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Creating A Camera Archive

With file-based cameras or devices it’s a good idea to back up your media files before importing clips into events. Camera Archives are one way that Final Cut Pro can help you protect your media. Camera Archives provide the following benefits: 

1. Until you have imported the current footage, you can’t use the camera (or media cards) to capture any additional new footage, (This can also give you a head start on the editing process, particularly helpful when doing same day edits).

2. Creating a backup preserves and protects your digital assets for future use.

3. You can use the archive to import media on multiple computers. Simply connect the drive with the archive to each workstation and perform an import.

4. Many video camera formats use special methods of encoding and organizing files that make backing them up with traditional methods difficult.

Creating a camera archive creates a backup that frees your camera or capture media for reuse, preserves and protects your media for future use (this should also be enhanced with more traditional backup options like Mac OS X’s Time Machine), and finally the camera archive feature helps preserve the date structure used by your camera to make it easier to store and access your video files. A camera archive can be easily mounted (in some cases automatically) and the video imported at any time.

This tutorial will walk you through making a Camera Archive.

1. Make sure that your camera or device is properly connected, powered on, and in the appropriate connection mode (most flash-based cameras should be in PC Mode, consult your camera’s documentation if you are unsure configure your camera).

NOTE: If you are using media cards like SD card you can use a media card reader instead of connecting a camera. Just make sure the card reader is properly connected and the media card inserted before you begin.

2. Choose File > Import from Camera, press Command-I, or click the Import Media from connected device.

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The Import Window will be displayed.

3. In the Camera List of the Import Window, click to select your camera or media card.

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4. Click the Create Camera Archive button.

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A sheet will drop down to enter the appropriate name and location for the Camera Archive.

5.  In the Camera Archive sheet, enter the desired name of the archive and specify on what drive the archive will be saved, and click OK.

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NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you save camera archives to a hard disk or volume different from the one where you store the media files you are using with Final Cut Pro.

Final Cut Pro will begin transferring the data from your Camera/Media to the Camera Archive. A progress indicator will appear to the right of the Camera Archive entry in the Camera List indicating the percentage of the archiving process is complete

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6. Click the Close Button to close the Import Window.

The archiving process continues in the background even when the Import Window is closed. This lets you continue to edit other projects while archiving. The Dashboard in the Toolbar displays the status background processes including creating Camera Archives.

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7. In the Dashboard click the percentage indicator to open the Background Tasks Window. You can also open this window from the Menubar by choosing Window>Background Tasks, or by pressing Command-9 on the keyboard.

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The Background Task Window displays the current background tasks and allows you to pause or stop a task.

8. Click the Close Window control to dismiss the Background Task Window.

9. Click the Import Media from connected device button to re-open the Import Window.

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Once the Camera Archieve is complete you can eject your camera or media card by clicking on the Eject icon next to the name of the camera or card.  You can now erase the camera or card and shoot additional footage.  

The next tutorial will walk you through importing video from the Camea Archive.