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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 March 24th, 2008, 02:43 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Chong Lor View Post
What are some of the best options for backup footage from the EX1 camera? I'm thinking solid state drive is the best way to go but it's pricey. If buying an old fashion hard drive, what brand has less problems or prone to defects? I'm also thinking about backing up into double layer DVD. The problem is all my MP4 files are in one folder. How do I split those files into multiples of 8.5GB folders? I know that I can't just copy and paste the files. Do I then use the Sony Clip Browser to split those files?

Hard Drives:

Many of the USB or Firewire Hard Drives make a great backup solution. HOWEVER, hard drive do fail and if one does, there goes all your video.

The smart move is to have a second or even third copy of your videos on a second (or third) drive. That way if one drive fails, you have a second copy on another drive. The third drive provides that extra bit of protection, in the unlikely event that 2 drives fail.

This system does require that once or twice a year, you run a hard drive check to make sure the drive didn't freeze up or die. The expected life of hard drives is around 3 to 7 years. So, in time you will need to replace defective drives, but by then drives will be larger and cost less.

I would STRONGLY suggest that you have the drives be from different manufacturers. That way, if a manufacturing defect does occur, it only kills one of your drives.

As for which brands, every time I recommend a brand someone else always says, "It's junk.." However, I've had good luck with Maxtor, Seagate, and Western Digital. I've also heard good things about LaCie.

Figure that the EX-1 is generating ABOUT 16GB per hour. (This is a bit off, but close enough for estimates.) A 1TB drive should hold over 60 hours of video. Given that 1TB USB drives now sell for under $300, that comes to less than $5 per hour per drive.

Optical, DVD:

Both 4.7 GB (SL) and 8.5GB (DL) DVDs are possible, but that is going to take 2 (DL) to 4 (SL) DVDs per hour of material. Like the hard drives, ALWAYS HAVE A SECOND COPY!!!!! Now we are looking at 4 (DL) to 8 (SL) DVDs per hour.

Like the hard drives, I would always copy to different brands, to avoid the risk of a manufacturing defect that kills the disk later on.

For brands, see link below:
The link is a bit old, but is still useful...

Optical, Blu-ray:

It is possible today, BUT is a bit expensive for the burner and media. In a few years, I believe this will be the system of choice.

Flash Memory:

Possible, but still expensive. I did see 8 GB USB Flash sticks currently on sale at Circuit City $50. That's still expensive, but in 6 to 9 years, the size will be about 8 to 64 times larger for a lower price.

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Old March 24th, 2008, 02:51 PM   #17
Chong Lor
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Thanks, Bob, for the break down. I would love to go solid state or blu-ray but at the current time, it is very expensive.

I've decided to go with the hard drive and double layer DVD. I figured that I would only backup the real important footage to a DL DVD media since it's going to take more time writing/reading and more medias.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 03:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Bob Diaz View Post
Hard Drives:

The expected life of hard drives is around 3 to 7 years.

I know it's untested, but I am willing to believe that the shelf life of non-operating drives is much longer than 3 to 7 years if stored properly.

Of course the protocols/interfaces themselves are ephemeral (SCSI, for example, and now IDE/ATA), so it's a good idea to transfer your data to the latest and greatest at certain intevals. In 7 years I will probably be able to fit all of my current archives on one drive, as you imply.

Last edited by Eric Pascarelli; March 25th, 2008 at 07:33 AM.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #19
Chong Lor
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So it seems that DVD media, if store properly, will last longer than hard drive, I assumed? However, the only problem with DVD media is as mentioned above, read/write speed is still quite slow for video backup.

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