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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 April 9th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Marcus Durham View Post
I would never, ever, use any card without testing it first. Don't care if its a SxS, SDHC or whatever. I test it.

Once I have faith in the card I will use it. And my SDHC cards all sit in their own adaptors and are treated like SxS cards. Cards are never removed from their adaptors.

There are cheap consumer SDHC cards and more expensive cards. The ATP cards I use cost considerably more than the cheaper Sandisk or Transcend cards and are oddly enough the cards recommended by MxM as although they aren't the fastest they seem to have a very high build quality.

And no amount of capacitors are going to guard against the frankly larger issue of people ejecting cards before they have been written to or other user problems.

Since I've had the card issue nailed, I've been using SDHC cards flawlessly since September. In fact as I type another days worth of shooting is transferring in. Prior to that I did have problems but I spent time looking into it and found a solution that works for me (i.e only using the ATP cards).

ATP SHDC cards in lockable MxM adaptors can pretty much be handled the same as an SxS card. At Christmas I even managed to accidentally record 2 minutes of overcranked material to such a combo (the SxS was in slot B but I must have forgotten to switch). Camera didn't miss a beat despite being on the old firmware. I only realised when I got home.
It is exactly, what you say!.. I use the same combo, and it works flawlessly!
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Old April 9th, 2010, 02:45 PM   #17
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Sorry Marcus, but if you feel you can't trust your media until you have tested it, that suggests that there is something wrong. Did you have to test your video tapes before you used them?
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Old April 9th, 2010, 03:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Sorry Marcus, but if you feel you can't trust your media until you have tested it, that suggests that there is something wrong. Did you have to test your video tapes before you used them?
Frankly tape is a whole different ball game. There's many more things that can go wrong such as transport failures or problems with the heads and tape jam. Can you predict where dropout might happen? Would testing a tape first solve any of these problems? Of course not.

But what I can do is properly maintain my camera. How many hours have I put on the heads since I last cleaned them? I make sure I stick to Sony DV-CAM tapes only and should I be forced to use another brand (as I have been in an emergency) I clean the heads immediately afterwards. Different precautions for different media, simple as that.

Working with flash memory or hard drives requires a different set of precautions. I don't have heads to clean or nasty bits of plastic with rust stuck to it running inside my camera. I have these bits of flash memory that will hold my footage instead.

Does it make me happier that I have confidence in my media before I use it? Yes it does. Does it make me happier that I am what some people might call over cautious with my tape cameras? Yes, it does make me happier.

Some people will be happy to chuck a card straight into the camera and use it. Just like some people use the cheapest DV tape they can lay their hands on. That's cool, I'm not here to sit in judgement on that. My workflow works for me and isn't any hassle at all.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 03:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
But with an SxS card you just stick it in and use it.

There are many tales from people that have used SD cards for months and then suddenly the get a problem that results in the loss of footage. Hopefully the new firmware will alleviate many of these problems, but the fact remains that SD cards are consumer media, mass produced to a meet a low price point. SxS cards are designed from the ground up for professional use and incorporate features such as capacitors that hold enough charge to allow any file writing to complete if the card looses power mid shot.
Hi Guys,
Alister I refer to your statement about the quality capacitors let me say that faulty capacitors in Sony camera’s have cost me may thousand’s of dollars in the past, that is not a good example of Sony build and reliability. I have two EX3’s they are good camera’s that could have been better if the IR issue had been addressed by Sony rather than adopting the let’s pretend it’s dose not exist attitude like Toyota. I have just had my firmware updated by our Sony service centre and have been soak testing my stock of The MxM expresscard/34 reader with Sandisk 32GB cards. In the past I have had format and media error issues all of which have now disappeared and I can’t induce the same problem of the past on the same stock.
I am now confident that my stock of MxM expresscard can now be put back into use on production jobs and I will be buying more. I agree with Craig “SDHC is much like the tape stock of old. There is good stock and bad stock and stock that changes formulation without informing the buyer. “
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Old April 10th, 2010, 03:47 AM   #20
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Your media choice is your decision, but it's important to those trying to decide which is right for them that they understand the difference between consumer media in adapters and professional media.

The capacitor issue was some time ago and effected many manufactures. It was caused by the use of miniature electrolytic capacitors that were a of a new design and just didn't last as long as expected. It really has nothing to do with what is being discussed here.
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