USB-bottleneck gone in EX1R - full SDHC-overcrank?! at DVinfo.net

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old December 29th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #1
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USB-bottleneck gone in EX1R - full SDHC-overcrank?!

Today I accidently used my Sandisk Ultra II with MxR-adapter when overcranking 50@25 fps. To my surprise I did not get an error. With my old EX1 I have not been able to go beyond 43 fps on the Ultra cards.
As most of you know the limiting factor for data speed using SDHC-cards with the camera is not the adaptor or the cards themselves. It is the USB-interface of the EX1/EX3 that is limiting data speed.
After todays experience I am suspecting that this bottleneck is gone!!!

After coming home I tried maximum overcranking 60@25 fps. This worked as well!! I have just completed recording one 7 minute and one 8 minute clip at 60@25 fps onto my SDHC-card!

I have not had time to do any extensive testing beyond this but the results are very promising. The EX1R also prevents trying to record to quickly after finishing a recording. It gives an error message stating that it is finishing the previous recording and is not ready to record (or something similar). This also gives me more confidence in using SDHC.

I think these improvements are there to increase stability when using the Sony Memory sticks but it seems like SDHC-users are benefitting as well.

I'd be very interested to see if anyone can confirm my findings!
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Old December 29th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #2
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It wouldn't surprise me. As reported a few weeks back I've been able to fill a card at 48fps with a new MxM and ATP combo and the new Sandisks are supposed to be faster than the ATP cards.

Can you fill a card at full 50 or 60 fps though? MxM claim for their cards 48fps is the maximum reliable limit no matter what your choice of card. I've managed 50fps with ATP cards but not reliably for more than a couple of minutes.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 05:43 PM   #3
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That's interesting. I assume that these reults come from an EX1R? Is there another thread where this has been reported? If so - maybe they should be merged.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #4
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No, on a normal EX1.

I reported this on the forum and here: Further Adventures with SDHC and the EX1 | Media2u Video Production Blog
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Old December 29th, 2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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Ok! Just read your article. Interesting results. Kind of contradict the common opinion that it is the USB-bus of the camera that is the bottle neck.

Regarding the Sandisk card I used - it is not new. The Ultra II I was using is well over a year old.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 10:45 PM   #6
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Just wondering if it might be that the new EX1r has more buffering memory than the
original EX1 and the USB handshake is more robust...
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Old December 30th, 2009, 04:33 AM   #7
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Well - maybe it uses the new cache record memory in a clever way?
Anyway - I will do more tests when I get the time. Meanwhile - anyone with an EX1R and an SDHC-adaptor - please see if you can confirm my results!
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Old December 30th, 2009, 06:43 AM   #8
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Hi Ola,

I can confirm your results. I am able to record at 60 fps using a SDHC card in my EX1R.
I've recorded clips from 10 seconds to 15 minutes long without any errors or anything unusual happening.

HQ 1280 /30P @ 60fps
EX1R with firmware V1.00
Hoodman RAW-SDHC16GB card
Hoodman SxSxSDHC adapter

I don't normally shoot on SDHC cards, so this is the only card and adapter I have to test.

The same card in the same adapter causes an error on my EX1 within 5 seconds after recording starts.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 07:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ola Christoffersson View Post
Meanwhile - anyone with an EX1R and an SDHC-adaptor - please see if you can confirm my results!
Okay, that explains something that struck me only after I'd packed up for the day. I was filming tests comparing 720p25 and 720p50 down to SD, and native DV recording. And, yes, the 720p50 was in an MxR adaptor with a 16GB 'Old' Transcend (if it were an MGB, it's the chrome bumper version, not the rubber bumper one).

But those were short(ish) clips - 60-90 secs or so.

So I've just fired it up again in S&Q mode. Got 1-2 mins at 60fps on the MxR-Transcend (Old card, folks, not new card! I repeat, OLD card, YMMV) before recording drops out with Media Restore message (so pop card out, pop card in, press Execute, everything fine). Which is maybe twice to three times what I could get away with on the EX1 at 720p60 (and all I personally need on most jobs, frankly).

At 50 fps, it's conking out at about 5-6 minutes. I may stick with this setting as I'll reliably get any slomo shot done in a minute or two.

At 45 fps, it's filled the entire card without missing a beat.

At 48 fps, it copped out after 8 minutes.

I really had better get back to work...

On my EX1, I could go up to 38-40 fps on filling a card, but would be lucky to record 15-30 seconds at 60fps. So there DOES appear to be an improvement, but not a full scale revolution.

Addendum: Filled a card at 720p50.

PS: A colleague has just taken delivery of a couple of Transcends - the 'High End Video' ones - and put them into his new EX1R. When we'd finished our phone call, he'd recorded 11 minutes in 60fps S&Q mode using his original Kensington ('KxS') adaptors, and from record-off to green light was about 4.5 seconds. I've left him doing more soak testing.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #10
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Just remember folks, when testing your overcranking you should ensure you have moving material in the viewfinder. Pointing the camera at a wall or a non moving image doesn't stress the codec and my initial results showed that you might get the wrong impression of how far you can push a card if the VBR codec isn't being stressed.

It was perfectly possible to get the camera to bomb out when it was on "the edge" by doing a whip pan or other things that ensured much of the scene was changing frame to frame.

I'm wondering what impact the EX1 firmware update will have on SDHC solutions for owners of the older camera.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 01:49 PM   #11
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Don't worry, Marcus - I was also testing my Zoom at the same time as the stress tests. The 720p50 tests were recording a locked off shot of Michael in his Lego nest. Not particularly stressful, but enough.

The best example of how efficient VBR is would be to record bars. :)

But I do see possibly a 20-25% increase in speed in off-to-green performance between the EX1 and the EX1R using SDHC.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 02:04 PM   #12
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Don't worry, Marcus - I was also testing my Zoom at the same time as the stress tests. The 720p50 tests were recording a locked off shot of Michael in his Lego nest. Not particularly stressful, but enough.

The best example of how efficient VBR is would be to record bars. :)

But I do see possibly a 20-25% increase in speed in off-to-green performance between the EX1 and the EX1R using SDHC.
I can't help but think that is is something to do with Sony implementing their own adaptor solution. They are going to want their adaptors to be as reliable as possible if they are to add them as a "supported" option.

If you want to borrow one of my MxM's for research purposes, just email me. I'm wondering if an EX1R will also see the same kind of performance increase I saw between the MxM and the MxR or if this is a EX1 specific thing.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #13
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Just remember folks, when testing your overcranking you should ensure you have moving material in the viewfinder.
Good point.
My successful tests with the EX1R were done hand-held with lots of motion. I should have said that in the first place.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 05:22 PM   #14
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Hi again everybody!

Great to hear that you can confirm my findings. This makes me even more comfortable using my MxR-adapters and SDHC-cards with my new camera. Although I could not resist to get one of the new 32 GB SXS-1 cards with the camera so I will probably be using the SDHC-cards less now than before.

Anyway - we seem to have established that there is an improvement in the speed of the cameras USB-bus and since several people have achieved maximum overcrank the bus no longer seems to be the bottle neck. This calls for more testing of the different adaptors and cards. Maybe we can find the best combination that can safely record in all modes onto SDHC.

Keep the tests coming!
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Old January 7th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #15
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I dont have anything to compare. I only have the EX1r. Craig Seeman told me how to test it (thanks Craig)
and i cannot get it to have a problem with any of my adapted SDHC cards using a LCK type adapation.
All my cards were purchaced from trusted sources, and tested long before i used them in the camera, they are all true class6 operating cards.

all i did was test, eventually i will be using the camera when my bottom is on the line, then i will know more.
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