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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 May 16th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #1
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best workflow? (from SXS card->hard drives (for edit AND backup)?

Hi there,

I'd love to hear from those of you who've been doing this for a while, about the best workflow, to get from shooting to editing to archiving.

The EX-1 presents new issues for anyone coming from tape, re backing up and archiving... I'd like to go to eSATA for editing, for the sake of speed, but security is also a concern.

So what's the best way to get from my SXS card in the field, to editing my project that night, without having to worry about losing everything if a drive goes down.

Here's my attempt at figuring it out. (I think I'm making it too complicated, but I'm not sure).

1) on shoot, offload cards to MacBook Pro and external firewire drive

2) at home, attach MacBook Pro to external SATA ("storage") drive, and copy all media to SATA storage drive

3) connect FirmTek (or Sonnet) eSATA ("editing") 5-bay drive (RAID 0), and copy all media to drives

4) Start editing

Would people mind sharing their best workflow?

Thanks, Malcolm
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Old May 16th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #2
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Good work Malcolm!

Looking forward...
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Old May 16th, 2008, 06:37 PM   #3
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1) On shoot: offload cards to MacBook Pro and external firewire drive

2) In suite: run BPAV files (MP4) thru XDCam Transfer into FCP project (mov)
depending on size of project, either to same drive or second.

3) Edit
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Old May 16th, 2008, 07:04 PM   #4
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Hi Jonathan... yes I hope we can sort this out asap... I know you're leaving on your shooting adventure soon.
And Andrew, thanks for the reply, but can I ask, if (back in my office) I copy to the same drive I copied to in the field... what if that drive fails?
You do provide an 'either/or' scenario, and I think I'd feel safer copying to a separate (call it my 'editing') drive.
Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I'm thinking of copying to a small, bus-powered firewire drive in the field, and also to a 32GB flash drive (edit: not "Maybe" paranoid; I AM paranoid... but that's only because I've read too many posts about people losing footage); then at the office, where I've got eSATA, I'd copy to two SATA drives, one to go on a shelf, the other for editing.
Am I building in too much redundancy? Am I complicating my workflow? Or is this sensible?
thanks for your help,
Malcolm
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Old May 16th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #5
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I don't think you can build too much redundancy or complicate your workflow to satisfy your piece of mind. ANd what you've put forward seems well within a reasonable workflow.

I'm no expert, and tweaking my workflow as I go. So what makes me comfortable today, may scare the crap out of me next month.

The current project I am in, has 1TB of footage on a LaCie BDE wrangled from the SxS cards, in a respectable folder system. And as I import into FCP, I am XDCam Transfer-ing to a second 1TB LaCie BDE. This seems to work well for me.

I should mention that it was only one occasion that I kept my SxS dumps and editing footage on the same drive. Also, I forgot to mention that I had a backup in the form of an Adobe OnLocation record on a separate drive. Mind you I had no intention of using it, due to its interlace format.

To your question, if you (or anyone) copies to the same drive and it fails... we're SOL.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 10:34 PM   #6
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Andrew, I don't want to start some kind of flame war or fanboy discussion, but I'd be very careful about relying on LaCie drives too much. I'm sure I'll get flamed by a lot of people who have had nothing but great luck with them, but I have a box full of dead LaCie drive enclosures (d2 series and prior) where either the chipset went dead or the powersupply started blinking and died too. You can usually get the HD out of the case and keep your data but LaCie seems to be having some problems in recent years. Since they put in whatever HD's they want, you can't blame them too much if the drive fails, but their cases and power supplies have been failing me on a regular basis. The last Firewire bridge chipset that failed was about two months ago. When I contacted them to see if I could buy a replacement circuit board, they said that they did not stock ANY of these parts and that I was out of lucik. I will never buy one of their products again.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #7
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Malcolm,

i am doing pretty much as you are in the field. The difference is that I am using the Western Digital passport drives for backup. I have 2 320 GB, they are USB2 and powered through the USB bus. Not as quick as FW but I can't get over the size of those drives and I love not having to carry AC for them. I insert SxS into the express card slot, copy to drive one and copy again to the second. I don't copy to both at the same time just so that I have two separate copy actions in case one of the transfers introduces some sort of hiccup into a file. (Call that paranoia or being cautious.) HTH.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 11:39 PM   #8
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There's lots of firewire 800 drives that don't need power and are small. Why hobble yourself with slow USB downloads? I've been using OWC on-the-go drives and have had good luck. Probably though I should get another brand for awhile to diversify my luck.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 11:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
There's lots of firewire 800 drives that don't need power and are small. Why hobble yourself with slow USB downloads? I've been using OWC on-the-go drives and have had good luck. Probably though I should get another brand for awhile to diversify my luck.
I just bought my first OWC OTG drive when I got my EX1 and used it via bus-power on my MacBook Pro to ingest my first footage. It worked VERY well and I'll probably be buying some more after the LaCie fiasco.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 12:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard Levy View Post
There's lots of firewire 800 drives that don't need power and are small. Why hobble yourself with slow USB downloads? I've been using OWC on-the-go drives and have had good luck. Probably though I should get another brand for awhile to diversify my luck.
I will check those out. I got the WD drives for a smokin' deal that I couldn't pass up.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 02:52 AM   #11
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Never had any bad luck from Lacie but I switched to G-Tech Raid2 and haven't looked back. They're products are awesome with heavy duty parts- The power supply is two times larger than any Lacie drive I have. The firewire 800 cable is longer too (and a cool white color).

About the workflow - The only thing I'd recommend for piece of mind is burning your SxS cards BRD discs and shelving them. Optical Disc is really feels like a master and better than any HD option (IMHO).

So - Transfer SxS to FW800 onto drive one, convert to .mov on drive two. Have your loader burn SxS from drive one onto BDR and label as master.
At the end you'll have something tangible.

-C
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Old May 17th, 2008, 07:18 AM   #12
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On the shoot,i transfer files from card/card reader into laptop,check files on pc using clip browser,delet card using clip browser.
At home in the editing studio i then rewrap to mxf onto 1 external hard drive for editing and copy to another external for backup/archive.

Paul.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 08:10 AM   #13
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Thanks for sharing - - there seems to be quite a bit of consensus.
I'll sum up, in hopes that someone might "tweak" the process one way or another before I commit to it:

1) on shoot, offload cards to MacBook Pro, then copy to "PORTABLE" firewire drive (and possibly a flash "thumb" drive, for extra insurance? These things now come in 32GB size, for under $200, and you can carry them in your pocket)...

2) at home, attach MacBook Pro (or "PORTABLE" fw drive?) to eSATA or FW800 "STORAGE" drive, and copy all media to "STORAGE" drive, put it on shelf...
(OR, if you have a Blu-Ray burner, as Christopher has, burn to a "MASTER" Blu-Ray disc, and put it on the shelf)

3) connect MacBook Pro (or "PORTABLE" fw drive?) to eSATA or FW800 "EDIT" drive, and copy all media (re-wrapping to .mov or MXF, depending on your nle, in the process) to this/these drives

4) Start editing

Is this looking pretty good?
Thanks so much,
Malcolm
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Old May 17th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #14
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Connect MacBook Pro to Desktop computer by GigE ethernet.

If you're really consciences you can burn to DL-DVD from laptop during shoot or shortly thereafter. The problem with hard drives is not only the risk of crash but the risk of accidental file deletion. The laptop had DL-DVD burner built in so you can start burn right after file copy.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 06:26 PM   #15
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"I will never buy one of their products again"

Whilst agreeing with Dave about not wanting to start some kind of flame war, and having bought exclusively LaCie firewire drives (about 7 or 8) over the last 4-5 years, I nevertheless found myself saying "I will never buy one of your products again" to LaCie just recently when yet another of their drives arrived DOA. Probably 30% of products have failed - I've even sent a DOA drive back to be repaired that has been returned to me 'repaired', that STILL didn't work! Now that there will be a greater reliance on the long-term reliability of external firewire hard drives as archive for EX1 material, it'd be useful to learn other users' overall experience with different FW drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Morrison View Post
Andrew, I don't want to start some kind of flame war or fanboy discussion, but I'd be very careful about relying on LaCie drives too much. I'm sure I'll get flamed by a lot of people who have had nothing but great luck with them, but I have a box full of dead LaCie drive enclosures (d2 series and prior) where either the chipset went dead or the powersupply started blinking and died too. You can usually get the HD out of the case and keep your data but LaCie seems to be having some problems in recent years. Since they put in whatever HD's they want, you can't blame them too much if the drive fails, but their cases and power supplies have been failing me on a regular basis. The last Firewire bridge chipset that failed was about two months ago. When I contacted them to see if I could buy a replacement circuit board, they said that they did not stock ANY of these parts and that I was out of lucik. I will never buy one of their products again.
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