Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Format-War-V2Here we go again just as tape takes stage left we are back with the same old problem…deciding what format to go with…again ! Don’t these companies ever learn, surly the battlegrounds of dead tape formats would be a hint that we are not interested in going to war again.

Now that I have embraced solid state for myself here is my professional leader board of importance…




Breaking this down I have been using the SxS format for almost two years now and thanks to the boys in Australia have been using the MxR adapter for 8 months. Just in case you have been in a ca-coon for the last year… SxS is Sony’s solid state card used in the Sony EX-1 or 3…as you can see from the price above a 32GB SxS card will set you back £632. I have to mention here that if you are going to over crank which is an old film term for running your frames above 25/29 frames per second (fps) causing a slow motion effect when played back at 25fps/29fps, you cannot use the SDHC cards as yet.

EFilms_hdr_cam_insertMxR (eHDR, eLCR) is an adapter for SDHC cards which inserts into the Sony EX-1 or EX-3. The adapter costs £40 and a Transend class 6 SDHC card costs £85… totalling £125 against Sony’s £632 !  Sony as if you didn’t know do not recommend this route for obvious reasons but I reckon over 85% of EX-1/3 users use the MxR adapters.

So unless you are going to film a lot of slow motion (Over cranking) you do not need to use the SxS card . I only use 16GB Transend Class 6 SDHC cards and at £30 a card I now have a reliable way to archive my days filming.

NONE of the above companies have thought about client hand over, that’s obvious when you see the prices of the media which is a strong suspicion why more companies don’t use HD and continue with DVCAM.

Archive… this has been completely missed off the map…It’s the major factor that companies like Sony and all their brain power had not properly researched when trying to convert tape users to solid state. Over the years tape users have become creatures of comfort…comfort in knowing that if all else fails you can access the original camera footage and start again from scratch, this “comfort zone” is missing with expensive solid state media, you can’t even keep a camera copy, yes you can back up onto 2 hard drives but this waists a lot of time and space in my opinion and is by no means a safe solution. SDHC is cheep enough to allow archive and Sony still don’t recommend using SDHC simply because they did not think of it first !

Price…well what can I say… even the broadcasters are looking after the pennies these days so charging silly money for these cards means your product will not have the same uptake…Panasonic can vouch for this with their previously ludicrous pricing of the P2 media.

So with Ikegami/Toshiba coming in with their 32GB GFPak at £950 not to mention the GFCAM at £20,000 upwards…I think they are holding onto prices that companies will no longer pay and to testify to this Creative Video nor Preston Media have this camcorder on their web sites, so if you can’t sell the GFCAM camcorder you are not going to sell any GF media either !


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

2 thoughts on “Format War…”Just as tape takes stage left”

  1. I agree with you on how tapes were an instant back. I hate that I have to keep clearing off my P2 cards and backing them up before I use them again. This is such a pain in the ass!

    Coming from the tapes, solid state backup doesn’t feel as safe as having a tape sitting on a shelf somewhere. I liked the way I felt before, when my media existed both in the analog world and digital.

  2. It need to precise and perfect according to the needs of our photography. There are many SD cards available in the market now but the choice is ours.

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