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C300 glitch and green holes

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Ernesto Brelièreovsky
C300 glitch and green holes
on May 10, 2014 at 1:58:59 pm

Hello,

I've shot over three days on the C300 using two 16GB CF at 25 fps with constant camera settings. On one of the sessions, an abundant glitch that makes the footage unusable appears. I've uploaded a sample on vimeo : https://vimeo.com/94752195

I've transcoded to Apple Pro Res and AIC using compressor, same glitches. I first thought it was VLC's playback but the problem remains once imported into FCP7. I know some have experienced similar problems with MXF files and I'm seeking a solution to restore the footage. The three sessions following the problematic one are spotless, recorded on both CF cards, with similar transferring to MBP and SSD. I have no idea what went wrong, both the camera and the cards worked fine after that.

Please, if you have an answer, do explain this mystery to me.
Thank you
Ernesto.


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Josh Figatner
Re: C300 glitch and green holes
on May 10, 2014 at 10:47:34 pm

I've recently encountered the same (VERY frustrating and scary) problem. Reshoots are not an option for the project I'm working on.

My details: shooting long (8-20 min) takes with two C300s, 1080/30p, CP1 profile, very fast 90MB/sec CF cards. Upon footage review the next day, I found that many of the clips from a certain session and card are peppered with these hideous glitches. My general workflow up until now has been to drag/drop full card structures to external drive at end of day, use Prelude/AME to transcode to ProRes 29.97 overnight and have a nice set of .movs to review and log in the morning.

After I blew a gasket finding all these glitches, I was also dismayed to not find very much info on the problem. Creative Cow to the rescue! After reading thru a couple of threads (this problem is just now starting to be noticed and discussed it seems), I got a couple of tips. VERY fortunately, I still had the CF cards from the offending shoot and I used XF utility to back them up to my hard drive rather than just drag/drop. The glitches do not appear when previewing footage in XF Utility. Upon a Prelude/AME transcode, the glitches were gone! Whew!!!! This may not work for everyone, but I'd highly recommend using the 'Backup' feature in XF Utility

This is a terrible error and I hate having to use a certain software to have error-free footage, but hey, at least I got it error-free. I've heard from other users that we should always use dual-slot record when we can with the C300 and I think that's BS. We didnt pay 14 Grand each to feel nervous shooting to a single card. I got really lucky this time around that I hadnt reformatted yet, I shudder to think about the footage losses many other users may be experiencing.

SAMPLE:


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Todd Terry
Re: C300 glitch and green holes
on May 10, 2014 at 11:46:31 pm

[Josh Figatner] " that we should always use dual-slot record when we can with the C300 and I think that's BS."

Sorry to disagree, but calling using dual slots BS is, well, simply BS. It doesn't matter that you have a 14-grand camera (which is remarkably cheap, for what you get), it's the cheapo media that's the issue. I mean, even if you buy the most expensive cards out there, that's one tiny tiny drop in the bucket of the cost of a typical shoot. Unless you are shooting a long event where you need to relay long takes between card slots, there's absolutely no reason not to dual-slot shoot. Not doing so, when it takes about two seconds to stick another card in the other slot, is just foolish (imho).

I always shoot dual slot. I shot 35mm for years, and I guarantee you that if I had been able somehow to stick a second backup magazine full of filmstock on top of the camera, I'd have done that in a heartbeat... at a cost significantly more than the throwaway price of a reusable CF card. And yes, I've had a card fail a time or two... no fault of my C300PL, it was a card issue. And the backup saved me.

Ok, with that part of the rant over... yes, as Josh suggested, DO use the XF utility, and I bet it will eliminate your problem. There's no compelling reason NOT to use the XF utility either... that's what it's there for. It makes viewing your clips (and selecting/merging/exporting) only the ones you need a breeze, and it makes fast backups. Yes, you CAN just drag all the card contents to your computer, but then depending on how many times you hit the camera trigger there may be nests of dozens (potentially even hundreds) of nested folders to wade through to get the .MXF files. With the XF utility, doing that is about two mouse clicks. It's what the software is made for, it's free, and it works like a charm.

If you still have the original camera cards and they play back fine (with no glitches) in your C300 viewfinder, then use the XF utility to export/merge the .MXF files and I'm betting the problem will be gone. If you do NOT still have the original camera cards, you can try this... reformat (in computer, not camera) a blank card and put your backup footage back on it. You'll need everything, the complete folder/file structure, everything except possibly the TOP folder (depending on how you made your backup). You'll want to start with the folder called CONTENTS and drag that one back to the card. THEN use the XF utility to make a backup of the card to your hard drive, then use the XF utility to extract/merge the .MXF files from the backup. You could do it just from the card instead, but I always do it from the backup.

Good luck!

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Josh Figatner
Re: C300 glitch and green holes
on May 11, 2014 at 1:19:17 am

Good points Todd. I didn't mean using the dual-slot feature itself was lame, I do think it's a great thing to be included with the camera which has all sorts of utilities. What I do find frustrating is the idea that the camera is still so unreliable that it's asking for trouble if you use it how it's intended: recording to a CF card. And I agree the problem is probably mostly CF card related, but we do use reputable/expensive media and if more and more people are having this problem, its an issue for Canon too.

Going back to my post above, I was able to retransfer the original card using XF Utility and it worked, which suggests that something in the drag and drop transfer messed up (I was able to recreate the glitches in the transcoding process) which points to Mac OS or the XF codec itself. Regardless of the true problem, I know I'll be taking a more realist approach and shooting dual-slot in the future as well as backing up using the XF utility. Not a heavy price to pay for outstanding footage, just annoying, and totally worth it in the end.


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Mark Smith
Re: C300 glitch and green holes
on May 30, 2014 at 11:38:20 am

the cause of the green glitches may not be the camera original recording but the software you are relying on to play back the clips on your computer. Frequently a out of date or wrong plug in can cause the green glitches, I've seen this happen with P2 files in the past .

I've had my C300 for more than 2 years and have not had any green glitch problems in that time and have shot thousands of hours of material. try playing back your original cards in the camera if you have them, chances are they play normally, which would likely point to something downstream of the camera, which is to say your computer and the software it is using to play back/transcode clips.


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Jim Watt
Re: C300 glitch and green holes
on Dec 3, 2014 at 11:07:28 pm

When i go to the Canon site, I can find no XF utility for OSX 10.9.5. When I select "Utilities "I get the message "no utilities for the OS".

Are you-all using PC's or am I missing something.

Thx....Jim Watt

Producer/DP, HD series, "Discoveries...America", "Discoveries...Ireland", "Discoveries...Spain",
"Discoveries...Argentina", Discoveries...India", "Discoveries...Asia", "Discoveries...Africa"


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Mark Smith
Re: C300 glitch and green holes
on Dec 3, 2014 at 11:24:21 pm

Regarding the artifacts. I recently had a shoot where 2 cards that had been transferred to back up drives had very similar looking artifacts which resulted in doing a reshoot of 3 key interviews. Painful but possible. The shoot was for a very high profile corporate client and there was quite a bit of sturm und drang but we got the reshoots done and moved on.
The root cause was a bad card reader ( Hoodman Steel) that we used to offload the first card of the day. Other cards on the shoot were offloaded with a different card reader as random happenstance. I've NEVER had a bad recording with either my C300 or 500, but this time the card reader F'ed the data. I mentioned this to the people who make shot put pro, (I'm a beta tester) and they are cooking something up that would go beyond checksum and actually compare offloaded files against original files..

The artifacts I see in the frame grab look exactly like the artifacts that I was hit with.

I'm on Yosemite and using a older canon plugin in and have no issues importing C300 footage into FCPX, so I wouldn't sweat the xf plug in too much. Use the one for mavericks, it works.


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