Do I buy:
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…
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?