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CAN ANYBODY HELP WITH FILE NUMBERING SYSTEM ON A7S mkii...


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Hi - I've just got a lovely new A7s mkii, which is currently driving me crazy.

 

I hope to use the camera for long-form videos and documentaries over the next 2 years.

The problem I've encountered is with the file numbering system. I've set the camera to "series", but when I format the card the files start again at C0001. I use the camera again, download the files then format the card - once again, the new files begin with C0001.

So soon I will have dozens, possibly hundreds, of identically named files.

This is obviously a very very poor system.

 

I've updated my firmware to 2; reset the camera to factory settings; tried both "series" and "reset", all to no avail. The files always begin at C0001.

 

I contacted two Sony product supports and they could not explain this puzzling system. They both suggested I could copy the files onto a computer, then delete the files from the card, in this way providing a continuous numbering of my files. How ridiculously cumbersome! This means on a long shoot I should always have my laptop nearby, wait around for the 15 or so minutes for the card to upload, format it then start again.

Compare this to my Canon 5d mkiii, where I simply carried 4 or 5 fresh cards in one pocket, used them then put them in my other pocket, to upload them after the shoot.

 

Has anybody else experiences this problem - is it just a fault with my camera, or a design flaw? If the latter, I cannot take the A7s mkii seriously as a professional tool.

Can anybody help?

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yes, this seems to be a bug or feature with my A7RII as well. It's maddening for the workflow. You just have to rename your files right away once they are downloaded. I mistakenly renamed on the chip once, and the file structure of the camera (when I put the chip back into the camera) was not happy about that at all. Had to reformat. But my Canon bodies don't exhibit this behavior. Seems to be an oversight.

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The series continues with the last recorded file number, when the card is formatted it loses the name of that last file and so it resets to 00001. When the files are DELETED then it remembers that last file, but the format wipes everything. What is needed is not a format but a DELETE ALL option.

 

From the Play button select a folder, press MENU then DELETE, you should get an option to delete all the images in the folder. When this is done you end up with an empty card but the series should continue from the last recorded file-number.

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Thanks for all your replies.

BritinUSA, I believe that is the only way. It means of course you can only use one card, with the inevitable delay whilst the files are uploading. Or else have what used to be called an assistant to do all the copying and relabelling for you. I work mainly as a lone operator, with just a sound man.

 

I assume you delete the files from your laptop (Macbook pro in my case) then empty the trash straightaway?

Or is there an in-camera option?

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I don't have my camera in front of me but there is a way to have it distinctly number. Your camera is set to RESET the counter after you clear the card. You need to select CONTINUOUS for the numbers to keep advancing even after you format the card.

 

VTC, I wish there was a CONTINUOUS option!

It's just ridiculous to not have this. Hopefully it's an easy fix!

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For those of you using Macs, this is in fact a more useful way to store info on your files.

So I guess the practice would be to still have multiple cards, numbered, then after the shoot download them into folders; batch rename them; then either clear the cards or format them.

 

This demands another level of organisation and concentration...

 

http://www.tekrevue.com/tip/batch-rename-files-os-x-yosemite/

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Guest Peter Kelly

Sorry to say, but it gets worse than that (although I think I know why Sony didn't bother to do things differently).

 

First their reasoning:

 

If you have multiple Sony cameras you are bound to have duplicate file numbers unless there was a system to allow custom sequencing. Consequently, having a consecutive system for any camera becomes immediately moot.

Ths wouldn't even matter if you don't own the cameras at the same time. The second you start to use a new one your numbers will be duplicated.

 

I think they just decided it would have complicated matters to try to maintain the numbers.

 

Now the added difficulties:

 

I suspect that those of you finding the numbers reverting to 1 are formatting via a PC. I'm pretty sure that if you format in camera then the sequence will continue (that's how mine work).

However, that sequence will depend upon the last number of the card in the camera. So if you use multiple cards, mulitple cameras, and format in both ways, you will immediately have no sequence at all!

 

The only way around it is to either accept the duplicate file names, or to rename via batches in Lightroom (or an equivalent). Personally, I use duplicates most of the time, but different folders.

Certainly the folders option is one provided in camera also, as you can have it create for each day.

 

This can seem like a bug but, unfortunately, there is no solution that will apply to everyone's individual work flow and trying to allow such customisation in camera would make an already criticised menu system even more complicated!

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Sorry to say, but it gets worse than that (although I think I know why Sony didn't bother to do things differently).

 

First their reasoning:

 

If you have multiple Sony cameras you are bound to have duplicate file numbers unless there was a system to allow custom sequencing. Consequently, having a consecutive system for any camera becomes immediately moot.

Ths wouldn't even matter if you don't own the cameras at the same time. The second you start to use a new one your numbers will be duplicated.

 

I think they just decided it would have complicated matters to try to maintain the numbers.

 

Now the added difficulties:

 

I suspect that those of you finding the numbers reverting to 1 are formatting via a PC. I'm pretty sure that if you format in camera then the sequence will continue (that's how mine work).

However, that sequence will depend upon the last number of the card in the camera. So if you use multiple cards, mulitple cameras, and format in both ways, you will immediately have no sequence at all!

 

The only way around it is to either accept the duplicate file names, or to rename via batches in Lightroom (or an equivalent). Personally, I use duplicates most of the time, but different folders.

Certainly the folders option is one provided in camera also, as you can have it create for each day.

 

This can seem like a bug but, unfortunately, there is no solution that will apply to everyone's individual work flow and trying to allow such customisation in camera would make an already criticised menu system even more complicated!

 

Thanks for the reply Peter.

I am formatting in camera, after every format it's back to 1.

The way I'm used to working is there can be 3 of us covering, say, a festival, a long day.

We each have 4 numbered formatted cards in our right-hand pocket. Use the cards, taking a fresh one where there's a chance an event may extend beyond the card length.

After the shoot, download the cards in batches of 3 at a time.

This is really easy and effort/intelligence free, as we all have Canon 5d mkiii with unique identifying code (CTA7, 2XA6) so all files are sequentially and chronologically numbered and recognisable.

Next day, check everything is entered then format the cards, start again.

 

With Sony...? Have the same numbered cards; get back, download the cards individually; batch rename them one at a time with camera identifier and sequential numbers; then format them.

 

Why can't Sony adopt such a simple, effective system! This may be a deal-breaker with the Sony, so instead of upgrading our equipment, the Canons stay and the A7S is kept as a one-trick pony, excelling in the occasional low-light situation.

 

Is it just my camera, a fault, or is it a design glitch?

 

In addition, so far I'm not finding any significant increase in image quality in 4k, but it's early days and that's another topic anyway.

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Guest Peter Kelly

Curious that, as my cameras (two A7Rii and an RX10) all carry on the numbers despite camera formatting. Indeed, I have no idea how many frames I've shot as they picked up on the numbers from the A7S bodies I had before.

It's not my imagination, either, as I've just checked to be sure. If your camera behaves differently then I am puzzled. Perhaps you could try with different makes and types of card?

 

One other thing I attempted, yet have no explanation, was to format via the card reader and got a message saying the card is write protected! I can only assume this is something the camera formatting instigates, but I didn't expect it!

 

I do agree, to an extent, that the Sony system creates unnecessary issues. However, I imagine most batch processing programs can rename as they are imported (Lightroom and Capture1 certainly).

I suppose it just requires people to be a little more aware and careful when importing, which shouldn't have be the case, but it's not insuperable.

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I assume you delete the files from your laptop (Macbook pro in my case) then empty the trash straightaway?

Or is there an in-camera option?

 

 

From the Play button select a folder, press MENU then DELETE, you should get an option to delete all the images in the folder. When this is done you end up with an empty card but the series should continue from the last recorded file-number.

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Guest Peter Kelly

Peter, are you talking about stills or video files?

I'm planning to keep my 5d for stills, as it's a much better camera for that, and use the A7s for video if I can figure out a convenient filing system and also how to get the best out of it.

Cheers.

 

Just for stills. I do so little video (always want to, but never have the time, the need, or the skills!). If it doesn't maintain any numbering for video files that IS a bug in the system!

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  • 11 months later...

Yes, this is a terrible feature. Clearly they didn't think about the professionals in mind. if you should with 5 cards and you are shooting 4K video you'll have about 30 files only per card and have 5 files with the same number which it means that you could lose some of the work you've done. Terrible! system and I don't even know why they have the option of "SERIES" under file number. 

 

This is seriously a good reason to return this camera and get a different brand.

 

 

 

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  • 2 years later...

Does SONY read this forum ? 

It is UNBELIEVABLE they don't give a shit on this matter. It is not a big deal to fix it, and they legally have to do it, since the "Continuous" option is written in the manual and doesn't work at all.

For professionals use, this is a big issue. Batch renaming complicates the workflow and add another problem I didn't solve yet

I need to sync different cameras, using Pluraleyes. But it doesn't work with renamed files. It's a mess.

Anyone has a solution, except to sue SONY ?

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  • 5 months later...
  • 2 years later...

Finally found a workaround for this problem(not a solution, but a workaround). I got to file C0350.mp4 before I formatted my sdcard in the camera. And, as you know, after formatting the next filmed video was automatically named as C0001.mp4. I tried different things, but only after I created 350 new files(0kB in size) and named them starting from C0001.mp4 to C0350.mp4 the camera named the next shot video as C0351.mp4.

I did not create and rename the files manually but with two powershell commands:

1..99 | foreach { new-item -path c:\temp\C00$_.mp4 }

and

100..350 | foreach { new-item -path c:\temp\C0$_.mp4 }

the catch is that the camera is persistent and once I removed the files it started from the normal(idiotic) numbering again. So now I have to create the 0kb files with sequence numbering each time I remove files from my camera... So as said a workaround and not a solution. 

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I've now got completely used to renaming my files on the SD card, and actually prefer it over having endless unmemorable numbers. It's easy to locate specific files, and anyway if you are working with other Canon users you will have the problem of duplication anyway.

So I'm happy now, don't want to change.

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