Files, Format and Flickering


Distinguished Member
Let's deal with the first TWO:-
Now that Flash Memory is almost everywhere, I thought it might be useful to get the opinion of Members as to the best way to store old clips:

Background; My Working:-
At the moment I have all the original clips on SDHC cards - which I need to re-use, as buying (yet another) is only putting off my archiving concern.

I record the whole card by Copy/Paste into numbered Folders. This is on the Desktop, a separate SATA drive in a folder "Masters" with the cards V1, V2, etc. Projects are also copied to a Folder "Projects" containing sub-folders Named Project-1, -2, -3, etc. where the Vid, Stills and sounds, etc. are placed.
(As a back-up I copy my Media onto two external drives, one is USB and the other is eSATA - so in all I have THREE secondary copies of the Original clips. ditto Stills and Sounds). I don't yet have a file-location for clips that were taken "because I could", but perhaps there should be an "Also-ran" folder in date-order?

When I Edit the Project, I mark each time I make significant changes. So I might have SchoolPlay2010g being the seventh version. These are stored in the same Project Name folder - Vegas Studio uses the file extension ".vf"
However, whilst these are stored sequentially, after the Project is finished I will probably delete most of the early versions, even though these files are not large, being only "pointers/commands".

Now the Question:
How do others here store their Original clips?
I'd have thought I have enough copies, but whilst physically they are often separate, they are all HDD - If I copy a 16G card onto DVD (No BlueRay burner, yet), I'll need a few DVD's per card and it's untidy. Also, I suspect that HDD's may outlive DVD's recorded at home. The same goes for expensive BlueRay discs. I don't trust 'em.

Recent projects are Rendered to HDD, (just learning about DVD Architect Studio,) as I think this retains the highest quality - the files are .avi
-but that's what Vegas Studio thinks I need.....
When I burn a DVD the .avi file is further-compressed - so I presume the Rendered-project .avi file is still HD (1920 x 1080, 50i) and Architect is compressing it for DVD. . . . . the results on a big-screen appear to be high quality (even if the camerawork could improve!).

However, so far I only keep ONE copy of the Rendered Project, in the PC - So I expect others here will suggest this should be Copied to the External Drives for any future Disc-burning, or compilations. I've not done this yet, as I sometime Edit+re-Render a file, adjusting title lengths, etc. This would normally replace the earlier rendered .avi file if any future Discs are to be burnt.

Perhaps one of the Seniors could, over time, address these issues, which are probably common for most folk.

Alternatively, can others say what works for them, as I'm sure collectively there won't be much that's not covered.

((Once the SDHC card is reFormatted and in use, you only have the multiple COPIES left . . . ))
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Active Member
I use a Western Digital ITb external hard drive for archiving my raw footage. I am selective though and anly save what might be any use in future. All saved in folders by some clue to the content - ie Turkey holiday.

I try to do it as soon as I have edited the footage but it is pretty tedious.

I havn't yet deleted any of the copies I have on my computer's hard drive and there is plenty of space left yet. Obviously this is not infinite but I suspect I will have to replace the computer before I need the space.

Now I know that the drive is NOT 100% safe, but I do have the edited footage on another drive and I keep it as safe as I can.
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Distinguished Member
Thanks Bob++, that appears to be a somewhat lower-level of security than I expected to hear.

Anyone else...?


Active Member
I use mac and pc for storage, with the mac i pop the SDHC card into imac slot and imovie will separate the footage into dated events and save them on HD, i then copy/paste the original folders from the SDHC card to an external 1Tb HD dated and titled with the event, i then share the files with my pc from imovie as a 1080 HD movie project (also dated and title) by exporting it to the External HD and copy/paste to a flash memory device to the external HD on pc.


Active Member
I edit two types of file in Vegas. m2t files from tape and avc files from my daughter's SD card camera. Sometimes they are merged into one video

I render the finished product as an HD m2t file and copy it to an external hard disc and also to tape so I can play back from my camera in HD. I save the original footage to external hard disc also.

I also make an SD DVD for myself and friends and relatives.

So far I have never re-edited a video from the original clips, so saving them is really a waste of space. After all, we're not taking professional videos are we?

Videos can be re-edited to a certain extent using the finished m2t file.


Well-known Member
I don't go OTT with the archiving of video (or photos). Then again they're 'not that precious'. Like a lot of things these days, they're 'throw away'. I don't have kids and I don't work for the BBC!

Kids do their own videos and photos these days anyway!

I just move with the latest media. Currently I just store the unedited originals on an internal sata and the edited videos on BD/DVD/ISO and some on a media player (more for convenience than anything else).

I've never had to go back to the originals and re-edit but will only do if software/codecs improve and i'll get a better re-encode than what I currently get.


Distinguished Member
Thanks folks this is v interesting..... it looks like HDD recording externally is most common...

Kevo - can you say where these Codecs reside?....I thought the biggest issue was the compression onto the SDHC card (=in camera). - but I guess each further process is making decisions (is that a Codec?) and could be "improved" if the original camera-files are still available.

(I'm none too clear...when I save the SDHC files are they at the "best" quality that can be achieved....I though I was doing a straight "copy" - but what Vegas Studio does is another matter. I accept the DVD stuff is compressed, but I still have the "higher" quality files as "HDD_Render" (even if the Editing could be improved), so I could create a BlueRay disc which may look a bit sharper, colourful, etc..... but I don't know until I see one.).

As I use Sony Vegas Studio v10 . . . is it likely that Sony could improve the software to the extent I might (years later?) want to go back and pull out the original files?

I must admit I fear throwing-away footage, unless deleted in camera at the time. (for example a false start, lenscap errors, etc), - so I tend to copy and copy again.... on return home.
. . . . . however, as said originally, there comes a time when I do have enough copies and should Re-Use the SDHC cards......
but I'm curious to know if "beyond-camera Codecs" ever are improved - We've had the current situation for long enough so we'd know if there was a "big-change" - wouldn't we?

-Also, I don't see 3rd_Party vendors selling "New Improved" Codecs - - - or am I mis-understanding where these Codecs are in use, perhaps? . . . That is very possibly the case.
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Well-known Member
I'm talking about when you re-encode after editing not what's recorded in-camera. The various codecs used are always being improved as is the software applications that uses them. (I use Edius Neo2.5)


Distinguished Member
Kevo, thanks, I think then it is sensible to keep the off-camera files, in the hope these Codecs do improve maybe when there is a better BlueRay, who knows?

I know Vegas Studio claims each version is "better" but I don't recall a "Better codec" being mentioned - is that something they would not admit to, in case it frightened the Public?

- and how do I know which Codec is being used - (I'll look under Help)....nothing specific . . but it suggests HD users should choose "Good" and warns against choosing Best, which it says increases Rendering times dramatically.... Oooer.


Well-known Member
I wrote much of this in an older thread, but it's relevant here! I do need robust backups of everything - every single shot is needed and loosing any of it is a problem for me. Obviously this is not what I would recommend for anyone else, but someone may find it useful!

So, basically all of our filming is done abroad, and we use various tapeless formats - our main camera is a tape based DVCProHD camera, and our second camera is a Canon XF305, then we have go pros, EX3, 5D MkII, underwater audio masks etc.

Each night one of the crew offload all the tapeless cards used that day to 2 x 1tb external hard-drives(drives 1 + 2 - they are 2nd generation Western Digital Passports) - one as the main offload and one as a backup. To do this they use a program called Shotput Pro which copies the media to both drives, double checks the copy and generates a report. Files are put into a folder structure of Country - Day 1 - Reel Number. They then erase the cards ready for the next day filming.

Next, when they get back from the shoot we offload the main drive twice to 2 x G-Raid drives (drives 3 + 4 - usually 2tb ones) using a ditto command in terminal - once to use and once as a backup. After that, I unpack it all to Prores 422 (HQ) onto another G-Raid drive (drive 5). These are then my HD masters. If this was happy then I know the media is ok, so the portable Western Digital drives get deleted now (and sent back out on another shoot!).

Because we have lots of media etc editing in HD can be a pain in the ass, so I then compress all of it to DV-Pal (SD) onto yet another G-Raid drive (drive 6!). Also at this stage the main camera's DVCProHD tapes get captured at DV-Pal to drive 6. It gets taken to the post production house and copied to the server (server 1?!). Edit then happens!

Once edit is done and picture locked we do a conform. This means re-capturing just the bits we used at HD, so the DVCProHD tapes get re-captured at HD and the tapeless media gets re-linked to the Master HD drive (with the ProRes 422(HQ) files on it - drive 5). That gets played out to HDCamSR and becomes the broadcast master that gets broadcast to the world!

We then get a consolidate of the 'offline' DV-Pal SD cut, a Quicktime playout, OMFI, EDLs, XML, XLS and a TCIV DVD. I then erase the drive with the SD DV-Pal media on it (drive 6), and the drive with the Master HD media on it (drive 5).

At the end of the series the DVCProHD rushes (and any other tape bits and bobs) get delivered to the library. 1 of the master tapeless drives (drive 3 say) gets delivered to the library and is backed-up to LTO (magnetic tape). Drive 3 gets sent to the Bristol library and the LTO to the London library (off-site backup). Finally drive 4 (the other tapeless drive) is kept with me.

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Well-known Member
Interesting post from a pro's set up doug.
Was it easier in the analog/tape days? (that's if you were doing it back then!)

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