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


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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:29 PM   #256
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will FS4HD work w/HV20 w/"rec" control?

Does anyone know if the HV20 outputs the signal that is necessary to trigger the FS4HD for tapeless recording w/o having to manually press the "rec" button on the FS4 itself?
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Old March 11th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #257
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FS-4 vs FS-4 HD?

There really isn't a very clear answer on this question that I can find... What is the difference between the FS-4 and the FS-4 HD? From what I can tell, the only difference is different firmware/software on the recorder, correct? It also looks like I can take a FS-4, buy the HD update software and flash the recorder to be a FS-4 HD, is that also correct?

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Old March 11th, 2007, 03:23 PM   #258
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FS-4HD adds HDV Video recording in .m2t recording format. Yes, you're correct about being able to update it. The Pro version adds time lapse, retro record, and a few other options - the latest version also adds quicktime support. They are all the same units, but the firmware is different. Some of the older regular FS-4's were silver - they are all black now.

Here is a pretty good chart as to the features of each of the Focus Enhancements recorders:

http://www.focusinfo.com/dynassets/d..._7Nov06_US.pdf
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 09:43 PM   #259
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Z1U and FS-4 in Tapeless configuration?

I'm struggling with getting my new FS-4Pro HD to work in a tapeless fashion with my Z1U (and FX1). Focus Tech support sent me instructions to do this bu they tell me to

1) Power Camera ON.
2) Press your Menu button.
3) Look for the "IEEE".
4) Set it to " Off ".
5) EXIT the menu.
6) CONNECT the other end of the FIREWIRE to the CAMERA.
**Camera is now SET UP.
7) Press RECORD on your camera. The FireStore's timecode should be running.

Where the #^&#$ do I turn off IEEE? I've been through all the menu items and cannot find this. I know that Sony refers to this as iLink but I cannot find this either. I have a long shoot tomorrow and don't know if Focus will answer my question in time. BTW, I can get the camera and FS-4 to talk to each other as long as a tape is present in the transport.

Thanks.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 03:53 AM   #260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reed Gidez View Post
Where the #^&#$ do I turn off IEEE? I've been through all the menu items and cannot find this. I know that Sony refers to this as iLink but I cannot find this either.
Strong words, like #^&#$, are not allowed in this forum, particurlarly when said loud!

Seriously now. Look in the "Camera" menu and find the violet/green "Component" arrows. The "iLink conv" is the IEEE item you are looking for. In my camera, "off" there is the default mode, so it's probably so in yours. That's why Z1 and Focus already talk to each other.

Quote:
I have a long shoot tomorrow and don't know if Focus will answer my question in time. BTW, I can get the camera and FS-4 to talk to each other as long as a tape is present in the transport.
Let's hope now it works for your long shoot. I think the camera does have to have an unlocked tape in place for the Focus to work. Don't ask me why.

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Old March 23rd, 2007, 06:38 AM   #261
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Sorry for language! Glad my keyboard edited my original post!

I did see the iLink conversion in the camera menu and it is set to 'off'. I just thought I was missing something else. I can get the FS-4 to start recording when I hit the 'record' button on the camera but if there isn't a tape in there, the camera gets fussy and reminds me it wants a tape and it won't pass the signal on. I don't want a tape in there.

Maybe I have to double check my FS-4 settings....again.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 09:40 AM   #262
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Keep looking in your camera settings; the Z1U/FX1 WILL pass signal without a tape! Actually it's the other way around: if you put a tape in but you don't record to it, the camera will shut off after 5 minutes.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 10:26 AM   #263
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Ervin

Thanks for your notes.

I've got the signal passing through to the Camera and the FS-4 will record albeit manually. I'm trying to get it to respond to the camera rec/pause control without tape.

I did learn that expanded focus will not work with the FW cable plugged into the camera. I find this a bit odd...
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Old March 27th, 2007, 12:12 AM   #264
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reed Gidez
I did learn that expanded focus will not work with the FW cable plugged into the camera. I find this a bit odd...
Aw, are you serious? I would've thought that'd be one major advantage to tapeless capture...oh well...
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 05:27 AM   #265
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Experience With My "new" Fs-4

(first of all ... sorry that may thread is divided in two parts. When I wanted to upload it an error was shown:
The following errors occurred when this message was submitted:
The text that you have entered is too long (13253 characters). Please shorten it to 10000 characters long. )


Dear readers!

I would like to share my experience with my new FS-4 and I write it in this forum because I see that there is a faster feedback on posts that by contacting Focus support and specially because there is mr. Matt McEwen who seems to me is doing a great job and is really trying to help people resolving problems. I also hope that he will be kind enough to answer some of my questions.

I was very happy when I bought the FS-4 and hoped it will perform well. Have to say that when trying it for the first few times it worked well but soon with more and more tests I discovered things that scared me a little.

- I have to say that if I knew for this forum and believed to a fourth of what is written before buying Firestore FS-4 I would probably never bought the unit.

-I decided to buy focus firestore because there are just a few products out there so I forgot about CitiDisk because it has no LCD for feedback and Nnovia costed a little more and didn't have some functions. Just hoped that FS-4 will do for me.

-Recieved the unit more than two weeks ago and registered it the same day on focus web site....but...still no answer from them....

- The unit itself is lightweight but it is so badly made and engineered that it really doesen't look nearly worth 1000+ $. I have seen many small portable devices that are made much better than the FS-4 for less money. MP3 players like iPod, Creative Zen, notebooks etc.... The plastic feels really cheap. The buttons are not good and sometimes you have to press it twice to have a contact. The print on the buttons is off... The manual is badly written.... Don't even want to talk about the battery fitting, it is so tight that once fitted I just hardly removed the battery pack. The battery contacts are not well made.... believe me, I am an electronics&mechanics engineer so I know how things should be done.

- I have an canon XL1 camcorder and my firestore FS-4 has v. 1.0.1.04042605 firmware. I checked to see if there is a newer firmware. The www.focusinfo.com website is not a good help to me. It is confusing to find out the right firmware. Everyting is just messed up in the Software download section. All models are in the same "folder". There are no dates of when the files were released. I downloaded some files and you just get an fs4.zip file with fs4.bin and some txt in it. No dates...?? And the revision history is also scarry. It looks like some of the features that are supposed to be working from the start on are implemented in the last firmwares (like GPI control and others...) Anyway I managed to download and install 1.1.0.04092006 firmware. There is no user login on the site so it looks like you cannot check what's new for your equipment.

- The most annoying: I can't get any timecode into Vegas. Set DV format to AVI Type2, timecode to TC EXT i can see the timecode running corectly on FS-4 but there is no timecode in Vegas. ????? How? Contacted Focus support but didn't found a solution. It is strange because I went to a friend who owns Premiere
Pro and tried the FS-4 files on his computer. It seems that there is
no problem with timecode in Premiere. The code was correctly displayed
in Premiere.

- Also about timecode... When the clips were imported in Premiere I saw a strange thing about timecode. The code does not go exactly from the end of first clip to start of second clip. Let me explain. For example:

IN OUT
clip1 0:10:15:12 0:10:18:06
clip2 0:10:17:02 0:10:20:17
clip3 0:10:19:15 0:10:25:22

See? Between each end and start of clips the code moves 20-30 frames back....
Looks like it moves along with tape. When the tape retracts after each clip the code also goes back and it actually records that tape movement... Strange.
So how can you sync tape and FS-4 video on timeline?

- The status LEDs are color confusing. They are put very close to each other and they are not isolated from each other. It is hard to distinct colors between red, orange, yellow, green when one LED mixes the color with the other. Also the blue backlight color affects LED colors. They should be somehow enclosed in a plastic.

- Every time I go into the menu, when I return back the sync is resetted to LOCAL. So if I set the SYNCHRO SLAVE mode for my XL1 and I go in the menu it resets back to LOCAL. Why that? I have to remember and set the SYNCHRO SLAVE mode manually each time I quit the menus. This is even more strange because it does remember the SYNCHRO SLAVE if you turn the FS4 off and then on. So why not when going in the menu? I just want to set SYNCHRO SLAVE mode as default. Is it so hard?

- I red that for some people it is very important in which order you turn on the camera and the drive. It seems that it works fine in both cases for me. At least that. No matter which one I turn on first it syncs OK.

- I hoped that I can change the control mode from SYNCHRO SLAVE to LOCAL during recording with the #1 programmable button. But unfortunatelly it can't be done. If you do, the recording stops. Why I would like to do that? Very simple. To avoid the disc recording stopping during tape change for example. The problem is that if you do have SYNCHRO SLAVE mode and you are recording, there is no way to change the tape without stopping the FS-4. You have to pause the tape and then the FS-4 stops. If I could get into LOCAL mode during recording the FS-4 would not be triggered by the camera and it would hopefully continue to record. Wouldn't be great to keep recording to disc while changing the tape? Yes it would!
Am I asking too much? No, I don't think so!

- There is some free space on the main page ( 2 rows) It would be nice if there is a DV signal indicator. Like: NO DV SIGNAL!! (flashing) or DV SIGNAL OK! Now there is no indication if the FS-4 is synced and receives an DV stream unless you are recording and the timecode runs.

- Why do the cursor buttons (left, right) stop a recording if you press them? When you are in SYNCHRO SLAVE control and you record, the FS-4 transport buttons are not working but if you press the left or right cursor key the recording stops and goes in the menu.

- It happened that the backlight LEDs started to flash like they are losing connection and then died. The backlight just didn't work anymore. I made a system reset but nothing helped. Removed the battery pack for a few minutes and suddenly the light is back. Strange. Seems like a software problem... Update: it looks like a bad connection. It happens a lot of times that I loose backlight. Not a good thing in low light conditions. You see .... nothing....

- When I connect the FS-4 to computer via the DV I/O port (not COMPUTER port)
I cannot use (emulate) it like a normal DV deck. It reports a driver problem. Have seen that others are also having this problem. But if you connect it to a DV deck it works OK. You can use it on computer just as a firewire drive.??

-I miss an overall time/counter. I cannot compare the total length of the recording on tape with that on disc. There is no display/counter on FS-4 that shows the total length of recorded material.

- During video clip playback from FS-4 the back index key does not move you to the last clip if pressed several times. It seems that if you want to go to the last clip you must press the forward index key until you reach the last clip.

- Similarly the utility that shows you the correct filename (UTILITIES->FILENAME CLIP->) does not respond to the down cursor key. You cannot jump to the last clip by simply pressing the down cursor key. You have to press the up cursor key all the way up until you reach the last clip.
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Old April 2nd, 2007, 05:28 AM   #266
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part 2

- Another thing is the ALARM.
From the FS-4 manual:

"ALARM (GROUP)
Selections consist of the following: ALARM ON (Default) and ALARM
OFF. Upon selection, the value is marked with a "- ". The alarm alerts
you for conditions such as low battery charge, low disk space, or over
heating of the FS-4, as well as the button feedback indicator."

As far as I understand that it says that ALARM OFF shuts off all the alarms. The problem is that even if you set the ALARM to OFF the battery warnings for example still remain and it is really annoying and unacceptable when you use FS-4 in a delicate audio environment that the alarm goes on...

- Strangely, the alarm does not turn on if a DV connection is lost during a recording. When you loose a connection due to a cable problem for example, the alarm does not alert you.

- What is the UTILITIES->DIAGNOSTIC? menu for? Nothing is mentioned in the manual....

- The 4 channel audio recording is very confusing or maybe not properly working. Still didn't figured out the correct workflow to use my XL1's 4 channel audio for later editing.

- FS-4 PRO has the option to custom set the retro cache time. In FS-4 the only option is 6sec. I wish I could set it to a smaller value. I find it to be too much for my work. I don't need more seconds. I need to lower them down.

- The hard drive is formatted in FAT32 so there is a 2GB clip length limit. Guess it is because of WIN/MAC compatibility. So if I use it only on PC why I cannot format it in NTFS so I don't have those limits?

- I transferred video clips from FS4 to my PC once and came across a bad clip. There was no audio and the counter showed that the clip is some 55 minutes long, but in reality the clip was not longer than a minute. I used the REPAIR CLIP utility on the FS4 (it renames the clip and puts it on the last place by the way...) and retransferred the clip to PC. The clip was really repaired and worked just fine.
But is it possible to repair such clips later on? If you transfer all material to PC and then you format the FS4 and you realize that there are faulty clips, can you then still repair it somehow??

- The most scary thing is that it happens that some clips are not recorded. They are recorded on tape but not on FS4. You can find some info in the FS4 log. It is written that a recording was started but on the end it says that the recording was stopped before any frames were recorded (or something like this). It is really scary. What happens? Maybe (just maybe) there is a cable connection problem. But I doubt it. The reality is that the Firewire connector was probably never meant to be used that way but it is strog enough to resist some force. I really don't care about all the features it has if it isn't reliable in the normal recording.

- Just a little about Focus support... I asked them if they can send me GPI documentation. Received this answer:

"FOCUS Enhancements do not support the GPI on the Firestore because it has not been tested by the Engineering department. Meaning there is not documentation for it."

Then I told them that I don't understand how there is no GPI documentation! And that I saw a forum where mr. Matt McEwen told others that GPI documentation is available by request. And how is GPI not supported if there is under the product
number ACSS-0019-01 FireStore FS-4 Wired Remote Control ????? which
operates by GPI...


Received the GPI documentation next day along with:

"Attached are the GPI Commands you requested. Please be advised that FOCUS is unable to provide Technical Support on this feature and you are using this at your own risk."

Must say that I believed there were more commands implemented in the GPI protocol.

- Just a few days ago I was filming some event when FS4 just stopped recording. The display seemed OK. The status LED was green. All seemed OK except that the clip number was showing 001 instead of the real clip number which should be around 070. The synchro record didn't function nor the manual REC button on the unit itself. I just couldn't get FS4 to record. I turned the unit several times on and off but nothing helped. When I had some time I quickly removed the FS4 battery and inserted it again. Then it worked OK. Thank god I had a tape in my camera. Just another reliability issue. I just lost confidence in firestore. Always have a tape in your camera!!!!!

- If EXT CTL is set to off and you send some impulse over GPI connector a lot of times FS4 just freezes. The display changes ande only 00 00 00 00 and 001 as clip number is shown on the display. You have to reset the unit. If EXT CTL is set to PAUSE for example it works just fine.


- I think that modifications I have written can be easily implemented into the software. Seems that the hardware is OK, so I see no problem.


- My conclusion is that FS-4 is expensive compared to portable mp3 players, notebooks, consumer DV camcorders .... For that price I can buy a laptop or a miniDV camera or an mp3 player with color LCD and video playback ....but it is targeted more to the professional market so that's why the price is "professional". But for that "professional" price I want a professional product. I don't care about all the bells and whistles and accessories it has, I just want a reliable unit. Not one with so much bugs. Don't care much about the hardware, but PLEASE at least make the software part worth 1000+$$

Thanks for reading throughout my findings. Please feel free to comment any of them!
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Old April 5th, 2007, 11:42 AM   #267
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SD 60P on the FS-4 HD?

So I got my FS-4 HD today. Of course, just like the rest of my gear I want to push it to the limits! Does anyone know if it supports shooting 60P in the SD/HDV mode? I am using the JVc 110u.

Thanks,

Matthew Rogers
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Old April 5th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #268
 
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It supports all forms of m2t files. The HD110 records 60P in a DV format that writes to m2t. Soooo, long story short...yes, if you record in HDV format.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 12:43 PM   #269
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It supports all forms of m2t files. The HD110 records 60P in a DV format that writes to m2t. Soooo, long story short...yes, if you record in HDV format.
Reading through the manual, that's what it looked like, but was just checking. So if I were to plug it into a 200 or 250, it would record the 60P also?

Matthew
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Old April 6th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #270
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FS-4 and DVX100A workflow

I did a search on the site for a workflow instructions that I can follow. This is what I'm trying to do:

DVX100A - recording at 24PA to FS-4 (40GB) is there anything special I need to do? settings wise. As far as I know all i need to do is drop the video files into my timeline and I shud be set - or am I wrong? FS4 is basically an external drive right? Does the FS4 need a quicktime upgrade?

All your help is greatly appreaciated thanks
Kris
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