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Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old January 11th, 2009, 03:08 AM   #1
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Problem with Sandisk UltraII and both adapters

I have mentioned my problems with the Sandisk Ultra II 16 GB card before on several occations in different threads but since I still have not figured out why I have problems and nobody else seems to, I thought I'd lay it all out here again.
I'd really appreciate your thoughts!

These are my observations.

I have two Kensington adapters and two MxR-adapters. I also have one Sandisk 8 GB Extreme III, one Sandisk 16 GB Extreme III and one Sandisk 16 GB Ultra II.

The Extreme cards work perfectly in both adapter types. I have used the 16 GB card for months with the Kensington and not a single error message. I have recorded at least 10 hours with that card. This leads me to the conclusion that I don't have a problem with the camera or the adapters.

Now - the first Sandisk 16 GB Ultra II card I bought behaved very strangely. It was difficult to get the camera to accept it at all and I only managed to make a few recordings before the card stopped working. I don't remember the details here since this was a while ago. Anyway I assumed the card was faulty and had it replaced.
The new card behaved nicely for a while but when using it for the second time it gave me an error message "Media needs to be restored" when trying to review a clip I had just recorded. I had to take the card out of the adapter and put it back in a couple of times to get the camera to accept it for recording again.
Ever since it has been increasingly unstable. Often stopping with error message "Media needs to be restored" in the middle of a recording resulting in a corrupt clip. It never ruins other clips on the card though. I have tried reformating the card both in Windows and in the camera to make sure the file system was not corrupt.

I have also had problems reading the card in my laptop. Both using the adapters and putting the card straight into the SD-slot. Sometimes it shows up in windows but when I try to look at the files on the cards it tells me to insert a card.
It feels good that the card behaves this way in windows as well since that makes me more confident that the problem is with the card itself and not with the adaptor or camera.

I get the feeling that the card simply stops responding and "disappears" from the camera or computer now and again and that causes the error. I should point out that I never get the error message that lets me restore the card only the one saying "Media needs to be restored". To fix the problem I have to reinsert the card. It does not restore the card when I do this. All of these problems are there using both the Kensington and the MxR-adapter.

I also want to point out that WHEN the card works it performs perfectly and lets me overcrank up to 45 fps without problems so the problem is not poor performance from the card.

I am about to buy more cards and feel very confident with the ExtremeIII-cards that have never failed me but they are more than double the price and as has been pointed out here before do not offer any advantages compared to Ultra II. Could I really have been so unlucky as to recieve two faulty cards in a row?! They even had different packing so they were probably not from the same batch.

Finally I'd like to point out that I have made sure these are not fake e-bay cards.

Sorry for the long post but I really wanted to tell the whole story. I'd be really interested in your views and any similar experiences. If I had not had such good experience from the ExtremeIII-cards I would have dropped the whole idea of SDHC-cards by now.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 03:44 AM   #2
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You could always try the Transcend Class 6 cards. Half the price of the Extreme III yet just as reliable.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 05:19 AM   #3
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You could always try the Transcend Class 6 cards. Half the price of the Extreme III yet just as reliable.
Yes - I am considering them. Although I recall hearing some early reports on problems with them as well. Have you had any problems or error messages at all with Transcend cards?
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Old January 11th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #4
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Ola,

When I first got a SDHC combo I had a few problems getting the particular Sandisk Ultra II SDHC that I had to work... (took 3-4 attempts to get EX3 to recognise the media) but it has (so far) been absolutely fine since - and touch wood will remain so!

Many reports on here that this SDHC combo is typically reliable - so just maybe you were the 'one in 1000' (or whatever the duff rate is with this particular electronics component) who got TWO duff/sub-standard Sandisk Ultra II cards in a row? Very unlucky but possible. The microengineering within these cards is very high precision stuff and if manufacturing tolerances of several components are at their extremes and 'stack up' together then you might end up with an intermittently unreliable card - not that I'm any expert in this aspect of manufacturing but I do have a highly technical manufacturing background and I've seen this effect in other aspects of technology.

My other two sticks are Transcend combos and they were fine and have never given me any issues and again DVinfo users experiences in general has been excellent - and they are (even) cheaper as has been pointed out.

As is well known (but I tested it anyway), both types typically allow over-cranking to about 45-50 fps in 720p mode before error messages start appearing - I tested them on arrival before any serious use. However, I never use them for over-cranking, I just put those shots on SxS to be safe.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 10:06 AM   #5
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Apparently someone else also having problem with Sandisk Ultra II
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...disk-32gb.html
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Old January 11th, 2009, 01:24 PM   #6
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Apparently someone else also having problem with Sandisk Ultra II
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/sony-xdca...disk-32gb.html
I have read a lot of bad news about the 32 GB cards, which is sad, but I don't think you should compare them with the 16 GB card that has been accepted as the no.1 choice and is supposed to work perfectly.
I started this thread to find out if anybody else had experienced similar issues to mine with the 16 GB version.
Right now I think I'd be more comfortable with a Transcend card actually...
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Old January 11th, 2009, 01:40 PM   #7
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I noticed that Convergent Design, which is using CF, not SDHC, recommends Transcend.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 01:55 PM   #8
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Ola maybe you should try re-installing your Firmware. The only cards I have had problems with are the SanDisk HD SDHC cards, I returned all of them. I have 20 16GB Transend cards and 12 16GB SanDisk and 4 32GB. I have not had a problem so far knock on wood...
I plan to leave the footage on the cards until each project is finished.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #9
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Do you really think that would help? The camera indicates that I have ver. 1.11 installed and the Extreme cards work perfectly. I could not have the firmware half installed could I? Also - I am not too keen on installing the firmware myself even though I have it available.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #10
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The issue here is without doubt your 16GB card, IMO. As you point out, firmware reinstall should not make any difference as it's clearly working as Sony intended, actually, probably not as they intended.....;-)

Also, just to clarify, the Sandisk Ultra II SDHC card I discussed above is of course a 16GB "Class 4", not a 32GB Sandisk.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 03:31 PM   #11
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Hi
I have now 15 transend 16gB class 6 cards that works perfect. The Sandisk cards I was never able to get in Denmark. Thanks to that - because the Transend class 6 cards costs a 1/3 of the sandisk card - about 50 dollars in denmark and includes a USB-SDHC converter!
I have not any problems - yet.....(I use 2 kensington adapters)
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Old January 11th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #12
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i have the transcend cards as well, and they work well. the only thing I notice is if you take it out and use it in the computer, it needs to be reformatted. but I think thats typical, right?
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Old January 11th, 2009, 05:07 PM   #13
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I read clips from my Extreme III and Ultra II cards, convert them, and then delete them from the card. Then I put them back in the camera and when I turn it on it is ready to shoot - no formatting necessary.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 05:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Ted OMalley View Post
I read clips from my Extreme III and Ultra II cards, convert them, and then delete them from the card. Then I put them back in the camera and when I turn it on it is ready to shoot - no formatting necessary.
hmm, maybe I AM having issues with my card then. its fine though, because it captures and transfers via USB without any issues.
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Old January 11th, 2009, 05:25 PM   #15
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Like Ted, I am not asked to reformat. I've tried deleting clips from ClipBrowser as well as inserting a full card back into camera and deleted clips from there.

See my full post on another thread.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/993335-post14.html
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