Thread: CF or RAID - Why?

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  1. #1 CF or RAID - Why? 
    Now that the RED Drive is shipping, are people planning to go with CF still, or switch to the RED Drive for everything?

    For what reason would you make the decision to go either way? What do you see as the pros and cons of each option? Is 64GB Flash Drive the one to wait for - best of both worlds?

    I'm trying to get a feel for where things are heading...
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  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by Sycophant View Post
    Now that the RED Drive is shipping, are people planning to go with CF still, or switch to the RED Drive for everything?

    For what reason would you make the decision to go either way? What do you see as the pros and cons of each option? Is 64GB Flash Drive the one to wait for - best of both worlds?

    I'm trying to get a feel for where things are heading...
    CF is currently worse than a mag of film in terms of time. Under 5 mins of shooting before a mag change. On a feature that's hell. But if the 16GB cards come out any time soon, we could all live with 10 minutes of shooting time.

    I originally planned to use the RAID drive, and then I planned to use the big 64GB flash drives, but it's emerged that backing up your CFs on set (to multiple RAIDS) and checking the rushes on set (for focus problems etc) is possibly better than filling up a RAID, striking your set, watching the rushes that night and finding out there were problems all over the place. Of course, you could argue that using the RAID is like using the film - you get an idea of what's going on from your split, and then get the truth from your rushes.

    I love the idea of all that recording time with no mag changes that the RAID offers, but I've gradually been won over by the idea of having somebody sit there all day backing up CF cards and checking the shots. Of course, this does mean creating a new crew position, because if you have the director and DP checking shots, you'll be shooting as slowly as Kubrick.
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    Member Glenn Dreher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherKenworthy View Post
    CF is currently worse than a mag of film in terms of time. Under 5 mins of shooting before a mag change. On a feature that's hell. But if the 16GB cards come out any time soon, we could all live with 10 minutes of shooting time....

    I love the idea of all that recording time with no mag changes that the RAID offers, but I've gradually been won over by the idea of having somebody sit there all day backing up CF cards and checking the shots. Of course, this does mean creating a new crew position, because if you have the director and DP checking shots, you'll be shooting as slowly as Kubrick.


    Good point Christopher. I too like the idea of the dedicated backup crew member. I'm curious to hear what system(s) RED users will work out for card downloading and rotating "exposed" cards on set. Given the size of a CF card, it is has potential for being misplaced or worse, lost.
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    Any way you slice it - you want BOTH the CF module and the RED DRIVE and there is a significant argument for having 2 RED DRIVES:

    1) The drive obviously adds some weight and size to your rig - so, when you need to be lean and mean you have the option to switch to CF card. AND, the CF module can take much more vibration without dropping any frames - so, if you suddenly have a shot where the camera will shake or vibrate a lot - you can switch to CF.

    2) If, for any reason, you did have an issue with the CF module - because, for example - your AC was careless and shoved a CF card in and bent a pin - you have the drive and can keep shooting without any real downtime.

    3) If you are shooting with the drive, and you in the middle of offloading that drive and suddenly need to shoot - you can. The camera will defaults to the DRIVE if it is plugged in. So, you format a card and leave it in. Plug in your drive, format that, and shoot on it. Yank it for offloading - and switch to the card to keep shooting.

    4) I think it is very ideal, for long form narrative shoots, to have two drives. Because you can swap them and off-load them during the shoot so you can avoid a long file copy at the end of the day - and it is obviously safer to clone throughout the shooting day.
    Mark L. Pederson
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  5. #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by farmboy View Post
    Good point Christopher. I too like the idea of the dedicated backup crew member. I'm curious to hear what system(s) RED users will work out for card downloading and rotating "exposed" cards on set. Given the size of a CF card, it is has potential for being misplaced or worse, lost.
    I've been doing a fair amount of work with the HVX and P2 cards and we've had a dedicated on-set dumping bloke. I've just been crediting him as part of the camera team. It's his job to handle the cards. Camera op is handling the camera. 1st AC is handling the lens. 2nd AC is handling all other camera stuff EXCEPT the cards. This person, is the lord of the P2 cards, dumping the footage off, backing up the footage, importing into FCP and checking the shots are all present and looking fine. Then they can confirm that all is well and that card can be formatted and rewritten. Because we've got a dedicated person on it all day every day there are no screwups (yet, touch wood).

    The Director and DP might pop over if they've got a moment during a break or a long prep for the next setup, and check a couple of takes. The dumping bloke will try to have a few indicative takes in a timeline in FCP to show how things are looking.

    We're planning on carrying that same exact workflow over into our Red days, making whatever adjustments needed (such as bringing redcine into the equation)
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    Mark - about Red Drives - I'd say at LEAST two - you want a spare anyway in case one gets dropped or lost or stops working or whatever.

    Rental houses? Probably need 5 or so for day shoots - the two you send out that get backed up at some point, two more to go out on the next day's job since the first two haven't been archived and verified yet if gear returned the next AM, and a spare beyond that.

    Of course, doc/reality shooters will need more if rolling tons of footage...

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  8. #8  
    I also subscribe to the at least two theory, but it will depend on individual needs. I haven't decided if I'm going to buy 2 or 3 drives initially.

    I will be getting both the CF module and RED DRIVES. I'm hoping for 16GB CF cards soon.
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  9. #9  
    Other thing I was thinking...

    The drive is a RAID stripe obviously so there's still the issue of needing to make a duplicate copy (or copies) for data redundancy. I guess insurance companies will have some demand about how soon that must happen, but I'm guessing that'll have to be done on set, or very soon afterward.

    In some ways it's possibly easier to manage the copy of a few 8 (or ideally 16) gig CF cards at frequent intervals, but harder to manage a copy of 320GB of data in one go.
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  10. #10  
    Digital FX Greg M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe View Post
    I also subscribe to the at least two theory, but it will depend on individual needs. I haven't decided if I'm going to buy 2 or 3 drives initially.

    I will be getting both the CF module and RED DRIVES. I'm hoping for 16GB CF cards soon.
    agreed. Both CF and Drives are really necessary...and at least 2 drives. I ordered 3 for each camera.
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