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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 September 23rd, 2009, 04:45 AM   #1
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My 'Media Error/Restore' story!

Hey there

I had my first 'media error - media needs to be restored' issue last weekend during a pretty intensive 2 day shoot. I actually had a friend on the camera as I was assisting with other aspects of the production. My friend called me over to show me the dreaded message!

The card was a 16gig sandisk card in a MxM adapter and was 3/4 the way through. I tried to media restore but the EX1 wasnt having a bar of it! I tried turning it on and off, swapping slots, sticking my tongue to the left...didnt matter..wouldnt restore. I quickly had a go at using my USB - express card adapter to try and get the precious footage from the card via (I had a cast/crew of 21 on a coffee break) clip browser but that didnt work either!! I tried not to panic as we still had about 3 hours of shooting to go in order to complete the shoot and didnt want to put a downer on anyone by saying..hey guys..I think we just lost the last 2 hours work!

I took the SDHC card out of the express adapter and put it into the inbuilt memory card reader on my Vista laptop. I was then able to copy the MP4 file from the first folder succesfully onto my laptop and open in Vegas9. Hooray! I got the production back into action with the hope that I could go through each folder on the SDHC card later and backup all the clips.

Later I was able to succesfully copy all the clips from the SDHC card (1 at a time) except for the last 2 which were obviously corrupted. Thats OK because we re-shot the last two anyway.

After having a look around on this forum, and after having a chat with the camera operator, I am almost certain that the problem was caused by stopping record, and then pressing record again before the slot light went back to green. I have started noticing the delay in the slot light returning to green after stopping record. It can take 3-4 seconds! I am now going to get into the habit of making sure the slot light is green before I (or anyone else) presses record. I assured my friend that it wouldve happened to me if it hadnt happened to him as I previously hadnt been checking to make sure light was green and therefore good to go before recording.

I thought this might be of benefit to other EX users using alternative memory cards. (light takes a few seconds to return to green) Maybe alternative SDHC cards have been getting the blame in some cases when the problem has been pressing record before the slot light is green?

Other than this little hiccup, I am loving using the EX1, its a fantastic camcorder!!

Cheers

Jamie
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 07:17 AM   #2
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Hi Jamie,
You are not alone I had my new EX3 three day's and I had the same problem with new Sony SxS cards reporting 'media error - media needs to be restored'. The only difference is that I said yes to 'restore' and the media was intact. I was saved on Sunday during a shoot when the EX3 would not switch slots and I have the error " Media needs to be formatted" . The camera stopped recording and the system hung. I was saved because I was also record via the SDI to my NanoFlash at the same time and kept recording to the end of the segment.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 12:29 PM   #3
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just after get the MxM, the first thing i do, was record with light still on red, toke me 10 minutes to notice that now have to wait 4 to 6 seconds to record again. dumb me ;)

original SxS is about 2 seconds. and looks like the camera "hold" and do not let record until light is green, but this does not happen with MxM. so, if you do not pay attention, media restore will occur.

this is not a problem for me, cause im recording the event with a few cuts. but im not getting media restore error in the middle of a recording, even "respecting" the green light.

will test with others card brands... here a SxS 32GB cost a kidney.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 09:45 PM   #4
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I think the thing that struck me the most about your issue was that you risked the efforts and time (and pay?) of 21 members of cast and crew just so you could use cheap memory substitutes. Don't get me wrong....I have a couple MxR's and Transcend 16's in my gear bag too. But I'd NEVER have that much riding on a shoot and risk it on something that I consider secondary media (at best). I hope you don't take this the wrong way because I don't mean to be hard on you, but the use of these cards (for me) is strictly as a last resort. I only use them either when (1) I'm shooting something just for fun or, (2) when I've filled all my other 8 gig SxS cards and I haven't had the time to dump the files. <shakinghead>
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Old September 24th, 2009, 01:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Morrison View Post
I'd NEVER have that much riding on a shoot and risk it on something that I consider secondary media (at best).
Hi Dave

Im not taking what you say the wrong way nor do I feel you're being hard on me!

But I dont agree with your statement that alternative express cards are secondary media. I have only had the EX1 since April and immediately bought MxM Express card adapters with sandisk cards which I have been happily using ever since! Yes, a problem occurred but I dont believe it was due to the media I used, it was due to the operator pressing re-record when then slot light was still red. Mu understanding is that 'media error' issue can happen with Sonys SxS cards in the same situation.

Its also my understanding that a fair bit of research and testing went into the manufacture of MxM express cards (and the others Im sure) and If I were investing my time and money into the manufacturing and selling of the cards, Id make sure they were a little better than second rate!

I did just order a couple of the ATP pro max 32gig cards which I will use in MxM adapters and provided Ive learnt last weekends lesson of 'check the slot light before recording', I have every expectation that I wont have a problem!

As for the 21 cast and crew...I wont tell you about the 40 odd cast and crew I had a few weeks before that...clearly you'd be shaking your head at that one as well lol!!

Cheers

Jamie
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Old September 24th, 2009, 05:45 AM   #6
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I have and use my original SxS, as well as one MxR and one MxM (so far).

I never got any error message from the SxS or MxM. Yes, it takes a tad longer for the light to turn green with MxM than it does with SxS, but the only effect is the camera waiting those 3 secs between the moment I press Record immediately after stopping the previous shot, and the moment it actually starts recording again.

With MxR though, if I press the Rec button too quickly, I'll receive the "media error" message. So far, restoring always worked - but I don't feel comfortable with this specific combo.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 07:21 AM   #7
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I use both SxS and MxR 16gb Transcend Class 6 (Feb 09 vintage) without problems but I would always use SxS on a totally unrepeatable shoot ie Intvs with VIPs, expensive foreign shoot etc. Mainly because if there is a problem with SDHC cards Sony will wring their hands and not want to know whatever the camera issue - quite rightly under their terms and conditions. In the same way I have only ever used a camera manufacturers own brand of tape so that if there are problems there is no excuse on their part to deny responsibility.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #8
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The problem trying to diagnose this issue is it could be several things. I've had Media Needs To Be Restored error messages from SxS cards after they've been dumped. Thankfully after doing the restore all was intact.
One thing I have noticed that's not been mentioned is it's quite easy to not fully seat the cards when plugging them into the camera. More than once I've gone to eject a card and found I couldn't because the card wasn't in far enough to engage the ejector. I think the apparent robustness of these cards can make one a little careless. Swapping cards while the camera is still rolling and trying to avoid bumping the camera could explain why I failed to push the card in hard enough.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #9
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Very true, Bob. Another "mechanical" problem may occur when pushing in SDHC combos; the SDHC card itself may get ejected.

This has been addressed by MxM lately, with their new lockable adapter design (while keeping the original price)...
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; September 24th, 2009 at 12:54 PM.
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Old September 24th, 2009, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
.
One thing I have noticed that's not been mentioned is it's quite easy to not fully seat the cards when plugging them into the camera. More than once I've gone to eject a card and found I couldn't because the card wasn't in far enough to engage the ejector. I think the apparent robustness of these cards can make one a little careless. Swapping cards while the camera is still rolling and trying to avoid bumping the camera could explain why I failed to push the card in hard enough.
This is an interesting point. I will have a closer look next time i insert a card.

Cheers
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Old September 25th, 2009, 04:28 AM   #11
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I had a pretty long talk with MxM today and got some interesting input on these problems based on their testing of 1,000s of cards and combinations. A potential problem exists when switching slots with different card types. Going from SxS to non SxS is an obvious cause of camera confusion. Even switching between brands of SDHC cards appears to cause the camera to have to do a double take which could lead to media problems. Making certain the red light is out before switching slots seems advisable. Avoiding shots spanning cards where the cards use different media would seem another way to avoid potential problems.

To further cloud the issue there seems to be subtle differences between cameras and the voltages they supply to the cards. On top of that as has been noted here there can be differences between batches of SDHC cards from the likes of Sandisk and Transcend. These cards are built to a price point and the factory may use different interface chips based on availability. This is where the Hoodman and ATP Pro cards are worth the extra cost if you want a higher level of confidence.

The later version of the MxM adaptors use a better chipset and they are more tolerant of the SDHC card.
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 07:06 PM   #12
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media error..."what the..."

Yes, it seems we are not alone...lol..the truth is out there. yesterday while in the middle of a shoot, like everyone here, using an MXR adapter card etc, l got the same message, l wanted to be calm and professional, so l went into the fetal position and started crying uncontrollably...lol...not, seriously though, these adapter cards are cheap etc but l always go back to the idea of non third party products and then no problems, which we know isn't always the case and not to mention, the SOny pro SxS are very expensive.
It was a love job so like on a game show, l chose the supposed winning door and that was, execute restore to restore media, thankfully it worked as l was not overly impressed with the shooting schedule and was tired from hard core editing all week...anyway, it reloaded and there were the clips, l mean, hey, l did what has been done by others, changed slots etc but will now take the advice of delaying the re-record in too short a time...!
So where am l going with all this, l am starting to wonder whether l should of invested more money and by at least a few 32gig Sony cards and now l read they are bringing out a cheaper version of the SxS card and even there own adapter card..hmmmm...
l have heard rumors...and l mean rumors from some reliable sources that the next firmware update for the camera will not allow these Usb cards to work...realistically, l find that hard to believe, perhaps in the next models they might implement it but l guess like any huge conglomerate, they want a bigger slice of the pie.......food for thought anyway...cheers, Michael
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Old October 23rd, 2009, 09:03 PM   #13
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Michael its hard to believe that Sony would do that with the next firmware when there coming out with a Duo Adapter for the EX.

Sony : MEAD-MS01 (MEADMS01) : Product Overview : Netherlands
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Old October 24th, 2009, 06:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Librandi View Post
Hi Jamie,
You are not alone I had my new EX3 three day's and I had the same problem with new Sony SxS cards reporting 'media error - media needs to be restored'. The only difference is that I said yes to 'restore' and the media was intact. I was saved on Sunday during a shoot when the EX3 would not switch slots and I have the error " Media needs to be formatted" . The camera stopped recording and the system hung. I was saved because I was also record via the SDI to my NanoFlash at the same time and kept recording to the end of the segment.
File based systems BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP.
Lance, if this happens again or has already happened again, get the system checked out by Sony immediately. That is obviously not right and although you were saved on that abovementioned occasion, next time might not be as fortunate.

My main recordings are on my nanoFlash with my SxS recordings as backups.

Best wishes buddy.
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Old October 24th, 2009, 07:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Rhodes View Post
Michael its hard to believe that Sony would do that with the next firmware when there coming out with a Duo Adapter for the EX.

Sony : MEAD-MS01 (MEADMS01) : Product Overview : Netherlands
Here is a writeup on the adapter:

XDCAM-USER.com MEAD-MS01 adapter and Low Cost SxS (SxS-1) cards. PHX-MS240

John
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