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Why don't camcorders (consumer) offers M2 SSD as storage

M2 SSD is a well known SSD form factor and it is quite small, so it should fit camcorders easily, but strangely enough, no one is offering this. Imagine you can swap and increase your storage easily by picking one M2 SSD and plug it in.

 

It's strange that there is a HDD camcorders in the past that offers great capacity for super long hours of recording (I own a Sony PJ600VE camcorder with 220GB HDD that gives me about 24 hours of recording using highest setting possible with a staggering 28MB/s video recordings at 1080p 50fps using AVCHD2 recording method), but now, most internal storage comes less than 100GB, even though memory chips has become so cheap, and some outright only offer SD card slot with no internal memory at all.

 

Anyway, this has been bothering me lately. I would love to shoot 4k uncompressed video with the highest setting, with a camcorder that uses M2 SSD as storage. Transferring data would be a breeze as you can take out the M2 SSD and plug it to a high speed enclosure which gives you close to 10Gbps of transfer (or you can plug it directly to your motherboard for an even faster transfer speed).

 

But oh well, now we're still stuck at SD cards which only gives me 150MB/s transfer speed, and the 4k video has to be heavily compressed because SD card write speed is horrible especially when it is getting full.

 

So, what do you think?

 

Regards,

Chiyawa

I have ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). More info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autism_spectrum

 

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I can think of a few reasons ... for one, it's not designed to be removed on the fly , and it's not easy to insert ... can't use the standard m.2 connector and insert a m.2 through a slot, because the standard connectors requires you to insert the ssd at an angle and then use a screw to lock in place.

So this would restrict  camera makers to having a big space on the side with a big panel/door to open, insert m.2 ssd, then screw ssd to the camera. 

That screw and the ssd themselves are another problem ... the ssds are not covered in some case or something protective, you can have static electricity damage them if you insert them in the field somewhere... and it takes too much time to remove and insert and screw ssds when you fill one with recording.... plus risk of dropping screws and losing them.

and last but not least ... power consumption ... if you want to accept any ssd, then you must make power circuitry strong enough to handle anything, and that means probably up to 10-15 watts... cards use much less power, and they can have controllers optimized for continuous writes instead of random access and lots of things a camera doesn't care about.

The camera would also have to support BOTH sata and nvme (pci-e) because if the idiot buys a sata m.2 drive and doesn't work in the camera, they'll return the camera as faulty, they don't bother reading manuals. 

 

Oh and let's say they make camera with 2.5" slot for regular sata drives ... wait until the first idiot that buys a QLC based SATA SSD and doesn't realize the speeds drop in the 100-150 MB/s once the internal cache of the SSD gets full.... so record 4K and write at 2-300 MB/s for 10-20 minutes then suddenly the SSD drops to 100 MB/s because caches are full... 

 

 

They invented card formats that do hundreds of MB/s, plug and play, in protective cases etc lots of reasons they went with that instead of m.2 or other connectors.

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, mariushm said:

I can think of a few reasons ... for one, it's not designed to be removed on the fly , and it's not easy to insert ... can't use the standard m.2 connector and insert a m.2 through a slot, because the standard connectors requires you to insert the ssd at an angle and then use a screw to lock in place.

So this would restrict  camera makers to having a big space on the side with a big panel/door to open, insert m.2 ssd, then screw ssd to the camera. 

That screw and the ssd themselves are another problem ... the ssds are not covered in some case or something protective, you can have static electricity damage them if you insert them in the field somewhere... and it takes too much time to remove and insert and screw ssds when you fill one with recording.... plus risk of dropping screws and losing them.

and last but not least ... power consumption ... if you want to accept any ssd, then you must make power circuitry strong enough to handle anything, and that means probably up to 10-15 watts... cards use much less power, and they can have controllers optimized for continuous writes instead of random access and lots of things a camera doesn't care about.

The camera would also have to support BOTH sata and nvme (pci-e) because if the idiot buys a sata m.2 drive and doesn't work in the camera, they'll return the camera as faulty, they don't bother reading manuals. 

 

Oh and let's say they make camera with 2.5" slot for regular sata drives ... wait until the first idiot that buys a QLC based SATA SSD and doesn't realize the speeds drop in the 100-150 MB/s once the internal cache of the SSD gets full.... so record 4K and write at 2-300 MB/s for 10-20 minutes then suddenly the SSD drops to 100 MB/s because caches are full... 

 

 

They invented card formats that do hundreds of MB/s, plug and play, in protective cases etc lots of reasons they went with that instead of m.2 or other connectors.

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, mariushm said:

I can think of a few reasons ... for one, it's not designed to be removed on the fly , and it's not easy to insert ... can't use the standard m.2 connector and insert a m.2 through a slot, because the standard connectors requires you to insert the ssd at an angle and then use a screw to lock in place.

So this would restrict  camera makers to having a big space on the side with a big panel/door to open, insert m.2 ssd, then screw ssd to the camera. 

That screw and the ssd themselves are another problem ... the ssds are not covered in some case or something protective, you can have static electricity damage them if you insert them in the field somewhere... and it takes too much time to remove and insert and screw ssds when you fill one with recording.... plus risk of dropping screws and losing them.

and last but not least ... power consumption ... if you want to accept any ssd, then you must make power circuitry strong enough to handle anything, and that means probably up to 10-15 watts... cards use much less power, and they can have controllers optimized for continuous writes instead of random access and lots of things a camera doesn't care about.

The camera would also have to support BOTH sata and nvme (pci-e) because if the idiot buys a sata m.2 drive and doesn't work in the camera, they'll return the camera as faulty, they don't bother reading manuals. 

 

Oh and let's say they make camera with 2.5" slot for regular sata drives ... wait until the first idiot that buys a QLC based SATA SSD and doesn't realize the speeds drop in the 100-150 MB/s once the internal cache of the SSD gets full.... so record 4K and write at 2-300 MB/s for 10-20 minutes then suddenly the SSD drops to 100 MB/s because caches are full... 

 

 

They invented card formats that do hundreds of MB/s, plug and play, in protective cases etc lots of reasons they went with that instead of m.2 or other connectors.

 

 

 

I see. Hmm... Thanks for the info. Now I at least has a better insight.

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18 hours ago, mariushm said:

I can think of a few reasons ... for one, it's not designed to be removed on the fly , and it's not easy to insert ... can't use the standard m.2 connector and insert a m.2 through a slot, because the standard connectors requires you to insert the ssd at an angle and then use a screw to lock in place.

So this would restrict  camera makers to having a big space on the side with a big panel/door to open, insert m.2 ssd, then screw ssd to the camera. 

That screw and the ssd themselves are another problem ... the ssds are not covered in some case or something protective, you can have static electricity damage them if you insert them in the field somewhere... and it takes too much time to remove and insert and screw ssds when you fill one with recording.... plus risk of dropping screws and losing them.

and last but not least ... power consumption ... if you want to accept any ssd, then you must make power circuitry strong enough to handle anything, and that means probably up to 10-15 watts... cards use much less power, and they can have controllers optimized for continuous writes instead of random access and lots of things a camera doesn't care about.

The camera would also have to support BOTH sata and nvme (pci-e) because if the idiot buys a sata m.2 drive and doesn't work in the camera, they'll return the camera as faulty, they don't bother reading manuals. 

 

Oh and let's say they make camera with 2.5" slot for regular sata drives ... wait until the first idiot that buys a QLC based SATA SSD and doesn't realize the speeds drop in the 100-150 MB/s once the internal cache of the SSD gets full.... so record 4K and write at 2-300 MB/s for 10-20 minutes then suddenly the SSD drops to 100 MB/s because caches are full... 

 

 

They invented card formats that do hundreds of MB/s, plug and play, in protective cases etc lots of reasons they went with that instead of m.2 or other connectors.

 

 

 

*puts in my 16 MB memory card into my Sony Alpha*

 

What do you mean a single RAW is more than 2x the capacity of my memory card! 
 

M.2 is not designed with frequent insertion cycles in mind. While cards are often swapped several times over the course of a shoot, a M.2 slot will often go for months to years without being touched. 
 

Further, mobile PCI-e controllers that don’t use a ton of power are not the easiest things to build. 

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15 minutes ago, Zodiark1593 said:

*puts in my 16 MB memory card into my Sony Alpha*

 

What do you mean a single RAW is more than 2x the capacity of my memory card! 
 

M.2 is not designed with frequent insertion cycles in mind. While cards are often swapped several times over the course of a shoot, a M.2 slot will often go for months to years without being touched. 
 

Further, mobile PCI-e controllers that don’t use a ton of power are not the easiest things to build. 

Depends on your camera, the image sensors, quality settings and compression methods. RAW image is an uncompressed image basically.

 

Hmm, You do have a point. M2 is not design for frequent removal and insertion, Still, I think with today's technology, it should be easier to develop one.

 

Yeah, another thing is power. A typical M2 SSD consumes 30W typical at full load. But I think we can design a low powered SSD.

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35 minutes ago, Chiyawa said:

 

Yeah, another thing is power. A typical M2 SSD consumes 30W typical at full load. But I think we can design a low powered SSD.

Wow, you are way too high for the power figure. Load is closer to 6w and idle is 2w for nvme. 

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35 minutes ago, Blue4130 said:

Wow, you are way too high for the power figure. Load is closer to 6w and idle is 2w for nvme. 

Ah, my mistake. Sorry. Yeah, a typical SSD consume only a few watts. 30W is for 3.5 inch internal HDD.

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1 hour ago, Blue4130 said:

Wow, you are way too high for the power figure. Load is closer to 6w and idle is 2w for nvme. 

Yeah, in the 3-6 watts during sustained writes... but the drives can pull a bit more for very brief moments... for example WD Black SN750 lists in datasheet peak currents of 2.8A for 10 us (microseconds) .. that's ~ 9.3 watts. 

 

WD Black SN750 datasheet : https://documents.westerndigital.com/content/dam/doc-library/en_us/assets/public/western-digital/product/internal-drives/wd-black-ssd/data-sheet-wd-black-nvme-ssd-2879-810008.pdf

 

Other random datasheets found at a brief google search ... intel 530 M.2 lists up to 5.5w for the 360GB model (but the datasheet was from 2015, and didn't bother to check but probably drive is discontinued) and some Seagate SATA SSDs said up to 3.2 watts 

 

I don't have the m.2 electrical specifications, but I think the standard says around 7w  (3.3v x 2A-ish) max.

 

1 hour ago, Chiyawa said:

Ah, my mistake. Sorry. Yeah, a typical SSD consume only a few watts. 30W is for 3.5 inch internal HDD.

You're way off there as well. 

 

It's more like around 6-8 watts for the sub 7200 rpm drives.  The datasheets will list the values.

Even the 7200rpm models rarely go over 10 watts.

here's for example WD Black series (7200rpm) ... 9.1w writing, 7w idle, 1w standby/sleep : https://documents.westerndigital.com/content/dam/doc-library/en_us/assets/public/western-digital/product/internal-drives/wd-black-hdd/data-sheet-wd-black-pc-hard-drives-2879-771434.pdf

 

The WD Red Pro in "7200 class" (aka 5900-7200) are between 5.7w and 8.8w: https://documents.westerndigital.com/content/dam/doc-library/en_us/assets/public/western-digital/product/internal-drives/wd-red-pro-hdd/data-sheet-wd-red-pro-idk.pdf

 

and the blue series (5400rpm) won't go over 5.3w with one exception that's 6.8w... it's 3.3w and 4.1w for most drives in series : https://documents.westerndigital.com/content/dam/doc-library/en_us/assets/public/western-digital/product/internal-drives/wd-blue-hdd/data-sheet-wd-blue-pc-hard-drives-2879-771436.pdf

 

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a few cameras have it or will.
Kinefinity Mavo Edge 8k will have 2 slots

Zcam I believe is looking into for their next family


Red may move to them for the next DSMC family

in most cases it will go into a dumb sled that just protects the drive and changed the pins from the fragile one to something larger

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46 minutes ago, mariushm said:

Yeah, in the 3-6 watts during sustained writes... but the drives can pull a bit more for very brief moments... for example WD Black SN750 lists in datasheet peak currents of 2.8A for 10 us (microseconds) .. that's ~ 9.3 watts. 

 

WD Black SN750 datasheet : https://documents.westerndigital.com/content/dam/doc-library/en_us/assets/public/western-digital/product/internal-drives/wd-black-ssd/data-sheet-wd-black-nvme-ssd-2879-810008.pdf

 

Other random datasheets found at a brief google search ... intel 530 M.2 lists up to 5.5w for the 360GB model (but the datasheet was from 2015, and didn't bother to check but probably drive is discontinued) and some Seagate SATA SSDs said up to 3.2 watts 

 

I don't have the m.2 electrical specifications, but I think the standard says around 7w  (3.3v x 2A-ish) max.

 

It's rated for 9w, but in testing it doesn't hit that. But at this level, it's arguing semantics. 3w will rarely make or break a design spec unless you are talking aerospace or something so constrained. 

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On 5/6/2021 at 9:32 PM, Chiyawa said:

RAW image is an uncompressed image basically.

Not really. Almost all raw photos/vidoes are compressed. The big thing that makes it raw is how its not debayered yet, and you can do that in post instead of in camera. Raw video is normally smaller than uncompressed as its monochrome instead of rgb.

 

On 5/6/2021 at 2:43 AM, Chiyawa said:

I would love to shoot 4k uncompressed video with the highest setting,

Do you though? Uncompressed video almost never makes sense as there are good lossless or near lossless codecs that makes the files much smaller and easier to work with.

 

On 5/6/2021 at 2:43 AM, Chiyawa said:

But oh well, now we're still stuck at SD cards which only gives me 150MB/s transfer speed, and the 4k video has to be heavily compressed because SD card write speed is horrible especially when it is getting full.

Thats only the case with 

 

On 5/6/2021 at 2:43 AM, Chiyawa said:

with a staggering 28MB/s video recordings at 1080p 50fps using AVCHD2 recording method),

I think your betting bytes and bits confused. Almost all video bitrates are in bits, so divite by 8 to get bytes. So that camera is only about 4mB/s, and not much data.

 

On 5/6/2021 at 2:43 AM, Chiyawa said:

 

But oh well, now we're still stuck at SD cards which only gives me 150MB/s transfer speed, and the 4k video has to be heavily compressed because SD card write speed is horrible especially when it is getting full.

 

Well were not stuck with SD on high end cameras. I have a r5 which takes cfexpress cards that are pcie x2 gen 3 cards that can write at about 1400mB/s currently. And it can shoot about 2.6gb/s video currently. Basically every high end camera doesn't use sd cards for video storage as there slow(reds, arri, c500, high end sonys)

 

Most consumers don't want super high bitrates, and SD cards are plenty for pretty high bitrate 4k, and if you need more than that, you can use cfexpress/cfast/propertiery media.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

I think your betting bytes and bits confused. Almost all video bitrates are in bits, so divite by 8 to get bytes. So that camera is only about 4mB/s, and not much data.

I'm not sure, but the camcorder did list it as 28MB/s, with a capital B. Still, come to think of it, yeah, maybe you are right. My 220GB HDD can store 23 hours and 56 minutes according to my camcorder's estimation. So, I guess it's about 2.5 MB/s.

 

13 hours ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

I have a r5 which takes cfexpress cards that are pcie x2 gen 3 cards that can write at about 1400mB/s currently. And it can shoot about 2.6gb/s video currently. Basically every high end camera doesn't use sd cards for video storage as there slow(reds, arri, c500, high end sonys)

Hmm... I see. Compact Flash can have that speed, huh? It's been a long time I haven't look into Compact Flash, probably it is not accessible in my area. The last I see one of them is 4GB with I think 28 pins that still uses IDE protocol (that was back at 2008 or earlier)

 

Okay, thanks. Now I can try to check on those camcorders.

Still, I felt it's a waste, as smartphone can outright out perform camcorders in video shooting, if it wasn't for their fixed zoom and low aperture (and of course, low battery life). Camcorders and Digital cameras should up their ante, because they can cramp in better lenses, has better aperture and focus. I don't like to use my smartphone because of battery, and having camcorder to record video actually means I don't need to worried that my phone is going to run out of battery, and the camcorder offers better zoom and aperture. Now a days, you either go professional or go smartphones, and it's hard if you just want something in between.

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6 hours ago, Chiyawa said:

Hmm... I see. Compact Flash can have that speed, huh? It's been a long time I haven't look into Compact Flash, probably it is not accessible in my area. The last I see one of them is 4GB with I think 28 pins that still uses IDE protocol (that was back at 2008 or earlier)

 

CF is pretty dead now, as itsbasically IDE. My camera uses CFexpress which is basically pcie gen 3 x2 link and the cards are extremely fast, and on a good amount of new high end cameras.

 

6 hours ago, Chiyawa said:

Still, I felt it's a waste, as smartphone can outright out perform camcorders in video shooting, if it wasn't for their fixed zoom and low aperture (and of course, low battery life). Camcorders and Digital cameras should up their ante, because they can cramp in better lenses, has better aperture and focus. I don't like to use my smartphone because of battery, and having camcorder to record video actually means I don't need to worried that my phone is going to run out of battery, and the camcorder offers better zoom and aperture. Now a days, you either go professional or go smartphones, and it's hard if you just want something in between.

Yea in general the low end camera/camcorder market is dead. There are still a few models out there if you want them though, and image quality is normally better than a phone.

 

Are you looking to buy a camcorder? Whats your requirements?

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6 hours ago, Chiyawa said:

Hmm... I see. Compact Flash can have that speed, huh? It's been a long time I haven't look into Compact Flash, probably it is not accessible in my area. The last I see one of them is 4GB with I think 28 pins that still uses IDE protocol (that was back at 2008 or earlier)

CFexpress is not the same as the old compact flash. CFexpress is pcie 1x/2x/4x. Cfast uses sata

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10 hours ago, GDRRiley said:

CFexpress is not the same as the old compact flash. CFexpress is pcie 1x/2x/4x. Cfast uses sata

Oh? Ah, yes, I remember now. Sadly, in my area, We only have CF with those many pins one. I heard of CFast and CFexpress, but have not personally seen 1.

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Just now, Chiyawa said:

Oh? Ah, yes, I remember now. Sadly, in my area, We only have CF with those many pins one. I heard of CFast and CFexpress, but have not personally seen 1.

I know CF has meant a lot of swapped card slots.

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10 hours ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

CF is pretty dead now, as itsbasically IDE. My camera uses CFexpress which is basically pcie gen 3 x2 link and the cards are extremely fast, and on a good amount of new high end cameras.

 

Yea in general the low end camera/camcorder market is dead. There are still a few models out there if you want them though, and image quality is normally better than a phone.

 

Are you looking to buy a camcorder? Whats your requirements?

Yeah, I heard of CFast and CFexpress, but haven't encountered one. So, basically, my knowledge in CF is quite rusty. I guess this is due to CF is quite large and not many devices use it.

 

I'm actually not looking for a camcorder, but sometimes I just want to get infos on those that are currently available in the market. I'm still surprised that Camcorders still doesn't allow users to expand their internal memory. Now, quite many of the camcorders I found from reputable manufacturer available in my local market don't even have an internal memory at all. Instead, they all use SD cards. High speed SD cards (with V30 symbols on it) can be very expensive. M2 NVMe SSD is quite cheap and offers very high speed access. A 1TB WD SN550 M2 NVMe SSD cost the same as 2x 256GB V30 SD card over here.

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45 minutes ago, Chiyawa said:

Yeah, I heard of CFast and CFexpress, but haven't encountered one. So, basically, my knowledge in CF is quite rusty. I guess this is due to CF is quite large and not many devices use it.

 

I'm actually not looking for a camcorder, but sometimes I just want to get infos on those that are currently available in the market. I'm still surprised that Camcorders still doesn't allow users to expand their internal memory. Now, quite many of the camcorders I found from reputable manufacturer available in my local market don't even have an internal memory at all. Instead, they all use SD cards. High speed SD cards (with V30 symbols on it) can be very expensive. M2 NVMe SSD is quite cheap and offers very high speed access. A 1TB WD SN550 M2 NVMe SSD cost the same as 2x 256GB V30 SD card over here.

Yea internal storage in cameras is dead, and I'd say thats a good thing. With internal storage, you can't just put a new card in and keep shooting. You have to copy the footage off the camera, and you can't use the camera when its copying footage to a computer. 

 

For most consumer grade cameras, the storage speed won't matter, as the video bitrates are pretty low(like sub 200mbit), so you don't need faster storage, v30 cards are more than plenty here.  For pro use where the higher bitrates are needed, they don't want internal storage as you can't just swap a card and keep shooting, esp when the cameras shoot hundreds or gigs a hour.

 

You can't really use m.2 storage in a camera as its not made for that. There is no protecting casing, so its much more easily damaged by shock or physical damage. Also most m.2 ssds will have massive speed drops when used for long periods of time, so there really not that fast for video recording. CFexpress is basically the same as m.2, just with a case and a different connector. Super fast drives, with nvme.

 

 

 

 

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On 5/11/2021 at 11:29 AM, Chiyawa said:

Still, I felt it's a waste, as smartphone can outright out perform camcorders in video shooting, if it wasn't for their fixed zoom and low aperture (and of course, low battery life). Camcorders and Digital cameras should up their ante, because they can cramp in better lenses, has better aperture and focus. I don't like to use my smartphone because of battery, and having camcorder to record video actually means I don't need to worried that my phone is going to run out of battery, and the camcorder offers better zoom and aperture. Now a days, you either go professional or go smartphones, and it's hard if you just want something in between.

I dont have camcorder, but I can say that the video recording on my Fuji XT20 4k is Way better quality than phone video, and for example Fuji XT4 is better than that again. Might possibly not see difference on phone screen but on a computer screen, the difference is clear.

 

Also, except for professional grade cameras/camcorders, the speed of the SD card is almost never the limitation. It's the other components, usually to keep cost lower. Sometimes it's also a heat problem.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Mihle said:

I dont have camcorder, but I can say that the video recording on my Fuji XT20 4k is Way better quality than phone video, and for example Fuji XT4 is better than that again. Might possibly not see difference on phone screen but on a computer screen, the difference is clear.

 

Also, except for professional grade cameras/camcorders, the speed of the SD card is almost never the limitation. It's the other components, usually to keep cost lower. Sometimes it's also a heat problem.

 

 

I see. Well, I don't think heat is an issue for the size of compact camcorder. Mine is reasonably warm with a 1.8 inch HDD in it.

 

Well, maybe last time, that's a logical explanation, but I do found that in this time, that's just excuses. I mean, sure, we don't need that type of speed for the device, because they don't use that much, but well, rather than use an SD card which is about 128GB in capacity, we can get a decent WD SN550 1TB which offer massive capacity.

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12 hours ago, Chiyawa said:

Well, maybe last time, that's a logical explanation, but I do found that in this time, that's just excuses. I mean, sure, we don't need that type of speed for the device, because they don't use that much, but well, rather than use an SD card which is about 128GB in capacity, we can get a decent WD SN550 1TB which offer massive capacity.

The problem is m.2 drives aren't made for being used as removable media. There not durable, there static sensitive. There physically pretty big, and have lots of exposed parts. And you don't want cameras with internal storage as its just a pain to use(hdd based camcorders are dead for good reason). Removable media lets you keep using the camera with a new card instead of waiting for the files to be copied off.

 

How would you setup a camera with a m.2 drive? Would you make it removable? How would it be transported?

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0G1A8907-Edit.jpg

 

CFExpress (aside from the cost) has been great in terms of speed.

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10 hours ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

How would you setup a camera with a m.2 drive? Would you make it removable? How would it be transported?

custom sled like red does would work easily enough. kinefinty with their new kinemag nano is going to be a similar system

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1496441-REG/silverstone_ms10c_usb_3_1_gen.html

same idea as this, just change the end connector

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1 minute ago, GDRRiley said:

custom sled like red does would work easily enough. kinefinty with their new kinemag nano is going to be a similar system

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1496441-REG/silverstone_ms10c_usb_3_1_gen.html

same idea as this, just change the end connector

Yea but then you just make a bigger and more annoying CFexpress card. There are a few cameras that allow more DIY storage solutions(blackmagic is a good example), but most pro cameras don't want to use diy storage cause there is no reason to save a few bucks on storage for a less reliable solution.

 

Any by Kinemag do you mean these guys? http://www.kinefinity.com/en/shop/kinemag_plus/

 

That seems like a pretty bad solution to me(basically a 2.5in ssd), just use CFast or CFexpress. Smaller, more rated insertion cycles(sata is rated at about 50 cycles, super easy to reach on a camera), and those CFast cards are cheaper too it seems.

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