Careful... one missing file can cause some major headaches when backing up Canon camera card media

Here’s a tip for field camera ops and anyone tasked with backing up camera card media for later use in editing.

Be absolutely sure you copy over each card’s entire file structure— even those folders that appear to be empty. Each of those files are important for ensuring your card media will successfully open within your edit system, as well as later on when it’s time to consolidate and archive the completed project. Something as simple as a missing JOURNAL file folder buried within the CLIPS001 folder of your Canon camera media can make a difference and wreak havoc for the people who have to archive the project later.


I ran into this issue on a recent project when the JOURNAL files— normally empty folders— were missing from the Canon card structure for media that was sent to me via hard drives. Unfortunately, I did not discover this problem until after the project was wrapped up, and I was preparing to remove it from my edit system RAID.

Canon card media structure
One of my project's camera media file folders

Everything came in fine during the initial ingest into the edit system, and functioned well during the project editing process. But once my edit project was completed and ready to be archived, the headaches began while attempting to consolidate all that media via Project Manager in Premiere Pro. This project had a large amount of footage shot using multiple Canon C300 Mark III cameras with about 4 terabytes of associated media. Unfortunately, every attempt to consolidate this large project down into something more manageable, resulted in frustrating “unknown errors” and process failures in Project Manager.

Project Manager "unknown error" during consolidation

However, I did not give up! And after a few long days of troubleshooting the project, media and workflow; weeding through endless message boards; and trying every possible fix I knew... I found the culprit to be missing JOURNAL folders. Once I added new ones into each CLIPS001 media folder, the consolidation process in Premiere worked as expected, and the project was able to be successfully archived for future use. (03-14-2022)



Here's some additional related helpful links:

Canon Tech Tips: File Name Structure (2020)

Canon XF C300 XF305 Folder Structure and File Naming Explained. (2016)

Editing With Canon C300 Footage – Tips For When It All Goes Wrong (2013)

How to Import C300 Footage in Avid, FCP X and Premiere (2012)




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