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External HD for an FS7 4K Feature Length Documentary

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Scott Gold
External HD for an FS7 4K Feature Length Documentary
on Jan 1, 2015 at 7:53:29 pm

Hey all,
I am making a feature length documentary and I'm using XQD cards, each shooting on each card 128 GB for about 1 hour per card. I'm looking to see which TB drive I'll need, especially since I do shoot a good amount, but since I know the space will be a lot with 4K, I'll be more conservative and get what is essential. A lot of it is interviews, and b-roll and day in the life of type of footage, people explaining their careers, their goals, etc.

So with that background on it, I've been trying to figured out which RAID HD I need to get, maybe just to start off, to where I can get two of them, one as a main and one a backup, that way I can store the big files on there and reuse my XQD cards since they are definitely expensive.

First Choice, would be a G Series 8 TB Thunderbolt HD, around $750.00 each. Most cost effective for starting out for me personally, rounding out to about $1,500. This is my main goal but want to see peoples opinions on this drive and using 8 TB. Can I edit my full feature with clips on here in 4K? Not so sure.

Second choice would be the $1,499 hard drive, the PROMISE Pegasus2 8TB, 4 by 2 TB Thunderboit 2 Raid System.

Third would be the 12 TB - about $5,000 for both together.

and worse case, 18 TB. Around $3,000 each. Tough for me and my budget, but maybe a 18 TB as a main and a 8 TB G series as a cheaper alternative as a backup.

I'm hoping to spend less now for the time being, that way if I need to buy a 32TB drive in a year or two to upload to it as a main backup or as a main in general I can do without having to spend $4,499 up front now. Way out of my budget.

Has anyone had experiences with these drives? A friend of mine told me that if one dies, the whole thing doesn't die, you just lose 25 percent meaning one disk if you have 4 2 TB drives. Sucks since XQD cards are not cheap.

Maybe I can put all of the clips onto another separate HD that is 4TB? Not sure which are reliable though.

Any help on this is appreciated. I expect to shoot maybe tops 200 hours for this doc, maybe less, not sure. I'm just overshooting since I've never shot a feature length doc.


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: External HD for an FS7 4K Feature Length Documentary
on Jan 5, 2015 at 7:04:13 am

In the field, lugging RAIDs can get clunky and having them sent as checked in baggage is risky too. RAIDs are used when speed of writing is essential and redundancy against drive failure.

Today's USB3 drives are fast enough and give sustained 130-180 MB/sec speeds. To make them redundant, you can have multiple drives in the same weight/size factor as a 4-bay RAID.

For long term backup, nothing comes close to LTO is cost vs safety. So my solution of choice is one backup on a Enterprise drive, one on a standard drive, and one on LTO tape.

G-Tech G Drive USB is a small fast USB3 drive, while the G Drive Pro uses enterprise drives so is safe. Or you could choose a good USB3+eSATA case with an enterprise drive from OWC. I have a few that have lasted 6 years.

For the large RAID in your home base, consider a G-Tech Studio 8-bay going up to 64 TB (unformatted).

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Matt Stone
Re: External HD for an FS7 4K Feature Length Documentary
on Jan 5, 2015 at 6:05:03 pm

Hi Scott,

We help people with their workflow in your situation all the time. Depending how much you are shooting at once you can have a smaller 'field drive' that has USB3 connections Neil recommended (which is cheaper than Thunderbolt), and a larger Thunderbolt drive for your office.

You do write "Has anyone had experiences with these drives? A friend of mine told me that if one dies, the whole thing doesn't die, you just lose 25 percent meaning one disk if you have 4 2 TB drives. Sucks since XQD cards are not cheap."

Yes, and what your friend said is partially correct, but this depends on how you configure the RAID. With 4x 2TB drives - set up as a RAID5 your 8TB of total data becomes a 6TB volume. You basically loose 1 drive out of the gate. This has a parity of the files across the 4 drives which will allow you to loose one drive, and ideally your data remain 'safe'

Keep in mind your Gtech 8TB RAID you were looking at has NO redundancy, so if 1 of those 2 4TB drives die, you will loose your data.

Feel free to reach out to our office for other questions - we sell everything you mentioned.

Matt Stone
Maxx Entertainment Digital
3189 Redhill Ave. Unit B
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Telephone:(714) 374-4944
mattstone@maxxdigital.com


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Scott Gold
Re: External HD for an FS7 4K Feature Length Documentary
on Jan 6, 2015 at 1:52:30 am

So then my question is this with shooting 4K on a Pegasus2 thunderbolt hard drive for example, what is the least you can edit feature on doing a full feature-length documentary with interviews and day in the life of footage etc.? Based upon the 8 to 12 and 18 TB drives? Is it at all possible on 8 or 12 in non raw 4k with the Sony FS7 files? 60 min per 128gb XQD cards. No visual effects and standard only settings (non heavy grade)? I'm okay with buying less terabytes and buying a huge one down the road but I do need for the time being two terabyte RAID 5 drives (one main and one back up) within those 3 ranges (8,12,18).


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Matt Stone
Re: External HD for an FS7 4K Feature Length Documentary
on Jan 6, 2015 at 9:45:08 pm

If you can record 60 min to 128GB card, then 8 full cards is 1TB, which is 8 hours of footage/per TB

An 8TB 4 bay RAID5 will mount as a 6TB volume. You never want to fill it completely full, so let's say you cram a maximum of 5TB of footage on there is will be 40 hours.

You mentioned shooting 200 hours, so you will need quite a bit of storage...
You would need a minimum of 25TB usable to shoot 200hrs.

Keep in mind this is just raw data, no editing or project files.

Matt Stone
Maxx Entertainment Digital
3189 Redhill Ave. Unit B
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Telephone:(714) 374-4944
mattstone@maxxdigital.com


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Scott Gold
Re: External HD for an FS7 4K Feature Length Documentary
on Jan 7, 2015 at 12:26:11 am

As of now I have budgeted out a 12 TB with Raid 5 set up. I think I overshot th hours just to be safe. I would get a few WD drive 8 TB backups for I think $500 or so each.


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Joshua B. Pribanic
Re: External HD for an FS7 4K Feature Length Documentary
on Jan 22, 2015 at 9:04:23 am

Scott, I'm in the same boat (4K doc production) and have recently decided to go with Other World Computing's (OWC) RAID setup http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TB2IVT08.0S/ hope it helps.

"If you bury truth underground, it will but grow." Emile Zola


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