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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 June 12th, 2012, 06:20 PM   #1
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A quick question on CF cards

Hi ya'll. Last week I finally broke down (mentally) and bought the Canon XF300. Now I must admit that after only a week I am blown away. My question is this, when I shot with tape I always ejected th tape at the end of the day, even is I was not going to download it. Now, is it safe to leave the CF card in the Canon even if I will not use it for a few days, or should I ejct it at the end of the day even if I am not going to download it onto my computer? Thank you, Bob
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Old June 12th, 2012, 10:39 PM   #2
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

CF cards are essentially "safe" to leave in the camera. WHY you would want to leave a card with non-downloaded files in the camera is a different matter. I tend to get paranoid if the ONLY copies of the files exist on the card. I never feel really safe until I have a copy off to the hard drive or written off to a blu-ray.

It just depends on your style of working. For really critical stuff, I move the files off to my editing machine as soon as practical. I have this vision of either myself or somebody I've allowed to look at the camera accidentally initializing the card(s).

It's kinda funny, but tapes always gave me a sense of security. Sure, there might be a drop-out in a spot or two, but you could be pretty sure the material before and after the dropout would be fine. With digital media, you never know if a minor hiccup is going to spoil the whole file or the contents of the card itself. Never had it happen yet, but there's always that possibility in the back of my mind.

But I --DO-- like not having to capture. Saves me having to re-live a particularly bad day, if that was how the day went.

Regards;
Martin
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Old June 13th, 2012, 01:17 AM   #3
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

I have been using cards for some time, in fact as soon as they became available on the Sony and Canon video cameras. The advantages outweigh the disadvantages by a clear mile. However, I did find that watching tapes as they were downloading gave a good overview of the material. Yes, downloading a card of data is convenient, but at some stage you still have to watch what you have shot.

As for leaving cards in the camera, it won't do any harm leaving them in and unlike tape, if you start recording it won't overwrite the data. Just make sure you don't hit the delete last clip or select format from the menu.
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Old June 13th, 2012, 06:50 AM   #4
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

Thanks guys, you answered my question. Martin, the reason I asked is that right now I am only shooting test footage to try out different settings. Also, when I am on the road it may be several days before I can get to my computer and download the clips. I must say this is a real step up from tape. Bob
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Old June 13th, 2012, 07:47 AM   #5
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

Bob, I highly recommend downloading and making a backup copy of the clips each day. Shooting on the same card for several days is putting too many eggs in one basket. If space or weight is a concern while you are travelling, you can always get a little netbook and a WD passport drive and offload the clips fairly easily each evening. A Nexto is also an option, but probably more costly. Don't erase the clips on the card if you don't have to, keep filling them up, but at least you will have a backup tucked safely away. I know I always sleep better at night with two copies.

MASTERING THE CANON XF305 & XF300 CAMCORDERS
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Old June 13th, 2012, 07:54 AM   #6
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

The other option is to buy several CF flash cards and use a fresh one each day. I did this on a trip to Africa (using a Sony EX3) and downloaded the clips as and when I could get to a power socket. Make sure you store your cards in a safe place, preferably not with your camera gear - just in case the equipment goes missing.
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Old June 13th, 2012, 07:58 AM   #7
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

Yeah, that's also a good way to go, but at the end of the day you still only have one copy. I feel better with two. :-)
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Old June 13th, 2012, 08:00 AM   #8
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

As a matter of interest Doug, how many clips have you ever lost due to card or data failure?

I have never lost anything on cards (yet) but have lost several tapes in the past and even more recently when trying to import some older footage.
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Old June 13th, 2012, 10:23 AM   #9
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

I mostly shoot with XDCAM SxS cards and XDCAM optical discs and I have never had a single lost file or problem in in six years of using them. Knock on wood.

But I had an approved CF card crap out on me on my XF305 one time (I think it was SanDisk) and lost some clips. I have also had a Hoodman SD card that I was using with my F3 physically fall apart when it was being inserted into a reader. One time I lost a SD card and realized later it had fallen through a small hole in my pocket. I retraced my steps and found it, though. Then I got new pants.

I'm not so concerned about data failure as I am about physically only having one copy. It's just data, so why not have a workflow that gives you an extra copy as soon as possible? Cards are too small and too easy to lose. Tapes were bigger and harder to copy. But we don't have those limitations anymore.

When I'm shooting on SxS (even though I have never had any issues) every card that comes out of the camera goes straight into my PXU-MS240 for immediate backup before anything else is done with the card. A Nexto could be used for the same workflow with CF cards. Then I've got a backup as inurance.
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Old June 13th, 2012, 01:52 PM   #10
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

Only used card based XF300 for 7 months or so but I was glad I followed Doug's recommendations on his DVD's. I was paranoid coming from tape and on my 1st wedding shoot I copied the 1st CF card to my MBP during a break and then the 2nd at the end so I had copies on both my Hard drive and another on an external HDD. So, 3 copies when I got home.

As it happens one clip was missing (or so I thought) - it caused a panic to say the least but I was able to fall back to my backups so panic over.

On another occasion a colleague persuaded me to mix HD and HDV on the same card at a live event - the card was backed up to a MacBook straight after (using drag and drop), when I got home a chunk was missing, a phone call to my colleague and he confirmed the backup on his MacBook was fine.

2 problems in a short period of time and I am sure both preventable.

1. I always record to 2 cards simultaneously

2. I always back up on site after a shoot, I use Canon XF utility to initially copy to the computer (ALWAYS).

3. Once home I copy to 2 x external HDD's and 1 x copy to my working RAID.

Easy peasy and second nature now, can do it blindfold (nearly)

Not a problem since using this procedure ALL the time, my problem I think was trying shortcuts.

btw - now using 32GB Sandisk cards and no problems since.
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Old June 16th, 2012, 05:32 PM   #11
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

Thanks for all the replys. I just got back from Louisville, KY. A long drive. Doug, one of the smartest things that I did was getting your excellent Canon XF300 Training DVD. I got it a week before I bought the Canon XF300 and watched it a couple of times so that when I got the Canon I had a good idea of what to do. A fantastic learning tool. I highly recommend it. Bob Safay
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Old June 17th, 2012, 08:03 AM   #12
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

Quote:
A fantastic learning tool. I highly recommend it.
True !!
Next week i will learn all the days for going into the next Offroad Adventure.. starts in 2 Weeks.
Hope it will not rain so much.
Outside in Desert i got my Asus Netbook and
one external 2 1/2 Harddrive for external Copie.
Asus Netbook dont got USB 3.0 so it takes time to make Copie from the FIles from one Day.
The Event is about 1 1/2 week, so i will get more then 200 GB of Data i think.
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Old June 17th, 2012, 03:31 PM   #13
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

Alan, Bob and Markus, thank you for the nice comments. I really appreciate it.
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Old June 17th, 2012, 06:31 PM   #14
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

For what it's worth: I've had multiple experiences of lost and corrupted files due to both hardware failure and user error with flash recording (CF's and SSD's). Heed Doug's advice: download daily, make two copies and spot check them or at the very least do a checksum on contents before flushing footage off the original card. And as soon as you can, separate those two drives geographically to lessen the chance that both copies can get knocked out.
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Old June 21st, 2012, 10:26 PM   #15
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Re: A quick question on CF cards

i dont like to use CF media sizes that can handle more than a couple of hours, its extremely dangerous to get one lost, damaged or corrupted, at this time im using 32GB but surely i wont go to 64GB even if prices lower. If critical of course record the same media to both cards at a time, then back up to 2 HDD and a computer. never is enough to have safe files.
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