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3 camera HVX shoot


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#1 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 02:14 PM

I recently got an HVX200 to try out. Was looking for a cam to shoot an upcoming program on. I really liked the camera and so it's been decided that we are going to use this camera for the shoot.
Now I have set up this crazy idea about how we might be able to handle 3 cameras and all the footage we are pulling off them each day.

My plan was to set up the 3 cameras, each with say 3 16GB cards and daisy chain them together to get the same TC on all 3.
Then I thought we might set up an equal amount of Mac Pro's with card readers and connect them all to an XServe RAID and just have an assistant offload the cards as they fill up.

Now! Does anyone see any problems with this workflow?
Will the Mac's be able to offload the footage off the cards fast enough?
I was thinking of just having folders on the RAID disk for each camera.
Should there be any problems with performance on the RAID when you have 3 Mac's writing to it all at once?
I'm not too savvy on the computer tech side so you have to excuse me if these questions are obvious.

Nothing's been decided, so I'm open to suggestions about changing the workflow.

Edited by Alexander Joyce, 25 May 2007 - 02:15 PM.

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#2 andrew kuepper

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 03:03 PM

Before I would go with 3 16gb cards I would probably opt for 6 8gb cards. That way you can go transfer and check files and continue shooting and never find yourself waiting to "load". All of this depends on the running time of your shots. For a feature or short, any length of cards is fine. A 4gb card is like a 16mm film mag. Changing loads should not be a problem. For a long form project like a concert, you might look into Firestore drives or a seperate recording deck. As for timecode, I'm not sure you can "daisy chain" using the camera's alone. The workflow I I just used on a feature used P2 card-->P2 store --> Macbook Pro --> firewire 800 drive --> Firewire 800 Backup drive --> ingest into FCP --> Check by eye. This takes a while to accomplish but guarantees your footage is safe. This required a "film loader" on set, who's time was taken up completely by this process.

Edited by andrew kuepper, 28 May 2007 - 03:04 PM.

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#3 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 04:27 PM

As for timecode, I'm not sure you can "daisy chain" using the camera's alone.


Apparently you can set the TC on one camera and then connect it into the other and copy the TC over to the next one. Then you just do that to the next and so on. However I think they would have to remain in free run.

The workflow I I just used on a feature used P2 card-->P2 store --> Macbook Pro --> firewire 800 drive --> Firewire 800 Backup drive --> ingest into FCP --> Check by eye. This takes a while to accomplish but guarantees your footage is safe. This required a "film loader" on set, who's time was taken up completely by this process.


I have the 60GB P2 store here, but I'm still waiting for the 16GB cards I ordered. The shoot isn't until August, so there should be enough time to settle on a workflow and order 2 more cameras + what ever storage we decide on.
Do you know if there is any system with a larger capacity than the 100GB firestore? I mean 100GB is'nt very impressive in 2007. For location work I wouldn't want to have too much footage on each disk, but this is all studio stuff that will be offloaded onto a server right away.
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#4 Matt Irwin

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 08:54 AM

I recently operated on a 3-HVX music video with a similar situation. A-camera was rotating two 8-gig cards while B- and C-Cameras were using two 4-gigs each. We had a dedicated "loader" using a single MacBook Pro and offloading using a P2 Store as a reader into FCP and saving onto two FW800 drives for redundant backup. I don't remember any of the cameras ever having to wait for a card.

Andrew makes a good point about 16 gb cards-- there is a chance that the loader might have a bit of a "traffic jam," especially if you've only got one loading station.
I should also mention that there is a known issue with P2 cards and Mac OSX that *sometimes* can result in corrupted audio, lost clips, etc. I got burned by this issue on a project using a PB G4 and the PC card slot. Haven't seen this happen with MacBookPros, but just FYI. I have since required that the loader manually check every clip before wiping a card.

As for TC sync... Yes, you can sync multiple cameras to a master/A-Camera with firewire in Free Run TC only.
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#5 Tim Terner

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 09:17 AM

Do you know if there is any system with a larger capacity than the 100GB firestore? I mean 100GB is'nt very impressive in 2007. For location work I wouldn't want to have too much footage on each disk, but this is all studio stuff that will be offloaded onto a server right away.


Don't know whether it is available yet (says coming Summer 2007) but there is this that has 320GB http://www.spec-comm.../cineporter.php
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#6 Alexander Joyce

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 10:43 AM

The 16GB cards came today. Ofcourse the camera didn't support them, so I'm going to run that update now. There is no update out yet for the P2 store however and as far as I can see it won't be out until August!!! God knows what Panasonic are up to here.
I ordered another HVX200 today and 2 firestore disks, so I'm going to try out that workflow and see how it works.

Yeah I read about the cineporter on some forums, but from what I gathered they kept revising it cause it wasn't good enough. Guess it's not possible to just rip out the 100GB disk in the FS100 and put in a 250GB or something :D

Edited by Alexander Joyce, 29 May 2007 - 10:45 AM.

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