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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 September 23rd, 2014, 06:35 PM   #1
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Location: Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
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What upgrades do I need to do to use SxS PRO+ cards?

I'm needing to increase my stock of SxS cards. I've been getting by for about five years now with 16GB and 8GB cards, but need to increase my stock by 128GB (64GB for each of two cameras.)
I'm pretty sure that it's not going to be as simple as "order two 64GB cards online, receive, insert, shoot, unload, edit". There will be upgrade issues. I'm hoping that someone can guide me round the mantraps...

Cameras: PMW-EX1
Firmware version V1.11_0531
I need to upgrade to V1.30 for the SBP64B cards.
I can find a link to the V1.25 firmware, can't find V1.30

Uploading clips from cards:
I use an Acer Travelmate 7730 laptop, running Win XP SP3.
I use Sony XDCAM EX ClipBrowser to copy and clear the cards.
Version is V2.05.00.246 (dated 2009-02-23)
The newest version of the ClipBrowser I can find is V2.6 - October 2009. There's no mention of it supporting the newer SxS card formats (no surprise there).
There seems to be a replacement product - Content Browser. Version 2.0 of this requires Windows 7.

So my questions are:
Does anyone know if Clip Browser will work with the newer (PRO+) cards?
Does anyone know if Content Browser is likely to work with Win XP SP3?
Can aybody point me to a download for the EX1's V1.30 firmware?

Needless to say, the point of this research is to identify and estimate the "hidden" costs of acquiring these 64GB cards. I don't want to order US$1,500 worth of cards only to find that I've got another $500 or $1500 or whatever of forced upgrades to do.
Any and all help/advice welcomed, with grateful thanks.
Reg Gothard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26th, 2014, 06:47 PM   #2
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Location: Tinton Falls, NJ
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Re: What upgrades do I need to do to use SxS PRO+ cards?

Not a full answer to your questions, but...

I gave up Clip Browser a number of years ago after an F3 firmware update rendered its new files unreadable in Clip Browser. However, XDcam Browser handled (and continues to handle) them fine.

I did try installing Content Browser on an old XP desktop and it installed an ran fine.

Realistically, I'm not quite sure why you need SxS Pro+ cards for an EX1. The old SxSPro and G1a cards work just fine for anything you'll do with an EX1, and are considerably less expensive.

Of course this would be a different story if you had an F-55...
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Old September 29th, 2014, 09:12 AM   #3
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Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
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Re: What upgrades do I need to do to use SxS PRO+ cards?

You are beneath the required firmware that required a hardware upgrade to update. You have to go to a Sony service center to upgrade to the latest firmware. Trying to update yourself will brick your camera if you do not have the hardware upgrade installed.

SxS PRO+'s only advantage is storage space, but the upper limit on older EX1s for storage size is actually 80GB. You're much better getting an XQD card with an adapter (it supports 4K data rates for XAVC, so it's just like SxS) after updating your EX1 at your Sony Service Center. 64GB XQD cards are readily available at places like B&H. You do need the latest EX1 firmware to use it though.

You are no better with 64GB SxS-1 cards, they also need the newer firmware to function, which requires a hardware upgrade in your EX1.
I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.

Last edited by Jack Zhang; September 29th, 2014 at 10:01 AM.
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Old October 1st, 2014, 02:47 PM   #4
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Location: Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 49
Re: What upgrades do I need to do to use SxS PRO+ cards?

Thanks for the information both. Sorry to have taken so long to respond - I have too many things on the go...
I appreciate Jack giving me the warnings about hardware updates being needed for the firmware updates - I didn't see any warning about that on Sony's website. I know Sony used to scare everyone with dire warnings about bricking your camera if you attempt your own firmware upgrade, but I know people who were doing their own anyway; however, that was four or more years ago. So I'll be sure not to attempt my own firmware upgrade if I choose to do the upgrading.

The XQD card plus adaptor option sounds... cheaper!~ I have friends who were using previous mutations of the SD cards with the adaptors, but they were shooting at a data rate that allowed flawless use - I shoot 1280x720 60P almost all the time, and was warned that the card+adaptor wouldn't be able to keep up. But if the XQD cards can keep up with 4K then my data rates will be a walk in the park for them...

To answer Dave's point about why SxS PRO+... that appears to be all that's available for purchase these days. And the 64GB cards are less than I paid for my 16GB cards in 2009-10. Seems the only way to get 16GB cards is used on eBay. I just have this in-built fear of used items, especially when they represent a single point of failure.

I'll do some more research before parting with my money.
Thanks again for the input guys.
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