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


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Old January 27th, 2002, 12:25 PM   #1
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Firestore instead of dv deck?

I've been considering a sony dsr11 deck to master to for my NLE. Wonder if the Firestore would serve pretty much the same purpose? I'd been planning to dupe GL1, XL1 footage to 3hr dvcam tape for backup/safety before editing - might the Firestore perform the same function- in the field as well- have instant rewind for viewing footage and save XL1/CL1 drive/head wear. Anything wrong with this idea? Could master finished proj back to camera -non commercial projects at present. Thinking of using XL1s firewired to Firestore or batt pwrd deck
and field monitor during shooting when situations permit.
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Old January 27th, 2002, 06:53 PM   #2
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I've left a couple of messages about this same idea. Chris uses one, and has a good write-up on the DVInfo site. Videography magazine also reviewed it in their January issue--good review.

I'm strongly considering one--the ability to skip the capture stage would be a real time saver. It will likely take some time to build confidence to not use a tape, though. Also, on the XL-1, I'd have the "no tape" icon flashing in the viewfinder (but not on the external LCD). I think that the XL-1s gets around this problem.

The only downside I can see is that the Firestore requires a FAT32 volume, and MAC OS-X will not read FAT32 volumes; one would have to run FCP under OS-9.x, which is somewhat of a bummer.

Vic
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Old January 28th, 2002, 12:14 AM   #3
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To save wear, I use a $700 Digital 8 unit via firewire. Tape speed and pitch rival dvCam and dvcPro. Plus cheap straight 8mm tapes.

One thing I've heard (not yet dealt with, myself). There might be a bit of an audio drift snafu on long, continuous xl1 footage, so beware on doing long dubs.
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Old January 28th, 2002, 12:51 AM   #4
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I use an XL-1 to shoot theater productions -- I haven't experienced an audio sync problem, with continuous 1 hour tapes, that some have. One reason the Firestore appeals to me is the ability to record acts that go beyond 1 hour, without hoping for a long enough scene change to swap tapes.

I used to use a D-8 Sony, but it had the same 1 hr limitation. I've been leery of the 83 minute tapes -- they seem pretty fragile.

Before I saw the Firestore, I considered a DSR-11. I presently use a Panasonic DV2000 deck for mastering, but it's too large to take on a shoot.

Vic
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Old January 28th, 2002, 07:43 AM   #5
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Maybe the FireStore people could come up with a real field unit, built in LCD, and In/Out point marking capability for offline edits. It would make their great product impossible to go into the field without. Imagine being able to go into the edit suite with a rough cut already done with the client on location. It would be such a time($) saver
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Old January 29th, 2002, 02:44 AM   #6
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And I think it would be wise of them to offer a power
solution for the whole kit. Including a harddrive. Only
one set of batteries to put in. And since the box is
large enough, it wuold be interesting if it could be
mounted inside the box. Or if they design a new smaller
box, on the outside of it. Perhaps native Mac support
is a good thing too :)
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Old January 29th, 2002, 02:45 AM   #7
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Vic,

I don't think the XL1 will work with this unit. Because
it cannot control it. Only the XL1S supports external
device control if I'm not mistaken.... Chris?
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Old January 29th, 2002, 09:54 AM   #8
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I believe that Chris uses his XL-1 with it with no problem. Maybe he can speak to that. In my case, I'd be running it continuously for long theater productions, so start-stop wouldn't be an issue. Even without the control, I could start it manually, much like I'd use the DSR-11 that I've been considering getting.

The biggest problem I see with the unit is its inability to work with volumes other than FAT32. With the large partitions available now, restricting it to FAT32 volumes makes little sense. Also, MAC OS-X will not recognize FAT32 volumes, although OS 9.x will. That creates a problem if running FCP under OS-X.

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Old January 29th, 2002, 11:48 AM   #9
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After my previous reply, I got a note back from Focus Enhancements (Videonics). Included was this quote:

"FAT32 will continue to be our cluster format of choice for cross platform compatibility. However Mac OS 10.1 now supports FAT32 volumes. Our testing in house with an 80Gbyte drive works with Mac OS 10.1."

They responded to my query in about 30 minutes -- amazing!

I haven't yet verified this -- I'm anxiously awaiting my new DP1GHz to arrive on my doorstep.....

Vic
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Old January 29th, 2002, 11:59 AM   #10
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Rob,

There was some early misinformation regarding FireStore and the Canon XL1S that stated you had to have the XL1S in order to get the slave mode feature, where you trigger a new clip on FireStore every time you hit the record button on the camera.

This isn't true -- the slave mode on FireStore works on all camcorders, including my XL1. You don't need the new XL1S to get this feature with FireStore.

Videonics told me they didn't want to limit the FireStore to an internal hard drive because who knows which drive specifications are going to be around this year or the next. By using an external drive, you can mix and match any number of different drives. You're not locked in. It's much more universal the way it is now.

Besides, if you use one of the smaller bus-powered drives, you don't need a separate power source for it. Just one battery pack for FireStore, which in turn powers the drive.

I agree FireStore should be smaller. But it does work great the way it is now, and is smaller than most DV decks. Plus, you're eliminating the entire video capture process, which is a huge leap in productivity.
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Old January 29th, 2002, 06:11 PM   #11
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'Nuther firestore query

Chris- tell us (yes I read your review)
1 Does this unit require the batt mentioned in specs only- or will any 12 batt pack/belt do?
2 To view footage in the field with a monitor it appears the unit requires a converter ie. dv-NSTC like a sony DVM2 (or of course the camera) is this correct.
3 Could one then actually do without a dv deck entirely? Except for possibly mastering a finished project.
The immediate appeal of this unit to me is the ability to instantly review shots/takes on a set without messing with the camera. And later to facilitate logging clips for editing.

IS ANYONE actually using it with a Mac. Can one format drives with - something like, what, Virtual PC or such?
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Old January 29th, 2002, 06:30 PM   #12
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Dr. Morbius,

The Krell have spoken; the Forbidden Planet thunders with the roar of the mysterious and powerful Id Monster; and Robby is processing your request for ten metric tons of zircon-encrusted vanadium.

To wit:

1.) Just about any 12-volt power source will do. According to the FireStore manual, to power the FireStore plus one low-power drive requires a 7-15 volt DC source, 2amp min. - 9amp max.

2.) To view footage on an NTSC monitor requires an analog-to-digital converter such as the $250 Canopus ADVC-100. Of course, you could always use an LCD or NTSC monitor connected to your DV camcorder's video output jacks. That's what I do.

3.) As far as I'm concerned, you can do without a DV deck unless you need one for final long-length mastering purposes. FireStore is commonly used as an on-set "video assist," plus the added benefit of no need to do lengthy video capturing in post.

I have no Mac experience with it, sorry -- hope this helps,
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Last edited by Chris Hurd; January 29th, 2002 at 06:57 PM.
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Old January 29th, 2002, 07:16 PM   #13
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Forbidden Planet has always been one of my favorite movies. I recently got a VHS tape of it. I showed it to my teenagers--they thought it was cool, but weren't as impressed with the special effects. After much badgering, I got them to admit they were pretty good for their time!

Now, where did I put that damn noisy Robby....?

Cheers, Vic
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Old January 30th, 2002, 12:24 AM   #14
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Forbidden Planet is a wonderful adaptation of my favorite Shakespeare play, "The Tempest." It was the first movie to sport an all-electronic musical soundtrack. I never get tired of seeing it... a beautiful, colorful, fun science-fiction movie.
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Old January 30th, 2002, 01:13 AM   #15
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The Tempest huh..., maybe this question should be on another thread but what do you think of Prospero's Books?
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