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Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old July 8th, 2011, 07:16 AM   #31
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

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Originally Posted by Marcus Durham View Post
That's true. Sony are well known for persisting with formats everyone else has given up on. Betamax, Mini-Disc, DAT, etc.
Formats like Betacam... BetaSP... DigiBeta... HDCAM.... HDCAM SR.....

All based on the original Betamax tape, yet still in use and available around the world today in huge volumes, 30 years after the first Betamax recorders appeared. The majority of the actual tapes used produced by Sony with 3rd parties also making them, but at lower volumes.

Yes it might be a near monopoly, but you cannot argue that they are good, reliable products.

There will be many more products that use SxS in the years to come, many of which will make more use of the fast transfer speeds available.
I really, really don't understand why people are prepared to take a risk shooting something like a wedding on media that is not the best and most appropriate that they can get. I've said this many times before, but how as a professional could you ever consider having to go to your customer and explain to them that something went wrong, knowing that you didn't take all precautions available to yourself to ensure the correct recording of the event. People seem quite prepared to spend money on cameras, matte boxes, follow focusses, fancy camera bags etc, but when it comes to media they don't want to spend money because it's not "sexy". SDHC is cheap, no doubt about that, but time and time again we see these posts about close calls or worse still actual data loss with SDHC. How many time do we see similar with SxS? Once in a blue moon.
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Old July 8th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #32
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
How many time do we see similar with SxS? Once in a blue moon.
No more often that we see reports of problems from people using SDHC correctly having problems as we've previously established time and time again.

Just look at a thread nearby about someone using the old Transcend Class 6 cards. That issue should have been cleared up 18 months ago and yet people persist.

Precise number of problems experienced here since switching to MxM lockables and using ATP and Sandisk SDHC media? None. Hours shot? Ohhh, hundreds. And that includes doing daft things like shooting overcrank to the wrong slot (SxS being in the other slot ready to go) and having the Macbook crash while doing a transfer. Or dropping cards come to that.

In fact when I had a hard disk problem I was quick to suspect the cards I'd just copied from when some clips were corrupted. However it turned out to be the Lacie hard disk I had copied to coming to grief (some clips came in corrupted but it then turned out all sorts of other stuff on the HD was corrupted and it needed a total low level format). But of course I could have blamed the SDHC, after all it is the easy target......
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Old July 8th, 2011, 07:59 AM   #33
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

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Couldn't agree more Russ, Marek and Maggie couldn't do enough to help, in any way.
A really professional service from MxM from start to finish.
Same experience with Marek & Maggie of MxM Express here :)

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Old July 12th, 2011, 09:06 PM   #34
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
SDHC is cheap, no doubt about that, but time and time again we see these posts about close calls or worse still actual data loss with SDHC. How many time do we see similar with SxS? Once in a blue moon.
I own 3 SXS cards and about 20 SDHC cards. One SxS card went bad and I don't use it anymore. One SDHC card went bad (but only because I was using a Hoodman adapter that wasn't lockable and my nail split the SDHC card in two). Quite frankly there is a lot more footage being shot on SDHC, so it stands to follow that there would be more problems reported with SDHC. I just don't think the data is there to support the claim that SxS is more reliable than SDHC. Faster? Yes. Reliability? No one really knows, but suffice to say that they are equivalent.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 05:15 AM   #35
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

Sorry but I have to totally disagree with just about everything you have said Brett.

SxS is in use by broadcasters and large production companies all over the world. Many, many of these will be using their cards every single day by multiple crews, sometimes several times a day in the case of news. These cards will be getting an extremely heavy card cycling, far higher than a corporate, wedding or event videographer will ever typically put any type of media through. Many of these organisations own large numbers of EX cameras.

Rental companies around the world hire out XDCAM EX cameras with SxS cards on a daily basis, these too will be used a lot more than many owner-operators.

The number of owner-operators of EX cameras is probably only a small percentage of all the EX cameras in the market. Many larger production companies would not be allowed to use SDHC as statistically (according to my production insurance company at least) SDHC is not as reliable, so they may not be able to get production insurance. Given the cost of crews, travel, location fee's etc the difference that using SxS over SDHC makes to the overall budget is largely inconsequential especially as the media will be used many, many times.

I think you grossly underestimate the amount of people that are using SxS. There are probably more SxS cards used on a daily basis in EX cameras than SDHC in adapters.

I attend trade shows year round. This year I have attended NAB, SxSW, Cinegear, BPV, and Broadcast Asia. I meet far, far more people that have had issues with SDHC than SxS, there is almost always one at every trade show. In 4 years of trade shows and EX workshops I have personally encountered perhaps 3 people that have had SxS issues compared to 30+ with SDHC issues. The majority of people that I meet choose to use SxS.

I receive on average an email every month from someone requesting assistance in recovering lost data from SDHC cards. If I were to get two in a year from SxS users I would be surprised.

If you search these boards or my blogs you will find perhaps a handful of people that have suffered a genuine SxS data loss. Compare that to the much higher numbers of user with SDHC data loss issues. You also have to be very careful when you hear of so called SxS failures as many are not. Many reported SxS failures are actually failures of SD cards in adapters. Often this only comes to light when the user tells us that "tried putting the card into my DSLR to read it" or "put the card into the SD slots of my laptop" so many reported SxS failures are in fact SDHC and adapter failures.

I have 14 SxS cards, some of which are 4 years old and have been frozen into lumps of ice, put through the dishwasher and boiled in boiling water as stunts for Sony. These cards are all as good today as the day I purchased them. I was the person that first discovered that an SD card could be made to work using the original Kensington adapter. I too wanted a lower cost alternative to SxS. I've used MxM, Hoodman and Sonnet adapters and I carry a couple of Sonnet adapters and some SDHC cards as a standby in my kit. But I've experience data loss with SDHC cards, so these are reserved for "emergencies".


I don't know who the SDHC is a reliable as SxS crowd are trying to convince, themselves perhaps, so they don't worry when they insert their cards. Because the evidence is all over every video related forum that this is simply not the case. Real SxS failures, whilst they do occur are rare. SDHC and adapter failures are far more common.

SxS cards have very clear and precise specifications for resistance to vibration, storage and operating temperatures, humidity, shock as well as insertion cycles. If a card used within these parameters fails then you should send it back to Sony. It should be replaced if it has failed. In addition SxS has an inbuilt restore function that can recover damaged files or file structures. There is also enough energy stored within the card to reduce the chance of corruption in the case of a power interruption or removal of a card during recording. SDHC does not have this. It's why when you get a "restore media" message with an SDHC card it may mean you have lost data and trying to use the "restore media" function can make the issue worse as the salvage data does not exist on the SDHC card as it would on an SxS card.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #36
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

Alister,
What you say may be well and good. But the fact of the matter is most small businesses have to consider the overall costs and make some tough decisions about what works best for them. If all of us had to buy 14 SXS cards to make our EX1s usable I doubt Sony would be selling as many as they do and the camera would not be as viable as it is.

You are right that I worry about failures and that is part of the cost consideration. But with the Class 10 cards the failure rates have come way down I think and paying $100 versus $1000 is too big a difference. You would have thought that the price of SXS cards would have come down by now but they haven't.

If I were Sony I would thank my lucky stars that you discovered you could use SDHC cards otherwise they would have had a non-seller in the prosumer market.

BTW, do you know why they just didn't use CF cards like in their 270 camera? Nobody seems to complain about CF.

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Old July 13th, 2011, 08:53 PM   #37
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

CF is Canon's brand, perhaps this is the reason.

Also, the SxS cards went recently up in price, because people want to capitalize on recent destruction of HDCAM SR factory in Japan. A lot of networks started considering various other delivery options, and all proprietary solid state media, including P2, skyrocketed.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 09:22 PM   #38
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

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Originally Posted by Bart Walczak View Post
CF is Canon's brand, perhaps this is the reason.
Huh? You'd better not tell the folks at SanDisk....they might want to argue the point with you:

CompactFlash - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old July 14th, 2011, 06:49 AM   #39
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

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I...One SDHC card went bad (but only because I was using a Hoodman adapter that wasn't lockable and my nail split the SDHC card in two).
@ Marcus Durham: more proof for the vulnerability of amateur-targeted SD(HC)- cards in comparison to Pro-targeted Compact Flash. Try to split a CF-card with your nail.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 07:39 AM   #40
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

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Originally Posted by Luc De Wandel View Post
@ Marcus Durham: more proof for the vulnerability of amateur-targeted SD(HC)- cards in comparison to Pro-targeted Compact Flash. Try to split a CF-card with your nail.
I've just taken an ATP card out of an adaptor to look at how this is feasible.

So after taking the card out of the lockable adaptor where it was safely encased, I've inspected just how I could inflict some damage. I cannot see any way to do it unless I applied force or the casing came apart due to poor construction (something that certainly wasn't the case with the ATP card I was looking at).

Incidentally according to the date written on the MxM adaptor this would be the first time in a year I had removed the card from the adaptor. Rather making the question of handling the SDHC media itself totally irrelevant.
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Old July 14th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #41
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
SxS cards have very clear and precise specifications for resistance to vibration, storage and operating temperatures, humidity, shock as well as insertion cycles.
We've been through this before but as I stated last time both MxM and ATP publish very precise specifications that are every bit as detailed as those published by Sony.

SDHC works if you use it properly. If people will cheap out on cards or mishandle them then that there is separate issue.

Anybody would think we were hacking the cameras and installing our own custom firmware. It's not as if Sony don't sell their own media or indeed support hard disk recording via the expresscard slots.

I'm now dropping out of this thread. I know the solutions I use work and I have confidence in them (i.e. latest firmware, latest MxM cards and premium ATP or Sandisk cards ONLY).
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Old July 15th, 2011, 08:28 AM   #42
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

For the last three shows I shot I stopped using the cards altogether. I use my homemade hard disk recorder instead.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...ml#post1584446

I use the cards for portable shooting only now. Because so many hours fit on the hard drives I can get an entire show into a single file.

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Old July 15th, 2011, 04:04 PM   #43
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

Don't delete clips if you can help it. This will fragment the data as the camera will be forced to use the gaps created by the deleted file.[/QUOTE]

So what you are saying is to format the card in the camera after shooting rather than "deleting all clips".

I have the Ex-3, Ex-1R and the PMW 320. Both the Ex-3 and Ex-1R have the deleting all clips option. The PMW 320 does not have this option.... the only option is to format the card. Is that what we should be doing after transferring the clips to the computer in preparation for shooting again?

Thanks

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Old July 15th, 2011, 04:18 PM   #44
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

It makes no difference with SD cards whether you delete or format as the wear levelling circuits on the card will always write data to the least used cells, so even with a card that was part full and then formatted the cards internal circuits will use the cells that were not used prior to formatting in order to ensure your not continually using the same memory cells over and over while leaving others unused.

I would expect similar behaviour on most types of solid state memory.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 04:35 PM   #45
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Re: Narrowly averted disaster using MxM card

If you test beforehand you'll be able to trust SDHC much more.
Always record end to end none stop to assure you'll get no media errors.
In testing I'd do the opposite of what Ronnie suggests. I also do a bunch of records deleting every few clips and keep going until the card is full. You want to make sure that fragmentation won't be an issue. Do both of the above tests for every SDHC card when you purchase them should eliminate all but user error issues.
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