Console + used laptop + firewire drive = field monitor + HDD recording? at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old August 16th, 2007, 01:32 PM   #1
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Console + used laptop + firewire drive = field monitor + HDD recording?

I've read all the Console threads I could find on the forum and reviewed the Console manual. Perhaps I'm imagining this will work because I wish it to.

My computer friend can get me a Console-compatible laptop for $500 and it seems like this would be a workable solution in place of an HD field monitor and a Firestore. I'm wondering if I'd be able to record onto a firewire drive and then plug the drive into my iMac to import the files into FCP.

So, please tell me the fundamental flaws in my idea. Will Console record onto an external firewire drive, which means the A1's firewire will be chained through the drive? Can I record the files with the PC and then transfer them on the drive to the Mac? I know I may be asking obvious questions. But I'd rather look a little foolish here that spend $1000 to find out it's unworkable. Thanks.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #2
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I'm in the same position.

Capturing HD to PC: Depends on laptop power. DV works fine, but HD is another issue... I caputer via Sony Vegas and it works perfect with DV, not at all with HD - need more power... will test with better laptop soon. There is a free download (15 days) of Console. Have not tried it since I think it's the laptop that is the faulty chain in my setup - if the CPU can't match the need, well then... Since I have capture function in Vegas I don't see any need for Console either. I guess FCP also have a capture program. There is a time lag in Console and it is recommended not to use it as "control monitor" - too slow. Myself I have no use for the rest of what the Console offers. Perhaps other users have.

FireStore - interesting product, but many reports it is not reliable - hence I'd never buy it. Just a many says it's OK - I can't tell, perhaps it's firmware related - but I don't want to spend time updating firmware and reading newsgroups for patches - it should work, out of the box, period. The same goes for the nNovia as far as I have read on this forum and reviews at B&H etc.

My plan: Get better laptop, use Vegas to capture, run tape as backup.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 04:58 PM   #3
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i tried it with little success. it could probably work if the camera and the external HD where on separate buses. otherwise i don't think there is enough bandwidth... unless of course you capture to the laptops internal drive (as long as it is at least 5400 rpms) and then move it off onto the firewire drive later. as far as a field monitor, it's not ideal. it's better than nothing and it's alright for focus but because of the latency you're always going to be about 1-2 seconds behind real time it is impossible to pull quick focus or track movement, but the scopes on console are great and very useful.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 05:46 PM   #4
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I would stay away from using any internal drive as Windows suddenly "needs" to do something else and the drive head can only be on one place at the same time. Dropout might occur. I use an external USB drive. Works perfect with DV, but again, that's easier to handle than HDV. I need to test more with a more power full PC with HDV. With a stationary PC it works perfect - but you normally don't carry around those.

For foucs/remote control I'd never use Console or any FW channel. Too slow. I'm planning on a good monitor and compent RGB instead. Even BNC will work if colours etc. are trimmed and of no concern. For sure, it will not be something that you easily carry around, all those "gadgets"...

I would be amazed if Canon lets Sony be the only one with "XDCAM EX technology" - soon there will be an A1 with solid state memory and the need for external drives will be something of the past. Can't wait.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 06:19 AM   #5
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Anybody know any other pieces of software that will let you monitor on a Mac Laptop?

There is this:

http://www.bigmugsoftware.com/monitor/

But it doesn't do proper 1:1 pixel HD monitoring.. although according to the developer it will soon.

I wonder if Canon Console on OSX will ever happen...
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Old August 17th, 2007, 07:55 AM   #6
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I tryed out Console and USB2 external harddrive.Works perfectly,and i used laptop drive inside HDDbox,so 5400rpm isn't an issue.As i know Dv and hdv have same bitrate,so capturing this way dosn't have any difference,of course u need more computing power if u have preview switched on i guess.my laptop is intel core2 1,8 ghz.I think it works well if u can put your rig at one place and no need to move it around..

Raul
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Old August 17th, 2007, 12:20 PM   #7
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Thanks.

Thank you for the useful responses. I definitely know more now than before. And I think it might work. I use a monitor to set up a shot before I record it, so the image's lag time is not a big issue for me. And if I can record onto a USB drive, then problems the camera might have sharing a firewire connection are eliminated. Thanks again.
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