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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 July 12th, 2007, 10:00 PM   #1
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Realistic Life Expectancy

I just thought about a realistic life expectancy for these newish "no moving parts" cams. Besides no moving parts there is no HUGE opening to the internal components that occasional seaspray/dust/buggers etc. can find their way into.

That having been said would anyone like to lend thier ideas about how long we could realistically expect these (EX) cams to live? I ask mainly to calculate depreciation and financing.

MW
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Old July 12th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #2
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I think you should also look at obsolescence. For depreciation.. maybe seven years?
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Old July 13th, 2007, 12:09 AM   #3
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Jeez Mike,

Don't let Sony think they might build something that won't wear out......they might change something on it on purpose! LOL!!!

I would think that the 6x6 Express card holder contacts will wear out first, and in seven years you might have as much trouble finding an Express drive as you have finding a floppy drive now.

Cheers Vaughan
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Old July 13th, 2007, 12:35 AM   #4
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thats kinda two questions in one. You want to "make " your money back and get into profit on any camera nowadays within 12- 18 months. depreciation. as these camera get cheeper they will also start dropping off the radar quicker as newer models come online. Sony D600 betaSP camera was good for 9 plus years - still getting money with one- F900/R3 no longer made after what 5 years?
I paid twice what the 600 cost to buy the f900 plus upgrades, color finder, miranda etc..

your 2nd question is dealing with how hard you use it right? send it in for factory checks, keep it in carry bag, play nice with the zoom ring, it will last for several years. will you be able to make money with it after 2? thats the question.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 04:09 AM   #5
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It is a myth that solid state and no moving parts means total reliability. The electronics world is very worried at the moment about the reliability of new chips as they become ever smaller. Some estimates are that as we move towards 45nm technology some electronics might last only around a year unless they have redundancy systems! Even then they say we should expect our computers to possibly become slower as they age.

Flash memory and devices that constantly rewrite data are more at risk because they put far more stress on the various connections involved.

This is my big worry with all solid state devices. One day your data will simply not write. Not so much an issue with current cards. But as technology progresses it will become much more of an issue.
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Old July 14th, 2007, 10:47 AM   #6
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Harsh Enviroment

I would be extatic to get three years of touble free use out of this cam. With yearly maintenance the company got about four years out of the VX2000.

"will you be able to make money with it after 2?"

I guess your question is will we be flooded with low budget camera people and not be able to have the cam make money? My gut feeling on this is no.

I need a workhorse that can shoot daily for months in heat and humidity. I am a maintenance advocate and send the cams out for yearly check ups in the off season.

My first though was that the card bay would wear our before anything else, maybe the outputs would break or something like that. I want to buy at least two of these things. It would be nice to be able to plan for two years of trouble free use and income form them.

I have a "shoe box accounting" appoach to depreciation and usually calculate about 1.5 years out of any equipment for R&R but never really knew what other pros used as a calculation. My Z1 is only slated for R&R now in order to eliminate drop outs. Thank you all for providing your input.

Would anyone else like to add a preferred depreciation schedule or formula?
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Old July 14th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Williams View Post
I would be extatic to get three years of touble free use out of this cam. With yearly maintenance the company got about four years out of the VX2000.
I rarely use it anymore, but my VX-2000 is still fine and has never been sent in for any maintenance; I bought it in September 2001. My PDX-10 is 4 and a half years old and got some pretty heavy use for awhile. No maintenance there either and it's fine. Z1 still going fine after 2 years. So my experience with Sony cameras has been very good but your mileage may vary.

Personally I wouldn't depreciate any kind of high tech or computer gear for more than 3 years.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 09:17 PM   #8
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Just had a scare

On the reliablity note:

My Z1 started to freak out on me today snapping in and out of focus. Not cycling but litterally poping in and out of focus. This happened about 15 min before a ceremony !!!!! Thank the Vid Gods for letting it fix itself after powering down and back up again.

This is why I usually don't keep cams too long. Just the thought of a possible faliure really elevates the stress level. Some suggest carrying another cam to the shoot but if they knew my shoes they would agree that would be nuts.

Two straight years of trouble free duty would be a wonderful thing.

My Z1 went to the shop already for tape issues as well as one of the A1U's and they really aren't high hour units. We will use the A1 as a deck but always just batch capture. Gotta love a 500gig drive for $125 :) 6TB and counting....

So it seems the 2 year depreciation is on the mark... why not sell your used gear? I have a "purge" mentality and would rather sell my old gear cheap than see it get dusty on a shelf. Am I missing something?

MW
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Old July 16th, 2007, 09:28 PM   #9
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All of the hardware on this board can be categorized in one of only two ways: either it's a business expense or it's a luxury item. If it's a luxury item, that is, if it's not being used to make money, then its value is immaterial. If it is a business expense, then it should pay for itself at least once, preferably several times over within two years. After that, any amount for which you sell it as a used item -- even if it's only 20% of the original purchase price -- that amount is pure profit to you.
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