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Focus Enhancements FireStore
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Old September 16th, 2008, 03:01 AM   #1
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FireStore FS-4 HD function

I was planning to buy a firestore for my camera soon but there are a few things I don't understand about how it functions.,
I see it has a separate rec button but does it mean you have to set it to record manually each time you want to record with your camera?
My intention was to have a unit that starts recording when I press the rec button on my camera and also stops automaticly when my camera stops.
The battery life is about 90 minutes, is it 90 minutes after you power it on or does it only take power when you are recording?
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Old September 16th, 2008, 02:03 PM   #2
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The firestore allows auto recording - so when you hit record the firestore starts recording as long as you set it up and synced it. You can alos use at as a recorded alone just by hitting record on the firestore.

Battery life is bad in it...with the standard battery - you would be lucky to get 90 minutes and yes as soon as its powered on it starts eating at it. A worthwhile upgrade may be to get the extended batteries which last much longer (I forget the exact times).

I had 2 firestores and I liked it, but I am now in the market for something smaller, lighter and no moving parts...like the sony one coming out soon...
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Old September 16th, 2008, 03:08 PM   #3
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Thanks Matthew for your answer, so if I understand you right if I want to use this for weddings and power the firestore up at 09:00 in the morning but just shoot about 10 minutes of footage the next 90 minutes, If I don't power off the firestore each time I'm not recording it dies on me after 90 minutes?

In that case it's pretty useless for not continuously recordings? I wanted to have a tapeless solution for my xh-a1 for weddings that I could use together with tape. If the device only would draw power when recording with your camera then it would mean you could have 90 minutes of recording time over a much longer period. Do you know if the HVRMRC1 suffers the same problem?
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Old September 16th, 2008, 03:15 PM   #4
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Noa, the unit only draws power when it's turned on. You can certainly turn the unit off when you are not going to be recording and preserve power. Much as you'd do with a camera that is operating on battery.

When connected to my DVX or my EX1, the unit will record either separately from the tape/card or in conjunction with it. So for long recording, I just use the Firestore. I shoot tapeless with the DVX.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Noa, the unit only draws power when it's turned on. You can certainly turn the unit off when you are not going to be recording and preserve power. Much as you'd do with a camera that is operating on battery.
Yes, that was just my point, in a period of one hour I can shoot 50 different clips, this would mean that each time I power up my camera and press the rec button of my camera I first have to power up the firestore and each time I stop recording with the camera power off the firestore seperately as well. That seems like quite a hassle, no?
And because a wedding lasts 14 hours in general you constantly will be powering on/off camera and recording unit. I would have preferred that the recording unit's power on/off function would be triggered based on the camera's power on button. I'm not sure but I guess that's how the HVRMRC1 works when connected to the HVR-Z7U?
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Old September 16th, 2008, 04:51 PM   #6
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How do you power your camera for 14 hours? I would imagine you could use external batteries for both. In fact, I am aware of someone who did just that for his firestore and HVX.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
How do you power your camera for 14 hours? I would imagine you could use external batteries for both. In fact, I am aware of someone who did just that for his firestore and HVX.
Srry, think I didn't explain right. My camera battery lasts a full day, that's because on 14 hours time I film about 3-4 hours because I each time power up the camera when I need it and power off again after that.
My only complaint about the firestore was that you have to power up that one as well each time, so on each shot I make I have to power on/off 2 different units at the same time which seemed quite a hassle.

I allways thought that if you powered on your camera with a firestore attached to it and started recording the firestore would automaticly power on as well and start recording which doesn't seem the case.
So then the firestore is more suitable for continuous recording but not so much for run and gun shoots.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 05:37 PM   #8
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It takes an extra 3 seconds to hit the button on the firestore. Not really sure what the hassle is.

I also wouldn't call a 14 hour wedding a "run and gun" scenario, but then I don't shoot weddings.

When I shoot lit scenes, I have to position and turn on and off each light. When I shot stills, I'd have to turn my flash on and off separately from the camera. I mean, I guess it could be seen as a hassle, but I just view it as part of the process.

Maybe there are other solutions out there than can be triggered to power on through the firewire cable. I've never seen it, but maybe it exists.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 06:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
It takes an extra 3 seconds to hit the button on the firestore. Not really sure what the hassle is.
In run and gun, that's 3 extra seconds you don't have. A wedding is not always r & g but during a day you encounter many situations that are just like that. A lot of unexpected situations that require quick reactions,no time to set things up or to see if your camera has all the right settings and you adjust settings as you go along. Maybe the new unit from Sony might be different, anyway now I know that you have to start up the firestore separately each time I will have to think it over a bit more if this is really what I need.
Thanks for your answers.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 06:59 AM   #10
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the fs4 hd firestore has a cache function as well. it records 6 seconds of cached video prior to the pressing of the rec button. this might interest you in your event videography work.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 10:11 AM   #11
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If you want to use the firestore for longer periods definitely buy the extended batteries...I cant tell you how long the last, but I believe its around 3 hours.

I bought 4 of the extended (for 2 cams) and then used the regular 90min ones as backup.

The firestore is a pain to turn off an on all day just because it doesnt always come back on in synch and what not - plus it is a hard drive with moving parts and turning it off an on all day long greatly increases the chances of breaking the drive. So figure 2 extended batteries...roughly 6 hours...so if you turn it off only a few times you'll be fine with that!
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