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


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Old April 20th, 2006, 05:16 PM   #1
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To buy or not to buy

Hi guys

Been thinking about buying the fs-4 80gb model mainly for wedding work and drama productions where it would be great not to change tapes especially drama productions when sometimes there are no suitable breaks to change tape. However reading through this forum there just seems to be too many glitches that I couldn't possibly justify buying one. I would love to go tapeless, can anyone convince me that the fs-4 is the way to go!

Many thanks

Gary
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Old April 20th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Mckinstry
Hi guys

Been thinking about buying the fs-4 80gb model mainly for wedding work and drama productions where it would be great not to change tapes especially drama productions when sometimes there are no suitable breaks to change tape. However reading through this forum there just seems to be too many glitches that I couldn't possibly justify buying one. I would love to go tapeless, can anyone convince me that the fs-4 is the way to go!

Many thanks

Gary
Gary,

Not to sure where you are getting all the negitive info, but I think almost all are very happy. Most initial problems seem to come from not reading or understanding the manual. Once you get that down, mount and dismount etc., it goes pretty easy.

If you want to be convinced, simply read all of the posts, good and bad, in this area of the forum. Remember, very few of those who buy and use them will ever post a glowing report, only those who have trouble. All of those I have assisted in this Firestore fourm, simply couldn't figure out how to use it properly.

Just keep reading and see if it is the tool for you.

P.S.: I would think that for weddings you would want to keep tapes in it too. I believe you can change tapes while you are still recording and it is a great way to insure you have useable footage. You can't get everybody together again to reshoot the wedding.

Good Luck,
Mike
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Old April 20th, 2006, 06:26 PM   #3
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Maybe you are seeing some of the posts about HD and the firestore ? I have no personal experience with it but it seems tat there where or still are some issues with HD

As far as i know there are no issues with the FS-4 in general. i got mine plugged it in and it worked just like it should

Now i wouldnt go tapeless though because i wouldnt want to end up with nothing. I generally always run tape as well
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Old April 21st, 2006, 10:44 AM   #4
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Thanks guys

I'll have a think about it and do some more research. I'll let you know if I decide to buy.

Gary
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Old April 21st, 2006, 10:49 AM   #5
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I think a lot of the critical comments about the FS-4 in this forum have come from me.

I haven't been very active lately because I have had a lot of work. Also a lot of the questions and comments have been going in the way of HD, which I'm not into yet.

I just want to say that my FS-4 Pro 80 GB has been working to my satisfaction for the past three months. I still wouldn't go entirely tapeless, but I would recommend the FS-4 to anyone who wants to edit without having to capture the footage from tape first. Or anyone who wants to tape continuously for more than two hours.

I say go for it!
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Old April 21st, 2006, 11:01 AM   #6
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I have been using the FS-4 for a little over a month now and I am very pleased with it. It makes editing a breeze since there is no digitizing anymore. I also still have redundency. I record to Sony HDV tapes and shelve them the moment I take them out. You never know what might happen with a hard drive. But overall, very pleased.
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Old April 21st, 2006, 11:21 AM   #7
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I have been one of the others with a negative experience with the FS-4, both of mine have been sent in to be fixed. Both problems were fixed, but I still have start up problems from time to time.

I probably use the firestore differently from anyone else, meaning I shoot video tours of homes. Typically I start and stop the firestore 25x per house. I don't know if this gives the firestore problems, but is the only thing that I can conclude to, also all this starting and stopping wears down the battery much faster.

The firestore has always been great at weddings; combined with an external battery pack the unit is great for weddings and events.

The idea is great, I still feel the unit is lacking. There shoudln't be any start up problems, battery problems, lcd, or firewire port problems when the units cost so much.
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Old April 24th, 2006, 04:29 PM   #8
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i've been shooting tapeless with the fs-4 for over six months now? i spent almost $400 to replace the xl1s drum assembly, but i've never used it since then, thanks to the fs-4.

just got back from a 3-day shoot at the track in vegas, hundreds of clips on the hdd, with only a couple of minor gliches.

i don't do long-form stuff like weddings, but i'd investigate what happens when a new clip has to be created because of the fat32 limitations... there have been a couple of complaints out here about audio at that point.

i record 4 tracks of audio, then use the software utility focus sells to pull out the second pair of audio tracks... when i put the clips together on the vegas timeline, there is some weird overlapping issue... you can blow the timeline up to sub-atomic level in vegas, and it looks like the audio/video files don't always exactly match up in terms of lengths.

i don't know if it's caused by the software utility, or it's some weird vegas timeline problem, i still need to investigate the cause.
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Old April 26th, 2006, 01:08 AM   #9
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Gary

The two uses that you mention (drama and weddings) imply very different ways of using an FS4. In drama you will have the time to set up a static situation. The FS4 doesn't have to be mounted on the camera. You can use mains power. Once turned on the FS4 can stay on. You have time to make sure all the settings are correct.

With a wedding, there is a lot of moving about and the FS4 needs to be mounted on the camera. Unless you are going to do some fancy metalwork, this means the Focus holster. Unless you are going to load down your camera with an extra battery, this means using the short-life battery that fits the holster. The short-life battery means you will need at least five batteries to record 80Gb (unless you buy the unnecessarily big charger at the rip-off price) because you won't be able to use the FS4 to charge batteries during the shoot. If your FS4 changes settings during the shoot (as they are prone to do) and you don't have time to check on every occasion when it is turned on then when you get back to base you may find that you have recorded part of your booking on RAW AVI etc.

The FS4 is a great concept - unfortunately it wasn't properly road-tested before it was released and now Focus don't seem to be interested in fixing things.

At the UK Video Forum in January, Focus were on the Holdan stand. I tried to talk about getting the design bugs fixed - no interest.

Ray Liffen
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