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Old June 5th, 2005, 11:01 AM   #1
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FS4 Pro 80 2 weddings and Findings


Just wanted to post my findings after having used my FS4 pro 80GB for 2 weddings 1 week apart.

Firstly the FS4 behaved without fault except for one odity which I will come to later.

Firstly the fan issue. I wore mine on my belt, which was covered by my suit jacket all the time, and the weather was about 20 degrees c, so it would have got quite warm. Although I wear headphones, when I took them off and had a look at the FS4 to check all was OK I could not hear the fan, not once during a total of 10 hours plus use, so looks like for what ever reason my FS4 Pro is better in that department. Although it could even by a fault ! As I have an outstanding issue with it where the backlight still functions eratically so will send it back to my UK distributor now that I do not need it for a while.

The belt clip is just OK, it can come of if you kneel down and the FS4 is pushed up by your leg, but left hanging seems fine, but the belt clip could do with being made slightly better to stop this problem.

For batteries I have found the NiMH unit which I purchsed following posts by Jon to work extremely well, not only does it run the unit for me whilst I have it on the tripod like the church service and speeches, but it also charges the battery during gaps like during the meal, well worth the purchase. For that resons I can get by with 2 FS4 batteries and this NIHM pack.

The FS4 failed mainly due to my fault, once when the cable fell out and it wouldn't record and I couldn't work out why until I saw the cable ! and once when I must have put a battery on it which was almost discharged. I looked down as I do often to check and noticed the unit was OFF, changed batteries and all was OK, I could have sworn i'd charged it, weird that one, but the battery has since taken a full charge so I will keep an eye on it. The clip I had just filmed was corrupted, was baout 30 seconds long and not important so will not worry about taking it off the tape.

The only odd thing I cannot acount for which I mentioned above is that on 2 occasions not that far apart (about 20 minutes) I had 2 small files (not very long and important) that the sound had gone awry. What I mean is that the sound sounded like when you blow through a fan. The whole clip, about 5 seconds has it, I located it on the tape and it is fine, so not sure what happened. I have the file if anyone is interested 20MB though, the other is 27 seconds long and 100MB. I only checked one on tape, but as that was fine suggest the other is also, I have not had time to go through all the footage so perhaps others have it. Probably a good reason not to go totally tapeless for both reasons above, at least I have tape as backup !!!!

So far I'm impressed, it means that the 50GB or footage takes about 25 minutes to transfer over on my dual G2. Also a point woth mentioning on that front. If you have an apple display as I do that has the USB and firewire ports on the back then attaching the Fs4 to that port and not the one on the front means that it takes 2 hours to copy !!!

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Old June 5th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #2
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Mark, thanks a bunch for an excellent field report. Sure appreciate your efforts in writing all of this for us. I wonder if gaff-taping the FW cable to the unit might be a plausible way to secure it.

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Old June 5th, 2005, 03:31 PM   #3
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Thanks Mark,

I wonder what the audio disturbance issue is about.

BTW what kind of Mac are you using? ... I'm guessing it's a G5 and not a G2. I've never seen vertical dyslexia before!

Thanks for your report. And I would personally recomend hot glue rather than camera tape to secure your cable.

Daniel Kohl

Frankenstein meets XL1
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Old June 6th, 2005, 10:20 AM   #4
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You spotted the obvious mistake then :)

Its a Dual G5 2Ghz (new breed) with 20 Apple Display, I use the 30" display at work and that rocks !!

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Old June 13th, 2005, 01:51 PM   #5
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Hi Mark,

Thanks for you terrific report. If you don't mind, I would like to get a copy of the corrupt audio file that you mention so that engineering can take a look at it. If possible, maybe you could burn a CD or FTP a file for us.

Thanks again,

Matt McEwen
Product Manager
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Old June 14th, 2005, 01:40 AM   #6
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Sure no problems send me your ftp details and I can upload, you can email me those details if you wish mark@videomyday.com


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Old June 21st, 2005, 12:08 AM   #7
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Just an update on that corrupted file...If I play the file in Quicktime 7 as a standalone file then I get the problem. If I play it from within FCP5 then it sounds OK..Therefore I suspect the file is OK and its the QT7 that is the issue, but strange that FCP does not have the problem....I will test on QT6 and report back.

Weird !!!

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Old September 17th, 2005, 01:37 AM   #8
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I have the fs4-pro 80 mounted to my XL2 and was getting a weird sound on tape, a sound that was rhythmic in bass like a heartbeat, It only showed up when the fs4 was mounted to the cam. Also, their was no fan noise whatsoever, I didn't even know it was an issue. The fan only made a sound when it started up, then it shut off after just a little while.

So by my own decision I reformatted, reset the disk, reinstalled the firmware update, and whalla! No rhythmic bass sound when mounted....BUT...now I have fan noise all the time, it never shuts off! I'm pissed off!! I do a lot of creative event films (weddings) where quiet is the norm. And even though I don't use most of the audio off the camera, when I do, it certainly can't sound like this. Regretfully I feel Im going to have to sell it as honestly its more of a convenience than a need, and if it an't working right anyway, its not really worth the connivence.

Anyone at Focus know why my fan won't shut off like it did previously?
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