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Best Storage Option

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austen collins
Best Storage Option
on May 18, 2009 at 5:50:12 pm

Hey everyone,

I am in a rush to get a new EX1 and all essential accessories before a shoot I have this weekend (writing this on Monday). Unfortunately, I'm swamped in the editing room and will not have enough time to do proper research on what storage options are practical and reasonably priced. So, I'm here, and grateful for any professional opinions I can get from the cow!

Background info:
I only have $8500.00 to get everything I need.
I have a regular macbook and a Q drive that I will use to transfer/store the footage on set.
I will be shooting 1080 24p
The shoots will last all day with small breaks periodically.

Few basic questions:
Are the SxS cards and the card reader the best way to go?
Should I invest in a 32GB card? How long will that take to transfer 1080 24p footage, via the card reader and using a regular macbook?
Any other new options out there that I should look into?
Any other essential accessories?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to help me.


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Michael Slowe
Re: Best Storage Option
on May 18, 2009 at 5:58:18 pm

I put my files on to a 320Gb USB powered drive rather than on to the Macbook drive, but go through the Macbook to do it. Is that what you intend to do? Back at base I then make sure by transferring to yet another drive before ingesting for editing. You will also need the Sony Transfer software and most will say also Clip Browser but I do OK without it.

It takes me about 15 minutes to transfer a full 16 GB card but that is 1080i, maybe different with progressive? I believe Clip Browser reduces this time. The price of the 32 Gb cards have come down but your requirements depend on how much you're shooting. I get about 1 hour (at best quality) per 16Gb's and only have 2 X 8 cards in addition, seems plenty, particularly if you're transferring on location.

Michael Slowe

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Craig Seeman
Re: Best Storage Option
on May 18, 2009 at 7:24:15 pm

If you get MxR, MxM, Hoodman adaptor and 32GB Transcend SDHC Class 6, you can get 2 hours per 32GB card. Get 4 cards at about $120 each and you'd be good for an 8 hour shoot without worrying about the laptop transfer during the shoot.

USB to MacBook with 5400RPM drive is not going to be fast but if you get the aforementioned cards you don't have to worry about the laptop during the shoot.

I find SDHC transfer to my MacPro about twice as fast as real time with ClipBrowser CRC On (recommended) and four times faster with CRC off. In other words 8 hours of source will take either 4 hours or 2 hours to copy. It would be slower to a MacBook.

IMHO it's going to be an awkward mess with an accident waiting to happen if you're going to try to copy USB reader to MacBook to Hard drive while shooting (and all that needs power source too). All it takes is one mistake and you'll have to add the reshoot to your cost and maybe the loss of business when the client looks elsewhere.

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Kerry Brown
Re: Best Storage Option
on May 18, 2009 at 9:53:31 pm

If you are shooting under tungsten lighting be sure to an IR filter. ( B+W 65-031976 )


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Dennis Lisonbee
Re: Best Storage Option
on May 19, 2009 at 1:56:49 am

Purchased 16 GB SDHC class 6 transcend cards from newegg and two MxR Express Card 34 Readers from e-films. At the time the SDHC cards were $27 each. They are now over $40 each.

Took the system to Guatemala and Mexico for a week to shoot ancient ruins. Worked fantastically. Each night I would back up onto the system drive of my MacBook Pro and an external drive. The external drive crashed so the moment I got home I backed everything up to two external drives. Backup, backup, backup is the rule if you are not going to archive the memory cards.

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