Panasonic AG-AC160 Users Group (and AG-AC130, too)

AVCHD clips corrupted

Andrew Abell

Andrew Abell

I'm a student filmmaker and I wrapped a 7 hour shoot last night that yielded 60 clips, maybe 50 minutes of total footage. I'm shooting on a Panasonic AG-AC160. Watched some dailies this morning and they looked great so I decided to import them to my PC so I put the SD card in and navigated to the clips folder. I thought I could watch a few right from the SD so I selected them to open in VLC. I received an error saying that the clip was missing the .MTS. I noticed the clips were gone, though still occupying space, but all that remained was a single filed called "USBPCP&" with a strange ASCII character after it. I safely removed the SD and loaded it back into the camera which said that all the clips needed repair and that irreparable clips would be deleted. It's been running for about 20 minutes as my heart sits in my throat. I'm quite positive trying to open clips from the SD with VLC somehow corrupted the data.

Is anyone familiar with this situation?

Greg Fulcher

Greg Fulcher

Hi, Andrew -- welcome to the group and I'm sorry for the troubles you're experiencing. While I haven't personally encountered this particular issue with regards to my 160, I've two colleagues who have (on a Panasonic AF100). It's not clear if they used VLC to first view their clips or not, but what is certain is that when it came time to import the media into Final Cut Pro (v7, in their case), there was "nothing" on the card. Inserting into the AF100 in one of the cases resulted in a similar such message to yours (although, I can't say for certain as I wasn't there).

The solution? They brought the cards to me, and I was able to use the application Data Rescue (see link) to "deep scan" the SD card and then restore the .mts streams from them. In both cases, all of their footage was retrievable, only one didn't have associated audio, which was a non issue as they were recording to an external device anyhow. [continued in next reply - out of room!]

Greg Fulcher

Greg Fulcher

In both cases, the SD card had NOT been reformatted or otherwise touched by a computer, so the data was actually intact, despite not showing up in the Finder. Are you on a Windows or Mac?

Once the .mts files were restored from the SD card, I had to convert them to a readable file... The only application that I found to handle this with any expediency was Handbrake (handbrake.fr), and from there, I transcoded the resulting MPEG files (from Handbrake) into PR422 HQ files using Episode Engine.

Not to say this workflow will solve your problem, but I have been successful restoring damaged/missing files recorded onto SD cards, including those from a GoPro camera, with Data Rescue. I am in no way affiliated with the company that sells it.

Where are you located?

Andrew Abell

Andrew Abell

Thank you for the speedy reply and glimpses of good news. At home I am on a PC, but the on campus editing stations are all Mac-based, which is where I will most likely be cutting on either FCP 7 or Premiere CS5. I am located just outside Baltimore, MD. I am a junior at Towson Univeristy.

Last night was stressful due to trouble with lighting and being short-handed and when I watched the dailies this morning I became overexcited with how good everything turned out that I wanted to import them to my PC to watch them on a big screen. I deeply hope this hasn't cost me 7 hours of shooting! This project is due next week.

Andrew Abell

Andrew Abell

Also, the card is in the camera and it reads "NOW REPAIRING DATA". It has been running for about 2.5 hours with the same amount of time left on the battery.

Andrew Abell

Andrew Abell

Happy to report that I was able to recover my footage! I am shooting again on Monday night so I figured the worst case scenario is that I reshoot enough of what I had to make due. I killed the power to the camera, turned it back on, shot a test clip and opened the media viewer to find all of my clips magically restored.

Thank you so much for your help - I will be sure to stay in contact with you in the future and hopefully become a productive member of the board! Thanks again

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