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Old July 28th, 2010, 06:11 PM   #1
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SDHC Reliability

OK, I've been reading for weeks about the various SDHC cards and adapters. It seems like some work for some and not for others and vice versa. Is there a setup that is generally regarded as the most reliable? I'm thinking of using the new Sony adapter with the Sandisk Class 6 or 10 card like they recommend....either a 16gb or 32gb.....Help?
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Old July 29th, 2010, 12:25 AM   #2
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been trying to find out the same thing ,some say yes some say no :(
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Old July 29th, 2010, 05:34 AM   #3
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I think what may be forgotten a little in all the discussion and agonising over the risk/cost analysis of media is the manufacturer's advice which essentially says anything other than SxS or SxS-1 cards are, and I quote:

"...recommended for emergency use only."

I suppose some argue it's marketing spiel designed to sure up SxS sales - the point remains if you are a professional relying on the tools and you seek support from your dealer or Sony centre in the event of problems you may have little recourse using the 'emergency media'.

What I can say, is even after the organisation I work for set-up XDCAM EX media resource, with all the recommended Sony media we still had a serious failure that forced the use of a back-up camera. I'm still working through the anomaly - disappointed it appeared, but I can guess what Sony/dealer's response would be if we'd gone SDHC or third-party adaptors.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 06:35 AM   #4
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So,

It comes back to the very same thing that was discussed when we were initially testing the SDHC solution 2 years ago.

Use the best cards you can (I use the same Sandisk Class 4 cards I bought long ago), test them, and if you are recording material that you CANNOT lose, record redundantly just like you would with any other mission critical recording. When I shoot live events, I record with more than one camera, more than one mic, and more than 1 light if light is REQUIRED.

If you walk the razors edge, eventually you'll get cut.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 06:58 AM   #5
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I can genuinely recommend the MxM - ATP Pro 32GB combo.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 07:43 AM   #6
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Been shooting on MxM lockables and ATP 16gb cards for 9 or 10 months now, and no problems at all. And 7 months of that was on the old firmware.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 08:03 AM   #7
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I should have added that I've used the MxM with both the Class 6 and Class 10 ATP Pro 32GB cards, and also with the older firmware (1.11) - no problems, either.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #8
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I am also using MxM lockables and ATP 16gb cards with old firmware on my EX3, no problems at all.
BUT I use my SxS cards first.
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Old July 29th, 2010, 07:08 PM   #9
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maybe?

How about the Hoodman Raw SXSXSDHC system as describe here:
YouTube - RAW SxSxSDHC Memory Adapter
Anybody try these? I read some posts a while back about how good RAW was, but cant find anything recent.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 03:39 AM   #10
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I would not recommend anyone use SD cards for day to day use. You only have to look through this and other forums to find people that have been using a reliable combination of cards and adapters for a few months only to have a sudden out of the blue failure. If you look through the consumer camcorder forums you will also come across media failures, so it's not just an EX thing.

One point to note is how hot the cards get in an EX. Prolonged use at high temperature will accelerate the degradation of any electronics. So I speculate that users using SD cards for long or continuous shots are more likely to experience failures than someone shooting occasional or sporadic shots where the card has more time to cool.

At the end of the day SD cards are consumer media where cost tends to be the overwhelming requirement. They are produced in the millions with only minimal testing. SxS on the other hand was designed from the ground up for professional video applications. In an EX they are not getting stressed at all.

The amount of threads and discussions on SD card reliability compared to the amount of threads about SxS reliability is good indicator of the way things are.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 04:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
I would not recommend anyone use SD cards for day to day use. You only have to look through this and other forums to find people that have been using a reliable combination of cards and adapters for a few months only to have a sudden out of the blue failure. If you look through the consumer camcorder forums you will also come across media failures, so it's not just an EX thing.
If you look across the forums there tends to be certain trends running across the failures and most of it is down to either cheap cards or bad handling practice. Alot of people are sticking any old SD card into the adaptors and others still insist on using the timebomb Transcend cards. Just because they work doesn't mean they will be reliable. From my own experience of corrupted clips I'm pretty convinced that Transcend cards are sensitive to static shock for example. There is certainly more to a card than just the raw transfer speed and that will be reflected in the price.

People have got to understand that there are just a few brands that are worth using and the limitations of the technology. They also need to be on the latest firmware. If someone doesn't understand the issues around SDHC then they shouldn't be using it.

Lockable adaptors are also important. With the "open" adaptors it is far too easy to accidentally eject a card from the adaptor. It's a disaster waiting to happen. Only buy lockable adaptors and then you can treat the card and adaptor as one. The card goes into the adaptor and stays there until the end of its life.

The ATP cards I've been using operate to a higher spec including higher resistance to ESD and temperature extremes. Yes they cost more, yes they probably are still slightly less reliable than SxS but then again they are still more reliable than the risks associated with tape.

In all the time I've been shooting with ATP cards I've had no restore media messages and no corrupted clips. I also don't recall us having any posts on here from ATP/MXM lockable users with any issues.

Certainly the ATP or Hoodman cards are the only place to look in my opinion as these cards are built to a higher spec and, as you'd expect, cost more. Just because a card "works" doesn't mean it will be reliable.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 03:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus Durham View Post

The ATP cards I've been using operate to a higher spec including higher resistance to ESD and temperature extremes. Yes they cost more, yes they probably are still slightly less reliable than SxS but then again they are still more reliable than the risks associated with tape.
In most cases a tape issue meant drop outs or glitches in the recording. Much of the recording would still be useable. An SD card failure on the other hand often means the total loss of everything on the card.

A hoodman RAW SDHC 32Gb card and locking adapter works out at about $220 USD compared to a 32Gb SxS-1 at $520. It is a big difference admittedly, but how much do you charge for a job? How much would it cost if you have to re-shoot, what is your reputation worth?

You pays your money, you makes your choice.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 08:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post

One point to note is how hot the cards get in an EX. Prolonged use at high temperature will accelerate the degradation of any electronics. So I speculate that users using SD cards for long or continuous shots are more likely to experience failures than someone shooting occasional or sporadic shots where the card has more time to cool.
That helps reinforce my decision not to buy the MxM adapters just to be able to close the stupid door, but instead to keep my six Kensington adapters.

These have never failed me with either Sandisk Cards or Transcend Class 6 Blue Stripe OR Red Stripe cards. So the door won't close. Big deal. Better airflow.

John
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Old July 31st, 2010, 09:41 AM   #14
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You can always get an EX3 so that
the door closes with Kensingtons.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 06:31 PM   #15
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Right, this is getting silly so rather than deal in heresay and guesswork lets try a few facts:


ATP quote the following key specifications for their Class 6 16gb card:

Waterproof: Yes
Dust Proof: Yes
ESD Proof: Yes
Operating Temp: -25C to 85C
Humidity: 8 - 95 % non-condensing
Number of insertions: 10,000 minimum
Data retention: 10 years

MxM specs say their adaptors are usable in 0C to 70C between 20% and 85% humidity.

The SxS specifications list -25C to 65C and 95% humidity.


From the specs, an ATP card in an MxM adaptor can actually operate 5 degrees C hotter than an SxS but the SxS can operate in a colder environment.

In conclusion, unless you are in the jungles of Borneo or shooting below freezing, the adaptors are well within spec. If your adaptor was to get as hot as 70C, you'd soon know about it as you wouldn't be able to handle it. And if that happens, the SxS would also be operating outside its specification.
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