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Sony XDCAM EX CineAlta
Sony PMW-EX1 / PMW EX-3 / PMW 350 XDCAM recording to Express Card flash memory.


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Old June 10th, 2010, 10:28 AM   #1
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How to backup Sony XDCAM EX footage correctly

I shoot with Sony PMW350 and EX3 and have never had the need to backup footage in the field. I have a large shoot upcoming and want to make sure I correctly backup my footage to my pc laptop in the field. Interestingly after reading a lot of threads on different forms there once again seems to be a number of different ways. On my pc laptop I have clipbrowser v2.5. The one time I did backup in the field I simply copied the clips to the internal hard drive by right click > drag > copy. Everything worked great. However some postings suggest other ways that somehow check or verify the transfer. Some shooters somehow use clipbrowser itself. If someone can point me to a very detailed description I would very much appreciate it. Cheers.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 11:24 AM   #2
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Transferring video to a hard drive

Please see my post from last year, as the info I got really helped me out.

Need Help: Transfering EX3 SxS files to a Hard Drive
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Old June 10th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #3
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First
Get enough cards so you don't have to offload during a shoot. Anything else risks human error as well as other points of failure.

Second
ClipBrowser (2.6) with CRC on. Anything else and your risking a bad copy slipping past your. You say drag and drop worked fine is like saying I drive without a seat belt. It's great until you get killed in a car accident. ClipBrowser with CRC on because your career (business life) depends on it.

Third
Hard drive is not a backup plan. After you erase the card and then the hard drive crashes you backup is?

ClipBrowser is VERY SIMPLE.
Make sure card is available in the left column.
Turn CRC on in Preferences
Select copy location in Preferences
Select Copy All in ClipBrowser
Everything is copied to the destination and files are checked to confirm the copy data bits matches the source data bits.
The day a mistake happens will be the day you'll wish you bought enough cards so you don't have to do the above until the pressure of the shoot is over.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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FYI, my workflow:

I have a small production company. 2 PMW 350's shooting on a daily base, an average of 2 hours per crew per day, depending on the subject. We shoot on SDHC cards only. All the directors have 10-20 cards each, so 10-20 hours to shoot before offload. I make it their responsibility, to take care of their own footage.

I have a Drobo Pro with currently about 8 terrabyte connected to a mac server, all office computers have SD card readers and are connected via simple gigabit LAN. The directors offload their footage to the server with Sony's Clip Browser, in their "own" folder organized with a bit of metadata given to subfolders (like date and project's subject). The Drobo Pro and Mac server are fast enough to let a couple of directors watch their footage or transfer it together, so cheap "log" option here as well.

On the other side of the building 2 editsuites are connected to the server as well. Director mails/gives a log list and the editors import with Log and Transfer into FCP projects, footage local on in the suite.

So, source footage, always backuped on Drobo Pro. Drobo pro is scalable, I can now go up to 12 Terra and when 3 Terradrives are there even more. Drobo is constantly backing up offside to another server via Glassfiber internet. So incase of fire or burglary where quite good... Oh and the Drobo can crash up to 2 harddrives at the same time before getting into trouble...
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Old June 10th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
First
Get enough cards so you don't have to offload during a shoot. Anything else risks human error as well as other points of failure.

Second
ClipBrowser (2.6) with CRC on. Anything else and your risking a bad copy slipping past your. You say drag and drop worked fine is like saying I drive without a seat belt. It's great until you get killed in a car accident. ClipBrowser with CRC on because your career (business life) depends on it.

Third
Hard drive is not a backup plan. After you erase the card and then the hard drive crashes you backup is?
.
Absolutely perfect advice I'd say, spot on.
What else other than/in additon to hard drives do you think Craig - LTO data tape, DVDs?

Steve
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Old June 10th, 2010, 02:07 PM   #6
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Consider a NEXTO device in the field for backups:

Nexto DI - NEXTO DI VIDEO STORAGE PRO NVS2500

and then later a CACHE-A device for archiving:

Cache-A Archive Appliances
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Old June 10th, 2010, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
First
Get enough cards so you don't have to offload during a shoot. Anything else risks human error as well as other points of failure.

Second
ClipBrowser (2.6) with CRC on. Anything else and your risking a bad copy slipping past your. You say drag and drop worked fine is like saying I drive without a seat belt. It's great until you get killed in a car accident. ClipBrowser with CRC on because your career (business life) depends on it.

Third
Hard drive is not a backup plan. After you erase the card and then the hard drive crashes you backup is?

ClipBrowser is VERY SIMPLE.
Make sure card is available in the left column.
Turn CRC on in Preferences
Select copy location in Preferences
Select Copy All in ClipBrowser
Everything is copied to the destination and files are checked to confirm the copy data bits matches the source data bits.
The day a mistake happens will be the day you'll wish you bought enough cards so you don't have to do the above until the pressure of the shoot is over.
Thats the advice I was given and it works well for me and as Steve said, spot on.
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Old June 10th, 2010, 07:18 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your advice.

I always have more than enough SxS cards with me. I have tried a few times backing-up footage in the field. I didn't use the methods described (Craig) but I will this weekend. We have a big shoot and I will have to backup on location. We have used multiple drives to make more than one copy but haven't used crc. I'm using Clipbrowser 2.5. Does anyone know the current version of clipbrowser and if that will work as described by Craig's workflow. Also, what are the other values you use in the User Configuration box in CB? Cheers.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 01:39 AM   #9
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My partners company had a Drobo fail with the loss of all data. They never did manage to recover it.

Hard drives used in pairs or three's are very secure, especially if stored at separate locations. The chance of both drives failing at exactly the same time is unlikely. Provided you check your archive drives every 3 months or so, you should be fine. Certainly the drives will fail at some point, maybe in 5 years time, so every few years you should migrate the hard drive archive on to new drives.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 03:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
My partners company had a Drobo fail with the loss of all data. They never did manage to recover it.
Really? You have more details on that story?
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Old June 11th, 2010, 07:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
My partners company had a Drobo fail with the loss of all data. They never did manage to recover it.
Wow, that surprises me. You've been pushing the Drobo for as long as I can remember and on several occassions I almost made the jump myself. I'm glad I stuck with my original method of backup and archiving.

I'll second Vincent's request for more information. How long ago did this disaster occur?
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Old June 11th, 2010, 08:04 AM   #12
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I use Shotput Pro. Any advantage using ClipBrowser 2.6 over that?

John
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Old June 11th, 2010, 08:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
Third
Hard drive is not a backup plan. After you erase the card and then the hard drive crashes you backup is?
Backing up to a hard drive is as good as any other backup device for short term backups. Most media that has moving parts will eventually fail, and that goes for tape too.

I guess backing up to multiple drives has to be a good sollution. For ultimate security use high capacity Optical drives such as the Sony PDW-U1 XDCAM drive unit with Pro MXF disks, but that comes at a price. The question is how much do you value your work. The downside to this is that Sony doesn't have a good long term reputation, hands up all those who bought a Betamax video recorder or 8 track stereo cartridges. Will MXF disks and hardware still be with us in 5 or 10 years time?
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Old June 11th, 2010, 09:31 AM   #14
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I think Alister has a good point by mentioning the workflow of re archiving to new hard discs every 3 years or so. I am using a WD Mirror My Book as a test having seen some positive reviews. Did consider Drobo but now re thinking.
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Old June 11th, 2010, 09:58 AM   #15
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I am considering using BluRay disks for long term backup. Does anyone have any information on long term reliability of burned disks. I have not tested anything and am using multiple hard drives now. I call five years long term. Tape was so easy, but those days are gone now.
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