12k recording formula and lessons learned

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newbie

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12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostWed Feb 17, 2021 10:35 pm

I've seen some posts here and elsewhere regarding trouble recording 12k. I've been shooting 12k at 60 fps for months now without any issues and thought I'd chime in with my formula and what I've learned.

I'm sure there are other storage solutions but this is one that works for me.

I first tried Samsung T5 and T7 cards but wasn't happy with their performance. They just can't handle the full range of recording options with the camera and I didn't feel comfortable running on the knives edge of dropped frames.

I had to reach at least 60 FPS at 8:1 constant bitrate recording 12k 17:9 DCI and 12k at 40 fps 5:1.

I'm solely using a stack of Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD 2TB drives. They work fantastic and the team can do DIT, review footage, and rapidly copy files on to archival. The drives are also (relatively) very affordable and available anywhere. The EVO drive is installed in to Plugable USB C to M.2 NVMe enclosures and mounted on to the camera body.

The NVME enclosures will get very hot and this will in turn cause the NVMe drive to throttle down before it cooks itself and that could lead to dropped frames. I haven't personally experienced this after many hours of recording... but it's possible it could become an issue in hot climates. I am looking in to purchasing NVME enclosures with active cooling fans inside.

Before I came to my solution there were a few things to work around. Even though everything appeared prepared to handle the throughput, at first I was still getting random frame drops and the camera would freeze up. I found the reason for that to be the USB C cables. Just because it's a USB C cable doesn't mean it will support the USB 3.1 Gen 2 datarate. So be careful with your cable selection - it's a critical component. Your maximum throughput will always be defined by the weakest link.

I also spent a bit of time researching any potential TB3 solutions. I hoped to find a USB 3.1 Gen 2 compatibility with the Ursa (at the regular 3.1 speeds) and a TB3 compatibility when plugged in to a TB3 port. This was a dead end.

I'm personally not a huge fan of thunderbolt because it's a proprietary (Intel) technology and not an open standard. You'll have a hard time finding TB3 available for an AMD motherboard (it does exist though). Hopefully USB4 will change this. If I could ask for anything on the next blackmagic camera it would be for USB4 to future proof (ha) for the next generation of storage.

We're pushing the limits of USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds already.
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jacmer

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostSun Apr 11, 2021 9:00 pm

I just opened the box of my BM Ursa Mini Recorder, so can you tell us more about this as I am unclear.

Are you using the Blackmagic Ursa mini recorder as the enclosure and plugging in any one of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD 2TB you purchased?
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JohnThreat

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostMon Apr 12, 2021 12:15 am

thanks for this write up it was very informative!
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mp14mp14

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostMon Apr 12, 2021 2:20 pm

This is great thanks for your info.

Please can you tell us what enclosure you are using ?

is it posible to insert the Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 into the URSA mini recorder ?

Thanks :)
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Travis Hodgkinson

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostTue Apr 13, 2021 12:43 pm

Might be useful posting a link to the USBC cable you use.

We’ve been using the Samsung U.2 Drive which has worked flawlessly now that we’ve been given a working replacement cable from BMD.

They were apparently looking for a new supplier of the cable.

From our research a short 5-7cm USBC 3.1 Gen 2 cable is like almost impossible to find. They simply aren’t that common understandably.
Travis Hodgkinson
Producer | Captivate Media
travis@captivatemedia.com.au | www.captivatemedia.com.au
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Travis Hodgkinson

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostTue Apr 13, 2021 12:45 pm

Also that Samsung SSD the 970 is not on their approved list. I would not recommend using a media they haven’t tested. You’re asking for all kinds of trouble.

Just pick up Cfast cards. B+H have a sale on now.
Travis Hodgkinson
Producer | Captivate Media
travis@captivatemedia.com.au | www.captivatemedia.com.au
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Edzel Yago

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostFri Apr 16, 2021 11:20 pm

We're currently using the Samsung 970 Evo Plus drives in NVMe enclosures as well!

Unfortunately, we have run into quite a few frame drops but it's very, very unpredictable. We've swapped out enclosures (same brand, same controller but different model) and I think it helped as it seemed to transfer heat better but the frame drops still happen, just less often.

We've swapped out cables from the ones supplied with the enclosures to USB-IF certified cables but that hasn't prevented frame drops yet.

So questions for ya:

What enclosure are you using? Do you know what controller it uses?
What cables are you using?
Production Manager at Linus Media Group
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John Brawley

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostSat Apr 17, 2021 12:01 am

Travis Hodgkinson wrote:
Just pick up Cfast cards. B+H have a sale on now.


Preach !

JB
John Brawley ACS
Cinematographer
Currently - Los Angeles
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Joao Boto

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostSun Apr 25, 2021 7:30 pm

I have tried several thunderbolt cables and always have dropped frames.

Please let us know which cable you use and the brand of the enclosure.



newbie wrote:I've seen some posts here and elsewhere regarding trouble recording 12k. I've been shooting 12k at 60 fps for months now without any issues and thought I'd chime in with my formula and what I've learned.

I'm sure there are other storage solutions but this is one that works for me.

I first tried Samsung T5 and T7 cards but wasn't happy with their performance. They just can't handle the full range of recording options with the camera and I didn't feel comfortable running on the knives edge of dropped frames.

I had to reach at least 60 FPS at 8:1 constant bitrate recording 12k 17:9 DCI and 12k at 40 fps 5:1.

I'm solely using a stack of Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD 2TB drives. They work fantastic and the team can do DIT, review footage, and rapidly copy files on to archival. The drives are also (relatively) very affordable and available anywhere. The EVO drive is installed in to Plugable USB C to M.2 NVMe enclosures and mounted on to the camera body.

The NVME enclosures will get very hot and this will in turn cause the NVMe drive to throttle down before it cooks itself and that could lead to dropped frames. I haven't personally experienced this after many hours of recording... but it's possible it could become an issue in hot climates. I am looking in to purchasing NVME enclosures with active cooling fans inside.

Before I came to my solution there were a few things to work around. Even though everything appeared prepared to handle the throughput, at first I was still getting random frame drops and the camera would freeze up. I found the reason for that to be the USB C cables. Just because it's a USB C cable doesn't mean it will support the USB 3.1 Gen 2 datarate. So be careful with your cable selection - it's a critical component. Your maximum throughput will always be defined by the weakest link.

I also spent a bit of time researching any potential TB3 solutions. I hoped to find a USB 3.1 Gen 2 compatibility with the Ursa (at the regular 3.1 speeds) and a TB3 compatibility when plugged in to a TB3 port. This was a dead end.

I'm personally not a huge fan of thunderbolt because it's a proprietary (Intel) technology and not an open standard. You'll have a hard time finding TB3 available for an AMD motherboard (it does exist though). Hopefully USB4 will change this. If I could ask for anything on the next blackmagic camera it would be for USB4 to future proof (ha) for the next generation of storage.

We're pushing the limits of USB 3.1 Gen 2 speeds already.
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Joao Boto

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostSun Apr 25, 2021 7:38 pm

Hi:

How long ago did they send you the new cable?
Im waiting for that cable.

Travis Hodgkinson wrote:Might be useful posting a link to the USBC cable you use.

We’ve been using the Samsung U.2 Drive which has worked flawlessly now that we’ve been given a working replacement cable from BMD.

They were apparently looking for a new supplier of the cable.

From our research a short 5-7cm USBC 3.1 Gen 2 cable is like almost impossible to find. They simply aren’t that common understandably.
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Joao Boto

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostSun Apr 25, 2021 7:39 pm

mp14mp14 wrote:This is great thanks for your info.

Please can you tell us what enclosure you are using ?

is it posible to insert the Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 into the URSA mini recorder ?

Thanks :)


Np.

You have to use an external box
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Joao Boto

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostSun Apr 25, 2021 7:40 pm

Edzel Yago wrote:We're currently using the Samsung 970 Evo Plus drives in NVMe enclosures as well!

Unfortunately, we have run into quite a few frame drops but it's very, very unpredictable. We've swapped out enclosures (same brand, same controller but different model) and I think it helped as it seemed to transfer heat better but the frame drops still happen, just less often.

We've swapped out cables from the ones supplied with the enclosures to USB-IF certified cables but that hasn't prevented frame drops yet.

So questions for ya:

What enclosure are you using? Do you know what controller it uses?
What cables are you using?


And you?
Which enclosure and cable are you using?

Thank you
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostMon Apr 26, 2021 12:26 am

I can't speak for using M.2 drives.

But in case it's useful info for anyone considering their options, I've been using BMD's SSD recorder add on with a 3.2TB 7300 Max U.2 SSD and can report that it is performing flawlessly up to the 12K DCI Blackmagic RAW 8:1 at 50 fps spec stated by BMD.
https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support/faq/59031
www.cinedocs.com
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4601572/
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Travis Hodgkinson

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostMon Apr 26, 2021 6:07 am

My team and I have had a flawless experience since getting a working USBc cable from BMD. We've consistently gotten 900MBps+ with the Samsung 1.92TB U.2 SSD that is recommended.

As a backup though, after many a suggestion from JB on these forums we've also just bought the Angelbird Coast 2.0 1TB cards. Not cheap. But adds a level of confidence in case our cable acts up again.
Travis Hodgkinson
Producer | Captivate Media
travis@captivatemedia.com.au | www.captivatemedia.com.au
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rick.lang

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostMon Apr 26, 2021 10:35 pm

Very good, Travis.
Rick Lang
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Edzel Yago

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Re: 12k recording formula and lessons learned

PostMon Apr 26, 2021 10:43 pm

Joao Boto wrote:
Edzel Yago wrote:We're currently using the Samsung 970 Evo Plus drives in NVMe enclosures as well!

Unfortunately, we have run into quite a few frame drops but it's very, very unpredictable. We've swapped out enclosures (same brand, same controller but different model) and I think it helped as it seemed to transfer heat better but the frame drops still happen, just less often.

We've swapped out cables from the ones supplied with the enclosures to USB-IF certified cables but that hasn't prevented frame drops yet.

So questions for ya:

What enclosure are you using? Do you know what controller it uses?
What cables are you using?


And you?
Which enclosure and cable are you using?

Thank you


I can't recommend our setup as we either record fine or we drop frames. It's still just random and we're going to switch to SD cards (in case we switch out to Sony cams) and CF.

We're using Sabrent m.2 enclosures with Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2TB drives.
Production Manager at Linus Media Group

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