Final Cut Pro Tip #051 – Create a Disk Image of your Camera Card

Create a Disk Image of your Camera Card

I can’t begin to tell you how many times a shooter has handed me a drive with all the footage from a big shoot only to find out, they didn’t copy the correct files. While some formats are more forgiving than others, I wanted to take the time to show everyone how to make a disk image from the camera card.

Final Cut Pro X has a built in camera archive feature which can also be used, however this method will work for anyone using a Mac. So it’s a bit more conducive for shooter to follow this procedure when transferring cards to a drive. Now that we live in a world without tape, it’s important to have a good backup strategy incase you ever need to get back to your original footage. I’m a big fan of archiving a completed project, but there are plenty of reason to archive the camera cards as well.

So to create the disk image insert your camera card. It should mount on the desktop, it’s name will be dependent on the camera.

Now launch Disk Utility. You’ll find Disk Utility in your Utilities folder:


You’ll see the card in the left hand column on disk utility. Select the volume and select New Image from the tool baror navigating to Blank Disk Image… under the File > New menu (⌘⌥N).

You’ll be prompted to save the image. The default settings will for for this purpose. For the name of the file I suggest you use a name that is conducive to the shoot. For example the name of the project and date. This will be the name of the image file itself, not the name of the mounted volume. The mounted volume name will be identical to the name of the camera card.

You do have some options in the save dialog box, that you can look through. Again the default settings will for for this purpose.

Make sure you save the disk image in the correct location. If you want to save the data to an external disk, select that disk for the location. Once you select save the image will write. It will be an identical image to what is on your camera card. When you mount the file it will appear just as if you’ve inserted to original camera card.

This is a great workflow to make sure you always are preserving data, and especially when you need to format cards on set.