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ShotPut Pro V3 by Imagine Products, Inc.

COW Library : Panasonic Cameras : Helmut Kobler : ShotPut Pro V3 by Imagine Products, Inc.
CreativeCOW presents ShotPut Pro V3 by Imagine Products, Inc. -- Panasonic HVX - HPX (P2) Review


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ShotPut Pro 3 is a handy utility that safely offloads solid-state media cards -- P2 cards, SxS cards, CompactFlash cards, what have you -- to your Mac or PC. Of course, you don't need Shotput Pro to offload your cards. To do that, just mount the card(s) on your computer, and drag their footage files to a hard drive. But Shotput Pro offers a more secure and refined approach to that standard drag-and-drop method. That's why I use Shotput regularly (since version 2), and recommend the new 3.0 to anyone looking to improve their solid-state workflow. The basics of Shotput are simple. Once you launch the app, just select any mounted cards you want to copy, select the destination volumes they'll copy to (one or multiple drives in case you're making an instant backup), and then click the big Begin button. Shotput responds by moving the files from the card to the destinations, showing you its progress -- file by file -- in a pop-up window.


Shotput Pro Main
Please click above for full size image.



File Verification

One of the essential features of Shotput is that it verifies the files as it copies, making sure that the copied files match the original files on your cards. This is something that neither the Mac nor PC operating systems do as extensively (if at all) during a straight operating system copy. In fact, Shotput lets you choose between light and heavy levels of verification while it copies files. The default setting is called "File Size Comparison", where Shotput confirms that each copied file is the same size as the original file on your card. That verification has a minor impact on copy speed: for instance, I used my Mac's Finder to copy a 64GB P2 card (mounted in a fast PCD-35 reader) to an internal raid on my Mac Pro, and the copy took 10 minutes flat. Copying the same card using Shotput took 11 minutes, 53 seconds, which is a little slower than the Finder copy, but not appreciably.


Shotput Copy Detail
Detail of Shotput Copy


The second, heavy-duty verification that Shotput offers is called "Byte Verification", which literally compares each byte of data to make sure that your copy exactly matches the original card. Compared to the faster "File Size Comparison" approach, this byte-level verification almost doubles the time needed to copy your card, which is why I never use it. Imagine Products tells me that most people use the faster verification as well, but it's good to know that Shotput can accommodate even the most paranoid among us.


Comments

Re: ShotPut Pro V3 by Imagine Products, Inc.
by Dan Sherman
I used to use the drag and drop method exclusively when I had two 16 GB P2 cards.
Flawless workflow.
Then I purchased a couple of 64GB cards and problems began to arise. Chief among them, files that would copy out of chronological order. I tried to use CMS that Panasonic provides at no charge, but couldn't figure it out.
So I gave ShotPut Pro a try. As I write this I have a 64GB card that has been copying for more than 16 hours.
Something is not right here.
Any suggestions?

Dan Sherman
Re: ShotPut Pro V3 by Imagine Products, Inc.
by Helmut Kobler
Hi Temesgen, glad you liked the article!

And yes, the PCD35 is considerably faster than the PCD20 -- about 5 times faster in a few head-to-head tests I did last year. I posted some numbers in this thread back in July, which help put things in perspective: http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/193/876831

Those tests were done with Shotput's faster verification, by the way.

One more thing regarding the PCD20: even though it has USB2 and FireWire 800 connectors, they both deliver about the same performance...ie, FireWire 800 *should* be faster than USB2, but it's not. Whatever interface you use, make sure it's not the same interface as you're using for an external hard drive. Example: You don't want to use the PCD20's USB2 interface to connect to your Mac, and copy the P2 files to a USB2 hard drive that's also attached. Things will slow down even more than usual, because all data is going through the same narrow bandwidth connector. Instead, use the PCD20 on an interface that's different than your attached hard drive.

I would definitely recommend the PCD35, if you have a desktop computer to support it. It makes card offloads a pleasure...




Re: ShotPut Pro V3 by Imagine Products, Inc.
by Temesgen Asmerom
After several tests I realized that about the USB 2 vs FW 800 speeds, seems strange. I am cautious about using the same interface, but it still takes over 1 Gb/min to copy and verify.
Unfortunately for our purposes a Macbook Pro is most commonly used, so the PCD35 is not an option. Would you recommend the single slot PCD2? Having read your review, I'm not sure that it will be a whole lot faster than my current setup.
Re: ShotPut Pro V3 by Imagine Products, Inc.
by Jeff Regan
My tests with a MacBook Pro, PCD20 and PCD2 using a 32Gb P2 E series card yield about a 25 minute transfer for both readers using Shotput Pro 2.17 in faster data verification mode. I use a Sonnet Express Card to dual FW800 adapter, although this won't work with bus powered FW800 drives. I was happy that the PCD2 was not any slower than the PCD20, but would certainly like faster transfer times--I long for the days when I wasn't the last one leaving the set!

Jeff Regan
Shooting Star Video
http://www.ssv.com
Re: ShotPut Pro V3 by Imagine Products, Inc.
by Temesgen Asmerom
Thanks for the article Helmut and for introducing me to version 3. I've been trying to get a grasp on what typical verify times should be using ShotPut and your numbers are much different (shorter) than what I've experienced.
I'm using ShotPut v2.1.7 and a Panasonic PCD20 reader. I reached out to someone at Imagine and the Multi vs Single threading was pointed out, but didn't make a big difference. I've tried both FW800 and USB2.0 outputs from the reader, and all of these options always end up taking at least an hour (even for file size comparison).

Any idea why it would be so different/slow, Is the PCD35 that much faster?
Sorry to post here on your article, but after speaking to Imagine I just assumed the performance I was getting was normal, until I read this article and instantly wanted several lost hours of my life back.


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