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sony sxs card intergrty checker

COW Forums : Sony EX, FS5/FS7 & Related

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Darren Vallence
sony sxs card intergrty checker
on Mar 17, 2009 at 8:35:15 am

Hi, as we now know a sony 16gb sxs card let me down. I had to push sony real hard to tell them that its all there kit so they are to blame.

Is there a sony sxs card intergrty checker so on occasions I can check my cards integrity out in a test rather than a official shoot?



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Denis Devlin
Re: sony sxs card intergrty checker
on Mar 17, 2009 at 10:05:03 pm

I too have lost confidence in the reliability of the Sony EX1 or the SxS recording medium.

In my case, the files transfered successfully using XDCAM Transfer but 18 consecutive frames were corrupt. Since the transfer program did not notify of any problems, its not until editing and looking at the individual frames that the problem becomes apparent. I posted the gory details a while back:

Since making that post, I have received a replacement memory card - but without any real reason to believe that the original memory card was or was not the cause of the problem. I'll add a bit of additional information to my original post: the replaced memory card was a 16GB SxS card from Sandisk. Now that you have identified problems using Sony cards, it seems more appropriate to cast some suspicion on all cards and/or the camera to memory interface.

When dealing with tech support at Sandisk I was advised to try recording to the suspect memory card again to see if the problem recurred- It did not. But as I explained to tech support, this kind of testing could at best offer slight assurance against future problems and small comfort: I had already lost critical frames in a concert performance. There is no way to do it over.

I begged the Sandisk support people to give me a memory test tool. Surely there is such a tool available for quality control in the manufacturing process. But support was unaware of any such tool. When asked if I was able to reproduce the problem on the card, I answered "yes" even though in my several hour long tests filming blowing leaves on a tree I did not see a problem (but did I inspect at every frame? I am not sure.).

I am familiar with memory problems in the context of computer systems. Failure symptoms can be quite difficult to reproduce in daily use but catastrophic when they do occur. The only feasable way to track down and isolate the distinction between memory chip and memory controller, for example, is to run a diagnostic program that methodically writes various bit patterns to memory and then compares to a read.

It would seem in the best interest of everyone involved (Sony, Sandisk, and Ex1 users) that such a memory checking tool should be made publicly available before further confidence is eroded. I am still using the Ex1 as the single camera at classical music performances, but it is always with fear and trepidation that I take my first look at the footage after a concert.

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Chuck Green
Re: sony sxs card intergrty checker
on Mar 18, 2009 at 12:04:40 pm

When downloading material from the Sony EX1, I first do a quick copy of the BPAV file from the card (5 minutes to copy a 16GB card when put into a 2-year-old MacBook Pro's PCI Express slot), and separately do an "unzipping" using XDCAM Transfer. I've found it important to put each BPAV copies into it's own folder with a useable label/ID so I can later tell which BPAV file is which. Don't copy multiple BPAV files unlabeled into one folder.
If pressed for time as can happen during a live shoot, just copy the BPAV file - archiving it can be useful for several other reasons - then delete it from the SxS card and continue shooting with that card. Later, XDCAM Transfer can unzip it from your hard drive. This will also be quicker than doing a USB cable transfer from the card mounted in the camera.
Definitely use the most recent version, which is 2.7 currently (for the Mac). I found an earlier version to be fatally buggy.

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Craig Seeman
Re: sony sxs card intergrty checker
on Mar 18, 2009 at 1:45:24 pm

I didn't see anyone mention the complete workflow.

Did you copy the cards using ClipBrowser with CRC checking on?
BTW current version of ClipBrowser is 2.5. Current version of XDCAM Transfer is 2.9

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