Los Angeles Cameraman

NAB 2010 Prep


Going to NAB this year? If so, stop by the Panasonic booth in the Central Hall and say hello. I’ll be demoing P2/Mac/Final Cut Pro workflow tools from MXF4Mac. I’ve already written about some of MXF4Mac’s awesome tools— like P2 Flow — and look forward to introducing more people to them.

 

 

It’s Saturday afternoon, and there’s still plenty of construction noise in the air, along with packs of rampaging forklifts. But all the booths are beginning to come together….including Panasonic’s. I’ll say this: a few years ago, Panasonic really took a leading position in the industry’s transition to file-based media (ie, P2), and this year, it’s doing the same thing in another big category. You’ll see on Monday.

 

But speaking of P2, I got to spend some time with one of Panasonic’s new workflow gadgets. It goes by the generic name of AG-MSU10, but it really is a stand-out product. It’s a single card reader that also has a removable 2.5” SSD drive in the same unit, all running on battery power. You put a P2 card in, hit the Start button, and the card copies to the SSD.

 

 

 

The device is fast: I could only test it with a 1/3 full 16GB R series card, but the MSU10 copied more than 5 gigs in about a minute (verification off). I was also able to shake the heck out of the thing during the copy, but there was no risk of data damage because there are no moving parts (the benefit of using an SSD instead of a conventional spinning hard drive).

 

You can remove the 2.5” drive enclosure, which comes with built-in eSATA and USB2 plugs for connecting it to a computer. I offloaded the 5.3GB of footage to a Mac using USB2, and found that even USB’s copy speed was solid—that is, about 3 minutes.

 

Anyway, the MSU10 seems like a great device. Panasonic says its list price will be around $2500, which means you’ll probably be able to buy it cheaper (and add your own SSD). Given the price, it’s not for everyone, but if I’m going to be out in the field for a while, I would much rather take this little thing rather than a laptop, a card reader, and an external drive. 

 

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