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I heard horror stories about backing up Sony-PMW F3 files, anyone care to differ?

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viking jonsson
I heard horror stories about backing up Sony-PMW F3 files, anyone care to differ?
on Dec 5, 2012 at 10:48:32 pm

Hello,

Soon I'm going to work on a shoot with the Sony-PMW F3. I have heard horror stories about the backing up of the files...

I'm just curios so this dosen't affect us, what is there to worry about?
Any tips about the workflow, I would like to back the files up and be able to watch them on set :)


Really greatful for all the tips I can get!


Thank You
Regards
Viking Jonsson


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john sharaf
Re: I heard horror stories about backing up Sony-PMW F3 files, anyone care to differ?
on Dec 5, 2012 at 11:05:34 pm

Viking,

Only possible horror story would be from computer illiterate source.

First off, always use Sony SxS cards for highest reliability. Somewhat foolhardy to try and save money with purchase of cheap media.

Whatever workflow you settle on, be sure and test it and become familiar before you're on the job; learning media management on the job is a big boo-boo.

Either use a computer with an internal Express 34 Slot (becoming harder and harder to find) or a USB3 or Thunderbolt Express 34 Slot Reader for highest speed. These are either from Sonnet or Sony's new reader.

Install the latest SxS Reader Drivers in your computer or else it will not even see the readers. This and other necessary software is all available for free download from Sony Broadcast website's XDCAM section.

Always advise your client to bring a proper hard drive on which to download the media AND a spare for backup. It's helpful to tell them whether you'll be using a MAC or PC platform, and what is the highest speed connectivity you have (FW800, USB3, Thunderbolt?)

I advise using download software that that preforms a check sum verification. This is cheap insurance. I've had good luck with "ShotPutPro" which costs under $100 and is available by download from the internet. It creates a log too which documents the veracity of your download. Install and learn the software before thew shoot.

Fortunately the PMW-F3 writes fairly small file; for example the 64Gb Card will hold 222 minutes of the highest quality HD material, so the download time is short. Even so, it's probably best to download the morning during lunch and the afternoon as you start to wrap, so the company is not waiting for you to clear the set at the end of the day.

For playback on set, you can either use the Sony XDCAM Browser or the Cineon program, which costs about $100 and allows playback just be clicking on the clip.

Good luck,

JS



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Michael Palmer
Re: stories about backing up Sony-PMW F3 files, anyone care to differ?
on Dec 5, 2012 at 11:40:13 pm

The native files are editable in some NLEs and not in others like Final Cut pro and I believe most miss handled errors occurred during the initial download. Make sure to always make a parent folder for each card you download and keep and permanent copy and you won have any issues. I would recommend using an external digital recorder and take advantage of what the camera has to offer with a Nano Flash or KiPro. I always record to the camera and an external recorder and redundantly record.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Robin Probyn
Re: I heard horror stories about backing up Sony-PMW F3 files, anyone care to differ?
on Dec 6, 2012 at 12:06:49 am

To add to what John says.. I would recommend using XDCAM Browser.. now Content Browser.. free software for the copying.. you can set in preferences a copy check function.. I found the advantage over shotput was you can view the footage in the same software.. just bring up the preview window and drag any clip over.. really simple .. all in one free software designed for XDCAM.. a disadvantage is, unlike shotput you cant copy to multiple ext HDD,s at the same time.. but for my work I usually keep the backup files myself and can do that later ..and so give the client their drive ASAP..

I would avoid USB2 anything.. too slow .. not the end of the world if your shooting a commercial.But if its a doc with tons of footage USB3 /Thunderbolt is way faster..

From what Ive read a very common error stills seems to be people just keeping the clips and not the whole folder.. then your up shit creek in a barbered wire boat..



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viking jonsson
Re: I heard horror stories about backing up Sony-PMW F3 files, anyone care to differ?
on Dec 6, 2012 at 8:03:27 am

Thank You for Your help. Well then it seems like nothing to worry about.
I've done this a lot on other shoots so I know how the job is done. I just heard some people couldn't use the backed up files after the shoot and they hade a really hard time getting it together. But seems pretty easy using the XDCAM Transfer.

The company won't buy ShotPut Pro, otherwise it seems like a really nice software!

I'll will go with the XDCAM Transfer, I guess production is editing in FCP. But as far as I know I can transcode to ProRes 422HQ via XDCAM Transfer. Or is there any other codec thats better for transcoding the files, I would not want to loss any quality and latitude cause of bad choice of codec, I can't see why I would choose another codec.

Of course I'll back up the card as well as transcoding the files. Production won't have a external recorder. This is kind of a low budget one.. :)

Anything else You want to add?

Thank You all a lot for discussing this issue with me!

Regards
Viking Jonsson


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Robin Probyn
Re: I heard horror stories about backing up Sony-PMW F3 files, anyone care to differ?
on Dec 6, 2012 at 8:18:07 am

Hi Viking

XDCAM log and transfer is being discontinued .. I would use Content Browser.. free from Sony site..

you can copy your files,with a CRC checker(set in preferences under edit)

view footage in the preview window

export to FCP.. codec stays the same just re wrapped as .mov file

Ive read best to start up Content browser actually from FCP,for import function..

Besides the SXS drivers.. Content Browser is all you need..



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Michael Palmer
Proper handling of Sony F3 files
on Dec 6, 2012 at 3:58:12 pm

" I just heard some people couldn't use the backed up files after the shoot and they hade a really hard time getting it together."

Just imagine the originally recorded BPAV folder is a can of film or a video tape and preserve it as such. By keeping a copy of the original BPAV folder you can always go back and transcode for any NLE. The problems people have is by opening this BPAV folder and copying only what they think are the video files or transcoding from the media card and not keeping a copy of the original BPAV folder as their archive.

On another note all forums have a SUBJECT line for a reason, it is to search for answers before posting. When others after this post search for similar information and find negative remarks of hear say, it will promote a negative perception for an extremely amazing professional camera. Subject lines can also reveal the intelligence level of the person asking for information.

You definitely came to the right forum for "Proper handling of Sony F3 files".

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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viking jonsson
Re: Proper handling of Sony F3 files
on Dec 6, 2012 at 6:33:25 pm

Thank You, I guess that's what they missed then.

Your right about the subject line, I didn't find where i could change it. But of course I'm sure sony made a great camera, my bad.


Regards
Viking Jonsson


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