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Tim Kolb
SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 4:58:37 pm

Hi all...

Well, I started with some sandisk 16 GB SDHC cards for my MxM adapters and they worked ok...had one hiccup (probably because I did a double punch and didn't allow it to finish writing as I was an amateur with the camera back then...).

Got myself some transcend 16 GB cards when Michael Palmer who I respect and have worked with had said that they had been solid in his experience...

But now the 16 GB Transcends are getting sort of weird. Yesterday I loaded one in the adapter and the camera simply didn't see media in the slot at all... I've had increased instances of only some clips on a given card coming up unusable or unreadable... A couple camera prompts to restore a given media volume in the last couple shoots... No big data losses, but enough issues to cause legitimate concern.

You're not paranoid if they really are out to get you...

What SDHC cards are the lot of you finding to be best these days? Does there seem to be an increment when these cards simply need some re-formatting? Maybe with a PC, then the camera? Do they have a given shelf-life where they simply tank after X amount of read/write cycles?

What are you finding out there? Since I'm a project guy and don't shoot everyday (though I love to shoot when I do it), there are undoubtedly more experienced users out there in sheer hours-behind-the-wheel.

What say you?

Thanks



TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Noah Kadner
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 5:40:20 pm

Yeah unfortunately it is a workaround and no doubt one Sony has little interest in supporting as it saps away sales from SxS memory. I don't know that there will ever be a good resolution to this. My only suggestion would be switch back to SxS or to a camera that uses SDHC cards natively such as the NX5 or Panasonic's AVCHD cameras. Those are pretty bullet-proof in SDHC.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Craig Seeman
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 5:54:45 pm

Sony is coming out with their own SDHC adaptor for the EX in the next few weeks. They certainly do support it and in fact the most recent firmware upgrade (1.20 for EX1 users) makes major improvements with SDHC cards. Many are now reporting full overcrank 720p24/60 on the better cards. Sandisk Extreme Class 10 seems to be the best these days but the firmware upgrade makes some of the "dicey" cards reliable too.





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Craig Seeman
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 5:58:29 pm

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/micro-xdcamexsite/resource.downloads.bbsccms-a...

In response to users' requests for additional choices in recording media for XDCAM EX, this user-upgradeable firmware update offers compatibility of the current family of XDCAM EX products with the new Sony Media Adaptors: MEAD-MS01 (Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX) and MEAD-SD01 (SDHC memory card)), as well as the SxS-1 series media cards.

The Sony Media Adaptors allow the use of Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX and SDHC cards in XDCAM EX equipment. (Note: SDHC card Speed Class 10 is recommended for optimal use. Recording slow motion S&Q is not recommended when using SDHC media). Please note that the use of any media other than SxS Pro or SxS-1 is recommended for emergency situations only. For superb usability, maximum reliability and high speed transfer rates, SxS media remains the Sony recommended media choice for XDCAM EX.




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Noah Kadner
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 6:16:44 pm

OMG- really? Wow kudos to Sony. This is the first time I can remember their actually sacking one of their own proprietary formats in favor of customer requests. Good for them. Though I notice they still have to throw in that massive caveat at the end about only using SDHC in emergency shooting situations. Does "I'm too broke to afford your SxS cards" qualify for emergency status? ;)

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Craig Seeman
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 6:29:44 pm

I have a hunch this would happen. It may be due in part that SxS is Sony and Sandisk. Sandisk certainly makes money from selling SDHC cards and given the mass sales it may outweigh the R&D put into SxS.

Somehow I can imagine Sandisk saying they weren't really making all that much in the partnership with SxS and Sony doing this would help Sandisk's bottom line.

I'm sure this is also because in most cases an SxS card purchase is a one time thing whereas people are more inclined to buy Sandisk SDHC cards and affordably add to "stock" as needed. It's all speculative but I think Sony just helped Sandisk Extreme Class 10 card sales.

Also by allowing some of the lower class cards to perform reliably, these less expensive cards can now be given to clients after a shoot as stock and that's going to help SDHC card sales as well.

On Sony's side of the equation it's going to make the EX series more competitive with AVCHD/SDHC camera as cost of ownership drops.

I think the increased sales for Sony cameras and Sandisk SDHC cards will probably make up for the probably low profits vs R&D on SxS cards.



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Noah Kadner
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 6:46:07 pm

Also I suspect Sony was tired of the third party SDHC adapters dipping into their business and realized if you can't beat 'em join em.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Will Salley
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:50:52 pm

[Noah Kadner] "Also I suspect Sony was tired of the third party SDHC adapters dipping into their business and realized if you can't beat 'em join em.
"


Noah, You hit it on the head here!

I utilize the SDHC cards in a number of ways, mainly as a backup when going to the KiPro and triggering it with TC.

I've even used, with success, the Adata cards (class10), that are not yet "verified" to work in the adapters. I can reliably get about 50FPS from that card, about 42FPS on the Hoodmans (class6) and no overcrank at all on the Sandisk (class6). I have not tried the Pansaonic Class10.

My view is to use the SDHC cards in situations where I know I can re-acquire should data loss occur on-set AND in situations where I have the ability to verify and backup the data on-set. For me, that rules out about a quarter of my acquisition production. I also limit the card size to 16GB so that if data loss occurs, I haven't lost more than one hour of footage.

To date, after about eight months of using the adapters (Hoodman, don't have any MXR just because of availability at the time), I have not had any loss of data and only one "rebuild media" error.

Mac Pro 2x2.8 Quadcore - 10.6.2 - QT 7.6.3 - 22 GB RAM - nvidia8800GT - SATA internal & external storage - Blackmagic Multibridge Pro - Open GL 1.5.10 - Wacom Intous2 tablet - AJA io
SONY XDCAM EX3 - Letus Elite


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Don Greening
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 6:46:40 pm

[Noah Kadner] "OMG- really? Wow kudos to Sony."

Okay I must admit that I'm shocked Noah that you didn't know about this latest announcement from Sony. You're usually so current on everything. With that in mind were you aware that Sony is also bringing out an economy version of the SxS Pro Cards just like the Panny P2e variant? Sony's calling them the SxS-1. Same idea as P2e and the same 5 year (I think) life span.

- Don



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Noah Kadner
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 9:07:28 pm

[Don Greening] "Okay I must admit that I'm shocked Noah that you didn't know about this latest announcement from Sony. You're usually so current on everything. With that in mind were you aware that Sony is also bringing out an economy version of the SxS Pro Cards just like the Panny P2e variant? Sony's calling them the SxS-1. Same idea as P2e and the same 5 year (I think) life span."

I guess I should be flattered that you think I know everything about all cameras- but I don't so yeah all that is news to me. But now I know and knowing is half the battle.

Noah


Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Tim Kolb
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 25, 2010 at 6:29:18 pm

Yes...i know that Sony doesn't recommend I use anything I didn't buy from them and I accept this method as a bit of a compromise.

However, I've shot almost all the footage I've acquired since buying the camera on SDHC and it works just fine for a lot of my work, and when it doesn't I accept the liability for it as a compromise.

I've been around the block a time or two and I get that SxS is the recommended format...and I'm not whining about the performance, or asking why SDHC doesn't work like SxS...they're basically disposable.

...just checking in with those who use SDHC on what their experiences have been.






TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Marek Bilski
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 26, 2010 at 10:38:52 am

We recently upgraded our equipment with the latest camera firmware.

As it turns out, the issues users experienced in the past with SDHC memory,(not all mind you) with the prior firmware (1.20 & 1.10) appear to be solely caused by Sony's firmware limitations. The previous firmware obviously was causing instability in recording, and adding to that, SDHC manufacturers were also changing their firmware and manufacturing processes which were not helpful at all. So it was really an uphill task for memory manufacturers to stabilize the incompatibility of Sony's firmware and create a memory card to be compatible with Sony’s camera.

I'm sure Sony was sitting on the fence and waiting to see if companies like MxM were going to fall over or have enough complaints, blaming them for problems and waiting for public support to switch back to Sony’s SxS memory. But fortunately, as it turned out, there was enough support, and memory cards on the market working flawlessly for Sony to take notice. In the end they had no choice but to join the SDHC memory market with their own version of an adapter, but they had to improve and stabilize the firmware.

So what are the preliminary results from the newest firmware?

We've tested all memory cards which previously had issues with the older firmware and guess what? Over 20 different brands of memory cards are now working. We even tested the cheapest generic Chinese brands which work to a certain extent but display a general lack of durability after about 10mins of recording...

There are no more media errors, suddenly they have mysteriously disappeared! You can record with the red light indicator still on, without corrupting media...the lag between start and stop has improved and the best part, even on a certain class 4 & 6, you can fully over crank to infinity!

Another bonus intended or not – now you can switch slots manually during recording, just by pressing the slot selector button, which with the previous firmware, you could not do this. I don’t know whether this is a bug or not...has anyone tried this yet???

As well, we did 6 hours of full over cranking @ 60 fps on a certain class of memory card...not that I would do this all the time...

The point is, with the release of the latest firmware for EX series, the dependency on SxS memory cards has become less and less justifiable...Why would anyone use an SxS card when you have the choices of memory cards at a fraction of the cost, which perform exactly the same as SxS, except have a slower download to PC....then again I may be wrong...who knows.

You can buy these days a very decent combo with a 16GB class 10 for under $90.

Obviously, durability and reliability of the new crop of memory cards will be determined over time.

MxM Express


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Craig Seeman
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 26, 2010 at 3:32:48 pm

Marek, GREAT commentary but I have a couple of questions:[Marek Bilski] "As it turns out, the issues users experienced in the past with SDHC memory,(not all mind you) with the prior firmware (1.20 & 1.10) appear to be solely caused by Sony's firmware limitations."

The current firmware for EX1 is 1.20 so I assume you mention those as current versions or do you have access to another firmware we are not aware of?

[Marek Bilski] "As well, we did 6 hours of full over cranking @ 60 fps on a certain class of memory card...not that I would do this all the time... "

I'm a bit confused how you derived 6 hours. Two 32GB cards would yield a bit under 4 hours.
Also when you mention 60fps the base frame rate is a factor on what the card is handling 24/60 is a higher data rate than 30/60. Given your in a PAL compatible country maybe you mean 25/60. Can you please clarify?





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Marek Bilski
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 26, 2010 at 8:43:57 pm

"with the prior firmware (1.20 & 1.10)" Sorry, it should have been prior to 1.20 & 1.10...my current firmware is 1.20

I'm a bit confused how you derived 6 hours
I used 3 x 115 minutes 32GB memory cards which give you just under 6 hours, which actually translates to exactly 5 hours and 45 mins. I could have kept going, but I wanted to test during S&Q recording, that the camera would switch automatically from slot A to B, which it did twice. Obviously, not all 32GB capacity is equal, so the duration will vary between 112mins to 115mins depending upon the brand, ours was 115 mins.
Also, the new firmware upgrade has caused a loss of duration of approx 2mins on 16GB and 4mins on 32GB.

maybe you mean 25/60
Here in Australia, we use PAL system, so the base frame for over cranking would be 720p/25fps and over cranked to 60 fps.

GREAT commentary
Yes it does feel like that sometimes...



MxM Express


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Craig Seeman
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 26, 2010 at 8:51:10 pm

Thanks for the clarification. I was thinking you had a secret stash of "prerelease" 48GB SDHC cards from some unknown manufacturer. I just test with two cards and record straight through.



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Tim Kolb
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 26, 2010 at 3:33:45 pm

Hi Marek,

I have MxM adapters...

Can I ask how volatile a process upgrading the firmware on an EX1 actually is? I've seen forum posts indicating the camera never completes the restart in the middle...Sony repairs now needed, etc.

I hate to mess with it if it's not dependable... On the other hand, I'm aware that following instructions is usually helpful and that can be where problems arise for some...

Thanks



TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,


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Craig Seeman
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 26, 2010 at 5:57:13 pm

Tim, I had the same concerns.

I contacted Sony.
See my post here ($135, 5-8 day turnaround)
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/142/870299



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Don Greening
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 26, 2010 at 5:57:31 pm

The post below is from another thread that was first started in June of last year:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/142/870293

Re: Please Help Me..Error Media Needs To Be Restore
by Steven Gladstone on Mar 26, 2010 at 4:51:35 am

Thanks for the explanation. I'm using the Sony made/branded adapter with the Memory Stick Pro HG Pro card with the HX labeling. I did a test where I just turned on the camera and left it recording. Walked away and left the room. Media error at 26 minutes. Restored the card. Continued recording. Got two more errors, before I stopped the test. This is shooting a still life, with no movement of the camera at all.

Very unsettling.

Steven Gladstone
http://www.gladstonefilms.com


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Marek Bilski
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 26, 2010 at 9:03:11 pm

Hi Tim,
"Can I ask how volatile a process upgrading the firmware on an EX1 actually is?"

Tim, it can be very simple or it can brick your camera.

My computer knowledge is rather extensive, mainly hardware, so I feel very comfortable around PCs or laptops. To upgrade, all I did was make sure I read the instructions and followed them and used a laptop without any software or hardware issues.

I suggest if you don't feel confident, take it to an authorised repairer.

MxM Express


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Will Eccleston
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Mar 27, 2010 at 8:38:48 pm

I just upgraded my firmware from 1.11 to 1.20 using a Mac Pro running OS 10.5.8 and it worked fine for me. A couple of things to note:

Initially the upgrade app wouldn't recognize that the camera was connected. An internet search revealed that you don't use the regular USB port that you would use to transfer card data. Right beside it is a tiny panel held in place with 1 screw. Remove this to find another "maintenance" USB port. Amazing that this is not mentioned anywhere in the upgrade software.

Also, at 3 points throughout the upgrade I received a warning about unplugging a USB device. Hit OK and ignore this.

After upgrade, overcranking in 720p24 mode at 60 fps to my Delkin SD card still resulted in a media error after about a minute (but would've failed after a few seconds with the old firmware). It still stored the clip as shot until the error occurred, and did not result in "media needs to be restored". With my Sandisk 16GB card, I was able to fill a completely empty card in full overcrank without stopping. It then switched to the other slot, which still had the Delkin in it, and again failed with the Delkin. Excellent results though!

Will Eccleston
Kinetiscape Films


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renato
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Apr 16, 2010 at 7:37:46 pm

FWIW, I just bought a Patriot Media Class 10 16gb SDHC and I'm using it with an adapter which looks kind of no-name. It came with the camera, which I bought slightly used.

The card was, as noted, a bit flaky at first on the initial format (took 2 attempts to get it recognized) but so far it works fine. I've tested recording, playback and transfer. No problems at all. Not trying over/undercrank yet. The card cost $39.99 at Fry's.



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Craig Seeman
Re: SDHC cards-questions
on Apr 16, 2010 at 8:58:31 pm

EX1 or EX3. Either way if it's not on the latest firmware (1.20 to EX1, the EX3 number escapes me) consider upgrading because flakey cards start to work. Common adaptors are MxR, MxM, Hoodman, some had used Kensington I believe as well.



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Oliver Tataru
MEAD-SD01 works with non-class10 SHDC
on Apr 10, 2010 at 10:55:21 pm

Hi,

I googled a lot to find out if the new Sony MEAD-SD01 works with other SDHC-Cards than the Class10, recommended by Sony. As I found no result, I decided to give it a try.

I just recieved a Transcend Class6 16GB SDHC Card (from Amazon) and I can testify that it works with the MEAD-SD01 on my firmware1.10-updated Sony EX1R.

I did normal recording - no overcranking, as this is not supposed to work - and it worked fine.

It would be nice if someone could try a 32GB Class6 Transcend.


Oliver


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Nicholas Brown
Re: MEAD-SD01 works with non-class10 SHDC
on May 2, 2010 at 9:57:57 pm

Can anybody recommend a 32GB Class 1o SDHC card that is 1080 30P capable?

So far I've tried the Patriot 32GB Class 10, Will not format in camera. Will not restore. Formats OK FAT 32 with computer but not compatible with EX1.

Centron 32GB Class 6 works great 720P. Pauses after 15 seconds 1080 30P

Adapters I've tested and they work. Kensington 7 in 1 and the one I bought at Fry's labeled 18 in 1 Reader.







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Craig Seeman
Re: MEAD-SD01 works with non-class10 SHDC
on May 2, 2010 at 10:30:56 pm

What firmware does your camera have in the EX1?
The new firmware 1.20 works with many more cards than 1.11 and just above.

Sandisk Extreme Class 10 would work with 1.11 and up for example.
ATP ProMax Class 6 would likely work with 1.11 and up.
Some other brand SDHC might work best with 1.20 only.



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Nicholas Brown
Re: MEAD-SD01 works with non-class10 SHDC
on May 3, 2010 at 4:33:18 pm

This Class 10 32GB Centon card works with 1080 30P
I inserted the card into the camera and it asked me to format.
Selected execute and a few seconds later I had it working.

Total cost for SDHC card reader and 32GB Class 10 card $125.00 +tax

http://www.frys.com/product/6052978?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

http://www.frys.com/product/5516930?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

I'm not sure of my firmware version. I bought the EX1 about 7 months ago. I know it's there's been a post somewhere on how to find it.



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Nicholas Brown
Re: MEAD-SD01 works with non-class10 SHDC
on May 3, 2010 at 6:30:45 pm

I have 1.13 firmware. I'm aware of several benefits to updating to 1.2 firmware. Is anyone experiencing compatibility issues with Centon 32GB Class 10 SDHS cards?



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