Sony SxS reader or laptop for capture at

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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 December 7th, 2009, 02:27 PM   #1
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Sony SxS reader or laptop for capture

This has probably been discussed, but I couldn't find it.

Which is faster for SxS card capture to a Mac Pro 8core-

Sony SxS reader or a laptop with Express Slot networked to the Mac Pro capturing to it's RAID?

I'd be looking for a cheap PC with Express Slot and networking with gigabit ethernet.

The prices for the PCs aren't much more than the Sony reader, would be useful for more purposes than the reader and I'm guessing would be faster to download SxS cards in the edit suite.

Anyone successfully working this way?
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Old December 7th, 2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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Yes, an effective process

I use this way to copy rushes to my mac pro (for avid editing) with $350 Toshiba with ExpressCard reader.

When shooting : SxS > Toshiba (via fast express card reader) > Ext HD (via fast eSata).
(I dub, in my hotel room, on one USB drive, for safety copy)

At office : Ext HD (via eSata) > MacPro RAID HDs.
(or via Ethernet Network, but my eSata is very very fast...)
I have tested other methods, with USB, Nexto... This one for me is my best, and I can review quickly the pictures with SonyClipBrowser.

If you have hard shooting conditions (loooooong day and night, tropical conditions, I recommend to have "a lot" of card (buy + rent), to avoid files copies overcome with fatigue...

For 5x52' for FrenchTV, with 1 EX1+1EX3, 10 hours per day, we had just enough cards to shot 1 entire day (sometimes not completely), that was a nightmare to make copies at 4AM before sleeping.

Nevertheless, your choice for post is good. Network or ext HD are perfect. Forgot the USB sony reader, it's too slow, like when you plug your EX on a computer. Only in case of emergency, not for an efficient workflow.

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Old December 8th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #3
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I have been using a off the shelf laptop HP dual core and a 500 gig usb powered HD to dump my cards from my EX-1 and now Ex-3 now with about 200 hours of run time without a hitch either with the SXS Sony cards, MXR, and Hoodman cards. If I make it to the office without having to dump the two 16 gig cards in the camera I dump directly to the Raid in the Edius 5.12 editor via an internal card reader.

Just recently I took a project just shot the day before with me on vacation and was able with Edius 5.12 edit the 4 hour project using a HP pavilian laptop dv7 dual core 2.0, 6 gigs ram and SATA external drive in 1920X1080i without a single crash or lock up.
After I got back to the office I simply attached the SATA drive to the turnkey editor and finished the project....

Edius 5.12 can edit the XDCAM footage using the Sony clip browser in their native form without transcoding. I am so pleased with the smooth work flow with the XDCAM cameras and Edius that I will never go back to tape or other edit programs. I can see only about 20,000 reasons why I cannot have the new PMW 350.

Maybe someday.

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Old December 8th, 2009, 03:53 PM   #4
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Using a laptop AS a card reader for a MacPro

Thanks for the responses. I'm asking about something weirder than that.

I was thinking of USING THE LAPTOP AS A CARD READER for the MacPro, connected directly to the MacPro by ethernet cable. No saving to a drive on the laptop, just direct capture to my 400MBs RAID.

Put the laptop on the edit desk. Plug an ethernet cable into the laptop and the MacPro. Push an SxS card into the Express Card slot. Copy files directly to the MacPro RAID.

I can't test this myself because I don't have any SxS cards now and my current laptop doesn't have an Express card reader. Don't really want to buy this stuff just to do the test.

Is anyone doing this? Is it faster than the Sony SxS reader connected by USB?
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Old December 8th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #5
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No, I'm not doing this. Yes, it does sound screwy - but hey! That's where innovation lies!

However, let's think bottlenecks here.

USB tends to run out of puff and on my MacBook Pro with PCIe, I get 2-3x real time in XDCAM Transfer using MxR USB adaptors, but 5.5-8.2x performance using SxS cards.

I get a noticeably poorer performance using USB drives, so much so that I've sold on the USB drives and I'm back to using FW800s.

But I don't think you're going to get to match the performance of your RAID if you use a USB reader. There will be a slight improvement (still enhancing quality of life) by dumping to high performance disk over USB, but if the data has to go through a USB gate (be it a Sony USB reader, or a PCIe adaptor for SHDC card) it's still got the practical restriction of USB all the way after that chain.

So, using your MacBook Pro WITH PCIe, connecting that as a device via Gigabit ethernet and mounting its drives (including your card) for copying to your RAID will still have the millstone of the OS and its suck-blow data pump and other things to contend with.

Whereas a FW800 drive connected to your MBP whllst it sucks on SxS from the PCIe slot would probably out-perform it.

But I understand your thinking and hope the logic works out (unlike the logic behind wavepower and spinach, which both suffered - in different ways - by a misplaced decimal point).
Director/Editor - MDMA Ltd: Write, Shoot, Edit, Publish -
EX1 x2, C100 --> FCPX & PPro6
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Old December 8th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by George Strother View Post
Is anyone doing this? Is it faster than the Sony SxS reader connected by USB?
I bought a PCI-E Express Card Reader for SxS cards for my PC.

All I know is, it took 1 hour to copy an 32gbSxS card using the camera and I can now copy the same card in 20mins.
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