands of times into a camera, but we have done hundreds, and more as we continue our testing. I suppose, again lilke anything mechanical, it will fail. I will ask the manufacturer if there is some kind of MTBF for Expresscard connectors.

I was distressed to hear about the failures of some Kensington/Delkin cards. Does anybody have any info on the circumstances that surround the failures. I would sure like to test for that.

10) Lastly, I am going test each card before it leaves us, to make sure you don't get a Dead on Arrival. I hate getting all excited about some new fandango doodad, get it out of the box and it fails. So you can be sure that I have stuck your card in one of our cameras with a Sandisk Ultra II and the camera said "58mins".

11) I wanted test random deletion of clips and re-recording, but our technical team member told me, that we wouldn't be testing the Adapter but the software implementation on the SDHC card, re: data balancing etc, so we abandoned that test. For our small amount of testing, it didn't seem to have a problem, but maybe what we need is some kind of standardised test that can test an SDHC cards ability to write randomly. Anyone got ay ideas?


If you have any specific testing that you wuld like me to do, I'd be happy to oblidge, but it will have to wait until our Monday, which is the US sunday, as all our cameras are out at Dance concerts at the moment. Sorry about that, but you know, we are a video production business, and Dance concerts wait for no man.


Any questions, please feel free to post here or send me an email. I'm a bit overloaded with email at the moment, but I will answer it as soon as I can.

regs.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen Wolf View Post
Hi Ross,

Congrats on your new business and for potentially making a lot of camerapeople happy, including myself! But the reader is still somewhat 'beta' as you acknowledge yourself.

What kind of policy do you have concerning warranty?

Jeroen
Hi Jeroen,

Thanks for the question.

Your question is a good one, and I'll bet that you aren't the only one asking it. We are offering a warranty on the cards, but I need to clear up a few more questions about what is included / duration / RMA process etc. that I have with the manufacturer. Obviously DOA is a no brainer.

You might want to take a quick, well ok not so quick look, at the post I put above on some of the testing we have done. There are some other things we tested for but they don't spring to mind at 5am, don't know why.

Can I get back to you as soon as I get clarification, is that ok?
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Old December 13th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #34
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Ross, I impressed with your very substantial testing program based upon your concern about reliability of your product. Many thanks for your patience with our questions, its pleasure dealing with you.
I have another one: Yesterday I have placed the order through your web site, but did not get e-mail confirmation. Should I expect one?
Thank you,
Mark
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Old December 13th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #35
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Hi Ross, I placed an order yesterday (3176-1306-3327-0035) but would like to know if I can switch to your faster method of freight since I really need the readers by Thursday. Please let me know if this is possible asap. Thanks,
Neil
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Old December 13th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #36
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Well you certainly put the cards through their paces. I just got 2 Delkin adapters, 3-Transcend and 2-Sandisk 16GB SD cards last week. I did almost exactly the same tests as you did. I ran the cards for 4-6 hours each, some strait record until full and some off and on for many clips. Out of 2 Delkins I ordered (both the same blessed eFilm cards) one worked flawlessly the other failed right away. Tried reformat and re-recording but if it fails right away it's dead! after days of testing I used them on a job this week and they worked great. The job was interviewing camera operators who are receiving awards from the SOC (Society of Operating Cameramen) here in Hollywood. The coolest thing was showing those tiny little cards to the Tech heads who work in the entertainment business. Most are just plain flabbergasted! So much recording time on such a tiny card. Well I am going to order some cards from you soon so I can have lots of media standing by, I have several projects I am using the cards on so this is just awesome. Oh yea and I do tell everyone I know who has an EX1/3.

So much Fun!
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Old December 13th, 2008, 12:55 PM   #37
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And a big thank you Ross, looks like you have done a great job.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #38
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I'll add my congratulations to Ross as well for his efforts and courage in taking on this venture. It's nice to see a local taking the lead on this.

Then again it does seem a bit strange paying for something in Australia in USD, especially as the biggest market for these will probably be in Australia. Not to worry Ross, I can pay you cash if you like, plenty of USDs left over from trips to the USA.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 05:02 PM   #39
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Hi Bob,

The problem with using Aussie dollars, is that except for us no-one knows their value. So if you put down $AUD50, everyone would say "what's an $AUD?", then they have to do their own exchange conversion. We figured most people in the world have bought something from the US at some stage, from B&H, or Amazon or whatever, and they know if $US35 converted to their home currency of Krona, Peso or Euro, is good value or not.

We have split off Australia from the other countries only because we have to charge GST here and produce a GST invoice. Paypal's system from what I could see couldn't handle our complexity.

And yes we are going to offer Australians to pay in Sunburnt Aussie dollars. I'm replying to all the people who have enquired today, with a similar chart with Aussie dollars and using Auspost Platinum for security.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Dankoff View Post
I really need the readers by Thursday. Please let me know if this is possible asap. Thanks,
Neil
Hi Ross,

If it was any miracles available at your pocket making possible to send the cards
(ordered 3 just now)
from the sunny Aus to the land of the Santa during next week, so they'll land at my postbox before 20th Dec...would be more than fantastic - Merry Xmas

Br.
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Old December 13th, 2008, 07:28 PM   #41
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Ross, I commend you on your thorough testing.
Thank you,
I will be ordering four soon.

Steve
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Old December 13th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Ross Herewini View Post
Hi Bob,

And yes we are going to offer Australians to pay in Sunburnt Aussie dollars. I'm replying to all the people who have enquired today, with a similar chart with Aussie dollars and using Auspost Platinum for security.
Can you add me as one of those enquiries Ross?

Thanks
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Old December 14th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Ross Herewini View Post
Hi Jeroen,

Thanks for the question.

Your question is a good one, and I'll bet that you aren't the only one asking it. We are offering a warranty on the cards, but I need to clear up a few more questions about what is included / duration / RMA process etc. that I have with the manufacturer. Obviously DOA is a no brainer.

You might want to take a quick, well ok not so quick look, at the post I put above on some of the testing we have done. There are some other things we tested for but they don't spring to mind at 5am, don't know why.

Can I get back to you as soon as I get clarification, is that ok?
That's perfect, Ross and I appreciate your response. Looks like you're a good party to do business with.

Jeroen
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Old December 14th, 2008, 03:32 PM   #44
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Do you need one of these cards also to download your Sandisk card into the computer?
I assume can you also do it with one of the many USB adapters on the market already.

Would it be slower ? There could be both an advantage (speed) and a disadvantage to tying up the expresscard card slot for downloading. For example I use eSATA hard drives at home that go into my Macbook pro with an expresscard adapter. So at home I might prefer a USB solution if it wasn't too slow.

Also it gives you the option of carry a smaller computer on location that doesn't have an expresscard slot.


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Old December 14th, 2008, 05:07 PM   #45
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Do you "need" one of these cards? No. You can certainly take out the SDHC card and insert it into any card reader than can read such for offloading.

It's all about having the best workflow for the situation at hand.

My typical workflow is SxS to MacBookPro in the field and when back in the office, MacBookPro via ethernet to the workstation on my network.

If I'm not shooting much material and the laptop is an inconvenience I take the SxS back to the office and use the Sony SxS card reader USB into my workstation.

With these cards I can avoid the laptop on many more shoots where it's inconvenient. These cards won't work in the PCIe based Sony SxS reader but any number of inexpensive card readers can handle SDHC. The transfer times may be slower but being able to record longer in the field without offloading will be a big advantage for some shoots.

In addition I can simply "sell" the SDHC card to client if they want to work that way. Given the media costs are now comparable to DigiBeta or HDCAM, I could even consider saving the card as the archive.

If you have a reader that can handle USB Express Cards, it'll probably handle these just like they can handle Kennsington adaptors. A laptop with an Express Card slot would be one. The reason I need these cards is that there are shoots where the laptop is an inconvenience.

It may very well depend on WHY you're bringing the laptop to the shoot in the first place. Use an SDHC card reader if the laptop doesn't have an Express Card slot. If I can use my laptop on location then SxS works. If I can't, these MxS cards are may savior.
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