SDHC Brands for MxR
Ok, I have now tried 3 different SDHC (Class 6) 16 gig brands and I only feel comfortable with one brand so far, Transcend. I first purchased 2 Transcend cards while waiting for the MxR adapters and I had immediate success when formatting the cards for the first time. Over the holidays I recorded family home movies using these Transcend cards and they worked so well I started thinking that the Class 6 was the key to purchasing more cards, no so.
I was recently in Fry's Electronics and found 16 gig Patriot SDHC class 6 cards for under $30 and I purchased 6 thinking they should work. I had found that they would NOT format on the first attempt but they would on the second attempt. I tried both A & B slots in both EX1 and EX3 cameras and found they would only format on the second attempt. I also found that after recording for more than about 30 seconds you will need to wait until the red record light stops before you can continue to record the next clip. If you don't wait for the green light then you will get an error that the media needs to restore and you must remove the card and reinsert then restore the card before you can continue. I was successful recording long clips using 1080 24p record modes. I still haven't tested with 30p or any 720 formats. I think I'm going to return these cards. Oh the Transcend cards only have about a 4 second delay for the red record light to turn green. I think this is how we can determine the card record speeds.
I had ordered 4 more PQI 16 gig (Class 6) SDHC cards online thinking it must not matter what brand but as long as it was the fastest Class rating it should work. These PQI cards would NOT format in the camera at all. I even tried formatting in Disk Utility as FAT-32 and nothing seemed to work in the camera. I will be sending them back.
I haven't need to use any of these SDHC cards for hire yet and I'm going to test more with the Transcend cards before I take that risk. I know the 32 gig Transcend Compact Flash cards work properly with the Convergent Design Flash XDR at 100 Mbps and I'm feeling like this brand is among the better brands on the market. I also found the Transcend fits into the MxR better, without such a tight fit as the Patriot and PQI brands.
I hoping others here will report on what cards they find the best.
If you read the Dvinfo board you can get full info. Only Transcend and Sandisk Ultra II cards work. Sandisk Ultra IIIs will work but are more expensive with no extra benefits. Forget Slomo (use SxS for this). You are away with cheap media.
I appreciate the redirect but I'm posting my findings on this topic on a forum where the threads are more (IMO) specific. As I said I'm looking for others to report their actual experiences on BRANDS. I appreciate you telling me that Transcend and Sandisk are the only cards that work, but I would prefer to read it from actual users and I'm not sure from your post you have actually tried either brands you have mentioned. Since you have read my post you now know the Patriot brand does in fact work but you must wait for the recording to end and write to the card before recording again. I can't imagine every card is made by their own company, I'm sure there are some brands made by the same manufacturer, just thought this thread could help find the brands that work and the brands that don't.
I receiver my MXR cards a few weeks ago and have been working them basically non-stop since. I'm using the Transcend 16gb cards that were on sale at Staples for $29 a few weeks back. I shoot in a rather unique situation since I send stuff around the world. Pretty much everything I shoot I shoot TWICE; once in NTSC, immediately again in PAL. Scenes last from 10 seconds to maybe two minutes, all intermixed. I don't change slots for the different formats but instead mix on the same cards. Everything is shot in HD 1080x1920 either in 60i or 30p for NTSC, 50i for PAL. As the cards fill I dump them through Clip Browser 2.5 converting them to MXF files on an external drive so I can use them in 64 bit editing software (Vegas Pro 8.1). Sony says a 64 bit version of Clip Browser is forthcoming. To date I have NOT had one hiccup with anything and have noticed no difference between using the SXS cards verses the SDHC cards (except now I have a LOT of extra money left over for other toys).
[Bruce Rawlings] "Only Transcend and Sandisk Ultra II cards work. Sandisk Ultra IIIs will work but are more expensive with no extra benefits."
I'm using Sandisk Ultra II 32GB. They work well but I did notice the need to format a 2nd time to get it to happen successfully.
Bruce I think you meant that the Sandisk Extreme IIIs have no extra benefit.
[Bruce Rawlings] "Forget Slomo (use SxS for this). You are away with cheap media."
It's a good way to test the headroom of the cards though.
Here's the results of my overcrank tests
720p24/60 - 15 seconds then media error
24/48 - 26 seconds then media error
24/45 - 29 seconds then media error
24/44 - no media error on a 2 minute test.
Note about the time listed above. When overcranking the duration counter actually moves at a rate faster than real time equal to the playback rate.
24/60 is 2.4x real time so 15 seconds would be about 6 seconds on a stop watch if one timed the record.
24/48 is 2x so 26 seconds would be 13 seconds on a stop watch
or another way to say it is
duration counter shows how long the recording would play back.
24/60 takes 6 seconds to record and 15 seconds to playback
24/48 takes 13 seconds to record and 26 seconds to playback
24/44 is 1.833x speed (or data rate depending how you look at it). Thus playback 35mbps and sustained record at 64.155mbps.
Note media error does not result in a bad clip. Recording stops and buffer empties/card finishes writing. Red light turns back to green when writing is done (that's the 4 seconds Michael refers to).
What's happening when overcranking and media error is that the buffer seems to fill faster than the card can write.
Sandisk Ultra II is listed as 9MB/s write and 15MB/s read. 9MB write is about 72mbps (1MB=8mb). So my finding of 64.155mbps seems about correct for the card's listed speed rate.
24/60 would be 87.5mbps so that would be about 11MB/s write time. Probably more like 12MB/s to have a little head room (not sure what the peak rate potential is given the VBR codec).
BTW There's also Sandisk Extreme IV which I assume will work no faster than the Extreme III and the Ultra II
Some have said it has to do with Sony having a ceiling on USB Express speed. This chart on Sandisk's site might explain it
Sandisk Extreme III & IV speeds
I wonder if Sony is "stuck" somewhere between PIO mode 2 or mode 3. They don't have the chart for Ultras. They just mention 9MB writes.
Michael and Craig,
Thanks a lot for sharing the results of your tests.
BTW, have anybody noticed than when overcrancking with the SxS cards the last few frames always comes frozen?
Thanks to the development of the SDHC route I have changed my workflow. I now keep the 16gb Sandisk or Transcend cards as masters. Others have done the dirty work of finding out what works and what doesn't - I really appreciate that. With so much hard work having been done and time always being tight it seems pointless to try and rediscover the wheel. The source of SDHC cards is also very important with so many forgeries out there so it seems prudent to always have your own spares with you from a reliable source.
With tape you still have to take your own format as it is unlikely that HDCAM etc is available in the back of beyond. I am planning a foreign project that now means that if 10 MxR and 10 KxS adapters are taken along with 30 Sandisk Ultra IIs we are well covered without excess baggage charges. Just like always keeping 4 spare camera tapes in the car/camera bag (in case client or myself forgets stock) the get out of jail card is now literally spare SDHCs in my wallet. The revolution has come so quickly.
It's great that one can now save the SDHC as masters but not all clients will be happy with $40 per hour of stock charge. That's still more than XDCAM disc. It's nice to have the option but I'm likely to do it only on a case by case basis.
I read some bad stuff about Transcend cards from the reviews at Newegg. I had already bought 3. I ended up PNY class 4 16GB for my HX10 but that is not your case.
One of the reviews was that the guy shot footage and 3 months later when he went to use it the card was dead.
I just bought two of these Class 6 PNY Optimas for my Canon HX10 (actually mine were class 4).
Take a look at these reviews on Transcend media at newegg. 16GB class 6 with reader (still relevant) and 16GB class 6
If you are going to really want a good card you may want to just get a SanDisk as they have a great reputation.
Both reviews show 4 out of 5 "eggs" over a large number of reviews. That's actually not a bad track record. There certainly may be quality control issues but that's why one should test the cards before use. It may be another reason why Sony pulled out of the third party certification promise.
I believe others have verified that PNY will not work in EX. Canon HX has much lower sustained write speed requirements. I think, offhand, it's like 19 or 21mbps compared to 35mbps for EX.
The maker of the MxR adaptor reports success with Sandisk, Transcend, Kingston.
I am experiencing import problems with a MxR (SanDisk Ultra II 15MB 16GB Card Class 4). I was on a shoot yesterday and everything recorded fine and played back fine -but now- when I try to import the footage I get this from the EX1: "Media Needs To Be Restored, Restore Media Now?"
What to do? I would like to pull this footage off the card.
I have imported footage from this card many times and I have had no problems with numerous SanDisk Ultra II cards (class 2 and 4), but this is baffling?
Any thoughts would be appreciated? Would an SD card reader be able to pull this footage off the card?
but now- when I try to import the footage I get this from the EX1: "Media Needs To Be Restored, Restore Media Now?"
This media restore only happens when you reinsert the card into the camera, and this tells me you are using the camera via usb to copy the BPAV folder over to a storage drive.
If this is the method you need to use then go ahead and restore the media as it won't delete any files and make the camera allow the transfer.
ok perfect! thanks michael. i was worried this would format the card .. this message does not show up when i insert other cards with media on them, strange.
working good, thank you thank you.
This media restore only happens when you reinsert the card into the camera>>>
I experienced this "Restore?" error while shooting EX3 with MxR adapter and Transcend 16Gb SDHC card. Totally random it seemed, after shooting 12 minutes of footage over 32 clips. Did not remove the card, but had been turning camera off between shots to save battery. I switched to the B card, recorded 45 minutes and 120 clips without problem. Later executed the Restore on the A card, and all the clips came back alive, except for the last one before the crash.
I've marked this SDHC card and will look out for any other errors, thinking perhaps the card has a defect? Have not had any other problems with MxR/Transcend combo.