PMW-EX owners: WOOT!

Ross Hereweni has done it again. His company, E-Films, produce the MxR adaptor designed to enable the use of inexpensive SDHC cards inside the Sony PMW-EX line of cameras. With a couple of relatively inexpensive 32GB SDHC cards, you’re good for almost 3 hours of shooting without swapping cards.

But there’s times when some need more than this, or need to start editing straight away – which is a problem if your rushes straddle two cards.

So here’s the scoop: his newest product is the HDR. This ingenious device allows you to connect a hard disk – any hard disk – to your EX camera and shoot directly to that. If you shoot conferences and presentation material, or even the ‘waiting for it to happen’ shoots when you have to keep rolling, the HDR is yet another ‘enabling’ technology.

It even comes with an enclosure with – get this – a power supply. So you’re not tethered to a power outlet.

Okay, so Sony makes the PHU-60K – so what gives? Well, if you have 4 days of conference to record, you’ll need two if not three units per camera, plus their batteries. They’re only 60GB. With the HDR, I can get any size I want, at street price, not ‘Sony Price’.

But lets go one stage beyond that. You can elect to fit a Solid State Disk – vibration proof, high performance and so on.

Combined with CalibratedQ software I reported on a few days ago, at last we have a system which enables shooters to capture long-form to disk, stop recording and IMMEDIATELY start editing – and in my little niche, that’s a big deal.

I’d been doing this trick with humble Z1s and recording DV directly to Final Cut Pro via FireWire. This worked well – no loss of content due to tape changes, quick turnaround and so on – but of course requires a laptop and a copy of FCP per camera.

With the HDR, maybe the time has finally come when I can retire my Z1s and invest in PMW-EX throughout, shooting 720p direct to disk (any hard disk) and then multi-cam the edits when done.

And you don’t need a PCIexpress bus on your MacBook Pro – Apple, thank these guys.

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