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Old October 5th, 2009, 05:39 AM   #1
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CF card for (temporary) storage

I'm trying to figure out how to deal with this problem: shooting in a remote area with no electricity and very cold climate. I'd have a solar panel for charging batteries but taking with me laptop and hard drives would be too much. Given that CF cards are expensive how would you store your -let's say- 30 or 40 hours of footage? I'd be probably shooting at 50mbps to save some space.
Actually my question is: can i trust a cf card as a storage device for all the period that I'll be spending away from civilization?
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Old October 5th, 2009, 07:46 AM   #2
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Dear Pietro,

You could consider the Nexto line of storage devices.

But, you will need to find a way to properly charge their batteries and protect them from extreme cold and condensation.

The Nexto 2500 would allow you to visually check your footage. The 2700 is a pure storage device, no video screen.

These typically have up to 500 GB of storage.

These are very good devices, but you mentioned "a very cold climate". How cold?

Another way would be to just take enough high-quality CF cards. Some go down to -15 degrees Celsius, or even lower. Some do not.

Please note that proper precautions have to be taken, with all equipment, in very cold climates.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #3
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Hi Dan and thanks for your reply.
By saying cold I'm thinking about minus 20 celsius. The place can get even colder, down to minus 40 sometimes, but i guess that my average shooting temperature would be around zero. I guess Zero could be killer for non solid state hard drives. This put together with the energy problem made me think "what if i just leave the footage in the cards?"
I know that this would be a very expensive solution but before starting to think about this problem i have to understand how reliable are cf cards as storing devices.

edit: besides this 500 gb of space woudn't be enough..
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Old October 5th, 2009, 08:33 AM   #4
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Dear Pietro,

I feel that CompactFlash cards can be very reliable.

While you are using the nanoFlash, you could protect it some from the cold.

The nanoFlash will warm up the cards some, but a 5.6 watt heater, does not put out much heat.

One creative solution is to use a Zip Lock freezer bag, or keep the nanoFlash in a small pelican case. One can also use the little warming bags.

I assume that you are very familar with the proper techniques to prevent condensation from forming on your devices.

If you need HD, then you should use some of our higher bit rates.

But, if you just need SD, say for a DVD, you could use one of our SD rates, using our MPG file format. But, before you choose this, you will need a SD-SDI source, and work out your workflow for post.

I bring up this since our SD MPG modes can record for a very long time.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 08:41 AM   #5
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Dan,

I'm considering the nanoflash in order to get the best possible image quality with a Sony EX1 camera. I should do some tests and see how big is the difference between 50 and 100
mbps and then count the money I'd need to store at least 30 hours of footage.
Thanks a lot for the info again

pietro
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Old October 5th, 2009, 08:54 AM   #6
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100Mb/s is the sweet spot for the EX. I have used my EX1's and EX3's at -36c, the only problems being that the LCD gets a little sluggish and below -25c many of the plastics used in camera covers etc become brittle and can crack and shatter. I also used hard drives at -20c to backup footage, again without issue. I will be taking my NanoFlash up into the Arctic in February, I am expecting it to work just fine.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 09:15 AM   #7
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Good to know Alister

especially what you say about hard drives is particularly interesting. CF cards are cheaper compared to sxs but still expensive to use like tapes. Somebody is doing this with sdhc cards but with CF we may have to wait another few years..
BTW what drives (i guess portable ones) did you use at -25?
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Old October 9th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #8
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Freecom USB drives. If you keep them in a pocket prior to use you'll soon warm them up which would probably be a wise precaution anyway.
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