7.18.2017

A quick note about providing all of my Sony A7xx, RX10xx and Panasonic fz2500 with instant dual card slots.


The argument generally revolves around shooting a "ONCE IN A LIFETIME" "MISSION CRITICAL" event or person or launch. How can one be a professional videographer using cameras with ONLY one SD card slot? ( I wonder how the old guys got two Beta SP tapes crammed into a single Betacam.....).

I can't help photographers who want to shoot raw still images with fault tolerant redundancy but I can help all the hapless Sony and Panasonic (not counting the new GH5...) owners who feel helpless and vulnerable shooting only to their one bare and rickety internal SD card!

If you shoot with an Atomos Ninja Flame or the Shogun model of external video recorder you can default to 8-bit capture and send video to both the camera card and the recorder's SSD. You'll have the back-up video you've been pining for over the years along with the bonus of having a great monitor. 

Problem solved. At least for video. Might even be a hack to record still images on your external recorder. I haven't looked into that yet. Growth market for Atomos?


9 comments:

Eric Rose said...

Wow the Atomos Ninja Flame is almost double the price in Canada. Bummer.

Ken said...

To hear some talk, you would think that shooting without dual card slots in the worst thing in the world. How many years have we all shot (mainly) with just one? Remember when professional DSLR's didn't have dual slots? I remember my early Canon's from back around 2002-2004 didn't have that. Now just think back to film....did anyone have a dual film loading SLR or MF camera?

First world photography problems. Sure, I'd take a dual slot any day, but I'm not going to worry about it too much in my RX10 M2 or RX100 M3. I'll never forget the first and only time I had a card failure during a shoot. It was a wedding and the bride was coming down the isle (exit)! I noticed right away and just swapped to the other body that had the 50 f/1.8 mounted on it. It wasn't ideal, but I only missed maybe 5 seconds diagnosing and making the swap. About 2 min later, I quickly swapped out the faulty SD card and moved on with it. I was able to recover all images on that card as well. To this day, I don't put all my eggs in one basket with SD cards.

Example: Even for a family vacation, I use 1 SD card per day typically and back it up at night, not erase it until home and backed up again. Every day I use a fresh card. That way I don't lose all at once...just in case of failure, loss, etc. Additionally, I only use cards that I have found to very reliable from my personal experience. I use SanDisk Extreme Pro's, Lexar Professional (RIP Lexar) and I've had a lot of luck with PNY Elite Performance cards too. I don't stray with cards.

Anders C. Madsen said...

I can't really comment on Betamax tapes, but I vividly remember videotaping my parents-in-law 50 years anniversary party with a camcorder (speeches, toasts and all) - especially the part where I found out that at some point, the video tape had been corrupted so all sound except for the first 10 minutes or so was unreadable and could not be recovered.

Needless to say, I'm hysterical when it comes to in-camera backup today.

Anders C. Madsen said...

Ken, it's far from that simple. No, dual film cameras did not exist, so it was not expected from us to have one. However, I shudder to think how the outcome of your tale would have been, had it not been for this one paragraph: "I was able to recover all images on that card as well."

I have had two 64GB Sandisk Extreme Pro cards fail in three years, and they were unreadable after the fact - the camera would offer to format them and the computer would not read them at all.

Imagine if you had to tell the mother of the bride, that you did not have one single image of her daughter leaving the altar and walking down the aisle because you had chosen to use a camera that did not provide you with something as simple as a direct backup of your images, when the technology was readily available?

Regardless of how you rotate your memory cards, you WILL lose images if a card fails beyond recovery. This may be acceptable for family vacations, but I cannot find one single excuse for losing a clients images because of a memory card failure. Not one.

The technology to prevent it is available in a lot of affordable gear (I consider both the Canon 7D Mark II and the Nikon D7200 to be affordable to a working professional), and as far as I know, all current full frame cameras except for the Sony A7 series have dual card slots.

Sure, there is a ton of situations where shooting with a single card is perfectly fine (product, studio portrait, real estate, e.g.) but when you are shooting a one-time event of any kind for a paying customer, you have to value their time and money enough to bring the proper equipment for the task at hand.

Anonymous said...

I just bolted two of the RX10s together, base-to-base_ and use a double cable release- problem solved! 😀

Rick

Bassman said...

I'm not a professional photographer. But I've had three SD cards fail on me over the last 10 years. One case disintegrated, one had a logic failure that prevented writes, and one had a contact tine break off. Fortunately, I lost no images. But I fell I would be remiss if, as a professional, I neglected to take readily available precautions to protect my client's images. That was my approach when I worked as an IT professional - I offered clients the opportunity to have varying degrees of redundancy in their systems, and explained the complexity and cost implications.

Similarly, the photographer for my daughter's wedding 11 years ago appeared to have lost some digital images. Why or how, we never found out as it was never admitted to. But I'm guessing dual cards, had they been available and used, might have prevented the loss.

Tom Vadnais said...

The Nikon D810 has one CF and one SD card slot. You can use both of them for backing up still images. But video is only recorded on the SD card. So having two cards doesn't necessarily mean you can back up video in camera.

Also, Nikon removed the second card slot from their recently released D7500. Not sure what that means for the future.

Michael Matthews said...

Who cares about card slots -- now that you've resisted the urge to splurge on a GH5 you can spend $2,999.88 for a 100th Anniversary Gitzo tripod! That's the latest in super-consumer gear offerings fromB&H.

Ken said...

Anders, I don't shoot weddings anymore and at the time dual cards weren't available with any camera for the CF cards that were in use back in the very early 2000's. If I were shooting weddings today, YES, I'd feel better with dual write system. Outside of critical professional work, I think it's something that most photographer can get by without for a majority of what they do. With that said, I'd love an RX10 Mx with a dual SD card slot...there is room :-)

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