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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 June 22nd, 2009, 11:54 AM   #1
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Card reader for desktop Mac

What are people using to ingest SxS cards into their desktops? I have a Mac laptop with an Express card but there are times I want to ingest into the desktop (Mac Pro tower) without having to tether the camera.

I see lots of threads about using alternative card readers for MxR etx. I just want to ingest SxS cards. Is there an alternative to the Sony reader?

Thanks
Bob
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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PCI Express to ExpressCard 34|54 Slot Drive Read-Writer PC/Mac, Synchrotech
has something but it requires you to reboot the MacPro after each card change. PCIe isn't designed to be hot swappable except in laptops for the most part.
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 02:45 PM   #3
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Thanks. Was hoping for something plug-able. Do you have experience with the Sony reader; is it worth it?
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 03:09 PM   #4
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Certainly much easier than hooking up the camera to read the SxS cards.
I've been using SDHC for the most part for the last 6 months but I still think the Sony SxS reader is a worthwhile buy. Heck you can use the power adaptor from it to run the camera so you can keep charging the battery in the charger.

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Originally Posted by Bob Kerner View Post
Thanks. Was hoping for something plug-able. Do you have experience with the Sony reader; is it worth it?
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 03:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Kerner View Post
Thanks. Was hoping for something plug-able. Do you have experience with the Sony reader; is it worth it?
I have the Sony SXS reader which does not deliver SxS transfer speeds because it is limited to USB 2.0 speeds (480Mb/s). IMHO it is expensive for what it does. Sony's SXS cards and SXS reader are collecting dust because I use adapter cards and SDHC memory with a $10 USB reader. To be honest, the SDHC cards are time consuming to manage for what I do and they are also slow to off-load, again because of the USB interface.

For projects requiring more than 2hrs of record time I use my 80GB Solid State Drive (SSD) with an e-SATA-2 port for off-loading. No memory cards to fiddle around with or loose in the field. The SSD with 5 hrs of video can be off-loaded into my MacPro in 14 minutes. Cheers!
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 04:42 PM   #6
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Barry does the macpro come with a built in e-SATA-2 port? or is it an add on? please excuse my ignorance on these matters. Also is it possible to use on the macbook pro?
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Old June 22nd, 2009, 05:22 PM   #7
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Barry does the macpro come with a built in e-SATA-2 port? or is it an add on? please excuse my ignorance on these matters. Also is it possible to use on the macbook pro?
Steve, the MacPro has two SATA-2 ports on the motherboard just waiting to be used. See the Newer Technology Extender Cable for $25.00.

Search Results for "Hard Drive Controller Cards" at OtherWorldComputing.com

As you can see SATA-2 also possible on the MacBook Pro. This has become an issue on the new mid-2009 MacBook Pro 13" and 15" models that have dropped the ExpressCard slot. So either an older MacBook Pro model or the new 17" MacBook Pro model if you want a SATA-2 port. Cheers!
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 05:01 PM   #8
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Bob,

I have both a MacBook Pro and a Mac Pro (tower). I use the Sony SxS reader on the Mac Pro. It works and very well considering it is going through the USB port. It must have some kind of buffering system built into it as it "appears" faster than it should given that it is going through a USB 2.0 bus. I would say it is worth it.

I have looked into other solutions. I don't think it is worth giving up a card slot inside the machine for the express card PCIx reader solutions that are out there. Most of them are NOT hot swappable either which makes it all but unusable in our typical workflow.

I know it seems like another "tax" from Sony but I have felt it is worth it in my case.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 05:44 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 05:54 PM   #10
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BTW the inability to hot swap PCIe is NOT a Sony issue. Please read what Synchrotech has to say about the issue. It's about the design of the computers themselves. So don't blame Sony for this one.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 06:20 PM   #11
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I have a Mac Book Pro which I use for dumping footage via expresscard slot to my Lacie FW800 external drive which I hook up to my Mac Pro for editing and it saves me the $$ for the reader which is not very fast... and I do not have to use camera. Very fast process!!
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 07:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
BTW the inability to hot swap PCIe is NOT a Sony issue. So don't blame Sony for this one.
Hi Craig,

I wasn't placing blame on Sony but stating fact about it not being "hot swappable".

The real solution to speed up injest and conforming is AJA's "Ki Pro" or "IO Express" and use SxS or SDHC as redundant media or backup. And while it is off topic in a sense, it is another solution to this problem albeit a more expensive one.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 08:12 PM   #13
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When I bought my SDHC cards I got the ones with Transcend USB reader - it's about the size of a flash drive. As I also use other cameras with tape, the time it takes to transfer media with this reader still seems like a dream come true. Since I have a bunch of them there is always one with in reach - I keep two in the camera bag and two in my laptop bag.

I also have the Sony card reader and I'm happy with it. You can write back to the Sony SxS cards with it. Too bad it will NOT read the e-Films MxR cards.

E-Films also makes a nice little card reader for their MxR cards- but they say not to use it on the SxS cards.

I still have an old 12" G4 Powerbook and now Apple went and dropped the express card slot in the MacBook Pros - bugger!
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 08:42 PM   #14
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I also have the Sony card reader and I'm happy with it. You can write back to the Sony SxS cards with it. Too bad it will NOT read the e-Films MxR cards.
The Sony reader cannot "see" the MxR cards as SxS cards because the Sony reader IDs the SxS cards by verifying the data bus they are using which is NOT USB but Express34 PCIe transfer protocol. The MxR cards are effectively card readers using a USB 2.0 transfer protocol. The Sony reader has to see the Express Cards using the proper protocol or it rejects them. This is not Sony being nasty, the card reader was meant for SxS cards, not the USB hack which Sony introduced after the EX series was initially released.

If you want to have your SDHC cards properly IDed by the laptop you have to use a USB card reader plugged into one of the USB ports but you probably knew this!
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Old June 24th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #15
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Thanks Barry much appreciate the info.
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