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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 November 27th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #1
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Storage of video clips

After many happy years in the world of tape, I have decided to bite the bullet and go tapeless with an EX3 (or a 4:2:2 version of it if they will hurry up and give us one!). I am a bit frightened of storing everything on crashable and expensive hard-drives, instead of just a convienient box of tapes. Is anyone using 4GB DVDs as data storage? Quick to burn, easy to store. Is there any data loss doing it? Can a DVD drive be run off the camcorder's power (for use in the field)? Thanks for any answers.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 04:21 PM   #2
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BluRay. 25GB per disk, in bulk they cost about $1 - $1.50 each.

Cheaper than tape, hold more, no moving parts, waterproof, dustproof.

Done.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 04:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post
I have decided to bite the bullet and go tapeless
Bite the bullet? You'll be asking yourself why you didn't do it sooner. :-)
Was it biting the bullet to dump film and get a digital camera? Dump your typewriter and get a word processor? Dump your VHS machine and get a DVD or Blu-Ray player.
I've been tapeless since 2006 and you couldn't pay me to ever shoot on tape again. Bite the bullet, chew on it, and swallow it down. It tastes great!

In fact, you'll probably recover the cost of the EX3 in your first year just by improving your efficiency and saving hours and hours of time. All the other benefits will be icing on the cake.


BTW, I choose to back up on WD Passport hard drives for their speed and convenience. Anything you can save computer files on is a potential backup solution.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #4
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I worried about this when I first got the camera. But actually it's fairly straightforward.

Footage gets backed up to an HD + Blu-Ray or DVD (depending on what size is most appropriate).

The first few times seems horribly inconvenient but you soon get into the swing of things. You then get the luxury of an off-site backuo and cover yourself if the HD fails.

Final projects get backed up (with all the footage) onto HD and Blu-Ray as well. So by the end I should have 4 copies of my original footage.

It is worth writing into your contracts how long you will keep footage for (if you haven't already). If company X goes bust or goes to another supplier, how long do you want to be hanging onto the footage for?
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Old November 27th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #5
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I don't know how many of you do 100 or more jobs a year, but I can tell you that 100 BluRay/DVD disks in slimline cases fit into the space of about 18-20 DV tapes. I got a TON of my storage space back. I now have 2 years of work stored in a small fire safe. That would have been absolutely impossible with tapes.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #6
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Doug,

I had to laugh at your response. I don't use a digital camera. I use my typewriter almost daily. When I record a TV show, it's on VHS tape, which I still buy by the pack.

Tapeless can't be all good. I can review and catalogue what's on a tape in one hour (the time it takes to run the tape, as I take notes with a pen in a notebook). To do the same thing tapeless means individually pulling up and renaming all those files called 068-0024500, etc. A big job.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 05:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post
Tapeless can't be all good. I can review and catalogue what's on a tape in one hour (the time it takes to run the tape, as I take notes with a pen in a notebook). To do the same thing tapeless means individually pulling up and renaming all those files called 068-0024500, etc. A big job.
I think you need to review the workflow. Because this simply makes no sense at all to me. Drop files on timeline, hit spacebar. Done.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 06:11 PM   #8
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Perrone,

I shoot wildlife, a lot of on and off, and can easily generate 100 separate clips in an hour. I rented an EX3 recently and when I downloaded from the SxS card into the computer, I had a ton of files identified only with long numbers. I had to individually rename each file with a description. It took hours. Surely there's no way around that job.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 06:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Steve Siegel View Post
Perrone,

I shoot wildlife, a lot of on and off, and can easily generate 100 separate clips in an hour. I rented an EX3 recently and when I downloaded from the SxS card into the computer, I had a ton of files identified only with long numbers. I had to individually rename each file with a description. It took hours. Surely there's no way around that job.
Yea there is. Unlike tape, you can simply drag these onto the timeline, and hit the spacebar. Or are you trying to make one LONG file from the multitude of short ones like a tape? You might also want to review the feature in the EX3/EX1 where you can assign a name to this stuff, so rather than 822_xxxx, it can be citypark_001, citypark_002.

With tapeless you get to name the footage BEFORE you shoot, and that metadata follows along all the way through edit. You can also OK your footage in the field instantly, so that when you get back, your selects are already done. If you continue to shoot tapeless with a "tape mentality" you'll just frustrate yourself. Avail yourself to all the new and helpful things tapeless can do, and you'll quickly learn why people are leaving tape and not looking back.

Additionally, there is no need to rename the file names. That's a bad idea anyway. The files themselves act as your notebook. You can save your comments INSIDE the files and have that carry through editing.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 06:23 PM   #10
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Steve, you could have changed the file naming in the camera before your shoot to be something custom for your specific project and then as you shoot the file names will be in order with whaterever prefix you decided to use. Doug Jensen specifically addresses this part of the tapeless workflow in his excellent XDCAM EX DVD's. I would highly suggest you get a copy and rent the EX3 again.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #11
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If the EX3 is like the EX1R, you can set up the camera to use a character string as a prefix. Also, when you log your subclips, whatever name you give the subclip, becomes part of the name after the transfer. There also other settings for controlling the name.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 06:42 PM   #12
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There's also a batch renaming scheme Matt Davis posted in the thread below. The thread itself mentions a few ways people handle this issue:
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...am-import.html
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Old November 27th, 2010, 08:59 PM   #13
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Back to OP's original question. I use a couple of 1TB Western Digital Studio external hard drives. Not too expensive and each one contains two hard drives that I raid so they are redundant (i.e. if one drive fails in it I can replace it and not lose footage). I also have a bluray burner and intend to archive off projects, just actually haven't got around to it yet as I've got heaps of storage and haven't run out.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 09:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Damian Heffernan View Post
Back to OP's original question. I use a couple of 1TB Western Digital Studio external hard drives. Not too expensive and each one contains two hard drives that I raid so they are redundant (i.e. if one drive fails in it I can replace it and not lose footage).
Please be mindful that if the RAID controller fails, it can, and often does, take all attached drives down with it. Seen it happen, and it's not pretty. Archive as you are able but sooner rather than later.
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