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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, 2011, 04:03 PM   #1
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Nothing recorded on SDHC card

Using the EX1R with latest version. Shooting to two ATP 16G Class 6 cards in MXR readers. Before shoot begins, one card is plugged into slot B it and it comes up with 'Restore Media' warning. I execute the Restore and it completes. The show starts and we start recording to slot B. I realize that card in Slot A is not formatted and while camera is recording on slot B I format card in slot A.

Everything seems to be OK. Camera recording, time on Slot B card is counting down from 55 minutes. At end of 55 minutes automatic switch to Slot A card and show finishes on this card.

Back at the studio the SDHC card in Slot A which has the end of the show is fine. The SDHC card that was in Slot B that had the restore message is empty! Nothing. The camera show no clips; windows shows 660MB in the BPAV folder; the Clip Browser doesn't see the card either.

It's as if we recorded for 55 minutes to the Bit Bucket! No indication that it wasn't recording to the card.

I make it a point to always have an SXS card in one slot but in this case I thought what the heck, the SDHC cards have been working for months now we'll just use two SDHC cards.

I pass this along to inform others of the possibility of failure still existing with SDHC and to ask if anyone has any idea why this happened and if I can tell if something was actually recorded or not on the card.

Thanks
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 04:52 PM   #2
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

My first thought is what on earth were you doing formatting a card in one slot when the other slot was in use? Do you not check your cards before you start? To my mind you shouldn't be performing file operations on another slot when the first slot is recording regardless of the media in use.

As such I don't necessarily think it's a card failure, more likely a write problem caused by you formatting the second slot. I don't know how the USB bus works internally in the EX1 but if the 2 slots are sharing a bus (and therefore bandwidth) you may have your answer right there. The USB data bus was potentially overloaded or disturbed and something has been corrupted in the data stream to the card you were recording to.

You might want to try some data recovery software but I'd suggest that it's quite possible the data is corrupted around the time you started formatting so at the very least you've lost a few seconds of footage.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:52 PM   #3
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

With the card in the camera what does the time remaining on the card show?
If you put the camera in playback mode what do you see?
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 07:39 PM   #4
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

Thanks Marcus and Craig,

Well Marcus I guess I shouldn't believe what I read in the manual then. On page 37 it says "You can perform recording or playback using the SXS memory card in the other card slot while formatting is in progress." Now it does say "SXS" card. So maybe 2 SDHC cards are too slow to handle this. Good point.

Craig, I am looking at the cards as they were during the shoot. The card that has nothing on it shows 55 minutes remaining. I will swear on a stack of Bibles that I saw the time counting down and the camera did do an auto switch to Slot A when the B card was full. Or when the camera thought the card was full.

Again, this may have happened at the end of the show when I stopped the camera and shut down. I didn't really look to see what the time readings were when I turned the camera off.

Yes, I shouldn't have waited till the show started to format the card. But you know how it goes when you are on a shoot. You get distracted and then"oops, I forgot to reformat the card!"!

JoeO
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 07:46 PM   #5
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

When I try to rec review the "empty" card in the B slot, the camera tell me "Cannot Proceed". If that helps any.

I suspect this is a one time happeneing due in part to the restore media message and the formatting while recording. A perfect storm if you will.

Do others use 2 SDHC cards at the same time? Maybe the fact they were Class 6 and not Class10 meant they are too slow to handle something like this? Or maybe the card just went bad hence the restore media message.

JoeO
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 08:13 PM   #6
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

I always use 2 SDHC cards and haven't ever had a problem.
Would you believe I'm using Class 2 (yes you read that right)? It was a RARE batch from Sandisk that seems to have been around for about 2 weeks in January 2009 or thereabouts,

Formatting might be risky but it shouldn't be deleterious.

That the card shows 55 minutes remaining obviously is not good. That would mean there's nothing to rescue unless a broken directory makes it appear as if the card is empty.

Did you get the restore media while you were formatting the other card?

Restore media usually works but I vaguely remember hearing something about that you can lose the last clip when the message happens.

Don't use Record Review, go into Playback mode although I'm not hopeful given the 55 minute time available on the card.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 01:58 AM   #7
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

It sounds like a total card failure to me. I had something similar happen with one of my cards. I shot a 12 minute sequence and right at the end I had an error message telling me to Restore Media. I asked the people to re-inact the whole sequence again (Samburu tribesman showing children how make fire by rubbing sticks together) I switched to another card, no problem. The strange thing was that my card with the error had fully captured everything and I used that clip. I marked the card, so now this one never gets used for any shots, although it works fine in my stills camera.

I know this may not help you, my advice is to bin the card or thoroughly test it before using it again. But be assured that you will never be confident with it.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 02:17 AM   #8
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

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Originally Posted by Joe Oliverio View Post
Thanks Marcus and Craig,

Well Marcus I guess I shouldn't believe what I read in the manual then. On page 37 it says "You can perform recording or playback using the SXS memory card in the other card slot while formatting is in progress." Now it does say "SXS" card. So maybe 2 SDHC cards are too slow to handle this. Good point.
I'm not saying the cards are too slow. What I am saying is that something potentially went wrong with the camera because its possibly not designed to write to two slots at once when using USB. USB can be a little finicky at times and both slots are on the same bus then enough disruption could have occurred to have caused a problem.

You would have been in a very unusual situation where both slots were being written to. Nobody has tested that. The situation with SxS cards is probably different due to the way PCI-Express handles devices.

How old are the MxR cards? I originally started out using these cards in 2009 (had about 5 or 6 of them) but scrapped them as I was unhappy at their performance (poor speed). I believe they have now improved but if you have the older adaptors I would suggest looking at those.

But regardless of what the manual says, regardless of the card used, if you start performing media management tasks on location you are asking for trouble.

Also, do we know what firmware was in use?
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Old May 4th, 2011, 03:04 AM   #9
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

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Originally Posted by Joe Oliverio View Post
Do others use 2 SDHC cards at the same time? Maybe the fact they were Class 6 and not Class10 meant they are too slow to handle something like this? Or maybe the card just went bad hence the restore media message.

JoeO
I think I remember MXM telling me in an email that I shouldn't get a restore media message.
This was with an ATP Card.

I have a few Class 6 ATP Cards and never had any bother with them and I also would have two ATP SDHC cards in the camera at any time.

Nothing against any other adaptors but I only use the MXM adaptor BTW.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:12 AM   #10
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

Yet another example of why I use SxS cards and have enough of them to never need to reformat on a job.

Coming from an 'old school' tape background I was very cautious about the whole tapeless thing and so I invested in SxS cards and a Nexto DI backup device so I always had multiple copies of shot material asap.

I can't understand the logic of spending thousands on kit and then trying to cut corners on the recording media. Just because you can use SD cards and adaptors doesn't mean you should.

Just my opinion, I know others think differently...
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Old May 4th, 2011, 05:05 AM   #11
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

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Originally Posted by Andy Taplin View Post
Yet another example of why I use SxS cards and have enough of them to never need to reformat on a job.
...
I used 32GB SXS card at a wedding one time and it let me down when I needed it most.
Fell back to my ATP/MxM combo that worked 100%

Last edited by Anthony McErlean; May 4th, 2011 at 05:59 AM.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 05:48 AM   #12
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

I am sure that most EX owners would love to use SxS cards, but Sony's ridiculous pricing has pushed that option out for many. There are many hobbyist who enjoy using their cameras on a casual basis, and the SDHC card option means they can enjoy making videos.

A good quality SDHC card should be more than sufficient for 95% of users. Professional users may want the added security of SxS
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Old May 4th, 2011, 06:26 AM   #13
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

Anthony: What went wrong with your SxS card?
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Old May 4th, 2011, 06:49 AM   #14
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

Joe, if I were you I would try to use some recovery software to scan the card.

My recommendation would be Zero Assumption Recovery.

If you have any Sandisk cards you probably have their Rescue Pro software.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 07:38 AM   #15
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Re: Nothing recorded on SDHC card

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Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Anthony: What went wrong with your SxS card?
Hi Alister,

Have a look here.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdc...d-problem.html
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