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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old February 11th, 2012, 12:20 PM   #16
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Re: F3 - Samurai issue

Following this thread closely, I don't see any reports of problems with spinning disks like the Scorpios that are Atomos recommended. This failure issue appears to only be occurring with SSD drives.

I have used both SSD and Scorpios with Samurai without (so far) any problems at all related to disk crashing or data loss. I've found that taking advantage of the longer record times for static tripod type of shots work just fine with Scorpios and anything with camera movement short of easy dolly moves as well as short record time subjects would necessitate and allow for the use of SSD drives.

What I am getting from this thread is that the safe procedure is to power down the Samurai unit prior to ejecting the cartridge, and I would guess inserting the cartridge into the Atomos reader prior to plugging it into the computer port. Correct me please if I am wrong about any of this.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 12:47 PM   #17
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Re: F3 - Samurai issue

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Originally Posted by Bruce Schultz View Post

I have used both SSD and Scorpios with Samurai without (so far) any problems at all related to disk crashing or data loss. I've found that taking advantage of the longer record times for static tripod type of shots work just fine with Scorpios and anything with camera movement short of easy dolly moves as well as short record time subjects would necessitate and allow for the use of SSD drives.
I had spinning drives in my original Red One 320gb mag. They worked just fine for almost all work, but there were a couple times when they caused problems and dropped frames.

One was a Green Day concert I directed 3 years ago. 11 Reds. The 2 cameras closest to speaker stacks dropped frames all night, even when we took extreme precautions to insulate the drives from the sound energy. Loud sound, whether it amplified music, gunshots, etc will cause hard drives to screw up. When I say loud, I mean loud (estimated 115db+). This also happened on a few music videos where the shot was too close to the playback systems monitors. Moving either cam or monitor would fix it.

The other is vehicle mounts, but Atomos already warns about this.

So absolutely, spinning drives in my 2 year experience with the Red One worked pretty much every time except for twice. Just wanted to share what few problems I did have with spinning drives, because it is possible to get comfortable with them and forget where they will screw up.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 01:19 PM   #18
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Re: F3 - Samurai issue

Thanks Nate, your comments about loud speakers remind me vividly of shooting music concerts with tube cameras (back in the day as they say) and having what we then called "microphonics" occur in the picture. This would either be a rolling ac-hum type of distortion or a pulsing of the picture to the music. But I digress . . .

No one in their right mind would easily ignore the fact of potential spinning drive failures, especially after so many years of personal computer hard drive failures. Perhaps the manufacturers lull us into a false sense of security with their million hour MTBF specs on most drives.

I'm shooting a green screen shot next week and plan on using a 500GB Scorpio drive on a Samurai for extra recording time because the talent, as usual wants to go as soon as she gets there so no time to swap out SSD drives.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 05:50 AM   #19
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Re: F3 - Samurai issue

I experienced same issue with SSD drive as a standalone backup drive connected to Mac FireWire port. The drive became unreadable, all files lost, not recoverable. I could reproduce issue with a cable disconnect with power applied. Sent the drive back to the vendor who updated firmware. I have had no issues after the firmware update.
The drive was from Other World Computing.com. Which was a earlier SSD type, I purchased one year ago.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 09:11 AM   #20
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Re: F3 - Samurai issue

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I have not had an trouble either using a 300GB Intel SSD . . . but I have only used the Samurai a few times so far. Thanks for the heads up, I will be extra cautious.

I'll be using it this weekend and there will be no backup if it fails.
Update.
I went ahead did my shoot last weekend and decided to take no extra precautions with the Intel SSD. I am happy to report that everything worked perfectly with the Samurai and the Intel SSD. It was great that the Samurai can now be trigged from the special SDI signal instead of timecode. I just mounted the Samurai on a c-stand underneath my 17" monitor, fed it the signal from my F800, and never gave it a second thought the rest of the day. In about 8 hours of shooting, I never ran out of batteries on the Samurai. All the raw footage has been downloaded and already edited without a hitch.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 10:13 AM   #21
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Re: F3 - Samurai issue

So far, I have had the same positive result as Doug with the Samurai and Intel SSD.
No problems in over 60 hours of usage. I do, as a habit, power down before removing the card, but I have always done that, as well, with the Nanoflash.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 10:41 AM   #22
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Re: F3 - Samurai issue

Like Chuck, I also am careful about powering down properly -- as I am with all media except SxS and XDCAM optical.
I also put the SSD into the docking unit before I plug it into the firewire 800 port of my Mac.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 11:36 AM   #23
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Re: F3 - Samurai issue

It's Interesting to hear how others are getting on, and what drives your using/

An update with our Samurai:

It was updated with firmware 2.7, and then flew off with a fellow cameraman to italy for a weeks shoot.

We decided against intel SSD's since it was an intel drive we'd had the original issue with.

Instead we were using Firestorm SSDs, which we fully and repeatedly tested prior to shoot. (including maxing out the drive, repeatedly copying off and on the drive, shock tests, and some software read/write tests to see how it handles sustained data rates) and we were happy with how they performed.

Our cameraman out in Italy reported no problems with the drives themselves, but reporting a different issue with the samurai: he was getting the occasional green screen issue when recording, where the screen of the unit would turn green, record green footage, and only go back to normal after a reboot. According to Atomos, this should have been fixed in firmware version 2.7, which it was running.

Luckily nothing mission critical was lost on the shoot.

Since my he returned, we've updated to firmware version 2.8 (came out on the 14th), and i've been testing the unit today - seems absolutely flawless so far - even when performing 'bad practice' like unplugging the SDI cable whilst it's recording.

I'm hesitant to recommend the samurai after the issues we've had, but I hope, in time my confidence will be restored!

It's also probably worth downloading the latest firmware version, and installing it, if you haven't already:

The Samurai - Firmware
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Old March 19th, 2012, 06:30 AM   #24
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Re: - Samurai issue

Quick update - on the latest round of filming out in Italy, our samurai failed again and started recording pink and green footage again. (And this is on firmware version 2.8, which should have cured the issue.)

However, I have to sing the praises of atomos - they've been on the phone this morning, and they were exceptionally polite and pro-active. They made it clear their priority is make sure we have a fully working unit as quickly as possible.

- Apparently they've had no complaints about pink and green gootage since the latest firmware update, so they believe our unit is faulty.

They've arranged a replacement unit to be sent out and should arrive tomorrow - can't get more helpful than that!

Rare to get such good customer service these days. I should have approached them in the first place instead of our supplier.


Mods - any chance of moving this to the samurai forum? its more of a samurai issue than an F3 one
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Old March 19th, 2012, 07:17 AM   #25
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Re: F3 - Samurai issue

Good to know Peter. Problems can occur with any of the complex electronic gear we all use nowadays and it's how the supplier reacts that makes all the difference.

Got my eye on one of these units for my EX3 so keep us updated on how it goes! Let's hope that with the new unit all will be well.
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Old March 19th, 2012, 07:59 AM   #26
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Re: F3 - Samurai issue

I've been using the Samurai on every F3 shoot (even if I actually don't need the files) just to see if it would hiccup. So far, it is 100% rock solid during both shooting and ingest.
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