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


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Old November 7th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #1
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What format for archive?

Hi guys, had a good look in the threads but couldnt find a specific answer to this.

To all the dslr wedding shooters out there, what format are you archiving / mastering your weddings in?

In my HDV days (which seems so long ago but was only the start of this years weddings) I just exported to HDV tape, and saved the temp file that the exporting to tape process created as a .m2t file,

This method worked great, I had the finished wedding on tape, and a file on HD (as well as having DVD and Blu isos)

So what are you guys doing to archive / keep a master copy for future re encodes, re edits, general master copy etc...

I shoot with Canon 7d and 550d, edit in PPro CS3 (using cineform neoscene to creat avis from the native movs).

Thanks in advance

James
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Old November 8th, 2010, 02:47 AM   #2
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James, I can't answer your question specifically but in general I'd always recommend that any back ups are in a format which needs as little rendering as possible - in other words is closest to your native or original recordings, commensurate with being able to use them in future NLEs. That way you'll have the best chance of being able to re-work your material in future.

As far as media is concerned we are in a similar boat since we moved from tape a year ago. In addition to the master DVD, we archive to a RAID array on the computer and a outboard HDD as well. When the RAID disks are full we re-use one and archive the second along with the outboard. One disk is held in the studio, the second is stored by my daughter who lives nearby.

Nothing is 100% secure of course, but I think that covers reasonable risks.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 12:25 PM   #3
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If you are shooting digital, the answer is easy:

Save EXACTLY what is on the camera. File structure and all.

Additionally, archive your final product and project file.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #4
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Whilst I don't fundamentally disagree with Christian, it's worth remembering that if you shoot with Sony HDV you have to use the supplied software to stitch long files together and it will only work on files imported from a CF disk or similar so you would be advised to archive the files after stitching. Small exception to Christian's good rule.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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Higuys, thanks for replys.

So, I'm thinking since I shoot using canon DSLRs, transcode those .mov to cinefrom avi, and then edit using the cineform files, my best would be to master each project as a cineform avi?

Or should I master in a format thats closer to the native h263 mov files from the cameras (ie master in a high bit rate h264 file?)

It looks like mastering in cineform will result in HUGE file sizes, but perhaps thats what it comes down to, master in cineform = easier to edit files, but larger, whereas mastering in h264 will result in smaller files, but not so easy to edit (Which is the same dilema with editing the native DSLR fiels)

While I love the new DLSR footage, and HD in genereal, I kinda miss the simplicity of miniDV

Cheers

James

Last edited by James Strange; November 8th, 2010 at 07:14 PM. Reason: its late, I cant type, or spell.
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Old November 8th, 2010, 09:34 PM   #6
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This is pretty well covered ground, but just a few notes.


1. While I think Cineform is a lovely editing codec, I'd be VERY concerned about saving my masters in a format only accessible via a proprietary reader. If someone 10 years later wants to read that, will they be able to?

2. Regarding large file sizes. Welcome to HD. You're storing 5 times the number of pixels as SD. Yes the file sizes are going to be much larger accordingly.

3. H.264 is not a mastering format. It's awful to edit, and loses a ton of information. But what are you calling a "master"? Seems like you are mixing the term "Master" in where you should be using intermediate.

4. I would also be somewhat cautious about archiving or mastering into a .AVI format. It was supposed to disappear long ago. MXF or even MOV offer a lot more modern options and generally higher quality options.

Best of luck.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #7
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Perhaps 'master' is the wrong word, I should have probably said 'Archive'

Basically, rather than archiving the entire project, I will be archiving a DVD iso, Blu ray iso, and a Digital File, Its the Digital file I'm researching as to which file / format is best (cineform? h264? high bit rate I-frame only mpeg2? etc..)

The idea beng that say for example next year, I want to pull a few clips from a wedding video (eg I'm putting together a compilation video for a car company) and I want to use a few clips from various weddings.

I'm looking into to which file / format to archive the final wedding video in.

Does that make sense?

I''m not sure if I can master in mxf from PPro CS3, i've never seen that option (am I mistaken?)

Cheers again

James
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Old November 9th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #8
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Ah ok.

I prefer Jpeg2000 over all others. But I have no idea what your options are in CS3. That's going back a ways...
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Old November 9th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #9
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I would keep the h.264 files as they are out of the camera as your archive files. If you need to reuse them again in a few years time, remember that you may eventually upgrade from CS3 and as CS5 runs DSLR footage natively there would be no need for the cineform files. Yes, prem will probably not recognise the files right away, but it doesn't take long for you to point prem in the right way.
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