Now doing video?

It’s probably been 20 years since I shot video. I was working for a community channel TV station at the time and things were different. Very different! That being said, some things, like most of the techniques and problems have not changed at all.

This was the end result:

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the results. The video is of good quality and the audio sounds pretty good. The problems? There are a few gain changes during the video I’ll need to figure out for next time. I’ll also need to get a longer mic cable so it’s not in the shot. The light probably would have worked better to camera right.

I shot the video with my D7000. The audio was recorded on an Zoom H4N with a Rode lav. The audio was synchronized after the fact using Singular Dual Eyes. Final assembly was with Adobe Premiere Elements. The light was from a single Lowel hot light.

Lexar cards and Nikon D700 corruption/lost file issue

This was round #2 of dealing with memory card / photo corruption my Nikon D700 and Lexar CF memory cards. The first round actually happened in September. In that case, the entire card was reading as corrupt once I tried to read it outside the camera. I was reviewing photos on the camera itself all night with no issues. I plugged it into the card reader in my PC and it could not read it at all. I tried using the camera to read it but no joy there either. The card wasn’t begin even recognized by my PC or by the camera. I went out the next day and bought a Lexar card reader. This got me to the point where my PC could at least see the card. It still read as “corrupt” however. I downloaded a copy of Lexar’s ImageRescue software and Bingo! It could see the files and was able to recover all of them. I was a happy camper! I called Lexar on Monday (once they were open) and they said there were no reported issues for this kind of thing. It was probably just a defective card so I should send it back for a replacement. I was glad they were going to replace it but that would leave me without a backup card for my upcoming shoots. I decided it was probably the no-name brand card reader I was using that had caused the problem and bought another identical card.

Fast forward 2 months (and many shoots) later with no issues. I was attending a weekend course and I had a different shoot on the Saturday night. Everything seemed ok until I got home that night and tried to download the files from the card. Most of them came in, but out of about 700 photos I took that day, about 100 were corrupted. Gah!!! Entire portions of the evening was gone! My worst fear came true: Some photos from a customer’s shoot were gone! After many, many hours of running various recovery programs, I managed to get most of the photos back. Disaster avoided a second time! What are the odds?!?

Now what?? I have a camera I don’t trust and the Lexar cards that I no longer trust. Called Lexar and I got the same story about this not being a known issue but they were going to check into a few things and call me back. Called Nikon and they have no statistics on the brands of cards used but they did confirm that the card I was using should work. They suggested that I could send the camera and the card in for service and they would take a look. Return trip time was around 3 weeks, maybe more because of the holidays. Sigh… Called Lexar again and this time the story changed a bit: “There are sometimes issues between Lexar cards and Nikon cameras.”. What??? Why was this not mentioned the first time around?? I did some research online about Lexar cards in Nikon cameras. There appears to be a small number of people reporting issues but nothing significant. Some of them reported that the corruption issues went away after switching from Lexar. Ok, well that’s it for me and Lexar. Too many coincidences. I’m still planning to send in my D700 for testing, but I’ll start testing it with Sandisk cards in the meantime and see what happens.

That only left me with the issue of owning 3 Lexar CF cards I couldn’t use. Kijiji? Ebay? No, The Camera Store! I thought I’d swing by The Camera Store in Calgary to see if they had any issues with this camera/card combo. They hadn’t noticed any trends, but would I like to switch to a different brands of cards? I was expecting an offer for a discount or something but they actually exchanged my Lexar cards with Sandisk cards! Wow! How’s that for customer service!?

Only time will tell what happens with this issue. I guess I’ll know if it’s the camera if I start getting some corrupted files on the Sandisk cards. I’m really hoping this issue is over!!