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Dave Matthis
footage archive options?
on Jul 7, 2008 at 10:38:40 pm

If you're an EX1 user, what is your general strategy and medium for "archiving" your camera original footage?

I am evaluating the options for switching to either an optical disc-based camcorder (XDCAM-HD) or a solid-state camcorder (like the EX3). In my 25 years' experience shooting, I've always had a videotape or film negative to put on the shelf. That is a nice security blanket, pretty inexpensive, and occasionally it has been extremely important to have. But doing this with anything other than tape seems like a real problem.

In various Cow forums I'm seeing very little dialogue on this topic. I'm particularly interested in how EX1 users are currently dealing with archiving once they've jumped in with both feet. Procrastinating? Pretending the problem doesn't exist? ;)

Thanks in advance for your comments.




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Noah Kadner
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 7, 2008 at 10:47:25 pm

[Dave Matthis] "If you're an EX1 user, what is your general strategy and medium for "archiving" your camera original footage?

I am evaluating the options for switching to either an optical disc-based camcorder (XDCAM-HD) or a solid-state camcorder (like the EX3). In my 25 years' experience shooting, I've always had a videotape or film negative to put on the shelf. That is a nice security blanket, pretty inexpensive, and occasionally it has been extremely important to have. But doing this with anything other than tape seems like a real problem.

In various Cow forums I'm seeing very little dialogue on this topic. I'm particularly interested in how EX1 users are currently dealing with archiving once they've jumped in with both feet. Procrastinating? Pretending the problem doesn't exist? ;)

Thanks in advance for your comments"


Really depends on your workflow, budget and how long you need to keep footage. In news and the commercial world, long term storage isn't as important and in that case a hard drive backup will do until reused.

If you need something a bit more robust you can go to a Blu-Ray data drive- which holds a decent amount but not the hardiest solution for long-term. Then you get into tape drives- DLT, LTO-3 etc. If money is not tight I'd go for an LTO-3 drive. They are fast, vast and highly durable for long term storage.

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color and Win a Free Letus Extreme.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, DVD Studio Pro and Sound for Film and TV.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Tom David
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 8, 2008 at 6:03:56 am

Certainly some sort of tape drive (LTO3) is your best option - some manufacturers of tapes guarantee data up to 30 years. Cheap tapes for 400GB storage per tape, though often expensive units at $5K plus. Good benefits that you can back up whole project files, not just footage.

For other options, consider moving parts and longevity. Despite in cases, Blu-ray DVDs still susceptible to scratching - and the format hasn't been proven for longevity yet, where as tape has been around for decades. That leaves hard drives as storage medium, though you'll need to spin them up every few months so the oils etc in components don't settle.

We hire a LTO tape drive in once a month or two to clear out our drives onto LTO tape - avoids outlay of deck. Though cheap second hand units are now starting to appear on market as newer models appear.

Cheers,
Tom

Camera Operator - Editor - Motion Graphics
(http://www.tomdavid.com.au)


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Chris Stevens
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 8, 2008 at 2:49:44 pm

I burn native SxS clips to Blu_Ray. So far all working OK, I've transferred clips back & forth without problems.

G5 dual 2.7, OS10.5.1, 4G RAM
Media100 HD V12 & Producer, AE 7
5.6 terra RAID


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Craig Seeman
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 8, 2008 at 3:54:50 pm

I'm using DL-DVD at the moment for archive. You ABSOLUTELY MUST make sure you're using TOP RATED media if you're archiving to optical.

Verbatim 95123 R+ DL-DVD. Inkjet printable. I surface print shoot and client info.



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John McClary
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 8, 2008 at 4:42:06 pm

The new firmware upgrade for the PDW-U1 XDCAM drive makes it a read AND write device. XDCAM disks are the same price as a Beta tape ($23) so that is the option I'm moving towards. Sony says they are stable for 50 years (just like tape), much thinner than a Beta tape sitting on a shelf, and the drive is USB2.

John McClary

"The future you can afford"


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Dave Matthis
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 9, 2008 at 6:32:10 pm

Very interesting ideas, and they present interesting tradeoffs.

Cost of the data tape drives is about $3200 on up to about $7000. It looks like most require SCSI or serial attached SCSI (SAS), so we add the cost of the SCSI interface. They can store up to 1.6TB (compressed) or 800GB (uncompressed). The most practical workflow I'm imagining would be to store entire folders of media or perhaps an entire project. Based on my previous experiences with DLT tape I presume that retrieving a single media clip from a data tape archive would require re-loading the entire archive. Which probably means wiping out whatever is currently on your drive array (so you'd probably need to archive the CURRENT contents in order to load the old). Hmmm... sounds like a lot of work.

Cost of Sony PDW-U1 XDCAM drive is $3000. Simple USB interface. It apparently handles XDCAM media files only. Great for footage, but not for other files generated in post.

Cost of Blu-Ray drives is around $350; 25GB media is about $15 and 50GB dual-layer media is around $35. This should be easy to burn and use.

Tape is almost unquestionably going to be safer. Blu-Ray or XDCAM disc are probably going to be easier to deal with. Blu-Ray is overall the most affordable.

Any other factors to consider here?



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John McClary
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 9, 2008 at 8:53:36 pm

We were told at the seminar that they would be data drives (recording whatever data was presented) by the end of the month. Haven't seen independent confirmation on that, however.

John McClary

"The future you can afford"


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Craig Seeman
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 9, 2008 at 9:56:06 pm

[Dave Matthis] "Cost of Sony PDW-U1 XDCAM drive is $3000"

Under $2500 AFIAK.


[Dave Matthis] "It apparently handles XDCAM media files only. Great for footage, but not for other files generated in post. "

Note true at all. With the firmware upgrade it can store ANYTHING (including P2 for example). The complete disk can be used as data storage of any kind.




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Tom David
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 10, 2008 at 3:54:40 am

Based on my previous experiences with DLT tape I presume that retrieving a single media clip from a data tape archive would require re-loading the entire archive. Which probably means wiping out whatever is currently on your drive array (so you'd probably need to archive the CURRENT contents in order to load the old). Hmmm... sounds like a lot of work.

Not all models anyway - Quantam LTO drives (for example) work similar to an FTP interface which operates through your web-browser. Plug the drive into your ethernet, type in its IP address, then your browser software reads the Quantum software, and off you go. Retrieve whole folders, or single files. Up to you - and no need for SCSI interface etc - just plugs straight into your ethernet.

Cheers,
Tom

Camera Operator - Editor - Motion Graphics
(http://www.tomdavid.com.au)


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Dave Matthis
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 10, 2008 at 5:09:19 pm

I've just thought of something very interesting which could influence me toward Sony's Professional Disc format.

The PDW-700 camcorder (which records on these discs) has a variety of connections, including i.Link, ethernet and even a planned optional SDI input. Is it feasible to transfer files from other sources (including camcorders) to Sony Pro Discs on the PDW-700? I'm imagining doing this on-location, possibly even without a computer. Sony doesn't mention any of this in their product literature. As for the optional SDI input they do not suggest how it might be used.

That workflow is intriguing to me, because my productions normally involve multi-camera shoots. Transferring files from an EX3 to a PDW-700, for example, would make the EX3's memory card available for re-use. This could make any solid-state camcorder more practical as a second camera to a PDW-700. The 700 would facilitate a Pro Disc footage archive for any cameras involved.

An alternative for archiving solid-state cameras might be just bringing along a notebook computer with a lot of hard disk space to the shoot. Your camera fills up a memory card, you offload the files to hard disk, wipe the memory card and re-use it. In post those files could (presumably) be transferred to Pro Disc as an archive. It would work, but it's more gear to take along on the shoot.

Comments?






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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 11, 2008 at 2:01:43 pm

The archiving issue has been the one thing that's had me in a holding pattern on HD at our shop for a while. I need something that I can archive because our footage is ALWAYS being used across projects. We have a wide variety of clients that have stuck with us for ten years or more, so it's handy to have their footage available.

I also need to be able to have footage available for project managers to review. I'm really excited about an EX1/EX3 option with a Firestore type of device for backup in the field, and the XDCAM disc format for archiving. At around $25 a disc, that starts looking pretty comparable to DV/HDV media (providing you fill the disc, which our projects would do). It just depends on how well that drive works.

We're meeting on this very subject again today, and from my perspective (and my daily magazine/web reading) it seems that the XDCAM EX format seems to be the way to go for a shop that's been on DV for so long, and the only format with an archiving solution that fits our needs.

Clint F
Bismarck ND


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Dave Matthis
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 11, 2008 at 2:46:04 pm

Sounds like you're in the same boat as me. Archiving is important because of the kind of clients we have.

I've just finished making a big chart with a cross-comparison of six different HD camcorders that interest me. It compares apples-to-apples on many different features. One very important one is "AV storage medium estimated cost per hour." Basically if you had to record one hour of footage, how much would the storage media cost? Here's what I found:

Sony PMW-EX3, one 16GB SxS memory card, $875
Sony PDW-700, one 50GB Professional Disc cartridge, $62
GVG Infinity DMC, two REV 35GB disc cartridges, $106
Red One, about 100GB worth of Compact Flash cards, (I don't know how much $ that is)
Panasonic AG-HPX500, four 16GB P2 memory cards, $3600
Canon XL-H1, one MiniDV videotape, $5.

This really underscores the fact that with solid-state camcorder memory, you can't stick it on a shelf and buy more as we've always done with tape.





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Craig Seeman
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 11, 2008 at 2:52:46 pm

8GB +R DL-DVD $2.50



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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: footage archive options?
on Jul 22, 2008 at 3:59:14 pm

There's something reassuring about being able to stick a tape in our fire safe and be reasonably sure it's going to stay there intact. Of course, trying to jam HDV onto those same goofy little tapes is NOT very reassuring. I'd rather shoot tapeless and archive to XDCAM discs using that drive, so I'm eyeing that workflow very closely. Then we can stuff the discs into our gigantic safe just the way we've done with tapes in the past.

Cf


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Tom Burke
Re: footage archive options?
on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:46:08 am

Hello,

I was just wondering where you were sourcing your XDCAM Discs from at $23. Is this a price for the most recent dual layer 50GB discs? We are in Ireland and are having a hard time sourcing discs from the UK or Europe (or B&H Photo in NYC for that matter) at any price less than $60. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Tom Burke

http://www.areaman.tv



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John McClary
Re: footage archive options?
on Oct 29, 2008 at 1:53:36 am

Many sites are less than $40 US but musiciansfriend.com is $26 right now. (but it's 4x)
http://tinyurl.com/5z76wp

I can't wait until the XDCAM writer is able to write any type of data.

John McClary


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