Home > Apple, Business, Computers, Gear, Sony > AJA io -or- PMW-EX30 dilemma.

AJA io -or- PMW-EX30 dilemma.

Do I buy:aja.gif

  A 17″ laptop ($3,000), eSATA ExpressCard adaptor ($100),
external hard drives ($400), and an AJA ioHD ($2,800) to record
a live switch 1920x1080i60 SDI feed to ProRes 422…ex30.gif

or

A Sony PMW-EX30 XDCAM EX deck ($4,000) to record
a 30 Mbps 1920x1080i60 VBR stream to flash media?

On one hand, the Computer / AJA offers many more capabilities when we’re on location. I mean, it’s a computer too, so image editing, audio editing, script work, e-mail, etc., is all possible with this one machine. With a deck, we have to bring along a computer for e-mail and script work anyway. But then, with a deck, someone can be working on scripts while we record a show to the deck.

The deck is a lower cost overall. It’s also much simpler to set up and operate- it’s one thing. No software glitches. No “can’t find the hard drive” or data throughput gremlins to track down. It just works. But it is not ProRes 422 at 153 Mbps. The deck records at 30 Mbps. Truth be told, however, that the field segments are shot on the EX3 in the same 30 Mbps EX codec and they look great and edit just fine.

I’m leaning toward the deck, but can see value in the computer alternative as a second edit bay when there is no field production. What do you think?

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  1. François
    May 12, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    get the computer configuration.
    The deck is only useful for what it as been designed to da. The compuetr and Aja can be use with any kind of camera, the computer as a strong resale value, can be used as a second unit if your main comp is broken. The Aja can be rented to other producers working with different types of cameras and generate income for you.etc etc.
    There is so many advantages than the higher cost should be seen as an investment.
    Good luck with your decision

  2. May 13, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    what about the new Aja KI Pro, you would just capture to pro res directly, or the MXO line from Matrox… ??? more options, more choices, good luck.

  3. June 9, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Just used the AJA / MacBook Pro combination on Monday for an all-day multi-show shoot for Healthy Flavors. It worked like a charm with nary a hiccup.

    I have heard of others having issues that were solved with reboots. Seems that’s the case with most computer stuff.

    I actually went into FCP’s capture window and turned off all the extra audio channels as we were recording only one chef and I used two channels to do it- one at 50% lower volume than the other.

    I like that the AJA records to ProRes natively and the computer didn’t have to do the hard work. The I/O box is a bit chunky, but fits under a 1/2 rack width monitor just fine. The meters are more reactive than FCP, but seem to be peak, as opposed to average / VU. So I used both FCP’s and the AJA’s, as well as listening to the pass through on the MacBook to make sure I wasn’t clipping audio.

    All in all, a nice little system.

    Shame Apple now has it in their mind to axe the ExpressCard slots from MacBook Pro laptops. If they do that, I wander what makes them more “pro” than, say, any other intel laptop. Oh, and Apple _finally_ integrated an SD card slot? How many _years_ after PC’s have had this?

    Next, a MacBook Pro will offer a fingerprint reader for log-in verification and tout that it has been a long time in coming.

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