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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 November 8th, 2009, 01:34 AM   #1
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Slow record reaction time

Hi,
I am using the E-Films MxR cards and Sony cards, I am finding i am missing a lot of shots a there i a massive delay when record is hit. Have i missed a firmware upgrade or something to the effect?
Any input would be greatly appreciated
Mick
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Old November 8th, 2009, 03:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Wilcomes View Post
Hi,
I am using the E-Films MxR cards and Sony cards, I am finding i am missing a lot of shots a there i a massive delay when record is hit. Have i missed a firmware upgrade or something to the effect?
Any input would be greatly appreciated
Mick
Define "massive delay".
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Old November 8th, 2009, 05:27 AM   #3
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I shoot high paced sport so long enough to miss vital vision, if i am button back on after previous clip straight away i would say around a full second or so so.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 05:54 AM   #4
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Sounds like you are waiting for the SxS to finish writing. This is normal and is no worse than any tape camera I've owned.

You may want to look at the new EX1-R as that will have a pre-record cache which will suit your requirements. It will be able to provide you with a few seconds of footage from before you pressed record.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:28 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mick Wilcomes View Post
I shoot high paced sport so long enough to miss vital vision, if i am button back on after previous clip straight away i would say around a full second or so so.
Hi Mick,

The EX series cameras write a TOC (Table of Contents) as soon as you button off. This is represented by the slot display light turning from red to green. Green meaning the camera is in standby mode.

The delay between when you button off and until you can button on again, is something like

SxS = 4 secs from button off to green light, and safe to record after about 2.5secs

MxR = depends on card, some are faster some are slower, but as an example

Sandisk Ultra II 32GB = 6-7 secs from button off to green light, safe to record after about 5 secs.

I personally worry using the EX1 in an environment where there are very quick button on and offs, no matter what the media, as the camera even at it's fastest, is only able to go from button off to on again, in 2-3secs.

I know when I was shooting with SxS when I first got the camera, I found it a real pain that the camera took so long to cycle. I was used to DV, where the tape was always threaded, and the cycle could be less than a second. It felt more like I had gone back to the shoulder mount days where the camera was set on "head save" mode, and needed to thread each time you want to get a shot.

In the end I realised in my game, Wedding Video, that the best way to not miss anything in a very fast paced environment, was to keep rolling, and only button off when I knew there would be at least a 3-4 second window.

Now that may not match your shooting style, but that unfortunately is the limitation of these cameras.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 01:15 PM   #6
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i am missing a lot of shots a there i a massive delay when record is hit. Any input would be greatly appreciated
I have shot DV and HDV onto tape for a long time. I stopped shooting HDV because I'd be waiting, and waiting .... and waiting. It would take up to 15 seconds (that's real time seconds, counting elephants, not stopwatch seconds) to get HDV recording to kick in. It was so heart wrenching to see great scenes disappear as STBY flashed in the viewfinder, I swore off HDV. Then I went tapeless.

In the early days, I had an awful situation where I'd get lost in what was recorded and what wasn't - the early EX1s didn't show the red Record dot in the viewfinder in 'nothing' view, so I'd be hitting the button when something happened, hitting the button when it was over, then I'd view the rushes and find I'd recorded all the in-between moments rather than the actual moments.

Do this a few times, and you become attuned to checking for two red dots: the viewfinder and the card bay.

You are NOT recording to hard disk, you are NOT recording to RAM. If you did, pay the price: no vibration, action, bumps on the hard disk shots, and nothing under 7 seconds on the RAM shots. The price you pay is to press the tit, look at the big red blob in the viewfinder and keep recording until you have a chance to split it with a stop-wait-start sequence.

No way will I shoot with tape again. However, I will buy a cache record EX1R as that will solve this problem. The cost of upgrading will be matched by the margins and the upped threshold of having such shots that couldn't be recorded before.

SxS can help - at a cost.
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