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Scott Clelland
Portable Hard Drive Issues
on Apr 13, 2011 at 3:01:19 pm

I recently purchased an HVX200 with two 8Gb P2 Cards. Since I can't afford a bigger capacity P2 Card or Firestore at present, I was planning on buying a portable Hard Drive with a firewire port(such as the Lacie Rugged or WD Studio). That way when I'm in the field I can transfer footage (since I can only shoot 16 mins DVCProHD 1080) to the hard drive and format the cards after, allowing me to shoot more than 16 minutes at a time.

However, I was reading in the HVX manual that you should not use a hard drive where power is supplied from the 1394 bus - which is the case with portable hard drives. And also it states that the hard drive must be formatted before use or all data will be deleted. With this in mind, I have a couple of questions for those out there who have maybe worked with hard drives and the HVX:

1 - Can I use a portable hard drive in the field or will this not work due to the hard drive's power source being the HVX itself via the 1394 bus?

2 - If I do use a hard drive to transfer data from the P2 cards in the field, and then try to do this again later when the cards are full again, will this delete the first set of footage on the hard drive?

Would really appreciate if anyone knew more on this subject. Cheers

Scott


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Noah Kadner
Re: Portable Hard Drive Issues
on Apr 13, 2011 at 4:56:21 pm

Honestly I'd suggest renting more P2 cards as you need them. This workflow you describe is pretty terrible, especially with such low capacity cards. You'll be spending half your shoot day transferring instead of shooting.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Scott Clelland
Re: Portable Hard Drive Issues
on Apr 13, 2011 at 6:41:57 pm

I will be buying a 64 Gb P2 card in the near future, but I was looking for an alternative just for the next couple of months. No where locally rents P2 cards here in Scotland and although the workflow is poor, it's just for short films and test footage so I'm under no pressure with time. Do you know if my hard drive issues above will cause a problem or I could easily use a portable hard drive for transferring multiple clips?

Thanks again, appreciate the quick response


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Noah Kadner
Re: Portable Hard Drive Issues
on Apr 13, 2011 at 6:56:27 pm

I'd suggest you try some tests- you may find the speed is so painfully slow to render it not workable. Better would be to carry a laptop with a P2 slot- such as an older Titanium Powerbook or PC with PCMCIA.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Scott Clelland
Re: Portable Hard Drive Issues
on Apr 13, 2011 at 9:34:25 pm

Sorry, I'm a bit confused here. Do you mean the transfer speed from the HVX to the hard drive? I read someone copied around a Gb a minute to a hard drive. I used to capture directly from the HVX to my Macbook using FCP but I don't have any laptops to take on set at the moment.

I want to use the hard drive to temporarily store footage from the two 8Gb P2 cards (16 minutes at a time), and then format the cards and repeat this process a few times. I would then transfer the MPX files to my PC to use with my editing software. Transfer speed aside, is it possible to use a portable hard drive with the HVX and is it possible to write to the hard drive multiple times without erasing the previous files?

Thanks again, much appreciated

Scott


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Frank Nolan
Re: Portable Hard Drive Issues
on Apr 14, 2011 at 5:54:12 pm

There is no power supplied from the camera to the 1394 bus. So you would need to use an external power supply for the hard drive. Your other alternative is to use a mac G4 laptop or a PC laptop with a slot that will take the P2 cards and connect the portable drive to that. Much better way of doing it as you can have FCP 5 loaded on the mac and check that the footage transferred ok before you re-format the cards. G4 laptops can be picked up pretty cheap on ebay.



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Scott Clelland
Re: Portable Hard Drive Issues
on Apr 16, 2011 at 4:27:52 pm

I will look into the G4, but I have a Macbook which I usually capture directly to, but just can't use it for the next couple of months. I realize now that a Firewire portable hard drive won't work without an external power source, but do you know if a USB portable hard drive can be used to offload footage from the P2 cards in the field, without an external power source?


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