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Old June 5th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #1
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Another Procedural Question

We have a shoot this week where we need to have one continuous recording over 6 hours. Because the Nano has Hot Swapping we are planning on using one for this shoot. Our plan is set the camera up and have (3) 64G compact flash cards on hand. The camera operator will also have a MacBook to offload the footage from the CF card as soon as it is full.

So in theory we should be able to keep recycling the CF Cards. However I have read that the CF cards must be formatted before they can be used again in the cycle. How do we do this while the Nano is still recording? Can the cards be formatted on the MacBook before the next cycle or do we need a 2nd Nano to format the cards before they go back in the first Nano for recording to?

Thanks
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Old June 5th, 2011, 06:58 PM   #2
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Re: Another Procedural Question

I'd recommend having enough cards on hand that you can pre-format them all and use them in order.
Take a look at the running time chart on the C-D website
Media | Convergent Design
You'll probably find you're in very good shape if you run at 50Mbps Long-GOP.

Also...
Make sure that both camera and Nano are powered in such a way that no battery changes are required!
and if you are getting timecode from the camera, make sure it is free-run to avoid camera start/stop/media change issues.
Test your card-swap procedure ahead of time.
And make sure the NanoFlash has the latest firmware installed.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 11:55 AM   #3
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Re: Another Procedural Question

Dave,

Thanks for the response. The client has requested the best image quality we can produce so dropping data rates to extend recording time I don't think will work. While I am sure 50mbs Long-GOP is good, I have to assume 100mbs is better just as I have to assume 220mbs is even better still. If the higher bit rate does not offer better quality, why have it?

It may turn out to be more cost effective to simply rent a 2nd Nano just to format cards (if this cannot be done outside the Nano unit) then to rent all the cards required for extended recording at high bit rates. Fortunately we will have access to A/C so battery power is not an issue. T/C is however an issue. Since this shoot is to be continuous with no camera stops, free-run will be the order of the day!

Thanks
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Old June 8th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #4
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Re: Another Procedural Question

Hello Fred,
I'm not saying that 50Mbps is all you'll ever need, but you should do some tests to determine what you really need. (If you wanted maximum quality and could just throw money at it, you'd probably go with twin HDcamSR decks, or some uncompressed system -- but then we'd be on a different forum.) Incidentally, what camera(s) will you be using?
I guess what I'm saying is to evaluate your needs in terms of quality, not just assume that 220 is better than 100 (which very well may be the case, but depending on the circumstances, 100 may be good enough that you won't see the difference.) Remember even the 'lowly' 50Mbps is the highest quality record codec used in the widely accepted PDW-800 XDcam Disc camera
I have a client for whom I do a lot of green screen work, and we've settled on 100Mbps LongGop as our favorite in terms of a quality/ data volume manageability. We had a green screen interviews shoot today, and went through 4x64GB cards and 3x32GB cards, shooting with an F3 and primary recording to the NanoFlash at 100, with backup recording to the SxS cards. Obviously we would have had to deal with more data at a higher bit rate. Even so, it was a challenge to stay current with the transfers (we transfer all data twice on two different systems on set to be sure of redundancy) and stay within our mandated 'all transfers to be completed within a half hour of wrap' mandate.
Best,
Dave S
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Old June 9th, 2011, 08:05 PM   #5
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Re: Another Procedural Question

David,

For this shoot we used an F3. Since our F3 unit does not have the 4:4:4 upgrade only so much money needs to be thrown at this.The other problem is that reality and client perception can be two vastly different things. Sometimes clients can take the attitude of we don't want good enough if we believe we can do better. For the extra $150 to rent the 2nd Nano, the client got (if only what they perceived to be) better video.

In this case we went with the option of having a 2nd Nano on hand just to format the cards. Seemed like a silly idea and leaves one saying there should be a better way but it did work and the hot swapping (which was really the key issue) worked well.

Was the solution cumbersome, yes. Was the solution worth the effort, absolutely!

Thanks again
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