Thread: Fastest way to off load CinemaDNG Raw file from a Cfast card.

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  1. #1 Fastest way to off load CinemaDNG Raw file from a Cfast card. 
    Hi I am using the lexar Cfast 2.0 USB 3.0 reader to a USB 3.0 SSD drive through my PC and getting slow results of 80MBps-150MBps copying cinemaDNG files. When USB 3.0, The Cfast Read and the SSD Write are all way faster. What is everyone else using to off load quick especially in the the field.
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  2. #2  
    When you're offloading footage there can be a few bottlenecks:

    - Speed of the source media.
    - How full the destination media was before offload (depending on controller chip in the media).
    - Controller chip on the media reader.
    - Interface on the media reader.
    - Bus saturation on your computer.
    - Software used to copy media to the destination.
    - Checksum hash used to verify the accuracy of the copies.
    - The specs of the computer used for offloading.
    - Interface of the destination drives.
    - How full the destination drives are.
    - The speed and/or kind of the destination drive (SSD, 7200RPM HDD, 5400RPM HDD, etc.).

    Here's how you ensure a fast and, almost more importantly, safe copy:

    - Use cards from reputable brands (Sandisk, Lexar, etc.).
    - Use card readers from reputable brands (Sandisk, Lexar, etc.).
    - Don't wait 'till the card on your camera is full before offloading it. At the very least, try to make sure that the card never more than 80-90% full.
    - If the only interface you have is USB3, see how many USB controllers there are on your computer and try to spread bandwidth evenly between them. As an example, imagine you own a laptop with USB ports on the left and right sides. It's possible that the ports on the left side are assigned to one USB controller with 5GBps between them, whereas the ports on the right are assigned to another controller with 5GBps between them. If you plug your source media and destination drive(s) all in to one side of the laptop, they have to share 5GBps of bandwidth; however, plugging the source media in to one side and then plugging the destination drives in to the other means that the source media has access to the full 5GBps bandwidth of one controller, and the destination drives have access to the full 5GBps of the other one. That's twice as much bandwidth! Obviously, this isn't true in all cases but it's common enough that you definitely want to look in to this before buying a computer for media offloading.
    - Make sure to use media offloading software from reputable dealers! I kind of still recommend ShotPut Pro, but lately I've been working with Pomfort Silverstack. These pieces of software will offload footage to multiple drives at the same time, which at the very least cuts copy time in half (sometimes even more). These programs also perform a checksum, which just makes sure that there were no errors during the copy. Believe me; these pieces of software are worth what you'd pay for them.
    - The most common bottleneck I see during offload is the destination drives. Everything else in the chain can be ultra-fast, but if the destination drives can only write at 80MBps then that's the fastest the whole thing is going to go. If you can afford it, buy two RAID0 enclosures and populate them with good 3.5" drives. Use those on set to ensure that offloads happen quickly, then offload from one of them to slower, cheaper drives overnight. In the morning, make sure that everything copied correctly (file size matches up, checksums match, and you've visibly inspected the footage) and wipe off the RAIDs so you can do it all again.

    Lastly, always remember that in 100% of cases a hard drive will fail. Doesn't matter if it's an SSD or HDD or if it's hewn from diamonds mined from Mt. Olympus, you cannot trust a hard drive. With this in mind, it is sound advice to always have at least two checksum-verified copies of any data that is important to you. Ideally, you'd have more copies than that; copies that are kept safe in different locations in case anything terrible should happen to one location.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Alex.Mitchell; 01-10-2017 at 12:01 PM.
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