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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
HD recording with a Super35 CMOS Sensor.


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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #1
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Timer countdown not accurate with SxS-1 32GB cards

When I got my 2 F3's S-Log updated at the Sony Service Center in LA, Sony sent me a couple of SxS-1 32GB cards in the mail. I haven't been using them because I externally record most of the time now, but I've been testing them and encountering a very strange anomaly on both cameras. Both cameras have exhibited this on FW 1.3.1 and 1.4 now.

The on-screen countdown is totally inaccurate for both cards on both cameras. If I set the timecode to Zero, and record out 111 minutes, the countdown shows 90 (give or take a few minutes) minutes left on the card. Finder also shows only 3GB used on the card, but in camera the thumbnail view shows all of the clips and durations are there and accurate. It's a head scratcher and if anyone has encountered or solved this, I'd love to hear about it.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 09:47 PM   #2
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Re: Timer countdown not accurate with SxS-1 32GB cards

I'm not sure that I understand exactly what your question is, so I apologize if my answer does not fit.

The 35Mbps codec is variable. Which means the bit rate can't go above 35, but the actual rate might be much lower depending on what you are shooting. Ocean waves or blowing grass will take 35, but something with very little motion will take a lot less to capture. The number the camera shows you is just it's best guess and is always conservative. I've recorded more than 5 hours of color bars on a 8GB card because nothing chnages, but normally you shouldn't get more than 30 minutes. If you really want to test the capacity, aim the camera at a TV screen showing fast-moving sports and let it chew on that.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #3
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Re: Timer countdown not accurate with SxS-1 32GB cards

High Gain will also help in some cases to determine card capacity thanks to the noise it sometimes generates. Best bet for max bitrate is max gain (without clipping the image) and playing back fast motion.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Timer countdown not accurate with SxS-1 32GB cards

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I'm not sure that I understand exactly what your question is, so I apologize if my answer does not fit.
I guess I didn't state the issue clearly.

In the upper left corner of the F3 viewfinder LCD is a countdown meter for how much time is left on the A and B media cards. This countdown is not counting down accurately as the camera is recording, showing upwards of 90 minutes remaining on a 32GB card that is fully recorded and can hold a total of 111 recorded minutes. In other words, when the card is full it's only showing 20 or so minutes actually recorded on this countdown meter in the camera LCD.

I'm having this issue only on these two Sony (orange) SxS-1 cards and not on any older (original / blue) Sony SxS cards. Since it's two identical cards I'm wondering if some kind of low-level format needs to be applied to them vs just an in-camera format, or some other reason why they are showing only 3GB of 32GB used in Finder and Windows Explorer when they are fully recorded.

I did get Log & Transfer to bring them into FCP 7.0.3 and CS6 Premiere also with accurate durations on all clips after installing some Sony L&T drivers to the Mac. The Finder/Explorer and media countdown inaccuracies are a real head-scratcher though.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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Re: Timer countdown not accurate with SxS-1 32GB cards

I use the 32GB Sony (orange) SxS-1 cards as backup, and after formatting they usually start at 110 minutes available on 25P. These have always counted down correctly and I've only ever formatted them in camera. Can't think why yours wouldn't?
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Old July 14th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #6
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Re: Timer countdown not accurate with SxS-1 32GB cards

These SxS-1 orange cards read out at 110 minutes when formatted in camera, but although they do count down while recording, they are totally inaccurate. I'm waiting for my EX3 to come back from a long rental to test them on it, but so far I'm experiencing the same issue on two different F3's. A headscratcher for sure.
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