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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 October 5th, 2009, 05:20 PM   #1
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Thinking of getting an SXS card.

I have been using the Kensington reader and 16gb transcend SDHC cards to record my weddings and so far, I've had no problems. I got two 8gb SXS cards with my camera (Ex3)and I was thinking of buying one or two 16gb SXS cards so I then could record the weddings (3hrs worth) right through with a bit more confidence than I would have with the transcend cards.

As you know It would mean copying the sxs cards to the harddrive and reusing them again for the next wedding, not really happy about reusing the sxs cards so soon but what else can you do, were as at the moment, I don't have to reuse the transcend cards till the bride & groom collect their DVD.

If I had enough SXS cards to record the important bits but what part of the wedding isn't important.

What do you think?, should I go this route.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #2
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If you're getting paid gigs then I would only use SxS cards. I've been shooting for over a year and a half with the SxS cards and have had no problems. But you can see all over this forum where people have problems with the more inexpensive options. Yes, occasionally problems with SxS cards but FAR more with the others.

I shoot mostly commercial work and worst case most of it can be re-shot. But try telling the bride (or worse the mother of the bride!) the next day that you lost the vows because of a card failure. Not ME!
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Old October 5th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #3
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Hi Tony.
I wouldn't worry about transferring the files to HDD. I copy mine straight to a one internal drive and a back up on an external. If you are realy nervous about losing the files due to drive failure, why not spend 130 or so on a Blu-ray burner (you may already have one) and back up to disc, only a few s for 25gb. Sony SxS 8gb cards are going for about 150 inc VAT at the moment, 16gb are 373.75 inc Vat Here http://www.proav.co.uk/Blank-Media-T...702_sc634.aspx not to a bad price. So long as you have enough SxS cards to cover the service and the speeches, you will be fine. You can use SDHC cards for the rest of the day, where you will have time to check recordings every now and then.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony McErlean View Post
I have been using the Kensington reader and 16gb transcend SDHC cards to record my weddings and so far, I've had no problems. ........

As you know It would mean copying the sxs cards to the harddrive and reusing them again for the next wedding, not really happy about reusing the sxs cards so soon but what else can you do, .........
From what I've heard, any problems people have had with SDHC cards have tended to be with new untried cards, especially with trying out new variations. AFAIK, cards which have proved reliable over a period have carried on being so.

I also understand that any failures don't go unnoticed at the time, they immediately indicate a recording problem. But tried and trusted cards just seem to carry on working.

You've got to work out where the greatest risk is. A card failure or accidental deletion. A bit like securing your home at night - you want to keep burglars out, but you don't want to make it too difficult to get out in the event of fire. The beauty of SDHC cards is you can have enough that they don't have to be reused until the edit is over. It would be a shame to spend a lot of money to hopefully get a more reliable card, only to find that what you've actually bought is a less reliable workflow.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 06:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
From what I've heard, any problems people have had with SDHC cards have tended to be with new untried cards, especially with trying out new variations. AFAIK, cards which have proved reliable over a period have carried on being so.

I also understand that any failures don't go unnoticed at the time, they immediately indicate a recording problem. But tried and trusted cards just seem to carry on working.
I just had a failure of a SanDisk card that has, up to this point, been reliable. Luckily it was on a pro-bono shoot (wouldn't use it if I was getting paid). I got the dreaded "media error" and had to actually turn off my EX1 and reboot. Lost about a minute of recording time, maybe more.

It made me much more leery of the "less expensive" route. Definitely go with SxS if your charging for your services.

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Old October 5th, 2009, 08:48 PM   #6
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Only SxS cards for me. It just is not worth the risk to loose shots due to a 'media error' with SDHC. I have also never (knock on wood) had a problem with SxS.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 12:21 AM   #7
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Two 32 GB SDHC cards gives me nearly 4 hours straight record time. Off loading cards during a shoot is high risk. Human error causes most problems even with SxS. I'd rather have several 32GB SDHC cards than have to offload SxS and bring a laptop. I've been using my 32GB SDHC cards since January and have NEVER lost a clip, NEVER had a media error. Of course if you can afford 3 or 4 32GB SxS cards to avoid dumping off of cards during a shoot then go for it. At that price I can practically buy another EX1 (or at least a HVC HM100) and do a two camera shoot.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 01:08 AM   #8
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If you are going to buy SxS cards I would seriously consider the 32 GIG cards, especially if you do long form event shooting. The price on the 32 gig card, from what I have seen, is quite attractive.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 02:06 AM   #9
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Why not record on SXS then just copy back to your sdhc cards as well as your hard drive for your back ups then you can keep until delivery as you do now. As some have reported the occasional problem with SxS is it not also risky using 32gb cards? using two 16gb cards would half the risk of potential loss, and using 8gb cards only a 25 percent potential loss.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 03:25 AM   #10
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Thank you everyone for your advice, I really appreciate it.
Yes, I'm getting paid for my weddings.

What would you buy, a 16gb SXS or a 32gb SxS? The 16gb would bring my recording time up to 2hrs and with a 32gb I would have 3hrs. (inc the two 8gb sxs I already have)
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Old October 6th, 2009, 04:41 AM   #11
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I use 4 x 16GB SXS cards Anthony, and a load of SDHC - both Transcend and Sandisk. As one guy said use the SXS for ceremony and speeches and the others for the rest - I think it's a nice balance and not as many cold sweat moments!

I've had problems with certain SDHCs but only when they were new and not tried and tested. I sat down and did some tests on all my SDHCs recently and it seems to have worked - I isolated 3 cards which couldn't hack it.

FWIW I think the best test is to record with 2 cards in the slots and repeatedly switch slots without stopping recording - the dodgy cards show up media restore pretty quickly, the others just keep on recording. I trust them after these tests, but obv not as much as SXS!
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Old October 6th, 2009, 04:52 AM   #12
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FWIW I think the best test is to record with 2 cards in the slots and repeatedly switch slots without stopping recording - the dodgy cards show up media restore pretty quickly, the others just keep on recording. I trust them after these tests, but obv not as much as SXS!
I don't. I've tested cards in this manner and have had faults show up only at the time of transfer. You need to be testing the transfer not just testing for media restore.

As I've written elsewhere on the forum, the Transcends are now not to be trusted but I've been having joy with the ATP Pro cards.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 07:16 AM   #13
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Thanks again guys, what would you go for, a 16gb or a 32gb sxs card.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 07:42 AM   #14
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I'm going for a 16GB card (buying EX1 in a couple of weeks so will get 1 8GB card with it). I intend to pickup some SD card options when I save up but the SxS cards have the reliability factor. For my 2 cents I don't think it's going to be a big issues dumping down footage onto the laptop. I'm intending to use a couple of external drives raided togather so the risk of loss is very very minimal.
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Old October 6th, 2009, 07:45 AM   #15
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Damian,I cant say for sure but I think you will get one 8gb card with it.
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