firestore fs-cv vs. sony hvr-mrc1 for A1 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #1
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firestore fs-cv vs. sony hvr-mrc1 for A1

posting here b/c I am interested in thoughts specifically re the canon A1 for either of the above (rather than general tapeless acqusition).

(or if the edirol f-1 were a little less $ I would put it on the list too).(and if the nnovia didn't seem so clunky I would put it on the list too).(and I would love it if cineform came out with their product although that seems not to be happening - too much time elapsed with no news)

I would like to buy one of the two above but am a little stuck on pro's & con's. My typical usage would be in recording long events (plays, performances, etc.) where I need to capture the entire event without suffering from missed video due to tape changes (single camera).. Length up to 2 or 3 hours (some in 90 mins though). The saved time due to not having to capture the tape is not quite as important to me although is a benefit. Any metadata capabilities is not critical right now for me, nor do I really need swappable media.. I tend to do one project, capture / offload that, and them am ready for the next. I shoot on both a tripod & handheld.

Here's how I see the pro's & con's given my usage:

Sony pro's:
- small unit, b/c of solid state media more reliable and lower power demand
- can take advantage of assumed falling prices / larger capacities of media as new cards are made available.
- design / software seems pretty clever given all of the posts here
- some cost advantage vs. firestore
- the future of these things really is solid state, so this unit fits that

Sony con's:
- max of 32gig cards right now, e.g. 72 minutes (I think) so I would have to change cards any time the event goes over 72 mins. I have to wait to get cards of the capacity I want..they should be coming soon but not sure and will be $$$
- dropped video frames on tape change (although that may be due to the firewire output avail and not what the sony is doing)
- FAT32 forces 4gig files max, and I thought there was a dropped frame issue between any two files (??)

Firestore pro's:
- 100 gig capacity which would be fine for me for any event, don't need to worry about swapping or purchasing new media
- UI / SW seems better than prior units (although I am not completely convinced, the stories on the firestore section here aren't all great)
- nice looking design
- no lost frames due to file splitting since it is on NTFS and supports unlimited file size (although bigger risk due to file corruption but I would still use tape throughout)

Firestore con's:
- this company is in chapter 11 and who knows if they will come out, provide support, etc. we all know they have a new deal with canon and want to reorganize, but with these things until it happens, "who knows"
- history of technical glitches in other verisons doesn't inspire confidence
- not solid state, although would be sufficient for the next few years and hopefully power consumption and MTBF isn't terrible
- price seems high for what it is, about $2k.. feels like they are premium pricing this where sony did a better job to put a reasonable price on it (who would have thought) to recover for their development costs and product costs.(but when one factors in the media costs the two get closer in price).

Anyway, as you can tell I am looking to be swayed one way or the other (or any other that I haven't really considered well enough).

Any thoughts / comments appreciated!!!
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Old January 28th, 2009, 03:08 PM   #2
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please move

Chris / mod - can you pls do me a favor and move this to the XH forum, I posted to the wrong subforum by accident...thanks & sorry bout that!
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Old February 1st, 2009, 11:45 PM   #3
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32 Gig gets you 144 minutes.

There seems to be dropped audio but not video at the file change over (if I read the posts correctly)

I get mine in two days.
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Old March 10th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #4
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Any more updates on this thread? I'm curious if the Sony unit does in fact drop frames between files? I agree with Dave that solid state is the way of the future, but maybe only once we have 512GB flash cards.... ? Also, something I read yesterday mentioned that the file format may be incompatible with FCP, is that correct?

Cheers!

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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:30 AM   #5
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If you use the free Sony software pull the frames off of the MRC1 it will not drop any frames, sound or video. The unit records in 4GB files due to the FAT32 limitation but it also has a small file that flags the changeovers for continuous scenes and rebuilds it into one long file. The only potential drop frame issue I have not had a chance to confirm or not is when you do a tape changeover. Some have reported that there is a drop of audio frames but again I have not had a chance to test this so I can't confirm or deny it.

Sandisk is suppose to be coming out with a 64GB CF soon. I think that would give about 5 hours of record time.

Another huge advantage to the Sony in my eyes is the fact that it is removable storage. I can shoot the first half of a show and remove the card, then have that downloading while I shoot the second half or someone can start editing if it's going to be a SDE.

I've got an MRC1 and the only complaint I have is the small screen. My old eyes could use a screen twice the size and the contrast on it isn't very good so reading it in the sunlight is sometimes hard. Other than that, it's the best accessory I have my cameras.

Garrett
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Old March 10th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #6
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the tape change thing is discussed here, which has a lot of info on the hvr-mrc1 (it seems to be the thread for discussing this unit, which is good, 1 thread):

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-xh-...non-users.html

I'd recommend for just the hvr-mrc1 discusssion to use the above thread to keep it all in one place.

I was hoping to see if others had thoughts on the pros & cons of the firestore vs. the sony, but not much input on that front.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 08:43 AM   #7
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not sure if you are looking to use the sony with the canon cam. if that is what you're asking, i would not do it! i did that with my A1 and although it works, the audio WILL and DOES this looping thing! the video remains perfect but the audio will loop the same 2 second piece over your video! i called firestore and they were so great. they said it isn't recommended, and that you need to go with the firestore made for the Canon. so, you do need to make sure you get the firestore that is made for Canon. Firestore worked with Canon and the specs are different and needed to be "tweaked" for their cameras. good luck. i got the sony to save money, and it cost me MANY issues during the filming of a wedding and home movies! luckily it wasn't during the vows! since i sold the sony and got the Canon firestore..... NO ISSUES! PERFECT.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 07:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rotter View Post
not sure if you are looking to use the sony with the canon cam. if that is what you're asking, i would not do it! i did that with my A1 and although it works, the audio WILL and DOES this looping thing! the video remains perfect but the audio will loop the same 2 second piece over your video! i called firestore and they were so great. they said it isn't recommended, and that you need to go with the firestore made for the Canon. so, you do need to make sure you get the firestore that is made for Canon. Firestore worked with Canon and the specs are different and needed to be "tweaked" for their cameras. good luck. i got the sony to save money, and it cost me MANY issues during the filming of a wedding and home movies! luckily it wasn't during the vows! since i sold the sony and got the Canon firestore..... NO ISSUES! PERFECT.
steve, thanks for the tip. that's pretty interesting ... this is the first post I've seen with the above issue, I wonder whether others have found this as well. in any case, thanks for the post, I appreciate it. could save me from some trouble. and yes, money would be the factor there that I was looking at since the firestore is about 2x the sony + memory card(s) (in addition to the solid state vs. hard drive).
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Old March 12th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #9
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Dave,

For some reason some people have been having trouble with the MRC1 on there A1's . I'm not sure what the issue is but I can report that I have not seen any of them, be it audio skipping/repeating or video drop frames. I have used my Sony on my XH A1, XL H1a and HV20 without any problems. I've done shoots with several scenes (start stops) as well as one long continuous scene (about 70 minutes since the largest CF card I currently have is 16GB.

The two biggest issues I have with the FS is one, the company is financially unstable so service could be an issue, and two, I would NEVER trust any hard drive as my only capture media. I've had too many hard drives go out on me without any warning. Since it is a mechanical plus optical device rather than solid state device it is much more susceptable to errors and of course mechanical failure is inevitable.

As you noted cost is another issue as well as expandability of any CF based unit is a plus. I know the Sony isn't easy to find but what might help is if you could find someone near you who has one and try to connect it to your A1 and see if you experience any issues.

Garrett
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Old March 19th, 2009, 10:27 PM   #10
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Canon FireStore FSC-HD60 60GB

I have the FSC-HD60, $1125.00
Canon | FireStore FSC-HD60 60GB DTE Recorder for XL | 0884V781

I love it!

I don't even use tapes anymore. I have never had any issues with it. You will need an extra battery or power source. I purchased mine @ tapeworkstexas.
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 08:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rob Cook View Post
I have the FSC-HD60, $1125.00
Canon | FireStore FSC-HD60 60GB DTE Recorder for XL | 0884V781

I love it!

I don't even use tapes anymore. I have never had any issues with it. You will need an extra battery or power source. I purchased mine @ tapeworkstexas.
Rob, do you use your FS during a tape change? (e.g. leave firestore recording while you change the tape)? If so, do you lose any audio or video during that tape change?

I'm also not sure if the FS-CV would differ from the FSC in this respect..

I am under the impression that the XHA1 itself may briefly interrupt the audio / video stream to the firewire when record is re-engaged, but I am interested to know as this would be one of the benefits I would be looking for
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Old March 23rd, 2009, 08:29 PM   #12
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Dave, I have never tried it. I can do a test. I will let you no.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 02:25 PM   #13
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Just My 2 cents: RUN from Focus Enhancements. Had a Firestore, used MAYBE 6 times. Was brand new, maybe 8 Hrs runtime, always pelican cased, not a scratch. Received ERROR Message one day, contacted manufacturer - Wanted $300 to fix???????? HDD = moving parts, Focus Enhancements = Garbage Company. Bottom Line Run! Have The SONY SOLID STATE Compact Flash recorder now, works great; SD Canon GL2 & HD Canon XH A1.

HDD = Can Be Troublesome
Solid State Compact Flash = Reliaibility, durability SONY HVR-MRC1 Compact Flash Recorder

Firestore = Garbage, Don't be fooled. The Product & the Company.
Sony = Quality. CAN ONLY USE CF Type I Card Type II card is THICKER.
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