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P2 reliable as tape, better, or not: USERS PLEASE RESPOND

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    I had my first failure with tape after 5 years. I got a "T REEL LOCK" error on a new tape. I cleared the tape, reloaded, and started to shoot, but after a check, I had lost 20 minutes of footage, even tho the cam indicated good. I still don't know why/what happened, because the rest of the footage was solid. So far (knock on wood), P2 has been 100%.
    Producer type guy IMDB


      Since march of '06 I've screwed up once on a transfer and it was my fault, pushed the wrong button sequence on the P2 store while distracted.

      The trade is P2 takes a little more work in the middle part of the process between shooting and editing. You get big paybacks however if you use the metadata and search tools at your disposal.

      My Fave: No_ broken_ time code


        P2 been fine here.

        Just gotta get used to the work flow, and dealing with spanned clips and the like.
        Blogger for
        KY by way of MI and Southwest CO


          Originally posted by BobDiaz View Post
          What I'm asking for is for P2 users to answer these simple things:

          Originally posted by BobDiaz View Post
          How long have you been using P2?
          Over 2 years now.

          Originally posted by BobDiaz View Post
          Have you ever had a hardware failure with P2? If yes, how many?
          No. Never heard of anyone having one either, at least nothing where "user error" could be ruled out.

          Originally posted by BobDiaz View Post
          How long have you worked with tape?
          I barely work with tape these days, but I've been doing professional work with it for about a decade.

          Originally posted by BobDiaz View Post
          Have you ever had a failure with tape? If yes, how many?
          Yes, many times. Hard to say exactly how many. The biggest problems I've encountered have been with MiniDV tape. But just a few weeks ago, I was working with a DVCAM tape that became shredded in a deck. Whether it was the tape's fault or the deck's fault is irrelevant. The problem is that moving parts have the power to fail and fail HARD.

          With P2, I have never had a single problem with any of those cards - ever. They have been 100% reliable. Sure, I suppose there is the extremely remote possibility of a failure. Anything could happen. But it would be like worrying about getting struck by lightning twice in the same spot on a sunny day.

          P2: efficient, solid-state reliability that kills tape dead.
          Last edited by DC; 04-21-2008, 12:34 PM.

          PANASONIC AF100 - SIGMA SD1 still photography -
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          I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by canceling it.


            How long have you been using P2?

            2 years using, little over a year owned.

            Have you ever had a hardware failure with P2? If yes, how many?


            How long have you worked with tape?

            since 1997

            Have you ever had a failure with tape? If yes, how many?

            yes, way more than 20.


              I've been using P2 since January of 2006 when I took delivery of my HVX200. Not a single problem with the cards.

              As for tape I've been using them since 1994 when I started in this business and yes there have been dropouts and lost footage.


                Been shooting with the HVX since February of last year.
                I shoot on both P2 cards and the Firestore.

                In the past 14 months we've shot 68 episodes of different series, countless commerical and promo videos, as well as many many hours of test and personal footage.

                We've never had a single glitch, lost clip or failure of any kind.
                It's a rock solid medium and workflow.

                I honestly can't remember how often I got drop outs and glitches when shooting tape -
                but I remember it was often enough for me to not be surprised when it happened.


                  I did some more research and thought I'd share this with everyone:

                  What's inside a P2 card?
                  P2 cards are high-precision micro-computers with their own processors, firmware, a RAID controller, and gigabytes of the highest-quality zero-fault solid-state memory chips. A P2 card is an intelligent device that manages the data files ó and even does a write-verification step for every byte of memory that gets written to the card (thus assuring fault-free operation). Early P2 cards were manufactured using actual SD memory cards in a striped RAID array, thus increasing the performance far beyond any individual memory chipís speed. The newest generation of P2 cards dispenses with using individual SD memory cards and actually uses the core memory components.

                  Most likely the way the "Write-Verification Step" works is that it writes a block of data and goes back and checks every byte written within the block; both the source byte and the P2 byte must match. Even if one bit is off, there would be some sort of card error message given to the user.

                  I'm impressed, flash is a very good media. Anything can fail, but the chance of a failure with flash is VERY low. This Write-Verification Step is an extra layer of protection added to P2. No surprise that I'm seeing message after message of no problems with P2; thanks for all the feedback.

                  Bob Diaz