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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 January 26th, 2010, 03:09 AM   #1
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Sony Official SD Card support announced

Sony today announced that they will be producing a SD card adapter along the lines of the MEAD- MS01 memory stick adapter. It won't be available until April.
Sony : MEAD-SD01 (MEADSD01) : Product Overview : United Kingdom
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #2
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Under the "Additional Information" section it states that firmware updates will be available via Internet download. Is this available now or do we have to wait until April?

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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:46 AM   #3
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The firmware is not available yet.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 04:34 AM   #4
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Will the firmware be available to the users of the original EX1 ?

Paul.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:08 AM   #5
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EX1 fully supported as stated in additional info:
Additional information

The PMW-350, PMW-EX1R, PMW-EX1 and PMW-EX3 can receive updated firmware via an Internet download, while the PMW-EX30 and PMW-10MD will need returning to a Sony service centre as they do not have a USB service port for connecting with a PC.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 05:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Sony today announced that they will be producing a SD card adapter along the lines of the MEAD- MS01 memory stick adapter. It won't be available until April.
What took them so long?

I had my eyes on a EX1 for some time, but the price of media was a real turn off. When Alister published a post saying that SD cards could be used with a Kensington adapter, I purchased the EX3 (I think it was Alister) - to date have not had any media problems with this combination.

I wonder how many other people would have invested in the EX system if Sony had made this available earlier.

Better late than never I suppose

See you this afternoon Alister :-)
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #7
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Interesting that they're doing this in addition to their memory sticks. It's good that they're doing this. I wonder what the firmware update provides as all this works now.

I'd love to see a faceoff using the, let's say a Sandisk Extreme 10 card in MXR, MXM, Sony's to see if there's a difference.

The big advantage to Sony in announcing this, as alluded to in Vincent's post, is marketing. As the wider public is informed more people will by EX without fear of memory media prices.

BTW this of course may mean is that one won't have to go crazy testing different brand cards. In other words Transcend Class 10 will work just as well. Maybe the firmware upgrade helps with this. Better I/O controller handling.

I also wonder what impact/improvement the firmware might provide for Class 6 cards as currently few work and many fail. Maybe this is why Sony says Class 10 but I wonder if the byproduct might be better Class 6 support.

Also interesting is the comments about overcrank. Others have shown that MXM and Class 10 can yield full overcrank frame rates.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:54 AM   #8
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I would bet that the class 6 cards that fail cant keep up with full speed continuous data rates. they have thier buffers in there that make the inital transfers very fast, but what were doing with them is a non-stop continuous.
sort of like hard drives that can do 100, that the "platter" can only do 33, once you get out of the cache or buffer or whatever they want to call it, Reality hits.

Then if there is ever a need to block out a bad sector that will not write, boom, the continuous write speed goes to heck.
i think as long as the flash chips work the way they do, we should be looking for ones that can do easy 2-3TIMES the needed data rate, so at any time there is a action by the card other than suck and spill the 2 buffers (the cam and the chip) can handle it.

I have various Class 6 cards and they are all the rated speed but only for data to the buffer, after the buffer is filled thier real speed is there. Also some differ depending on smaller and larger files. so in the EX stuff when it has to make the 5 tiny files, some cards will handle the creation of the new files different.
All of them transfer slows when you have hundreds of tiny files, vrses one huge one.

Plus, everyone says that FLash is Ram, and because it is "random Access Memory" there is no concideration for fragmentation of data. But there is. if you delete a few Video files, then overwrite that area again, you have non sequential writes.
Weird thing is, i have gotten Higher transfer rates on a more filled card once??? weird huh.

Then these chips do heat up, the harder they work the hotter they get, and then we Package them in very Tight packages with no heat removal possiblity. did we insulate the chip or provide a path for the heat to the air. Many new tech stuffs will cope with heat issues by rate reduction on overheat, i dont know if that applies to flash chip buffere processing, but it sure would be a nasty surprise to be out in the sun and have it change because we didnt test that.

I really think if we test ALL that stuff, then we will have stuff that is reliable in all situations.
Bad sector avoid or re-write time (or whatever it is called)
Sequential Empty , Sequential Filled
Random data all over the chip, due to clip deletion, then re-write.
Buffer speed Vrses Continuous
FIle creation & TOC speed differences
and Heat handling.

Class :-) they already showed that a Real Class 4 Sandisk ultra which has always been a very reliable chip item, can whoop the pants off of some "class" 6 items.

It is all in the fudging of the numbers, and WE should test everything that really counts to us, and they can stuff thier classifications :-)
i wont mention the ADATA chip that completly Fell APART on me :-( but containment could also be worth knowing about.

Just talking.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
What took them so long?
I would guess that they made as much as they are going to make with the SxS cards and made a judgement that opening up the SD card option would be more of a benefit than a detriment at this time.

Sort of like Panasonic waiting to release the "cheap" P2 cards.

I always thought the EX cameras were purposely hobbled on the SD adapter front with the seemingly random lockups. This was Sony's way of protecting their SxS market share.

And I will agree, this will probably be good for sales. Human nature, pay a decent amount for a camera but expensive memory is a turnoff, pay a decent amount for a camera cheap memory, a good deal.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #10
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Making firmware readily available seems the bigger news to me. SD Card support is closing the barn door after the horse has run out and is consistent with their policies the new NX cameras where both Sony's proprietary memory and SD is supported. Now permitting us to upload firmware, I've four really early EX1s that need to be flashed and I've been putting it off until now....
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post

I always thought the EX cameras were purposely hobbled on the SD adapter front with the seemingly random lockups. This was Sony's way of protecting their SxS market share.
There's nothing random about it. There are very good reasons why certain cards and certain adaptors work, and why some don't work. Its just we've had to guess at them as we don't have access to the inner workings of Sony.

Get the right card and right adaptor and there is nothing "random" at all. For Sony to hobble the SD cards would have been to hobble their own hard disk recording solution. The release of the Sony adaptor is because they've realised they are losing revenue to other companies.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 03:09 PM   #12
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Hey Marcus,

I would have a different take on the issue.

I used the term random as I would test cards, they seemed to work fine, then one day I would get a record error. This happened with a Hoodman RAW card as well. To this user, it was quite random.

The release of the new firmware, I agree from Marc's post is the real signal that maybe all decent SDHC cards will work going forward. We will have to wait until the firmware is released to see if this comes true. If it is true, I applaud Sony for the customer centric move.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:29 PM   #13
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.....Also interesting is the comments about overcrank. Others have shown that MXM and Class 10 can yield full overcrank frame rates.
Even on an EX1? i've heard people having success at 60fps on an EX1R, but not on an old washed up EX1.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 09:34 PM   #14
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SanDisk Extreme Class 10 vs Extreme III Class 6

this seems like a great place to ask such a question because ALL of you seem to know what you're talking about. due to time restraints and lack of patience i think i'm gonna buy some SanDisk Extreme cards before the rebate ends. Does anyone know if i'd gain anything with the Extreme Class 10 card over the Extreme III Class 6 card? they both have a speed rating of 30MB/s. the only real difference i see is the Class ratings. i own/operate an EX1 and i'd either be using the card in a MxR or Hoodman adapter. so, basically would the Class 10 benefit me more than the Class 6 card or is the Class 10 card overkill?

thanks as always,
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Old January 26th, 2010, 11:36 PM   #15
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Hi Michael,

When the Sandisk Ultra II 16GB was a reliable card, and could reach 14-15MB/s, then I would not have recommended going to the faster cards.

But in light of the recent testing we have done, where there has been a definite slow down in Transcend and Sandisk 16GB cards ( not to mention Sandisk reliability being in question), the Class 10 cards are definitely worth a look at.

They provide a ton on headroom for recording on the EX1, and full 60fps overcrank on the EX1-R. Mind you the Ultra 32GB did sustained 60fps, but it wouldn't have the headroom the Extreme card does.

Whether the firmware used in the EX1-R will trickle down into the EX1/EX3 is anyone's guess, but if it did, the currently used Class 6 Transcend 32GB and Ultra 32GB may well be good enough.
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