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Dumping P2 Cards with Firewire


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#1 Rob Vogt

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 11:48 AM

I know people who've lost footage this way and I have a shoot upcoming with no reader available and was wondering the proper technique for offloading the cards using a firewire to laptop
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#2 Adam Garner

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 12:56 PM

If you mean using the camera as your reader:

Hold the mode button while in VCR mode for about 5 seconds to turn the HVX200 to a firewire device. Your laptop (mac right?) will show the 2 cards as drives.

You need to "log and transfer" in FCP to get the footage to work. FCP does something to the mpx files so they're readable. It also connects spanned files from p2 card 1 to p2 card 2.

There's software out there that you can buy to do this step (converting the mpx files). That way you can just get a pcmcia card reader and attach to your laptop, plug the card in and transfer footage on the fly. I can't recall the name of the software but it's only a few hundred bucks and is WAY easier than attaching the camera everytime. It's also a little safer too, I think, as far as making sure all your files make it to the laptop.

Does that help?
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#3 Rob Vogt

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 06:46 PM

If you mean using the camera as your reader:

Hold the mode button while in VCR mode for about 5 seconds to turn the HVX200 to a firewire device. Your laptop (mac right?) will show the 2 cards as drives.

You need to "log and transfer" in FCP to get the footage to work. FCP does something to the mpx files so they're readable. It also connects spanned files from p2 card 1 to p2 card 2.

There's software out there that you can buy to do this step (converting the mpx files). That way you can just get a pcmcia card reader and attach to your laptop, plug the card in and transfer footage on the fly. I can't recall the name of the software but it's only a few hundred bucks and is WAY easier than attaching the camera everytime. It's also a little safer too, I think, as far as making sure all your files make it to the laptop.

Does that help?


Well we would be using the directors laptop which is a mac but I believe it doesn't have FCP/ Do you mean having the camera teathered to the laptop while shooting? I just meant after the card is full importing it to a laptop then maybe bringing the file to the desktop to change the file type.

Im aware of the duel adapters btw but we wouldnt be able to get them in time for the shoot.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:15 PM

Some macs have the built in slots for the card and it should mount as an external drive and then you can just copy ALL of the data on it (preserving the file hierarchy) onto another hard drive. This is the same for all tapeless cameras. Then you can mount that hard drive containing the card data into FCP via Long and Transfer at your leasure. This is how I handle my XDCam stuff. If memory serves, from working with the HVX when I have it's essentially the exact same process, provided the laptop has the right slot. If not, then you'll need some form of reader, or to use the camera as one, then it's just literally drag and drop.
I find it faster to drag from the camera to the laptop first, copy it on the laptops drive temporarily, and then back it up to dual hard drives. Once it's on the hard drives you can delete the files sitting on the laptop drive and format your cards. This is how I personally handle my XDCam workflow; it's always a compromise between time and data security; so I figure 2 hard drive will work well in that regard. I like to get the self powered ones, which are slower on read/write, but when you're out in the field you can essentially use your laptop as their power supply. It's what I did in Senegal, and it was a little stressful because you really have to be mindful of your laptops power supply needs and "top off" the charge whenever you can if you'll be away from power.

It is vitally important with tapeless workflows to keep the folder hierarchy in place. I don't recall 100% how the HVX labels it's directories, but I generally make a folder called "Card 1" (or in my case for the XDCam, Card A_1 (slot and then dump # for the day) inside of a "day" folder, e.g. "day 1", and then copy the full contents of the card, as is, from the card into the folder. Preserving all the data exactly as it was is imperative for you to be able to access it later on. You cannot JUST take the MXF files, as you need the metadata which goes along with them in order for them to be properly translated.
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#5 Adam Garner

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:48 AM

No, I didn't mean shoot with the 200 attached. I meant if you didn't have a "reader."

If you have a pcmcia slot, which older macs do but I think the new ones don't, you can just put the p2 card in the slot. If you don't have a slot, you'll need a firewire pcmcia dock.

All this being said, the P2 stores the footage in MPX files. You can't just drag and drop them. They need to be structured or reconnected or something. So, FCP does this upon a "log and transfer" command when the 200 is attached. If you're importing just the card to a folder it won't work.

There is a software package out there (again I don't recall the name) that will allow you to import outside of FCP. Dig around for it and I'll ask some friends what it was. You HAVE to have it though.

Adam
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#6 Adam Garner

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:06 PM

The software : DV Film Raylight to wrap the MXF in Quicktime wrappers. No actual import.

See if that gels with what you're trying to do.
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#7 Rob Vogt

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 04:58 PM

Thank you sir.
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