Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

I received an email from a fellow professional who bought into Sony’s Z7/MRC1 system this is what he had to say…

“Hi Philip, i have recently purchased 2 Transcend CF Memory Cards, 32 GIG,400 speed, pleased with the price, but having nothing but grief when using them with my Sony Z7 Camcorders and the MRC 1 Memory recording unit.

When the cards arrived i duly formated them in the MRC 1 Unit and used the cards to record a dance show as well as recording onto tape.
When the MRC 1 Unit was attached by firewire cable to my PC and attempted to download the CF Card to my Hard Drive there was constant problems with the PC eventually being HUNG and going nowhere.The footage was on the card and could be played back in camera but attached to my PC there was nothing but problems.

I done another test using Sonys Own Brand 8 GIG CF Cards supplied with the Z7s and they worked  perfect,no problems and no hung PC.
Tried the Transcend Cards again and the queer stuff hit the fan with one of the MRC 1 Units now not working and requiring to be sent back today to Sony for repair,under warranty,thankfully.
I have contacted both Memory Bits and Transcend who suggested various formating options etc but with no luck in getting these cards to DOWNLOAD in the MRC1 Unit.
They have to be removed from the unit and connected by CF Card reader and even then you can have problems.Possibly a failing MRC1 Unit is the cause of this problem!!!.
The Sony 8 GIG Cards work to perfection but the Transcend Cards do not.

Can i ask if any of your readers have had any problems with CF Cards other than Sony Brand Cards. I am suspicious that they have somehow knackered the MRC1 Unit or the unit was failing and this is the root of the hastle..
How they could do this i just dont know but things can go seriously pear shaped when using them. On one attempt to download from the MRC1 Unit to my PC the card was corrupted and the footage a garbled mess like serious drop out on DVTape, and all this from just trying to download to my PC.

On Saturday Night one Z7 Camcorder was hung and would not switch off until the MRC1 Unit was disconnected and then operated normally,thank God.
Checked the footage recorded to the card and it was a garbled drop out mess,fortunately the Mini DV footage was perfect.
It was this MRC1 Unit that went back to Sony today. I thought it was simplicity to select a CF Card  x300 speed or faster and then just plug and play like it says on the box but in practice the Queer Stuff can hit the fan,big time for reasons that are beyond me.

If you can offer any advice I would be grateful. I have had no problems with the MRC1 Units until i used another brand CF Card other than Sonys Own.Must admit my confidence in memory card recording like SDHC And Cf Cards has taken a bit of a blow. I was seriously considering buying a Sony AX 2000 Camcorder recording onto SDHC Cards but have put that on hold for now out of fear that you could spend a long day filming a wedding on HD and then come home to find out the SDHC Card has been corrupted by simply connecting to your PC at home. Obviously great care must be taken when downloading your work to Hard Drives etc but this Malarky can be quite scarry stuff. How i miss the days of SVHS, never a problem.”

After searching the internet I discover CF recording problems all over the place along with corrupt footage using the Sony MRC1, it seems to be an unreliable unit and is possibly a reason why it’s the only unit in Sony’s range to use CF cards.


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.

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