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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 May 7th, 2009, 02:13 PM   #1
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Any experience with long LIVE events with EX1 or EX3?

We have 2 different events coming up that will be around 2-2.5 hours. We are using an EX3 and an EX1, with each camera having a 32Gig card in it. We will do a test beforehand, but thought I'd ask if anyone has done 2-2.5 hours of non-stop rolling and had any issues or problems with this?

We'll be shooting the SQ/HDV-like mode to get the extra time on the card, by the way.

Please let me know if you've had good or bad experiences with this. I'd sure appreciate it!

Thanks.

Kevin
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Old May 7th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #2
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I've shoot two events in excess of two hours each at HQ 1080/60i non-stop recording. EX3 with 16GB SanDisk in SDHC express card adapters. The camera switched slots automatically at which point I replaced the full memory card with another empty one, all without interrupting the recording process. The whole tapeless process from recording to post, works as Sony advertises. Have fun :-)

Last edited by Barry J. Anwender; May 7th, 2009 at 07:50 PM.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 03:46 PM   #3
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I've shot several events of one continuous clip that spans cards, even more than 2 cards. Even though the first couple of times I was a little apprehensive but it worked flawlessly. When Card A was full and the EX was recording on card B I could remove the full card A and put in a another. If card A that you've just inserted isn't blank you can still format or erase the clips on card A while the EX is recording on card B, which is a very nice feature.

Once the cards have been downloaded, the XDCam Transfer / Clip Browser software knows how to join them all, I haven't noticed a glitch yet.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 04:14 PM   #4
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2 1/2 hrs live stage show with 2 x 32gb cards in EX3 camera. No problem as the camera automatically switches slots when the first card is full. The recording from the 1st card to the 2nd card is seamless, as is the joining of clips in post. Nothing to fear, lots to be smiling about. I only shoot HQ modes.

Can you not get hold of say 2 additional 16Gb cards to see you over the line and then you can record in HQ mode, getting the best out of these cameras. It is certainly worth trying for, that's for sure.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #5
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We had 3 EX1s rolling for almost 5 hours last weekend. No problems. Each one near filled 4 16GB and 2 8GB cards. We did button off during the interval and at any long breaks in the performance. Doing that does improve recording security. My approach is to only leave the cameras rolling when you must, if there's an opportunity to break the recording, take it.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #6
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When/If you have one long clip that spans two or more cards, make sure you use the Clip Browser software to automatically join them so when you unwrap into MOV or MXF, you'll end up with one long clip. If you try and edit them together in your NLE, you're asking for trouble as the long GOP XDCAM EX codec could/might/will cause a glitch between the two clips.

Also, I assume your using AC power to power the camera? That would make things even easier. :)
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Old May 7th, 2009, 05:52 PM   #7
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Two MxR with Sandisk 32GB Ulta 2 cards. 4 straight hours without a hitch. I've done this several times.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies, guys. Great responses and it definitely gives me confidence in the EX media/system. The shoots are actually 4 camera, so I may be renting another couple EX3's. Wow...once you go tapeless, there's no going back. :-) I really liked the Canon H1 and A1, but these cameras really blow them away.

-I will use power.
-I'll probably stick to the SQ mode since the show will probably air SD anyways. So, this way, it's less data to the cards, too.

Thanks again!

Kevin
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Old May 7th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #9
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SQ (SP) mode UGH!

It's not HD vs SD. SP is a codec (HDV) that can break under certain circumstances that HQ will have no problem with. Don't risk it. HQ will give you many more options if frame rates can be used as part of your look.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 10:52 AM   #10
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I shot a 4.5 hour event recently using SP mode (sorry Craig). I was surprised at how good the footage looked. This is the only thing I've ever shot/edited in SP mode and I had no problems with it. But yeah, Craig's right, if you need to over/undercrank you won't be able to do it in SP mode. But in my case, it was an event, and I was shooting almost non-stop for 4.5 hours. The client was very happy with the quality (ended up delivering on SD DVD).
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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:03 AM   #11
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SP (HDV) can look quite good. It can also fall apart horrible depending on the subject and the shooting conditions. I would NOT risk shooting SP unless the job locked me into it.
Shoot rippling water, blowing leaves and grass and you may HDV to be a real problem. Even a camera move on a visually busy background can be a problem.

The concept behind higher codecs is that they are more robust.

If you find out after the fact that HDV failed you on a given shot, it's blown.

If they were equal there'd have been no reason for Sony to develop XDCAM as a codec. They are not equal and HDV can and will fail on some shots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
I shot a 4.5 hour event recently using SP mode (sorry Craig). I was surprised at how good the footage looked. This is the only thing I've ever shot/edited in SP mode and I had no problems with it. But yeah, Craig's right, if you need to over/undercrank you won't be able to do it in SP mode. But in my case, it was an event, and I was shooting almost non-stop for 4.5 hours. The client was very happy with the quality (ended up delivering on SD DVD).
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Old May 8th, 2009, 08:13 PM   #12
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Sure you can break the SP codec and you've got to work harder to break the HQ codec. The SP codec is perhaps easier to break than HDV as more of the bit budget is used up with the uncompressed audio. At the same time the EX cameras provide cleaner video to the codec so I'd expect the outcome to be significantly better than from a single chip 1/6" palmcorder in low light.

The EX cameras give us a choice. When I know for certain how long an event is going to run and I'll have more than enough cards to cover the event then I'll shoot in HQ otherwise it's SP. Last event I shot the guy I was working for insisted on HQ and we came within minutes of running out of cards because the event ran 1 hour longer than we were told it would. The panic and mad scramble swapping cards between camera locations in a packed, dark auditorium did nothing to help framing and focussing. I'd point out that we had over $10K worth of SxS cards tied up.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 01:29 AM   #13
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Thanks for the different opinions, but I'm pretty sure I'll be locked into the SP mode for the reasons Bob said. There will be enough to worry about besides running out of card space if the show goes over...which is likely.

So...with a couple 32gig cards and a couple 8's, we'll only do this for long events like this. Everything else will be HQ...when we're not using our RED. :-)

Thanks!

Kevin
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Old May 10th, 2009, 07:10 PM   #14
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Last Novemebr / December we shot 24 children's dance concerts in 23 days, (most with 2 Ex's) and I have shot over 100 weddings in 18 months all in SP mode.

Honestly, I have never had a problem with "breaking the codec" so for most things, when we're downconverting to SD DVD's anyway, I think it is far more robust than many of us would like to believe.

Cheers,

Vaughan
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Old May 10th, 2009, 10:38 PM   #15
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I am doing weekly "event video" shooting with 4 to 5 hour continuous shoots being the norm. Shooting mostly in 720/30p SQ mode onto 16gb Sandisk cards. Works as it is supposed to.

Run a camera for several hours if you are concerned and do an import.

I haven't heard of issues with the EX cameras running erratically in SP mode.
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