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Old August 8th, 2014, 05:29 PM   #1
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initialize SD card XA 20

I have read with other cameras such as a Sony EX -1R that you are supposed to delete all clips rather than to format the card each time. I have the Canon XA20 and wonder of the Initialize SD card will have a bearing on the life of the SD card. Does Initialize reformat the card or just delete the clips?
What I am using is Sandisk Extreme 45B/sec 64 Gig cards. Anyone had a failure with an SD card with The XA Canon cameras?? In the past I have always shot in the relay mode. But after failure of an aftermarket card with a SonyPMW 320 I have begun to shoot in the back up mode with the XA20.

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Ronnie
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Last edited by Ronnie Martin; August 8th, 2014 at 05:33 PM. Reason: typo in title
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Old August 9th, 2014, 08:16 AM   #2
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Re: initialize SD card XA 20

I not seen any issues with main stream cards like San.Disc, but have seen other folks report problems with off-brands on rare occasions. The bigger problem is likely user handling and removing cards before they are "closed" by the operating system (can result is "lost" files).

Following the owners manual specified procedures is probably the safest bet. I've read that card life is probably 8+ years, and is based in part on the number of write cycles - not likely to be an issue for most camcorder video uses.
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Old August 10th, 2014, 05:59 PM   #3
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Re: initialize SD card XA 20

Thanks Don: You have relieved my concern. I bought the XA 20 last summer just before shooting in Western Europe for about 12 days and really liked the XA20. I always wondered why they had a "backup and relay shooting" option and wondered if it was because of reliability concerns with capture cards. I am in the midst of completing a project where when my Sony PMW320 Switched cards the second one did not start and I did not realize it until about 5 minutes later. I lost the most important part of the project. I should have just put the XA20 on a tripod next to my 320 and let it be a back up . At least I would have had something instead of nothing. It was a venue where there were several speakers at the same podium and the camera could been locked down. With two 64 bit cards it will go over 5 hours even in back up mode. The year before I shot in Italy for about the same time and I was asked to leave a couple of places because of the "size" of my EX-1R. The Xa20 is so much easier to travel with and much less obtrusive.
The reason why I did not use the XA20 for this last job because most of the clips were from Sony cameras and I have had a hard time matching the Canon to the Sonys. I really like the warm image from the XA20 and you can't beat it for a run and gun camera.

Sorry for the double post on this topic. I tried to actually delete the first post because of a typo in the title and it posted a second time.

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Ronnie
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Old August 11th, 2014, 07:19 AM   #4
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Re: initialize SD card XA 20

All memory cards are subject to random failures the same as any other electronic component. (High heat and humidity can increase the failure rate/shorten life.) Failures are rare but can happen. IMHO it is always a good idea the give each card a quick test by recording and playing back a bit of video to ensure it works out of the box. That does not guarantee the full card is good but at least it provides a measure of additional assurance.
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