Working with ProRes/DNxHD
Have you ever transferred pictures from your digital camera and later on noticed that an image was not copied properly, but you already reformatted the memory card? Now imagine this happening with "the one take" of an airborne police car crashing into a hovering helicopter. Not good.
Transferring recorded material from the original media should never be done using a simple file copy. There are different software and hardware solutions available that will copy a file to one or several destinations and perform a checksum calculation, comparing the material on the original media to the copies, to provide a minimum effort safety check of data integrity.
The price for such tools ranges from free to several thousand dollars, depending on the convenience and ease of use of the solution:
- Rsync is a free terminal application. It requires a computer expert to run a verified data transfer and even then, is rather cumbersome to use. If it is not already installed on your computer, you can find it at http://rsync.samba.org.
- For less than $100, there are more convenient applications like Shot Put Pro 5 (http://www.imagineproducts.com) or Double Data (http://www.doubledata.biz) that present a easy to use user interface.
- Pomfort's Silverstack is $699 to own, but also available for rent and offers a lot more than just a verified copy. The program keeps all material in a database, can edit and export the metadata, provides a simple interface for quality control feedback and can create ARRI Look Files as well as extract and modify look files from ALEXA ProRes material. Silverstack is available at http://pomfort.com.
- Codex Digital recently introduced a device named Vault, which follows their concept of the digital lab on the set, but with support for XR capture drives, SxS cards as well as their recorders' magazines. The fully featured version is a powerful standalone unit that handles a secure data transfer, can be used to directly playback or export dailies and provides a data management and metadata server.
SxS memory cards can be read by laptops that are equipped with an ExpressCard/34 slot (PCI-Express interface), such as the last 17" MacBook Pro (late 2011 model) or various Windows Notebooks. Other, external options are the rather slow Sony SBAC-US10 (USB 2.0), its faster successor SBAC-US20 (USB3.0) or the Sonnet Qio E3 (PCIe or ExpressCard/34). Only for Mac based users, the rugged SonnetEcho ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter is a fast and affordable alternative.
SxS Device Drivers can be downloaded from the Sony website.
Please note: There are a number of low-priced ExpressCard/34 adapters that only support the USB2.0 interface/bus and therefore will not work with the SxS Pro cards!