Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


As we await the new Panasonic AG-HPX250 P2 camcorder I thought it would be a good time to compare the two dominant solid state professional formats.

As you can see there is nothing in it these days price wise between P2 and SxS but if Panasonic wanted to seriously dent the sales of Sony’s XDCAM they need to get the price of their media down again.

For all it’s reliability both cards are excessively priced compared to SDHC or SDXC cards which are a fraction of the cost and are pushing many price conscious professionals away from both P2 and SxS.

We are living in hard times and clients are cutting budgets back all the time, cameramen/women are less likely to upgrade to a system that comes with the burden of having to buy £1000 upwards of media when the alternative SDHC is not a million miles away in quality.

There are a growing number of SSD recorders coming onto the market like the Ninja using relatively cheaper solid state memory e.g. 128GB SSD is only £135 that’s four times the capacity of your P2/SxS 32G card and at 4:2:2.

Panasonic and Sony have to re-think the cost of this media, Sony have already bowed to the cheaper SxS adapter by bringing their own version out so I think Panasonic should consider doing the same or slash the price of P2 to a more affordable price.


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.

4 thoughts on “P2 v SxS v SDHC “The price of this media is affecting sales”

  1. The trouble with P2 is that even though we can compare the cost per gigabyte, all that 10 bit 4:2:2 meaty goodness comes at the cost of higher data rates, so the cost per hour of rushes is much higher. To achieve the ability to shoot without having to erase a card until the edit is done and the project put to bed is at least 3x higher on P2. More if you factor in the orange SxS cards.

  2. I’m curious why they can’t standardise on 1.8-inch SSD’s.
    This means an easily upgradeable standard that offers a faster data interface than their proprietary cards and on top of that you can plug them into any computer via a very simple and affordable adapter, no matter if you’re using a PC or a Mac.
    But I guess that would mean these companies couldn’t charge the kind of prices they do for their “special” memory cards which are pretty much just an SSD in a custom package with a proprietary interface.
    I don’t think it’s fair comparing SD cards here, although SDXC is finally starting to pick up in terms of performance. An alternative to using 1.8-inch SSD’s would be the yet to take off CFast format which is a SATA compatible version of the good old Compact Flash card and CFast should in theory be able to offer the same kind of performance as an SSD, just in an even more compact form factor.

  3. My XD Card lost data fright episode

    Just thought I let you know I had an error on my Sony XD Card and I had reformat drive message, something told me not to format fortunately done some searching on the net and came across I told them that I was a photographer and need to get back my files.

  4. I agree that the prices should come down as one could argue that a P2 card is simply 4 x SD cards soldered together inside a metal sleeve. However if you look up P2 storage media on Wikipedia it’ll tell you that P2 cards store information in RAID using a micro processor and that it’s constructed to “military” standards.
    Broadcast standards are simply higher than consumer or professional standards and therefore the price difference.

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