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Troubleshooting P2 Storage Cards

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/26/2010

Here is a look at the P2 storage card, which is one of the best options for digital video non-tape storage, and ways to troubleshoot problems that occur.

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    Digital Storage

    In the new world of HD video formats tape is a thing of the past. The digital store devices are the format of the future for capturing video footage through a camera. The P2 storage card is one of the more popular digital storage formats used by several different HD cameras, including the Panasonic HVX. With the P2 storage card the video is saved as an MXF file onto the P2 storage card and can be viewed in the camera by opening up the P2 card and selecting video clips that you have recorded. From here the footage from the P2 storage card is transferred onto your computer or digital video editing software to be used in the final project. Though it is much easier to use than any DV tape, it still has problems that occur as with any piece of digital video equipment. Here are some ways you can troubleshoot problems that occur when using a P2 storage card.

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    Limited Recording Space

    There is an assumed amount of space for a P2 storage card the same way there is with mini DV tapes. This assumed amount of space is based around the type of film quality you are using. Often times you will find that when you have inserted the P2 card and prepared to begin filming that it lists less available recording time than you have normally been used to. The first place you should go to troubleshoot this problem is to see exactly what type of recording format you are set to. Often times the highest, which is usually going to be 1080i, is going to give you much less of a recording time than a lower settings. If you find that there is not much recording time check the recording format to see what you are at and then you may want to lower it to a lower recoding format, such as 720p.

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    Transferring Files

    You are usually going to take the P2 card and then begin transferring the contents of the P2 card to your computer through an intermediary. This can take the form of a P2 store, which can also be used to actually store the footage. You will insert the P2 card into the P2 store and then plug the P2 store into your computer using a FireWire cable. If you are having trouble during the transfer process this can be simply because of the temperamental nature of the equipment. To troubleshoot this you want to avoid any interference so place the equipment on a still table and do not allow any physical contact with the equipment until it has finished transferring.

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    Extra Footage

    Since you will be transferring through a P2 store, you are going to be transferring all of the footage that is on both the P2 store and the P2 card. What may happen then is that when you go to Import and Transfer in your non-linear video editing software you may find that there is footage that you did not record that is transferring. To troubleshoot this problem you should simply clear out the P2 store and then try the P2 card transfer again.

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    If you are trying to just transfer the MXF files to your computer without doing a direct transfer into your editing software you will need to make sure that you transfer everything on the card. If you find that when you are trying to Import and Transfer those MXF files into your editing software and there is trouble you may have not transferred everything over, including the text file that accompanies it. Make sure to take everything off of the P2 card including the text file and the entire Contents folder.