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Old Sep 2, 2008, 11:11 AM   #1
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Greetings-

My father shot some video of my wedding this past weekend on his newish Canon SD870is camera (3 months old), which seems to save videos as AVI files. I have the same camera but just got it and haven't really used it so I don't know it's ins and outs.

He was using an 8gb Sandisk Extreme III card when he shot the pics and vids he took. That's a good quality card AFAIK, so I'd hope he wouldn't be having issues.

He is telling me that he's not able to copy the larger video files off the camera. For instance there's one that's almost 2 gb and he gets nowhere. He also stated that some video files that he did copy, when played on his Mac, had no sound.

He has tried on both his Mac at home and his PC at work. It just seems to not make any progress when importing via iPhoto or when doing a simple copy/paste from the camera.

He has tried 2 different USB cables as well. So we know it's not that.

I told him to try the card in a card reader when he gets home (he's got one that is embedded in his HP multifunction printer) so he will try that tonight after work.

I am wondering if anyone has any other suggestions on things to try to get these files off the cards, or if anyone has any clue why there would be problems in the first place.

Thanks!
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Old Sep 2, 2008, 1:04 PM   #2
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SD cards can be slow transfering, it may be that it just takes a really long time to transfer a whole 2 gig file off of one. Did he get absolutely no transfer happening at all, or did the progress bar just not seem to go up? If it's the latter, then it could be he needs to wait longer.

As far as sound on the mac, he may not have the appropriate audio codec, especially if the sound works on his PC. Avi files are basically a container file. The audio and video streams in the file can be encoded any way under the sun. The information for what codec to use is stored in the header. If your codec on the machine for that format is missing or broken then the audio stream could fail to play.

There are many ways to check this header info and see what codec's you need. An easy way, if you can play it fine on the PC, is to open it in Media Player and then right click the top bar. Go to file, and then properties and it will tell you what audio and video codec it's using. Alternatively there are also programs out there that check the FourCC codes, as it is called.


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Old Sep 2, 2008, 1:08 PM   #3
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It seemed as though the transfer was really going nowhere.

As far as the audio goes, the Mac can play avi files just fine, especially ones from that camera, I know this because I have the same camera and I have no problems, and a couple of the smaller vids he did get transferred also had sound, but some did not.
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Old Sep 2, 2008, 2:01 PM   #4
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agentphish wrote:
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I told him to try the card in a card reader when he gets home (he's got one that is embedded in his HP multifunction printer) so he will try that tonight after work.
If it doesn't work, I'd try a known good reader that supports SDHC cards (many don't). Personally, I've found the built in readers in some HP printers to be *very* slow compared to a separate card reader, possibly because of the way the printer drivers are "in the middle" of the transfer process if I had to guess). But, I haven't tried a recent HP Printer with readers (so they may have improved them by now). I don't know if they'll work with larger SDHC cards like that though.

Also, even if you're using a file system that supports file sizes larger than 2GB, some applications have problems with anything larger than 2GB. For example, some 32 bit browsers like Internet Explorer only support a maximum file size of 2GB using FTP for transfers (even though other browsers like Firefox can transfer larger files).

So, you may be running into a similar limitation. For example, the drivers Canon wrote that the operating systems are using to "talk" to the camera may be at fault (speculation on my part). If so, a card reader should work (provided it supports an SDHC card like that and you're copying to a file system that allows file sizes that large).


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Old Sep 2, 2008, 2:08 PM   #5
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It could also be something like the FAT (File Allocation Table) corruption on the card. That can easily happen when people use a PC to delete files from one, since cached writes in the operating system's memory may not have been written to the a card yet before they remove it (unless they use the eject/safely remove features in the operating system), depending on how the driver was written. I never use a PC to perform any writes to a card unless necessary for that reason. Instead, I just reformat a card using the camera's menus prior to each reuse.

If so (corrupted FAT causing issues), I'd try photorec to transfer the files from it (using an SDHC card reader). It will totally ignore the underlying file system and go after the files themselves.

You'll see a download menu choice on the left side of the main page. Then, just click on the desired operating system (Mac, Linux, Windows) to download it.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

Select your memory card from the list of media it finds (hard drives, memory cards, etc.), and give it a place to save the files to on your hard disk when you are asked Where to Save Recovered Files (it defaults to saving recovered files in subfolders under Photorec, where the software is installed on your hard drive, but you can change it to something else if desired). Note that this product does not retain the original file names (but, you may not care about that), since it ignores the file allocation table entirely.

It supports these file types now:

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/File_...ed_By_PhotoRec

Here's a page showing you how to use this software:

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec_Step_By_Step

After you recover the files (and make sure they work OK), I'd make sure you format the card again before using it again, using the camera's menu choice for format (not a PC).

I do that every time I reuse a card (format it again using the camera's menu choice for format). That way, the card always starts out with a fresh FAT (File Allocation Table), just the way the camera expects it, since the camera is performing the format.

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