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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 6th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #1
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SDHC methods caution

I'm going to have to rethink the idea of keeping footage on SD cards now.

I was just prepping my camera for a shoot tomorrow. I put one of my Sandisk 16GB SDHC cards that I have been having no issues with into the EX3. This card had some footage that I was intending to keep on the shelf. Nothing really important. It was my 'test' card so to speak. I already have multiple backups of the footage on it luckily.

Anyway, I put it into the camera and up pops an alert "This card needs to be formatted".

Uh oh! Up until now I had no problems. I had taken the SD card out of the camera to transfer footage before and then put it back into the camera with no issues. But this time something appears to have gone a bit, well, wrong. The only two things I have done differently to before is that I changed the camera shooting mode to 720/50 before putting the card back in. This shouldn't really make a difference though. The second is that when the card was last in I had accidentally selected its slot instead of the SxS one when I was recording some slow motion and of course it threw up a writing error.

Looks like I'll be shooting SxS tomorrow just in case.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #2
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When you say keeping footage on SD cards, do you mean long term storage?

Have you tried the suspect card in a computer to see what is on it?
Perhaps it's only a corruption of the XML files?

I'm still getting to grip with all this, I was hoping to be able to only pull the SD cards out and keep the MxR card in the camera, but it seems to confuse the camera.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #3
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Usually if there is an issue with the card it says that it needs to be restored. I'm going to have to play around a bit more.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:36 AM   #4
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I've found that if I accidentally overcrank on a SDHC Card (in my case the Transcend) that I need to reformat the card before I can use it again. Other than that I never needed to reformat a card twice.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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I put an ultra II in a delkin with footage already on it into my camera, it came up wanting to be formatted.. i then pulled it out.. reinserted it.. and it was fine..
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:33 PM   #6
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I've been using 2 Sandisk Ultra II 32GB cards in MxR. Except for the need to do format twice, they've been rock solid.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #7
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I have shot lots on the transcend cards, and the only problem I got was when I tried to insert the SDHC card into a card reader on my laptop and dump the files that way, upon re-inserting into the cam, I got the format error. I make it a habit to dump everything to the HD as soon as I come home from a shoot now, just to be safe.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 05:05 PM   #8
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I've had this happen occasionally, and found they didn't actually need to be formatted. I tried them in my laptop which has native SDHC slots, and they read fine. Put it back in the EX3, and it worked again. Data was all good.

I think the EX3 is less tolerant of odd or slow responses from the SDHC/MxR, and rejects them by default rather than trying again?
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Old February 6th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
The only two things I have done differently to before is that I changed the camera shooting mode to 720/50 before putting the card back in. .... The second is that when the card was last in I had accidentally selected its slot instead of the SxS one when I was recording some slow motion .....
If the card still seems to subsequently work OK after formatting, I'd be very suspicious of the two things you did differently to before, and it may be worth doing some testing to try to recreate the problem.

If you can recreate the situation, it means you shouldn't need to worry about shooting to a card, taking it out, putting on the write protect, and just storing it away.

I also would be interested to know what a computer thinks is on the (unformatted) card. If readable data, it's less of a worry than if previous good data has become hopelessly corrupt.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 06:21 PM   #10
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So - Simon - could you read the card? We are getting curious here...
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #11
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If the card had been plugged into your computer prior to putting it back into the camera, it is possible that the OS (especially windoze) wrote something onto the card and the camera was not pleased with that extra item. Hence the 'need to format'.

Just a thought.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham View Post
Looks like I'll be shooting SxS tomorrow just in case.
Hopefully you've got this resolved by now, but I'd have to add a 'don't panic' stamp.

I had something similar when I must have switched the camera back on to REC whilst breaking down after a shoot, and then pulling the battery off the camera whilst packing the camera away.

The camera seems to remember an ID to each card, and if the card has suffered an ignoble fate, it fears the worst. I put it in the Mac, everything was there, put it back in the camera, and some strange 'significant byte' had changed, everything was fine again.

Like any form of technology, one needs to find out what kind of dead chicken one needs to wave over sick stuff. I had a floptical that required a 20 minute car journey, a 1 GB disk that required a tip from rear to front, a car that required a hammer to start, and it goes on.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 03:27 AM   #13
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Hi Simon,

Sorry to come to the discussion so late.

I would love to be able to re-create the problem you had. That's the kind of thing on a shoot that pushes blood pressure and heart rate into the stratosphere.

I haven't seen that message in all my testing, and I tried to be as harsh as I could, pulling batteries off, ejecting cards, ejecting SDHC's while recording and have only ever had one problem with one Sandisk.

It wouldn't work right straight out of the blister, but after trying a whole bunch of formats on computers, and cameras, it started working fine. It's been in our production area for the last four weeks, and no problems.

So it's hard for me to even guess the cause, not that you asked me, mind you. But as I say, if you can give me some more info, I'll put on my "Stress Test" hat and give it a go.

One point though, as others have posted, I wouldn't format it until I had put it on a computer, if there was anything valuable on it.

The funny thing in speaking with my photographer colleagues, is that some of them refuse to shoot on anything greater than 1GB, that's right 1GB, because they are scared of losing data. Apparently SD cards when they first came out were notorious for losing data. To the point that photographers used to recommend recovery software to each other!

Imagine changing cards every 1GB.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 01:40 PM   #14
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Today I filmed a baptism, with the EX1 and mxs transcend SDHC 16GB.mistake I filmed overcrank on SDHC when the card was lost.Am thought all was not right .. I just lost the last couple of film.Am recovered from all the filming baptism ... uff
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Old February 8th, 2009, 01:58 PM   #15
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So far I can use 720p24/40 overcrank on my Sandisk Ultra II 32GB card. Higher overcrank does result in media error after some seconds. Even those clips are OK though. When I got media error all I needed to do was pull MxS card and reinsert and all was well.

Not only are no clips lost even the overcranked clip is good.
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