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Wrapping my head around storage - how much space do files take up?

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Ray Stark
Wrapping my head around storage - how much space do files take up?
on May 31, 2011 at 1:57:22 am

I've done a few searches, read thru Shane Ross' informative workflow tutorial and read thru the Canon 60d manual. But I'm trying to find a good resource that shows what to expect in terms of storage when shooting with a dslr.

For example, on a 32gb card how many minutes will it hold in 1080p and 720p? From there, does the conversion to ProRes increase or decrease the file size...i.e. does the 32gb card equate to 32gb of editable ProRes footage? Is there a certain "MB per second" that the sd card needs to be?

I'm sure the info is out there, I just haven't found it yet. Thanks!


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Peter Burger
Re: Wrapping my head around storage - how much space do files take up?
on May 31, 2011 at 7:44:24 am

A 32GB card will hold about 100min. of video. Both, in 1080p or 720p. The 60D uses SD cards, doesn't it? If so, you'll be alright with class 6 cards.


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Brent Dunn
Re: Wrapping my head around storage - how much space do files take up?
on May 31, 2011 at 2:20:55 pm

If you fill a 32 gig card, then you'll take up 32 gig's of space.

If you convert to ProRes, it dramatically increases the size, almost 1 gig per minute of footage. But, there is now ProRes light in Final Cut 7 which isn't a big.

Always back up your original footage. I also have an exported editing timeline that I back up. You can back up your final cut project if you expect to go back for editing in the future.

For backup / archiving, you need to have a system in place. Always make a backup immediately before editing. Hard Drives fail, and you don't want to be caught, loose your files, and end up refunding thousands to your clients.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Ray Stark
Re: Wrapping my head around storage - how much space do files take up?
on May 31, 2011 at 11:21:11 pm

Thanks guys, that's a great start. My old paradigm of backing up on tapes is now obsolete!

Just thought though: say, a 100 min project at a 5:1 shooting ratio = 500 min of footage. Translated to ProRes that equates to 500 gigs of converted footage that would need to be archived. Originally that would be saved on 5-6 tapes ($50-60) but now it requires a dedicated hd. I know hd costs have plummeted. Do you typically buy a dedicated hd for each project and keep it on the shelf as if it were a "tape"? Also, do you back up the ProRes footage, or is it possible to just back up the smaller-sized footage on the SD cards (H.264)? I'm assuming you have to back up the ProRes to maintain time code...

Thanks.


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Peter Burger
Re: Wrapping my head around storage - how much space do files take up?
on Jun 1, 2011 at 9:24:42 am

Not working on a MAC, so can't help you with FCP questions.
What I do, is backup the original files from the camera on two different backup drives for safety reasons.
Transcode the files to an editing codec (in your case ProRes), do all of the editing and postproduction work with the transcoded footage.
In Premiere there is the possiblility to "clean up" the project (remove all of the unused footage from the project) and backup the project as well (which means only a couple of megabytes). Of course the finals are backup'ed as well...

When my clients are happy and have paid me (they sometimes do ;) ), I delete the transcoded footage, "only" keeping the two backups of the original material and the backup of the project files.

Timecode shouldn't be an issue, since the Canon files don't have one...

If I have to get back to an old project, I "just" have to re-transcoded the needed files and work with them...

hth


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Brent Dunn
Re: Wrapping my head around storage - how much space do files take up?
on Jun 1, 2011 at 2:57:01 pm

It depends on the project. Typically I back up the original footage files and the final edited project files and an exported final edit. Some projects I may need to work with again, I will back up my project file folders so I can have all my edits ready when I need to do some tweaks.

If it is critical footage, then you want to back it up to two drives in case one goes bad.

I just use the drives until they are filled up and then make a sheet listing what is on each drive, print this out and rubber band this to each drive and place it back in it's original protective plastic.

It's also a good idea to run these drives every few months to keep them in working order. No hard proof of this making the drives last longer, but recommended.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Eric Nicastro
Re: Wrapping my head around storage - how much space do files take up?
on Jun 1, 2011 at 3:06:05 pm

I just shot a wedding with a 60D and two 5DmarkII's. We came back with 140gigs of footage (estimated at about 6 hours). I just recently transcoded that footage and the transcoded folder showed nearly 300gigs. Expect the file size to double once transcoded into ProRes422. Yes I know I could use the LT version of it, but I would rather work in a higher res version. During ingest, I copy the files to two completely different external hard drives (one is for editing and one is solely for backup). Once my transcode is complete, I move the original files from my editing drive to a RAID 1 system for redundancy and delete the original files from my editing drive. If I ever loose the original files, I can always re-transcode the files and relink the source media. I never change file names either. My FCP project files are backed up as well to the RAID 1 system. Once my project is complete, the transcoded files are deleted from the editing drive, all of my FCP project and any other project media (GFX, stills, audio, etc) are put on the RAID 1 system and left as an archive. And that second drive I mentioned earlier? Once everything is verified on my RAID 1, I delete that drive to reuse for the same workflow on the next project.

My RAID 1 is not full so I haven't had to worry about what to do when that happens...yet. I know I'll need a solution which could be just to expand my drive system. But I'll deal with that when the time comes.


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