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Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old October 23rd, 2009, 08:51 PM   #1
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Centon SDHC Card: Go/No Go: NO GO

I shot this week with my EX3 and used 1 red striped 16gb Transcend card and 5 green striped 8GB Transcend cards using a KxS adapter, with no problems. But with all the talk of the red stripe Transcend card failing and with media errors, I need to look at other cards that I can buy locally.

I decided to try out the Centon 8GB card that was on sale in a Dallas, Texas computer store and tonight I shot around the house and it gave me 3 media errors and the dreaded "media restore" in the viewfinder several times. So please be aware as I will keep looking.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 02:46 AM   #2
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i just don't get it. All this shopping around and you obviously had enough money to buy the equipment listed in your signature but you still maintain saving money on the media and dealing with the hassles of cheap media that not only doesn't allow you to use the full functionality of your camera, but isn't reliable. Not very professional IMO. I sure wouldn't trust my business with someone who couldn't guarantee 100% or at least 99.9% that my paid capture of memories were safe. Sure once in a blue moon an sxs card will corrupt but that is so far and few in between all the hassle of saving bucks and hoping everything goes right. SxS media will last you probably as long as you have the camera, unless you really like just sticking with something way too long. I'm even considering the MORE AFFORDABLE SxS-1 cards. I don't plan on having my EX1 for more than 5-6 years so I think they'll work just fine to supplement my PRO cards which should outlast the technology use of the camera as fast as things are going to evolve. Hell, expresscard34, in my book, is on the way out. And hell yes, I'll pay 400 dollars, or even 500 for a 32GB SxS-1 card. I paid 350 for a 8GB SxS card earlier this year.

Don't get me wrong, while my words come off strong, this just happens to be the post that I am able to get my frustrations about this out. I have nothing against you or anybody, just the logic of spending a buttload of money and then cheaping out on something that costs marginally more comparatively. I mean, you have HMI lights for goodness sakes. I don't wanna know what you spent on those. All that audio gear too? Geez! Own up off some bucks and stop hassling around with makeshift workarounds. I could always, do some post work with sound and figure out different ways to light to save money but if you don't capture anything on your camera because a card goes bad what's the point of having all that fancy gear that cost you WAY more than an SxS card?

This is my point, you just spent Thousands upon thousands on a camera among other gear. When we are talking about another 1500 or so, just own up and get a couple 32GB.....and for the sake of it let's just say, 2000. Hell, I get by just great on rather large shoots with 2x8GB SxS cards. I either have a dump station and a 'dumper' (person who runs my cards and downloads them for me to my computer, Or I keep my backpack handy with my laptop and a full battery. Either way, it's not like that media is going anywhere and they built the camera where you can keep rolling and dump your footage on the fly. All these excuses on why you choose the cheap route IMO are for personal gratitude that going cheap was the right thing to do, when in actuality your problems end up being heard all over the internet.

I'll be honest and say I looked into the media, but would rather save my money. I'm perfectly happy with whipping out my laptop to dump footage every 25 min with my 2x8GB SxS cards. At least I can stay worry free and keep rolling. I wish I had more money to get bigger sizes but hey, I know I got everything covered and if something goes wrong at that point then it's beyond control when you buy all first party and it fails. Not necessarily saying that 1st party is the only way to go, but most everybody who bought into the whole SDHC idea knew what they were getting into. I don't buy knowing that it may fail or mess up on me.

However, I am looking into the efilms eHDR solution, just so everybody is clear that I'm not saying SxS is the only way. I'm just saying, why dumb down your camera and why walk into a shoot knowing the odds of something going wrong are that much greater? By the way, the eHDR will be for personal projects, not business. Why? To that point, I put everything as far as acquisition into 1st party product and if something goes wrong, I got ONE direction to look at. When you go with an SDHC product you have many directions to look at. Maker of adapter, Maker of SDHC card, YOURSELF, and then Sony. I only gotta look at SONY. Why did I say "YOURSELF"? Because you knew the decision you were making by going the cheap route.

Sorry to harp on your post but its late and I had to let it out! I'm envious of your lights and sound gear by the way. While it seemed directed at you it's more of that I see all these posts talking about horror stories and people posting which cards do and don't work and the special ways you gotta shoot to try to keep the cards from messing up and so on and so on. Yet I've known all along which works......SxS. So in reality, it's directed at everyone going the SDHC route.

And its really more of me trying to wrap my head around the logic of spending let's say 6k or 9k and then being like......"oh 800 dollars is just way too much" If that's the case, then go get a little Canon HF100. They take SD cards.....LOL!

I apoligize to anyone who takes this to heart and is offended, it's just a really heated topic for me.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 03:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Hudson View Post
I'll be honest and say I looked into the media, but would rather save my money. I'm perfectly happy with whipping out my laptop to dump footage every 25 min with my 2x8GB SxS cards. At least I can stay worry free and keep rolling. I wish I had more money to get bigger sizes but hey, I know I got everything covered and if something goes wrong at that point then it's beyond control when you buy all first party and it fails. Not necessarily saying that 1st party is the only way to go, but most everybody who bought into the whole SDHC idea knew what they were getting into. I don't buy knowing that it may fail or mess up on me.
Dumping footage every 25 minutes isn't practical or in fact acceptable in many circumstances though. What happens if your hard disk fails? The SXS1 media will be cheaper and will solve problems but SD cards still have a place.

Also keep in mind that it hasn't been plain sailing for SXS users either. Most of the SD problems have happened because of people rushing for the Transcend and Sandisk cards (as I did) and then finding these companies are producing cards to a price and there have been performance differences between batches.

I use SxS but I also use SDHC. In an ideal world I'd use SxS only but I'd need about 10 cards which would be approx 3500. With SxS1 the costs will be more reasonable but its a far cry from 7 quid for a DVCAM tape. Prices will eventually come down but until they do there is room for SDHC providing it is used with caution and with quality cards.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 09:16 AM   #4
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When a client says go with "SDHC" and that's all they want , then I do that the clients wants...I have told them about the problems with some SDHC cards....and they are AWARE of it. Another thing,the client wants to archive the cards and use them only once. I have 2 SXS 8Gb and 2 16GB cards which I use first if I could...but this client is new to SXS HD and is use to shooting on betacam....so thats why.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 11:06 AM   #5
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Thanks for posting your experience regarding the Centon cards. Most of us here really appreciate any input regarding substitutes for Sony's 24 Karat Gold SxS media.

Just take a look at all the hard work done by dedicated forum members to finding substitutes in this thread:

SDHC substitute for SxS cards: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...sxs-cards.html

1441 posts in that thread.

Obviously the criticism of your efforts is the minority view.


Thanks again,

John
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Old October 24th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #6
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I've been using 16GB Transcend Memory Cards (Red Stripe) with my MxR since last year with no problems at all. The only reason I use SxS Cards now is for over cranking. Great cheap media.

I might stop using them when I get my nanoFlash though!
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Old October 25th, 2009, 02:04 AM   #7
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Actually 2-5 min dumping to my laptop while still recording every 25 min works better than coming back to something that isn't reliable and known to be unreliable and finding out something failed when you knew better. Remember you can keep rolling the whole time and dump the card when switched from.

As far as HDD's failing. It's laughable. Your telling me, My computer is more likely to fail than this unreliable makeshift acquisiton. Also, would you rather at least get it to your computer first, or would you like to just have it fail on the spot? With SxS, at least it doesn't fail BEFORE I ever get a chance to put it on my computer.

One last note. If client requests SDHC cards, acquire on your SxS, transfer your card images to SDHC from your computer, WITH a CRC check, for safety. Hand it off. Done. Your investment just covered you.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #8
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Let me make this issue clear to everyone........

I did my thread to "inform" the users of SDHC cards about what I have found out about the Centon cards. NOT to get into a debate about the evils of using them. So, before a fellow EX camera user goes out and buys these cards, then goes on a shoot with them , which in the long run......will turn out to be a disaster.

Now let me tell you about the shoot I did to help explain the situation:

On Thursday, I shot part of a project for a major US oil company as the production company and the client both wanted to shoot HD using my new Sony EX3 XDCAM.

So, from 9am to 6pm, I shot 9 back to back interviews on green screen with the company founder,the CEO, the CFO, the COO, a 30 year employee, 3 VP's, and a oil engineer.

So telling the CEO " that you have to wait 10 mins. as the cards are offloading to a hard drive".....would not happen, especially in front of the client and the end client.

Going with SDHC was the smart way as I had no problems with the 6 Transcend cards that I used, plus the client wants to hold on to the SDHC cards. I wanted to do SxS and then off load, but I just did not have the time. If a card did fail, I had my 2 16GB, 2 8GB Sony SxS cards and 2 Hoodman 16GB RAW cards as back up.

Because of all the talk about Transcend card failures, 3 days before the shoot, I tested out all the cards , shooting around the house and I had no errors or failures on the Transcend, but the Centon card failed many times to my surprise. So, end of story.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 12:21 PM   #9
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From the first post, we got the whole point of the thread. Those cards don't work. how much do you need to discuss that point. Therefore, while I hijacked the thread, I don't know how much more needs to be said that one should avoid Centon cards.

Also, your situation seems like a workflow problem. Again, I would have a laptop setup, or if your IN STUDIO, have someone dumping the footage as you shoot using clip browser. If you had an extra hand, then you could also have whoever placing those card images on the SDHC cards for the client while your still shooting. The great thing is that you can keep rolling and hot swap out. If it takes 5min a card while your shooting on the other, I don't see why you would need to ever stop everything to dump cards. Also, I must ask, how much time got eaten up by struggling with the cards and errors and to that extent retakes?

On top of that, It takes a couple clicks to start the offloading process so maybe that eats up 30 seconds.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #10
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the fact is that the Transcend cards worked..so everybody is happy. I don't know whay you won't accpet the fact that it all worked.

I don't know where your getting "5 mins" , as when I tested a download to a hard drive it took clip browser 45 mins to transfer 56 mins of shot 1080i 60 footage to a hard drive. and now I test all SDHC cards days before I shoot on them.

I never lost anything...no errors or retakes .....the cards worked! ...no lost time.
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Old October 25th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #11
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I'll give 100% thumbs up to William Griffin's comments.

Offloading during a shot has so many potential issues. The the single biggest point of failure due to the human error and attention to potential trouble shooting involved. It is not practical to have an assistant (paid) or an intern (talk about RISK!). In far too many of my shoots the simple noise of a booting laptop and the light of the screen (many of my shoots are dark room presentations) is an issue. In many cases the laptop itself is a piece of gear that can be damaged depending on location logistics.

SDHC has been 100% reliable for me. If you test properly like William has done, it works and it REDUCES risk.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 12:06 AM   #12
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Not every shoot has a data manager on hand. Many shooters are one man bands.

Laptops are not built to the specs of professional use, with the exception of Panasonic Toughbook, and HDD failure is a reality. My top of the line laptop has had one drive replacement in 2 years, caught before the drive went bad. An external shock resistant drive is better, but slower. There is more than one way to skin a dog (I like cats, leave them alone people!)
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Old October 26th, 2009, 07:58 AM   #13
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We all have our own ways of shooting, we all have our own budgets to account for.

I always prefer to shoot on Sony DVCAM or premium HDV stock when using my Z1. A friend of mine (who posts on here) tends to favour the standard Sony DV stock.

That's his decision, he finds it works well for him and that's cool. He shoots more hours than me as well (doing conferences etc) and doesn't have problems. I go for the more expensive stock because although I know I'm being ripped off it makes me happy to have those nice blue and grey cases on the shelf.

Some people even shoot on the cheapest DV tape they can find even for HDV mode. So what, that's their business!

SDHC is a solution like any other. There are issues but as a community we're trying to overcome them. In fact this morning I've received two new ATP cards that I'll be testing when I get a moment.

If anyone can afford 10 SXS cards to have on the go at any one time then good luck to them. In the real world offloading isn't an option. Doesn't sound like Nathan has spent the day shooting on a rooftop with no shelter and no easy way down in the middle of a British winter or spending an entire day on the go with tapes/cards stuffed in his pockets. For many of us there is no luxury of an assistant on many shoots, we have to do it all.

Go with what works for you and your situation. If you use good SDHC cards that you have tested and you observe 'red light spells danger' you should be fine.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 09:47 AM   #14
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Seems like Nathan only shoots in studios with full production teams. Apparently that results in a very tunnel visioned view of production. There are also ROI issues and reasons why look for 6-$8000 camera solutions as opposed to his workflow which can double cost and actually INCREASE risk on a location shoot. Apparently he's unaware of the number of posts that are related to bad copies under pressure rather than bad cards.

A data transfer on location is the most vulnerable point of failure. One can certainly argue that risk vs the risk of bad SDHC cards but to ignore transfer risk would be poor planing in my book.
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Old October 26th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #15
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ok, just to clarify, mostly I shoot out on a boat all day long.
I shoot studio the other 30% of my time.
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