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

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Old September 12th, 2013, 04:35 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Rio de Janeiro
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Effective Backup Strategy

There are some recent horror stories about data loss which got me twitching and I was wondering what people's backup strategy are for securing your data.

I for one felt a lot more secure when I switched from one-slot recording camcorders \ DSLRs to the two-slot C100. I now have enough backed up recording capacity to not have to worry about carrying \ changing \ losing \ damaging cards for a whole wedding. They go into my camera before I leave and only come out when I get home.

Once back home I copy over my footage using ShotPut Pro to my internal projects drive and a esata backup drive. Once copied, the backup drive goes back into my cupboard. The backup drive should go off site as in reality its only physically a few feet away from the internal drive. If there was a fire \ theft etc....

I'm looking at some sort of cloud based service. As far as I know Google drive is the only service that lets you have file sizes larger than 2gb (my AVCHD files can be up to 4gb). Also my project drive is 1.8tb! So whats stopping me is the cost (although I would pay the 100 a month or whatever for peace of mind) but mainly, at up to 250gb of footage per wedding, my internet link would be permanently busy.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 04:49 AM   #2
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Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
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Re: Effective Backup Strategy

I don't think that Cloud backup makes sense for video as the uplink is never going to be fast enough. I dump using a synch utility from the card to a RAID-5 volume on a Synology DS1511+ NAS device then synch that to another RAID-5 volume on another Synology DS1511+ NAS device. I then synch from that NAS to a RAID-5 volume directly attached to my Mac Pro & use that as my working files with all the Premiere Pro, Motion & Encore project files etc. That working volume is synched to two 3TB external drives when they fill up one is taken round to my brother's house a few miles away as the off-site backup. I did toy around with LTO-5 tape backup at one time but 3TB external disks are less than $100 & far more convenient to use than tape you just need to keep a couple of copies of each disk.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 06:38 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2012
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Re: Effective Backup Strategy

Before we head out, we put strips of packing tape onto each camera labeled A1 A2 A3; B1 B2 B3. Every time a card is filled up, it gets a label and goes into the case. It makes it easy to track your cards, and know if one is missing at a glance.

For backup, I just bought some 3TB drives for $115 (WD on Amazon). From what I saw, it just didn't make sense to do cloud backup of working files, yet. Instead, I will store one of these off site - at my parents' house. When i visit every 2 or 3 weeks, I pick it up, update it, and take it back. OR, an office/home split makes sense, too.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 09:27 AM   #4
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Re: Effective Backup Strategy

we put strips of packing tape onto each camera labeled A1 A2 A3; B1 B2 B3. Every time a card is filled up, it gets a label and goes into the case. It makes it easy to track your cards

I do similar except that all my cams are permanently labelled as are all the cards and each set of cards is specific to a camera. Similar with my stills dSLRs, flashguns, continuous lights, triggers, pretty much everything. Makes life a lot easier if you have to identify a fault. The only thing I don't label any more is AA cells; I just recondition them every few weeks and bin any failures.

Back to backup. With USB3 drives being so fast and reliable and affordable I don't think it needs to be any more complicated than a bunch of these, one copy offsite for obvious reasons. I keep three copies, one of which is never ever modified until everything is completed and delivered. It is important to verify your downloads - don't just rely on them having appeared to have completed uneventfully. For video I aim to get all the tracks onto a multicam master track for each part of the day then scrub through that. Only then reuse a card. For RAW stills its vital to use a viewer that references the actual image rather than just the embedded JPEG. Capture One does that.

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Old September 12th, 2013, 09:55 AM   #5
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Re: Effective Backup Strategy

We don't label the cards, but we know how many total we have, so we know how many blank spots we have in our card holders. Anytime we are done with a card (either full or just for the next event) we put it back in the card holder upside down, that way it is a quick way to know which card to grab next.

At home I will unload it all to an external drive, backup that external drive to two drives. One stays on my computer for daily backups and one goes to an offsite location. I put my Final Cut project files on the cloud so if something happened to my home I could still use those with the video files that are on the offsite hard drive.

I know they are on this board and would probably post it eventually, but Minty Slippers has a good blog about what they do.

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Old September 12th, 2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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Location: Fresno, CA
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Re: Effective Backup Strategy

I use dual slot cameras for my main angles. I copy all of the cards to my computer SSD drive, and then back up all the files to separate internal and external spinning hard drives. I don't reuse the memory cards until I have done my basic edit and have seen all the footage. That way if there was a problem with the download from the card I have the untouched cards to download from again. Once I have seen everything, then the cards can be erased and reused for the next event.
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