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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old February 10th, 2010, 04:31 PM   #1
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How does it feel to go Tapeless? tell me about your experience

Wondering about the future with Sonys Tapeless Cameras.
Personally I like having a solid tape back up for weddings and events since loosing footage would be a horrible thing to happen!

What was your experience from tape to tapeless and what cameras did you upgrade for the switch?

How do you save your footage? How do you insure hard drive security?

Ever have any issues? Anything erased accidently?

Thanks in advance!
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Old February 10th, 2010, 05:07 PM   #2
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I have had the FX1, and HV20, still do. I bought the 5D. Nice not to have to capture. But now issue is how to safe guard. I offload to a hard drive, but should I have two, probably. Its a bit spooky. Tape was alway complained about, but it is a relatively safe storage vehicle.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #3
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It's very easy. Just make multiple backups of all your raw clips on various external hard drives as well as optical media (DVD+R and DVD-DL). Typically I have 3-4 identical "clones" of EVERYTHING in various places - but I like to sleep at night.

Then, with all those (easy and fast to create) backups done, sit back enjoy all the extra time you now have and ESPECIALLY enjoy not having to transfer tapes in real time.

If you want to sleep even better than me, store some of those back-ups in a different location (nothing I film is that important - if my house burns down I'll be searching for my wife and kids first, the video archive can burn - I do corporate, not weddings BTW).

It's a revolution - I went to the "solid state party" earlier than most but I'm always amazed how many people still have not even thought about accepting the invitation. Just do it (with Sony or JVC or Panny or soon Canon et al - the list seems to grow every month now) and don't look back!
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Old February 10th, 2010, 06:17 PM   #4
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How did I feel? I was scared out of my mind and super paranoid! I still am. I back up my cards ever 30 minutes. I have a laptop that I bring there and copy cards while i'm shooting with other ones.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #5
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Hi Silas
I moved from tape to card last year and yes it took a lot of thought and many hours of pondering !! I too had visions of the computer giving me a message saying "Card is Corrupt" and I lose a whole wedding!!
Actually in real life even if the camera write operation fails, it's only for the current clip so at the worst you would lose just part of a shot ... all the big name cams will have error checking and also write each stop/start action as a new file. If a card DID fail then you could pop in a new one a lot faster than having to change a tape (especially if the tape contents are around the drive train!!)
I have shot probably 20 or more weddings this season on card without any issues!!

When you get home, save the card files onto an external drive or two and you are pretty much safe.

Yes I was paranoid at first but there really is no need to be!!!

Chris
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Old February 10th, 2010, 07:58 PM   #6
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OK I'll be the 1st to admit I'm still old school, I shoot tape but I'm looking at going tapeless soon, maybe. Depends on my decision to retire or not. Anyway here's the thing I've noticed since tapeless started becoming a thing, especially for weddings. Archiving! So let me ask, how long do you guys keep your tapes from your weddings? Good lord, if I kept all the tapes from all the weddings I've done over the last 26 almost 27 years, I'd have to rent a warehouse. I'm down to keeping only the last years tapes. I really have no need to keep them after 1 year for any reason. The footage is on my drives, if I need something specific it's there on the drive, if the couple decides they want the original tapes I have them (that never happens) so the point is, if you have the footage on say 2 HDDs what more do you need? Corporate stuff is different. Just talking weddings here.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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Two things: Back up your footage to two or more drives. The second or third drive should be a drive that you can lock up or store if you go on vacation.

Also, after you have copied your clips to one drive, look to make sure they all have a thumbnail. If one doesn't then it could be corrupt. Keep your footage on your cards until you are certain that all clips are good to go.

I have a 2TB drive that I keep my clips on for safe keeping and I tell all my clients once you give me the OK that the DVD is good, then I delete anything I don't need. I do keep an extra DVD copy of their wedding for demo purpose and if they call in a year and want another copy!
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Old February 10th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #8
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I film weddings with the Z5 with the CF attachment, so I do tape and tapeless. One 'baby-step' for me was when I started using I-Rivers, and Zooms a few years ago. I save all that audio on two different hardrives and a CD. After a while I got used to it, and I felt more and more confident about trusting it.

Now I have tape, back it up on two hardrives, a Blu-Ray disk of all the raw footage, a Blu Ray disk of the final edited video, and a DVD of the edited video. The hardives get cleared as I need the room-but that is usually several months or even a year after the clients have their videos. I also give them about 2 weeks to inform me of any changes if they are needed. I keep the DVDs, tapes, and Blu Ray stuff forever.

I imagine they will someday come out with a 'single-write' only memory card of some kind that will be really cheap like tape is now. That will add another layer to the old archive and we'll feel even better about the whole tapeless process.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 09:26 PM   #9
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Silas,

It is a little scary. I generally try not to reformat my CF cards until as long as possible after a wedding. No matter what you're shooting when shooting to cards, it's a good idea to transfer it, and back it up ASAP. Just in case.

I did accidentally erase some footage that I had thought I had transferred, only to find out later I hadn't. It wasn't a huge deal but still it taught me a lesson.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 09:38 PM   #10
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I went tapeless in 2004. Bought a Firestore for my DVX100. Never looked back. For one time events, I rolled tape and tapless for a while. Then just stopped using the tapes. Bought a hardened external drive and backed up to that. For archival purposes, I wrote my source material and finished material out to pro-class full size DV. Also wrote my finished material out to DVD

In 2008 bought an EX1 and a BluRay recorder. If I absolutely need a backup I shoot HDV to the EX1 and Firestore. I'll buy a Nanoflash this year if I can. Archive is to BluRay. About mid 2009, prices for 25GB BluRay fell below my costs for miniDV tape and it holds over twice as much since I am in control of the codec. My masters are stored in a media grade fire safe, in a sprinker based building.

Am I worried about my data? MUCH less than I was with tape. No dirty heads to worry about. No magnetic issues. No roller system to crunch my tapes. No need to worry about dust or humidity. No worry that checking my tapes randomly every year will degrade the media. No worrying about whether my tape format will be readable by the next guy, or even by me in 10 years... VHS, SVHC, 8mm, hi8, Digital8, VHSc, SVHSc, DVCam, miniDV, HDV1, HDV2, DVCPro, DVCProHD, Betacam, BetaSP, DigiBeta... BLAH! With tapeless you download free software, transcode, and DONE.

Consumer tape? I don't trust it AT ALL. Seen too many failures. And generally because people tend to believe the fallacy that "tape is it's own archive" they get bit hard since they have no other backup. I do backups for a part of my living. We have over 100TB getting backed up nightly. We used to do it all on tape. Three years ago we began the migration away. Now none of it is tape based and I don't miss it at ALL. Restoring files now takes seconds instead of hours.

I'll never buy another tape unless I am forced to.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 09:43 PM   #11
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I use the same scenario after I transfered the backup files to HDD and had a wedding the next day so I formatted the cards ready for the morning only to discover that I hadn't copied the stills folder to my drive!! (I usually shoot around 6 - 10 still shots to use on the DVD cover! before I do the photoshoot) Ok, it wasn't a big deal as I managed to get a couple of stills off the video but they were not as good as the stills which were posed shots.

What I do now is use 6 SDHC cards on a rotational basis (normally just 2 per wedding..one in each camera) so that gives me usually 2 weeks before I get around to the first set again and the edit is normally finished by then. Cards have dropped in price drastically so it's not a lot of money to run a 6 card set (here about $50 per card) If one bases the cost on that I used to use 2 or 3 tapes minimum per wedding and my Panasonic PQ tapes were $8 each, just doing 4 weddings a month would be the same as buying 2 SDHC cards!! so you get to a break even point pretty quickly!!

Don, my cupboard is still full of tapes!!! What I started doing was giving them away with the packages as 'backup footage' which saved space but I still had the captured footage on External HDD's I have no more tape cameras now so I guess it's time to toss out the remaining tapes????

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Old February 10th, 2010, 09:51 PM   #12
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Tape is a beautiful thing. I'm sitting here with 12 tapes next to me as I edit a shoot with 3 A1's last weekend. Seems a little nostalgic after shooting tapeless for a while. I don't miss the capture, but love having the physical tapes.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #13
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I have not gone totally tapeless yet, although two out of the three cams I have are tapeless. My Canon A1s is still my main "end of the isle" cam that shoots the master shot of the ceremony. I still like having that tape - call it my security blanket, if you will.

I am currently looking into a RAID storage solution that will provide lots of storage plus redundancy. I do not plan on having hard drives sitting unused with data on them, so eventually the projects will be cleared off or archived onto a data tape drive.

Data tape is still the cheapest (and most reliable) backup solution for long term storage of large amounts of data.
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Old February 10th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Vincent View Post
Data tape is still the cheapest (and most reliable) backup solution for long term storage of large amounts of data.
Bingo. And the only real solution once you get above 1080p. LTO is a perfectly reliable, fast backup solution. Sadly, many people seem to think that ALL tape is like that. It's not.
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Old February 11th, 2010, 12:01 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone for your input!

So it sounds like going tapeless is not a huge scare once you get going.

The main thing for me, is that I might end up shoot 3 weddings on a weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and I need to store 20 hours of footage somewhere fast and reliable.
For non wedding/event work I am not really worried about it.

The hard drive thing is fine, except I ve had hard drives go bad on me. Does anyone know much the cards are for the Sony Z5 Camera? That's the camera I plan to use to go to tapeless.
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