Saturday, July 3, 2010

Using Direct Copy

The Direct Copy is new in this year's Sony range of camcorder. What it does is that it will transfer the files (videos and photos) from the camcorder to an external hard disk drive (HDD) directly without using a PC. Actually the Sanyo Xacti camcorders (including the HD2000 and FH1) already had something similar last year so Sony is not the first. But Sony is the first among the big three as Canon and Panasonic have not introduced this feature so far in their range this year. For Panasonic, this is surprising since they have already acquired Sanyo and are already using the 60p resolution in their top range of 700 series camcorders. Actually in my case since I have the XR350 with a built-in 160GB HDD, the Direct Copy is not so useful. This is more for the CX 300 and CX350 with small capacity of internal memory.

Since I wanted to test the Direct Copy function in the Sony and the USB adaptor cable is not provided, I went to Low Yat Plaza and bought the generic cable (the USB AF to 5 pin, F is for Female) to do the connection. But alas, when I hooked up the XR350 to my external HDD, nothing happened. I then checked in the AFS Forum and found that you need to get the original VMC-UAM1 cable from Sony as they must have wired the port differently from the normal. I thought I have escaped from the proprietary memory stick of the Sony but now I still need to get another Sony proprietary item, what a shame.

Not accepting defeat, I thought I can out-smart Sony. Since the same 5-pin port is used for connecting the camcorder to a PC with the USB cable that came with the camcorder, I can use this cable and use a AF-AF converter to connect to the external HDD. Thus I went and bought this converter and did the connection. Again, nothing happened and it looks like I have no choice but to get the cable from Sony. Before doing that, has any owner of this Sony range found another solution to connect an external HDD, other than using the proprietary Sony cable? Please share in the comments and help all the poor souls out there and not make Sony rich.

Below are shots of the cables I tried so it will be clearer.

You may want to try your luck but I think Sony will win. Sigh.

From reading the manual and the AFS Forum, this Direct Copy is an improvement over the Sanyo. In the Sanyo, you must use a self-powered HDD meaning you must use the bigger 3.5" HDD while in the Sony you can also use the much smaller USB-powered 2.5" HDD. This is more convenient in terms of portability. I can only tell you more about the Direct Copy after getting the Sony cable. So hang on there.

Ronald Kwok


  1. I have same problem with my SX83 . . . :(

  2. I suppose this will be true for all Sony camcorders that have the Direct Copy function and you need to buy the Sony proprietary cable to use this functiion.

  3. I have a SX20E but not include UAM1.
    In Vietnam, I see UAM1 in a Sony authorized dealer shop but they do not sell, just for showing.
    I also try to find it in Laos, but no one has.
    I bought so many kind of cables, connectors but they can not work with the camcorder.
    If anyone know the wiring diagram, or the order of each pin on male/female heads, please email to me ( and tell others. Thanks.

  4. It is strange to learn that you cannot get the UAM1 cable from Sony in Vietnam and Laos but I believe you should be able to get it in Thailand. Or you can order it online. Cheers!

  5. I need that cable but in my country is not sold.How i can make it?

  6. Hi,

    The cable you have in your hands can be modified. You just have to join (soldering) pins 4 and 5 in the mini usb connector. That's the trick. It works like the original.

  7. More info about pinout here at