AVCHD Storage strategies

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by rotlex, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. rotlex macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    I posted this same question on an Apple forum, but wanted to get some input from the folks here as well.....

    The basic question is how most of you that have and utilize a cam with AVCHD are handling long term storage? What's your workflow? I'm asking this as I have an opportunity to purchase a Canon HG10 at a VERY appealing price due to discounts and credits that I have. I currently have a Sony hdr-sr5 which has the ability to shoot SD and HD, where the Canon ONLY shoots in HD\AVCHD. With the Sony, I shoot 80% of my stuff in SD; stuff like kids playing in yard, dogs etc. I like this option as high quality SD takes very little space.

    To not ramble on, I REALLY would like to shoot everything in HD, and would be forced to if I pick up the Canon. The issue of course is with file sizes, especially once imported into iMovie.

    So in a nutshell, what are some of your best strategies for dealing with these files? Disk images from RAW AVCHD footage stored on external drives and brought into iMovie as smaller footage is one of my thoughts, but even with that, I'm wondering just how quickly this could grow.

    Thanks for any input or insight!
     
  2. CortexRock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Canterbury, England
    #2
    I'm in a similar situation with a project at work.

    Decided to go with a NAS box with hot-swappable hard drives in a RAID that can be rotated on a schedule to protect the physical data. If I'm running out of space, or a drive fails, I can just whack another new drive in.
     
  3. jameskohn macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2006
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #3
    AVCHD files are quite large

    I am sort of a "pro-sumer" level digital photographer, and I just started fooling around with video. I bought the Panasonic HDC-SD5, an AVCHD camera that records to an SDHC card. There is a steep learning curve going on here, for sure. One of the first things I realized was how big these files are, and how quickly they would eat up my "little" 250gb hard drive.

    Fortunately I'm using a MacPro, so I just ordered a 500gb internal hard drive, at a cost of about $140, and slipped it in to one of the three remaining hard drive bays. I moved all of my photos and videos to the new drive, instantly freeing up over 100gb on my original 250gb hard drive. The new drive sometimes seems to have a mind of its own, and I hear it spinning up even when I'm not using any of the photo or video files it contains. It's no big deal, and otherwise this arrangement seems to be working quite well. I'm no hard core techie, and even further from being a video expert, but so far so good. My sense is that the software is lagging well behind the hardware technology in this domain. For example with regard to sharing these videos when they're 2 or 3gb in size. Forget about uploading them to the web, they just seem to be too big and the whole process just times out. Now I'm messing around with other sharing options, but nothing great yet. A topic for another thread I suppose. Best of luck, and enjoy the new video cam. The images are stunning, that's for sure.
     
  4. chelseasian macrumors regular

    chelseasian

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    New York, NY (Chelsea)
    #4
    Invest in a storage server, X-RAID :D if you have cash to burn.

    I used 4 WD My Book and connect them via daisy-chain through FW800. Not exactly RAID, but it is certainly convenient to add another HDD to it whenever you run out of space.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    Why not use a camera that records to tape? Then you have your storage problem solved. Yes I know you'd have to pay $6 for a tape but you would not have to buy the disk array system.

    If you really do need to shoot a non-tape format and keep it all on hard drives then do remember the two "laws" of how to keep your data:
    1. The data needs to be on three different physical media at all times
    2. The data needs to be at two different geographic locations at all times
    The above is a minimum if you want to keep the data archived for a decades long period. If you short cut this you WILL loose the data. My grandmother has lots of old photos form the early 1900's. I seriuosly doubt many digital photos from the early 2000's will survive to the early 2100's Very very few people will follow the two above rules and continue to follow then for 100 years.
     
  6. baypharm macrumors 65816

    baypharm

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #6
    Basically you need at least a Terabyte drive. When you are working with HD footage it eats up tons of hard disk space. We have a 5 Terabyte Raid drive and it is filling up fast.
     
  7. rotlex thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #7
    Thanks for the replies all. Guess when I wrote this I was in one of those "maybe I should just go back to tape" modes, LOL. (So yeah, Chris, that is a thought, but I've got 20 years of 8mm and DV tape sitting around in fireproof boxes that I just don't want to keep adding too)! :)

    I guess the only real answer, if I want to stay with this format, is what most of you are talking about. RAID, more external drives etc. I think I just need to draw out more of a LONG term management system, so that in another 20 years, my old brain can remember what and where all of this stuff is stored! Who knows, maybe in the not too distant future, 100+ GB mem cards will be available, and hopefully cheap, as a long term storage solution for stuff like this.

    Sometimes I hate trying to stay at the bleeding edge of tech. :D
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    If you are looking for a long term plan have you thought about data tape back up? That's about the only viable option, IMO, if you are aren't shooting to tape. Heck, even if you are shooting to tape you can store hundreds of gigs on a data tape and only 13 on a MiniDV tape.


    Lethal
     
  9. rotlex thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #9
    Your thinking, or I should say, my thinking like that the past day or so, is actually starting to push me toward a tape based HDV cam. (The Canon HV20). I know I started this thread looking for a solution to media storage, and the more I think on it, the more I'm thinking that AVCHD, for someone who tends to like to film a lot, may not be the way to go right now. Tape=instant HD archive is starting to look very appealing.

    Now I really have to think about this by like this weekend!
     
  10. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    #10
    I have been thinking about this as well but on perhaps a smaller scale. I recently purchased a Canon HG-10 and yep those are some big files. My strategy will no doubt change, but right now I am burning everything to DVD as well as keeping a copy of the movies on an external hard drive. I've also purchased a second hard drive that I now copy all of those files over to and plan to keep it at my office. The first saturday of every month or thereabouts I will bring it home and copy everything that has changed. That way in the event of a fire, I'll have at most a month old archive of all of the family movies and pictures. Everything else beyond those is replaceable.

    We are going to have many issues in the future about maintaining digital data over spans of time. I'm sure there will be "conversion house" businesses that will become busier and busier doing this sort of thing.
     
  11. Vapor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #11
    I was thinking about this until we get editing software that will work with the native avchd file.
    www.mac1080hd.com/
     
  12. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12


    Very nice find indeed.
     

Share This Page