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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 6th, 2009, 05:20 PM   #1
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A Cautionary Tale

So, being caveleer about my data, I've been copying data from MxS/SDHC cards in Clip Browser in fast mode and without CRC checks.

Today, I'm prepping to edit a 2 hour concert that was shot Ex/HDV/AVCHD. To enable multi-cam editing in final cut, I needed to convert my EX footage to ProRes.

I had split my EX files into scenes in Final Cut on initial import so I set up compressor to batch convert the 23 quicktime files to ProRes.

Imagine my surprise when I came back a few hours later to discover that 4 of the 23 had failed to concert with a Quicktime Error (2).

I reimported one of the files from the BAPV folder on my hard drive using File->Import->XDCAM and tried to convert. Same error. I reimported from the BAPV folder using Log & Transfer. Same error. I tried exporting from FCP timeline to ProRes with quicktime conversion. Errored out. Oh Oh!

Fortunately, I had not erased my cards. I copied the files from the card to my hard drive again, this time with safe mode checked and CRC on. Compressor converted perfectly first time.

So, will I be using shortcuts in future? No way. I was lucky this time not to have erased the cards. Would this have happened using proper SxS cards? I'm not sure but of course it's possible given that the problem seems to have occured during the copy.

Take care now!

Peter

Last edited by Peter Mee; March 7th, 2009 at 03:03 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old March 6th, 2009, 08:11 PM   #2
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Thank you Peter for telling this tale.

I've said in so many other places that CRC is the "safety belt" one should always wear. So many people don't use it and say they've never had a problem. I keep telling people the problem need only happen ONCE in thousands of times to lose a master, lose a shoot, lose a client.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 08:20 PM   #3
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Ditto- CRC is the way to go every time
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Old March 6th, 2009, 11:47 PM   #4
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Okay.... so no doubt I should already know this, but what exactly IS CRC and 'safe mode'?
Are these settings in Clip Browser? I can't seem to find anything in there called this. I have always just imported the BPAV folders with Clip Browser, and plopped them into new folders I name. Can someone enlighten me what the 'safety belt' of CRC and 'safe mode' is?

I don't want to be taking any chances here....

thanks
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Old March 6th, 2009, 11:59 PM   #5
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Here's the preference setting for CRC
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Old March 7th, 2009, 12:46 AM   #6
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Thanks, Craig-
after a little more research, I discovered that I have been operating with Clip Browser 1.1. It didn't have the CRC feature.
Since posting that last message, I've already downloaded 2.0 and am transferring clips from today's shooting as I write this.
I'm out of town on a shoot with my EX, and was a little nervous about trying a new Clip Browser while on a shoot, but now I'm glad I did. This one works much better, seems faster, and of course has the CRC feature which will let me sleep better tonight....
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Old March 7th, 2009, 03:02 AM   #7
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I actually forgot to post the most frightening info;

On 23 scenes across 3 16GB SDHC cards, there were 4 errors. Thats more than 15% failure rate. With data protection and CRC enabled, there were no errors.

Now, this is the first time I came across this and the only 'different' aspect was that this was a 2 hour show with an interval. Therefore, the takes were very long. I wonder if that had something to do with it?

My methodology was to copy the entire clip to my hard drive using Clip Browser, then to use Log & Transfer to set in/out and import the distinct scenes into FCP. Thereafter, I ran the resulting QTs through compressor.

In fact, if I hadn't opted to convert to ProRes, I would not have encountered this problem until much later (when the cards would have been wiped). The Xdcam files played perfectly in FCP and Quicktime. No hiccups at all. It was only when I tried to convert or export them that the error manifested. Imigine my frustration later when I had my edit completed and tried to export the timeline to DVD. I most likely would not have even realised the problem was in the EX footage at all, never miond being in a position to rectify!

I have been copying the files with Xdcam Clip Browser 2.0 on a MacBook Pro running OSX 10.5.6 to an iSCSI SAN.

Peter
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Old March 7th, 2009, 04:13 AM   #8
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I'm sorry but I cannot find the preferences for CRC. I load using, import Sony XDCAM. Where can I find this setting? or do I need to upgrade?

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Old March 7th, 2009, 05:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
I'm sorry but I cannot find the preferences for CRC. I load using, import Sony XDCAM. Where can I find this setting? or do I need to upgrade?

Thanks
Its a preference option in Sony's XDCAM EX Clip Browser software V 2.00.01.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:16 AM   #10
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Thank you for posting this. I was running version 1 also. But I import from the cards using
Shotput Pro. Does anyone know if this runs its own (or the same) version of CRC? I think it does but would always feel better confirming this with the collective mind!
Stories like this keep me up at night.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 09:47 AM   #11
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I REALLY like Clip Browser 2.0. I was more than a little nervous to download a new version (which required deleting the older version) while on the road on a shoot, but now I'm very glad I did. Does anyone know if there is a pdf manual that can be downloaded somewhere though?
It's a MUCH better interface, and will automatically create new folders for each card download. I just have to remember to select the destination in the preferences when I switch drives (I do a complete backup on a second drive for each shoot)
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:13 AM   #12
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This is another case where Sony makes things illogical and nearly impossible to find.
The ClipBrowser has no Help menu. The manual is NOT downloaded with the program.

I found it easily at the Canadian site. I can't find it at all on the USA site

http://www.sony.ca/xdcamex/software/...%20English.pdf
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #13
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Thanks again, Craig
I don't feel quite so stupid now!
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #14
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Sony has a series of workflow PDFs for the various major NLEs. I previously made a post with those links although unfortunately they haven't been "stickied."

From the FCP ClipBrowser 2 workflow PDF note this very emphatic warning.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:34 AM   #15
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Damn.... that's ominous. I have always used Clip Browser, but know several people who just 'drag and drop' I wonder how they've made it this far without a disaster?
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