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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 January 23rd, 2008, 01:33 PM   #16
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So far in this thread it's been decided that Lacie, maxtor and western digital hard drives are all suspect. Anyone notice the common denominator?...

They are hard drives and hard drives do fail, it's a fact of life. Especially removable drives as often they get disconnected before the heads are parked correctly, or they get picked up and moved while the platters are spinning.

I would back up to 2 drives or a drive and something else such as DL-DVD.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 01:39 PM   #17
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For my HVX work I like the OWC drives and it is the same set of issues. I researched the question of 5400RPM vs 7200 and the consensus was it makes no difference for downloading cards.
7200 is better when used as a source for media files in editing however for downloading keep in mind that it uses more bus power so if you are concerned about battery drain stick with the 5400's.
I got the 800/400/USB and like them. The only drives I consistently have heard people complain about is LaCie. Maybe that's because there are alot of them out there, but why take the chance. I'v hads good luck with OWC in general for years. i like them.
ALWAYS immediately make a backup of your download on a separate drive. Don't be blase ALWAYS.
Two separate copies.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 02:04 PM   #18
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Until there is a better option I am using G-Drive 500GB for one source and Delkin Archival Gold DVD's or Blu-Ray as the other so a double back up. Normal DVD's I have that are 5 years old have problems.

Does any one know the life expectancy of Blu-Ray disk?
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Last edited by Paul Cronin; January 23rd, 2008 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Finished thought after research
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 04:12 PM   #19
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Does any one know the life expectancy of Blu-Ray disk?
I believe at least 50 years.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:32 PM   #20
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Thanks Brad that makes Archiving on Blu-Ray a real possibility when a fast burner comes out for the Mac.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 09:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
So far in this thread it's been decided that Lacie, maxtor and western digital hard drives are all suspect. Anyone notice the common denominator?...

They are hard drives and hard drives do fail, it's a fact of life. Especially removable drives as often they get disconnected before the heads are parked correctly, or they get picked up and moved while the platters are spinning.

I would back up to 2 drives or a drive and something else such as DL-DVD.
I agree wholeheartedly with Alistair. Hard drives are just too delicate to be abused like often happens in the field.

In the past using P2, I've used a single hard drive and DVD for data dumps from P2. That was in studio though, and the drives were treated gingerly.

I like the idea of staying solid state for field work.

NewEgg sells Transcend 8GB 133x CF cards for $41 USD. 24 of those is enough for a full 8 hours of recording and runs you about $1000 USD. (I never shoot 8 hours a day... but I suppose some of you do.)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820208340

Newegg also offers 16GB transcend 133x CF cards for $77 USD. That should work well for the same workflow using 16GB SxS cards.

Transcend isn't the best brand, but if they work, they work. Even if you buy a couple of spares due to lack of confidence, they are much cheaper than the "trusted" brands. (Kingston is $99, Sandisk is $114- so you could buy twice as many CF cards and still come out ahead.)

Then I do my data dumps to HD back at "base" be that the hotel, the studio or the car. In field production I prefer to use two hard drives - unless I have staff to do the DVD backup.

I look forward to using SSD hard drives for data dumps in the near future. At current prices its a bit prohibitive. ($500 for a 'Super Talent' 32GB 2.5" SSD drive, $3200 for a 128GB version, again newegg.) You'd need 6 32GB drives to hold 8 hours of data. Maybe next year, almost certainly by 2010.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:31 PM   #22
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FWIW ive got a g-tech mini as my mobile editing solution for capture and quick edits, and then two spacious g-drive's with the combo solutions (FW 400, 800, e-sata). This was a pricey solution but it works rather well. One g-drive for working and capturing on, and the second for backing up files. The mini goes with me everywhere, has been used and abused for over a year now, and is rock solid. I highly recommend them- they are a bit more pricey but you ALWAYS get what you pay for. Just remember that hard drives can and WILL fail- and with the price of storage falling, there really is no excuse to not have multiple backups. Remember- organization is key in this business!
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Old January 24th, 2008, 01:59 PM   #23
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"Hard drives are just too delicate to be abused like often happens in the field."
Well 2.5 " hard drives are in every laptop in the world. The genera;lly hold up pretty well, but you do need to be careful. If you have the time to archive to DVD or LTO tape in the field great, but the portable drive method is what P2 people have generally been doing for 2 years.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #24
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2 of these bus powered drives:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other...g/MS8U5250GB8/


One on FW800 bus , the other on USB2.0 bus. On a mac.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 02:11 AM   #25
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"Hard drives are just too delicate to be abused like often happens in the field."
Well 2.5 " hard drives are in every laptop in the world. The genera;lly hold up pretty well, but you do need to be careful.
"You do need to be careful," is exactly my point. Too many brush that off. Too many others don't realize what that should entail.

Your point also assumes the disks are in a properly designed enclosure i.e a laptop.

Many laptops these days come with sensors that park the drive heads if the system experience a certain amount of acceleration. Most include at least some rudimentary shock mounting.

Even with all that the drives, and the systems they are in, still have to be handled with care.

A 2.5" drive in an enclosure doesn't have those features. 3.5" drives are more rugged... but that is entirely relative, because they aren't rugged at all.

The high rate of drive failures amongst video users is because we are, as part of our normal business, rough with equipment. Just take a look at most of your equipment.

In my side business as a computer tech most laptops I see have failed hard drives due to "abuse." Of course my clients think that they are just using the machines normally. For the most part they treat their laptops better than the average videographer/film maker treats laptops, and more importantly external drives, on set.

In fact, what I have observed is that hard drives used in the field for video are as likely to fail as drives used by the military or emergency services.

So, I stand by my original statement that hard drives are delicate, and I prefer to work with solid state. As soon as budgets permit I plan on shifting over to solid state for all my field recording.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 01:41 AM   #26
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I'd like to hear what you comne up with as no doubt Hard drives are not the solution for the reasons you mentioned.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 02:32 AM   #27
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I don't recall reading much about failures in P2 Stores, and they're hard drive based. My own P2 Store has been used on boats, on a bus, in my bag while I'm moving around and no failures or loss of data.

It does sense adverse motion and stops writing until the P2 Store senses it's safe to transfer data.

As for other drives, as long as you don't move them while they're operating you're OK. And before transporting them make sure they've spun down before disconnecting them. That way you know the heads are properly parked.

With parked heads drives such as the IBM/Hitachi SATA Deskstar drives can tolerate up to a 1 millisecond 300-G shock.

Still, be sure to pack them in antistatic bags with the appropriate foam padding and in a hard shell case.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 03:52 AM   #28
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I'd like to hear what you comne up with as no doubt Hard drives are not the solution for the reasons you mentioned.
I don't know if you are replying to me there, but what I use is solid state media.

Also, hard drives do work, its just that you can't rely on them in a lot of circumstances. I do use hard drives, but like I said I use them in "safe" locations. Bare drives in typical "cheap" enclosures need a good amount of care- so I only use them in the car- when it is parked or at a borrowed desk, or in my studio.

Dean's right. You don't read about failures in P2 Store. Two reasons. P2 Store is a properly designed enclosure, and like Dean, most of its users take appropriate care. Laptops can be handled much the same way and often provide enough storage.

I still wouldn't drag either of them into certain situations.

So back to my solution. I used flash cards. Compact flash usually, but I had a couple of SD cards.

I only needed 8 4GB cards which I used to back up 3 4GB P2's. That gave me ~110 minutes record time at 720p 24 with an HVX200. I "upgraded" the hard drive of a Powerbook G4 to a 8 GB IDE SSD drive.

I got the Powerbook for free (its in bad condition, but nothing that stops me from using it for this). Obviously you can use any old cheap laptop you have around, and I recommend using the cheapest one that will work.

Here is a link to the drive I used:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820208064

All the computer has on it is a minimum install of OS X 10.3, the P2 drivers and a few utilities. If I had to do it again I'd get a 32GB drive. That was a few months ago though and prices were higher. (around August?)

P2 goes in one side, I use a USB 2 CF adapter on the other side.

That's pretty much that. It isn't elegant, but it works. Oh... and I pretty much don't care if it breaks because its cheap to replace.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 03:53 AM   #29
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...
We will be out in parks and areas where I have no power so I need a drive that is powered from the MBP.

i will try with something like this:

http://powerwarehouse.en.alibaba.com...nd_laptop.html


and you an use any drive then. since you will have everytime proper power level, there is no need for some extreme solutions. of course this is just a suggestion, try to find in your area - this one has connection via USB. i do not know how this one will work/react with MBP.


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Old January 27th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #30
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SxS Card Question

So I pressed the button on the BH order and I'll have my cam at week's end!

One question. I think I know the answer to this, but just in case I'm wrong here goes: do you have to have the media manager on your computer to pull data off the sys cards?

So, for instance, if you're out in the field, you've shot your two 8gb cards, is it possible to just do a "Data Dump" onto a laptop (without Final Cut and media manager) and transfer this "raw data" later? Or do you have to use media manager to pull off footage?

In short, I've got a junker powerbook that I'd love to through in my pack and dump footage on to...but it doesn't have Final Cut 6 on it...any chance of using this somehow as a temporary holding pen for the footage?

Thanks in advance.
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