Panasonic card capable of recording 400Mbps…64G £350

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Ideal for indie filmmakers, the EVA1 records to readily-available, lower-cost SD cards. The camera can record in several formats and compression rates, and offers up to 10-bit 4:2:2, even in 4K. For high-speed capture, the EVA1 offers 2K up to 240-fps. In terms of bitrates, you can record up to 400-Mbps for robust recording. A complete breakdown of recording formats will be available at the time of the EVA1’s release.

The new Panasonic EVA-1 with the capability of taking the new faster V90 SDXC cards. I first came across these new SDXC cards on the Panasonic PX270 using the newly designed micro P2 cards.

So what are the extra row pins for…

The Secure Digital Card was developed as a better version of the Multimedia Card. It’s 50% thicker (so it won’t fit in an MMC slot) and has nine electrical contacts instead of seven.

Furthermore, 4K video is almost becoming routine, along with higher frame rates (60fps or even 120fps). So fast writing is important.

First there’s Speed Class. This is marked by a number in a circle with a gap on the right hand side, like a stylised capital “C”. This one’s pretty straightforward. The normal Classes are 2, 4, 6 and 10, and in each case this matches the number of megabytes per second for write speed.

For higher speeds you have to look to UHS Speed Class. That uses a number sitting in a kind of bucket, like a squared off capital “U”. That one denotes the number of tens of MB/s. So UHS Speed Class 1 is a write speed of at least 10MB/s, and UHS Speed Class 3 is 30MB/s.

Cameras with a 4K video capability typically insist on a UHS Speed Class 3 card before they’ll operate at that frame rate. Others that capture full HD at high bitrates (some work at up to 200Mbps) may also require that kind of card.

Meanwhile, a new rating has appeared, this is called Video Speed Class. So far there appear to be ratings of V6, (the V is, of course, stylised), V10, V30, V60 and V90. And, yes, the number equals the write speed in MB/s. So V6 equals C6, V10 equals C10 equals U1. V30 equals U3.

UHS-II is even faster, but this one has physically changed. For the first time since SD was first introduced in 1999, it has new electrical contacts. The eight additional contacts are in a separate row below the common ones, so they don’t interfere with older card readers. I’ve used such cards with a years-old reader that came with an SDHC card and they still work, just presumably not as quickly as with UHS-II readers.

So there you have it. Well, for now. Flash memory is likely to continue to get faster and cheaper, so eventually SDXC cards will be butting up at the two terabyte limit and some new higher capacity version will appear.

As usual its the third party cards that are far cheaper, the Lexar 64G card being £124 while the Lexar 128G (£284) card is still cheaper than Panasonics 64G V90 card at £350 !

The Panasonic GH5 uses these faster SDXC cards and will benefit from an up and coming firmware taking the camera up to the same 400Mbps as the EVA-1, making it a good “B” camera for interviews.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

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