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Old March 9th, 2005, 03:45 PM   #1
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Tapeless or not?

I've been considering the options of the Firewire products and other methods of tapeless content storage while shooting.

I'm curious...do most of you still use tape as a backup or are most users going it without tape? Are the systems out there robust enough to work without tape?

Many thanks.
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Old March 10th, 2005, 03:16 PM   #2
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I will be rolling tape while using the FS-4. This is a safety net that doesn't really cost anything. When the projects are wrapped up, I plan to re-use safety tapes for the projects that follow.

I also have a camera with a defective tape system which I plan to resurrect with a FS-4 pro, as a second unit camera. That means without a safety tape.

But note that these statements are is still in the future tense.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 09:48 AM   #3
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I may be in shooting situations where the changing of tape may be too obtrusive or cause me to miss part of the event.

Can I confidently rely on tapeless, direct-to-disk alone??
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Old March 14th, 2005, 12:39 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jim Sofranko : I may be in shooting situations where the changing of tape may be too obtrusive or cause me to miss part of the event.

Can I confidently rely on tapeless, direct-to-disk alone?? -->>>

hello jim,

i suggest to be safe and have a back up at all times.

did a theater setting direct taping onto a vcr, but did not check my recording mode. tape stopped 15 min before the end <G> (tape 120 min duration- event 135 min!)
was able to retape since they had a second performance.

greetings
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Old March 14th, 2005, 12:57 PM   #5
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Has anyone used the Firestore FS1? Is it quiet enough for sound recording on a small set on location?

Do any of these tapeless recording devices offer the option of multi camera's on one unit? Or do they all require a seperate unit per camera?

Thanks.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 01:08 PM   #6
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My experience with the FS-4 beta model indicates that it is very reliable in its recording function. Also Focus has basically guaranteed, as far as I can tell, that the FS series can do this. This is it's main function. If for some reason the FS-4 does not record continuously from start until its drive is full then it is defective, and can be returned.

My main reasons for using tape while capturing, in situations where recording would be started and stopped regularly, is that if any problem should occur, like the Firewire connection becoming loose, or the FS-4 battery is not fully charged, or the FS-4 misses a start command for whatever reason, or is set to the wrong media file type, or the Firewire cable is plugged into the computer out jack and not the DV in jack, or the FS-4 is set to LOCAL mode and not SYNC, I know that what I have shot is on tape.

I do think that there is a slightly increased risk of something not getting recorded onto the HDD because of some user error or other snag, than there is with just tape. This is due to the external cable connections, and the fact that FS-4 is an additional device where there are lots of things that have to be set right for it to work properly.

The other reason I have for using a tape while recording to the FS-4 is that after a shoot, I can give the client their material immediately, and I don't have to dump it back to tape first. I have the HDD to do editing with when and if I get the contract to do that as well. The client is happy because they have something they can take with them, and I am happy because I don't have to capture if I edit.

But to just answer your question; I would say yes, I would not hesitate to record to the FS-4 without a tape running.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 03:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
I may be in shooting situations where the changing of tape may be too obtrusive or cause me to miss part of the event.

Can I confidently rely on tapeless, direct-to-disk alone??
Another option would be to buy or rent a DV deck that takes the large tapes. Large DV tapes can record four and a half hours of continuous footage. Using a firewire connection you get a 100% lossless clone of your footage, so if long record times are necessary for you, and you're not comfortable with a hard disk recording solution, you may want to consider using a deck.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 01:29 PM   #8
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I've been using an FS-1 since shortly after they were introduced. In about 95% of the cases, the recording was flawless. However, on rare occasions, I've found only jibberish on the hard drive -- without a tape back-up, I'd have been in deep doo-doo. It has seemed somewhat dependent on the model of hard drive -- the LaCie pocket drives have been the most reliable for me. Tape is cheap, and just might save your shoot.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 02:27 PM   #9
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wow!

5% sounds like a lot. I'm trying to figure out what percent of the shoots I've done, have been effected by bad tapes or bad heads. I'm not sure if a tape with constant drop-outs can be considered not as bad as a drive filled with gibberish. At least there is something to see on a tape, even if it is unusable.

I wonder if that 5% is due solely to the HDDs you were using with the FS-1.

In any-case, I think that this is a good argument for using tape back-ups whenever possible. In this way the tape backs up the HDD and the HDD backs up the tape.

Another thing, the FS-4 can be run in LOCAL mode, which is the mode where it records independent of the tape mechanism, even while a tape is recording. That means when the tape ends the FS-4 continues to record. You can change back-up tapes and start recording to tape again without it effecting the FS-4. I think that this is also true for the other D2D recorders.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 11:52 PM   #10
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Yeah, it has seemed to be hard disk dependent. I haven't had any failures when using a LaCie 60GB pocket drive. Most of my failures happened when using a Cool Drive Ice model. I've also had the FS-1 not recognize the HD until I cycled it a few times. These are reasons enough for me to always use a back-up tape -- saved my shoot more than once!

(While ringing out these hassles, Matt McEwen was very helpful.)
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