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Old June 2nd, 2005, 04:02 AM   #1
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Canon user feedback - firewire drive...

Is there a forum (or method) that we users can make suggestions to canon on what features we would want from their products ?

It can't be much work to include a software driver so that a standard firewire drive can be hooked up to the XL-2 and record direct to disk. I know there are products on the market to do this but they cost. Just need a simple menu option: record to tape, disk or both. Is this something that other users would be interested in ?

Seems to me, the more appealing canon make their products, the more sales they would get, the more profit would be made. If they built in a flash upgrade feature, then updates could be downloaded off the net. Also to be able to save/load camera setups etc. Pre-programmed zoom, rack focus all could be software features. Not sure how relevant they would be. I must admit one of the reasons why I got this camera was the lack of fiddly buttons and the ease of use, still there seems to be scope for many useful features. It would also be very usefull to have an output of the uncompressed, Optical signal (i.e. full resolution of the block with no down conversion or DV compression, either as an analogue output or as a digital stream). This would give higher quality output, particularly when chroma keying. I know standards etc, dev costs, but still, the more we press for features the more likely they would get included.

Just some thoughts from an enthusiatic owner:

Declan
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 04:28 AM   #2
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As far as I know this is not available. I don't expect they will make any
modifications to the XL2 since it has been out for a while (no modifications
to the XL1 or XL1S exist for example).

However, before the XL2 came out Canon did want to know what this board
thought would be nice features to have for the then unnamed XL2. It may
be possible they will repeat this for future camera's.

I know everybody wants direct to firewire disk recording, however I don't
see that happening yet. Why? Because Canon has a deal with one direct-
to-disk recording manufacturer. No other camera brand is currently offering
a builtin harddisk recorder (in that price range) and most serious folk who
need it that buy such camera's already have such a device or are still going
to get one.

It doesn't seem to be a make or break deal for a camera at this point in time
(some form of HD support does seem to be such a deal, for example)

In regards to your uncompressed out, that can't be added to the XL2. A
new camera might have such a feature, but not with a direct-to-disk option
(because most disks cannot handle that datarate, definitely not in HD).

So a new camera might get SDI out (unlikely) or perhaps component out.

However, since a lot of people do not know how to use that or don't want
to invest in expensive equipement (harddisk array + uncompressed component/
SDI capture card) I doubt this will surface as well. But who knows....
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 08:02 AM   #3
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Good summary, Rob. Canon recommends the Firestore on their web site:

http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/con...rder_accessory

About the only comment I can add is that Canon also have the DV-PC software applet that does allow you to record direct to a PC hard drive. I've tried it on both my laptop and my editing box; a little flakey on the laptop because it keeps losing connection with the camera, but on my editing PC, it works flawlessly. (So maybe my laptop is flakey, and not the software, or maybe it is a 4-pin to 4-pin issue...doubtful).

As Rob alluded to, even though most of the camcorder manufacturers don't post here (thanks to Jan C. from Panasonic for being a shining exception!), there's little doubt that they all -- including Canon -- follow the message board communities...MAYBE even the AREA 51 forum where we all throw ideas and expectations around. Nevertheless, there's nothing saying consumers can't directly contact Canon and tell 'em exactly what they want in the next camera!
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 08:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
It can't be much work to include a software driver so that a standard firewire drive can be hooked up to the XL-2 and record direct to disk.
Actually it is much more work than just a software driver; it's far more complicated than that. There are controller interfaces, circuit boards and chips involved; in other words, it's not just software but hardware / firmware as well. Also I would not say that the FireStore is expensive; it's actually a pretty good value.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 01:21 PM   #5
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Oh well!

I would have assumed that as the firewire port is there it with software (and hardware) to talk to the PC, then it would have been a software only feature, but perhaps not. You're right, the firestore isn't that expensive for what it does, but if the feature is built into the CAM then any cheap firewire drive could have been used. I have tried the DV-PC software, but this really adds no benefit over other capture software (I use sclive which is far better).

I could carry a laptop around but that is bulky and the batteries don't last (perhaps I should upgrade :=) )

Anyway, my main question was "is there a way to request features", which seems to have been answered; just wandered what other users thought.

Thanks
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 03:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Declan Smith
my main question was "is there a way to request features"
You're looking at it. Our XL1 / XL1S message board (which is the largest in the world), was -- and still is -- heavily lurked by Canon USA and the discussions there were instrumental in their development of the XL2.
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 09:40 PM   #7
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Fire Store mount

I saw a pic of the FS4 mounted on an XL2. Seems like it mounts where an Anto Baur battery would mount. Is it possible to mount both or do you have to chose btwn one or the other?
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Old June 2nd, 2005, 09:50 PM   #8
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You could piggy-back the FS-4 with the AB or you could mount the FS-4 up on the hotshoe. Use a shoulder support like the DV Rig XL and you can hang lots of stuff off of that thing.
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