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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old November 27th, 2007, 02:39 PM   #16
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I own a lot of large hard drives that I use for the actual editing, but from a business standpoint, I don't see hard drives as a good archiving solution. A client calls and says "Hey, we want our show re-rendered out in HD instead of SD", and you tell him "uh, we had a power surge and lost the footage on our drives" or "the janitor knocked it off the shelf while cleaning"... well, you have just lost a client.

Blu-ray burning is not a bad solution, although I am a little hesitant to go that direction because there has been no clear-cut HD format winner yet, and won't be for a few more years which is too long to wait. If you go with blu-ray and HD DVD wins, then you have a nice expensive paper weight. Plus, so far, the cheapest that I have found any 50GB blu-ray media has been in the $30 range. Although, this would make a nice deliverable format depending on if your clients went blu-ray or HD DVD.

I am still leaning toward LTO. You can get a version on ebay for about the price of blu-ray burner, but it will backup 100GB for $30/tape or up to 400GB for $60/tape - 800GB if you go with a compressed format. I am hoping that someone knows of a technology that I am not familiar with that will fit the bill, so keep the ideas coming guys. Aparently, there is a guy who did an EX1 review that was posted on the B&H website, and he is selling a book about it and has an archiving solution inside his book. Don't know what it says, my guess coming from Sony is a blu-ray solution. Any other technologies that I have not thought of yet? What are all the HVX200 guys doing?
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Old November 27th, 2007, 03:12 PM   #17
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How about the firmware update from Sony for the XDCAM disk to do 1920?
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Old November 27th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #18
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that would be nice!
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Old November 27th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Spence View Post
I own a lot of large hard drives that I use for the actual editing, but from a business standpoint, I don't see hard drives as a good archiving solution. ...
Blu-ray burning is not a bad solution, although
of course a single Harddisc is very risky, but If you use two or three external, independent discs with identical data which are locked away e.g. in a firesafe safe and are only temporarily connected to the computer for backup purposes, it is very secure.
Nobody can say how reliable e.g. blue rays are for archiving currently. A small scratch may destroy masses of data.
I know that DVD-R is much less reliable then the good old CD-R. I had some backups just a few years old which had serious errors. The data quality on optical media degreades with the years. Maybe this affects BlueRay, too.
And a single BlueRay costs about 10 EUR for 25 GBytes, thats 200 EUR for 500 GByte and 400 EUR If you do the essential copies. Thats more than double the price for HDs, and also slow. And you need the BlueRay recorder, also not that cheap.

Last edited by Carlos Moreira; November 27th, 2007 at 07:11 PM.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 04:56 PM   #20
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Carlos, two independent hard drives is more to my way of thinking. I do most of my work for myself, I have no concerns of showing anyone else the footage. I just need a way to save it forever :)
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Old December 1st, 2007, 09:26 AM   #21
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I have a question to those archiving their footage on HDDs. Frankly, this post could go to another forum as it is more general than just the XDCAM EX workflow; with this forum being the hottest now I decided to put it here.

From the point of view of the MPEG file structure, is it possible that some minor HDD's' errors (developing with time) degrade the playback quality? I don't mean corrupted drives; in fact Windows tools say all my drives are OK and defragmented, yet I do see some pixelation here and there in my HDV files (BTW copied from my DR60 drive not captured). I'm 100% sure they all played back smoothly only some 2 months ago!

I'd appreciate anyone's experience in this.
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Old December 1st, 2007, 02:38 PM   #22
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Get a dual layer blu ray burner ($600 or so) and then you can put up to 50 gigs on a disc. The discs run around $25 or so I think.

Single layer discs (25 gig) run around $10.

This is a long term solution that will work without the expense of getting an LTO drive.

Hopefully Macs will have blu ray drives in them soon.

Daniel Weber
I would not go with this solution. Number 1 expense and number 2 BD-Rs are not very durable. At least this is from what I've heard...it is worse than DVD-R when it comes to scratches. The data layer is closer to the surface vs. DVD-R (which is closer to the label side of discs) and that really concerns me.

Double hard drive backup I think is the best way to go. Two external hard drives. Use one to edit and when you're finished for the night copy the one to the other. This is like having a manual mirror system and IMO works better tto prevent corruption issues.

For long-term archiving digital linear tape is still the best way to go. Kind of ironic, huh?
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Old December 1st, 2007, 04:18 PM   #23
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If you go back and look at posts when the HVX200 came out, this same debate raged. At point I raised the possibility of harddrive tape backup storage systems..... funny, huh...???
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Old December 1st, 2007, 04:43 PM   #24
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As much as I believe that tape will not be the dominant capture medium for much longer, I wonder how many will be backing up their cards and hard-drives to a tape format for a long time!!!! :)

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 06:27 PM   #25
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While I am ediiting, I use a raid system where the data is mirrored across 2 harddrives for redundancy. I also will make a copy of the raw footage onto a separate harddrive. The end product will be stored on a backup harddrive as well as a blu-ray disc. I don't have to give the client footage at the end of the day as I'm shooting weddings and edit everything then provide on DVD.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 07:05 PM   #26
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Matt, if you are shooting weddings, then you are likely giving clients standard definition DVDs. But what if they asked you to shoot all raw footage on a High Def camera which you can charge more money for? They will accept DVDs for now, but when Blu-ray or HD DVD wins the format war and they purchase a player and want their wedding footage rendered out as Hi Def(which you can charge more money for), what will you do then? Because of reasons like this, and for delivery of stock footage clips that I will need to have backed up for long periods of time is why I started this thread. I really need a solid archiving solution so that I don't have to throw any original footage away and that I don't have to fear that anything will be lost if a hard drive fails. I got a PM from Barry Green stating that he currently uses hard drives, but he agrees with me that currently, LTO3 is about the only long term solution currently available. If Sony updates their current xdcam software to burn full raster 1920x1080 35mbps to blu-ray, that is probably the direction I would go. But so far, they haven't.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 07:37 PM   #27
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Will be attending a High Def Summit next week and data archiving will certainly be a topic well covered there.

The concensus last year for cost effectiveness was to archive onto HDD and also to one other medium, maybe a tape based archival medium (DLT/LTO3), but using an intermediate, "mezzanine" intraframe file format that would be more flexible in the longer term. I seem to remember jpeg2000 being mentioned but don't quote me on that. Obviously the choice between predominantly HDD or LTO3 would depend on the cost/terra for storage.

I myself use removable eSATA drives for the moment, but most of my stuff is short form. YMMV. Plus my HD deliveries have to date been on HDD to a dupe or mastering house. I do the SD DVDs myself but will do HDDVD probably when the burners are more reasonable.

Will update after the event.

Last edited by Chris Leong; December 2nd, 2007 at 08:18 PM.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 08:00 PM   #28
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Bill, very good point. I should have mentioned. I will be recording and editing in full HD (35mbs). I will then export to SD for the client, however will keep all of the footage and project files in HD for future exporting to blu-ray or HD DVD.

I will actually be trying to sell this option to clients most likely middle of next year so that I can get an early hold on the technology so that when it is in more demand I will be totally up to speed with it etc. When I do I will be suggesting to the clients that they purchase both SD and HD discs at the same time (thus reducing my costs to get the project out later and produce a BR or HDDVD.

Are you suggesting a tape backup system similar to what most data centres would use where the tapes store like 100 gb or more and backup each night? Or simply recording back to miniDV tape via an exisiting HD camera?

I have also thought about factoring into the cost of each wedding package a new harddrive which I will use to store all files, be it raw video, edited video, and music, photos etc. So far I haven't had any issues with harddrives over the past 7 years. Touch wood this won't happen in the future.

My other option I thought would be to build some type of server(s) that I can use to store video files. I would probably keep them on there for a few months after I have delivered the final product, then move to backup solution. It really is a hard one and I guess the more conservative we go the the more copies and expenses we have. At the end of the day, once I have delivered the product I will have my own DVD copy as well as archived copy on harddrive. I don't find that many couples come back asking for more copies after a few months. Chances are they make their own copies!!

I'd be interested in some type of tape backup system so I might look into that, it could backup my server once a week or something. And just rotate tapes and store in a fireproof safe or offsite.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 08:25 PM   #29
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Matt, I hear you. People are so excited to get away from tape based solutions, as am I, but tapes were a fairly cheap and reliable archive system that we do not have by going with the EX1 or any of the Panasonic cameras. I have thought about setting up a raid solution myself, but it cost money to keep all of those electronics running and raid solutions are not cheap. LTO3 is a tape-based archive solution for servers that big companies use to back up their systems. They can store 400 GB uncompressed on a $60 tape, or up to 800 GB of compressed data. And these tapes would keep your footage safe for years if stored properly. But the LTO3 drives are not cheap. If you can find one on ebay or used, then that would be a good solution. Or you can go with smaller solutions like LTO or LTO2. I still hope the Sony will offer a blu-ray solution with their xdcam software, but I guess I could also just get a blu-ray burner and back up to blu-ray data discs, but they are like $25/disc for 25GB, which is not a good dollar/GB ratio. But this EX1 camera looks to be a great little camera, so I am determined to come up with a solution for it.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 11:00 PM   #30
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but I guess I could also just get a blu-ray burner and back up to blu-ray data discs, but they are like $25/disc for 25GB, which is not a good dollar/GB ratio.
that maybe the price for the rewritable discs, but the BR-R discs are only around $10 for 25 gigs.

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