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Old August 14th, 2005, 04:02 AM   #91
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FS-4 - the POWER ON button is too vulnerable

Lay an FS-4 face down on a flat surface. Push down slightly. What happens? The FS-4 powers up. That Power On button stands proud and it's too easy to accidentally start the unit.

Several times now I've come to use the unit at the start of a job, or when upacking after getting back and found that it was running despite being protected in a bubble-wrap bag. Last night my carefully-charged battery was almost out of power when I came to use it.

Gear designed for mobile use (phones or digital cameras for example) usually has the ON button recessed.

The FS-4 was designed for mobile use - was there any beta testing? It would surely have shown up this design flaw.

Ray Liffen
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Old August 16th, 2005, 12:27 AM   #92
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FS-4 power button goof work-around

Yes, the FS-4 does have some serious design flaws including the power button that sticks out the front like a sore thumb so when you pull it out of your field bag the battery is dead because it turned on simply by being in the bag.

As I was trying to determine how I could pack the FS-4s in the gear bag in a way where they would not inadvertently power-on, I realized that if you turn the FS-4 unit around (battery pack toward the front) in the on-camera mount (the one that came with the "field kit" option) it protects the power button from anything pushing it by accident.
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Old August 16th, 2005, 01:16 AM   #93
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Excellent idea.

(but just one more thing to remember to do)

Ray Liffen
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Old August 17th, 2005, 12:09 PM   #94
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Good idea Bruce,

I just want to say that there was beta testing of the FS-4. I know because I was asked to be a beta tester.

I mentioned the problem of a not recessed "on" switch, along with several other things (some of which have been mentioned elsewhere on this forum) in my reports. I'm guessing that I was primarily a software beta tester without having known it, because the production model of the FS-4 was almost identical to the beta unit, except for a few software tweaks.

I have asked myself, why do a beta testing program and then not listen to the recommendations of the beta testers, but then again, I don't know what the other beta testers reported.

Maybe the FS-5 will have the physical improvements which are needed on the FS-4.

Meanwhile - ingenuity is the best recourse. When the guarantee runs out on your units, you might think about opening the unit and filing down the plastic stem on the inside of the power key so that it doesn't sit so firmly against the IC board. This will prevent general accidental power-ups.

I still have a problem forgetting that the "on" key is not a "record" key. For some reason I associate the record function with a round symbol. (this is the type of stuff I reported)
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Old August 17th, 2005, 10:39 PM   #95
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FS 4 problems

Tommorrow I'll be returning my SECOND FS4. The first one had intermittent problems, so B+H sent me a replacement. I opened the new one and put it through its' paces. Here's the results.
1- All the functions worked on the XL2 except that it had a glitch when recording from tape to the FS4. I found that I had to remove and replace the firewire plug from th Canon each time I wanted to record from tape.
2_ Then I tried it with my GL1. This time I was able to record from tape, and record the camera shooting, but only in local mode.I tried repeatedly to use it in slave mode, but no luck.
I was really hoping that the replacement would work the way it is supposed to. It's a great piece of gear, but too problematic for me at this stage of its' development.
I'd love to have one that works, but I guess I'd have to camp out at B+H, or someplace else, and try to find one that didn't have problems.Or maybe I just got two lemmons...
Bruce S. Yarock
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Old August 18th, 2005, 01:31 AM   #96
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The problem with beta testing is that by then all the 'mechanical' or 'physical' parts of the design have been finalised and the design team are really hoping for a pat on the back and maybe just a few tweaks to the software.

From a 'users' point of view the FS-4 is riddled with inconsistancies. Supposing we were starting again. Lets have:

1. A recessed ON switch that is also the OFF switch.

2. A recessed RECORD button that needs just one push

3. A recessed STOP button that needs just one push

4. Just one firewire socket, that changes function when you switch between 'camera' and 'computer' modes. That would leave room for . . . .

5. . . . . the power socket, which moves from the other end so that ALL cables exit the FS-4 from the same end. The ON/OFF switch above would also be on the end panel, to keep it away from the operational controls.

6. A hard disk that actually records 186 mins rather than 173 min. The FS-4 is intended for use with lightweight cameras and needs to match the recording time of 3 x miniDV at SP or 2 x miniDV at LP.

7. LIGHTWEIGHT power supply accessories. The FS-4 is designed for mobile use and the power supplies should reflect this. The present FS-4 design uses a heavy cable and a heavyweight plug/socket, all unnecessary.

There's nothing in the above list that is non-standard. These button arrangements and cable arrangements have been found over the years to give secure, logical operation. It is the present FS-4 design that is non-standard. Could anyone from the design team explain why they did so?

Ray Liffen

Last edited by Ray Liffen; August 18th, 2005 at 02:07 AM.
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Old August 19th, 2005, 09:51 AM   #97
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FS-4 and naming clips

I just got an FS-4 and have already run into something that I need to figure out. I shoot LOTs of football and love that I can click and create a clip. One thing though is when I finish and transfer all these files into Premiere. The clip names are year-date-time.avi so when I sort, there is nothing to cause the sort to be in the order I want. Is there a way to adjust the naming constraints with the FS-4?
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 08:52 PM   #98
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Hi Rick,
currently there is not a way to change the file naming convention used when FS4 is encoding new files to the HD.

Thanks,
Jim at Focus
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Old August 29th, 2005, 06:21 PM   #99
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FS-4 Firewire Connection to PC

The FS-4 comes with a 6 pin to 4 pin firewire cable. Does anyone know if a 6 pin to 6 pin firewire cable will also work? My PC does not have a 4 pin firewire input.

I purchased two FS-4s. The first one showed a "No Disk Detected" error immediately. The second one worked for about an hour and then displayed the "No Disk Detected" error. I tried a 6 pin to 6 pin cable but it did not work. I am curious about whether the FS-4 was not working correctly or whether only the 4 pin cable works for tranferring video to the PC.
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Old August 29th, 2005, 07:27 PM   #100
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Is this a PRO model or regular FS4???
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Old August 29th, 2005, 08:37 PM   #101
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Hi Bruce,

Does this unit have version 1.0.1 software? You can download it at the Focus support website. It fixed some Canon XL2 related bugs, but I have not heard of issues with the GL1... I'll request the lab takes another look at it in the morning.

Hope that helps,

Matt
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Old August 29th, 2005, 08:40 PM   #102
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Hi Jeff,

FS-4 will work with a 4-pin to 6-pin or a 6-pin to 6-pin FireWire cable when connecting to a computer.

Give tech support a call though, you should not be seeing "no disk detected".

Hope that helps,

Matt
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Old August 29th, 2005, 09:18 PM   #103
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matt,
It did have the new software. The strange thing was that the first one I got worked with both cams, except it wouldn't consistenetly capture from tape on the xl2(It did, however, capture consistently from the gl1!). The second had the same tape capture problem, but wouldn'twork in synchro salve on the gl1.
Have you tested the fs4 with the xl2 in tape capture mode?
Thanks
Bruce Yarock
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Old August 29th, 2005, 09:45 PM   #104
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Thanks Matt, when I call techical support the person I talked with was not sure if the FS-4 would work with 6 to 6 pin firewire. I did get one of mine to connect with another PC in a test with the 6 to 4 pin cable before the "No Disk Detected" message.

I sent one FS-4 back to the vendor and sent the other one in for repair to Focus Enhancements. Given what happened and costs of each unit, I need to see how dependable they will be "in the field" with an XL2 before I get more of them. These were recent production models with s/n's over 5400.
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Old August 30th, 2005, 06:12 AM   #105
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I'm in the same boat you're in - I just returned my second unit in for repair/replacement since I've started using the FS4Pro in June. The first one worked ok for a while, then wouldn't power up at all. The replacement unit I got worked fine until I used it in a shoot - locked up and went into endless reboot cycle.

I really hope this can be repaired. I'm looking into the nNovia untis if I end up having to return the FS4Pro a THIRD time.


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