Just got a new FS-4 Pro HD. Yes, just got it, and it's "new." at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > External Video Recording Solutions > Focus Enhancements FireStore

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 30th, 2011, 01:42 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Warren, Michigan, USA
Posts: 96
Just got a new FS-4 Pro HD. Yes, just got it, and it's "new."

This was an eBay purchase, sold as "new," and I assume it was NOS (new old stock) - it was in the box, all accessories were in bags/boxes, had all packaging, manual, and had the clear film stuck to the front of the unit. Everything appears new. $355.00 plus $18.00 shipping - I say a pretty good deal. It's the 60 GB version.

I got it because the heads are shot on my trusty old Sony PD-150, and this was cheaper than replacing the camera or having it repaired. I intend to go HD "one of these days," and this will buy me a little time, plus it'll be ready when I make that big move.

I spent the evening testing this thing by recording videos of my cats, and here's what I found:

-With the Sony, my best bet is to simply hook it up and control it with its own buttons. Sure, it'd be nice to synchro record, but it ain't happening. Tape in, tape out, doesn't matter. Whatever. Not gonna complain.

-I have the backlight set to auto off, but, as I read on an old thread here, it only turns off the blue light. When I record, the backlight turns to a bluish pink, then turns red after about a minute. Naturally, I freaked out when the screen turned red (red is bad, right?), then I read that thread and felt much better.

-I have had it refuse to record a few times. Recording stops when I move the camera around (loose Firewire connection?). Press stop twice, press record again, no go. Sometimes backlight flashes rapidly. Power unit off & on, usually (but not always) clears up problem. Later, I deliberately tried to mess up the recording, and it worked fine throughout. Go figure.

-Battery life SUCKS. 90 minutes my a**. Is the long-life battery still available?

-My cats remain perfectly motionless when a video camera is pointed at them.

I guess I'm satisfied, but I will be rolling tape along with it at my next wedding. The big problem with recording on my Sony is frequent dropouts during the first 5-10 minutes of each tape, featuring the dreaded vertical mosaic lines, which ruins the footage. I also have trouble with audio dropouts on playback, but it's never the same twice, which tells me that the tape's OK, at least in those spots.

I guess I'm looking for any kind of advice on how to make this thing as reliable as it can be, and validation that I didn't get ripped off (I don't think I did). I know that despite its "newness," this thing is a few years old, and I assume I can forget about any kind of warranty. Anyone tried, say, running a bead of silicone or epoxy around the Firewire connection on the camera to keep the cable in place? I don't care if I can't remove it.

Any real world experience anyone can share would be great. Yes, I've read the long sticky thread.
John Harmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2011, 07:09 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 1,521
Re: Just got a new FS-4 Pro HD. Yes, just got it, and it's "new."

I haven't had any FireWire trouble with mine (and I'm on Canons) but I always support FireWire and other cables connected to the camera. There's a mic holder on my XH-A1 which has only once had a mic in it (great place for a mic if you want to record the motor and servo noises from the camera) and I find this a convenient place to run cables through. Depends on where your FW connection is located but a bit of experimenting followed by gaffer tape judiciously applied at the camera end would be less permanent than glue.

The Firestore end should be less of a problem - I take it you are using a 6 to 4 pin cable like most of us?

Last edited by Colin McDonald; June 30th, 2011 at 07:26 AM. Reason: Typo
Colin McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 5th, 2011, 03:14 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Berlin Germany
Posts: 40
Re: Just got a new FS-4 Pro HD. Yes, just got it, and it's "new."

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Harmon View Post
-Battery life SUCKS. 90 minutes my a**. Is the long-life battery still available?
Yes, get mine today from

Videonics BATT-0009-01 Battery for FS-4
Norbert Holzmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2011, 11:51 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Warren, Michigan, USA
Posts: 96
Re: Just got a new FS-4 Pro HD. Yes, just got it, and it's "new."

Wow. That's expensive. I think I'd do better with something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/i-UP-13200mAh-External-Notebooks-Netbooks/dp/tech-data/B002PE5EM8/ref=de_a_smtd
John Harmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2011, 06:57 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: New Lebanon, New York
Posts: 224
Re: Just got a new FS-4 Pro HD. Yes, just got it, and it's "new."

Have had my happy FS-4 Pro (not HD) for several years now. It's still going strong, except for the batteries. The batteries do suck. I just plug in the FS-4 Pro to an outlet which is just fine for my video-recording needs. I think it's a dandy device. Also own the FS- 200 Pro (with HD capabilities). Its batteries are great.

Good luck with your new device.
__________________
Mac Pro (12-core 3.33GHz): OS X 10.11.6; 32 GBs RAM; NVIDIA Quadro K5000; 8 internal SSDs; 2 external Raid set-ups via eSATA; MOTU 2408 MK3; various audio/video programs
Ed Fiebke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2011, 07:35 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Warren, Michigan, USA
Posts: 96
Re: Just got a new FS-4 Pro HD. Yes, just got it, and it's "new."

OK, I got the iWalk battery pack I mentioned above. I'm testing it now by simply recording a stationary image. So far it's run for 113 minutes on 16 volts (with Firestore battery removed), and the iWalk is still showing 4 of 4 battery lights, and it isn't even warm. This thing rocks, and it's $69.99, less than half the Firestore long life battery. With 13200 mAh capacity, it gives the Firestore incredible battery life - even though my test is incomplete, I see so reason why I can't run this thing to the end well before the battery dies. Of course, I can also use it for laptop, phone charger, anything USB powered. Also, the camera battery lasts a lot longer when it doesn't have to run the tape transport.

UPDATE: I ran the thing until it ran out of HD space (260 minutes), 3 of 4 battery lights lit. Then exported everything to my PC, formatted the FS-4, and recorded some more. Man, this is just what I needed!

There are a couple drawbacks. First, this thing is bigger than I expected - an inch longer than the Firestore itself. Second, it's another thing to carry around - just what I need. I think I'm going to invest in some kind of satchel-type bag to sling over my shoulder.

I'll be trying it out in the field this Saturday - I'll report back.

Last edited by John Harmon; July 25th, 2011 at 11:12 PM.
John Harmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Warren, Michigan, USA
Posts: 96
Problem.

After my marathon recording session, which yielded 4 hours and 20 minutes of my kitchen floor, featuring a 5 minute clip of one of my cats eating, I noted an issue. I cannot import these files directly into Vegas 10. Why? When you drop a file onto the timeline, Vegas generates a peak file in the same folder as the video file. However, it seems that the PC cannot write to the FS-4, so no peak file. I get a black screen and no audio.

Worse, it seems that once you've connected the FS-4 to your PC, the files somehow get corrupted. I eject the drive, remount it, and HORRORS! There are NO files present! Now that's one thing if you're just screwing around at home recording your cat eating, but quite another if you've just spent the day with a bride and groom. I did use the repair disk utility, and it does work, but rather than restoring it to the way it was, it generates lots of files with an .REC extension, most of which are just 32 KB in length. I found some files that were the length I would expect, copied them to my desktop, renamed them by changing the extension to .avi, and that did the trick. (I'm recording Type 2 AVI's.)

So, my advice is to copy the folder containing your precious video files to your PC right away. Forget about editing straight from the FS-4, just be glad you don't have to capture tapes, especially when you've had the tape problems I've had.

So...I've licked the battery life problem and figured out what I need to do to actually use these clips. The acid test comes Saturday, and, despite the fact that my camera's heads are pretty well shot, I will be rolling tape along with the FS-4. A wedding is not a time to experiment.
John Harmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2nd, 2011, 11:27 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Warren, Michigan, USA
Posts: 96
Re: Just got a new FS-4 Pro HD. Yes, just got it, and it's "new."

The device worked great on Saturday. What else to say?
John Harmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2011, 08:13 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Berlin Germany
Posts: 40
Re: Just got a new FS-4 Pro HD. Yes, just got it, and it's "new."

Thank you for update :)

Use mine on a Mac with Final Cut Studio 2. But most of the time I use tapes instead. I have to integrate it on my Steadicam. Yust have to set an other cable through the post.
Norbert Holzmann is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > External Video Recording Solutions > Focus Enhancements FireStore

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:44 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network