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


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Old May 11th, 2015, 06:30 PM   #1
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Guard SD cards with your life!

long story short, I took 4 SD cards out of 2 cameras when I parked at the hotel. Got up to the room and I only had 3. So at 1:00 in the morning I was looking every where I had been after taking the cards out but no luck. Felt like I was gonna be sick. Got up a 7:00 when it was daylight to look again, tracing my steps in the pouring rain, there it was in the parking lot........I couldn't believe it. It feel out of my pocket when I pulled a five out to tip the parking lot attendant.

From now on there going in some sort of pouch after the wedding is over, lesson learned!
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Old May 11th, 2015, 07:01 PM   #2
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

Hi Tim

I have a pelican SD card case (actually it's a copy of the pelican case which fell to bits) which holds 8 cards and if cards are not in the camera they go straight into the case .... the SD card case is also kept in my main gear case too so they are doubly safe. While we are on the same subject ... don't overuse your cards either ...they are cheap enough to replace every 3 months ...I got lazy this season and used my set of 4 cards over nearly 8 months and now I'm struggling to edit the 2nd last wedding of the season as the card has little bits of corrupt data on it.

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Old May 11th, 2015, 07:36 PM   #3
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

Glad you found your card. That is a nightmarish feeling. I don't replace the cards as often as Chris. In fact, I've been shooting on the same ones for a couple years. But I do have my own set of hard and fast rules when's it comes to cards:
1). Never go cheap. Sandisk for me. No off-brand.
2). Always store in a card carrying case when not in use
3). Split up my footage across multiple cards: first look on one, ceremony on another, toasts on another, dancing on another, etc. etc. This way if one is lost/corrupt, I still have other parts of the wedding.
4). Backup on-site whenever possible. It takes only a couple minutes to dump footage and during that time you can still be working.
5). Reformat all my cards in-camera before every shoot.
6). Check the card for footage before erasing...make sure you have copied that data!
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Old May 11th, 2015, 07:48 PM   #4
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

Thanks for the input Chris and Ian. That's the reason I started this thread, to help others not to take those little SD cards for granted like I did.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 07:59 PM   #5
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

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Originally Posted by Ian Atkins View Post
2). Always store in a card carrying case when not in use
A little off-topic, but one thing that unnerves me about CF cards is the little holes. What if you got bits of dirt in there, then you bent the locking pins when you inserted the card into camera/card reader/computer?

I think it's definitely advisable to carry CFs in a case.

Quote:
5). Reformat all my cards in-camera before every shoot.
I was surprised to find that a lot of people don't do this. But there's a risk of data corruption if you don't. Have heard horror stories.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 05:22 AM   #6
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

Two 64GB cards in the C100 is enough to record a whole wedding and more. If one card fails \ is lost you have an instant backup. At the end of the shoot one card comes out and straight into a card case with the cards from other cameras. One card one camera one shoot.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 05:44 AM   #7
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

Per another forum post:

Low level format; not offered as a choice in many cameras. Doing this in a PC every few use cycles prevents file fragment debris clutter on the card from degrading performance. Can also be done in a Mac using a special utility only. The format option offered by many cameras does nothing to clean files and file fragments from the media sectors.

Even SanDisk media will develop problems if not low level formatted periodically.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 07:16 AM   #8
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

Good idea Ian

I have SDFormatter V4 which does either a quick format or a low level format and best of all it's free! I will often shoot onto cards 7 days a week and of course do an standard in-camera format but never have bothered with a low level format. I find that I will often get a frame or two of corrupt data after a card has been used for 3 months but was too lazy to low level format the card ... I actually keep 4 cards current and try to rotate them every week so they all work with equal data.

After your post I just popped a 32GB card into the reader and it's up to 17% now after 15 minutes so it's doing a low level format and getting rid of all the fragments too.

Thanks for jogging me into action!!

Chris
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Old May 12th, 2015, 07:23 AM   #9
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

My cards only come out of the camera while at the studio for downloading. I never remove them from the camera otherwise. It would make me too nervous.

In the rare situation I fill up a card I put the full on in a hard shell card case that stays in my camera case.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 07:27 AM   #10
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

I can imagine how it feels to loose your footage like that, those cards are also so tiny they are easily misplaced, I use several camera's during a wedding and each one has a card big enough to get through the entire day, they only come out of the camera to transfer the footage and then go right back into the camera again for my dslr's, my sony videocamera's however get connected to the pc when I transfer footage so those cards never come out. I do have a few extra cards just incase I might need them.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 07:31 AM   #11
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Good idea Ian

I have SDFormatter V4 which does either a quick format or a low level format and best of all it's free! I will often shoot onto cards 7 days a week and of course do an standard in-camera format but never have bothered with a low level format. I find that I will often get a frame or two of corrupt data after a card has been used for 3 months but was too lazy to low level format the card ... I actually keep 4 cards current and try to rotate them every week so they all work with equal data.

After your post I just popped a 32GB card into the reader and it's up to 17% now after 15 minutes so it's doing a low level format and getting rid of all the fragments too.

Thanks for jogging me into action!!

Chris
Chris...that's why I love this board! Everyone seems to legitimately want to help one another and there is a lot less of that low-level bickering you find on other similar forums.
In any case, I'm doing the same thing as I write this!
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Old May 12th, 2015, 08:47 AM   #12
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

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Chris...that's why I love this board! Everyone seems to legitimately want to help one another
Agree with the above :)
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Old May 12th, 2015, 08:57 AM   #13
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

Don't want to go off topic but what about diskpart? Would that be the same thing?
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Old May 12th, 2015, 09:04 AM   #14
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

Hi Ian

Just for interest my 32GB SDHC took around 45 minutes on the i7 PC to low level format .. I don't mind as I can still do other stuff so I will grab my other cards that I took out of circulation and give them all a low level format too. Something else to warn about is make sure that any external drives are not used until they are completely full! I was doing a realty shoot today and one clip (on a new SD card) was corrupt and crashed the NLE ... I noticed my External drive was almost at capacity and reloading the clip onto a new drive solved all issues .. I would assume that these also suffer the same problems as cards but low level formats are, of course. not an option as mine are backup drives. I usually change when there is 100GB left on the drive (they are 3TB) and don't have any file issues but I was just pushing my luck .. I would suspect that the drive with 2.99TB of file must be quite fragmented now?? Does anyone defrag the drives .. I don't as it takes a LONG time to go thru a 3TB drive!!!

Yep, great forum and it's always a learning process ... Thanks to all

Chris
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Old May 12th, 2015, 10:09 AM   #15
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Re: Guard SD cards with your life!

Yes I defragment hard drives regularly. The trick to avoid tying up a drive with a long session is to do it regularly. PCs can easily be set up to do it automatically for you on a schedule you chose. I use that method for all of my utility type computers but NOT my NLEs. NLEs are dedicated systems and treated differently. They are locked down and everything auto is turned off, including and especially updates. I manage everything about a NLE myself.

I use a lot of external drives of many types. I am a big believer in formatting. I reformat everything I can before a job starts. I also do not like full drives. Scientifically speaking you should be able to use them to capacity but in my experience full drives are inefficient, at the least and that is also when I have had failures.

I am another one here that does not like massive drives (by drive I mean everything from a card to a spinning HD). Our data is too important to have all in one place, I like to spread it out.

It is not unusual for me to record 8 or 10 hours of video a day for three or four days in a row. The files are massive. The average continuous record time is one or two hours of live presentation video. I was an early adopter of straight to HD recording. Then or now it does not matter what systems we are using there is always two independent systems simultaneously recording that video. Hard drives can and do fail.

Another vote here that says I don't buy cheap cards either. The one time I bought cheap CF cards (I/O Data) years ago they BOTH failed on the same job the first day of use. Fortunately I was able to recover the photos with rescue software. But I had a heart attack first. Now, always a brand name.

Steve
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