For my lecture videos, I use Sony's HDR-PJ50V camcorder. These videos are recorded at remote locations and usually last 4 or 5 days.
At the end of each day, while in my room, I transfer the video via Sony's "Direct Copy" to an external HD. Each time I transfer, it only adds what is new for that day. At the end of the week, I have the complete series on both the camcorder and remote HD.
When I get home, I plug in the external HD and work from it. The original is left on the camcorders HD, as a back up.
What you need:
You will need two identical external drives and a copy of Carbon Copy Cloner. CCC is free. The drives could be USB 2 if all you are doing is backing up. If you plan on editing with the drive(s), you'll want firewire. Each needs to be large enough to contain the raw card contents for the duration of your gig.
At the end of the first day's recording, connect the two drives to your computer (if firewire, daisy chain them / if USB, you'll need two USB 2.0 ports)
On the first hard drive (Drive 1) create a folder - call it BigDealLecture
Inside of BigDealLecture, create a folder and use the nameing convention "BDL_Date_card number for that day" - so if you used 2 cards today, you should create BDL_2012-02-15_01 and BDL_2012-02-15_02
Attach your card reader or camera to the system.
Lock the cards so they can not be erased
Insert Card 1 into the reader
Select ALL contents of the card and copy them to the folder you created for the first card for today
When it is complete, eject the card, insert card 2, copy its contents to the folder for card 2
eject the card
Launch CCC and do a clone of Drive 1 to Drive 2. You can set it to do a complete block by block clone or an incremental backup. Either will work.
When finished cloning, test a random sample of the clips on both drives to make sure they work.
When satisfied the copies work, put Drive 2 in the hotel safe.
Put the Drive 1 in a place where you can grab it if there is an emergency in the night and erase the cards to get ready for the next day.
Take Drive 1 with you to the lecture site the next day.
Rinse and repeat daily.
When the conference is over, send one of the drives via FedEx or some other same day service to your office. Pack the second drive in your bags for the trip home.
A note: If you have enough downtime durning the conference between obligations, you can do the transfer from the cards to Drive 1 on site and do the clone when you get back to your room. Don't unlock and erase the cards until you are satisfied the copy/clone process was without incident.
If you are shooting with SD cards, some of them have become so inexpensive that you can use them as "camera masters". This workflow yields an alternative to the 2 hard drive system noted in my previous post.
Have enough cards to record the whole gig without reusing any. If you can calculate the amount of time to be recorded each day and can fit it all on one card, so much the better. Label the cards for each day.
Record during the conference, then back up to a hard drive at night. Keep the SD cards separate when done. When you get back home, put the SD cards away as your archive and use the hard drive for your online.
I'm certain that I wasn't clear enough in my 1st explanation of my routine workflow. What I'm talking about has very little to do with the cameras and the cards and more to do with a working project and all of its media on one hard drive and a separate backup event on a different hard drive. I'm certain I'm missing something that Apple has designed that I either don't know about or I'm using it it incorrectly. For example.
1. I returned from day number 1 of a five-day shoot. I connect camera and cards and import all footage into the event on my working hard drive. Once that is completed I choose the event and duplicate the event and all of its media onto a backup drive separate from the drive that the original event is stored on.
2. I returned from day number 2 and import once again cameras and cards into the original event on the working hard drive. From here I have done one of 3 things.
A. If I'm feeling lucky I delete the backup event on the backup drive and then duplicate the event once again with the 2nd days footage on it as well is the 1st. So now I have an updated backup event with a with 1 both days footage on it. And I rename it after the word copy I add the 2nd days date.
B. after importing the 2nd days footage I duplicate the event and rename it with the date of the 2nd day of shooting after the word copy. Once that is finished I delete the original copy of the event on the backup disk which contained only the 1st day's footage.
C. In place of deleting an event I simply add/import the new media into that event one of 2 ways. I either imported from the original camera or cards just as I imported it into the original event. Or I import the newly added footage from the original media folder of the event into a copy of the event. But that leaves you open for errors or omissions.
So in synopsis what I'm looking for is a great workflow for continually updating ongoing backup projects.
I completly understand your explanation of yur work flow. I use a firewire drive as my working drive to edit from and a USB drive to back-up because they are less expensive.
Why can't you just use the "create camera archive" button to archive your shoot media before you load it into FCX? That way you have your footage saved and then duplicated for editing.
Another way of going is to set up an automated backup program that will look at your edit drive each night and copy the new data (Carbon Copy Cloner?)
Doesn't FCX want to create a new Event for each day's shoot? Are you somehow making it ingest into one single event? If you have separate events for each day's shoot, then the copying may not be so complicated.
I could create camera archive, but as I shoot stills and video often on the same card I have a different backup system for stills. I'm a professional photographer and use aperture and my agent has a complete backup on her computer as well as online storage. So an archive would archive the entire contents of the card as I understand it. But more importantly I'm working on projects of fast deadlines. So I prefer to have a complete event with project files copied to a separate drive. So that in the event of a hard drive loss or crash. I can simply copy the event back to a faster hard drive for working and be working within hours. It appears after all the comments about my adopted workflow that I might have a unique workflow. Somehow I can't imagine that. To answer your question about FCX wanting to create a new event for each day's shoot. That is not the case at all. You just simply select the event choose import from camera or import from files and you can continue adding new media as often as you like to the same event.