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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, 08:36 AM   #1
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Naming SxS Cards?

Do you name your SxS cards? If so, do you re-name them every time you reformat them? Or is the name saved even when it's formated?

I like to format our cards before I reuse them again. I've seen lots of problems with SD and Compact Flash cards when the user just deletes the individual clips and never formats them. The data on the card slowly get's corrupt and eventually becomes unusable. For this reason I choose to always reformat our SxS cards before I shoot on them again.

I'm just wondering if I should be naming the cards. Right now they are all named "Untitled".
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #2
 
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My camera assigns numbers based on the serial number of the camera, then numbers each clip.

Perhaps I'm not following your question, but since each shoot is different, I change the name the camera records to the cards (each clip).

Once I transfer the clips to the computer, I delete the clips from the card(s). No need to reformat the card(s). When the next shoot comes, I change the name in the camera settings to reflect the shoot/client.

Does any of that make sense?
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:48 AM   #3
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As a photographer I agree with reformatting cards once the footage has been deleted, especially with the SDHC Cards.

As for naming the cards, I think it all depends on your own workflow! I tend to label the actual cards with a number (externally) and jot down what's roughly on each card in the field to speed up my post-production i.e. I know which card I need to download first.

If I named the card in camera I'd have to either view it on camera or on my computer to know which card is which thus making life more difficult for me.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies! (I LOVE this forum!) I think you guys are right on the money with your points. But I'm thinking that with our workflow, naming the cards would be a waste of time. I really want to format the cards before I shoot on them again. Because clients are paying us for this footage, it's just too important to risk getting corrupted by not formatting.

Here's our current work flow:

1) Shoot on Card A until it's full.
2) Camera automatically switches to Card B. Keep shooting until it's full
3) Replace Card A with Card C and keep shooting.
4) Get out our Apple MacBook Pro laptop and our external FW800 hard drive Western Digital My Studio 500GB)
5) Create a folder on the external hard drive named the same as the project.
6) Using the XDCAM EX Clip Browser software I transfer all the footage from Card A into the project folder (this creates a BAPV folder inside the project folder)
7) Double check that all the footage from Card A made it onto the external hard drive.
8) Format Card A (I hate this part....makes me very nervous)
9) Using Clip Browser I transfer all the footage from Card B into the same project folder (the software automatically combines any clips that spanned over Card A and B)
10) Double check that all the footage from Card B made it onto the external hard drive.
11) Format Card B
12) Etc...

The point is, when I use this workflow, if I name the cards, I'd have to rename them before each shoot, because formating them will erase the name. I guess I'm just worried that 6 months from now, I'm going to come across something that will make me wish I had named our SxS cards when I first started shooting with this camera. Thoughts? Am I missing something?

I probably worry to much..... :)
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Old February 6th, 2009, 09:49 AM   #5
 
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Paul, what's the need in reformatting a card (either kind) after deleting the clips?
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Old February 6th, 2009, 09:55 AM   #6
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I just use "all clips delete". I keep a copy of my standard profile on each card in case of problems so reformatting would blow this away.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #7
 
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Exactly, Bruce, that was my thinking also.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 10:04 AM   #8
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I name the cards. There's nothing more unsettling than copying from several cards in a row labeled "untitled." You may not be sure if it's a card you've already copied. If the clip names include the source, it's easy to check if you've pulled clips from the card already.

The only time I reformat a card is if at some point during the shoot I get an error message of any kind on the card. Then I reformat after I've copied the clips.

With two 32GB SDHC cards I reduce my risks further since with nearly 4 hours of record time I rarely have to offload during the pressures of a shoot.

I only copy clips with ClipBrowser. It's the safest way to go (outside of ShotPut).
I delete my clips with ClipBrowser after copying. This way I avoid the risk of deleting clips or formating a card in camera that may not have been copied.

The day you accidentally reformat the wrong card in the camera is the day you will never want to take that risk again.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 10:06 AM   #9
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These two articles will explain it better than I could;
Article 1
Article 2
Hope this helps explain the difference between deleting and formatting.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 10:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Seeman View Post
The day you accidentally reformat the wrong card in the camera is the day you will never want to take that risk again.
I usually carry more than enough cards for the shoot (SDHC are cheap enough for this purpose) so that you don't need to reformat in the field also another good reason to number each card so you know which one is which.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 10:11 AM   #11
 
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Paul, I'm confident that everyone here understands the difference between deleting and reformatting.

As for the articles, that's the authors' opinion. I think Craig's explanation provides another, one I'm more inclined to agree with.

Opinions are like noses... you know the rest.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:08 PM   #12
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I have externally labeled my SxS cards, as well as all my SD/SDHC and CF cards too. During a shoot I keep track of cards by their labels.

As for formatting media... I ALWAYS format the media in the camera it will be used in just prior to use. If all you do is delete you run a very real risk of a corrupted FAT.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hedgecoe View Post
I have externally labeled my SxS cards, as well as all my SD/SDHC and CF cards too. During a shoot I keep track of cards by their labels.

As for formatting media... I ALWAYS format the media in the camera it will be used in just prior to use. If all you do is delete you run a very real risk of a corrupted FAT.
What do you label your cards with? Especially the SDHC cards which are so small it could make for a tight fit into the MxR adaptor and some readers.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 09:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchell Lewis View Post
Thanks for the quick replies! (I LOVE this forum!) I think you guys are right on the money with your points. But I'm thinking that with our workflow, naming the cards would be a waste of time. I really want to format the cards before I shoot on them again. Because clients are paying us for this footage, it's just too important to risk getting corrupted by not formatting.

Here's our current work flow:

1) Shoot on Card A until it's full.
2) Camera automatically switches to Card B. Keep shooting until it's full
3) Replace Card A with Card C and keep shooting.
4) Get out our Apple MacBook Pro laptop and our external FW800 hard drive Western Digital My Studio 500GB)
5) Create a folder on the external hard drive named the same as the project.
6) Using the XDCAM EX Clip Browser software I transfer all the footage from Card A into the project folder (this creates a BAPV folder inside the project folder)
7) Double check that all the footage from Card A made it onto the external hard drive.
8) Format Card A (I hate this part....makes me very nervous)
9) Using Clip Browser I transfer all the footage from Card B into the same project folder (the software automatically combines any clips that spanned over Card A and B)
10) Double check that all the footage from Card B made it onto the external hard drive.
11) Format Card B
12) Etc...

The point is, when I use this workflow, if I name the cards, I'd have to rename them before each shoot, because formating them will erase the name. I guess I'm just worried that 6 months from now, I'm going to come across something that will make me wish I had named our SxS cards when I first started shooting with this camera. Thoughts? Am I missing something?

I probably worry to much..... :)
interesting discussions here about whether to format or delete clips.... I had also thought it was better to just use the 'all clips delete' function. so far, I have not had a problem with that.
BUT, something caught my attention here? transferring files from another card into the BPAV folder from a previous card? you can do this? I have been just creating new folders for each card, ie: 'project name'-1, 'project name'-2, etc. How do you combine all the files into a single BPAV folder? This will make the editors MUCH happier, I'm sure.

I agree with Mitchell's work flow with downloading here, with one additional step I use because I believe in overkill: I load all the clips on TWO separate LaCie Rugged drives in the field. That way, I have a complete backup of the entire shoot. If my clients want to cover the costs of both drives, I bill them for both and they take them with them and that's that. If not, I bill for the one drive they take with them, and keep the files for a specified period of time on the second drive until I know they have backed up and then clear that drive for the next shoot. Makes for some longer evenings doing all the downloading, but I sleep better when I'm done.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #15
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I've put hundreds of hours of video on SxS cards and never once formatted a card. Out of literally thousands of clips I've not had one corruption or even hint of a glitch or error of any kind. SxS is so much more reliable than tape is sickening.

Formatting is a complete waist of time. You would be just as productive watching grass grow.
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