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Old June 29th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #1
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Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

I am trying to get a grip on my CF card size plan and backup plan. I have a 5dii and a 7d. Right now I have two 32GB cards two 8 gig cards and 4 or 5 4 gig cards (Which is not enough)

My initial thought is to buy 4 more 32GB cards. That would be one for getting ready, ceremony, reception for each camera.

When the card is full I would back it up then put the card away for the day.

So for backup my thinking is a netbook with a usb powered 1tb HD + Card reader all self contained in a case that I would make.

The second options would be the Nexto Extreme3. 500GB

http://www.amazon.com/eXtreme3-Digital-Hi-Speed-Backup-Storage/dp/B0021AELI4/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1309354442&sr=1-1
I could use someones help that has tested different senerios.

Thank you
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Old June 29th, 2011, 09:44 AM   #2
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

I forget how many cards we have but it's plenty mostly in 16GB cards & at least enough for a couple of weddings with two 5DIIs. Some people prefer to use lots of smaller cards & swap them frequently. This is on the basis that if a card fails you have only lost that portion & not the whole wedding. I am not saying that there isn't some merit in that argument but decent Compact Flash e.g. SanDisk Extreme are very reliable & I tend to shoot until they are nearing full & then change. Having lots of cards would be more of a headache for me so I would rather have a 16GB card rather than four 4GB cards. Each 16GB card is good for up to 48 minutes of recording so even if it did fail then that is the most I have lost. 16GB seems the sweet spot for price per GB too.

I have a HyperDrive ColorSpace UDMA with a 500GB which is similar to the Nexto Extreme. It's pretty quick at offloading cards & I like to do it as soon as possible when we have some downtime & certainly before we have left the venue. If I lose one of those tiny cards on the way home then at least I still have the HyperDrive in my pocket. It's self-contained & just easier than lugging about a laptop. I wouldn't even consider an external USB drive as it is just more wires & junk to carry about & slow. If you are just to use a laptop then make sure it has a big & fast internal drive.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #3
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

Thanks for the reply. I think you have pushed me over the edge on ordering the Nexto device. I also think I will opt for 16gb cards instead of 32gb.

Thanks for your help
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Old June 29th, 2011, 07:40 PM   #4
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

Well I'm using SDHC cards not CF (550D) but I suppose the same principles apply...

I like 16GB cards for ceremony and 8GB for the rest of the day. So I'll have a an 8GB card each for bride and groom prep, a 16GB card for the ceremony (per camera), 8GB for the photoshoot, and an 8GB for the reception. If I'm shooting all the speeches, I'll have a couple of 16GB cards for that as well.

The reason I prefer to do it that way rather than on 2-3 32GB cards is so that (a) Immediately after the ceremony I can put that card away safely, (b) When importing footage I can just drag the files from the cards straight into folders labelled "Prep," "Ceremony" etc without having to search through it or wonder what card something is on, and (c) If one card fails or plays up, I only lose a small portion of my total storage and I've got plenty of backup.

Of course the downside is that I have to constantly keep track of which cards are full or empty, which ones have been formatted, and where they all are.
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Old June 29th, 2011, 07:58 PM   #5
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

I've got something like below. I insert the cf cards backwards when they are full and download when I get home from a gig. I think I average about 70 gigs for a gig. I'm not shooting full documentary so it might be different depending on what your deliverables are. Sounds like another 4x32 gigs might be overkill, especially if you get the backup drive. Btw, how long do those drives take to download 32 gigs?


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Old June 29th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #6
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

Hi John

What's also neat is the case that Pelican makes!! It stores 8 x SDHC cards in their own little compartments (I also put elastic bands around the rubber inlays to keep the cards in place)

Using the Pelican SDHC case you can then have a pre-determined position of each card and even put stickers on the inlay...Just makes mixing up cards a lot less likely to happen and they are nice cases too!!

Chris
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Old July 1st, 2011, 10:09 AM   #7
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

The Nexto says it downloads 1 gig per 40 seconds or 80 seconds if it verifies. B&H has 16Gig Extremes on sale for around $52 when you buy 2 or more so I might get 4 of those. I can get the 32Gig transcend cards for $75 and I have had good luck with them.

Unfortunately I cant find the nexto anywhere, Sold out
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Old July 1st, 2011, 02:24 PM   #8
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

The HyperDrive ColorSpace UDMA that I have does the same job as the Nexto Extreme although it doesn't have an e-SATA connector just USB2 for upload to the computer when you get home so would be a little slower. It has a colour screen which can be used to view thumbnails of uploaded photos (more use to a photographer I guess).
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Old July 1st, 2011, 05:42 PM   #9
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

I'm not sure why there is a need to copy the media at the event, and I don't usually have the down time anyway. When I've had to do this (that is, copy 2nd shooter cards) it takes so long I often need to go shoot and then leave it in my bag while copying, and not having the card on me bothers me. So I just shoot & keep the cards on me in a wallet at all times, at least 60GB per camera. They don't all get full, I use 3-4 cams, and end up with 100-130GB per wedding. I copy to two hard drives when I get home, and put one drive in a fire-safe box.
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Old July 1st, 2011, 10:08 PM   #10
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Greene View Post
I'm not sure why there is a need to copy the media at the event, and I don't usually have the down time anyway.
My thoughts exactly. I treat the cards as I would a tape. Record on them until their full, swap them out for another and offload the footage when I get back to the office.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 07:27 AM   #11
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

We go along to each wedding with 12, 32GB cards. Each card is big enough to capture an hour and a half of speeches (and the rest if they are so inclined) but we also change each card between each major part of the day i.e speeches, ceremony etc.

As nigel says, cards are very reliable and the chances of going wrong are rare... but they do go wrong and the one time in your entire life it does you would wish you had changed. Now Im not saying use 4GB cards and constantly change. Just the key bits. Loosing any part of the day, for whatever the reason is unacceptable but I would much rather loose just the ceremony card than a card packed with half the entire day.

The other reason we change is because you go into the speeches thinking an hour of free space is more than enough, you then find out its open mic night. A fresh card just means your prepared.

Cards go wrong, they get stolen, they get lost. 16GB is a good size.

We also never fill up a card. The extra space is just there as an absolute last resort for those super long speeches we have.

As for backing up on the day. We gave it a go but the downtime is normally so small you find yourself doing it in a hurry and you run the risk of not doing a good enough job. Just get lots of cards and take care of them. We use a shootsac which never leaves our side. Didnt like the idea of memory cards sitting in my sweaty pocket all day.

We probably put just 8-10GB on each card. The reason we went all 32GB is it just makes it easier to pick a card and smack it in without having to worry about it being the ceremony card or the speeches card. Downside is when we get back to the edit desk its just a number. Sometimes wish we had a card just for ceremony. Still, another discussion there.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 11:20 PM   #12
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Re: Wedding Day backup/CF card size plan

I shot a wedding on Sunday where my second shooter didnt have alot of card space (16 & 8gb) so we had to dump to my computer and wipe cards on the job. It sucked but it worked out in the end, we just copied to the laptop internal and to an external drive. 16 & 8 are DEFINITELY not enough to shoot a wedding though! filled both of them at the ceremony alone (long italian ceremony).

I hate dumping on the day, it makes me nervous...However, since we were dumping anyway, I had him capture all my cards during the reception as well so by the time we got home all the footage from the wedding was loaded. Saves me several hours of boring work.
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