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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 15th, 2009, 12:45 AM   #16
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Because I use a desktop machine as my editing station I bought a Sony SxS card reader that plugs into a USB port. It is faster than doing SDHC over USB. A 16GB SxS card takes just under half an hour whereas an SDHC takes about 40 minutes.

Regardless, you do not have to have a laptop to injest SxS. The SxS card reader although an extra expense, I would highly recommend as a tool in the arsenal.

Perrone, I agree with you whole heartedly on the cost/value proposition of SDHC cards. I picked up a bunch of Sandisk 16GB cards for $30 each last winter (northern hemisphere) along with Kensington and Delkiin readers. They are great, almost free... stickin' it to the man and all that. But... SxS are better in most respects. Cost is not one of them.

I used to record exclusively with SDHC and I have had zero problems with them but with quicker injest and little hesitation between takes (waiting for the SDHC to catch up), fumbling with tiny cards in a hurried editing environment, I will take SxS. If you have them use them I say unless there is a workflow impediment that makes SDHC a better choice.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 01:56 AM   #17
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It takes you 40 minutes to offload a 16 gig SDHC card? I've never had it take more than 10 or 15 minutes for a full card.

I use the clip browser to convert the video straight to MXF from the card... maybe that is why it is faster?
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Old November 15th, 2009, 03:17 AM   #18
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To add a new dimension to the debate, then a whole new workflow may have been opened up by Sony adding the "copy all clips" feature to the EX1R (and presumably the PMW350?). Hence shoot to SxS, then dump to an SDHC card in camera when it's full.

Most of the issues I've heard about with SDHC cards seem to come back to them not being tested adequately before use when first bought. And most of the remainder seem to be whilst shooting - rather than having finished a shoot OK, then finding a card problem later.

Using the camera to dump in this way should avoid those problems, since the transfer should just happen at the max speed the card can handle. If it's on the slow side, the transfer just takes longer - very different to real time recording.

I've also heard horror stories (first-hand) of material lost through downloading human error - once with SxS, twice with P2. So I fully agree that when you consider risk, it's a mistake to neglect the human factor and only worry about hardware reliability.

At least with an SxS camera you have the choice what media to use. (A 3-way choice now with the Sony adaptor and Memory Stick.) With P2 you don't get the option.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 03:47 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Dave Morrison View Post
Today, I took out my two 16-gig Transcend (red stripe) cards mounted in MxR adapters to shoot some test shots. One of them mounted fine but the other one is not being recognized by the camera and is giving an "Unknown Media....Please Change" warning. I tried switching slots in the camera (no change), formatting the card in my Mac as FAT32 (no change) and tried moving the failing Transcend card to the other MxR adapter (no change). This was never a problem before as I tested both of these cards and adapters extensively when I first got them. They were never intended to be my primary recording media and I'm SO happy I didn't have to rely on this card during the week-long shoot.
This isn't a question of not trusting SDHC, your case is a question of not trusting Transcend. Some time after Transcend started printing red stripes on their cards instead of green it seems something changed in the manufacturing process.

How long does it take your cards to clear a red light to green? If it's more than about 5 seconds just bin them without hesitation. Even if they aren't taking that long the fact you've had these errors indicates there's probably still a problem somewhere with them.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 12:35 PM   #20
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I use both SxS and SHDC in Kensington Adapters all the time for commercial work.
Do you mean that you strongly recomment to never remove the SDHC card from the adpater and buy as many adapters as I have cards ? Wll... sfar I leave the adapters permanently in the EX1 slots and remove and insert the SDHC cards to/from the slots of the adapters without removing the adapters. I found that very practical. But do you imply that this way of doing things is not advisable ?
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Old November 15th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #21
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Hi again.

I personally leave the small fiddly SDHC cards within my Kensington Adapters permanently and pull the whole "combo" out (i.e. just like if it was an SxS card). It's just my way of doing it as once I've fully tested a SDHC card and it's dedicated Kensington adapter I prefer to keep the unit together.

On the EX3, as is well known, you have more "headroom room" than on the EX1 (still not enough though!) to easily access the sticks and also close the door with KxS/KxT etc. but I guess there is no problem just pulling the SDHC cards - but they do seem a little fragile to me...I guess whichever way seems best to you. It's just one set of contacts versus another getting used at the end of the day.

Got to go, the new Dr Who episode is about to start on BBC 1 :-)
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Old November 15th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #22
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When you buy a Hoodman SDHC card you get a USB adapter with it. One can't use the adapter without taking the little card out of the SXS adapter.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #23
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<snip>
How long does it take your cards to clear a red light to green? If it's more than about 5 seconds just bin them without hesitation. Even if they aren't taking that long the fact you've had these errors indicates there's probably still a problem somewhere with them.
Hi Marcus. My average time with both of these cards was about 5 seconds. I went out shooting today with the "good" card with no problems, but that other one is dead...dead...dead. ;-)
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Old November 15th, 2009, 11:26 PM   #24
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I'm using the E-Films e-LCR without any problems with Transcend 32GB cards. I have bought one adapter per card and never remove the cards from the adapter. In order to read out the whole combo, I use a cheap Delock 61575 expresscard to usb adapter (warning, this adapter doesn't work with SxS cards, only with the e-LCR and similiar card readers). Prior to using this combo, I did a thorough write and read check of the card using the Linux badblocks command in order to make sure cards are fine. Also generally if time permits, I am copying important scenes from one card to the other one, but as already said a firmware update to permit copying of multiple files would be nice.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 01:53 AM   #25
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one card - one adapter is my policy so that I can easily identify any problems. Have been using Transcend 16gb class 6 since February 2009 and am pleased to say I have had no problems. I think the current thinking is that the latest batches of Transcends are now unreliable and that ATP Pro is the make to go for as there have been no negative reports AFAIK.

Last edited by Bruce Rawlings; November 16th, 2009 at 01:54 AM. Reason: corrected statement
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Old November 16th, 2009, 03:24 AM   #26
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Marcus, how are your tests going with the ATP Pro cards?
What card reader are you using in your camera with these cards?
Have you tried them with the Kensington Card reader?

Thanks in advance.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 03:29 AM   #27
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I'm using MxR adaptors into the PC Express slot on the Macbook. I prefer to both write and read from an MxR rather than take the SDHC out because part of what I need to test in my case is the MxR and ATP combo.

I've tested 3 cards, and have now shot on all 3 of them. I have a 4th but haven't had the time yet to test it.

Of course there's no guarentee they won't go bad on me in 3 months but I feel I've tested as best as I can at this stage. The only way we'll really know is if people start using them.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 03:48 AM   #28
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The only way we'll really know is if people start using them.
Thanks Marcus, yes, your right, the more tests the better.

I have enough SxS cards to get me through the most, if not all of a wedding but I might send for one from Amazon and use one of my Kensington Card readers.

Thanks Marcus, keep up the good work.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 05:06 AM   #29
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I have a couple of Kensington adaptors but have never used them. The new adaptors from MxM that prevent you from removing the SDHC card in combination with the ATP Pro cards feel very solid and I've got the adaptors almost too hot to handle on a recent shoot.

There is an issue with the SDHC cards in that the contact dimensions are a bit rubbery. With some cards the contacts only just make contact with the adaptors. Removing the chance of the SDHC card moving at all plus improving the speed of the chips in the adaptors makes the MxM adaptors a good buy from my experience.

I can't say they're better as I've never had a problem with any of this kit, all I can say is the latest offering feels more solid. The older design caused me to pop a SDHC card out when I hadn't intended to. The camera seems a little more responsive as well. Thumbnails coming up quicker etc. Sorry that's a very subjective evaluation and should not be taken as gospel.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 05:19 AM   #30
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I have a couple of Kensington adaptors but have never used them... plus improving the speed of the chips in the adaptors makes the MxM adaptors a good buy from my experience.
Thanks Bob, I suppose getting the MxM adaptor would do any harm.
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