DSR-250/DSR-DU1 combo drains battery when off? at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old June 10th, 2003, 03:44 PM   #1
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Location: Foster City, CA
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DSR-250/DSR-DU1 combo drains battery when off?

I just bought a new DSR-250/DSR-DU1 disk combo with the Sony L40 battery. I left a fully-charged battery hooked up to the powered-off camera and, 5 days later, the battery is down to 1 bar. Has anyone experienced this?

I'll try to debug the problem by using different battery, taking the the DU1 off, etc.

--wilson
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Old June 10th, 2003, 05:45 PM   #2
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Some camera manuals will warn you that the time-code circuit runs even with the camera off and it will eventually deplete any attached batteries. That's probably what got you.

Please report your experiences with the DU1. It is supposed to work with VX2000/PD150.

For those who don't know the model number, this is the firewire disk setup from Sony that captures video clips directly to disk when you press the record button on the camera. It can mirror your tape or operate with no tape in the camera.

Supposed to work with any Sony DV/DVCam camera less than 2 years old and some that are even older.

Then the disk can be plugged into the firewire connection on your computer and if there are appropriate drivers for your editing system, the clips are directly available from your editing system without requiring a file transfer to an internal drive.

There are at least two other, less expensive suppliers of this type of drive but none of them are as well integrated with Sony cameras.
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Old June 10th, 2003, 06:28 PM   #3
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I also considered the Datavideo DV Bank and the Laird capdiv before getting the DSR-DU1. The Videonics FireStore just looks too bulky. The single greatest feature of these DV recorders is that they show up as a disk drive when connected to a computer so you can transfer the video at >2X speed!

Like Mike said, the DSR-DU1 is well-integrated with the Sony camcorders. With the CA-DU1, you can mount it directly on the back of many DSR camcorders. Though the firewire connection is via an external short cable. A really neat feature of the DU1 is the "cache" function which continously buffers up to 8 seconds of video. When you hit the record button, the buffered video is made permanent on the disk. This saves you from missing precious moments if you hit the button late.

I have not tested it thoroughly with the DSR-250 but I have used it for a few hours with the TRV-900 which is not a supported configuration. I use the DU1 in "Parallel" mode. In this mode, the camcorder's tape and the DU1 start recording when you hit the record button on the camera and they stop recording when you hit the record button again. With a higher-end camcorder (>DSR-250), you can record w/o tape directly to the DU1 and control it using the record button on the camera. With lower-end camcorders, the tapeless mode has to be initiated by the DU1's record button.

Now the flaws. First, the DV files stored on the DU1 are in a semi-proprietary format. On the PC side, you can use either a Premiere plug-in or a shareware from DV Unlimited to import the files. On the Mac side, FCP is supposed to have native support but I can't find it on Apple's site. The DU1 has a "Cue" button which is supposed to let you mark points while recording and be imported as markers to your NLE. The Premiere plug-in seems to be ignoring these cue points. The most serious flaw is data corruption during import to my desktop PC. Once in a long while I get a few frames of garbled video and audio. The same file imports fine to my laptop and looks fine when played back directly to the camcorder. It's too early to blame the DU1 because the corruption might be caused by my desktop or my unsupported TRV-900 config.

--wilson
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