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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 July 11th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #1
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Sony EX1 Media Restore!

I have just come back from a wedding where my camera has asked no less than on 12 occasions that the media needs to be restored.

MxR adapters and different cards were used, all producing the same result, apart from one
Sandisk 16GB ultra which seemed fine.

On each occasion I had to switch off the camera, then on again before it would let me restore the card. On a few occasions it told me it could not recover all files!

Before I get down to finding out what I may have lost, I did notice that the media errors would consistently show everytime I hit record, pause, and then record again in quick succession, within 3 seconds.

I have managed to replicate this on all the transcend cards I have by recording and pausing quickly in succesion followed by media needs to be restored but no way of restoring until switching off the camera and then on again,

Has anyone else experienced this. I am beyond checking any further today.
Cheers.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #2
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Yes other people have had this problem.

Check that the red activity light has gone out before starting to record again. If the cam is still writing to card when you push record it seems to corrupt file system.

For this reason, and a few others, I have pretty much stopped using anything but SxS cards.

Curiously I have not had this happen with Sony's PHU-60 disc recorder even though it uses the same USB interface, maybe it has a buffer for the HD.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John De Rienzo View Post
I did notice that the media errors would consistently show everytime I hit record, pause, and then record again in quick succession, within 3 seconds.
You can not go into record until the red light on top of the slot turns back to green. The card will still writing the TOC (table of contents/metadata) and you interrupted. SDHC takes a few seconds longer than SxS.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #4
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Out of curiosity I tried numerous times to recreate this with my SXS cards and with my 16GB Hoodman cards. I could not recreate it, nomatter how fast I hit record/stop/record/stop/record. But I'm using the EX3, if that makes a difference.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 05:12 PM   #5
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SxS writes TOC much faster. Can't comment on Hoodman cards though. Try recording longer before hitting stop and recording again. It seems that the longer one records, the longer it takes for the buffer to empty. I think this is why when one overcranks with SDHC it may not get the error immediately. It seems the buffer accumulation (lags) over time (duration of record).
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Old July 11th, 2009, 09:05 PM   #6
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I have abandoned the SDHC MxR solution in favor of using only SxS cards.

I have never had an issue with my SxS cards, but in testing with Transcend SDHC cards, ran into issues. I figured it was just not worth the trouble of potentially losing some footage. So I made the decision a while ago to stick with SxS exclusively.

Fortunately I have a bunch of digital cameras that use SDHC, so my 16 and 32 GB Transcend cards are not going to waste.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 09:23 PM   #7
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John,
Could you detail the issues you had with SDHC cards?
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Old July 11th, 2009, 09:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
SxS writes TOC much faster. Can't comment on Hoodman cards though. Try recording longer before hitting stop and recording again. It seems that the longer one records, the longer it takes for the buffer to empty. I think this is why when one overcranks with SDHC it may not get the error immediately. It seems the buffer accumulation (lags) over time (duration of record).
That makes sense.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 04:42 AM   #9
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Thankfully this was our third camera, mostly unmanned so it was not crucial but would have been a disaster if I was to film soley with one or two cameras. We were really testing the waters with the cards and have come away extremely dissapointed.

The card placed in the camera(transcend) managed to spring up a media restore about 25 minutes into the speeches without any user interaction, camera being totally unmanned, whilst other two operated, not ex1!

We have been unable to restore this card, camera came up with error message. Whilst I am no expert it appears that we have lost the full speeches with this camera. Again, not crucial but could have been a disaster.
Imagine filming the full ceremony to then have a media restore message come up 50 min in, then lose all data because it cannot restore! If you are shooting small clips you may lose the last available clip recorded as it appears with the other cards, but one long record could lead to all lost, just like the ceremony, or speeches.

My advice after this experience is to steer well clear of any combination of cards adapters.

I dare not even think about the concequences had this been my only camera on a one man shoot at a wedding!

SXS cards from now on, just need to go and see the bank manager!


Cheers.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 07:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John De Rienzo View Post
Thankfully this was our third camera, mostly unmanned so it was not crucial but would have been a disaster if I was to film soley with one or two cameras. We were really testing the waters with the cards and have come away extremely dissapointed.

The card placed in the camera(transcend) managed to spring up a media restore about 25 minutes into the speeches without any user interaction, camera being totally unmanned, whilst other two operated, not ex1!

We have been unable to restore this card, camera came up with error message. Whilst I am no expert it appears that we have lost the full speeches with this camera. Again, not crucial but could have been a disaster.
Imagine filming the full ceremony to then have a media restore message come up 50 min in, then lose all data because it cannot restore! If you are shooting small clips you may lose the last available clip recorded as it appears with the other cards, but one long record could lead to all lost, just like the ceremony, or speeches.

My advice after this experience is to steer well clear of any combination of cards adapters.

I dare not even think about the concequences had this been my only camera on a one man shoot at a wedding!

SXS cards from now on, just need to go and see the bank manager!


Cheers.
Could it be that the particular card used for the long shoot was defective in a certain part of the card? In one of the other threads on this forum someone mentioned about putting these cards through several tests one of which was recording continuously over the entire card. I wonder if other people who record long shots (say greater than 10 minutes without stopping) could speak up as to what their experience has been?
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Old July 12th, 2009, 09:01 AM   #11
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I have 10 Transcend 16gb class 6 cards and MxR adaptors. Based on the advice gleaned from this board I tested each card for continuous run over 2 cards to check that it would be ok in a locked off mode. I also recorded enough variable length clips to fill each card. Everything was fine and have been using the combination of Transcend 16gb class 6 with MxR adaptor since Feb without incident. If I have a VIP interview then I would probably use SxS for total peace of mind.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 09:06 AM   #12
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I actually finally took the time and gave 4 of my SanDisk Ultra-2 card and Delkin efilm card adaptor combos a long hard test yesterday. Took me over 4 hours to complete.

Each SDHC card is numerically marked, as was its dedicated card reader. Meaning SDHC #1 and eFilm Adaptor #1 and so on. This way i could have track my testing.

Card combo #1 and #2 were inserted in the camera. Camera was set to HQ 1080P. Then each card combo was (Formatted) within the camera.

I then started to record for say 8 or 12 minutes, then stopped recording, i let the (RED) light go to (Green) over the card slot. Then i pressed the record button again.

Towards the end of filling combo#1, i let the camera automatically switch to card combo #2, i then allowed for longer clips to be recorded, all the while between clips, being sure the (Red) light above the card was out before resuming record.

I did this to all 4 card/adaptor combos. I did not run into any (Restore media) or (Media error) during this process.

I then set the camera to HQ 720P 24-fps. Set S&Q to 48-fps. Started to record on card combo #1. Card handled the 48-fps fine. I then set the camera to 50-fps. Continued to record. Still no errors. I then set the camera to the max 60-fps. The card worked fine.

This was unexpected. So, i then set the camera and card combo #2 to HQ720P 24-fps S&Q to 48-fps. Well the camera gacked almost immediately. Media error message came up. I then lowered the frame rate to 40-fps. Media error message came up again.

Now remember something here folks. I Had just tested this card combo #1 and card combo #2 in the HQ1080P mode.

I find it very strange and unpredictable that one moment a card combo can work flawlessly, then the next go all wonky. Heck, how did my card even handle over cranking @ 60-fps?

This is a very unsettling experience. My comfort level with any of these combo, is still not there.

I know some of you on this blog have had great experiences with them. At the same time, many of us have had issues.

I to this day have NEVER had an issue with the Sony brand SxS cards. This $110-120 dollar roll of the dice when it comes to these card combo,s can really add up financially.

I currently am the proud owner of 3 SanDisk 16 gig Ultra 2,s that will not work in my EX-1.

Yet they work just fine in my Nikon D90. Go figure!
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Old July 12th, 2009, 09:48 AM   #13
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The test I use, I posted here
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/1170191-post3.html

You should also do a record two cards without stopping.
Matthew, you don't mention how long you your overcrank duration was on the card that went to 720p24/60. How long did you record for?

Part of the issue is that manufacture's QC spec is not related to EX at all and some individual cards may perform better than others. Once tested reliable . . . they're reliable.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John De Rienzo
We were really testing the waters with the cards and have come away extremely dissapointed.

My advice after this experience is to steer well clear of any combination of cards adapters.
Hmm. This wasn't by any chance the first time you'd used the system, was it?

I can't do better than repeat Craigs advice -
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman
The test I use, I posted here
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/1170191-post3.html
In particular:"Set camera to 720p24 and overcrank. Start at 720p24/48 and see how long it take before you get a media error. Keep dropping down one frame until until you can record several minutes and not get a media error. That'll let you know the headroom the data rate has. Purely scientific because generally you shouldn't overcrank with the cards.

My experience is the same as his - "Once tested reliable . . . they're reliable".

Interesting you say the Transcends all gave errors, a Sandisk was OK. If they all were new cards, that sounds like a bad batch problem to me. If they are cards you have used successfully in the past..... I just don't know!
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Old July 12th, 2009, 11:04 AM   #15
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I thought I'd share my experiences, too:

I have been shooting almost exclusively with the MxR adapter and Transcend cards. One shoot required a continuous record over a period of 90 minutes. Slots were switched. There were no problems. At one point, I took the second card out of the camera, then put it back in to record some additional footage. I had no problems.

I just shot a reality pilot on eight Transcends and encountered no issues.

I get the "Restore Media" message after I have offloaded the cards to a drive. Usually I will restore before Deleting All clips off the card.

I do agree that you have to be patient with the camera. I always allow plenty of time for the stop, start, and record processes to play out.

I have a couple of SxS cards, too, and though I like using them more because of processing/offloading speeds, the Transcends have been great (though slower when offloading).

I have had no experience with this camera using Sandisk cards.
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