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Focus Enhancements FireStore
Specifically for the FireStore DV Direct-To-Edit Disk Recording Solutions.


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Old January 4th, 2005, 11:20 PM   #1
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FS4-- Have a question (You there Matt?)

Hey Matt... like the name BTW... After a couple tape disasters this year I'm seriously in the market for a DTE device. Tonight in fact, I was on the CitiDisk page ready to click the submit button before I told myself to do more research on these things. I came across the Quickstream device and then was about to buy that one... liked the camera mount stuff. Then I found the FS4 here on DVinfo.net, and am very interested in this device...especially at the price it's currently at ($750 special offer). I'm going to tell you what I want or need, and you tell me what this can or can't do.

I want it to:

- Power itself for up to 90 minutes
- Capture clips as I hit the record button on my camera as if I were capturing to tape (I'll being using tape in conjunction with this).
- I want those clips to be transferrable to FCP in a way that they can be marked by the program, just as timecode breaks on mini-dv tape is marked with the 'DV Start/Stop Detect' command. In other words, I don't want to have to manually find the clip breaks.
- Likewise, I'll be using two of these on two different cameras. How does the FS4 label the clips? Since I'm using two different FS4's on the same editing project, is a potential problem to have two different clips from two different unit's named or labeled the same way? I want to avoid the dreaded: "Replace the existing 'Clip 1'?" In this case, I won't want to replace it... know what I mean?
- I understand the 40 GB model should be good enough for my purposes... is that up to 3 hours of 'footage'?

Lastly, I'll eventually need 4 of these bad boys. Can the current special offer price be guaranteed? I'm looking to get two now, try them out, and if I like them, get more. If I don't like them, what are your return policies? If they work as advertised though, I wouldn't see why I'd want to return them:)

Your feedback would be appreciated!
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Old January 5th, 2005, 03:58 AM   #2
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DV is roughly 13 GB per hour. So 40 GB will hold you max 3 hours
of footage. So the answer to your last question is: yes.
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Old January 6th, 2005, 02:14 PM   #3
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the citidisk looks really cool
-it is cheaper than the FS4
-does in standard what require the PRO version of the FS4
(like the retro capture feature on the FW1256C 679$)
-unique model is PAL OR NTSC compatible
-has a mounting unit (G-mount or V-mount accessory ) , but pretty expensive
-is available.
-is probably easier to use (no lcd , no button, just plug it !)
-has a wide range of power supply input (6-18V) so you can probably feed from almost any source you already get

I got a FS4 in pre-order since months , but if they are not releasing it very soon, i will cancel and go for a citidisk.
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Old January 6th, 2005, 03:54 PM   #4
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Hi Matt and Giroud,

I think it will be worth while to wait for the FS4 to arrive. I don't know why it is taking Focus so long to get the thing on the market. But from my experiences with the FS3 and my experiences with both the Quickstream and the CitiDisk, I am betting that Focus is going to release a far superior product, as far as stability and reliability is concerned. I also think that it will be functionally superior, based on what I have seen in the FS3.

I'm sure that the problems I had with the Quickstream and the CitiDisk (Which are basically the same things in different packages) have been ironed out for the most part, and that there are better models with more functions now on the market. In spite of that, there are indications (even if they may seem small - like poor user-manuals, lazy quality control on accessories like the mounting shoe) that those products are more toys than "professional" tools. I am a big fan of using "toys" for my work. Or rather getting toys to do what the "Profi." devices can do. But the most important thing that distinguishes "toys" from "tools" is reliability. And that is the main reason why I am going to wait another month before looking into alternatives to the FS4.
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Old January 6th, 2005, 04:13 PM   #5
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i am with you , but one month more and no more !
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Old January 6th, 2005, 06:24 PM   #6
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Gentleman,

Thank you for your posts and interest in FireStore FS-4.

As you may know, we were able to start our FS-4 beta program in December and this is progressing well. We are currently working very hard to finish the product and begin production shipments. With a product such as FS-4 which is designed to be used in a variety of applications, it is important for us to ensure consistent and reliable operation. We currently expect FS-4 to be available by sometime in early February with FS-4Pro to follow in March. I will provide this list with updates when I have them.

Thank you for your patience!

Best,

Matt McEwen
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Old January 6th, 2005, 09:19 PM   #7
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Hi Matt,

I understand all of that, and I appreciate your time here with us. However, you didn't address all of the questions I had above. Please refer to the original post in this thread and if it's not too much of a hassle, answer those for me? I'd really appreciate it! Thank you again for all of your input on the FS4:)

Matt
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Old January 6th, 2005, 09:59 PM   #8
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Hi Matt,

You're right, sorry. Sometimes I just jump to the last post.

Here is some answers...

- The standard battery will power FS-4 for at least 90 minutes in record mode.
- In FS-4's Syncro Slave mode, it is possible to control FS-4 totally from the camcorder (as long as a tape is in the camcorder except for a few exceptions).
- It is possible to record in the QuickTime format (identical to FCP clips) and each start and stop of a recording is saved as a single clip on disk.
- Clips on FS-4 are named using the current date and time a recording begins. When you connect FS-4 to a computer, each unit appears as a separate disk drive. After formatting, you could name the drive "Cam 1" and "Cam 2" for instance. When importing clips into the FCP bin, I typically put clips from different FireStores in separate folders in the bin.
- 40GB is about 3 hours.

To answer your last question, we are a manufacturer and hence only sell products at list price from our website. Two dealers that have FS-4 specials you may like to contact can be found at:
http://www.focusinfo.com/products/fi.../fs-4order.htm

Hope that helps,

Matt
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Old January 8th, 2005, 08:59 AM   #9
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DVT in sydney australia are also an official supplier of the unit.
at teh moment yoru looking at about $1500 for the standard and hopefully sub $2000 for the Pro
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Old January 8th, 2005, 05:14 PM   #10
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I don't know what those prices are about!?!

I hope the units aren't going to be that expensive in Europe ...

But anyway, I wanted to address the issue of media file names. I agree with Matt B. that distinct file names for different units would be nice. It would protect against potential mixups when shooting with multiple cameras, which I am planning to do as well.

It would be nice if one could set some kind of prefix to the date/time naming function of the FS-4, or FS-3 for that matter. As far as I know, though, none of the other DTD devices have that function either. Maybe the Nnovia. Does anyone know?

A workaround would be to batch rename the files using a program like iview, before loading them into your NLE program.
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Old January 8th, 2005, 05:19 PM   #11
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Although I've never worked with something like this, I think even if some of the files are named the same thing... IE... Clip 1, Clip 2, so on and so forth... that by keeping them all in different folders would avoid the dreaded 'replace existing Clip 1 file?' messages:) I just want to be able to drop them all in at one time with a drag and drop (into FCP) so I can clip the edges for transitions... if that makes any sence to anybody. That is my main concern.
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Old January 8th, 2005, 05:22 PM   #12
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As a side note, if I'm unable to get my hands on these FS4's for under $750 (US), I'll be going with something else more reasonably priced. I'll need four of these, so price is definately a buying point for me, especially when I'll be using them in conjunction with tape.
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Old January 9th, 2005, 02:22 AM   #13
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Hi,

I think Peter is referring to prices in Australian $$. Not US dollars or Euros. Click on the "FS-4 Pre Order Special Offer" on the FS-4 webpage, and it will take you to some special offers from US resellers.

One way of adding a unique file name, is to simply set different years in the Set Time and Date menu to the different units.

e.g. one would be set to 2001 and the second unit 2002. You would end up with file names such as : 20010109-122345-01.mov and 200210109-122345-01.mov. This would be one way of simply keeping track of clips from two different units.

Hope that helps,

Matt McEwen
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Old January 10th, 2005, 07:13 AM   #14
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yeha thats aussie prices for now, hopefully this will change..
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Old January 10th, 2005, 02:48 PM   #15
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I got the opportunity to purchase 2 DSR-DU1 (direct to disk from Sony) for a good deal (1800$ for both).
So i decided to risk to sacrifice one in an attempt to upgrade from 40Gig to 80gig. The original disk is a 2.5" IBM travelstar 4200rpm.
I put the Travelstar 80 gig 5400 instead and it works.
Easy to dismantle and tricky to reassemble but it works...
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