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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 June 5th, 2012, 09:01 PM   #1
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State of the card

Just shipped off my EX1 to Teaneck for a firmware upgrade ($270 yikes!). This is part one of a workflow upgrade in order to achieve faster downloads from card to computer.

It's part two that has me wondering.

I'll start with card readers. My current thinking has me leaning toward a USB card 3 reader. Looked everywhere for one that will accept an Expresscard (found plenty that go the other way) but no luck, so it appears my options are limited to SDHC/SDXC card readers. This will require that I remove the SD card from the adapter for placement into the reader. No big deal?

Now on to adapters. I currently own 4 MxR (version 1) adapters, one of which is giving me problems being read by the camera. This has me seriously considering MxM. Any words of wisdom on these or any other adapters that are available?

As for SDHC/SDXC cards, it gets a bit more confusing. Are SanDisc Ultra's and Extreme's good enough or should I pony up for the Extreme Pro's? Then there's the Patriot EP Series that requires "host device must support SDXC for 64GB and 128GB". Does the EX1 with the latest firmware qualify?

I'd very much appreciate any real world experience that you would care to share.

Edit: One more thing. Is it safe to replace XDCAM EX ClipBrowser (v 2.6) with XDCAM Browser?

Bill
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Old June 6th, 2012, 03:17 AM   #2
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Re: State of the card

Hi Bill, if you're using your camera for professional jobs, I'd advise to convert to the real thing: SxS cards. They have become considerably less expensive and they're also available second hand for reasonable prices. I'm just an amateur in video, so I also started out with SDHC and adapters, but I did find the combination too flimsy and unreliable for my standards.

That said, even cheap Transcend (133x) SDHC's worked perfectly from a datarate point of view.I must add that the largest SDHC cards I used were 16 Gb. And as a pro stills photographer I've used Transcend a lot and their cards have never let me down.

But again, I abandoned the adapter/SDHC workflow after a few weeks and decided to go with SxS.

XDCAM browser does the same as Clip Browser plus a lot more. So yes, it is perfectly safe to make the switch.
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Old June 6th, 2012, 05:02 AM   #3
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Re: State of the card

I'll say if you find a good combination, stick with it. I use the Sony branded SDHC adapter with a Kingston Class 10 G2 32GB card and never had reliability or durability issues. For $120, the Sony one is solidly built compared to the Hoodman or the early MxRs. I believe the MxR Extreme might be one to pick up to try if you miss overcranking or want to use SDXC. Yes, the absolute latest EX1 firmware should support SDXC with the MxR Extreme adapter. I wouldn't try an SDXC on a old MxR though. YMMV.

And the reason you have to ship off your EX1 to perform the update is because they actually swap out old Expresscard interface boards and connectors with new ones that support better USB transfers.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 01:24 PM   #4
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Re: State of the card

Thanks for everyone's contributions. While I was initially leery of the expresscard adapter route, my 4 years of experience with them has been nothing but positive. Of course, that could change tomorrow.

Revealing that my questions to MxM from almost a week ago remain unanswered. Perhaps they are on holiday?
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Old June 11th, 2012, 03:03 PM   #5
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Re: State of the card

MxM are usually very speedy with responses. Got a feeling there might be a national holiday in OZ today though.

I've been using the MxM and ATP (and a couple of Sandisk Extremes) combination for nearly 3 years now with no problems. No SD cards have broken, no data lost and no adaptors have broken despite having dropped a couple by accident (including from height onto concrete, and yes I did retire that adaptor just in case).

The only bad experiences I had would have also happened with SxS. I had load of corrupted footage about a year ago. Couldn't understand what was happened. Almost blamed the adaptors/SD but it turned out to be the hard drive I was using. Data was fine on the card but was getting corrupted when written.

Conclusion? Hundreds of hours captured, and the only problem experienced was unrelated to the adaptor or media choices I had made. It also shows it can be very easy to blame the SDHC media when in fact the problem lay elsewhere.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 03:54 AM   #6
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Re: State of the card

I've used MxM adapters with ATP Pro-max SDHC cards for several years without any issues whatsoever. Ive been using some of the those same SDHC cards for all that time and they've done a heap of work. Actually its probably time to get some new ones (just in cased Ive now jinxed it!).

Cheers

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Old June 12th, 2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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Re: State of the card

An update to my last post to inform everyone that MxM did make a timely response to my inquiries but I somehow managed to delete it to the trash without reading. My error.

I am looking forward to their USB3 reader coming to market. Transfer speed is a big issue for me.

Bill
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Old June 17th, 2012, 08:00 PM   #8
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Re: State of the card

plenty of different elements go into transfer speed, but from my experience, the fastest trasfers are from SxS cards going to a Nexto drive (typically about 5-6 GB/minute), or using a computer with an expresscard slot, copying either to an internal 7200rpm drive, or to an external 7200rpm drive via usb3 or eSata.
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Old June 17th, 2012, 09:44 PM   #9
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Re: State of the card

I have been using a home made hard drive recorder in my EX1 for most jobs where I have electricity.

The rest of the time I use Patriot Memory Class 10 cards almost exclusively.

Newegg.com - Patriot LX 32GB Secure Digital High-Capacity (SDHC) Flash Card Model PSF32GSDHC10

They often come with $10 rebates and Patriot memory ALWAYS pays their rebates.

I use them in Sonnet SD-SXS-E34 adapters or the older Kensington adapters.

PROVANTAGE: SD-SXS-E34 SDHC Memory Card Adapter for SXS Camera Slot & EXPRESS34 Slot By Sonnet Technologies (Overview)

The Patriot cards have never failed me. Some people like to convince themselves that they have been better off with the SxS cards rather than admit that they have been price gouged by Sony. I have gotten the 32GB Patriot cards for as little as $10 after rebate. That's $10 compared to $1500 some paid for similar Sony SxS cards. YIKES!

John
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Old June 17th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #10
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Re: State of the card

John,
Not questioning what may work for you. I was merely giving my experience in terms of which transfer times I've found to be fastest. (I typically shoot for producers who would like to be able to walk away with two full copies of the day's footage literally minutes after calling wrap, often when shooting up to 5 hours of footage with each of two or three cameras. For larger shoots I'll bring multiple laptops as well as the Nexto) I have yet to find a transfer solution with non-SxS cards that approaches the speeds I get with the 32GB and 64GB SxS-1 cards. Of course if your producers don't mind paying for the extra overtime at the end of the day waiting for transfers, sd cards could make you a bit of extra money there...
Yes, SxS cards cost more, I think the 64GB cards are currently just under $700.- but at least within my transfer systems the throughput I achieve is well worth the difference.
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