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


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Old July 2nd, 2015, 08:27 AM   #1
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Which card reader for SxS?

When I try to search for "SxS reader" they appear to be absolutely ridiculously expensive, to the point I might as well pick up a used old laptop for a hundred bucks or two hundred, and simply use it and its ExpressCard slot instead to read the SxS cards onto a portable harddrive for editing.

Then I thought, perhaps searching directly for ExpressCards could find cheaper alternatives than looking for SxS readers. Indeed, I turned up this for only three bucks:
CB USB 2 0 to Express Card 34 54 Converter Adapter Cable for Laptop New Hot AU 4 | eBay

But.....

Quote:
Supports all USB-based express card/34 or express card

Express card /54 devices (Do not support PCL-express -based express card devices).
I guess this means it will *not* read SxS cards?


Because this device only works on ExpressCard devices that are actually USB devices in that formfactor. While SxS cards are using the PCI Express interface.


Please tell me I'm wrong! As at only three bucks this would be awesome. (as I don't want to spend too much on this, after all the bulk of my recording media is going to be SD cards inside SxS adapters. Thus I expect I'll only rarely need to read SxS media)

These are the other alternatives I've got my eye on, maybe one of them would work?
Adapter Converter USB 2 0 to Express Card 34 ExpressCard | eBay
USB 2 0 to ExpressCard 34 54 Converter Adapter CablesOnline USB XC03 | eBay
USB2 0 to ExpressCard Adapter 34mm PC Card PCMCIA Type I Netmate U 450 | eBay
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 09:06 AM   #2
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Re: Which card reader for SxS?

David, I use this card reader from MxM express for SxS and MxM cards.

MXM & SXS PCI-e READER - (MXM039) - MXM Express

Works 100%.
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: Which card reader for SxS?

I use a couple of different options --
On the PC side I have an ASUS B53S (which has an expresscard slot, plus USB3 and e-Sata ports). I also have an older Sony VAIO with expresscard slot - but it's only USB2.
On the MacbookPro side, I use the Sonnet Echo Pro ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter.

Biggest thing to think about is speed of transfers (and how much of it do you need?)
I typically shoot for clients who want all the data on their hard drive (or 2 hard drives) at the end of the day. While a bit of pre-planning goes into the process in terms of changing cards and starting the process before the end of the day, speed often becomes very important for me, especially if we're shooting with 3 or 4 cameras. That's why I seldom bring the USB2 system any more, except as an additional computer.

My advice is to bring whatever system is fastest and most efficient. I also encourage my clients to bring fast hard drives. Last week I did a shoot with several cameras, some shooting at 35Mbps and some at 50Mbps -- For the day we shot 270 GB of data. He brought one fast (G-Raid USB3) and one slow (Lacie Rugged USB2) drive. On the fast drive, the Sonnet Echo kept things moving at 100+ MB/sec. After transferring a couple of cards to the USB2 drive I told him that to fully backup to that drive as well would end up being an extra 2 hours of OT. (We opted to not transfer to the second drive on location, but to save him the $$ and ship him the second drive.)

If you're planning to use SD cards, make sure that not only are the cards fast, but that the bus speed of your computer's SD reader is fast.

Also -- Since I never know the mix of drive formats, I always bring a variety of spare usb cables, and I have MacDrive9 on the PC and NTFS for Mac on the Macbook Pro.

One caveat -- make sure that the clients bring drives that have already been formatted for their needs! In my experience, not-yet-formatted drives will want to take on the (PC or MAC) format native to the system that they are first formatted with... I've also had issues with clients bringing a NIB (new-in-box) drive that is actually DIB ( - Dead in Box/DOA). If they pre-format, at least you know the drive was working at one point...
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Old July 4th, 2015, 05:45 PM   #4
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Re: Which card reader for SxS?

I use the Sony sxs SBAC us 10 you can find them new on Ebay for $160 and used for about $75. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one used. I use mostly SD cards and those readers are pretty cheap.
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Old July 4th, 2015, 10:29 PM   #5
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Re: Which card reader for SxS?

Two things to remember about the SBAC-US10 ---

1 - It's USB2 -- so your transfers with it will max out at USB2 speed.

2 - It needs external power. (It doesn't take power from the USB cable.) When you buy a new one it comes with an external power supply (it uses the same power plug as an EX1 or EX3) that takes wall power. Obviously if you buy a used one you want to make sure it comes with the power adapter. Also, if you want to use it for transfers in the field and don't have a place to plug in power, you will need a separate battery power source (and appropriate adapter cables.)

The more expensive SBAC-US20 deals with both of the above by being a USB3 unit which powers through the USB cable.
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Old July 4th, 2015, 11:55 PM   #6
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Re: Which card reader for SxS?

I use the Sonnet Echo Pro ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter.I like it and its fast
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Old August 12th, 2015, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: Which card reader for SxS?

Add me to the list of those using the Sonnet Echo Pro Thunderbolt Express Card reader.
It is fast and durable. Much less expensive than the Sony reader that came with my XDCam EX cameras.
Sonnet Echo Pro ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter ECHOPRO-E34
I know it depends on if you have thunderbolt ports or not but I can not say enough good things about this unit.
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Old August 18th, 2015, 09:17 AM   #8
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Re: Which card reader for SxS?

Indeed up going with SD to SxS adapters, shot one music video on it already. And of course transfer speeds off are ultra fast with 95MB/s cards!
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