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Old August 21st, 2010, 12:01 PM   #1
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Formatting "Empty Media" SDHC card outside the box

First, I would like to mention I am a MAC user and I am looking for a MAC solution, not a Windows solution. You might be a Windows user and have something I should consider, I am more then interest to know about it.

Be aware thas I know I could be using the Management Software provided on the CD when I got my cameras. This is OK for PC user, however MAC user a left powerless.

Before starting any project I always METICULOUSLY take the time to reformat all SDHC cards with the "Empty Media" provided by the camera.

This was OK while I only had four SDHC cards to prepare. Now it is different, in order to be more effective with my two NX5U cameras I now own 40 class 10 SDHC cards (16, 8 and 4 GIB).

This is required because I carefully have to maintain the name structure of the events I am filming. When the SDHC card is inserted within the camera the right sequence for naming events starts when the cameraman push the Record button.

Meaning before starting any projects I always empty all cards and have the right sequence number to be used added.

Is there a Sony solution outside the camera i.e some kind of DECK, that would perform an "Empty Media" function ?

If not, here what I would do?

The first time I would copy the NX5U directory structure onto my MAC, I will call this the NX5U_Structure.

For each of the SDHC card, I would:
1 - Insert the SDHC card in my MacBook Pro and delete all files;
2 - Empty the recycle bin ?
3 - Copy the NX5U_Structure from the MAC onto the SDHC card;
4 - Rename the video file with the correct starting sequence number, M2U0eess.MPG where "ee" is equal to the event I am filming and "ss" is equal to the sequence always starting at 00.

The reason I am posting this question is that I am not sure what the "Empty Media" does. What other non PC user do ?

Regards!

P.S.: I have been managing the M2U0eess.MPG NX5U file name structure from my MacBook Pro VERY often and had not have any problems. Not only this, after using the "Empy Media" I always renamed the SDHC from "No Name" to "NX5U".
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Old August 21st, 2010, 04:44 PM   #2
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1. When you choose to delete a movie from the memory card (by touching/pressing EDIT--> DELETE buttons), the camcorder’s processor erases only information about the movie location from the Media Allocation Table, making the place that the movie occupied available for a new media.

However, the file itself will stay intact until actual recording will start and overwrite it. So, this gives you the possibility to restore the deleted file.

2. When you choose to reformat the memory card (by touching pressing MANAGE MEDIA --> MEDIA FORMAT buttons), random sequence of 0 and 1 will be written on the memory card at first, and then a new AVCHD file/folder structure will be built over.

Still, even after that operation there is a remote possibility to restore at least partially the deleted information. Some people can do this (I can do this).

Thus if you concern over security or copyrights issues you may want to completely erase each and every cell of the memory card to prevent the information leak.

In that case you should perform MEDIA EMPTY operation. This is MEDIA EMPTY function only purpose.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 05:08 PM   #3
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Thanks Arkady for your reply!

My concerns is not about copyright neither it is about restoring files once then have been deleted from the SDHC cards. Once the clips files have been copied over on my MacBook Pro, they are no longer needed on the SDHC card. Last week within 4 days I've recorded 1200 clips (3 to 4 minutes each) with the cameras.

I am producing on the fly and need to provided the clients with their clips before they leave the building.

The workflow I am building requires to be fast, efficient and reliable.

My concerns is about the recording reliability making sure what I am doing will not cause the cameras to crash. I do not want to make the cards to be faulty.

Like I've said previously, "Reformat" and "Media Empty" with the cameras is not a nice option when you have to do this with 40 SDHC cards. Neither this is feasible to do this when you finish recording at 23h00 at night and start over again the next morning at 8h00. This is one of the reason why having that many SDHC cards would help. If I need to film 80 events within the four days, I would then have to reformat all SDHC cards only once, meaning one evening I will be go to bed late.

Using the computer is much much faster. By using the computer or a special deck to delete and restructure the file on the SDHC card I could have the people sitting at the front to do when they have spare time. Else I would have to wait when the camera are not busy, i.e at the end of the day.

When I say "The first time I would copy the NX5U directory structure onto my MAC, I will call this the NX5U_Structure". I would create an image on my MacBook Pro of the result once a "Media Empty" has been performed. That image would then be use on each SDHC card using the MacBook Pro and not the NX5U camera.

- Does anyone know which format the card is reformatted when doing being performed with the camera, is it FAT32?

- I will try to create an image of SDHC card using the "Disk Utility" found on my Macbook Pro. I will see what append, has anyone already tried this ? How did it go ?

Regards!
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Last edited by Daniel Paquin; August 21st, 2010 at 05:56 PM.
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Old August 21st, 2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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If you simply want to empty your memory cards for the next morning reuse just DELETE ALL movies on each card, do not reformat your cards, neither perform MEDIA EMPTY operation. Doing so, you will save a lot of time.

And, yes, the file system of a SDHC memory card is FAT32, and you can recreate an image of the formatted card with DISK UTILITY of the MacPro system.

But again, just deleting all the media from the cards is much faster (and more secure).
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