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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 June 18th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #1
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SxS cards have less capactiy after each shoot

I have been erasing my SxS cards via the "delete all clips" command on the EX1.

I have noticed that my cards are filling up before they reach capacity. Is there a better way to erase footage?

Are there hidden files that remain on the card and can they be erased without reformatting?

Thanks,

Diana
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Old June 18th, 2009, 11:05 AM   #2
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Try the Format card option.

Noah
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Old June 18th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #3
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Why don't you like to re-format them? I do after every time I download.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #4
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Didn't realize it was a problem until the most recent shoot.

Don't you have to rename your media if you reformat?

Diana
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Old June 18th, 2009, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Scalera View Post
I have been erasing my SxS cards via the "delete all clips" command on the EX1.
I have noticed that my cards are filling up before they reach capacity. Is there a better way to erase footage?

Are there hidden files that remain on the card and can they be erased without reformatting?

Thanks,

Diana
I have not noticed any loss of capacity with any of my seven cards, and I've been shooting with one of them since September '07. I don't remember when I last re-formatted it, but it has been many months.

The reason I prefer to "delete all clips" is because I don't want to wipe out the EX1 and EX3 Camera Data files I have stored on each of my cards, and I don't want to lose the custom name that I have given each of my cards. I almost never reformat.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #6
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I heard that you shouldn't delete clips from your computer.

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Old June 18th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #7
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loss of capacity

Doug

Is there some other reason why an 8 GB SxS would only record 6 GBs before it flips to the next card?

Given the price of the cards, I don't have very many and need every mb I can spare. Also, it makes planning for a shot worrisome. Will the card loose more capacity the next time?
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Old June 18th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #8
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I've never had this issue. After I offload the footage to two separate hard drives I will format the card in-camera. I've had my EX1/SxS cards since last July.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 02:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Diana Scalera View Post
Doug

Is there some other reason why an 8 GB SxS would only record 6 GBs before it flips to the next card? Given the price of the cards, I don't have very many and need every mb I can spare. Also, it makes planning for a shot worrisome. Will the card loose more capacity the next time?
Hi Diana,

I have to admit that I never allow the camera to automatically switch from one card to the other. I can completely understand why that is a nice feature to have, but it is simply something I never need. My longest clips are rarely over one minute, so I just change cards when the display says I have "0" minutes remaining. I never have two cards loaded because I don't want the camera switching on me automatically. Okay, I'm a control freak.

I really hate the way the camera starts beeping an warning me the media is almost full with 4 minutes of space remaining. Sometimes I have to put up with that annoying warning for an hour or more because I'm still filling up the card. 4 minutes of space might take me dozens of clips to use up.

I'm telling you all that just to preface what I am about to say because I'm just speaking on what I "think" the camra is doing when it switches to the second card -- and not what I know it is doing from experience.

I suspect that the camera is switching over to the second card too early. In other words, it is making the switch before the first card is completely full. I'd have to do some testing to create the situation and I don't have the time to do that.

Why don't you try recording some additional footage to one of the cards that only got 6GB recorded to it and see if it will accept more clips? That should tell you if the card was really full or not. See if you can get another 2GB of clips recorded on the card. But be sure to eject the second card first or the camera will just swtich over again.

If you can get the camera to record more footage on the card, then we have a clue as to the real problem.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 02:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Heath McKnight View Post
I heard that you shouldn't delete clips from your computer.
Heath
I always "delete all clips" with the camera's menu.
As I said before, this prevents erasing my two Camera Data files and renaming my card.

If someone doesn't care about preserving those three items, then, by all means, just re-format the whole card and be done with it. But that is not an option for me.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #11
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Thanks for your reply Doug.

I tried adding more footage to the card during the shoot but I didn't remove the second card. The camera just kept on flipping to the next card. I'll try tomorrow to do this with just one card in the slot. I'll let you know what happens.

I shoot in K-12 classrooms and it is non-stop action so I need to be able to have both cards available. My shoots usually last 1 1/2 hours.

The other annoying thing about the SxS cards is that when a clip is split between two cards, it needs special handling in the XDCAM Transfer software otherwise it will not be copied to the hard drive. The media has an "SMI" extension. I forgot to do this extra step for one of my shoots and I lost an important clip. No way to recreate the situation. On the good side, if you remember to upload it, no frames are missing!! You get three files two from card A, one from card B. It seems like you have to put all three in the timeline for the file to work.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Diana Scalera View Post
The other annoying thing about the SxS cards is that when a clip is split between two cards, it needs special handling in the XDCAM Transfer software otherwise it will not be copied to the hard drive. .
That's one of the reasons I prefer to keep only one card in the camera, but for some situations, as I said before, having two cards is the logical choice.

There should be a menu option to prevent the camera from flipping over. Then, when the counter reached "0" you could press the button yourself.

Let us know how the test turns out.
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Old June 18th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Diana Scalera View Post
The other annoying thing about the SxS cards is that when a clip is split between two cards, it needs special handling in the XDCAM Transfer software otherwise it will not be copied to the hard drive. The media has an "SMI" extension. I forgot to do this extra step for one of my shoots and I lost an important clip. No way to recreate the situation. On the good side, if you remember to upload it, no frames are missing!! You get three files two from card A, one from card B. It seems like you have to put all three in the timeline for the file to work.
Not sure of your workflow, but if you use Clip Browser to copy from your cards to the same folder, any clips which span more than one card will be combined automatically. Clip Browser will take the folders from the two (or more) cards and combine them in exactly the same way as if you had recorded the whole clip to one card. You can then import that clip with XDCAM Transfer without having to worry about it having been recorded across multiple cards.

If you are using Clip Browser but copying each card to a separate hard disc folder, or using finder to copy the BPAV folder, you will need to used Clip Browser to copy the second part of the spanned clip into the same folder as the first part.

N
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Old June 18th, 2009, 03:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I have to admit that I never allow the camera to automatically switch from one card to the other. I can completely understand why that is a nice feature to have, but it is simply something I never need. My longest clips are rarely over one minute, so I just change cards when the display says I have "0" minutes remaining. I never have two cards loaded because I don't want the camera switching on me automatically. Okay, I'm a control freak.

I really hate the way the camera starts beeping an warning me the media is almost full with 4 minutes of space remaining. Sometimes I have to put up with that annoying warning for an hour or more because I'm still filling up the card. 4 minutes of space might take me dozens of clips to use up.
I used to avoid having clips spanning cards, because I used to drag and drop each BPAV folder into its own folder on my hard drive and it was a pain to have to remember that there was a spanned clip which needed combining. However, after reading here of the perils of this workflow, I switched to using Clip Browser and having one folder for the whole project. Combining split files is so seamless that I am completely comfortable with the camera changing cards when it is ready.

I agree that the Media Full warning is a pain, although I turn the beep volume to 0 so just have the flashing rear tally and vf caption. And with a second card you just get the 'Will change slots soon' message, and no beep or flashing light.

N
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Old June 18th, 2009, 03:55 PM   #15
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And with a second card you just get the 'Will change slots soon' message, and no beep or flashing light.
N
That's good to know. Like I said, I prefer to switch cards manually and it has been more than 18 months since I last saw that message. Thanks for the refresher.

On most pro cameras you can completely customize how/when/if the warning messages appear, so it is a step backwards to have to deal with these messages at all.
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