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Creating camera/ card archive and pre-reformatting safety measures

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Jenn Lindsay
Creating camera/ card archive and pre-reformatting safety measures
on Feb 4, 2016 at 10:37:04 am

Hello folks!

I am currently reviewing the Ripple FCPX core training series and just watched the section on importing media from a camera. At the end of this lesson (5), the instructor explains how to create a camera archive that seems to copy the camera/card contents onto the hard drive.

Before I import media, I usually take all my SD cards and copy them (drag and drop) onto my hard drive with an SD Card reader. I think this means that the content of my cards are now backed up and it would not be necessary for me to create another camera/card archive as explained in this lesson. (Is that true?) Also, as far as I understand, when I import, my original media as well as optimized and proxy files are copied into my FCPX library, so I have essentially two copies of these files. (Is that true?)

What sort of extra measures should I take before I re-format my SD Cards? Those buggers are expensive :)

Thank you!
iMac 27-inch, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7. 4GB GPU.

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Noah Kadner
Re: Creating camera/ card archive and pre-reformatting safety measures
on Feb 4, 2016 at 3:29:33 pm

The camera archive is a bit nicer because it adds it into FCPX as a data source vs just being on your drive. But functionally it's the same as what you're already doing.

Might also want to look at Keyflow for a more robust workflow-


FCP eXchange - FCPX Workshops

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John Rofrano
Re: Creating camera/ card archive and pre-reformatting safety measures
on Feb 4, 2016 at 11:04:58 pm

The answers to both of your questions are "Yes, that is true"... however... I firmly believe that if it ain't backed up twice... it ain't backed up!

The problem with what you are doing is that your CD Card backup and Library Import sound like they are on the same hard drive. So if a file gets corrupt, you are covered because there is another one on the drive, but if a drive gets corrupt, you have no backup because they are both on the same corrupt drive! I would keep all of your Camera Card Archives on an external drive as backup and on an internal drive for import.

What I would do is get an external 1TB USB3 drive to use as your Camera Card Archive backups. Then instead of copying the CD cards manually, open FCP X and create a Camera Card Archive. Then when that's complete, use the Finder to copy it out to your external Camera Card Archive backup drive so now you have two copies. Once you have two copies on two separate drives, then you can re-format the camera card knowing that it is backup up safely twice.

This gives you the added option of not having to import the footage into a library util you are ready to edit. ...yes, at that point you will have 3 copies but two of them will still be on the same drive so it's good to have that external archive copy for safety.


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Andreas Kiel
Re: Creating camera/ card archive and pre-reformatting safety measures
on Feb 5, 2016 at 3:11:28 am

Hi Jenn

I agree with both answers somehow. But i wouldn't use the FCPX camera archives never ever!
Later below why. First a really reliable workflow - in case your data are valuable for you.

Use DiskUtility to copy your cards to an "archive drive" NOT the Finder. In DiskUtility choose the ISO option. Using this method first makes a secure copy and keeps the file system of the card intact. Finder will make nearly secure copy and destroys the file system of the card.
Now that you have archived this card copy the archive to a working device/drive, Mount it and import clips. These clips are saved in the FCPX library structure dependend in your setup. When done unmount the card. NO NEED for a camera archive.

Search the forums for "trouble with FCPX camera archives". You'll find quite lot, most of them are long cause there was no simple solution in most cases.
Search the web for "trouble with camera card". You'll find more, most if not all of them are short cause there are lots of reliable repair tools across platforms - but they only will work with the ISO copy of your card.

So it's up to you to choose a workflow.

- Andreas

P.S. one of the authors of these FCPX books send me an urgent mail a time ago. He asked whether I can fix some camera cards he used for his book. As a experienced expert should have been a snip of fingers for him????
I hope it's not the same author of the book you are using.


"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby
become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will
also gaze into thee." - Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

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