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2.5" SATA SSD for recording ProRes

PJD

Active Member
There exists of course at least one tiny SSD drive recommended by Panasonic for use with S5 II and S5 IIX cameras, but since I already own two 256GB 2.5" SSD with SATA-3 interfaces (typically for use inside a laptop or PC) I'll experiment using them as external drives with my S5 IIX.

(I bought the drives years ago for internal use in my "Blackmagic Production Camera 4K", and also used them as external drives with my "Blackmagic Pocket Camera 4K". They worked great with those cameras.)

The SATA-to-USB-C adapter I've used for years has an attached cable which is a bit too short when I mount the SSD on top of my S5 IIX's camera cage. So today I ordered this adapter which appears to have a longer cable. ($12 US w free shipping.) This will enable more flexibility in exactly where on the cage I can mount the drive.

To securely mount the drive, I put it in a small, tight-fitting plastic case designed to store a 2.5" SSD. I've removed the lid of the case to expose the drive's SATA connector. I fixed a 1.5" x 2.5" piece of heavy-duty Velcro tape to one side of the case. I have a 2" x 3" plate which has the "opposite" Velcro affixed to it, and the plate can be bolted anywhere on the camera cage. I've used this combination for years with the above-mentioned cameras and it works flawlessly. I'll post a photo of the configuration later, after I get the new adapter.

When I receive the new adapter cable I'll do my usual torture test recordings to see if the SSDs are indeed fast enough to record my preferred resolution & codec combinations (typically 4K "ProRes 422" 24p), as well as the highest data-rate recordings the S5 IIX is capable of, to see what's possible. Likewise, I'm curious to see how long the camera's battery can power such a configuration. TBD.

Speaking of power consumption, I'm going to try a Kondor Blue dummy battery & cable to see if its cable plug will fit the NPF-type battery plate I previously used with the Pocket 4K camera. I own several NPF batteries. Another TBD.

I won't always use my S5 IIX configured with all or most of the above gack. I'll add one or more accessories depending on what I'm shooting.

New camera. New learning. Same as it ever was.
 
There exists of course at least one tiny SSD drive recommended by Panasonic for use with S5 II and S5 IIX cameras, but since I already own two 256GB 2.5" SSD with SATA-3 interfaces (typically for use inside a laptop or PC) I'll experiment using them as external drives with my S5 IIX.
That looks good.

I've been using a Sandisk PRO-BLADE SSD in the Kondor Blue SSD handle with my S5IIx for ProRes. It makes a pretty convenient package since I use a handle on the cage anyway.
 
I've posted several photos of some of the ways I use the SmallRig camera cage with my S5iiX. This includes using an additional, secondary quick-release bolted to the SIDE of my tripod fluid heads to allow full-resolution portrait/vertical stills/video shooting while having the benefit of a fluid head for video. I understand there are right-angle brackets available to accomplish a similar result, but the solution shown here was made with parts I already had on-hand.


Also shown is one way I can mount a 2.5" SATA SSD on the cage. Eventually I plan to get a fit-for-purpose tiny SSD to replace the 2.5" SSD, but again, I had two 256GB SSDs on-hand which allow me to test shooting 6K ProRes video.

And finally, I received the gently-used Panasonic DMW-XLR1 mic/audio adapter I purchased from KEH.com. In my initial tests it appears to work flawlessly, as expected.

Fun!
 
I added 5 additional photos to the bottom of the page to show a configuration using a 256GB CFast 2.0 card in a USB-C reader/writer (which I've owned for some time), instead of the 2.5" SSD. It's a smaller & lighter solution, and probably uses less power than the 2.5" SDD.
 
And finally, I received the gently-used Panasonic DMW-XLR1 mic/audio adapter
I have the DMW-XLR1 and have used it for 4 channel audio with the S5IIx. I also have the fn2 button on the S5IIx set to bring up the Audio Control Panel. This makes a really nice audio system.

There is a problem, the Kondor Blue SSD handle does not have enough clearance for the DMW-XLR1 to fit underneath it. So when I use the DMW-XLR1 I need to use a different SSD and SSD mount. I have a taller SmallRig handle that clears the DMW-XLR1 and then a mount for a Samsung T7 SSD that fits on top of the handle.
 
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Another day, another external 2.5" SSD drive rig. :)

I put one of my 2.5" SATA SSDs inside a spare USB-3 drive enclosure. To mount it to the camera, I bolted a 15mm rod clamp (with its 15mm rod "pinchers" removed) to the SmallRig cage. A strip of Velcro makes it easy to attach/remove the drive enclosure. The location of the rod clamp protects the camera's USB-C port from bumps. The result is a very secure, lightweight rig. When hand-holding the camera, my left hand will be in its normal position, palm-up, cradling the bottom of the camera & lens. My right hand holds the camera’s body grip, per usual. It’s very comfortable.
 

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