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Old November 20th, 2003, 10:04 AM   #1
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Firestore FS3 various questions

I have been looking at adding the FS3 to my Canon XL1 and my biggest questions have not been answered from research.

From my understanding so far:

1. FS-3V is the unit I need.
2. Canon MA100/200 is needed
3. Power System (Battery)

Questions are:

How do I mount the unit to the camera?
Does the battery supply power to both camera and drive?
What are all the requirements?

Thanks for your help. Looking at purchase within the month.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 12:58 PM   #2
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Guess I will have to fly by the seat of my pants on this one.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 03:13 PM   #3
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Butch, I'm working on the arrangements for a full review of the FS-3 with XL1S, where we'll touch upon all these questions. It's something I hope to have completed and online within a few weeks. Meanwhile, you might contact Focus directly by telephone and speak to Matt McEwen, I'm sure he'll give you the short answers. Hope this helps,
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Old November 24th, 2003, 04:29 PM   #4
 
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FWIW...

I've been using an ADS Pyro DV Drive. It's 1/2 the cost and quite simple to use. 30 Gig hard drive with internal rechargeable battery, so I don't have to rely on my XL1s battery. It will record in QT or AVI format. The only drawback is that you have to activate record mode by pressing a button on the drive, rather than the record trigger on the cam. This is actually kind of nice, because, it will capture whatever is streaming over the firewire port, as long as it's recording. I mounted it to my MA100 bracket, it's half the weight of the FS-3 and really inobtrusive.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 08:14 PM   #5
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Hi Butch,

I have been using the FS-3 with my XL1S for quite some time now. I thought I would try to help to make things more clear.

To answer your questions:
>>>>How do I mount the unit to the camera?

- You know how cameras can see a lot of action when shooting in the field, especially in ENG environments and EFP environments which require fast turnaround between setups... I decided to use a DOLGIN brace http://dolgin.net/PowerBrace.htm with my XL1S due to the heavy-duty metal design of Alex Dolgin's brackets.

My first concept was to use the DOLGIN PowerBrace, which works out very well. The following snapshots were taken with my old Pocket PC camera and not my trusty PowerShot - hence the lower resolution. It was the only camera I had on me at the time! But I think you will get the idea. http://noisybrain.com/firestore/donberube_concept1 The entire setup sits comfortably on your shoulder. Also, the DOLGIN PowerBrace is very versatile and will work with a variety of different power systems. I currently use the Anton Bauer GoldMount system to power the FS-3. The FS-3 can also be outfitted with most any other battery power system which you may require including Sony V-mount, NP-1, IDX and also includes a 4-pin male power input which would allow you to use any 12-volt battery with a 4-pin female output. This would also allow you to power the FS-3 from any 12-volt AC-DC power supply such as a Sony AC-500. The FireStore FS-3 does come with an included 12-volt AC-DC power supply.

My second concept was to have a bracket which would be more low-profile and would allow the FS-3 to sit more on top of my shoulder. My lower-profile setup idea was to allow me to quickly pull out my XL1S setup from my KATA quickdraw camera case. I decided to incorporate a DOLGIN Brace Classic with an Anton Bauer QR-XL1-C GoldMount power bracket which is made out of strong metal and easily supports the FS-3 and an Anton Bauer Goldmount battery (this setup can also power both the FS-3 and the XL1S at the same time) The following snapshots were quickly taken in my kitchen! http://noisybrain.com/firestore/donberube_concept2

>>>>Does the battery supply power to both camera and drive?

- Yes, if you set it up that way. You can also still power the XL1S with standard Canon batteries if you want - it is up to you. It's nice to have the option as backup. Alex Dolgin can provide you with a PowerBrace with a detachable "dummy battery" to power the XL1S as shown here http://noisybrain.com/firestore/donb...es/pic0021.htm (taken with my old Pocket PC camera) which clearly illustrates how the PowerBrace can also power your XL1S.

Alex Dolgin is extremely helpful and you can see all of his bracket solutions at http://dolgin.net.

>>>>What are all the requirements?

- The biggest requirement with the newer XL1S is that you set the "DV Control" to OFF in the internal camera menu. With the older XL1 and GL1, you would leave this set to "ON".

The bottom line is that the FireStore interface works extremely well at handling the task of managing your capture files for you - in most any NLE format that you may require. Very robust construction and versatile inputs and outputs. The FS-3 will even allow you to use a separate external firewire drive (other than the included firewire hard drive pod) should you desire to do so. That is a nice feature benefit. With the FireStore FS-3, all you need to do is make sure that the DV out from the camera is connected to the DV input on the FS-3 (via the included FW cable), turn the camera on, turn the FS-3 on, select what format of capture file you desire (very easy to do), set the FS-3 Control Mode switch to External "Synchro Slave" Control and go. The FS-3 does not take you out of your "camera operator zone" as it will Record start/ stop whenever you hit the REC start/ stop button on the camera. It will stay that way for as long as you want, even if you turn off the camera or place it into Standby. The FireStore interface is so well thought out and with the FS-3, it's almost as if you do not even have to read the manual. The LCD display is also very large and bright with a defeatable tally light for additional user comfort. Another big plus with the FS-3 for me is that it also interfaces with the other higher-end DVCams which I use from time to time pretty seamlessly - right where it should be, between the camera and the battery.

If you have any additional questions on my XL1S/ FS-3 setup, this may help to clarify how I use the FireStore DTE technology http://noisybrain.com/firestore/woods_hole_FS3_ad.pdf

You can also contact the very friendly Support team at Focus Enhancements via the following link: http://www.focusinfo.com/contact.html or you can contact Matt McEwan's tech team at Focus Enhancements at Phone: (408) 866-8300, Fax: (408) 866-4859.

Please do let us know if you have any other questions and do let us know how you make out.

Best regards,

- don
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Old November 25th, 2003, 03:44 AM   #6
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So Don, why are you not using DV Control? I thought that this
was the key concept between such systems. That when you
hit the record button on the XL1 the FS starts recording. To
my knowledge this is only possible with DV Control? Or am I
missing something??
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Old November 25th, 2003, 09:47 AM   #7
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Don, thanks many for your input on this it looks like you really spent some time with this in the field. I will take to heart your advice and as soon as I get the budget approval I will let you know what my results are from a newbie standpoint.

This is a great help.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 06:03 PM   #8
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Rob,

Don is correct. The current way to use FireStore (FS-1 and FS-3) with an XL1s (or XL1) is to have a tape in the camcorder and then set FireStore into Slave mode. On XL1s, ensure that DV Control Mode is set to OFF.

FireStore does not use the DV Control protocol that exists in XL1s to control record/record stop from the camcorder. We use a slightly different method which enables FireStore to be controlled from any DV camcorder, not just those that feature a DV Control Mode. The end result is basically the same...pressing the Record trigger on your camcorder starts FireStore recording and a second press stops FireStore recording (as it pauses the tape transport as well). A new press of the Record trigger will start FireStore recording again - this time on a new file to disk. You end up with a tape you can archive and an identical disk copy with separate files created from every start/stop which you can begin editing with immediately.

Hope that answers some queries.

Best regards,

Matt McEwen
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Old November 26th, 2003, 02:44 PM   #9
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I thought I would list the different options available for mounting FS-3 directly to Canon XL1 or XL1s camcorders. The three main mount methods currently available are from Anton/Bauer, IDX and Dolgin.

1. ANTON BAUER SOLUTION - you will need:

- Canon MA-100 or MA-200 (The MA-200 is MUCH better in terms of sturdiness).

- Anton Bauer QR-XL1c. - This device includes a power converter which converts 12V to 7.2V so that you can run the FS-3 and XL1 off one AB battery. It features a dummy battery mount (similar to the Canon power supply) and mounts directly to the MA-100/-200.

- a longer 6-4 pin FireWire cable (we will have in stock in about 2 weeks to suit this setup).

For more info, visit:
http://www.antonbauer.com/

2. IDX SOLUTION - you will need:

- Canon MA-100 or MA-200 (The MA-200 is MUCH better in terms of sturdiness).

- IDX A-E2XL1. - This device includes a power converter which converts 12V to 7.2V so that you can run the FS-3 and XL1 off one IDX battery. It features a dummy battery mount (similar to the Canon power supply) and mounts directly to the MA-100/-200.

- IDX Endura battery

- a longer 6-4 pin FireWire cable (we will have in stock in about 2 weeks to suit this setup).

For more info, visit:
http://www.idx.tv/

3. DOLGIN / ANTON BAUER SOLUTION - you will need:

- Dolgin Power Brace. This device includes a power converter which converts 12V to 7.2V so that you can run the FS-3 and XL1 off one AB battery. It features a dummy battery mount.

- Anton Bauer battery

- a longer 6-4 pin FireWire cable (the longer cable we are getting is not long enough for this solution so a longer 6-4 pin is required).

For more info, visit:
http://www.dolgin.net/

Hope this helps.
Matt
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Old December 4th, 2003, 03:59 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the help. I just got off the phone with my vendor and expect the unit to be in by the middle of next week. I have a 5 day shoot in South Texas just after that and will write a newbie review of how it works.
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Old December 4th, 2003, 04:54 PM   #11
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Hi Butch,

Which bracket will you be using?

Would love to know,

- don
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Old December 12th, 2003, 10:57 AM   #12
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Using the Anton Bauer. Not because of anything special but the supplier had the batteries in stock so I picked that one.

Ordered the unit on last Thursday and it arrived yesterday. Unpacked and got everything put together but my camera is packed away ready to ship to Texas so I will not be able to shoot anything with it until I get there.

The information Matt gave was dead on. I went with the MA100 for cost only, did not need the extra two XLR ports and felt I could handle the extra weight ok. As a newbie found that the Anton Bauer adapter will power the camera as well or if I need the extra battery life for the drive I can run the cam with my own batteries. The larger batteries should be good for all I can shoot while in the field though.

The unit was easy to setup and put together and can't wait to get a chance to see the results.

Also, One of my XL1s is in the shop so the camera shop loaned me a DVX100 to use while on the shoot. I will not use the 24P though because all my stuff is for broadcast.

I will try and post my newbie results when I get back.

So far I'm smiling though.
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Old December 19th, 2003, 09:29 AM   #13
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Just back from Texas.

The shoot was incredible. We do an outdoor Fishing and Hunting show for statewide network television and the area was incredible for getting outstanding video.

Not sold enough on the DVX100 to buy one. Seems the settings are a little too extreme for my taste, either too hot or too cold and the adjustments were not as easy to "figure out" as the salesman said it would be. Small is great but lens throw with 10X zoom was very inadequite for the situation. That is only a newbies view though, I'm sure the camera does a fantastic job in the hands of an experienced professional. Loved the size and flip out monitor though.

Firestore FS-3AB was everything advertised. Setup was fairly simple. Hookup to the XL1 was easy enough. Recording was a breeze and file handling was flawless. In a nutshell this peice of equipment saved me over 20 hours of time just on one project alone, well worth the money, way to go Firestore. From my perspective I would highly recommend one of these to anyone that shoots a great deal of video and needs a fast economic turnaround to edit.

Only drawback I had with the unit was weight. Tracking through the brush in Texas is much different with cactus and prickly pear bushes everywhere. I have not put it to the scale yet but estimate that it adds about 10lbs to the carry weight and that means alot when you are walking several miles a day chasing deer. At over 6' and 230lbs in fairly good condition the weight was did not cancel out the benefits of having the unit.

Overall, I would say the only downs to the unit in my situation was weight and it takes more than a few seconds to power up in a fast action situation but not bad at all in my view. Thanks again for all the help getting setup with it, I'm still smiling.
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Old December 19th, 2003, 01:44 PM   #14
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Butch,

Thanks for posting your experiences.

Just to clarify, the official weight of FS-3AB with a 40GB drive is 2.6lbs. I also checked with Anton/Bauer and their 90wH Dionic model is 1.7lbs.

I am not sure of your setup though Butch and you may have had additional cables, mounts etc.

Matt
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Old February 2nd, 2004, 04:02 AM   #15
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FS3 + Sony DSR 250P + Matrox RTX 100 Extreme

hello there,

im using the dsr 250p and the matrox card rtx100 extreme with adobe premiere 6.5. im going to plan to buy a fs3. now my questions: are there any known issues or problems with fs3 and the dsr 250 or fs3 and the matrox card? im using ntfs harddrives im my editing system but fs 3 accept only fat 32. maybe a problem? matrox doesnt recommend to use firewire hd for editing. is it possible to drag and drop the videofiles from fs3 to my hd in my computer (fat 32 doesnt accept large videofiles so they are split at every 9 minute or so) and could i then use the splitted files as one large file on my editing system or get i a lot of small files?
i hope someone could answer my questions

thanks a lot

murat
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