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


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Old January 5th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #1
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firestore reliability

Hi Sam

have you tried one out? a facilities company in central london, U.K swears by the firestore... i have held off cause i heard rumours too, would be good to have some solid reports from anyone who owns one!

by the way can't find release date on the Cineporter site - where does it say Summer 2007? and is it a confirmed date?

thanks

isabel
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Old January 5th, 2007, 01:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isabel Rocamora
Hi Sam

have you tried one out? a facilities company in central london, U.K swears by the firestore... i have held off cause i heard rumours too, would be good to have some solid reports from anyone who owns one!
I was on a shoot last night with two HVXs... one used P2, one used a Firestore. The Firestore screwed up a few times, actually.

The FW cable got snagged once... CUT. The battery ran out w/o warning... CUT. And we had a couple of late record starts... ACTION... wait... okay, ACTION.

It's not a terrible device, just finicky. Yes, it does long-form, but I rarely do that... and when I do, it's typically SD. If I had to do an HD doc today, I'd borrow an HDV camera. This is why I don't own a Firestore.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #3
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firestore reliability

wow! that does sound like a bit of a pain!!

well, i wouldn't choose to use the Z1 just cause of its limited lens (ie: full on depth of field whatver you do with it!)... do you know of any other alternatives to the Firestore/ P2 right now? and do you know whether Panasonic may have upgraded the Firestore since it first came out? (wishful thinking here!)

thanks for your advice

isabel
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Old January 6th, 2007, 08:44 PM   #4
 
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IMHO, tape has unpredictable dropouts.....any media has its aspects of unreliability. I use firestore fs4hd without tape backup. it's become that reliable. it does take some getting used to it, to understand where its weaknesses are. but, once you work thru them, i'll take it over tape, any day.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #5
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firestore hd

thanks for the tip, do you know if it's compatible for DVCPro HD use (Panasonic HVX 200)? looks like it's been designed for DV and HDV only...
isabel
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Old January 8th, 2007, 09:38 AM   #6
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fed up with it...

quick moan... We are in the process of trying to swap our Firestore for P2 cards... just cant rely on it.. we have had a few shoots now where we have resorted to using the tape backup taken at the same time...

We believe its the cable, doesnt matter HOW relieble the box is, if the cable wobbles (which it WILL unless you are only studio based) then we lose that clip...

Havent even dared to try HD yet... so... anyone got a couple of P2's they wanna swap if the shop won't take ours back???
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Old January 9th, 2007, 12:18 PM   #7
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cable

have you tried using a more flexible cable? friend mentioned it might be a good option - like the one off your ipod (if you have one!) - if you try it please let me know if it works! as i am considering getting a Firestore imminently!

thanks!

isabel
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Old January 9th, 2007, 12:53 PM   #8
 
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firewire cables are really the undoing of firewire devices. the best firewire cables I've been able to find are at www.unibrain.com
I should also mention that a lot of manufacturers are now warning to NOT hotswap 6-pin firewire devices because the 6-pin version carries external power. apparently if the power is on, several users have reported burning out their electronics by inadvertent shorts of the power pin to the signal pins. So, a word of caution...always turn the power off on your devices before plugging/unplugging a firewire cable.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #9
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Canon even recommends against swapping out the 4pin - unpowered firewire cables on thier camcorders.
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Old January 12th, 2007, 06:51 PM   #10
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There is a new 4-pin right angle FireWire cable that is available for FS-100/HVX200. It solves a lot of issues as it is more secure on the 4-pin side and also does not stick out from the camera as much which was causing many of the issues.

We also recommend that you check you are running the latest firmware (2.0.3).

Matt
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Old January 21st, 2007, 10:22 AM   #11
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My experience so far is that the FS can be reliable as long as you don't expect it to be -;)

Doublecheck everything all the time, and you're fine.

I'd love the version 3 firmware to have an alarm go off if the datastream is cut-off during recording when you haven't hit the rec button on your camera -;) Then I would maybe dare to use the bebox I got with it. -;)
For now I just don't dare NOT being able to see the screen at all times.

Gunleik
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Old January 21st, 2007, 01:03 PM   #12
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Matt, where can we find the right angle cable?
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Old January 24th, 2007, 03:38 PM   #13
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The right angle cable is a 4-pin right angle to 6-pin (4ft.) and will be available for order from the Focus webstore shortly. Order part number CBLA-0151-01.

Matt
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Old January 29th, 2007, 12:36 AM   #14
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Matt,
Doesn't Focus Enhancements already offer a firewire cable with an angle? If I recall correctly, one came with our DR-5000's (FS-3), but it was very short. We since have sold those off and upgraded to FS-4 HD's because of our cameras.

As to the reliability of the FS-4's, we used 3 of them ysterday for an All day cheer competition that we were doing. 2 cameras / firestores were on sticks and the other I was using as a hand held. Worked out perfectly. Ran all day without stopping or anything. No drop outs, no problems. I don't see what all the fuss is about. Recorded to .m2t files in HDV 30p. The only problems we are having is gaps between clips (a couple of frames) when put toether, although from my understanding this is a Vegas issue. We have 2 that have 100Gb hard drives in (Hitachi, same as OEM) and one with a Segate 120Gb, 8Mb Buffer drive in it.

The 100Gb = 670 minutes in .m2t mode

The 120GB = 804 Minutes im .m2t mode

Both work flawlessly - and it was an easy, 5 minute upgrade since we're computer guys.

For the hand held, we run a battery belt that powers the Firestore all day and night.
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Old January 29th, 2007, 10:47 PM   #15
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So, I am recanting some of my statement I made yesterday.... Although our firestores worked fine, there are gaps between files which is going to make it very time consuming to edit. Not happy. I have tried some other apps, such as Womble and Premiere Pro, same thing...glitches. I am beginning to think this is a Focus Enhancements Firestore problem, not a Vegas problem. Looking at their compatibility chart, the only thing it says is that the timecode does not work properly, but other than that, it is compatible.

Well, it's not. .m2t files have gaps, and until someone can point me in the right direction of what to do, I am recommending against the FS-4 units for HDV. At this point, I will be more than happy to change NLEs if it means that I don't have to go line all this stuff up. This is getting very old.
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