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Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:05 PM   #1
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A Luddite Curmudgeon Speaks Out

I'm really fed up, and I wonder if there are any kindred spirits out there. Tape. Yes, tape. It's old. It is limited to 25 or so mbps. It won't do 4:2:2. It's not cool any more. But for heaven sakes. You record an hour on tape, and it's done. It's there whenever you want it. Stick it in your pocket. Load up a new one and keep going. True, you need to spend an hour reviewing it for every hour you shoot, but now that seems to be a bargain.

Tapeless. SxS, SDHC, Complact Flash...They're all the same. Each clip gets a mile long gobbeldygook code number. If you capture on Nanoflash at the same time each clip gets two different code numbers.

If you are in the field and have to load into Nexto DI to get your stuff home, you get THREE code numbers for the same clip. Heaven forbid you get distracted while trying to upload this stuff onto a hard drive. Did I do these? Can I format this card now? Is it still in the Nexto? How about last Monday's stuff? Did I upload that? Can I even find Monday's files in the thousand gobbeldygook code numbers? What, the crew's leaving now! I'm still uploading. At the very least, a notebook with notes taken daily about what was shot and uploaded is required. This is no time savings.

So why did we give up tape? Newer isn't always better.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 07:02 PM   #2
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Re: A Luddite Curmudgeon Speaks Out

So why did we give up tape? Newer isn't always better.
If you're more comfortable working with tape, then don't give it up. It hasn't gone the way of the LP quite yet -- and those are even still around for the nostalgics amongst us.

For me and my purposes, tape can't disappear from my rear view mirror fast enough. With solid state media, I get freedom from drop outs, much faster transfer, easy organization of my archives and backups, higher quality images at much lower prices. Most wonderful.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 07:34 PM   #3
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Re: A Luddite Curmudgeon Speaks Out

My view is that the best way to go tapeless is to have enough media to record for your entire day of work. Imho offloading during a shoot is asking for issues especially if it is a fast paced environment.

The only issue I have with digital media is that it is sold as a forever or permanent solution based upon pricing. "Buy this P2 or CF card and you can use it forever". Well, stuff just plain wears out over time or it gets lost or damaged etc... This makes tapeless less of a bargain compared to tape in some instances.

But overall, I enjoy the better images but the backups also promote the purchase of more hard drives so there is no escape from costs!
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 09:19 PM   #4
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Re: A Luddite Curmudgeon Speaks Out

"My view is that the best way to go tapeless is to have enough media to record for your entire day of work."


My basic issues with tape in HD were: (a) the seeming inevitablity of dropouts with most HDV tape cameras and (b) the one hour limitation on "mini" tape time.

For some things, such as legal depositions, I long ago discovered I could shoot all day with a firewire feed to Adobe On-location as long as I had "mains" power for the laptop and external e-sata or firewire drives. Now, with an NX5 fitted with an FMU and NPF970 battery, the camera will outlast me and I'm not tied to wall outlets and don't have to lug as much stuff around. For multi-cam shoots, I've got a pair of CX550v cams which will run over 6 hours each, as well. For other cams, I run MRC units which, with a couple of 32 gb CF cards and NP750 batteries (left over from my VX cams), will likewise give me shooting capacity that exceeds my stamina for continuous shooting.

What I liked about tape was simplicity. It makes a decent archival storage, too. (It is still one of the multiple methods I use when archiving what I think might be critical footage that could be revisited again.) For tape copies, I have a Sony FX1000 which, so far, has been drop-out free.

That said, I (like Steve) wish the tapeless recording conventions allowed some easy way to name recordings other than the indicpeherable mutli-digit labeling they use. True, for me as an event and wedding shooter, this is mostly a mere annoyance. I have to spend a couple extra minutes renaming my very long clips when ingesting them into the computer. What is merely annoying to me could very well be be a serious impairment to somebody working in a very fast paced continuous-shooting environment with many short clips.

Seems to me that it should not be difficult for camera makers to add the minor additional functionality to the firmware of tapeless units and cams. Just the ability to give the cam a name that is attached to its file-names would make it much easier to keep track of which clips came from which camera and in what order.
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