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Old June 19th, 2005, 08:14 PM   #1
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Direct to laptop question

I am looking to record directly to my laptop from my GL2, without a tape. I am using premiere pro. I want to have premiere pro record when I press record on my camera. I know if I press record in the capture window it will record footage, but I want to be able to throw the laptop in a backpack and go mobile with it.

Is it possible to record via the record button on the camera? Will Premiere Pro work, or do I need different software?

I looked and looked for an answer and couldn't find anything. Thanks in advance.

-Todd
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Old June 19th, 2005, 08:21 PM   #2
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I know of no software that'll accept the record control from the camera. I don't even know if the camera will send the record command over firewire without a tape.

Sorry, you might end up having to take the laptop out of the backpack, or maybe rig up something using an old keyboard or mouse.
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Old June 19th, 2005, 08:54 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, that would be very nice if it was possible.

Now if I bought a FS-4 then when I press record on the camcorder (without a tape) it records on the device correct?

Thanks
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Old June 19th, 2005, 10:28 PM   #4
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Todd,

I'm not sure if the GL2 will record without a tape in it. I have read the info on the FS4 but can't remember all the specifics. However, even if it did, I'd have a tape in the camcorder just to have a back-up. You won't want to keep what you shot on your hard drive forever, and although you could, and should, keep a copy of the finished project on tape, I like to have a copy of the original footage because you never know when you might want to use a piece not used in the project.

Redundancy is a key to success. Scenario: You shoot for a weekend, take your FS4 home and copy it to your hard drive. You use the FS4 for a new shoot, (first footage gone) but, before you can edit your original footage, your hard drive fails. Without the tape, your weekend footage is lost forever.

Tape is relatively cheap insurance.

Dan
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Old June 20th, 2005, 02:54 PM   #5
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If I were to be shooting a wedding or similar situation, I would definatly want to have the tape in as backup.

What I mainly shoot is tours of real estate. I take very little footage, but many shots. A typical house I would have 15-25 shots, which is 15-25 times to start recording, and 15-25 times to stop recording, this is a lot of wear and tear on the heads, correct? Most days I shoot between 3-8 homes, sometimes more, so anywhere between 90-400 starts and stops. That's why I was looking at the firestore, also it would save me the time of importing all the footage by playback.

My main concern is the heavy use of starting and stopping the heads a lot during a typical day.
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Old June 20th, 2005, 10:34 PM   #6
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FireStore FS-4 highly recommended

It sounds like you and your GL2 tape mechanism would benefit greatly from the FS-4. In addition to the benefits you've listed, you can play back any clip instantly on your GL2 to ensure you've got the shot. It's a lot easier retrieving clips on an FS-4 than a tape.
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Old June 20th, 2005, 10:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for the reply, I'm swaying in-between thinking i need it and I don't need it.

So all that starting and stopping is very bad for the camera?

Wow, I didn't know that you could playback a clip so easily.

Recently I have gotten a dirty head message more often then I like in the past 2 months I have cleaned the camera 3 times. That's more then I ever have. I have a feeling it's approaching time to send to Canon to have cleaned. That brings up another question, with using the FS-4 the heads don't run, thus it doesn't matter if I am approaching a cleaning time. Without sending in the camera that will save me $300, so in a way I'm saving some money (I consider giving Canon money to clean, just about throwing it away) while buying the FS-4.

Am I correct about the heads?

Also where to buy,any chance I can pick up a used unit?

Thanks,
Todd
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Old June 21st, 2005, 12:03 AM   #8
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That pesky Canon GL2 message

I use a Canon GL2, ergo, I receive the Remove Cassette error message. I have been using the FS-4 as my main recording medium so I don't have to struggle mightily with the tape mechanism's crankiness.

When I get back from a shoot, I burn the video files onto DVDs. As the FS-4 is FAT32, the files are in nice 2GB chunks, so I burn two pieces to a DVD. DVDs are cheaper, more durable and faster retrieving than tape.

The menu on the FS-4 lets you browse to the clip you want to view. Simply switch your camcorder into VCR mode and now the video comes back over the FireWire cable. No more hunting around for that clip on the tape, then fast-forwarding to the blank section to keep on recording.

I tend to agree with your reasoning about the wear and tear on the heads, but I am not experienced in that area. All I know is that 9 months after I bought my GL2 with weekly usage, I began getting the dreaded message. The FS-4 has significantly reduced my dependence on tape and thus, having to deal with the message.

It's hard to find used units because they are in very high demand. One came floating through the classifieds a while back but that is it.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 12:14 AM   #9
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David that's good to hear, I already posted an ad looking for a used FS-4, but will most likely buy a new unit.

I have one more question, does the FS-4 record when you press record on the GL2 even when there is no tape in the GL2?

Thanks!
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Old June 21st, 2005, 01:12 AM   #10
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Tapeless recording without the tape in the camcorder

Yes. On page 72 of the GL2 manual, there is a discussion of DV Control. Once you enable it (it is off by default), you can press the Record button to toggle the FS-4 recording on and off despite there being no tape in the camcorder. You will see a [Rec] and [Stop] in the viewfinder. Nifty.

Focus Enhancements states in its FS-4 manual that this feature is available on the Sony DSR-390, DSR-370, DSR-570, Canon XL1s, XL2 and Panasonic DVX0100/-100A. Obviously, it is not an exhaustive list.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 01:45 AM   #11
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eBay

There's a unit on eBay at the moment.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 09:28 PM   #12
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DV Rack is the answer

Serious Magic DV Rack is just what you are looking for.

DV Rack Digital Video Recorder (DVR)
The DVR 1000 is a breakthrough in DV recording technology. It provides higher reliability than tape and the fastest clip review ever. Instead of wasting time searching and shuttling tape, now you can jump instantly to any part of any clip and interactively scrub through it. Finally, you can be 100% confident you have the shot - while you’re still at the shoot. The DVR 1000 works seamlessly, recording and stopping when your camera does. Using the automatic pre-buffer, it even starts recording before you do! Best of all, you can pre-select a native DV format to perfectly match your NLE.

* More reliable than tape.
* Use as a simultaneous backup or as a stand-alone recorder.
* No digitizing! Clips are ready to edit in standard NLE software.
* No delays for tape loading or shuttling.
* User-selected DV formats for native compatibility with NLEs
* Never miss a shot with “always recording” loop buffer.
* Pre-buffer starts recording clips before you do.
* Variable speed replay, slo-mo, fast forward, freeze, frame advance.
* Slave mode records and stops when your camcorder does.
* Add notes and log while you shoot.
* Optional remote with record, play, review and quick jump buttons.

http://www.videoguys.com/dvrack.html

Gary
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Old June 21st, 2005, 11:07 PM   #13
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FS-4 for mobile, DV Rack for stationary shots

I use both the FS-4 and DV Rack. If real estate videos are the bulk of the video, the FS-4 will be much better than having to carry around and set up a laptop for each shot.

The FS-4 clips to your belt, so if you're using a Steadicam, you can move quickly from shot to shot. If you're carrying a tripod, you've only got that one setup. Why complicate things with having to move both a tripod and a laptop?

You can sling the laptop on your back and emulate the FS-4 somewhat but checking DV Rack means putting everything down to open up the laptop.

DV Rack is better for stationary shots, such as performances and studio shoots.

Of the text describing DV Rack, the only phrase/sentence in the paragraph that does not technically apply to the FS-4 is the part about being the fastest clip review ever and jumping instantly to any part of any clip and interactively scrubbing through it. But you can jump to any clip and fast-forward/rewind through it, which is faster than tape.

Of the list, only the items about variable speed replay, adding notes and the optional remote do not apply to the FS-4.

I am a fan of both DV Rack and the FS-4 and was an early adopter of both. But I recommend the FS-4 over DV Rack for real estate videos, especially when there are 8 homes in one day.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 11:07 PM   #14
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Thanks Gary, but I have tried the trial version of DV Rack, and don't like it for a few reasons.
1. I cannot use the record button on my camera to start recording on the computer, this is when there is no tape in the camera. Yea I know a tape is good backup, but I don't need backup in what I'm shooting, I need to cut down wear on my camera heads.
2. There is a huge difference in size between my 15.4" wide screen laptop and the FS-4. I move from room to room in a house up to 8 houses a day, lugging around a 6.5lb laptop doesn't seem appealing.
3. I played shortly with the software and for what I would use it for it is way too expensive, Premiere Pro which I already own does everything I would need DV rack to do, they both lack in recording from my record button in the GL2.

I'm sure DV Rack serves its purposes, and does a great job at it, but I'm pretty sure it isn't what I need.

I'm going to wait another day or so, and see if anything used pops up, if not I'm going to order the FS-4 new. Thanks to everyone for answering my questions, especially to David.
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Old June 21st, 2005, 11:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Yuen
I am a fan of both DV Rack and the FS-4 and was an early adopter of both. But I recommend the FS-4 over DV Rack for real estate videos, especially when there are 8 homes in one day.
I agree as well, Thanks again David. I'll let you know how it works out.
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