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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 July 25th, 2009, 12:23 AM   #1
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Bad card recovery solution

I've been using the MxR/SDHC adapters with great success but I had a card full of clips fail on me yesterday, one week into a feature film project. I was beside myself and nauseated at the thought of losing those shots! I spent the better part of the entire day today trying various solutions and Media Restores and other software to get at least part of the data back. I used various well-known data recovery programs, card reader programs, various adapters and external readers and nothing was giving me any success. Finally, I gave a freeware program a try and IT WORKED. The program is called TestDisk 6.01 and is a command-line program, but it was the only thing that got me through today and out of 36 clips, I only lost two (one didn't matter and the other can easily be recreated as it was without talent on-screen). What a relief. At least I didn't spend my one day off in front of the computer all day... oh, wait... anyway, I highly recommend this software if you are using the SDHC adapters or have had Media Restore errors (this was actually my first).
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Old July 25th, 2009, 09:54 PM   #2
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Glad to hear you managed to recove almost everything. The potential loss of footage with the MxR/SDHC solution is why I have decided to go strictly with SxS and forget the SDHC route. To me it is just not worth the cost of losing a shot.

I have 2 MxR adapters and a plethora of 16 and 32 GB SDHC (mostly Transcend) cards. Now I use the SDHC cards in my digital cameras and only SxS in my EX1. So far zero problems with either.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 11:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hedgecoe View Post
Glad to hear you managed to recove almost everything. The potential loss of footage with the MxR/SDHC solution is why I have decided to go strictly with SxS and forget the SDHC route. To me it is just not worth the cost of losing a shot.

I have 2 MxR adapters and a plethora of 16 and 32 GB SDHC (mostly Transcend) cards. Now I use the SDHC cards in my digital cameras and only SxS in my EX1. So far zero problems with either.
Hate to tell you this....but another shooter here in town, 2 months ago experienced a media lost, but this time it was to his Sandisk 16 gb SxS card....so it does happen to them also.....
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Old July 26th, 2009, 02:03 AM   #4
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I really appreciate the report on the card failure.
I've had no problem with my Transend cards so far, but it's important to hear that failures do occur.
Definitely adds to the calculus that tilts me towards my SxS cards for critical footage.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 10:06 AM   #5
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While chalking up the number of clips lost don't lose sight of the fact that tapes (field originals with no safety duplicate) go missing, get creased, have drop outs, get placed in the bag with the magnetic car mount antenna, get soaked, cracked, coffee stained, lost in car trunks and producer suitcases etc etc etc.
All of that didn't stop us from using tape. Stuff will happen, no point in being paralysed by that, just prepare where you can, back up as soon as you can, keep your fingers crossed when you must.
I have a number of the sdhc cards and carry them as backups but have never gotten to the point of shooting original (paid) material on them. I have used them as an immediate backup, one copy to a card, one to a drive - and once send a producer in a rush off with 2 cards instead of the more expensive hard drive.
All that said, I hate the idea of packing a ton of material on a 32 gig card, I'd rather spread the risk over 4-8g or 2-16g cards.
An ideal firmware solution would be having the camera able to write to two cards at once.
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Old July 26th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #6
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has anyone used the new mxr hard drive cards?

Dano

look at it here:

e-HDR (Hard Disk Recorder) coming soon....
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Old July 26th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #7
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Looks interesting, but not much info yet
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Old July 26th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #8
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My brother used to work in a photo lab and had a a recovery tool from sandisk that worked very well. It would even recover stuff that was deleted and written partly over
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http://www.mjcsstudios.com/ - EX1, 4x hoodman 16GB, Libec Tripod, Sony LAV
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Old July 27th, 2009, 01:13 PM   #9
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It seems that when SDHC cards get nearly full or full is when an error occurs. It may be a fault of the SDHC write or cashe scheme.

It may be particularly bad with Transcend 16GB cards.

I would not go past 75% of card capacity.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #10
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Arghhh!!

Using one of my many authentic Transcend Class 6 -16GB cards (in a Hoodman RAW holder) I got a reformat error-I may have tried to record again before it was done.
Pulled it out and tried to reload-no good.
Card not recognized in my Mac.
Details in disc utility tells me it is not formatted.

TestDisk 6.1 is unable to fix it thus far.

What format are these cards supposed to be in?

Paul
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Old August 8th, 2009, 05:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Griffin View Post
but this time it was to his Sandisk 16 gb SxS card....so it does happen to them also.....
Which is why I spent the outrageously BIG bucks on the Sony SxS cards and nothing else. Thankfully no problems at all after almost 1 year of shooting many projects.
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Old August 8th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #12
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The Hoodman RAW cards are the only ones suggested by hoodman, and have zero failures in the field. Still I would prefer the SxS, but I can't afford one yet.
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Old August 9th, 2009, 02:57 PM   #13
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Scandisk SDHC cards SUCK. Don't do it!!

I purchased 6 Scandisk SDHC cards for the EX3 thinking this was the way to get around the over priced SxS cards. Granted SxS has never let me down, so most of the vital footage is recorded on them. I like the idea of the SDHC cards because they fit into the laptop reader mounted on side, and more footage for the buck.

I've had next to no success with the Scandisk SDHC cards. Just gave one a try last night and seemed to work fine on shoot, clips all showed up as thumbnails on camera, but when I went to download this morning it did the enevitable. They won't download to the computer. This happened before and I ended up going to a local house to have all the footage transferred via SDI cable playing realtime, then transfer clips from their computer to portable HD. I paid the post house $150 for the transfer. The clips play back in camera okay, but when you press stop, an error comes up telling you media error, must be restored with NO options. Recorded in 1080i, so Firewire was not an option. Used Kensington adapter

If you value your time, your money and your equipment, don't get the SDHC cards. They WILL screw you!
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Old August 9th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #14
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I have 2 Transend 16GB cards that I got back in January and I have had no problems with them....and after shooting, I check the cards on clip browser with the laptop.... I always wait until the slot light goes from red to green before shooting again or doing anything to the cards.

But the one thing that is different is that I have noticed on these pages that the "older" SDHC cards seem to have no problems.... and as the newer cards (1 month or less), seem too.

Could the card makers have made changes to the SDHC cards that might be causing these problems?

HTH
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Old August 9th, 2009, 08:45 PM   #15
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No Problems for me

I've done about 100 sessions with the older SanDisk Ultra II and Transcend Class 6 cards for about a year and never had a problem. I reformat the cards prior to each session. I have on occasion had issues with my SxS cards so they aren't immune either. And in the tape days had many issues with tape.

If there is an issue, it could be with newer cards (mine are about a year old). Or the newer SDHC adapters.

I don't know if SDHC per se are unreliable for video, for example JVC has a line of pro XDCAM EX codec camcorders that have built-in SDHC slots and most comsumer camcorders

I'd like to get some statistics from the SDHC-Expresscard adapter makers about their failure rates. Forums usually are skewed to people that are having problems, where the people that have no problem don't report in. It would be in the SDHC card manufacturers' interest to chime in here, I think.
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