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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old August 21st, 2010, 01:28 PM   #1
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Can I use a CF card reader for transfer?

After I shoot on a CF card (one of the better ones!) I'd like to take the card out of my XF300, and put it into a high quality UDNA approved card reader - and then log and Transfer into FCPro.

But Canon says DON'T DO THIS! They told me for best results, use the camera to transfer (copy) the data to the computer -- THEN log and transfer into FCPro.

But this is a very bulky workflow! Why can't I take my CF card and put it into an approved card reader and let it transfer from there - so I don't have to tie up my camera?

How could the card reader itself corrupt files on the card . . . (as happened to us) - Is Canon's interfact to Apple FCPro that poor I have to tie up a $7000 to be a card reader?

Larry
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Old August 21st, 2010, 01:39 PM   #2
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Larry,

Someone at Canon is giving you some bad information, and you should direct them to page 150 of their own manual.

As you have figured out, not only does it put a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on the camera, it's also the slowest method of transferring. A firewire reader is more than 2.6x faster than the camera, and even a USB reader is 1.4x faster than the camera. And it only cost $30.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 01:56 PM   #3
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Can I use a CF card reader for transfer

Hi Doug,

Thank you for your reply . . . I want to believe you. I looked at the manual - it could be written more clearly for sure - but I think you're quite right!

We recently had corrupted data from a CF card . . . and have to reshoot an entire days work - A BIG PROBLEM - and I'm desperately trying to diagnose the problem so it won't happen again. Cannon Support is very nice - but they don't seem to be very knowledgeable - they keep saying the camera is so new. That's why I love talking to good people like YOU!

Could you kindly look here . . .
Apple - Support - Discussions - data corruption on CF card - but this ...

and give me your thoughts? I'm feeling mighty lonely right now! I love this XF camera - but am VERY upset over the corrupt data card - this is unacceptable for us - we fly all over the country filming . . . and cannot work with a "problem" interface. With your experience, you might have some very good insight for us. Frankly, I'm NOT getting it from Canon . . . but I WANT TOO!

I REALLY thank you for your thoughts. We're fairly experienced here - and have NEVER run into such double talk before! :(

Larry
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Old August 21st, 2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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Larry,

I'm in the middle of producing a 3.5 hour training DVD for the XF305/300 and there isn't too much about the camera I don't know by now. Canon has already confirmed some software problems that I've discovered, but I don't think any of the issues I brought to their attention would lead to the corruption of any data unless someone does something that is recommended.. I've shot a lot of cards in the past 6 weeks, and put the camera through a lot of abuse, and I have never acidentally corrupted a card or lost any clips. In my experience, the camera is rock solid.

I don't see where you have ever identified what cards you are using. For various reasons that I won't go into here, I only use 16GB cards and I'm only using Hoodman RAW cards. If you're having odd things happen, I wouldn't be so fast to blame the camera. I'd either look at the cards you're using or your workflow. One thing is for sure, the Canon workflow is not as simple as the XDCAM EX workflow.

In my experience with XDCAM and now XF, if you want peace of mind, use top-quality media and never cut corners on the workflow steps. It's been 4.5 years since I went tapeless, and I have still never lost a single clip. Knock on wood.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 04:12 PM   #5
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Corrupting cards?

Hi Doug,
Thank you for such an insightful reply. Now THAT'S what we're looking for - someone with a little experience in these areas!

We have 2 SanDisk Extreme cards. (60mbs cards) - the ones Canon recommends. But I'm very scared as we've never lost data before either.

I've actually sent an email to you via your website - as I'm not exactly certain of the protocol of these discussion groups . . . if you check your email, you'll see a thought.

From your experience, is it OK to log and transfer through a card reader directly into Final Cut Pro thru our MacBook Pro? We're running the latest versions of everything. We don't want to do anything 'wrong' but it's soooo time consuming to first copy the card to a hard drive, then L&T to FCPro - then copy that folder of .movs to another external to send to our editor - then backup again to a 2 TB drive in the hotel room - and if the card corrupts at the onset . . . well that's bad.

We did do something that might be BAD - I wouldn't think so, but maybe. We L&T into FCPro while driving back to the hotel. Nice comfortable car - not to bumpy - but maybe that's NOT GOOD? Maybe you might say, My God - don't ever do that . . . maybe THAT'S what corrupted the cards . . . or you might say . . . not a problem - you do it all the time? We don't know.

Must we backup the card to an external hard drive, then L&T from that? (Kind of time consuming?) or . . . can we import directly into FCPro from the card thru an external card reader.

Thank you for your time,
Larry
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Old August 21st, 2010, 08:35 PM   #6
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Hi guys, I just wrote on your other thread about this and I think the issue is FCP as about a year ago I ran into the same problem with my HMC150. I'd pull the card from the camera (sdhc) and put it in a reader and do L&T from the card. While it worked a few times, one of my first big jobs, the card got corrupted. I set that card aside (a delkin) and used a different brand (sandisk) and after a few successful L&Ts, the same thing happened. After much research and hearing the same story from other HMC150/FCP users, I tried the workflow I currently use which is to copy the files to a hard drive and do L&T from those files. It has worked flawlessly since.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 11:14 PM   #7
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Sounds like the lesson here is simply to copy the CONTENTS folder off of the card first, and *then* to log and transfer, no?
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 12:39 PM   #8
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I think you're right, Tim. That's what we're going to do now. For whatever it's worth, Doug Jensen seems to have quite a bit of practical experience - and what HE does - I'll do!

Larry
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 08:05 AM   #9
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Larry, after our lengthy telephone conversation on Saturday evening I contacted one of my friends who is an FCP and digital workflow expert I won't mention his name, but it's a name many people would recognize. He told me he is unaware of any issues with importing files directly from a CF card into FCP. If there was a problem, I feel confident he would know about it.

Fortunately, whether there's a problem or not doesn't matter to me, because as we discussed, that's not my recommended workflow anyway. But, for future reference, blaming your corrupted cards on FCP might not be putting the blame in the right place. If I was you, I'd invest in better cards and not go by what Canon has put their "stamp of approval" on. I don't think Canon knows which cards are going to be trouble-free and which ones are not. Buy the best cards you can find, and if better cards come out next week, buy those too. That's my way of working. Even the most expensive cards are a lot more cost-effective than tape, so why not buy the very best you can find? Plus, if you invest in a mobile storage device like the Nexto DI 2500, you can get by with a few high-quality cards instead of a bunch of iffy cards that may work for awhile, but then what?

Go over to the XDCAM EX forum if you want to read some stories of what happens when people cut corners on media.
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