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Old April 19th, 2006, 02:35 PM   #1
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FS 100 now available

I just received an e-mail message from Focus Enhancements notifying me that the FS-100 is now available through Panasonic resellers (I had signed up months ago for early notification).

After reading a number of very cranky posts about other Focus products here, however, I have serious doubts about the reliability of this product. I hope that those who have experience with other previous versions can offer opinions about this product.

I don't know what the list or street prices are, unfortunately.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 05:37 PM   #2
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What problems have people had with other FireStore products? This product seems great, but I'm also a bit concerned about its reliability.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #3
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I finally found a site selling the FS-100... looks like the price is $2579.

If it costs that much, I'd rather just go with 2 4GB P2 cards and Panasonic's PCS060G. I don't know how reputable that site is, but I emailed a FireStore representative about the price and never got a response. Why isn't B&H selling this thing?
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Old April 19th, 2006, 07:38 PM   #4
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Hi Will,

I'm sorry but I had to remove your link... out of fairness to our site sponsors, we give them exclusivity on all "where to buy" posts. I'm sure if someone really wants to buy right now they can send you an email. Meanwhile expect all of our authorized Panasonic dealers who support this site to carry the FS-100 in stock very soon. Thanks,
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Old April 20th, 2006, 12:53 AM   #5
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Bill,

This version of the FS-4 Pro HD is just a re-branding of the same hardware from Focus. It may have some menu options not on the "normal" version just like the JVC version does but it's still creating muxed files and not QT files for Final Cut.

If you're on a Windows system and use the Firestore it will be an easier workflow, if you're on a Mac don't even consider it. In an old post (I'd have to search for it myself) I listed several weaknesses and design flubs the Focus has yet to address even with this newest iteration.

If you want long record times and dont' want to be tethered to a Powerbook or other laptop your best bet is the Cineporter which should be released at NAB.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 01:31 AM   #6
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Cineporter may be announced, but delivery is still a few months away, they say that they're aiming for Summer.

If someone was trying to sell a FireStore for $2579, that's just wacky. MSRP on it is $2195, so someone was trying to jack the price up almost $400 over retail!
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Old April 20th, 2006, 01:56 AM   #7
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That was the Canadian price Barry.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 03:06 AM   #8
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DOH! Americentricism strikes again! Sorry 'bout that...
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Old April 20th, 2006, 09:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane
Bill,


If you're on a Windows system and use the Firestore it will be an easier workflow, if you're on a Mac don't even consider it. In an old post (I'd have to search for it myself) I listed several weaknesses and design flubs the Focus has yet to address even with this newest iteration.
.

it is my understanding that the FS-100 records P2 MXF files, and that these files drop right into FCP Universal.

true? no?
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:29 AM   #10
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Alan,

When we looked into testing that version we were told it recorded M2T files just as the HDV compatible version did. If they in fact do record native MXF files then chalk it up to yet more misinformation directly from Focus.

That being the case (and I'm going to research this) it *might* make the Firestore more appealing but there are still other non-file-type related issues that I'd like to see taken care of, like having the camera-cradle be able to fit the larger long-run time battery.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:35 AM   #11
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From the Focus website:

Nonlinear Editing System Compatibility
No matter which nonlinear editing (NLE) system you have, the FireStore FS-100 has you covered.

When in DVCPRO HD or DVCPRO 50 mode, files are recorded to disk in P2 MXF format.

When in DVCPRO/DV mode, files are recorded as RawDV, AVI Type 1, AVI Type 2, AVI Type 2 24p, Matrox AVI, Canopus AVI, QuickTime, QuickTime 24p, Avid OMF, Pinnacle AVI, or P2 MXF file formats.

Simply connect the FireStore FS-100 to your Mac or PC editing system like a normal FireWire hard disk drive and you are instantly ready to edit—no capturing, file transfer, or file conversion is required. Just shoot and edit.

http://www.focusinfo.com/solutions/catalog.asp?id=150
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:36 AM   #12
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The only issue I've heard about it is that there is no PN mode (no native frame rate).
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #13
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Just spoke with Focus (again); they still do not have a solution for using the larger, long-run time battery and a camera-cradle mount together and don't seem to have any plans to make one.

Tech support was also not clear as to whether or not the HVX acts as a direct controller to the Firestore, meaning when you press "START/STOP" on the camera that the Firestore responds accordingly, instead of having to manually use the Firestore's start/stop button.

I still don't think Focus has really gotten their act together. Something as simple (and obvious) as not being able to use the cradle with the bigger battery and other usability issues still haven't been addressed. The FS-100 may in fact create real P2 files that don't require de-muxing but I don't have enough confidence in the rest of the system to try one.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #14
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it was my understanding that the FS-100 acts as a true P2 device, and is therefore controlled by the start/stop function of the camera.


Not having you tech support fully versed on a product that hasnt gotten into the hands of comsumers yet aint THAT big of sin in my book. Although they should have a product specialist they can direct questions to.

I dont know if that qualifies as "not having their act together"....

seems like you dont like Focus, no matter what.

Personally I'll wait until there are a few out there and people report back on quicks and good features.

Until then, its a not a huge deal to shoot on P2 cards and just dump off to a remote HD in host mode.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 12:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Galbraith
it was my understanding that the FS-100 acts as a true P2 device, and is therefore controlled by the start/stop function of the camera.
The FS-100 connects to the firewire port on the camera, so it's not a P2 device. The Cineporter connects through one of the P2 slots, so it is a true P2 device.

That's one thing that I've never liked about the firestores: they connect via firewire. Not there's anything wrong with firewire itself, but the connectors were not designed for "field" use. Things can happen while shooting- camera gets bumped, FW cable gets snagged, etc, etc. It woudl be great if all firewire AKS for cameras had locking mechanisms on the connectors, like BNC.
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