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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old January 12th, 2002, 08:14 PM   #1
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Direct Firewire HD Capture questions?

...I somehow managed to "just" discover that the XL-1S is capable of external field-portable FireWire hardrive video capture- does this mean that it's possible to record directly into a Firewire HD out in the field without Mini DV tape? If so, does anyone know where I might find info on such HD's (i'm assuming they have to be self powered and haven't found any in my Mac catalogs.)

Do clips show up on the HD per time stopped or paused- or is it one continous capture? Does it retain timecode information?

This is very interesting and on the cutting edge of DV.....

Has anyone here managed to do this? Any words?

(If 5 minutes of DV=1GB then a 80GB Hd should be able to hold 400 minutes!!)

Very interesting- very interesting.....I wonder if Apple's iPod would work seeing as to how it's just a self-powered 5GB Firewire Hd...anyone know?
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Last edited by Steve Nunez; January 12th, 2002 at 08:29 PM.
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Old January 13th, 2002, 12:18 AM   #2
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You can't go directly to the FW drive from the camera. You can, however, thru an interface. See the article by Chris about the Videonics Firestore on the XL-1 watchdog page. Looks like a true tapeless system.

I'm about to go there myself, once I get the FW drive to talk to my MAC at an acceptable rate.

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Old January 13th, 2002, 04:22 PM   #3
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Hopefully my article at http://www.dvinfo.net/firestore.htm will answer all your questions,
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Old January 13th, 2002, 11:29 PM   #4
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little disappointed...

I'm disappointed that you just can't directly hook up a firewire HD and start shooting- initially that's what I thought that DV control option was- now that i see you'd need another device to allow the capture etc it's not such a great idea as far as true tapeless is concerned (unless you're a location shooter with all sorts of power available and Hollywood budgets to warrant such a system- the Firestore doesn't look too portable to me).. if anyone figures out how to connect a portable firewire hd and let it act as a storage medium for a DV camera- you'd have a true innovation....

I guess you gotta start somewhere and i'll give Canon a thumbs up for leading in the direction of tapeless recording- i just hope Sony or some other comapny doesn't realize what i've just stated and make it possible to connect a FW HD to a camcorder and have the tapeless system we are hoping for.....

...Canon, figure out how to do this and you'd have an incredible head-start on the rest of the hi end DV market..just sad it's not on the XL-1S.

(Canon lost alot of ground to Nikon in the digital SLR world for not putting out their own pro-level cam- Kodak ended up doing it with their DCS series of cams..let's hope Canon figures out how to connect a HD to their DV cams)
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Old January 13th, 2002, 11:47 PM   #5
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FireStore *is* portable. It can easily be battery powered, no problem.

The issue with recording direct to FW drive is not on the camera side. It's on the editing side. FireStore writes an edit-ready DV file to the drive. I seriously doubt you will see this feature on the cameras until the next digital format that replaces DV. For now, FireStore fills this need and does it quite nicely in my opinion.

I'm sure the next generation of affordable digital video, probably a consumer-level high-definition format, will sport camcorders with drive-based or disc-based recording formats but we're still some distance away from that.

By the way, Canon makes not one but two pro-level digital SLR cameras... the EOS D1 and D30. Soon they'll have a digital Rebel although I would not call it truly pro. Believe me, with the D1 and D30, Canon has not lost any ground at all. These are killer digital SLR cameras, I wish I had one. I settled for a PowerShot G2 and am more than happy with it.
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Old January 14th, 2002, 12:35 AM   #6
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Canon

Chris- first let me commend you on the excellent work you're doing on both this forum and on the "Watchdog" pages.

I've learned more about the XL-1S from these 2 places than the rest of the entire internet- this is truly the place to be in you wanna be in the "know" about the XL series of DV cams. Canon should send you a free XL-1S in my opinion- i'm buying one this week based mainly on the information i've learned on these sites....

...having said this let me tell you why I stated previously about Canon being caught with their pants down regarding digital SLR's. I own a Kodak DCS620 which is basically a digital Nikon F5- i own a site along with 2 cop buddies (NYPD) who also shoot digital (Canon D30 & Nikon D1- see nypixelpros.com) and i'm very familiar with Canon's digital SLR's including the new EOS 1D. There's no question the 1D on paper sports the best specs of any digital slr to date- it's faster than a D1H- has more resolution than a D1X and has the CCD sensitivity of the Kodak DCS760- problem is word is spreading around the digital slr forums about banding on EOS 1D's when using high ISO- according to the posts on the slr forums- Canon refuses to acknowledge this as a problem and has not issued any statements on this issue- but many "Pro" photographers have posted examples of this banding and because so many people have experienced this it has led to very harsh statements about Canon (I'm basically a Canon fan myself- but spending $6000+ on an slr and finding a problem which the manufacturer says doesn't exsist can cause quite a stir on forums)--
...Nikon did this exact same thing with their D1 camera and the magenta shifting of which they said was not an issue- it's weird how the new D1's don't seem to have this shifting.

I've always touted Canon in the past as having great products and great service- it's sad to see the EOS 1D problem being ignored (so states the public forums i've followed)....I would hope Canon not allow the same to happen with the XL series of camcorders (and it seems Canon has listened to past XL gripes because of the vast improvements said to be present with the new "S")...the best R&D Canon has are these forums of dedicated users of their products....count me in as the next XL-1S buyer.

The Firestore device is indeed portable but imagine adding it's heft along with a solid tripod along with the FW HD and the batteries to power them and you start to wonder who is gonna really feel this is a "portable" setup- I was hoping for a self powered HD to be attached to the DV control and "instant" tapeless recording---- if you're listening Canon- this would be the next great step...

..as for me- i still feel Canon has the best product line out there and if they continue to follow forums like these and use us as informants to their products "real-world" useability- they'll continue to lead the market, and possibly dominate it. Thumbs up Chris.
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Old January 14th, 2002, 06:39 PM   #7
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got it.....

Finally got the XL-1S.....i'm psyched...thanks for all the info.
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Old January 14th, 2002, 07:02 PM   #8
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Thanks Steve,

I guess my argument is that Canon does make pro digital SLR's, whether or not they're problematic. I had not heard of the banding issue. Sounds very similar to the digital quantization problem on the original XL1 back in 1998. It took the efforts of myself, Michael Pappas and a few others to get Canon USA to acknowledge and explain it (see the Watchdog Articles Menu under Camera Head).

FireStore may not be as portable as you would like it... see my comments in the last portion of my review on dvinfo.net. It is at least somewhat portable and it doesn't weigh very much at all.

Enjoy your new camera,
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