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Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards

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Divonna Ratliff
Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Sep 9, 2012 at 5:20:15 am

I am new to P2 cards, and I have an old mac power pc with a pcmcia port. With the panasonic driver the card mounts, reads, & copies the files just fine to a hard drive, and I can import them into FCP. I haven't seen this method mentioned here--is there a problem with it? A related question, is, will this type of adapter work with the express card slots on the new powerbook 17" laptops in the same way?

http://www.amazon.com/Lexar-Professional-Express-Compact-LRWEXPPRBNA/dp/B00...

seedeerun


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Sep 9, 2012 at 4:26:47 pm

What you're doing is fine.
No, that adapter will not work, I don't believe.

You need the P2 Card Reader, with USB at the lowest cost end.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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Eric McCarthy
Re: Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Oct 12, 2012 at 2:30:07 am

Agree, this is an excellent ingestion method IMHO.

HVX200A, HPX170, Canon 7d - Speedy Mac Pro - Final Cut, Motion, AE6, and Maya. Studio, Lights, Mics, and the will to use it all!
So whatcha' want?


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Divonna Ratliff
Re: Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Oct 13, 2012 at 9:02:32 pm

Thank you for your helpful responses!

My one concern about using this method is that the old Macs with the PCMCIA slots don't support the OS needed to run the Panasonic software to verify copying. I've heard it can be a problem to just do direct transfer. Should I worry about that?

AND my old Mac died (RIP) while I was prepping it for this dedicated use. Now I'm trying to decide whether to buy a refurbed powerbook to act as a card reader, or whether to buy a reader that will connect by Firewire or USB, or is there an option that will plug into the expresscard/34 slot in my 17" macbook pro?

What would you recommend?

seedeerun


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Eric McCarthy
Re: Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Oct 14, 2012 at 6:40:52 pm

I have used a Panasonic AJ-PCS060 for years and been very happy with it. Officially called a "60 GB Portable Hard Drive Storage Device (P2 Store) for P2 Card Contents", it is one of the best accessories I bought for my HVX. The P2 Store can be powered in the field by the same batteries that your camera uses, or by an AC adapter in studio. It allows for a quick "dump" and storage of P2 footage, and freeing up your cards to be recorded to again. It also acts as a card reader, and allows for P2 ingest straight to FCP. Using the P2 store as a card reader is much faster than loading clips direct from the camera itself. In general, you will see that almost anything is faster than loading from the camera.

I have four x 8GB P2 cards, and in the field I can rotate these to always have at least two in the camera. This effectively triples my storage capacity, and allows for over 90 minutes of field shooting at DVC HDPro 1080i60 or AVC-100. Since I am usually shooing in DVC HDPro 720pn24, I have about four hours of capacity.

The best part? Recently these things have been going cheap on Ebay. Since they are really little more than an SD card reader and a hard drive, there is litte that can go wrong with them. I bought one as a backup, with AC adapter, two batteries, and a Porta-Brace case, for less than $250 a few months back. Keep your eyes open, and you will find a deal! Another feature of going this route is that if/when you are ready to sell your camera, this makes it a better package for the prospective buyer.

Let us know what you decide on!



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Divonna Ratliff
Re: Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Oct 14, 2012 at 7:10:36 pm

Thank you!

Yes, I've been looking at the P2 Store, and it seems like a good way to go. I've got 2 32gb cards now, and my only thought is that I could probably only download 1 of them to the P2 Store if it was full. Although I just downloaded one that was nearly full and it held only 27 gb, so maybe it would hold 2 cards worth, or one 64 gb card?

I'm going to keep looking for a P2 Store or more P2 cards. One 64 gb card would essentially be the same, though more expensive. Unless I'm shooting in full HD, I won't often need more than the 64 gb I have now, so we'll see what turns up. I've eliminated the idea of getting an older computer as a card reader, at least.

I appreciate your advice, thanks so much. Getting used to cards over tape has been quiet a learning curve but I LOVE my new camera!

seedeerun


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Eric McCarthy
Re: Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Oct 14, 2012 at 9:13:57 pm

For what it's worth, I prefer many small cards to one large card. I also keep a few beat up 4GB cards in my bag. You can find small cards in groups on ebay, and since media capture switches between cards without a glitch (as one fills up the other starts with no dropped frames), I think that it works well to keep swapping them out.
Of course, it a card is lost, or destroyed in the field, it is a smaller loss, both financially and potentially of the footage on it.
Just my thoughts...
Eric
Seattle



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Divonna Ratliff
Re: Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Oct 16, 2012 at 12:57:36 am

A lot to be said for that. Thanks for helping me think through this whole thing.

Now I've got to solve the whole hard-drive backup issue... do you just keep one of everything on a hard drive? Back it up to a Cloud? Have multi-terabyte backup drives? I lost a drive once and all it's data, I still grieve...

seedeerun


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Michael Johnston
Re: Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Nov 1, 2012 at 8:42:18 pm

Here's an Expresscard to Cardbus adapter that does work with P2 cards: http://m299.photobucket.com/albumview/albums/svp_photos/P2Adapter.jpg.html?...

I have one. This adapter was specifically designed with P2 in mind and its worked perfectly for more on both my PC and 17" MacBook Pro to load P2 cards. I'm not sure if they are still being sold so you may want to look on ebay. I bought 5 of them so if one broke I'd have backups.


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Divonna Ratliff
Re: Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Nov 1, 2012 at 10:48:46 pm

You say it works with your 17" MacBook Pro? That's what I have--but when I looked up this device on Amazon this is what it says

Digigear 16bit / 32 bit CardBus PCMCIA PC Card to 34 mm ExpressCard Adapter/Reader/Writer (For WIN VISTA & 7, NOT for Mac or Win XP) Support Panasonic P2 /3G/ATA/aircard/wireless LAN/modem cards

So that's why I've steered clear, but maybe that just means the Macs without the ExpressCard 34 slot? The price is right, this would be great if it works!

seedeerun


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Michael Johnston
Re: Mac PCMCIA port for P2 Cards
on Nov 2, 2012 at 10:27:33 pm

It works fine for me once you go on Panasonic's site and install the drivers. I also bought a cheap "video to PC" converter that allows you to capture analog video through USB. Online, the description said "for PC only" but when I got it the box clearly said its works for MAC too. I've found a lot of devices that say they only work on PC but will actually work on MAC too once the drivers are installed.


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