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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 May 3rd, 2010, 12:56 AM   #1
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Ex1R Footage Back up and memory card questions

Hey all,
I am new to the Sony Ex1r.

I am finding that for backing up footage I can do so easily on DVDs. Any comments on other ways that are good, safe and reliable?

Any special notes about formating the memory cards or tips about this?

Thanks in advance and I am loving the Ex1r!
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 03:07 AM   #2
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Make sure you use archive grade DVD's for long term storage and store the DVD's in a dark, cool place. DVD's use a dye in the substrate that can fade/change over time and the DVD's may become un-readable.

I use shotput pro http://www.imagineproducts.com/index...&products_id=2 to write simultaneous copies of my clips to pairs of USB hard drives. One drive is stored at home the other in the office. Should one drive fail or get damaged I have a backup. Every few months you need to spin up and check the drives otherwise they can seize up. But hard drives provide fast, instant access to clips and projects and are very cheap per Gb. It's also much faster writing to pairs of hard drives than burning DVD's.

There are lots of other options including Blu-ray, Sony Optical Disc and LTO tape. Whichever you choose make sure you verify any copies you make by using either Shotput or Clip Browser (turning on CRC checking in preferences) to ensure your copies are valid. Simply copying with the Windows explorer or Mac Finder is not recommended as no check of the state of the copy is made. While normally you should not have a problem problems can go undetected due to bad sectors on hard drives etc.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 12:39 PM   #3
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back up workflow

Sorry to piggy back on your question but I too am curious about the backup workflow. I bring the footage in from my ex1r with the "xdcam ex clip browser" and the clips are .mp4's in the BPAV folder. I then use "xdcam transfer" to import them for editing in FCP and make them .mov fils. I'm curious at which stage you're duplicating the clips with shotput for backup?

It would seem that you'd want to have the original duplicated but then if your editing drive were to fail, then when you go to reconnect the media, you don't have the duplicate of the imported footage. Also, if it's the BPAV folder that's backed up, you would now have three copies... the two BPAV folders and the imported .mov files. In that scenario, reconnecting the media would mean re-importing to .mov again and then connecting right? and then would the clip names be the same and would you be able to reconnect easily? Hope this makes sense.

Thanks,

Max
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 01:13 PM   #4
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I make the two copies as I import the footage off the cards. It takes no longer with shotput to make two copies, so the only implication is the cost of the extra drive and drives are cheap enough these days. I strongly believe that it is the BPAV folders that must be backed up. If you ever decide to change edit platform it is the BPAV folders that you will need. In the future FCP will most likely support XDCAM natively, so again you may find you will need the BPAV folder.

Yes this does mean that you end up with a third copy when you edit with FCP, but I don't want to use my archive drives for editing with as they are USB, which is slower than ideal and it puts a lot of stress on the drive. At the end of a project I use the media manager to export a trimmed project to my archive if I need to keep the project (as opposed to just the rushes) for future use.

Should you ever need to reconnect back to the MP4's from FCP it's easy enough to re-import the footage using the Transfer Tool or Log and Transfer and the file names, timecode etc will all be the same.

Of course you can back up your material any way you choose, but I think it's really important to make a backup of the entire BPAV folder so that you retain the correct file structure for all applications, PC or Mac.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 01:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
In the future FCP will most likely support XDCAM natively, so again you may find you will need the BPAV folder.
I think this is a little bit misleading. Although native support would indeed be a welcome addition, I don't see a situation where the .mov files would cease to work as essentially all that is happening is that the file is rewrapped to have a Quicktime wrapper. The MPEG data isn't changing, it's merely having extra data added that makes it FCP friendly. This is no different from my days of editing DV on a PC where the DV stream is wrapped as an AVI file.

So although backing up the BPAV folder is advised, I don't buy the whole future proofing argument. It's just data, at worst some enterprising soul will make a killing with a utility that just rewraps the files again. But the reality is that the .mov files won't stop working.

Of course if you want to venture into PC land for your editing then those BPAV folders will be essential. But having spent 3 and a half years on that platform I have no desire to return.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:21 PM   #6
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But don't forget that the BPAV folder also contains all the metadata, which while currently only of limited use for FCP users, in the future it will become more important as metadata support is likely to improve. Also you can use Clip Browser to manage, view and log BPAV's but not .mov's

Yes, the .mov's are likely to remain useable, but I know that I'd really like to have all my footage, projects etc as cross platform compatible as possible. There have been many instance on this and other forums of people that have only kept the .mov's and then end up with the nightmare of converting them back to MP4's as for some reason or another they need to use something other than FCP to work with the files. It has to be remembered that the only application that can easily use XDCAM .mov's is FCP, even Avid on a Mac can't work with the .mov's and premiere really doesn't like them and there no use at all on a PC.
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Old May 3rd, 2010, 02:30 PM   #7
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On location I make 2 identical copies of the original files onto 2 mobile hard drives, then I pack them in different bags (usually one in the check in luggage and one in my hand luggage).
After reaching home safely I copy all the material again to 2 different hard drives as back up, these should not necessarily be external drives, instead I buy quality internal drives (e.g. 1Tb WD). I have a cool USB docking station for internal SATA drives, means the "internal" drives become external by attaching them to this docking station (you can buy it in ebay, low cost).

Then these drives wont be used for editing, only for storage. In an excel file I keep track of what content was copied on each drive. I store these drives in that metallic color anti-static bag and in a cool dry place.

For editing I copy the selected files from the mobile hard drives to one internal drive of my Mac. Once editing is finished, I delete files from the mobile drives, so I can use the drives for the next project. They are special shock resistant drives, that's why I don't want to buy new for each project, not cost effective.

Lately I acquired a blu ray burner, so I am considering now to burn blu ray copies of the files that I store on hard drives. Since I use 32Gb and 16Gb SDHC cards, it does not make sense for me to burn on DVD, I would end up with too many of them. While it may sound over-protection, I guess I can't go wrong with this method.
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