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


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Old April 12th, 2005, 10:40 AM   #1
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FS-4 Questions

I've got a number of 3 camera shoots coming up where there will be no time to capture footage from my cameras to Premiere Pro. I know what the documentation says, but do any of you have direct experience plugging multiple FS-4's into your NLE - syncing up the footage - and rendering out a finished AVI?

I'd like to buy three FS-4's - do two hour shoots in the evening - plug all three FS-4's into PP via a IEEE1394 bridge - edit - render - then head out the following night to do it all over again. This will go on for several weeks.

Failure is not an option! I know these things are buggy, but nobody has reported that they fail to record.

Your comments would be appreciated!
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Old April 12th, 2005, 12:19 PM   #2
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long-form

I do several long-form events and have found the FS-4s to be awesome and free of bugs (but not fan noise). BUT, I also have a little more time to edit than it sounds like you do.

I can't speak to how they'd work with Premiere Pro or a Windows system.

I do know that Macs (my G4 and G5) will not recognize more than one FS-4 at a time. Therefore, I plug mine in, import the files to Final Cut Pro, put them in a timeline, export a timeline as a self-contained file, then import that to my timeline.

Then, I unplug the first, put in the second, synch those files with the new file I just described, and make a new file for it...then again for a third camera.

Then, I import those to Livecut, and multi-cam away.

For my shoots, I do this at night after the shoot, then can edit with those new files the next morning.

The ability to have the OS "see" more than one at a time would be a huge timesaver to me! It would also be nice to multi-cam with more than one file on a video layer in a timeline!!!!

- Steve
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Old April 12th, 2005, 01:29 PM   #3
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Steve,

Your process is pretty straight forward, my guess is it would take you a couple hours to ready 6 (3 x 2) hours of footage for edit.

One of the FS-4's major selling points is it's 'ready to edit' ability - it would be nice to find someone that has done this, preferably with multiple FS-4's at the same time... before I conduct a $2500 experiment.

Matt - I know you monitor this board. Are you able to verify that multiple FS-4's can be recognized and actually editted by PP in an XP environment? - or is Steve's method of importing FS-4 footage, one unit at a time, then rendering each of the multi 2GB files into a contiguos AVI file, then bringing each of those into the timeline for edit, the more realistic scenario? (sorry for the long sentence).
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Old April 12th, 2005, 01:41 PM   #4
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workflow

Jim,

I don't remember much about Premiere. Can you easily multi-cam edit in PP?

If XP will recognize more than one at a time, then you're golden.
If not, then, if you simply plan on putting your clips into a timeline and cut (many clips per video layer), then you could copy the files from two of your FS-4s to your internal HD, then use the third FS-4 as intended. The total copy time would likely be in the 40-45 minute range for all your clips to move from 2 FS-4s to your HD. Then, instead of moving from the third, edit with the third hooked up.

This way wouldn't take up too much time. Get a bite to eat while they're transferring.

I use a third party multi-cam editor which requires one clip per video layer. That's why it takes me so long. Still, I found it much easier this way than using the razor blade tool.

- Steve
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Old April 12th, 2005, 02:10 PM   #5
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In PP, the timeline is comprised of multiple 'tracks'...each camera gets its own track (I put titles/overlays on a 4th track). You simply slide the tracks around to sync them up. I set off a flash once all three cameras are rolling - the flash takes up exactly one frame so syncing it's pretty easy to do.

From what I've read, it should take about 40 minutes to transfer two hours of footage from the FS-4 to your HD, so perhaps 1 1/2 hours to transfer footage from 2 cameras?

That sure beats 6 hours and would make these jobs almost doable - however, it sure would be nice to just plug'em and have at it.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #6
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I do it the same way. Remember, since these are FAT32 formatted discs, there will be multiple files for each camera (not just one big clip) to go on each track (layer) in your timeline. Amazingly, so far, no dropped clips, no glitches, just good, clean video!

My rate of transfer has been a bit faster than what you speak of. Less than 30 minutes for 2 1/2 hours of vid.

If you're just working in PP and not a third party plug-in that requires single clips per track, then this will be AWESOME for you! I can't tell you how it's saved me from...well, I don't know what...but it's been very convenient for me on 5 different multi-cam shoots so far.

- Steve
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Old April 12th, 2005, 05:04 PM   #7
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Steve,

Yes, PP does multiple clips to a track - so the FS-4 footage will show up as multiple 2G clips.

I'm quoting Matt's estimate on transfer speed - he said 'at least' 30% - you seem to get 20% - not too bad.

From what I've garnished in the last hour or so, XP (pro) will recognize multiple drives connected through the IEEE1394 port, so between that and your glowing comments about the FS-4, I'm almost ready to reach for the credit card.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 06:35 PM   #8
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to be clear...

To be clear...the Mac will recognize multiple drives that come in through FW at the same time.

It's just that it won't recognize more than one FS-4 at a time. I sure wish it would. I'd emailed Focus support a week or so ago, and still have yet to hear from them.

BTW, if you think your stuff will last close to or longer than 3 hours, either get two per camera or the 80G Pro version. I wish I'd done that. I bought 3 and I do daisy-chain two together and it works great. That just leaves the second camera with only one FS-4. : (

- Steve
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Old April 12th, 2005, 07:42 PM   #9
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Can anyone confirm that multiple FS-4's will be recognized by a Windows XP Professional operating system?
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Old April 13th, 2005, 02:41 AM   #10
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Steve,

If you can daisy-chain on the camera end, then why not try it on the computer end.
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Old April 13th, 2005, 05:21 AM   #11
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tried it. doesn't work. doesn't work if I plug them into seperate FW inputs either.
- Steve
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