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Old July 9th, 2009, 01:28 AM   #1
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Storage workflow advice for one starting out one man business?

I'm a small video editor/shooter who's been expanding his work load and has begun to worry about storage security.

I have a new 2.6 Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro and currently use a G Tech Q Drive external hard drive to edit my footage via Firewire 800.

I have been editing standard definition video, but am soon moving on to HD. I plan on purchasing the Panasonic HPX 170 P2 HD Camera to shoot my projects with.

My problem is storage and backup. I'm a one man band with a limited amount of money. And i'm getting my business off the ground so I don't have a massive amount of capital. I'd love to buy a Mac Pro and do it right, but at the moment, my 17" macbook Pro will have to do.

Could anyone suggest a storage workflow? I'm thinking of purchasing a small 4 drive RAID array to run a RAID 5 or 10 array on it. But I don't have any experience with RAID's.

I'm well aware that the sky is the limit on RAID's. But, i'd like to keep a decent solution with good data security that will edit HD under $1000. Is this feasible?

What are my archive options? I can't afford a proper tape backup system like a post house. I was thinking of purchasing one of those SATA bare hard drive docks, purchasing bare hard drives and copying my work to the bare drive and shelving it. I realized it won't last forever, but if it'll last 5 years, that will do for the moment.

Can anyone help me out? Big Post house solutions won't work for a small time guy like me. I just need to get a working, safe, fast enough solution where I don't break the bank of my fledgling business.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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You might want to consider an HMC150. When it comes to archiving the original footage from the camera, you'll have way less data (per hour of video) to archive, than with the HPX170.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 03:22 AM   #3
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For me the simplest & fastest system is a hot-swappable drive enclosure with some anti-static drive cases. I've been doing a boat load of traveling with my Mac and it's given me a very solid and reliable workflow. Here's the stuff I'm using:

1. Anti-static drive cases
2. RTX100H-Q - External single drive enclosure / hot-swappable
3. RTX100-INT - Internal single drive enclosure / hot-swappable
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Old July 10th, 2009, 03:41 AM   #4
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There's a couple things I'd suggest.

First, the camera you're looking at.. a cheap one is like $4500. Have you considered using something like the Canon S100 "prosumer" ($900) with the nanoFlash recorder ($3K) and using its HDMI outputs to get 1080P almost uncompressed video instead of HDV compressed 720p video? It would probably cost you less for that solution with battereis and 32GB flash cards for the nanoFlash, and you'll get really good quality video. That said, I am guessing the optics/lenses/etc on the Panasonic are more what your after than pristine 1080p video that is barely compressed. The benefit too is that you can edit the files right away from the nanoFlash.. or look into the Prospect4K CineForm codec as a solution as well.

As for RAID setups, there are a number of ways you can go. For about $1K you can get a decent rig that supports 4 hot swappable drives, with 2TB drives right around the corner and 1.5TB drives at around $150 a pop, it's not bad. Like the other guy said, you can swap HDs out when they get full. I'd also consider a 2 drive Raid 0 setup using eSata to the computer (if you can get that) as it's faster than FireWire 800... this I would do for my editing drives. I've honestly had no problem working with SD footage on my single 7200rpm drive tho, and I suspect even HD footage for editing would be fine on non-raid drives. Many people use laptops to do it and they aren't raid and often they are 5400rpm drives to boot.

The harder question tho is whose going to set the raid up for you if you are not too familiar with it? You can spend more on a ready to go solution, or get more for your money by buying the 4 disk enclosure yourself, and the HDs separately and configuring it, which usually isn't too hard anyway.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 07:53 AM   #5
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HPX 170 - P2 Cards

Make sure you look at the P2 e cards. They will only last for 5 years, rather than just about forwever, but they are less expensive by 50% and are faster to boot. The HPX 170 will tell you when the card wears out. The cards have a 5 year life if used daily.

Secondly, you're going to need a device to empty out the cards when you're in the field. You can dump them to a PC if you want to carry them around. However, a company called Nexto is in the process of developing a standalone P2 stroage system that will read the P2 cards in the field. It will allow you to use the less expensive smaller sized cards in the field.

The reader can be found at: Nexto DI - Next Generation Storage with Digital Interface

P2 files require 13.1 GB per hour (just like AVI files). They are not as CPU intensive to process as the AVCHD long GOP format used in with the SD cards of HMC150. Smaller size, cheaper media, more expensive computer versus more expensive media, cheaper computer, faster processing. Take your pick.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 09:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Duffey View Post
Have you considered using something like the Canon S100 "prosumer" ($900) with the nanoFlash recorder ($3K) and using its HDMI outputs to get 1080P almost uncompressed video instead of HDV compressed 720p video?
The HPX170 is not an HDV camera (and it does shoot 1080p, as well as 720p). It's a stretch (to put it mildly) to call an S100 a "prosumer" camera.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
The HPX170 is not an HDV camera (and it does shoot 1080p, as well as 720p). It's a stretch (to put it mildly) to call an S100 a "prosumer" camera.
Yes, agreed.. hence the quotes. Quality wise, you can pull very good quality video off the S100 via the HDMI out. With very little compression via a nano/xdr or to a PC with an intensity board, the quality is outstanding.. hence the ref to "prosumer". I merely mean that for around $4K or so, you can get better quality from a home camcorder like the top end S100 and lower HV20s and such, than you can the $8K+ cameras that use HDV compression and such. By no way do I mean you can use it like a pro camera.. not even close.. specifically I mean the quality of the video you get with the low compression that the nano/xdr or using an intensity card with CineForm would give you. Definitely there is more to the pro camera.. the optics, lenses you can use, manual adjustments, and so forth you most certainly would lack on the home consumer cameras. If I could afford it, I'd opt for a $2K or so camera that gives me the lenses and manual adjustments + HD-SDI output and a nanoFlash.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 06:32 AM   #8
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In that price range (or even lower) I would like to have a 3 sensor 1" each, 4K camera, with a standard lens ranging from 18 mm to 540 mm (30x zoom) plus extender but also exchangeable, a battery that lasts at least 12 hours, that records on 256 GB or larger SD cards (available for $ 25 at each street corner) in 4:4:4 format, of course with a manageable weight of less than 5 pounds. That would be a nice prosumer camera. Maybe have to wait a while for that to come on the market.
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