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Old February 6th, 2015, 11:44 AM   #1
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Focus Enhancements FireStore

Hello
Recently my Sony PD150 tape mechanism went south and I need to know if a product such as the Focus Enhancements FireStore or Sony HVR-MRC1 can be used on this camcorder with NO TAPE INSERTED.

Common sense dictates that it would work fine as it uses the camcorder firewire, however, I would like to confirm that it is possible to do this as I like the PD150 and want to get more years out of it.

Any and all thoughts and opinions would be most welcome.

Best
KF
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Old February 6th, 2015, 12:41 PM   #2
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Re: Focus Enhancements FireStore

FireStore user here, but with Canon cameras.

I had a look at the user manual for the PD 150 to see if it cast any light on using an external DV recorder (it didn't).

Some DV cameras had a "VCR stop" function to reduce wear on the tape mechanism which would let the camera continue to output to an external recorder or PC. However, as your tape section is knackered anyway it is hard to predict exactly what would happen if you tried to record to an external recorder.
Does your camera stay in Standby mode indefinitely or does it want to switch off? I would try it with a tape in (an old one!) as well as no tape in.

You might have to start and stop the recording from the FireStore if the camera doesn't fully support DV control.

The FireStores were a bit choosy about which cameras they would work with - a Sony Unit might have a better chance of working.

Sorry that's not very much help!
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Old February 6th, 2015, 06:33 PM   #3
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Re: Focus Enhancements FireStore

I've still got my 150 and 170. Haven't used them in almost 2 years but they work....
Anyway, I used them both not with a Firestore but direct to a DVD recorder, and before that to a VCR to record. Remember there will be a flashing tape indicator in the screen but it won't show on the footage. You don't need to press the red button just start the Firestore and you are simply using the 150 for the lens and exposure to capture the image to the Firestore.
HOWEVER.....make 110% sure of the Firewire connection on both the camera and the Firestore. I had a friend that used one all the time and once...once, the FW connection came loose on the camera. You guessed it. No footage.
Should go smooth as silk.
Of course if you're interested in getting an extremely well kept 150 or 170 which has a new recording head and has good hours on it...Let me know thru a PM. It'll be priced right. Just sayin' ;-)
BTW I'm retired now but I do check in here once or twice a day. Force of habit!
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Old February 7th, 2015, 12:16 AM   #4
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Re: Focus Enhancements FireStore

Had Firestore on my JVC 110. It was very fussy (the Firestore, not the JVC!) and I never felt confident in it. And Firewire connectors are an invention of the devil that give new meaning to the term "hot pluggable". As when you plug in the cable and it gets hot enough to fry a circuit.

Now I use component out via a couple of converters to an Atomos Ninja. I'm much happier.

I only deliver in 720P anyhow so looks like I'll be happily using the old camera quite a few more years.
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Old February 7th, 2015, 06:23 PM   #5
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Re: Focus Enhancements FireStore

I use a PD 150 on a daily basis with a Focus Enhancements CF card recorder.

It works flawlessly.
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Old February 7th, 2015, 09:45 PM   #6
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Re: Focus Enhancements FireStore

Should have been more clear - my Firestore had an HDD, not CF. Probably if I'd waited for the CF version I'd have a better impression of the brand. But I didn't and I don't:-((
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Old February 7th, 2015, 09:54 PM   #7
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Re: Focus Enhancements FireStore

Oh and by the way, the same FS recorder works flawlessly with my JVC HD100 as well. I shoot mostly 720P24 on the JVC, recording the native MPEG2 stream, and (evidently) 480i30 DV AVI on the PD 150, recording to Microsoft DV AVI format.

Sorry to hear the FS disappointed you Jim. What was the fuss about?
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