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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 27th, 2012, 07:06 AM   #16
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Re: SD vs SxS

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Originally Posted by Mark Donnell View Post
Anyone have horror stories or praise for using SD cards and an adaptor rather than the Sony SxS express cards for recording ?
i don't shoot S&Q on SDHC, i only use Sandisk cards, 1400 hours haven't lost a single clip, had a few 'media needs to be restored', but i also had that with SxS used;
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Old July 27th, 2012, 07:22 AM   #17
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Re: SD vs SxS

ALISTER QUOTE: "I have 10 x 16GB SxS and 4 x 32GB SxS so I rarely need to backup mid shoot."

Once again, you have missed the point of my post. I never said I backed up in the field so I could erase and reuse cards. I never do that because I also have enough SxS cards to get through a day.

I use my MS240 to backup every card as soon as it comes out of the camera because you don't know what might physcially happen to a card once it is not in the camera anymore. It can be lost, stolen, accidentally reformated, or damaged in many different ways. By backing up the card in the MS240 immediately, I have some added insurance against disaster that only takes a couple of minutes and doesn't require a computer, power supply, extra drives, or any cables.

I actually do what I preach.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 08:32 AM   #18
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Re: SD vs SxS

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Once again, you have missed the point of my post.
No I didn't. Like I said, the MS240 doesn't get around the need to have enough media for the shoot unless you start erasing cards and re-using them. It may allow you to backup as you go, no problem there, but you still have to have enough media and it doesn't matter whether you have a MS240 or Nexto or whatever, if a card goes bad, backing may be impossible anyway and isn't going to help you. A big part of this thread is about the compromise between using SxS and maybe not having enough media or using SD cards and having plenty of media and balancing the risk of having to backup and delete cards during the shoot or using possible less reliable media and not having to back it up.

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I actually do what I preach.
Meaning?????
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Old July 27th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #19
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Re: SD vs SxS

Let's keep it friendly guys, it's not a competition to see who has the best XDCAM workflow... although it is apparently on the cards for the 2016 Olympics.

It is an important point that many of the "backup devices" have no built in redundancy. I was talking to a producer a few weeks ago who wanted me to dump everything onto a Nexto and then erase the cards. I had to explain the risks involved and alter the workflow accordingly. Some less technical people just read the "quick and easy backup" headline and think that's the job done.

Backup devices also increase risk as they can contain many times more footage than a single card, so a single failure or loss can be more catastrophic.

Personally, I have a few SD cards for emergency use but hardly ever use them. I shoot almost exclusively on SXS cards and don't erase them until everything is in the edit. The SD cards just give me that little buffer should I need it. I judge the risk of shooting to SD cards as lower than the risk of backing up and erasing SXS media in the field.

I find that two 32GB cards will see me through almost any shooting day and that means I don't even have to take a card out of the camera in the field. I only do that in the after wrap when I can concentrate on my workflow. For that reason I would recommend 32GB or 64GB cards. I also see no real world advantage of SXS over SXS-1 unless you are using an Alexa (which can't use SXS-1 apparently).
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Old July 28th, 2012, 08:05 AM   #20
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Re: SD vs SxS

Agreed Mike.

That's why I use the clone function on the 2500 to make a second copy. If I was buying a new Nexto it would be the 2525 as this automatically makes two copies at the same time if you wish.

I still like the 16GB cards. I can often segregate different parts of a shoot on to different cards which helps the editor go straight to the material he wants. It also means that should you loose a card or erase a card by mistake the data loss is smaller. Many production insurance policies stipulate a maximum of 60 minutes per piece of solid state media where there is no backup. If I was buying new media I would probably get 32GB cards, don't think I want to have more than that for an EX or PMW.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 08:24 AM   #21
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Re: SD vs SxS

Interesting about the 60 mins insurance limit.. I was going to get 3X64GB cards for PMW500.. but the cards themselves wouldn't mount on my mac OS..although the new UDF software they probably do.. so i got 6 x 32 GB.. and now Im quite happy I did.. Ive gone into the 4th card in one day only once so far..

Also got a very good portabrace SXS card holder.. nice to have them all in the one place rather than floating around.. plus you can put back shot ones upside down into the case to show they are shot ..

Seems to me the best idea is to only ever have one person in charge of the cards.. i.e. me.. unless a designated wrangler.. and never down load in the field.. if i shoot 6 x 32GB cards in a day then the day is over .. !!
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Old July 28th, 2012, 11:05 AM   #22
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Re: SD vs SxS

Yes, there should only ever be one person in charge of media on a shoot. On bigger shoots where I have a DiT or Data wrangler I like to go completely hands off with the media. In other words if a card is full, I won't touch it, I will get the DiT to remove it from the camera and handle it from there. No one else is allowed to touch the cards. A good DiT or data wrangler will log and document every card and everything thats done to that card, along with checksums for the amount of data.

I was stereographer on a production recently shooting on epics in 3D. We had a very good DiT, but one morning the camera operator tried to be helpful by putting fresh cards in the cameras before the DiT had arrived on set. The first thing the DiT did when he arrived was to prepare cards for the day by erasing them. Fortunately when he came to the two cards removed by the camera operator his logs told him that those cards had not been backed up (and fact should have been in the camera) so nothing was lost, but it shows that you must delegate media management to just one person. In addition that person should not just be the runner or a friend that wants to help. It is a critical role on the crew. A good DiT will not only manage the data but also check through the footage and look for any potential problems. On big multi-camera shoots with multiple data wranglers I like to allocate specific wranglers/DiT's to specific cameras.
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Old July 28th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #23
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Re: SD vs SxS

I am showing my ignorance here, what does DiT stand for?
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Old July 28th, 2012, 11:24 AM   #24
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Re: SD vs SxS

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Old July 28th, 2012, 11:51 AM   #25
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Re: SD vs SxS

Thank you Robin, I knew the Best Boy would come up with an answer
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Old July 28th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #26
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Re: SD vs SxS

anything for the Key Dolly Grip
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Old July 29th, 2012, 07:10 AM   #27
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Re: SD vs SxS

DiT is a role that encompasses many things. It can be someone that looks after camera setup, recording, data management and some aspects of the post workflow. DiT's are very often associated with cameras like RED where as well as data wrangling there is also the role of processing the raw footage and producing on set dailies for playback and quality control. A DiT will often act as an intermediary between the DoP and Post Production to ensure that the DoP's style and way of shooting will work with the post workflow. It's becoming an increasingly important role. A good DiT will know how to set up the camera, know it's menu's, picture settings, any quirks or peculiarities, the recording system and how to handle the media through to post. On a video shoot the DiT often replaces the Clapper - Loader role.

A Data Wrangler will be involved only with data handling and data management. The data wrangler does not normally do anything with the camera other than possibly remove and replace recording media, although on most shoots this will be done by the camera operator or AC. The data wrangler is responsible for backing up, processing and archiving footage. Managing that footage and ensuring it's safe delivery to post production.
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Old July 29th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #28
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Re: SD vs SxS

Thank you for the detailed explanation Alister. With new technology comes new jobs and new titles, although I am surprised that the industry couldn't come up with a more quirky name for the job. Maybe just call this guy the "Dity man"

Anyone else got a quirky name for the DiT
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Old July 29th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #29
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Re: SD vs SxS

The old quirky ones.. best boy,gaffer,grip,clapper loader,dolly grip,runner.. are old film terms.. more techie now.. data wrangler is a bit funky at least..
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Old July 31st, 2012, 02:07 AM   #30
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Re: SD vs SxS

Since cards are relatively new in the video business, let me chime in with my workflow as a pro stills photographer, a field where cards are common for over 12 years now:

- always have enough cards to complete a shoot, never erase on site
- handle the cards yourself, turn the used ones upside dosn in their pouch
- buy the most reliable cards available (not the same as most expensive ones)
- back up the original files as soon as you get to the studio, on 3 different harddisks
- use one harddisk as your 'daily database'
- put one harddisk in your safe
- put one harddisk in another safe location.

I've been working like this for over 12 years now and I only lost one shoot, in the very beginning of the digital era: data were lost because of my own ignorance: I removed a card without shutting off the Nikon D1.
Last but certainly not least: set up your own classification & filing system, that permits you to find any shoot in less than 15 minutes.
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