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Old August 21st, 2006, 11:51 AM   #16
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I thought they were SD cards together with a RAID controller !!!
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Old August 21st, 2006, 12:24 PM   #17
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Ahhhh... you are correct Cees. My error.

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Old August 28th, 2006, 04:49 PM   #18
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Just this weekend I was doing some shoots in San Francisco for a documentary of my own, then headed to my parents' house in Tracy. Took my camera, powerbook & external hard drive. I hooked up the powerbook, captured the P2 cards, then plugged in the external and - nothing.

It whirred, spinned, and even mounted the first time - then when I tried to copy my files to it, it turned off and never came back. I had saved to it every piece of HD footage I'd shot since I got the camera, all gone.

However, there is a shining up side - every P2 card I've shot with the exception of test footage has been saved redundantly to a hard drive in my Pc, as well as backed up to DVD.

So, I have 4 things to figure out. If the case died and the HDD is still good, if the HDD is bad and the case is still good, or if the case went bad and took the HDD with it, and what I'm gonna do about all this when I figure out what went wrong.

So, while I still love this camera and the P2 functionality, you need to make absolutely sure you're covering your arse w/ redundant backup. Hell, even 2 backups may not be enough for footage you're actively working with - if my PC goes down, I'm down to just the DVD backups, and if I scratched one of the DVDs somehow, that's it for that footage.

Sometimes when you're on the bleeding edge of tech, you get cut. But it's most important to figure out how to make the most effective use out of the tech, regardless of its current shortfalls and figure out how to turn them into an opportunity.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 04:56 PM   #19
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This could be a huge problem on a shoot, where you may only have time to dump the P2 cards to your laptop and then keep on shooting...what if the laptop dies.

Is your dead drive a firewire drive? We have had several of them die for no particular reason. Last time one died, we happened to have a spare case around. We remounted it in the other case and it worked. So, check that before you consider it truly deceased. You could luck out.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #20
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I have another case (Macally w/ FW800 ports) that I will go ahead and try out, and I think it probably IS the case cos it was kind of finicky when I first started - had to chain the two cases a certain way to get them to work.

That said, I think what I'm going to wind up doing when I move, is buy a couple of PCs with multiple places in the case to mount HDDs. I have two in my PC right now, I have a couple cases and older CPUs at my parents' house, can mount 3 drives each in those, and then run with it.

I think the thing with laptops, especially if it's a good laptop, is that they're more insulated against this kind of thing. I have a slip case for my laptop, which then sits in a backpack. I wrapped the hard drive up in a shirt and put it in the same backpack, in the same compartment.

I would trust a laptop (at least the HDD inside it) to be sturdier than an external HDD.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 06:39 PM   #21
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I rented an HVX last Friday. We dumped everything to the laptop, and I brought a USB hard drive as a backup. But the reality is that I didn't backup to the HDD until we got home, due to not having spare time for backups and AC power at the same moment.

I think the most practical approach is to use two laptops and a crossover network cable - preferably with 100Base-T or better. Now you can run without special batteries. You can dump to one laptop, then copy from one to the other.

This gives you full redundancy - if everything is healthy, you have two HDDs with battery power. If anything on either laptop breaks, you still have an active slot to accept the next P2 card.

You'll still want at least one USB HDD, since it will run at 7,200 RPM or better and hold a lot more data than the typical laptop HDD. But a second laptop is the better choice for the field.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #22
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I wouldn't recommend using a USB HDD, because A) USB is by itself just barely fast enough to play back a few seconds of HD at 720p, and B) USB uses CPU power to transfer data back and forth, which is why it stutters and then fails when you want to play back HD video.

Firewire uses its own built-in chips, so you will typically maximise through-put, or at least you generally will have enough of through-put to play your HD video back off of the drive.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 07:43 PM   #23
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My workflow for the past 10 days was using a 250 Gig external HD to move all P2 and FS-100 footage to. Every day, regardless of what I recorded to, P2 or FS-100, I created a folder for each CONTENTS and lastclip.txt on each source. The longest videos were about 35 minutes but averaged less that that. Over 10 days, I barely used 100 gig on the external drive. I just imported all the video to FCP with no problems.

But archiving 100 gig of video won't be easy. It looks like I'll be labeling hard drives and just storing them for now.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 03:57 PM   #24
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Jason,

Thanks for the Firewire tip. My drive supports both USB and 1394, so I can go either way.

I have an external DVD+R drive that has been much more stable with USB than 1394, so I've been leaning towards USB for filesystems. But maybe it's just a problem with the DVD+R drive's firmware...

I'll try 1394 with the drive and see how it compares.
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