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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 December 6th, 2008, 01:47 PM   #1
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What type/speed of hard drive do you EDIT with?

I have a MBP and use external drives for storage like most MBP users. For transfer and storage of my raw BPAV files I use a 7200rpm 500g Seagate drive connected via USB 2. Right now I only use 1 storage drive but I know some people have a backup in case the first drive craps out.

I'm looking for input on what "editing" drive people use. After all my footage is stored, I'll use Transfer to capture just the footage I want and put it on another fast drive that FCP will use for editing. What connection are you using for editing; USB 2, FW 800, eSata? Does it make a difference with handling 1080 footage?

Thanks for any input.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 03:14 PM   #2
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I'm using LaCie Quadras via FireWire 800, none bigger than 500 GB, usually three or four projects per disk, leaving space for media managed backups of movies from other projects.

I've done a couple of 1080 projects, and found that for my current line of work the overhead of processing and rendering for SD & web projects isn't worth the hassle. It's absolutely possible, but I'm just happy at 720p being what DV felt like a couple of years ago. YMMV.

I've got a couple of RAIDs that are dead, some expensive drives (G-RAID, Glyph) that are dead, and cupboards full of lively LaCie Quadras that everyone hates but I love. BTW, I am putting Shotput archives onto BluRay data disks.

The LaCie rugged drives are great for on-site ShotPut disks, as they are FW800 and bus powered. Never trust a foreign power socket.

As for SATA, haven't quite felt the need for it yet.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 03:17 PM   #3
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Hi Chad
New late 2008 MBP.

I use a 7200 FW 800 media drive.Western digital 500GB
ALso a connected Esata 7200RPM drive for archieving, (along with an optical disk backup.)
Also connected is a computer backup/misc Esata 7200RPM.
The esata drives are connected to the expresscard slot.

The media drives should be as fast as possible and esata and FW800 work for EX1 footage that I have shot.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 05:16 PM   #4
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With MBP you want to do eSata through expresscard. There's a more expensive($100) adapter that suppose to be faster than the older model ($40). Sorry don't remember the model.
Then just buy as many drives and enclosures as you need. Any drive is probably fine but I would stay away from the 1.5TB seagate.

A mid size drive:
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB

Biggest fastest:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB

Above 500gb almost all drives are fast. The density needed for such high storage means a lot of data passes under the head each second. A smaller system would use 500GB laptop drives than have dropped in price to `$120. So 2.5 inch laptop drives are about twice as expensive as 3.5 inch desktop drives.

Lacie is fine but remember they don't make hard drives, they make enclosures. Knowing the price of bare drives lets you decide if Lacie is a good value. I do think Lacie produces reliable enclosures.

Edit
Esata is faster than firewire but FW is O.K. USB is NOT O.K. - much slower.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Miller View Post
I do think Lacie produces reliable enclosures.
LOL! Quote of the week. Thanks for cheering me up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Miller View Post
Esata is faster than firewire but FW is OK. USB is NOT OK - much slower.
Absolutely and utterly agree.

But I have a dear friend and trusted colleague who swears by his USB drives, of which he follows the price of like an avid stock tracker. He's not edited off FireWire for the past year. I'd not want to be in his position, but he's adamant. It can be done, he does it and swears by it. I and many others would swear at it, but we all have our choices in life.

FWIW, he's a fellow EX1 shooter, but has a Z7 (CF) and other stuff too. He was also a DVCPro-HD connoisseur, which I presume was cured by use of USB...
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Old December 6th, 2008, 05:36 PM   #6
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Ciprico 2.5 TB (5-drive RAID - Fiber Channel)
Medea 1.5 TB (5-drive RAID - Fiber Channel)

In my opinion, it's VERY important to go with 5-drive RAID's (if you can afford them). This way if one drive goes bad, the drive will keep on running while you source a replacement. It's kind of like a built-in backup. (we use Leopard Time Machine for that).

Running a 4-drive RAID is just asking for trouble. Don't ask..... I guess if you backup religiously (something that's now easy with Time Machine) you'd be safe.
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Old December 6th, 2008, 05:51 PM   #7
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I'd like to stress that the drive speed is of uttermost importance when editing long gop material. At least if you are using an Avid Media Composer. I recently got two 1 GB drives that I software striped in Windows and compared to USB2-drives the difference is huge. The sluggishness that I noticed dragging the mouse through clips earlier has gone. It almost feels like MJPEG-media.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 08:25 AM   #8
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esata here. got a Macally quad enclosure for I think $89, and 1tb SATA II for $109,
it flies, noticeable speed difference over FW400
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Old December 7th, 2008, 07:53 PM   #9
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Thanks for everyone's input. I think I'll go with an eSata drive for editing, FW 800 if need be.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 08:23 PM   #10
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what about SCSI?

Hey folks, what about SCSI drives? I love the performance of my seagate SCSI drives. 10,000rpm all of them. I'm not editing EX files yet, camera hasn't arrived yet. Should I switch to a esata or similar raid, or stay with my SCSI system?

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Old December 7th, 2008, 09:58 PM   #11
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Chad, since you are on a laptop, you might look at bus powered options for easier portability. I have the same machine as you, and have done a lot of research. The best options for bus powered drives that are also fast would seem to be the Sonnet Fusion F2 (esata), the Lacie Little Big Disk (esata, FW800/400, USB2), and the Graid mini (FW800/400, USB2). All three offer the speed of raid and the portability of bus power.

The Sonnet is power plug free even on esata, as it gets power through a firewire cable that leaves the firewire data bus untouched.

The Lacie looks great, except if connected with esata or usb it needs to be plugged in for power. Bus powered over firewire.

Graid mini good, too, except no esata.

If you want a great bus powered single drive for backups or for DV editing, try the OWC Mercury-on-the-go. FW800/400/USB2. I just got one and love it. Built like a tank, but small, bus powered and quick. Got great reviews, too.

By the way, though I haven't tried it, this inexpensive esata express card seems to be a good match for the macbook pro, cause it doesn't need drivers:

Newegg.com - PPA 1172 2 eSATA Ports ExpressCard - Laptop Add-on Cards

I'm using a Dynex that I got off Ebay for $10. Works great, but had to download a different driver to get it to work in Mac. The included driver didn't work.
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Old December 7th, 2008, 10:04 PM   #12
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So it seems that I'm wrong that we'll need a fast hard drive to edit XDCAM footage. I made the assumption long ago assuming that do to the more than double the number of pixels (DV vs HD) that it will really tax our hard drives. But now that Sony has figured out how to make it work by only going from 25 to 35mps, I think I was wrong.

So what are we going to do with these high priced RAIDs we've been using for the past couple of years? hehehehehehe
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Old December 7th, 2008, 10:20 PM   #13
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So what are we going to do with these high priced RAIDs we've been using for the past couple of years? hehehehehehe
I think those high priced raids will be very useful for anything you choose to edit using an intermediate codec (Prores, 220Mbps at high quality, or Avid's DnxHD). Even looking at several layers of SD footage will work better.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #14
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Using 4 Western Digital 640GB drives in a RAID 5 setup. Running off the onboard Intel RAID. Haven't had a hiccup yet. No dropped frames. Getting on average about 210MB/s. Burst read speeds up to 280MB/s. Maybe a bit overkill for EX1 footage, but it leaves me the option of editing higher bitrate material.
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Old December 8th, 2008, 09:55 PM   #15
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Devin, how are you measuring your drive speed/burst rate? It would be cool to know how to do that.
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