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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 February 4th, 2008, 06:27 PM   #1
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"Media Full" but not really full

Hi folks,

Just wrapped up shooting a house tour and got the media full message.

When I got back to my office and checked out the media, I noticed that there was only 13.33 gb of space, not the close to 16gb I was expecting. Anyone have a similar experience?
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Old February 5th, 2008, 12:40 AM   #2
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Just out of curiosity, how many shots did you have on the card before the "Media Full" appeared? Did you have close to 600 shots?
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Old February 5th, 2008, 01:41 AM   #3
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I had 60 shots on one and 54 on the other...so not even close to 600.

Thanks for the reply though!
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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:21 AM   #4
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Hi,

I do have the same behaviour with the 8Gb cards. The message shows up, and the camera switch card automaticaly when you still have around 600Mo free.

I think this is a "safety" setting. Maybe they will fine-tune it in the next firmware release.
As the recording is VBR, it does not know how much space will be needed for the last seconds before switching. That's maybe why it is that early before the real end of the card.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #5
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Sebastien,

Good point. Although, it looks like mine are only recording about 6.5 gb per card. 1.5 gb seems like an awfully big buffer.

I'll keep an eye in future shoots and see if it varies at all.

It'd be interesting to hear what others are experiencing.

Thanks
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Old February 7th, 2008, 02:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jamie Baughman View Post
Sebastien,

Good point. Although, it looks like mine are only recording about 6.5 gb per card. 1.5 gb seems like an awfully big buffer.

I'll keep an eye in future shoots and see if it varies at all.

It'd be interesting to hear what others are experiencing.

Thanks
You aren't accounting for the actual formatted capacity of the drives.

I don't recall, but I think they are ~7.6GB when formatted. So, you'd be looking at 0.9GB of empty space at switchover.

That's still a big buffer. I would think it would be half that size.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 11:35 PM   #7
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Today, I also experienced almost the same thing. I have both 8GB and 16GB cards in my EX1. I started to shoot with the 16GB card, and the card got full, and it was automatically swithced to 8GB card. When I connected the cam to my PC, both the clip browser and the windows explorer showed 1.3GB free space in 16GB card. 1.3GB buffer?? Sebastien reported 600MB. It differs from time to time?? Very curious.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 11:54 PM   #8
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Today, I also experienced almost the same thing. I have both 8GB and 16GB cards in my EX1. I started to shoot with the 16GB card, and the card got full, and it was automatically swithced to 8GB card. When I connected the cam to my PC, both the clip browser and the windows explorer showed 1.3GB free space in 16GB card. 1.3GB buffer?? Sebastien reported 600MB. It differs from time to time?? Very curious.
It seems to me that the SxS system is reserving ~8% (7.7% is what I calculated) of the storage space as a margin.

Also remember that your "16GB" SxS is only going to have a formatted capacity of about 15.2Gbytes.

This makes perfect sense now that I thought about it a bit. By the way, it is recommended that you follow this same policy on your computers hard drives. In fact I usually tell people 20%- because people "cheat."
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Old February 8th, 2008, 12:31 AM   #9
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I will be having a long day shoot next Sunday and would need to use about x2 16GB cards. My query, after following this thread is this: Irrespective of the available GB of each card, if an empty 16GB indicates that you have about 57 minutes of recording time, will it give you the whole 57 minutes or is it possible that after say 30 minutes the warning "Media Full" can be displayed? In other words, can the cards be relied on that they give the stated remianing recording time?
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Old February 8th, 2008, 01:03 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brian Cassar View Post
I will be having a long day shoot next Sunday and would need to use about x2 16GB cards. My query, after following this thread is this: Irrespective of the available GB of each card, if an empty 16GB indicates that you have about 57 minutes of recording time, will it give you the whole 57 minutes or is it possible that after say 30 minutes the warning "Media Full" can be displayed? In other words, can the cards be relied on that they give the stated remianing recording time?
You can sort of rely on the reading.

See the thing is that XDCAM is a variable bit rate codec. So, the camera is just guessing based on the "average" bitrate of 35Mbps.

If you shoot footage that is consistently pushing the upper bounds of the codecs bandwidth requirements, you could get almost 30% less than the stated record time.

An air-land war between an established bee hive and a wasps nest might do the trick. In other words footage that breaks XDCAM in this way is pretty rare.

Your typical talking head, school play, sitcom or live band performance isn't going to cause you any trouble.

I do suspect that you will find yourself with about 8% of the card space free though even though the camera says its full.

All that said- the first rule of using your equipment is: TEST

Second rule of using your equipment: TEST

Third rule of... you get the point. :)
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