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


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Old February 15th, 2012, 08:26 PM   #1
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back to back weddings

Hi All,

I have a week of 5 back to back weddings, which all start at 2pm and end at 1am. I have spent pretty much all I have on kit and am trying to find the cheapest solution for reusing the batteries and memory cards I currently own.

I have 9 LP-E8 batteries which should last me through each shoot, instead of buying more batteries my plan is to buy 8 chargers of eBay at £6 each and when I return home at 1am I place them all on charge and go to sleep. This way I won’t have to worry about waking up in the middle of the night to switch batteries.

My main issue is the memory cards of which I have 7x32gb Class 10 Transcend. What is the quickest and most effective way for me to get the data off my memory cards and onto my computer overnight so I can format reuse them the next day? I have a Mac Pro and currently use a USB card reader. I really don’t want to be sitting there at 4am copying data.

Many Thanks
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Old February 15th, 2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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Re: back to back weddings

So on the 6th day, you plan to have 5 weddings on your computer? Have you done anything like this because overall it's one major exercise.

By the last one the creative level will be way down, you'll need your 2nd shooter?

I'd check around and see if you can rent spare cards and d/load after you've recovered on the 7th day. Make sure you have enough external HD space?
If not you could d/load and edit them one at time.

If they're all in the one hall, maybe you could take a sleeping bag, but take a couple of your chargers and a packet of NoDoz to each wedding as back up :)
Good luck.

Cheers.
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Old February 15th, 2012, 10:22 PM   #3
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Re: back to back weddings

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Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
So on the 6th day, you plan to have 5 weddings on your computer?
So, will you rest on the seventh day? :)

Seriously -- that is one schedule! Good luck. I would think that all the business would afford you a helper who's paid to change the cards overnight. Or maybe a robot?!
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Old February 16th, 2012, 02:07 AM   #4
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Re: back to back weddings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
So on the 6th day, you plan to have 5 weddings on your computer? Have you done anything like this because overall it's one major exercise.

By the last one the creative level will be way down, you'll need your 2nd shooter?

I'd check around and see if you can rent spare cards and d/load after you've recovered on the 7th day. Make sure you have enough external HD space?
If not you could d/load and edit them one at time.

If they're all in the one hall, maybe you could take a sleeping bag, but take a couple of your chargers and a packet of NoDoz to each wedding as back up :)
Good luck.

Cheers.
I have a second shooter on each day so that part is covered :) It is just trying to save £270 as I don't want to go and buy another 10 SD Cards. I Have purchased 2x2TB Western Digital Black hard drives so I'll have plenty of room on my Mac Pro. If I could attach 6 SD cards at once to my Man and copy them all accross overnight that would be cool.
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Old February 16th, 2012, 04:24 AM   #5
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Re: back to back weddings

If you have 5 weddings, surely the profit from these would stretch to buying 10 more cards for £270. Getting more cards will take the stress out of the situation.

How are you going to check that the transfers are OK before wiping the original files from the cards? and back up to two devices just in case.

If it was me, I'd get the extra cards, they'll always come in handy.

Peter
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Old February 16th, 2012, 04:31 AM   #6
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Re: back to back weddings

I'm PC rather than Mac so I'm not up to speed on compatibility but I understand that mac pro can use USB3 now:

USB 3.0 products for Mac

USB3 is very fast indeed. I am getting a genuine 5x faster download time than USB2.

You need one or more of these Lexar USB3 card readers:
Lexar® Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader | Lexar

Then you need the appropriate expansion cards / express cards for your computer.

If its not too late I would also swap out your external hard drives for USB3 from USB2 if applicable so that you can download straight to those drives at USB3 speeds. Make sure you get the cables as well.

Downloading is so quick you could finish two 32gb cards just whilst you are unloading your car and having a late night coffee. But it would make sense to download during the day then just backup from one external drive to the other on your return home. I would not want to risk doing all the downloading at home in case of unforeseen problems such as power cuts or just gremlins.

You could also recharge batteries used earlier in the day during the speeches etc.

I would not want to risk cheap ebay rechargers unattended overnight without thorough testing because of the fire risk, as several of my photographers colleagues have found to their cost.

You can also get inverters for use in cars. These enable you to connect mains powered devices such as external hard drives to the cars cigar lighter sockets so you can carry on downloading if you have a long drive home; however I would prefer to download straight to a laptop drive at that point and I have a spare laptop battery for just that event.

However now might be the time to buy some high spec. new cards in anticipation of your next camera purchase as that way it doesn't seem like money wasted :- )

Not sure what cards you use but I saw these on special at Robert White recently:

SanDisk Professional 32GB Compact Flash Extreme (60MB/s) | Robert White Photographic Ltd

£72 is a great price for that spec of 32gb 60mb/s UDMA and from Sandisk. These are the cards I use in my 5DII's together with USB3 and I paid twice that.

Pete
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Old February 16th, 2012, 06:38 AM   #7
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Re: back to back weddings

I just ordered the Lexar card reader, thanks Peter!
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Old February 17th, 2012, 12:00 AM   #8
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Re: back to back weddings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tariq Peter View Post
Hi All,

My main issue is the memory cards of which I have 7x32gb Class 10 Transcend.
Not to bash Transcend but I'm not sure that is a good idea to have all that footage on a 32GB card specially on a Transcend. Youre gonna have severe problems if any one of these 7 cards malfunctions. we've learned our lesson with these 32GB cards and now exclusively use 16GB cards.

Also with all the $$ from these back to back weddings surely you can afford to invest in more cards.
You are brave my man for doing these shoots..

Good luck,

Kren
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Old February 17th, 2012, 01:07 AM   #9
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Re: back to back weddings

I'm a little confused. People are getting married in the middle of the week?
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Old February 17th, 2012, 04:10 AM   #10
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Re: back to back weddings

Muslim weddings consist of many mini events leading up to the wedding day but still last the same amount of time (sometimes even longer than the wedding itself)
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Old February 17th, 2012, 04:22 AM   #11
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Re: back to back weddings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
Not to bash Transcend but I'm not sure that is a good idea to have all that footage on a 32GB card specially on a Transcend. Youre gonna have severe problems if any one of these 7 cards malfunctions. we've learned our lesson with these 32GB cards and now exclusively use 16GB cards.

Also with all the $$ from these back to back weddings surely you can afford to invest in more cards.
You are brave my man for doing these shoots..

Good luck,

Kren
Thanks! I have another shooter so we should be ok (fingers crossed) I have already spent $$$ on Hard Drives, Batteries, Lenses, Glidecam, but yes another round of investment is needed.
Sorry to hear about the 32GB trouble you had. Are you still using Transcend 16GB?
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Old February 17th, 2012, 06:17 AM   #12
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Re: back to back weddings

Is there any way that you leave you second shooter at the event for the evening, to film on their own and in the mean time head home yourself to regroup the gear for the next day. Even if you were able to leave a bit earlier that would help ?
thanks
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Old February 17th, 2012, 07:26 AM   #13
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Re: back to back weddings

Transcend had a batch of 32GB cards that were faulty but usually their cards are good. I must admit I have two 32GB Transcends from the Taiwan factory and they work fine...I too prefer to use 16GB and during ceremonies I use 2 x 16GB cards in the A-Cam and write to both as that's one bit that cannot be reshot...you can always redo a cake cutting but not a Church ceremony!!!

These weddings sound very much like traditional Indian weddings where the ceremony and rituals last for a complete week and that's just one couple!!!

A brave move doing Muslim wedding events..I had so many problems with ethnic weddings I dropped them quite a few years ago and only do Western weddings..just too much footage required, lack of the language barrier and understanding the quite complex rituals was too much for my tiny brain!!!

Good luck on the shoot...hope you are charging accordingly too..I was told that in India competition is so fierce that a videographer will cover a 3 day ceremony and edit it for a mere US$300!!! Rather them than me!!

Chris
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Old February 17th, 2012, 09:02 AM   #14
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Re: back to back weddings

five? that's a record!
i do two in a row, or three sometimes, but only when I have to, most of the time I try to avoid back to back events, but anyways, when i do have to shoot back to back, at the reception i copy all footage to laptop and when I come home it's only 20-30 min I need to back up, I leave to copy all footage to external HD for a night, in the morning I make sure all is good, and only after that I format cards and delete footage from laptop ready for the next round, but when the marathon is over first thing I do I make a second copy of all material on another hard drive.
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Old February 17th, 2012, 09:28 AM   #15
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Re: back to back weddings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
I'm PC rather than Mac so I'm not up to speed on compatibility but I understand that mac pro can use USB3 now:

USB 3.0 products for Mac

USB3 is very fast indeed. I am getting a genuine 5x faster download time than USB2.

You need one or more of these Lexar USB3 card readers:
Lexar® Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader | Lexar

Then you need the appropriate expansion cards / express cards for your computer.
Just to confirm that I am using USB3 on Mac. Sonnet Allegro PCIe cards in the Mac Pros & a Sonnet Tempo ExpressCard in the MacBook Pro. Whatever you do don't get a Lacie USB3 card as on the Mac they only work with Lacie devices (there is a hack to fix this but it's flakey).

Edit: I just noticed lying on my desk a CalDigit USB3 ExpressCard that I purchased when I temporarily mislaid the Sonnet Tempo ExpressCard. That works great too.

Last edited by Nigel Barker; February 18th, 2012 at 02:49 AM.
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