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Old February 7th, 2003, 01:11 AM   #1
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Laird CAPDIV Direct DV Recorder

Has anyone used these direct to harddisk portable recorders?

Do you need to have a tape installed in the camera?

3.3 or 4.5 hours of recording and transfer at 4x speeds by Firewire sound pretty good to me.

You can see them on www.lairdtelemedia.com

David
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Old February 7th, 2003, 06:10 AM   #2
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Hi David,

I posted a note about this device back in October (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...&threadid=4636), but the thread died with very little response. Hopefully by now, someone has used one of these and can provide more information.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 07:05 AM   #3
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I think the cost is keeping most people away. I don't know of anyone using them or even considering them because of the costs. Even news production isn't really considering them (their most likely audience in my opinion) because of the costs and tight budgets. They would have to drop in half before I would consider them.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 08:27 AM   #4
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You're probably right Jeff, they are expensive, but not that much more than the FireStore FS-1 ($995 without hard drive) and that product seems to generate a lot of interest. This one seems much more compact and comes with the hard drive and battery. Once you compare apples to apples, the price difference isn't so much.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 09:05 AM   #5
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Firestore seems to have gotten off to a rocky start. But even at $1000, I know of few people who own one. I mean, $1,000 buys a lot of tape. I would get interested at a price around $600 USD. That's a little less than what I spend on tapes in a year.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 10:57 AM   #6
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I seem to remember a discussion on this board when Firestore first came out that it would be a great product if it was smaller amd more portable.

I'm looking for this as a way of capturing a 3 hour lecture and demonstration without having to change tapes.

Also I had a situation once where I recorded in Interlaced mode and then by accident used the same tape and recorded over that footage in frame mode. I lost the footage due to that. Bummer.

The price doesn't seem to bad if you consider the time it takes to capture video to the computer. Also it seems it would save the heads on the camera. No tape to wear them out...

David
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Old February 7th, 2003, 02:15 PM   #7
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The wear and tear is one of the reasons that people might consider a DV recorder. However, there are many mini DV camcorders under $600 now. If the DV recorder were in that $600 range I think people would consider it over a camera for playback.
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Old February 7th, 2003, 02:57 PM   #8
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The great thing about the Laird is that it is $600 less expensive than the Sony DU1 which has a list of a over $2,000 and is listed at B&H for about $1,800.

As nice as these drives are they still don't have the flexibility of say a DSR11 or 25 deck. I know not having to capture is nice but when the project is done I will still be archiving to tape so a deck is good to have. As problematical as tape maybe I still trust it more than a hard drive.

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Old February 9th, 2003, 04:42 PM   #9
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You could also just tape straight to a laptop if you're not going anywhere with the camera. The example of taping a lecture further above could be wonderfully done by taking your XL1, connecting it by firewire to a laptop sitting next to it, and recording the DV stream using iuvcr (at http://www.iuvcr.com). It's not free but records a very nice Type1 DV stream.
Depending on your harddisk, you can record for hours on end - you'll need about 12.6Gb/hr. You can even connect an external 120Gb firewire disk to the whole setup and have almost 10 hours available, ready to edit.
Of course if you do this you control the recording from the laptop and not from the camera; i.e. you start/stop iuvcr, not the xl1. But I don't think that would be such a loss, would it...

HTH,

Kai.
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Old February 9th, 2003, 06:03 PM   #10
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I first saw the Sony disk recorder at a local manufacturer's demonstration. The Sony rep was singing the company song that the "value proposition" (mba code language for "high profit justification") was the time savings that direct-to-disk offers. That might be true for news stations but it won't cut it for many other segments of the video market. As Jeff remarked prices will have to dramatically shrink to make this a "value proposition" for me.

Personally, I see the future of direct-to-disk unit designs being nearly identical to Firewire disk designs; an enclosure equipped with a chipset similar to the "Oxford 911" which handles the transcription from DV frames to disk files. The disk itself would be simply a 7200rpm ATA drive.
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Old February 9th, 2003, 06:35 PM   #11
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Ken, I'm sure you've seen the iPods. They are powered by Toshiba 1.8 inch drives. Toshiba just announced the availability of 40 gig drives. A year or two and the space will double again. Then you'll have a package at an affordable price. You could get 6 hours to a 80 gig drive. Bring that in between $600 and $800 and you'd have a winner.
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Old February 9th, 2003, 06:47 PM   #12
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Now that's a "value proposition". A device the size of an iPod which easily clips to your belt and stores 3-6hrs of DV footage. $600 for that device? Sure, gladly.

I have the 10Mb iPod and have marvelled at how nicely designed it is and how much music it can store.

It's going to happen, probably within a year.
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Old February 9th, 2003, 06:56 PM   #13
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I've been using the Firestore, off & on, for some time. Initially, I had some rocky times and the company has been very helpful in getting them resolved. Some involved MAC compatability, some involved the actual recordings. I'm still working a couple of issues.

While being able to do a data dump without capture is great, I still need the tape to safeguard against the glitches I'm still having. Some are minor, some are serious. This is still cutting-edge stuff, and should be treated as such.

To restate, the mfg has been quite responsive, and hopefully, someday, these problems will only be a memory!
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Old March 18th, 2003, 08:10 AM   #14
 
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ADS Technology has been working with a camera to HD capture device for over a year. There are some prototypes being tested, but, ADS has not been satisfied with the software drivers and has not released the little bugger. Estimated price point will be around $500. I wish I could get my hands on one.
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Old March 18th, 2003, 11:26 AM   #15
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A year or two, yes,,, you can fully expect to see several small and portable solutions from several manufacturers by NAB 2004. I would say that by that time a larger percentage of us will be shooting in HD a larger percentage of the time over SD, which changes things once again.

It will be interesting to see which companies are proactive enough to take this into account and offer a solution that will not not only SD but also HD. That probably means two different interface connections. Unless I am completely mistaken, I do not think FireWire 800 will handle HD - true HD that is, and not that lossy, noisy and highly compressed "HD" offered by JVC.

I'm sure that Focus Enhancements is listening to as much feedback as they can from as many shooters as they can, in terms of what did and didn't work on the original FireStore ie: size being one of them. One thing I truly like about the FireStore is that it allows you to capture in almost any file format. I'm not sure that everone appreciates this feature though. The main pattern seems to be that it should be very small, with option to mount on the back of a camera and with internal, replaceable and rechargeable battery and two 2.5" hard drive bays. The thought being just like Canon's Dual Battery adaptor, allowing you to not have to stop recording to change out a hard drive, you can record on one drive and swap out the other as it becomes full. I want to be able to at least swap out the hard drive and not have to go to a laptop and dump off the data, reformat and continue shooting. It would seem by now that we have the technoilogy that would allow us to buy additional 60GB 2.5" drives which would slide into a "pod" casing which then would be inserted into the main unit on the back of the camera. This seems to be what most people want. Give the people what they want I say and stop designing these units to be the size of a shoe box.

- don
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