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MxR Adaptor Problems


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#1 Scott Ippolito

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:26 PM

Hello Everyone,

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced any problems with the MxR and SanDisk cards. I've had the MxRs for a few months now, and have now had my third major problem.

The first incident occurred while shooting on a reality television show. The card showed no problems during shooting (I never got the Restore Media message), but when I tried to import on a MacBook it was unreadable. I tried several data restoration programs, and went so far as to have the Geek Squad take a look. Unfortunately, there were no salvageable files. I contacted Sony to see if they might be able to help, but obviously because it is a third party product they were unwilling. This was a pretty big disaster and although we did not lose a lot of footage in did cost me a client.

I talked with Ross from eFilm and he deduced that most likely it was a faulty SanDisk card. This seemed plausible to me, but the part that bothered me was that I had used the card successfully for a couple of weeks before the failure.

Currently, I am in Rwanda shooting a documentary. Last week I had another card fail. This time the card did appear in the XDCAM Transfer but several clips were corrupted. They each played for a few seconds, but would always stop at the same point. Once again it seemed plausible that the card simply had a bad sector or two. Still, I was bothered because it was a card I had been using for several weeks without a problem. I immediately took this card out of my usage rotation.

Today, I have had yet another problem. The card is readable in the XDCAM transfer program, except for a 17 minute interview clip. (Unfortunately, this is a one time only interview with a convicted murderer/perpetrator of the '94 Genocide here in Rwanda). When I try to import the clip it goes to 87 percent complete and suddenly ejects the card.
Because the clip is visible and plays partially I'm hoping that it is salvageable to some extent. When I insert the card in the camera it gives me the Media Restore message but the restore fails at 22% every time.

The failures have occurred on three separate SanDisk Ultra II Class 4 16GB cards purchased at separate times at separate retailers. I have a few Sony SxS cards that I use as well and I have never had a problem with them so I'm certain the camera is fine.

I don't feel like the MxR is necessarily to blame. However, I'm beginning to feel that if it is possible to use the SD cards recommended by the makers of the MxR and still have these types of problems I don't see how the MxR can be suitable for professional use. As I said before these were cards that I've been using for some time. Each time I've purchased an SD card I have set the camera up and recorded through the entire card TWICE and transferred these clips to insure there would be no hidden problems.

At this point, I have lost all faith in the MxR's viability for professional use. Even if the problem is with the SD cards I don't see how the work flow can be usable in a professional environment. The real issue as I see it, is that these cards have failed after several dozen successful uses. If they had simply failed out of the box, upon testing, I would be more convinced of the MxR's viability.

Previously, I owned an HVX200 which I used to shoot extensively throughout Asia and Africa and I never lost a single clip. The MxR was a big factor in switching to the EX1 (not to mention the sweet resolution). At this point I'm pulling all of the MxR cards out of usage and ordering additional Sony SxS cards and having them overnighted from the US.

I'm extremely curious if anyone else had had any problems like this. I'm open to any suggestions for salvaging my latest card.

Scott
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#2 David Williams

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 06:08 PM

I'm pretty sure this is a mac issue. I have four adapters, all work perfectly in my HP laptop, three fail on a friends mac with much the same problems as you.

The mac seems to lose connection to the media, then write trash files to it on reconnection, then the import software spits it because there are strange files on the card.

If I take that same card which the mac has rejected and trashed, it still works perfectly on my HP. This might save you if you have access to one...
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#3 Max Smith

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 06:13 PM

I've also had a Sandisk Ultra 2 class 4 card go bad, although fortunately it was upon inserting to start shooting. It seemed to get stuck in restore media as well.

A couple of thoughts (possibly stupid questions):
Could it be static discharge killing the cards ?
Is the camera on when you normally insert the card ?
Do you reformat on the camera every time you inserted the cards ?

As for restoring the footage - did you try playing the clip directly from the card using VLC (Video Lan Client) ?

It's possible it might just be a metadata corruption issue - or a bad sector - VLC may be able to play around it (worth a shot).

Just to note that I'm using Kensington adapters, so I don't think it's specific to any one brand.
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#4 Scott Ippolito

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 12:50 AM

I'm pretty sure this is a mac issue. I have four adapters, all work perfectly in my HP laptop, three fail on a friends mac with much the same problems as you.

The mac seems to lose connection to the media, then write trash files to it on reconnection, then the import software spits it because there are strange files on the card.

If I take that same card which the mac has rejected and trashed, it still works perfectly on my HP. This might save you if you have access to one...



I'm not sure this can be linked to the Mac. The most recent card problem started in the camera. The card was formatted in the camera, then we shot with it. While still in the camera it gave the Restore Media warning, but this restore fails at 22% every time. Also, I don't think the Mac writing files to the card is an issue because I always write protect the cards before transferring. However, it is very interesting that you have a card that is unreadable on a Mac, but works on a PC.
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#5 Scott Ippolito

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 12:57 AM

I've also had a Sandisk Ultra 2 class 4 card go bad, although fortunately it was upon inserting to start shooting. It seemed to get stuck in restore media as well.

A couple of thoughts (possibly stupid questions):
Could it be static discharge killing the cards ?
Is the camera on when you normally insert the card ?
Do you reformat on the camera every time you inserted the cards ?

As for restoring the footage - did you try playing the clip directly from the card using VLC (Video Lan Client) ?

It's possible it might just be a metadata corruption issue - or a bad sector - VLC may be able to play around it (worth a shot).

Just to note that I'm using Kensington adapters, so I don't think it's specific to any one brand.



Since my first issues with the cards I have been very careful with the cards. I reformat the cards on the camera. I always turn the camera off before inserting or removing the cards. In addition, I have tried to refrain from starting and stopping recording in quick succession as I've read in posts that some others thought this might cause issues.

The static discharge is an interesting thought, but we are shooting in a very arid climate with almost no humidity. Also, I would think any type of static problem would be affecting the Sony SxS cards as well.

Thank you for the tip on VLC. I'll try it and let you know if it works.
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Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

CineLab

Technodolly

Metropolis Post