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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 23rd, 2009, 02:22 PM   #1
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Hard Drive Question

Hi Folks,

I will soon own an EX3. Now, I need to film 2 sets of 40 minutes, soooo I am considering either 2 16gb sxs cards, or the PHU-60 Drive. However, I am unsure if the drive will record in 1280 x 720 at 50 frames per second, which is what I will need, can anybody please give me confirmation if it will do this, also am I correct in assuming the adapter and SDHC route wont allow me to film in this mode, sorry if these are daft questions but I'm relatively new to this HD stuff.

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Stuart
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 07:05 PM   #2
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Hi Stuart.
The adaptor and sdhc will allow you to record in all formats, except overcrank, and even then just not full overcrank.
So no need to spend the big bucks on the hard drive or the big sxs cards.
I shoot 720/50p all the time with either kensington or mxr and transcend 16gb.
I know a reputable place to get the sdhc cards, happens to be about a mile from my house.

Paul.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 01:23 AM   #3
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The PHU-60 Drive has approximately the same bandwidth/data transfer limitations as using SDHC cards. The gating factor is it goes through a USB 2.0 interface in both instances. You cannot get reliable 50 frames per second overcranking at 720. I believe it tops out at 42 frames per second at 720 but don't quote me.

If you are overcranking and it is production work you really need bonified SxS cards. Not sure of the deal with Sony right now when you buy your camera. I have seen deals recently where they give you 2 8gb SxS cards with your camera -- the second one is a mail in rebate. Those would give you your data storage for overcranked work and put your standard shooting on SDHC cards with the proper adapters.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #4
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Hey Guys, thanks for the replies, I'm more confused than ever now though. Paul, I understood from the sdhc thread that the sd cards top out at around 40fps. If it is right, ie that they can be used in 720/50p then I totally agree that is a really good solution. Have you ever had any probs at this rate as I cant afford any dropped frames or whatever happens when they become too stressed.

I also found a good vimeo you did on cam settings, so I may pluck ya brains further on that as well mate, if thats all right. All being well, I get the cam next friday and cant wait. Just gotta decide on storage before now and then really.

Stuart
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Old April 24th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #5
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Stuart, you're getting 720/50p recording format mixed up with overcrank 40fps.
Ok, say you want to overcrank (record something so that when you play it back it plays in slo mo), what you do is put the camera in overcrank mode and select how many frames per second you want to record, anything up to 60 fps, now with this overcrank setting the camera records a higher bitrate, the higher the frame number the higher the bit rate, so for really slo mo, about 2.5 times slower playback you put the camera in 720/25p (yes 25p that's not a typo), then record at slomo 60fps (60 divided by 25 is almost 2.5), when this is played back in 25p format it looks slow and very smooth, now the thing is this, the sony sxs card can cope with that bitrate no problem but the sdhc cards (sandisk and transcend are the best) can only cope with about 45fps in overcrank mode.
In normal recording and that's sp or hq the cards are fine, including 720/50p, i can see where the confusion lies though with the frame rates etc.
The sdhc cards are ok for all other modes, including fast mo (undercrank), timelapse, interval record etc, i know cos i've done it.
So, botton line is, you only need one sxs card for the odd occasion when you shoot slomo, apart from that you can get a couple of days worth of sdhc transcend cards for £200.
Regarding the hard drive, it works out way more money than the sdhc cards and i've read of quite a few problems with it.
And don't bother buying the sony sxs reader, i get the sdhc>usb reader for a fiver, you can offload the sdhc cards with that, if you have got a clip on the sxs card then you can copy it in camera to the other slot/sdhc card then offload via the sdhc card.
Jesus i wish i had all this info when i first got my EX1.
When you get your EX1, you're quite welcome to come and see me and i can give you a tour of your new cam, i've had mine since Jan 2008 now so i now it pretty well.
If you have any more questions then fire away, i'll do my best to help.

PS. If you do come over to Bristol then while you're here i can take you to the shop where i get my transcend cards, over the counter at a good price, genuine stock, none of this mail order fake card malarky.

Paul.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #6
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SDHC is fine for all the standard frame rates, as these (including 720/50p) al record at 35MB/S plus a but for audio. Overcranking records at a higher bit rate so that the bit rate when played back is 35 Mb/S, so 720/25p overcranked will start to fail around 40-45 fps. As Andrew suggests, save the supplied 8GB card(s) for when you need to overcrank and use MXR/SDHC the rest of the time. You can also copy between slots so you can record on your SxS and then dump to MXR.

I find that because there is no need to record bars, no speed stabilisation delay and Delete Last Clip lets you get rid of messed up shots, I do not get through cards at anything like the rate I did with tape. I have a couple of 16GB cards and only once have managed to fill them in a day's shooting.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 05:47 AM   #7
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Quick question guys, I am getting an EX1 next week and am obviously very interested in the cheaper SHDC option. Thing is, given that this is a workaround rather than an official feature of the EX series how reliable are they for professional work? Fine I reckon if you are just shooting cutaways that you can do again if need be but I can't afford to have cards failing on me when I am filming interviews etc for clients. Any views? Also wondered if you could recommend the best SDHC adapter, there seem to be a few options out there... thanks

Steve
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Old April 25th, 2009, 12:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kellett View Post
If you have any more questions then fire away, i'll do my best to help.

PS. If you do come over to Bristol then while you're here i can take you to the shop where i get my transcend cards, over the counter at a good price, genuine stock, none of this mail order fake card malarky.

Paul.
Mail sent Paul. Hope you can help me, I think I need advice from someone 'in the know' here,

cheers

Stuart
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Old April 25th, 2009, 01:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McClean View Post
....how reliable are they for professional work? Fine I reckon if you are just shooting cutaways that you can do again if need be but I can't afford to have cards failing on me when I am filming interviews etc for clients. Any views? Also wondered if you could recommend the best SDHC adapter, there seem to be a few options out there...
I (and many others) use Kensington Adapters and either Transcend or Sandisk Ultra II 16GB SDHC cards (Class 6) extensively for professional (in my case corporate) work. I have 4 combos and they stay together (each SDHC card lives in it's designated Kensington adapter) and each combo was thoroughly tested before I used them for corporate video work. The only slight downside (aside of course from the maximum frame rate limitation) is that off-loading times onto my MBP are a bit slower than with my SxS cards - but it's all lightning fast compared to tape! For the record, I did have one glitch with a SxS card that caused loss of part of a clip so I'd say they are certainly as reliable as SxS for professional use as far as I'm concerned. Many posts on here about the options (as a very quick search will show) but if it's going to be an EX1 I'd suggest you go for the MxR option (search on here for details) as those fit in AND allow the door to close (my EX3 has more headroom space above the media slots and so can accept the slightly longer KxS/KxT combo sticks and still allow door closure).

Also, read the posts (again a quick search) about the EX1 firmware version you will need for MxR/KxT/KxS etc. to work on an EX1. A mate of mine bought some MxR capability for a holiday in Malaysia with his EX1 a few weeks ago only to realise (just as he was about to depart!!!) that they did not work (his EX1, although only 6 months old, had a firmware version which did not support the Sony 60GB hard drive and, by default, any SDHC combos).
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Old April 26th, 2009, 09:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
A mate of mine bought some MxR capability for a holiday in Malaysia with his EX1 a few weeks ago only to realise (just as he was about to depart!!!) that they did not work (his EX1, although only 6 months old, had a firmware version which did not support the Sony 60GB hard drive and, by default, any SDHC combos).
Andy, has your mate got the needed firmware now ?
If not i can help, i've got what he needs.

Paul.
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