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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 May 31st, 2011, 12:18 PM   #1
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EX3 - cheapest memory options

hi all

am interested in buying this camera, and wondered what my options were for buying additional memory? Do I have to buy the SxS cards, or are there adaptors that I can buy that carry cheaper memory (and work 100% safely?)

Would really appreciate advice on what you guys use.

Also, with the batteries - same thing - can you get alternatives?
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Old May 31st, 2011, 01:21 PM   #2
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

Hi Martin,

Your memory question is often asked. There is a lot of info already in this section of the forum. Do a quick search for SDHC or MxM or MxR and you'll have plenty to read.

Such as this thread from recent times:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...ex-series.html

As far as batteries go there are a few choices that all look to be clones of each other. I have some of the SWITT 96wh batteries I bought from B&H. The last a really long time on the EX cameras. Doing a quick search on B&H or Adorama can inform you of the convenient options.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 07:39 PM   #3
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

As far as batteries go, you really have a lot of options.
I purchased a 4-pin XLR to EX powerplug adapter (from Vortex Media) so I can use any of my existing 12v batteries (and yes, I also have an Anton-Bauer plate to 4-pin that I can use for powering from bricks.)
If you're enterprising (and really cheap) you could probably even adapt from power tool or other consumer batteries that are remarkably reasonably priced. Of course you do have to pay attention to polarity...
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Old June 1st, 2011, 04:34 AM   #4
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

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Originally Posted by Martin Campbell View Post
or are there adaptors that I can buy that carry cheaper memory (and work 100% safely?)

Would really appreciate advice on what you guys use.
I use the MXM adaptors and ATP or Sandisk SDHC cards.

They have never let me down.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 04:41 AM   #5
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

Your question made me smile. Rather than asking what's the cheapest media available perhaps you should be asking what's the most reliable? After all you said yourself that you want 100% reliability. Well I'm sure you know that there's no such thing as 100% reliability with anything in life and certainly not with media cards. Al you can do (if you want to get as close to 100% as possible) is buy the best, most reliable cards available which is currently SxS and not SD.

If you are a hobbyist by all means use SD cards with an adaptor. If you are being paid to work then be professional and use SxS. If you had a card failure and the client found out you were cutting corners with consumer grade media your reputation would suffer. If an SxS card fails at least you are sticking to best practice and no one will blame you for that.

Memory cards like SxS seem expensive to begin with but once any card has irreplaceable footage on it how much is it worth then? They will also last you many years.

I realise that everybody has a different attitude to risk and many people are likely to reply saying the've used SD cards for years with no problems. They've been lucky. I'm not a particularly lucky person so I don't like to take unnecessary risks.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 04:50 AM   #6
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

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Originally Posted by Andy Taplin View Post
Your question made me smile. Rather than asking what's the cheapest media available perhaps you should be asking what's the most reliable? After all you said yourself that you want 100% reliability. Well I'm sure you know that there's no such thing as 100% reliability with anything in life and certainly not with media cards. Al you can do (if you want to get as close to 100% as possible) is buy the best, most reliable cards available which is currently SxS and not SD.

If you are a hobbyist by all means use SD cards with an adaptor. If you are being paid to work then be professional and use SxS. If you had a card failure and the client found out you were cutting corners with consumer grade media your reputation would suffer. If an SxS card fails at least you are sticking to best practice and no one will blame you for that.

Memory cards like SxS seem expensive to begin with but once any card has irreplaceable footage on it how much is it worth then? They will also last you many years.

I realise that everybody has a different attitude to risk and many people are likely to reply saying the've used SD cards for years with no problems. They've been lucky. I'm not a particularly lucky person so I don't like to take unnecessary risks.
Couldn't agree more with you Andy but just to add, an SXS card let me down one time.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 04:57 AM   #7
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

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Couldn't agree more with you Andy but just to add, an SXS card let me down one time.
Bad luck Anthony. Of course it can happen but at least you were doing your best. And Sony will try and recover the footage.

For what's it's worth here are my top tips for shooting tapeless:

Do some research and buy the best media - even (or especially!) if it seems expensive compared to the cheapest.

Stop and start recording as often as possible. That way you stand a chance of recovering more footage should disaster strike.

Never let the battery die on you whilst recording. SxS cards are much better if this should happen.

Have enough cards so that you never need to re-format and dump the footage during a shoot. Unless that is you have a DIT with you who can take the blame for any calamities!

Always re-format the card in the camera just prior to shooting.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 05:01 AM   #8
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

Good advice Andy.

I also have a NF for duel recording.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 05:07 AM   #9
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

Dual recording is such a good idea that I'm sure it will become common practice.

I used to hate tape in the old days but it was surprisingly reliable unless abused. Solid-state media seems robust but you just never know when disaster is going to strike - or why!
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Old June 1st, 2011, 09:11 AM   #10
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

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Originally Posted by Chris Medico View Post
Hi Martin,

Your memory question is often asked. There is a lot of info already in this section of the forum. Do a quick search for SDHC or MxM or MxR and you'll have plenty to read.

Such as this thread from recent times:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...ex-series.html

As far as batteries go there are a few choices that all look to be clones of each other. I have some of the SWITT 96wh batteries I bought from B&H. The last a really long time on the EX cameras. Doing a quick search on B&H or Adorama can inform you of the convenient options.
Just to clarify, 2 unrelated companies are often confused. Swit makes the S-8U62 battery which is size, and charge capacity in WH is very similar to Sony BP-U60. Switronix makes the EX-L96 battery which is almost 2x bigger and holds almost 2x charge than the other one. Both of them are very popular, they both have a D-TAP port for DC Power out to power accessories, and both use a short built in power cable to power the camera.
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Old June 1st, 2011, 05:26 PM   #11
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

See how confusing it is. I have 3 of them and still got it wrong! :)
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Old June 1st, 2011, 05:50 PM   #12
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

FYI: I just tested some Transcend 16 Gb 10x cards in a PMW500, and they work flawlessly even with overcranking (slow motion) to 30 f/s. But I emphasise that I'm only an amateur in video, not a pro. If and when I would ever accept a paid assignment, I would use SxS.

I am a pro in still photography though and all my Transcend cards have never let me down during all the years I've been using them. Neither did Lexar or Sandisk, for that matter...
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Old June 1st, 2011, 06:07 PM   #13
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

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Originally Posted by Chris Medico View Post
See how confusing it is. I have 3 of them and still got it wrong! :)
They do it on purpose to trick you :-)
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 12:54 AM   #14
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

Concerning memory, there's another consideration to make: for the price of a few SxS cards, one could buy an Aja Ki Pro Mini unit, and record on affordable Compact Flash cards. With the added bonus of 10 bit and 4:2:2 colour space! Moreover, I've always had a preference for CF-cards in a production environment: SDHC are way too flimsy for my feel , whereas CF-cards are sturdy and withstand rough treatment.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #15
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Re: EX3 - cheapest memory options

I agree with Andy and suggest using SxS cards over adaptors unless it's an emergency. Even when I'm using the Nanoflash or KiPro I know that I still have a very useable backup file on SxS.

No fun trying to explain to your client that the reason you lost the last scene was because you were trying to save money.
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