It's official I'm on the Firestore bandwagon! at DVinfo.net

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Old October 3rd, 2007, 12:16 AM   #1
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It's official I'm on the Firestore bandwagon!

I have never ever been a fan of shooting straight to disk. I had a bad experience with a Firestore in the past and TERRIBLE experiences with their competition (CitiDisk, etc.) but I recently had to bite the bullet in a situation where ONLY an FS-100 could allow me to pull it off. Well...I am in love.

With the new version 4.0 firmware, I cant imagine ever shooting to P2 in any situation that would allow for a Firestore. I ran around Disneyworld for 2 solid days shooting ride stuff, live bands, stand-ups, you name it, with this thing clipped to my hip. The FS-100 performed FLAWLESSLY and back-up absolutely kicked P2 and the P2 Store in their collective asses. 24PN? It's there. Frame rates? There. Timelapse? There.

I found that 2 extended batteries would get me thru an entire day of shooting and with the new firmware that allows 24PN, you can shoot FOUR AND A HALF HOURS of 720P HD to the Firestore without having to dump! Where you are shot out and want to dump, couple clicks and BAM, it shows up as one giant 100GB P2 card. It took a little under an hour to dump a full firestore which is about the same time it took a P2 Store to copy a SINGLE 16GB card. Once you confirm your files, format, rinse and repeat.

I would HIGHLY recommend that every HVX owner have a Firestore, especially if you do any run and gun stuff. You are going to want at least one extended battery to go with the standard and you are also going to want a Firewire Saver which helps secure the firewire cord better. I have several people now doing this workflow and all of them are loving it as well.



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Old October 3rd, 2007, 06:08 AM   #2
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I agree with you 100%.

I bought provably one of the first ones ever sold in the US. The only problem I keep having is with the FW cable disconnecting and that is why I am answering your thread.

I notice you talk about a "FW SAVER". What is it and were do I get one?
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 10:01 AM   #3
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Fire Wire Saver for Panasonic HVX-200
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 12:01 PM   #4
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Thanks Michael,

Is there something to hold it in besides the FW & Earplug connector?
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Old October 4th, 2007, 11:06 AM   #5
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That's really the whole point. It adds the much more secure connection of audio plug
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Old October 4th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #6
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The Firewire Saver doesnt look like much but IT WORKS... I was bummed when I got it in the mail but ecstatic when I took it out in the field.



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Old October 4th, 2007, 07:18 PM   #7
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Glad

Hi Ash:

Glad you have had a good experience with the FireStore. I was loaned one from our rental company to shoot some tests with it and I came to a different conclusion...

1. Fan is too loud for interior interviews in quiet rooms

2. I cannot hang my career off of a 4 pin FW connection, FW saver or no FW saver. What if I am shooting an interview with a big director or actor and I suddenly find out that whoops! Sorry, we didn't record your 20 minute reply to that question? I would be fired instantly.

3. You seem to have had good luck with the files but MANY here have posted about losing files, corrupt files, etc. with the FireStore.

I'll wait for the 32 GB cards in a couple of months. I have three 8GB and two 16GB. The 16GB have really eased the pain and the 32s, when they arrive, will make life a bowl of cherries.

Glad it's working for you though, that's cool but for me, too much risk, too many issues.

Best,

Dan
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Old October 5th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #8
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The file issues are almost exclusively user error. In practice, there are no more issues than with P2 cards if you know what you are doing. Check the DVXuser forums, there are lots of people who have issues with P2 files being lost, corrupted, etc.

The firewire cable argument does not hold merit in most situations. When you do interviews, etc. you have cables running into the camera right, audio, headphones, power? What if the audio cable came out? Power? I literally RAN AROUND the entire park like a mad man and the cord never came out. I had 3 shooters, we shot over 600GB of footage over the course of 2 days and there was not a single problem. There were far more issues the first day when one camera was using P2 cards and a P2 Store (issues being the SLOW back-up, keeping track of which cards were backed up, needed formatting, etc. )

The viewfinder/LCD shows that you are recording, if the cable ever comes out for whatever reason, it will halt and be pretty obvious. I did about a dozen interviews in various situations, fan noise was never a problem.

The problem with P2 is the back-up is too lengthy. 32GB cards will cost as much as a Firestore.

Just to be clear, this was no small hack gig, this was a shoot FOR Disney at Disneyworld. I was the Director/DP for the project and this was my first gig for them. The schedule was too aggressive to allow for backing up from 3 cameras and they wanted small cameras to not interfere with park events too much. HVX+ Firestore was 100% my call, I would do it again and will.

Not everyone will be comfortable with it, there is no such thing as a universal work flow. I pride myself on be creative technically with my work flow to allow me to be creative with production. Had we shot P2, we would have gotten 25% less footage, at best.




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Old October 5th, 2007, 03:31 PM   #9
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Agreed with Ash. I spent a week in Ireland shooting a documentary, from interviews in quiet rooms to running down the beach to filming in the middle of a protest being broken up by the police, and the firewire cable never came out and I never missed a shot (1, exclusively to my error). We shot 500 gigs and everything came out.

It's not the most ideal situation, as it's another possible point of failure, but it held up and worked just fine for me. The fan does make noise, however, so you don't want it right next to the camera or the speaker, but I found that with it clipped to my belt was quiet enough.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #10
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Jason makes a good point, I can see where fan noise might be an issue if the unit is mounted near the top of the camera or close to the mic. There are several creative mounting options, as well as the belt clip.



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Old October 6th, 2007, 01:55 AM   #11
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So I guess

Hi guys:

So I guess neither of you must have the experience with the HVX that I have. I have been shooting with it basically since it came out. I have shot over 3,000 8GB cards and now almost 950 16GB card loads. I have also shot hundreds of hours of interviews with the camera ran into the AJ-HD1200 and 1400 decks. I own my own HVX and the production companies that I shoot for a lot own anywhere from 2 to 6 of the HVXs each so I have used more HVXs than most shooters and have seen which areas wear quickly.

The HVX's 4 pin FireWire connector is extremely flimsy and tempermental as are the plastic battery tabs, even after the improvements. Panasonic made a big mistake by not putting a 6-pin FW outlet on the HVX. I have shot with several HVXs with loose 4 pin connectors where you just jiggle the cable slightly and the camera's output loses signal output intermitently. I am not saying you can't do what you did, it is just my opinion that I would not hang my reputation on the HVX's 4 pin FireWire connector or with the FireStore, both are inconsistent performers in many situations.

If it works for you, great! Enjoy!

I just could not have much confidence in your workflow if I were in your shoes. But I am not. For me, luckily I don't have to shoot many events, it's mostly scripted, tabletop and interviews although I do shoot a lot of film locations. But even doing that, I can usually get by with the P2 cards and my trusty PowerBook.

Best,

Dan
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Old October 6th, 2007, 12:54 PM   #12
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"Panasonic made a big mistake by not putting a 6-pin FW outlet on the HVX"
This is something I have mentioned many times in the past and have never had a good reaseon why not.
So can anybody say why a 4pin is used ?
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Old October 6th, 2007, 02:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Burton View Post
"Panasonic made a big mistake by not putting a 6-pin FW outlet on the HVX"
This is something I have mentioned many times in the past and have never had a good reaseon why not.
So can anybody say why a 4pin is used ?
4-pin's been used on camcorders since the very first DV camera, the VX1000, back in 1995. The only time a six-pin has been used on an under-$7,000 camera, that I can think of, is the JVC HD100 series.

The six-pin is better, no doubt -- but it's larger, and apparently that's enough of a reason for most manufacturers to avoid it. The 1394 Trade Association hates the 4-pin connector; it was invented by Sony for their own purposes and has kind of become the defacto standard, even though it's not as rugged and doesn't transmit power, etc.
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Old October 7th, 2007, 12:09 AM   #14
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Why not?

I am surprised that someone, somewhere along the line did not push for an SDI-like standard that is marketed as "FireWire Pro", I mean we have had prosumer camcorders since the day of the CCDV-5000 Hi-8 I started out on in the late 80s/early 90s. Pros who use inexpensive cameras in professional environments is not exactly a new concept.

A six pin that supplies power and locks like a BNC would make all of our lives much easier. I would be really happy if the HVX just had SDI out since all of my other gear uses SDI. Better connector for sure and it would nice if the HVX had it as an output like it's larger bretheren.

Best,

Dan
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Old October 7th, 2007, 02:46 AM   #15
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Firewire Saver or a piece of tape solves all issues. I bet I have more hours logged on 1/3" CCD cameras than anyone on planet earth. Last I checked, well over 6000! That has nothing to do with the Firestore though. You dont like it, fair enough, but dont say you dont like it because you know better, as you infer. Right angle cables, FW Saver, some tape, good rigging, etc. can surely overcome a "weakness" with the firewire port. The DVX had a terrible tripod mount but we found a way to make it work.

Why no 6 pin? Because it can be problematic as a 6 pin can be powered. I have two 1200HD decks that have had to have the firewire daughter card replaced because they were somehow fried. Panny fixed them for free though, because it was a known issue.

There are situations where P2 WILL be the best choice but this post was to encourage anyone who has been scared of the Firestore.



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