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Old August 8th, 2005, 05:29 PM   #1
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External Hard Drive

I'm going to start doing editing with an external HD to work between to FCP Computers. Would I be best to plug in the drive and my camera and capture straight to the external drive, or capture to my internal AV drive and then transfer. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 05:50 PM   #2
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Do you have a second internal drive in your Mac? If so then that is generally faster than a firewire drive (FW400 at least, haven't used FW800 myself). Don't capture to your startup drive.

What kind of Mac are you using? I don't have any problems capturing directly to my firewire drives, although others have reported some problems with both the drive and camera on the same bus. On my G5 I have several FW400 drives and no problems capturing from the camcorder.

On my powerbook I bought a $30 firewire PC card and I plug the external drive into the computer's firewire port and my camera into the PC card for use on the road. This also helps when I want to backup one firewire drive to another - copies are faster when each drive is on a separate firewire bus.

If you're editing the same project on several computers it will definitely be easier to keep everything on the external drive. Otherwise you will have to do a lot of copying back and forth, and may also inadventently end up with some of your files on the other computer when you need them.

Just be certain to select the external drive as your scratch disk on both machines. If you try to use FCP on one of the machines and the external drive isn't there then FCP4.5 and greater will warn you and ask you to pick a new capture drive. Unfortunately FCP3 didn't have this feature and just switched scratch disks without telling you.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #3
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Thanks Boyd

I'm using a dual 1.8 GHz G5. The reason I ask is because I read something somewhere about problems running camera and HD on the same bus, which you mentioned. Are all the firewire ports on the G5 on the same bus? Forgive my thick skull as this is the first time I'll be using an external drive and multiple Final Cut machines.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:42 PM   #4
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Everything I've read indicates that all the G5's firewire ports are connected to the same internal bus. However I don't think you'll have any problems capturing to the external drive.... or at least I haven't! It seems that the Canon camcorders are more finicky in this regard (based on posts I read here and on Apple's site). All my cameras are Sony. The usual suggestions in the event of problems are to try different methods of connection, like plugging the camera into separate ports, or plugging it into the external drive's pass-through port.

Give it a try and see what happens, I suspect you'll be fine. There are PCI firewire cards also, and I don't think they're particularly expensive.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:19 PM   #5
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If it helps any... I'm capturing from Canon cameras to external USB and Firewire drives on my G5 imac. No problems - dropped frames or otherwise.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 12:27 PM   #6
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I've actually captured to my firewire drive with the camera daisy chained to the drive! Wasn't sure it would work, but as I was using a Mac Mini at the time, I had no choice.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 08:50 PM   #7
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Nate,
I have the same G5 as you plus I use a 2.0 G5 and dual 1.25 G4 at work, I use one of these external hard drives http://www.ratocsystems.com/english/products/dock.html the one shown is a windows version but they have Mac versions as well. Paid about $130 for it, came with one empty hard drive case, it takes regular ATA drives. The one shown is an internal model but they also have an external one, that's the one I got.

I got a firewire one on my G5 and two USB ones for the G5 and G4 at work.
I have 6 hard drives each in their own case and I capture to one and then take the drive home to work on it, I just make sure to set the capture and render settings to each drive as I use it so all my capture and render files are on that drive.

I never capture to my internal drives anymore, each project gets put onto a separate drive. The guy who does our After Effects work is on a windows set up and he has about 30 of these drives,(the hard drives, not the external casing.) He turned me on to this, it's been great using this set up, the portability of this makes my life easier, hope this helps.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 09:24 PM   #8
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Thanks!!!

Thanks for the info everyone! Rik I'll check out that link thanks. Now it turns out I won't be starting on this project until Sept. but it never hurts to be prepared. Thanks again.
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