As any EX1 / EX3 / F3 / PMW350 owner knows, SxS cards are very reliable but also expensive. That makes them not a feasible option for long, continuous recordings like live registrations. And for that reason I bought a sEXy HDR recorder kit and that brought me to some other interesting options.

First about the sEXy HDR. It’s a harddisk recorder, check the website for what it is and how it works. It is quite cheap and on eBay it is sold for an even better price. First, the good things. It’s cheap. The drive performs well, over- and undercrancking works and I got 280 minutes recording time. The EX1R can even get 909 minutes recording time, huge! It’s cheap. Without the need for external power, it is easy to set up. Did I mention that it’s quite cheap?

But then .. it’s also a bit fragile. If it drops, you’re toast. A shock-proof case and a solid mounting solution are not provided, you need to make something yourself. You also need to be careful not to incidentally disconnect the USB connector, it has no lock. For these reasons I only use it in controlled situations like tripod-based registration.

Looking at the sEXy HDR set I started experimenting. I had a Belkin Expressport card laying around, collecting dust. I popped it into my EX1 and connected an old 250 GB LaCie USB drive .. it worked! Then I connected a Sandisk Cruzer 16 GB USB stick to the Belkin card .. and it worked again! I haven’t tested it thoroughly but it looks promising. No over- or undercranking but I don’t need that during a live registration. With the latest EX firmware, old disks and sticks can be re-purposed as recording discs. I won’t recommend it for professional use but it is fun to try.

Probably the cheapest, secure option comes from E-films. The MxR adapter costs about € 55,- (in Holland) and uses a Transcend class 10 64 GB SDXC card for about € 90,-. For under 150 euros you get more than 3 hours of secure recording time. More than enough for most live registrations.

There are more, similar recorders and cards: MXM has a SSD recorder and Hoodman makes SDXC adapters as well. Check the boards, eBay and Amazon for reviews.