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Bill Pryor September 3rd, 2009 11:52 AM

8 gig card just over $100
 
Lexar | 8GB UDMA 300x CompactFlash Card | CF8GB-300-381 | B&H

This makes tapeless shooting almost as good as tape. Not quite, but getting closer.

Perrone Ford September 3rd, 2009 12:04 PM

???

How many times do you use a tape? How many times are you going to use that compact flash? There is no way, no how, tape can be as cheap to shoot as tapeless.

Chris Hurd September 3rd, 2009 12:09 PM

Bill is perhaps looking at it from the archive angle. Tape has tremendous appeal in its instant archive-ability.

Perrone Ford September 3rd, 2009 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris Hurd (Post 1307295)
Bill is perhaps looking at it from the archive angle. Tape has tremendous appeal in its instant archive-ability.

I keep hearing this, but I don't understand it.

We have raw footage. We invest TONS of hours into taking that raw footage and editing it, adding titles, music, graphics, whatever. Do people NOT save that? Just save the raw video and have to recreate the work?

When I archive footage, I am FAR more interested in saving my work product than the raw video. I realize that may not be true for everyone. So I am genuinely curious if people save their finished masters. If so, there is zero difference to doing it with tape. And what are people saving those finished masters on? Are they archiving it back to a second HDV tape?

Or are people simply saving their project files along with the raw files and hoping to open up the entire project again and re-render a final? I guess you could keep the raw tape, not save ANY of that on a drive, keep the project files, and not save a finished master. In that instance, I could see where just having the raw tape on the shelves would be cheaper. But you'd have to recapture, then re-render if anything happened to the video you delivered. Heaven help you if you upgrade to a new version of your software, or buy a new piece of software altogether and you couldn't open up your old projects.

Matt Newcomb September 3rd, 2009 12:36 PM

When cards are like 20 bucks each then we might be talking.

Bill Pryor September 3rd, 2009 12:48 PM

Just depends on the work you do. I always save all raw footage. I've had to go back into 10 year old tapes for a client. Not too long ago I went into 12 year old Betacam tapes, and have gone back to 6 or 7 year old DVCAM tapes. If you don't save your original footage, then tapeless is fine.

For me I sometimes may shoot quite a bit and not edit a particular show for a couple of months, and I don't have time to upload and backup all the footage right after I've shot it. Also, on some projects I've shot as many as 20 hours of tape before ever editing, and after an all day shoot I don't want to spend hours capturing footage off cards and making backups and checking them before reformatting the card.

When cards become as cheap as tape so I can stick them in a box until I'm ready to edit and not worry about reusing them, then I'll say that tape is dead. For me at this time shooting with a tapeless camera would be mostly for backup or second camera stuff. I'm not saying everybody should feel this way, it's just the work I do that requires me to do this.

In addition to the time factor involved in loading and backing up, there's the safe storage issue. I'm not talking about archiving in the sense of 25-100 year storage, just normal keeping of original footage for as long as the clients require, ie., 10-15 years. As long as I have the right deck, I can play an old tape and transfer it to whatever I need. If I store things on a hard drive...well, I have seen more than one hard drive die after simply sitting on a shelf for a few months. The solution to this would be, probably, Blu Ray recording. If I could store files on something that is more secure than a drive, that would make me happier. However, there's also the time factor to do all that. If a person is a full time editor and has time during the work day for all the data management necessary to do things right in a tapeless world, that would be different.

I realize, of course, that we are facing a tapeless future. That's the way the world is going, and I'm sure I'll be there eventually. Hopefully by that time those cards will be 20 bucks apiece. But, at around 200 bucks, a 16 gig card isn't all that much more than HDCAM tape if you do high end stuff, so we're getting down there. I'd hazard a guess that 16 gig CF cards will be not much over $100 (USD) by this time next year. Then I could buy about 10 of them for a road trip and would be a happy camper in a tapeless world.

Perrone Ford September 3rd, 2009 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt Newcomb (Post 1307408)
When cards are like 20 bucks each then we might be talking.

Help me understand this then.

Take me through a workflow of tape (HDV) from out of the camera to archived finished product. Then let's see how tapeless would work. I am really curious about this because I have never had to do it in HD. I went to tapeless QUICKLY when shooting minDV. I'd had my fill of tape with SVHS and hi-8.

Thanks

Perrone Ford September 3rd, 2009 12:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt Newcomb (Post 1307408)
When cards are like 20 bucks each then we might be talking.

By the way, this is what I use:

Amazon.com: SanDisk Ultra II 16 GB Class 4 SDHC Flash Memory Card SDSDRH-016G-A11: Electronics

That's a reusable hour of video on my EX1 for $38.

Bill Pryor September 3rd, 2009 12:52 PM

$38 for an hour of EX1 35mbs footage is great. At that price you can stick 'em in a box and buy more.

Scott Brickert September 3rd, 2009 01:06 PM

Best bang for the GB
 
Would it be safe to say the two cards y'all have mentioned are the best $/performance/GB options at the moment?

I'm headed toward a 7D and gotta get a handle on CF cards.

Perrone Ford September 3rd, 2009 01:15 PM

Bill, thank you VERY much for taking the time to explain this. I have a few comments if you don't mind.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Pryor (Post 1307418)
Just depends on the work you do. I always save all raw footage. I've had to go back into 10 year old tapes for a client. Not too long ago I went into 12 year old Betacam tapes, and have gone back to 6 or 7 year old DVCAM tapes. If you don't save your original footage, then tapeless is fine.

I saved my raw footage when I shot tape also. Just put the raw tape on the shelf, and put my finished master onto full-sized Broadcast quality DV tape. So that's about $5 for the BQ mini-DV, and about $10 for the full size. So $15 per hour for media. On rare occasion, I've had to go back and use these archival tapes.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Pryor (Post 1307418)
For me I sometimes may shoot quite a bit and not edit a particular show for a couple of months, and I don't have time to upload and backup all the footage right after I've shot it. Also, on some projects I've shot as many as 20 hours of tape before ever editing, and after an all day shoot I don't want to spend hours capturing footage off cards and making backups and checking them before reformatting the card.

I do the same. I shoot a lot of long-form conferences. 6-10 hour days where I can't edit until I get back to the office. When I do this, I tend to record to hard drive. MUCH faster than fooling with cards. But I understand your point. However, transferring cards while shooting, is also something I've done, and it is easy and works well. I can transfer an hour of footage in 10 minutes or so, verify it and make a backup copy onto a separate drive in 30 minutes. I try not to work that way, but I can.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Pryor (Post 1307418)
When cards become as cheap as tape so I can stick them in a box until I'm ready to edit and not worry about reusing them, then I'll say that tape is dead. For me at this time shooting with a tapeless camera would be mostly for backup or second camera stuff. I'm not saying everybody should feel this way, it's just the work I do that requires me to do this.

This is where the wheels fall off the wagon for me. The only format of HD tape that is cheaper than tapeless is HDV. So if that is the sum total of your HD experience, then tapeless looks a bit costly. But if you are coming from HDCam, HDCamSR, DVCProHD, etc., then tapeless looks like a bargain. Especially, if you take into account the need for a deck.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Pryor (Post 1307418)
In addition to the time factor involved in loading and backing up, there's the safe storage issue. I'm not talking about archiving in the sense of 25-100 year storage, just normal keeping of original footage for as long as the clients require, ie., 10-15 years. As long as I have the right deck, I can play an old tape and transfer it to whatever I need. If I store things on a hard drive...well, I have seen more than one hard drive die after simply sitting on a shelf for a few months. The solution to this would be, probably, Blu Ray recording. If I could store files on something that is more secure than a drive, that would make me happier. However, there's also the time factor to do all that. If a person is a full time editor and has time during the work day for all the data management necessary to do things right in a tapeless world, that would be different.

And there is that issue of a deck. How are you going to access that HDV deck in 15 years? Do you have an HDV deck now? With tapeless, they are just files. ANY computer using ANY kind of storage can hold those files. No deck needed. That is a hugely cheaper proposition to me. And you hit the nail on the head. I went to bluray backup for just the reason you mentioned. I can fit 1 hour of raw HD video, 2 versions of compressed final video, and my timeline, graphics, lower thirds, and the raw codecs on a single 25GB bluray. That media costs me about $3.75. Cheaper than a HDV tape.

I don't think the workflow is that onerous. It just takes getting used to like anything else. My tapeless workflow is now MUCH faster than my old minDV workflow.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Pryor (Post 1307418)
I realize, of course, that we are facing a tapeless future. That's the way the world is going, and I'm sure I'll be there eventually. Hopefully by that time those cards will be 20 bucks apiece. But, at around 200 bucks, a 16 gig card isn't all that much more than HDCAM tape if you do high end stuff, so we're getting down there. I'd hazard a guess that 16 gig CF cards will be not much over $100 (USD) by this time next year. Then I could buy about 10 of them for a road trip and would be a happy camper in a tapeless world.

Again, my 1hr cards are $38. Not $20, but certainly a FAR cry from the $200 you are mentioning. I realize we are in the 7D section and the Sandisk Extreme 3 16GB cards are about $80. Quite a bit more pricey, but still a far cry from $200. Not sure what pricing information you've been looking at.

Amazon.com: SanDisk SDCFX3-016G-A31 16 GB Extreme III CompactFlash Card (Retail Package): Electronics

Bill Pryor September 3rd, 2009 01:17 PM

I think the 7D only uses CF cards, doesn' t it? Too bad they didn't go with SD. But with all the people using CF on all the APS-C and up Canons, CF will no doubt start coming down in price even more.

It's interesting that at B&H they show the Sandisk Extreme IV, while at Adorama they are pushing the III, and yet the III doesn't go fast enough, at least that's what I understand. The IV and the Lexar one I posted above both go to 45mbs, and the camera requires just over 40, I think. Somebody correct me if that's not accurate. The III cards are cheaper at this time.

Perrone Ford September 3rd, 2009 01:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Pryor (Post 1307424)
$38 for an hour of EX1 35mbs footage is great. At that price you can stick 'em in a box and buy more.

Exactly Bill. And the prices for CF are already below where you said your threshold was... so... :)

Perrone Ford September 3rd, 2009 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bill Pryor (Post 1307537)
I think the 7D only uses CF cards, doesn' t it? Too bad they didn't go with SD. But with all the people using CF on all the APS-C and up Canons, CF will no doubt start coming down in price even more.

It's interesting that at B&H they show the Sandisk Extreme IV, while at Adorama they are pushing the III, and yet the III doesn't go fast enough, at least that's what I understand. The IV and the Lexar one I posted above both go to 45mbs, and the camera requires just over 40, I think. Somebody correct me if that's not accurate. The III cards are cheaper at this time.

One thing we've learned QUICKLY about the Sandisk cards. Do NOT rely on the class rating printed on the front. Our Class 4 cards (ultra-2) exceed the specs for class 6. That is why everyone gets the Sandisks or Transcends. They are MUCH faster than their rating which lets us buy cheaper cards and use them without issue.

Someone in your 5D/7D community needs to do the benchmark testing like we did in the EX1 community to find the best deals.

Ben Syverson September 3rd, 2009 01:33 PM

$100 for an 8GB? Sorry, but you are being taken for a ride.

I don't think I can post the link (or even mention the name of the retailer), but you can very easily find Transcend 16GB 133X CF cards for $37. That's all I use for video on the 5D.

Remember that video is much less demanding than stills -- 48mbps video is 6 MB/sec (requires > 40X speed card), whereas 18 MP stills at 8 fps translates to 144 MB/sec (theoretically would require > 983X speed card). Since no card is that fast, our cameras have very large RAM buffers to temporarily store files while they're being written, and only once those buffers are filled do you run up against the card speed.

In short, don't blow $100 on 8GB!


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