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Old July 10th, 2011, 06:16 PM   #1
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PMW-F3 unreliable recording

I've had my KiPro Mini for a few months now, but I don't use it much. One reason for this is that I haven't been able to get it to record reliably. In the beginning, it recorded every take, but some of them were only 4 kb--not video files. Now, after updating the F3 firmware, it's just occasionally missing takes entirely.

I've had two conversations with AJA tech support. The first, about the 4kb files, was inconclusive, and the recommendation was to just test more until I could find a specific factor that might be causing the error. The 2nd call, about the takes that were entirely missed, I was told that others had the same issue, which appears to be caused by the F3 firmware update.

I have a little time now, so I can do more trouble-shooting. Is anyone else experiencing these problems and are there any good answers yet? Or do I have a $2k doorstop (and $1k worth of really expensive cards for my DSLR?)

Details: Sony PMW -F3, SDI connection to KiPro Mini, current firmware on camera & Mini. Cards are SanDisk Extreme Pro UDMA 6 64 GB.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #2
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Re: PMW-F3 unreliable recording

Jim T. - AJA has asked Sony to provide us with a PMW-F3 with the latest firmware version installed for testing. Since there are many Sony PMW-F3s paired with AJA Ki Pro Mini units that are working well, we can't really speculate what is causing your issue until we try the latest firmware combination ourselves.

4 KB files are uncommon; they could appear if the media is being removed improperly from the Ki Pro Mini (by not using the SLOT button) and then reinserted later for use. 4 KB "misfires" that I have seen are generally related to directory errors of the media. Most directory errors with media are resolved by simply mounting the media under Mac OS X. If the media's directory is degraded beyond the scope of Mac OS X to address, AJA would advise backing up the contents of the media to the editorial system and then formatting the CF card in the Ki Pro Mini.

Again, we are looking into the latest firmware update to the Sony PMW-F3 since there wasn't such an issue reported with the first firmware version for the camera.

Hope this information is helpful,
Jon Thorn
Product Manager
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 09:21 PM   #3
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Re: PMW-F3 unreliable recording

I know about the SLOT button--and I don't think I've violated that rule. And I always format in the Mini after copying a card. But I'll keep this in mind when I'm testing.

Until your company can find a solution to the F3 SDI trigger problem, I'll see if I can just manually trigger the Mini when I'm recording. Clumsy.

Please let us know when you find a solution to the problem. I'll try to resist the urge to buy something else in the meantime....

Thanks for the quick reply. Sorry to see that you're working on a Sunday.

Jim
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Old July 10th, 2011, 10:00 PM   #4
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Re: PMW-F3 unreliable recording

Jim T. - I'm sorry you're having an issue with the incrementing timecode arming the recording on the Ki Pro Mini. It seems like, based on your feedback, it was working with the earlier firmware on the camera. Is it possible, as a test, for you to revert the firmware on the camera to the previous version it shipped with? This is possible with the AJA products, but I'll admit that I'm not sure whether it's possible with the PMW-F3 camera. But if it is, that might be worth a try to see if it resolves the issue you are experiencing.

Regarding your statement about working on a Sunday... well... every day is a work day if you're trying to help people get the most out of the products.

Hopefully the evaluation Sony PMW-F3 will arrive soon so we can evaluate this situation you are experiencing more and provide you with an update on the matter soon.

Thanks,
Jon Thorn
Product Manager
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 11:29 PM   #5
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Re: PMW-F3 unreliable recording

Please let me know when you find a solution to the problem. Sooner is better.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 09:46 AM   #6
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Re: PMW-F3 unreliable recording

Hey Jim how are you triggering control on the ki pro mini? Is it set to record on timecode run or are you feeding the video record control down the hd-sdi line? If both of those are working it might explain the 4kb files (as you get an instantaneous start and stop rec signal being sent to the ki pro) Just something to check. I think the video record out trigger function was enabled on the newest firmware.

If this is the case turning off that function or setting the record mode off of record as time code starts could solve your problem.
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