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Old Oct 26, 2012, 8:37 AM   #1
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Default Record Light On, TC Rolling, but no data on card?

Hello my name is Patrick, I work as a videographer for a litigation support company which does videotaped depositions, trials, etc. We use a variety of hd cameras and sd card makes (PNY, SanDisk, etc.). While recording in the field to the SD card we record a backup DVD as well.

A couple of weeks ago I was on a routine job, started the deposition, record light on, time code rolling, sd card activity light flashing, etc. for the entire depo. We typically don't check the cards after returning to the office, just the master DVDs. But a couple of weeks later we were required to pull the job from the shelf and use the card data to do some edits - but there was no data on the card, not even a folder structure. The card was a PNY 16gb SDHC. The camera was a Panasonic HMC40. This problem has not occurred in the last 2 1/2 years here so I was wondering if anyone knows of any problems such as this with the PNY cards losing data, being corrupted or not recording media properly.

Any help and/or feedback is greatly appreciated!
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 4:46 PM   #2
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G'day Patrick

Q- do your cameras have both 'internal' and 'external' memory for recording purposes?
External will be the memory card, internal is used for a variety of things, buffers etc

-if- on the date in question, the camera's menu was set for internal memory use, you might find the images still in the camera, sitting there, sleeping gently ...

Regards, Phil
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Old Oct 26, 2012, 6:19 PM   #3
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Memory cards wear out, some brands last longer than others, and there's no way beforehand to know when a card will fail.

If I were you, I'd stick to SanDisk or Lexar.
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Old Oct 27, 2012, 9:13 AM   #4
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Thank you for the feedback.

Ozzie- The camera does not have any type of internal recording. It's either cards or via video outputs to an external recorder such as our dvds.

TCav- Are PNY's known for these types of issues? Or are they known for being not as reliable as the rest?

Thanks again! Any other feedback from anyone with the same issues would be appreciated!
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Old Oct 27, 2012, 9:44 AM   #5
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Memory locations fail. It doesn't happen often but it does happen. Individual memory locations can usually work correctly for millions of write operations, but there are a lot of memory locations, and some will fail sooner than others. In this respect, no manufacturer's card is more likely to fail than any othe rmanufacturer's.

When memory locations fail, the card automatically remaps the block of memory that contains the failed location, to a spare block. So the reliability of a card is based almost entirely on the quantity of spare blocks, which does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

I don't know that PNY cards contain fewer spare blocks than average, but what I do know is that SanDisk and Lexar cards contain more.

Memory cards don't last for ever, so you should periodically replace them anyway. Given that the cost of a memory card is probably very small when compared to how much your company charges for its services, and considering the importance of the service you provide, I'd say it's reasonable to use a new memory card for each job, and file it away (while storing its contents on a server somewhere) when the job is finished.
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Last edited by TCav; Oct 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM.
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Old Oct 29, 2012, 10:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCav View Post
Memory locations fail. It doesn't happen often but it does happen. Individual memory locations can usually work correctly for millions of write operations, but there are a lot of memory locations, and some will fail sooner than others. In this respect, no manufacturer's card is more likely to fail than any othe rmanufacturer's.

When memory locations fail, the card automatically remaps the block of memory that contains the failed location, to a spare block. So the reliability of a card is based almost entirely on the quantity of spare blocks, which does vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

I don't know that PNY cards contain fewer spare blocks than average, but what I do know is that SanDisk and Lexar cards contain more.

Memory cards don't last for ever, so you should periodically replace them anyway. Given that the cost of a memory card is probably very small when compared to how much your company charges for its services, and considering the importance of the service you provide, I'd say it's reasonable to use a new memory card for each job, and file it away (while storing its contents on a server somewhere) when the job is finished.
Thanks again TCav for the feedback. So if I'm understanding correctly, even if memory blocks on the card failed, they should have been re-written automatically to these spare blocks? If this is true, wouldn't I expect to find some type of data on the card rather than the completely empty card I encountered? Even if it did not contain enough spare block to re-write all of the data from the failed blocks, I would think I would find something.
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Old Oct 29, 2012, 11:20 AM   #7
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Not necessarily. It depends on which block went bad. If the block that contained the File Allocation Table went bad, there's nothing.

Did you try Recovering Images or Video from Memory Cards?
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