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    SD card advice for AF100

    For those new to the AF100, or new to SDHC/SDXC card recording, here's some general advice:

    Part 1: What Speed Class Do You Need?
    If you're planning on using Variable Frame Rate footage, you need at least a Class 6 card. If shooting normal 1080/60i, 24p, or 30p, or shooting 720p, then all you need is Class 4.
    If using SDXC cards, they have a new class rating of UHS-1, for Ultra High Speed. Those are obviously fast enough.

    Part 2: What Brands Should You Be Looking At?
    My personal choice in cards are the Lexar Professional, SanDisk Extreme, and Panasonic Gold (note: not the Panasonic Silver or Blue, but the Gold ones). The Gold are Class 10, but that's not why I prefer them; Panasonic makes a big deal in their marketing about how their Super Intelligent Controller makes the cards so much more reliable, and reliability is my A-#1 concern (moreso than speed, moreso than cost).

    I know there are folks who will disagree with me, but I cannot think of any more foolish move than trying to save a couple of bucks on your recording media. Everything you do -- all your hard work, all your actors and sets and costumes, all your lighting and grip and crew, all of everything that you do -- all comes down to the footage you record on those cards. If the card chokes -- how can saving $10 possibly be worth that?

    Not all SD cards are created equal. There is no requirement by the SD Card Association to put in extra reliability measures; that's entirely optional. I would think all users would be best served by getting the very most reliable cards that they can, regardless of what they cost.

    Cheaping out on media is, IMO, profoundly foolish. I know there are folks that will say I'm "falling for marketing" but -- even if I am, I don't care. It's pennies in the grand scheme of things, whereas if it helps avoid a disaster, it's the cheapest and most valuable insurance I can think of. I would prefer P2 just for this reason alone, but since the AF100 doesn't use P2, I'm at least going to expend every effort and every necessary dollar to get the most reliable cards that I can possibly find. And so far, for me, that means Panasonic Gold, SanDisk Extreme, and Lexar Professional.

    Last words on this subject -- DON'T GO BUYING CHEAPO CARDS OFF EBAY. Just google "counterfeit CF card" or "knockoff SD card" to see why. There are absolutely unscrupulous sellers out there who are printing up their own packaging and making fake/counterfeit cards. If you have a card failure, before reporting that "this brand" of card failed, you should definitely check to see if it's a counterfeit first!

    How can you avoid getting stuck with a fake/counterfeit card? Only buy cards from authorized resellers. How do you know if where you're buying from is an authorized reseller? Go to the card's manufacturer's site, and look for a "where to buy" section. If your dealer doesn't show up there, don't buy it. If you're fishing for the very lowest price, you're going to run more of a risk of dealing with unauthorized resellers and, potentially, fake cards. If you stick to the manufacturer's authorized resellers, you should be guaranteed to avoid fake/counterfeit cards.


    Some sample links for fake cards:
    http://fightflashfraud.wordpress.com...-32gb-sd-card/

    http://www. overclockers.com.au/wiki/Fake_Memory_Cards

    http://members.shaw.ca/fakesandisk/

    http://www.smartcomputing.com/editor...02%2F10s02.asp

    Part III: What Workflow Should I Use?
    A) Never ever ever remove a card when it's being accessed -- whether it's being written to, or read from. The Panasonic cameras have a door over the SD card slot to try to prevent you from pulling the card out while it's being accessed; open the door and it automatically tells the camera to stop accessing the card. Even so, WAIT A COUPLE OF SECONDS before pulling the card out. And observe the same restrictions when using the card in a computer or card reader -- if you yank a card while it's being accessed, there is a chance you could damage or even ruin the card.

    B) The microsecond that you pull the card out of the camera, WRITE PROTECT IT. Immediately. And do not un-protect it until you've successfully offloaded the footage on your computer. If you write-protect the card, it serves as a notice to you (and anyone on your team) that the card contains footage that has not been offloaded. Leave that write-protection on there until you have successfully offloaded the footage. Secondly, you want that card write-protected if you use an Apple computer, because Apple's OSX will automatically write files onto the card whenever you put it in the computer. Don't let it do that. Write-protect that card before it goes in the computer.

    C) When copying the card contents to the computer, DON'T cherry-pick individual files or directories! Copy the entire contents of the card, the entire PRIVATE and DCIM directories, intact. Some NLEs (or blu-ray players or other devices) cannot read the files unless they're in the complete card directory.

    D) When formatting the card, only ever format the card in-camera. Don't format the card on the computer; computer formatting will not be SDHC-compliant (unless you download and use the SD Card Formatter program, a free download on the SD Card Association's site). Always format the card in-camera. And you should definitely format the card before first use, and whenever it's been used by any other type of device.

    E) If using OSX, always "eject" the card or drag it to the trash. Don't just pull the card out, always go through the proper procedure to eject the card.
    Last edited by Barry_Green; 03-24-2011, 10:02 AM.
    ..
    The AU-EVA1 Book - The DVX200 Book - The UX180 & UX90 Book - Lighting For Film & TV - Sound For Film & TV

    #2
    Should sticky this.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Brian@202020 View Post
      Should sticky this.
      Done.
      ..
      The AU-EVA1 Book - The DVX200 Book - The UX180 & UX90 Book - Lighting For Film & TV - Sound For Film & TV

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        #4
        How about Transcend?
        Igelkott Film is Hedgehog Film
        www.igelkottfilm.com

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          #5
          A couple of other SD card recommendations I've recently picked up:

          Richard Harrington recommends cloning cards over to hard drives, as opposed to drag and drop, to ensure a verified copy.

          And at Rule in Boston, Jan pointed out that for mac users, spotlight will automatically index your card upon mounting, and if the card's full, it will bump out a clip in order to make room for the index file. Moral of the story - at the risk of stating the obvious, lock your cards!
          __________________
          www.stusiegal.com

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            #6
            Originally posted by Igelkott Film View Post
            How about Transcend?
            You will hear varying opinions on all the other brands. Some will say "I've never had a problem", others will say "avoid like the plague" on all sorts of other brands, such as Transcend, AData, and what have you. It's your money, and it's your footage -- use whatever you think is appropriate. But I've done enough research and enough experimentation to come to the conclusion that I have three brands I will recommend, and I'm not going to bother with the others.

            If any particular card is substantially less expensive than one of the premium brands, there is very likely a reason as to why.

            Feel free to use whatever you're comfortable with. Any card that is compliant with the SDHC or SDXC standard, will work. The question is how reliable will it be, and the answer is that not all cards are equal, not all of them are made the same, and there just are more reliable brands than others.
            ..
            The AU-EVA1 Book - The DVX200 Book - The UX180 & UX90 Book - Lighting For Film & TV - Sound For Film & TV

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              #7
              Originally posted by Igelkott Film View Post
              How about Transcend?
              I've personally been putting 5 16gb Class 10 Transcend cards through the wringer all year and am yet to lose a single second of footage from any of them. Spend more money if you want, but my Transcends have outlasted and outperformed every other card ive used in my Canon.

              Don't lump Transcend in with Patriot and Adata just because of similar price points. I've found them to be much better.

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                #8
                Originally posted by nicksnow View Post
                Don't lump Transcend in with Patriot and Adata just because of similar price points. I've found them to be much better.
                Similarly, I bought Panasonic Class 10 gold cards off e-Bay for $44 each... found auctions that ended early in the morning and got lucky.

                Over a year of frequent shooting in stressful conditions (vibrating at concerts, bitter cold / extreme heat, etc) and not a single failure. The seller had thousands of sales and a high feedback rating, reputable enough for me.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by nicksnow View Post
                  Don't lump Transcend in with Patriot and Adata just because of similar price points. I've found them to be much better.
                  Hmmm... I don't want to start a card fight, but I've been using Patriot cards for almost 2 years now and they have worked flawlessly with the following cameras Canon 40D, Canon 60D, Canon HG21, Panasonic HMC-150, Panasonic HS700, Panasonic LX3, Olympus LS-10 Audio Recorder.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by TheDingo View Post
                    Hmmm... I don't want to start a card fight, but I've been using Patriot cards for almost 2 years now and they have worked flawlessly with the following cameras Canon 60D, Canon HG21, Panasonic HMC-150, Panasonic HS700, Panasonic LX3.
                    Patriot cards have been 50/50 for me. I have a 16gig class 6 card that works great, but I had a 32 gig class 10 card that I didn't like and was actually slower than the 16 gig class 6. The 16 gig is still going strong and is the card I currently use in my GoPro HD Hero, and the 32 gig I sold after owning it for 2 weeks and I took a 50% hit on it.

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                      #11
                      Coming from an exclusive P2 workflow and stepping into this SDHC environment where cards are extremely prone to fragmentation, I can't imagine reusing cards. Granted, the least expensive ones are a little more pricey than, say, DV tapes, but in the grand scheme of things, not by much. And I never reused tapes, so why reuse cards that can run about the came cost as DVCProHD tapes?

                      Have people experienced problems writing to fresh, out of box sd cards from any reputable suppliers? Or does the reliability of the media become an issue only when reusing cards?

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                        #12
                        I should clarify in that reliability is more of a concern to me than mere write speed.

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                          #13
                          you mean you only write to a card once forever? its not meant to be that way but the card-industry will love you!

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                            #14
                            If I am paying $10 or $20 or even $40 for a card and billing the client for it, why not? It reduces the chances of memory failure, right? Or am I crazy? Or both :-P

                            If I am traveling to Uganda and or Glacier Park for myself or a long term documentary and I am putting the card through it paces with writing and re-writing, then sure, I'd want to spend $200+ on a card. But if it's corporate, I'd rather just avoid the whole problem all together. It's not really cost effective with P2 media, but it could be with SDHC cards.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Times have changed, Grim Rebes. You don't need to spend insane amounts of money to get reliable media. As many of us have posted on here, we've been writing and rewriting on the same SD cards for years without any issue. I get not wanting to dump/rewrite on cards if you're on location somewhere away from where your dedicated work station is, but to only use an SD card once then hang it up is like wearing a shirt once and refusing to wash it or wear it again because you read that a thread might come loose.

                              And think about the environmental toll!

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