P2 Cards to Mac 2013 ?
I have returned here to get the "latest" on an issue that cropped up with the P2 card technology over 4 or 5 years ago and I can NOT believe that Panasonic or some 3rd party vendor has not fixed this core issue in the Fall of 2013!
READING from the P2 card, simply offloading the darned footage into a Mac laptop or desktop since OSx 10.5.8 in less than a day!
When I bought an AG-HVX201AE in Vienna in 2008 Panasonic was pitching the P2 technology as THE coming storage revolution. I presumed that getting the footage out to the editing platform was a new but evolving series of technologies as the "industry switched" to P2 solid state audio/video storage for HD, etc.
At the time I could not afford Panasonic's proprietary solution and it appears that 5 years later nothing has changed!
I bought a Duel Adapter for maybe a little over 100 dollars (maybe less) that interfaced the P2 32gig cards with the PCExpressCard slot in my new MacPro laptop with Leopard 10.5.8.
I installed the drivers that came with the Duel Adapter and then updated them from what was available online.
Passing 32 gigs directly into the ExpressCard slot was far faster than the USB 2 option directly from the camera.
I keep checking back every year after the Duel Adapter was essentially abandoned and support for new Mac drivers was stopped.
And STILL no one has a cheap solution for simply unloading gigs of solid state memory from a P2 card. The Sonnet and Panasonic "readers" are a hugely expensive vast overkill.
My old MacPro stays frozen in time, runnning in Leopard world, because if I upgrade to even Snow Leopard the Duel Adapter solution for P2 card transfer stops working for lack of Snow Leopard drivers.
And I believe the next year's MacPro laptop discontinued the ExpressCard slot.
At the moment I have yesterday's technology in the workflow.
I must use the 2008 era MacPro laptop with the ExpressCard slot, the Duel Adapter P2 to Express Card slot interface to offload footage from the P2.
Then, because the only higher speed connections in common between my MacPro desktop and MacPro laptop are Firewire 800 and Ethernet, I have to set up an Ethernet connection to pull the P2 files down the line into my desktop Editing machine.
And from what I read year after year there is not a faster alternative given the 2 Macs that I have.
Am I missing an important development this year, 2013, that has brought down the price of P2 file transfers from needing multiple hundreds of dollars of overpriced P2 readers to Macs?
Honestly the Panasonic USB reader is not bad. The fact is that Panasonic has switched now to Micro P2 cards which is kind of what you're describing that you want.
Panasonic does make an adapter to take Micro P2 cards, which are the exact form factor of an SD card, and adapt them to full size P2 slots and cameras. Fortunately compatibility has been maintained between the old and the new. And for Micro P2, there is a USB3 reader. But no, you cannot put a Micro P2 card in any old SD reader, but you can put SD cards in Micro P2 readers. And don't be fooled by the SD form factor, the new cards are every bit as reliable as the old ones and the internal tech is exactly the same. But these are smaller, and faster.
While it may cost some coin, I would look into making a migration to the Micro P2 standard with adapters as the costs are now lower compared to the old standard and you clearly seem to be firmly rooted in the need to continue with P2 in general.
Otherwise your only options would be the Panasonic USB reader, the 5 slot FireWire reader, or the Sonnet QIO. All good options that shouldn't be holding you back from a new computer and up to date software.
Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
2008 Mac Pro 2.6 Ghz 8 Core, 10GB RAM
AJA IoXT, Blackmagic Intensity Pro, Blackmagic Mini Monitor
Adobe Production Premium CC, Avid Media Composer 7, Final Cut Pro Studio 3
[Matthew Sonnenfeld] "Panasonic does make an adapter to take Micro P2 cards, which are the exact form factor of an SD card, and adapt them to full size P2 slots and cameras"
However, it won't work in a lot of the old P2 cameras, including the referenced AG-HVX201AE.
P2 is simply not well supported for ingest by Panasonic unless you're willing to drop thousands on the solution.
you have the least expensive P2 card reader/off loader. Your camera.
Personally, I invested in the Duel Adapter then the single slot PCD2. I finally made the big investment and purchased the PCD35. For me, time is money. With the PCD35, I can off load a single 64GB card in under 20 minutes. I can a total of 5 cards in the PCD35 and still offload in record time.
Eisen Video Productions
Chicago Creative Pro Users Group