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Old October 14th, 2014, 11:05 PM   #1
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CF card failure?

Mine haven't failed, but I'm always worried that they will. Just wondering if anyone has any horror stories about card failure (is it something I should be very concerned about)? And I guess the next question is -- what can you do about it? Do you use any backup system during the wedding itself? Or do you use a camera that can write to two cards simultaneously?

(A few years ago I was using Nexto drives to try to back up while in the car. Maybe there's no better solution. But I've fallen out of the habit of it; often found there wasn't time to do it. That leaves reception -- but once you're there, it's seems a little late to worry...)

Edit: just discovered that the C100 allows dual recording. I almost feel like switching over to that camera for that feature alone!

Last edited by Adrian Tan; October 15th, 2014 at 03:15 AM.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 05:11 AM   #2
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Re: CF card failure?

I've shot both C100 and XF100 in dual card mode for any events that are short enough to fit on a single card but most weddings were shot in rollover mode. I haven't ever had a card problem with either of them.

In fact, going back in history the only two brands I've ever had problems with were Sandisk and Lexar, both considered premium brands and both recommended as 'the' brands to buy. Fortunately these failures were personal photo projects rather than paid work, but it did p1ss me off quite a bit at the time!

I've since bought more than 30 Transcend cards and not had a single problem with any of them - either CF or SD. Like any brand, there are fakes on the market so stories of failures on any brand can come to the surface.

Since I just sold off my XF100 cameras I'm now sat on more than 500GB of CF cards I no longer have any use for, since my C100, GH4 etc all take SD cards. Good job I have another 500GB of SD!

When buying a new card I always did the following:

1) Format the card in camera
2) Sit the camera in front of a TV (doesn't matter what's on) and record the entire card. By having a TV you're getting moving pictures so it's not just recording a highly compress still frame.
3) Read the entire card to the computer and make sure everything is good

Now repeat steps 1 to 3 again so it's filled the card at least twice and proved to be readable at least twice before it ever goes on a commercial shoot. It takes time, but in the end I'd rather know I have a working card before I go on the shoot rather than trying it first time when someone is paying me.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 06:09 AM   #3
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Re: CF card failure?

Im" not going to say I have never had an issue with recording to one card because then usually something will happen for sure on my next shoot. To be honest, I try not to think about it but it does have me worried, I could get an external recorder like a ninja but I can't get one for every camera I own as that would be a very expensive upgrade.

In 2008 I lost a full hour of ceremony footage from my new canon xh-a1 and a new, unused hdv cassette, I had over 100 dropouts with no way to recover it, I immediately got a sony hvr dr60 after that and this combo worked very well but I also only had one camera back then.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 06:11 AM   #4
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Re: CF card failure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Tan View Post
Edit: just discovered that the C100 allows dual recording. I almost feel like switching over to that camera for that feature alone!
You can always attach a external recorder to your camera like the ninja star which is as small as it gets.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 06:29 AM   #5
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Re: CF card failure?

Using dual-record on the C100 (or any other dual-record camera) is a joy.

I wasn't worried so much about faulty cards on my single slot HMC150 (never had a card fail in the field). It was carrying the cards and swapping them out while on a hectic shoot where I suspected the danger was. Losing them, dropping them while trying to swap cards, etc.

With the C100 it is loaded with two 64gb cards that give me enough record time for a while wedding. Don't have to think about cards during a shoot anymore.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 07:02 AM   #6
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Re: CF card failure?

I hate to state the obvious, but all memory cards work perfectly until they don't.
Having said that, I've never had a memory card failure, but I could get one tomorrow.
I cannot imagine shooting an event without some type of a dual-record setup
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Old October 15th, 2014, 11:37 AM   #7
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Re: CF card failure?

They can fail but it's rare. Our Kingston cards come with a lifetime warranty. All new cards get recorded onto until they are full to test. We then do this once a year and replace after 3 years.

In the c100 we dual slot record with a 64gb in slot A and a 16gb in slot B. The 64 GB lasts all day and we use the smaller cards as we change throughout the day. So the entire days wedding isn't on the highly nick able cameas :)

A 64gb card will hold around 6 hours.

It's great piece of mind and has already saved us on one occasion where a card failed after the first dance and lost that clip. The other card had it though.
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Old October 15th, 2014, 03:13 PM   #8
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Re: CF card failure?

I have a C100 and always use dual slot recording.
I once had a CF card play up when using my old 7D (not sure if it was the card or the camera's fault). Several shots appeared as if there was no info although I could see a thumbnail. Luckily only one of the shots was vital but it cost around 200 (I think) to recover the clip. Costly and tedious. It was one of the reasons I went for the C100
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Old October 15th, 2014, 05:42 PM   #9
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Re: CF card failure?

Panasonic need to start doing dual slot recordings on their cameras. I was tempted to buy a second GH4, but I'm going to wait until the GH5 in the hope that they bring dual slot recording...

It has me worried too. I shoot using 64GB Extreme Pro SanDisk cards with something like 95mb/s. I hope that investing 100 into cards will give me some peace of mind... but in reality, I realise that it's just as likely to go as any card.

I know this is a CF card thread, and I also know that there are recovery programs for corrupt SDs, but how good are they at recovering SD cards? Is it a case of literally saying to the couple, I lost your wedding and it's unrecoverable? I try to swap my cards after the ceremony and once in the evening, but I seriously envy the C100 shooters... if it wasn't for the size, I'd be tempted to invest towards owning one.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 05:37 AM   #10
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Re: CF card failure?

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Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Panasonic need to start doing dual slot recordings on their cameras. I was tempted to buy a second GH4, but I'm going to wait until the GH5 in the hope that they bring dual slot recording... .
I'm hoping they do too..... but I'm not holding my breath on that one. It would probably require a much bigger change than we think, especially in the body design.

As Noa said, use an external recorder if you're really worried. I've had a Ninja II hooked up to mine a couple of times, though you only get 1080p and not 4K. I'm hoping the Shogun it as nice as it seems, though it's pretty expensive and quite large. For ceremonies it would provide a very nice screen though !
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Old October 16th, 2014, 05:25 PM   #11
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Re: CF card failure?

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Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
I'm hoping they do too..... but I'm not holding my breath on that one. It would probably require a much bigger change than we think, especially in the body design.

As Noa said, use an external recorder if you're really worried. I've had a Ninja II hooked up to mine a couple of times, though you only get 1080p and not 4K. I'm hoping the Shogun it as nice as it seems, though it's pretty expensive and quite large. For ceremonies it would provide a very nice screen though !
Very true... but then we move into rig territory if you're also using an external mic... I'm pretty wary of keeping everything minimal...

With the new processor being so powerful in the GH4, I'm hoping the GH5 sees a further boost, even if dual slot pertained solely to 1080p.

I would much prefer a back up to having 4K.

So far, neither Olympus or Panasonic have offered two slots. I'm really surprised that Olympus' EM1 never came with dual slots, given their appeal to pros.

Panasonic seem to want to offer affordable, yet powerful technology at a minimal price point. I like it to some extent, but in others, I would really like them to add 300 onto the price tag and give us both dual slot recording and 30 minutes plus recording time.
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Old October 17th, 2014, 12:34 AM   #12
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Re: CF card failure?

Few years ago, I had my first SD card failure and I panicked. In the end I was able to recover everything on my own. I shared my experience in my blog

How to Repair DSLR .MOV on Corrupted SD Card | L.A. Color Pros Blog

Now I have been helping many others in the industry to fix memory cards. I also been speaking at several videographer associations in the country on this topic too :)

If that happens to you, I can try to help you. I don't charge but I welcome small donations.
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