Before the latest era of digital cinema film cameras were used and to add post-production effects the shot film had to be scanned. Slowly, but inevitably advancing march of digital video is going to remove the need for redundant digitizing. Even if digital cassettes are used ingesting the shot footage takes time allotment and formidable resources. Affordable tapeless storage solutions are thus going to revamp the creative process and change it more profoundly.
Currently the most often used camera solution for data storage is a digital video cassette. There is plethora of various incompatible standards (DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO etc.). Optical disc based solutions such as DVD are common in delivery of digital video. Audio delivery through using portable media has already been challenged by Internet delivery. The player devices were made possible first by hard-drives and then solid-state memory storage solutions. It is matter of time until these new tapeless storage methods creep into capture technology.
There are quite practical reasons why memory sticks are going to storm the market. First of all it is a question of price. According to Moore’s law every couple of years the amount of memory that can be stored on a chip doubles. First the video players will start utilizing solid-state storage to store compressed video. Then the memory card use will slowly trickle from consumer models to professional devices. Raw video requires huge amounts of capacity and fast interfaces, but chips are rugged and fit much better into the digital work flow. Files can be used directly from the memory card on the editing system.
A typical compressed prosumer high definition (HDV) material requires 25Mbit/s so 25MHz is the needed access speed for the storage device. Current DDR2 memory units can reach 500MHz, but the real challenge has been the memory size. The minimum memory size can be easily calculated. There are standard lengths for cassettes, so we have accustomed to at least of 60 minutes of shooting time between changing media. Therefore at least a 12GB unit has to be developed. We just have to wait for the Moore’s effect to kick in and multiply the cheap current 2GB units to 12GB. Off course if we want to store raw data from the sensor we will have to wait bit longer.