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Old November 18th, 2005, 08:01 AM   #1
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Test Gear Before Shoot Out

What would be an appropiate way to test the gear before shooting?
P2 is state of the art, and rock solid. But... if I plan on shooting, I suppose I must shoot first in my office to test if the cards are working properly. Then I'll transfer it to my laptop via firewire or PCMCIA to test both interfaces and make sure they are fine. Then burn a data DVD and take it to 2 or 3 computers and try to open the files in FCP to see if the disc was burn right and the data is not corrupted.

Are all these steps necessary? Or am I getting short in testing the gear?
Could you please share how you would test your gear before shooting?
-EDWIN
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Old November 18th, 2005, 08:12 AM   #2
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Are you going through all these testing steps right now in your current workflow, Edwin? Seems to me you can skip the DVD burning part. A data DVD holds what, 4.7GB? That's not nearly enough for delivering HD video. Why not deliver instead on a 200GB hard drive. It's less expensive than HD tape, the data is edit ready, and there's no need for capturing video or for an HD playback deck.

If I felt like I needed to "test" the HVX, I'd probably record a short sample clip, review it, delete it, and move on with my day.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 08:18 AM   #3
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Chris: In event videography, there's no way to re-shoot. It must be tested completely through. Although I admit that maybe it would be better to use the FIRESTORE instead of the P2. But... how reliable is a Firestore in terms of not getting corrupted data (I have never used one)?

In a production environment, it would be easier to review it and go on.

How do you usually test your gear?
-EDWIN
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Old November 18th, 2005, 08:34 AM   #4
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I've done enough event videography myself to know there are no re-takes. My own testing procedure is to shoot a short clip on tape (or on the FireStore, when I'm using it), and review it (and delete it if it's on the FireStore; I won't re-record over tape).

P2 is flash memory. When I shoot still photos, I'm also using flash memory. I shoot one or two sample photos, review them and delete them. Out of thousands of photos, I've had one flash card go bad one time. I was still able to rescue the image files with data recovery software. It was a cheap card. I stopped using cheap flash after that and haven't had a problem since.

Regarding the FireStore, its advantage over P2 is not reliability, but longer recording time. The FireStore is highly reliable, but I would put P2 over it, because the flash memory cards inside the P2 array are zero-fault cards, simply the best quality flash memory that money can buy (which is part of the reason why they're so expensive). I would rate the relability of recording success from best to worst in this way:

Best: P2 -- because it's flash memory. No moving parts. Highest survivability.
Next Best: Hard Disk -- moving parts, but I've never had a problem with FireStore.
Least: Tape -- I've had too many tape failures, plus we have a busy forum dedicated to them.

I couldn't get away from tape soon enough. The FireStore is fine, but my confidence is highest in P2 rather than drives because of the high quality flash memory, no moving parts, and its ruggedness to survive high-G shock and drops and so on. Hope this helps,
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