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SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase

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Bob Cole
SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase
on Feb 6, 2011 at 5:07:33 pm

I've seen only anecdotal evidence about this issue: should I reformat the SxS cards (in my EX1R) after each use, or just delete all clips? Is there any benefit to reformatting every time, once a month, or never?

One issue that may be relevant: I like the idea of unique filenames, as I've already narrowly dodged a bullet with some GoPro footage (two cameras created identically-named files, which caused one file to be overwritten until the mistake was discovered).

Thanks.

Bob C


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Ron Pestes
Re: SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase
on Feb 6, 2011 at 7:37:37 pm

If you reformat your card you will have to rename it each time for your unique name. I have always just deleted all clips and never had a problem. Some people reformat every now and then just to make sure everything actually gets erased. My cards have unique names and I learned the hard way about reformating and then having to rename them again. Good luck.

Apple Certified Master Pro FCS 2
Sony EX-3
MacBook Pro


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Don Greening
Re: SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase
on Feb 6, 2011 at 10:36:14 pm

Just to add to Ron's advice: don't forget that you can create custom files names in-camera so that they will differ from your Go-Pro, which I don't think you can rename beforehand . I usually pick something that references the client I'm shooting for.

- Don

Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Steve Wargo
Re: SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase
on Feb 7, 2011 at 2:14:28 pm

I rename the cards every time, relevant to the job we're working on.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .

Ask me how to Market Yourself using Send Out Cards


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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase
on Feb 7, 2011 at 2:53:49 pm

This discussion has been around as long as memory cards of any sort, I bet. The most persuasive argument I've ever heard for formatting hsa to deal with the file system.

Deleting individual clips (even deleting all) doesn't write a new table of contents for the drive. If there was any sort of corruption it will not be fixed. I read a post long ago which speculated that deleting may cause data to be written to the card in haphazard fashion, replacing chunks of memory relating to when they were deleted. I think the reason was that a new FAT would see the whole card as one available space, while a FAT of a card with a ton of deletions would have many available chunks.

I quit caring about how disk operating systems work back in the 80s, so I don't claim any sort of technical expertise here. I'm just passing along what I've read.

Cf


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Bob Cole
Re: SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase
on Feb 7, 2011 at 3:09:13 pm

I'd appreciate it if you could respond to this, if I've gotten anything wrong here. I have shot on SxS cards for a couple years, but only occasionally. Now that I have an XDCAM, the issue has become a lot more important to me. My take-away from this thread as well as many others is:

1. Erasing will preserve all your filename settings, which is a great aid in editing as well as ensuring against accidental file overwriting during file transfers and backups. So you may want to erase rather than format, while making an individual project.
2. Formatting is a good idea between projects as it may create a more reliable recording medium. At any rate, it doesn't hurt, and renaming your cards appropriately has benefits of its own.
3. I'm going to make it a practice to format when shifting from any significant (more than a day) project or client to another.

Thanks for the thoughtful and useful replies. Am I in the ballpark here?

Bob C


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john sharaf
Re: SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase
on Feb 7, 2011 at 3:52:53 pm

Formatting clears the directory, allowing you to now overwrite other data on the card. Erasing also clears the data, preventing anyone from recovering your media.

Essentially erasing is provided so that cards used in a rental environment can be properly purged so your precious media is not returned to the rental company for others to see or mine.

As a camera rental vendor I am shocked when I look at cards that are returned from Alexa jobs that have neither been formatted nor erased. The Alexa creates a new filename (and number) each time a card is formatted in the camera, doesn't the Sony cameras do the same? If so, the answer to the question is simply format the card when you return it to the camera as a reload and erase the card before you return it to the rental company or give your camera to someone else to use.

JS



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Duncan Craig
Re: SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase
on Feb 22, 2011 at 9:23:38 pm

I don't think naming cards before use is vital.

Before you start a job, how do you know how many cards you are going to use?
Do you name every card and then maybe not use it? Are you following an incremental numbering system? Seeing as the clips are going to be given a great numbering system by the camera you might as well just use this.

I always reformat. Have done for years. Of course the camera remembers your previous clip naming setup. If you finished at number ABC_0010_01 the next time you use the camera it will be clip ABC_0011_01.

I use different three letter clip namings for each client, and haven't got to 9999 clips for any of them yet!

I also keep a proper log of every day of filming, what clips number range I shot, and which card it was recorded on. I shoot to 16 x 16GB SDHC cards, and keep a double backup of the BPAVs on 1TB external HDs. The BPAV are copied into numbered/named folders which relate to the log I make.

In case you need it, when importing into FCP, the folder name containing the BPAV is automatically assigned as the clip's roll name. But personally if I need to find the original BPAV a clip came from I have my log to refer to.

I also make double backup of the quicktimes after they've been used in the edit and we've created the graphics, music, VO, DVDs etc on a different set of drives.

The drives are all flightcased and kept apart at different locations, it's quite a cheap system in all honesty.

And fairly safe for me.

EX1
MBP
Short fingernails


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Bob Cole
Re: SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase
on Feb 22, 2011 at 10:14:37 pm

[Duncan Craig] "I also keep a proper log of every day of filming"

You have a great system!

So, when you resume work with client ABC, and you are resetting the clip naming inside the camera, do you look up your log and start the first clip number after the last prior clip number?

How and where do you keep your log? Why do you record which card you used? (Isn't that irrelevant once you've downloaded and reformatted, or is that for quality control?)

Do you attempt to download your SxS cards in the field, or, with your 16 cards, are you able to take them all back to the studio to download?

Bob C


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Amy Ferzoco
Re: SxS cards - best practice re: format vs. erase
on May 30, 2013 at 7:33:53 pm

I'm in the process of creating an Excel library of our raw SxS BPAV files and I'm wondering if anyone else has done this. Any tips, tricks and observations are appreciated.

I've got columns for the card number, BPAV number range, total items in the BPAV>CLPR folder, shoot date, client, etc. - but what concerns me is that just listing the number range really says nothing about the clips.

Now, I will put a general description of the shots in the range, but is that adequate? If someone needed to go back and refer to the BPAV files, they might be lost.

When I L&T into FCP I rename the files with our established naming conventions. I understand you can revert the clip title back to the original metadata name and then go hunt that file down, but is this all the most efficient workflow?

Also, if anyone has an awesome workflow process for working with SxS cards & files please let me know. I'm always looking to make improvements on my organizational structure.


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