Issue: June 1, 2009


At NAB, there was no shortage of tapeless storage solutions that allow pros to acquire footage directly to disk and then quickly turn it around for editing in their preferred NLE.
Panasonic's new E-Series of P2 solid-state memory cards are less expensive than the original A-Series and come in 16GB ($420) and 32GB ($625) versions, with a 64GB ($998) card expected to ship in August. The E-Series cards are compatible with all P2 products and can store content in the range of P2-supported frame rates and formats, from HD to SD and from DVCPRO to AVC-Intra 100. With the lower price comes a shorter life expectancy of five years.

Shining Technology's CitiDisk CFR is priced under $700 and uses CompactFlash cards for storage. The six-ounce unit attaches to FireWire-enabled cameras and can capture footage in DV, DVCPRO50, HDV, QuickTime and AVI file formats. Shining also introduced the CitiDisk R258, which uses removable 250GB iVDR cartridges. The company expects to deliver the R258 before the end of the year.

And Focus Enhancements showed its FS-5 at NAB, a unit with a 100GB internal drive capable of recording seven-plus hours of HDV footage. But just a month after NAB, and right as Post was going to press, Focus introduced the FS-H200, a CompactFlash-based unit that the company quickly developed in response to requests it received at NAB. The DTE (direct-to-edit) solution has a single CF slot and allows users to choose between QuickTime, M2T, or AVI type 2 file formats, depending on camera and editing preferences.

According to Focus Enhancements' director of product management, Matt McEwen, the new unit — expected the ship this month for $1,295 — is for pros who need just one or two hours of capacity, particularly those working in news, where they'll hand off the card and return to the field. 

"CF cards were low capacity until recently," says McEwen, "but I think we are at a point now where CompactFlash is reliable enough and well proven, and also has the capacity and low cost that many people have been waiting for."