Shooting on SDHC cards on the EX1/3 with MxM adaptors

Shooting on SxS is not a cheap business. Yes they are super reliable and reusable ten billion times (that’s a lie), the savings you make over tape saves you money in the long run, but for many this initial cost puts people of the Sony EX1 and EX3. Buying the camera and the media is just out of the budget of many. Which is a shame as this is an incredible professional camera with an incredible picture quality for not a lot of cash.
dsc04708Fortunately ever since the firmware was updated to 1.11_0531 and 1.12 on EX1/EX3 you have been able to record onto class 6 or higher SDHC cards using an express card adaptor. The first adaptors to work, the Kensington in particular was too long for the EX1 so you couldn’t close the door, but fine for the EX3. These Kensington adaptors suddenly became very scarce…

Then some bright Australians came up with MxR, a new expresscard adaptor, short enough to put in the EX1 and 3 and close the door. Like The Beatles and many others since and before they have gone their separate ways. Marek and Maggie have started up MxM and kindly sent me over some samples to try out.

Today whilst shooting my cinema commercial (sorry had to say it as it sounds so cool) with Director, Mike Marriage for The National Theatre (looking really good by the way, well chuffed). I knocked off a few test shots using them and my erstwhile AC Mark Dawson of LMF took some photos.

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I have no experience with any other SDHC system, not MxR or anything. So I was really pleased when they arrived and the packaging was so professional. Orange cases the same as the SxS ones and nice Express card adaptors. Very slick!

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Now how do they work? Well pretty good. They go into the EX1 and 3 as advertised. The boxes and the adaptors come in at $45 plus shipping, which at today’s exchange rate is around £700 (again, joking). I checked on ebay and a class 6 SDHC card from the far east goes for about £22 plus shipping.

MxM sell Class 4 cards, but I didn’t think they were fast enough at just 15mbs a second, but am assured that they work perfectly well. I always thought Class 6 was minimum. Certainly I would imagine the faster the cards the better. But I bow to superior knowledge!!

Upsides. 

Costs, a fraction of the price of an equivalent SxS card. 

Design, fits into EX1/3 perfectly

Adaptors are cheap enough to buy one for each of your SDHC cards.

Downsides

No error correction

Not officially supported by Sony so they could stop the ability to use them in a future firmware upgrade.

No ability to record overcrank (slow motion) on them

I think Sony should keep this ability open on the cameras, it will sell them more cameras and people will still buy SxS cards I am sure. Personally I am lucky enough to have 4 16gb cards and 6 8gb cards. More than enough for a days shoot, but others aren’t so lucky. I would never shoot a paid job on them as I don’t need to and I want the error correction. But for many this is their way into the EX line.

You get at least one card when you buy the camera, so you can record all your overcrank on that and then just copy the files across to the SDHC cards and it works fine! If you try and record overcrank to the SDHC card you will get a “media error” after a short time. So don’t bother trying!

So if you can just afford the camera then I see no reason not to get these if you can’t afford SxS cards right now (they will come down in price, but never as low as SDHC cards). It’s a great way to get started with these awesome cameras for people who until now though the EX line was out of their price bracket due to media costs. I still can’t recommend shooting on SxS enough for that guarantee but I am going to keep a couple of MxM adaptors with 16gb cards in my bag, just in case…you never know.

Nice product guys,

Check out their website…http://mxmexpress.com/

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Comments

    1. I shot at 24p overcranked to 48fps on my Class 6 cards. Worked fine for first two shots, then media error second two attempts. Better off using an SxS for the overcrank and transferring to the SDHC after.

  1. Dear Philip,
    I’ve got a couple of mxm adapters and

    I own a EX1 since januari 2008 and need an update of to
    1.2
    How does that work? any suggestions?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Marcello…Why would you want to do that!?!?

      You have two SDHC slots on the camera that record (when the SxS adaptor is attached) in both .mov and ex3 .mp4

      best,

      Phil