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Dan Noel
DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 20, 2010 at 8:26:07 pm

Hi group:
Thinking about doing a project usign Canon 7D cameras into FCP. What issues, if any, do I need to be aware of for record and transfer of media from compact flash drives to FCP? I am planing on shooting with either 32 gig or 64 gig cards. Any special codecs or 'gotcha's' that I should be aware of? FYI, I will be shooting full HD 24p format. Some material will be shot in studio with green screen.
Any thoughts, constructive criticism, etc would be appreciated. Thanks to all.

Doc


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 20, 2010 at 9:58:43 pm

Make sure you buy cards that are capable of handling 60MBs or greater. I use Sandisk Extreme very successfully. Sandisk Extreme Pro would be good if you twice the money.

Consider purchasing smaller 16Gb or 32Gb cards rather than 64Gb. The transfer time from 64Gb will be long, with two smaller cards you can be transferring from one card on location whilst shooting to another.

You could also shoot all material from one location / topic to a card and transfer it using an appropriate title then shoot the next location on another card with a new title - this would help organise your workflow.

Finally if something goes wrong or gets lost it's only half a disaster if using smaller cards.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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David Decker
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 20, 2010 at 10:05:55 pm

Great suggestions. I have also found that a firewire card reader (I have a Lexar) has really helped save time in transfer to my edit system.


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Richard Cooper
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 20, 2010 at 11:26:23 pm

Hi Dan,
All good tips thus far... Also BACK UP YOUR RAW DATA to multiple hard drives from the cards and make sure that you have the exact file structure intact (Put each card separately in folders named "card1, card2" etc.) FCP needs the file structure to be able to read and import/trans-code the files.
Also, make sure and bring the clips in as ProRes 422 through FCP "Log and Capture". One caveat... While importing the clips DO NOT start messing around in FCP, looking at the clips that are coming in or looking at them in the Log and capture window.... This will cause random truncating of the clips with NO warning that parts are missing. It's a bug and can bite you in the a*s. Once you start your import/trans-code just let it do its thing and don't touch the computer. Will save a lot of headaches later on.

Some people use MPEG StreamClip to trans-code but I have never tried this work flow...

Once you have all your clips in FCP as ProRes you will be good to go and should have smooth sailing from there.

Good Luck!

Richard Cooper
FrostLine Productions, LLC
Anchorage, Alaska
http://www.frostlineproductions.com


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 21, 2010 at 12:40:47 am

Hi Richard,
Did you mean "Log and Transfer" as oppose to "Log and Capture"?

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Richard Cooper
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 21, 2010 at 1:57:10 am

Ha! Yes I did mean "log and transfer"...Sorry.
I am in "Log and capture" hell right now with 20 or so HDCMAM tapes to "capture" so it must have been on my mind! Man I hate tape work flows now!

Richard Cooper
FrostLine Productions, LLC
Anchorage, Alaska
http://www.frostlineproductions.com


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Bouke Vahl
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 22, 2010 at 1:05:53 pm

Two things.
I don't agree on the smaller cards.
They are slower, and (in my case) caused dropped frames.

Sandisk Pro 64 gig does not have these problems.

To offload, as well as transfer to Prores (or any other QT compatible codec, or even Avid MXF), there is still Offloader:

http://www.videotoolshed.com/product/15/offloader/2

It copies to two locations, and / or transcodes as well.

Not the fastest, but transcoding starts while you are shooting.
So by the time you get home, you are ready to edit without any time waste in the edit suite.

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 22, 2010 at 10:29:42 pm

Why would a SanDisk Extreme Pro / 60mbs / 64Gb card be faster than a SanDisk Extreme Pro / 60mbs / 32Gb or 16Gb card?

We're talking identical 60Mbs transfer speed cards, here not card capacity.

Why are two smaller identical 60Mbs type cards more efficient than one card twice the size? Because firstly it takes less time to transfer the volume of information and secondly one card can be transferring whilst the second card is loaded into the camera and being used to shoot with whilst the transfer is happening.

If you have to stop production and wait while you transfer all 64Gbs you're going to loose a lot of production time.

Secondly if something gets corrupted on the card, and it does happen, or a card gets misplaced, that happens too, you've got an awful lot more pick-ups to shoot, that is if its at all possible to do pick ups.

One 64Gb card or 2 x 32Gbs cards, I would choose the latter every time.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Norman Willis
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 23, 2010 at 4:33:30 am

>>Why would a SanDisk Extreme Pro / 60mbs / 64Gb card be faster than a SanDisk Extreme Pro / 60mbs / 32Gb or 16Gb card?


I dunno, but other people say they are.

FIeld reports, y'know :)

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 23, 2010 at 6:21:36 am

I just went through the 10 usual forums I visit then Googled "CF card problems with HD DSLRs" and visited another 8 websites which discussed card use in HD DSLRs.

I did not find one report of a problem that related to card capacity. Plenty relating to cheap cards, too slow write speed cards and lazy use, (ie not reformatting the card in the camera before re-recording) but not one about this problem due to card capacity.

I use SanDisk Extreme UDMA 32Gb 60Mb/s cards, other guys I know and converse with a lot use 32Gb and 16Gb versions of the same card, none of us have had a single problem, yet. When I do hopefully it won't be a corrupted file on a 64Gb card with the last two days of shooting on it.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Norman Willis
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 23, 2010 at 3:50:43 pm

I dunno. What can I say? I have not been a DSLR user for too long, but I have read more than once about people saying the smaller cards are slower.

If you have a system that works for you, great.

Personally I use the 32GB Sandisk Extreme 60MB/s and have not had any problems. So I'll probably just stick with that.

And I agree with offloading as often as possible, and backing up to a few different external sources before reformatting the cards. Just seems like the way to go.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Richard Cooper
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 24, 2010 at 8:19:38 pm

Just to add my 2 cents here... I use both 8 and 16 gig SanDisk Extreme cards with the 7D with no dropped frames, ever, while shooting in 1080p/ 24, 30 and 720p/60. I think if you stick with the SanDisk Extreme you should be good, whichever size you go with.

Just my experience, your mileage may vary.

Richard Cooper
FrostLine Productions, LLC
Anchorage, Alaska
http://www.frostlineproductions.com


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Bouke Vahl
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:32:40 am

The comparison with small cards with same write speeds is not fair.
Smaller cards are typically slower. So in therory, your are right that there should be no difference.
In practice, those smaller cards do not exist.

32 gig is a nice balance between price / speed / capacaty.

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Bouke Vahl
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:45:38 am

oops,
on re-reading, 32 gig as lowest was something i've overlooked.
I've had problems with 8 gig cards.....

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 24, 2010 at 3:44:08 am

Were these 8Gb cards UDMA / 60Mbs cards?

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Bouke Vahl
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 24, 2010 at 7:05:55 am

Probably not, i forgot what they where.
But, i'm sure that by specs they should have been fast enough.
(I live by specs...)
In reality, they were not.

As always:
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice however...

Bouke

http://www.videotoolshed.com/
smart tools for video pros


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Norman Willis
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 24, 2010 at 12:25:51 pm

Bouke, I get Phil's point. He is saying that if one uses the 60MB/sec UDMA cards, you will not have this problem, regardless of card size.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 24, 2010 at 12:51:24 pm

Exactly.
The cost of re-shoot, if its possible, can be more than the value of your entire kit.

Some things are not worth cutting costs on, one day a cheap CF card will come back and bite you real hard.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Mike Jackson
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 27, 2010 at 5:32:16 am

Hey Phil.I have been running 4 x32g Sandisk Extreme 3 cards pretty much every other day in my 5d mk2 and have not had a single problem ,touch wood.32g cards are the perfect size I think, for the very reason you stated in your previous posts.I usually run 2 5d's at once and i dont think they have ever been short of media on most normal shoots.Hope we can catch up soon?
Cheers
MJ


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Joel Godin
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 26, 2010 at 6:24:46 pm

Pretty much same experience with these guys.
Bought a 'used' Sandisk Extreme 60 MB/s 16 GB card from Amazon for about $100 a few months back.
Lexar Card reader ($20), I use FireWire 800 to iMac.
Then Canon's plug-in for converting the .mov files directly from the same
folder structure that comes off the card into FCP to 422 (LT).
Had my time in the beginning trying to edit h.264 (hehe)
My particular shoots never went over 6GB total, but of course that varies.
I would buy more 16GB cards, I think that is about right for me.
And maybe an 8GB card for example I want to do a time-lapse (1 day for a year) on
a construction project, so instead of downloading the pics everyday, just swap that card in and out and do it all at once.
Got to get me some of those Pelican card cases I saw Chris Fenwick use.

Outside of that, smooth as ice cream here in Florida.


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Norman Willis
Re: DSLR/Compact Flash cards
on Aug 26, 2010 at 6:43:32 pm

The Pelicans are the best.

Norman Willis
http://www.nazareneisrael.org


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