I received my EX1 last week (it's the best cam I've ever owned!) and I have a question about archiving. I use a Mac running Final Cut PRO and I was wondering, after I use Sony's XDcam software to convert my footage to Quicktime files, do I need to archive both my quicktime files and the original files from my SxS cards? Personally, I think I only need to save the quicktime files. Since the footage isn't degraded by converting from the SxS cards to quicktime, isn't saving the original files a waste of storage space if I save the quicktime files too?
Does anyone know any reason why I would need to save the originals?
Archiving is the biggest bugaboo of the whole file based production system. There ain't no simple answers that answer every need. We've been discussing it at the Discrete edit*ors Cow Forum. You might want to take a look at this thread for some ideas.
[Jason H] "Since the footage isn't degraded by converting from the SxS cards to quicktime, isn't saving the original files a waste of storage space if I save the quicktime files too?
Does anyone know any reason why I would need to save the originals?"
It depends on how important the files are, how long you want to keep 'em, whether they may need to be used on a non-QT system, and what you are using to archive with. If they are important, you want 'em for a long time and you are using hard disks to archive, for safety's sake I'd put the originals on one drive and the .mov files on another.
LTO3 Data tape is large capacity, cheap, reliable (at least the tapes themselves) and fairly fast; hard disks are cheap, large capacity and very fast, but none too reliable for long term storage; and HD optical is too small, too expensive for media, and too slow, but other forms of optical should have long term potential. This is a problem for the whole IT industry and better alternatives should be coming, but who knows how quickly. Somebody's gonna make a large fortune when they solve the problem of an archiving medium for digital files that's inexpensive, reliable, fast, has large capacity, and will last reliably for at least 20 or 30 years. It ain't there yet.
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I have been just archiving the .mov versions but it really makes more sense to back up the original file structure for long term compatibility.
As link above indicates, there's much debate on archive. I'm thinking DL-DVD might be workable. At 8GB an 8GB card fits nicely and a 16GB card can be split using clip browser.
On location a laptop can ingest to hard drive and burn to 8GB so you have immediate back up. You can even burn 2 discs so client can walk with one if need be.
I don't think 50GB Blu-ray is unreasonably expensive. Burners are under $600 now. Heck, that's cheaper than the $1500 I payed for my Sony DSR-11 DV/DVCAM deck. While the price of discs might seem high (and they're dropping). BD-50GB is in the $30-$40 price range (60-80¢ per GigaByte) which is in the same ballpark as some HDV tapes and lots less then DVCProHD and HDCAM tapes.
People will argue over Optical disc vs Hard Drive, vs LTO type tape but I lean towards optical for various reasons.