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Old November 25th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Phoenix, AZ
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XL2: Recording to a Focus Enhancements HD


I own a XL2 and considering getting a Focus Enhancements hard drive for capturing my footage in camera. I would have my dv tapes become a back up. I have been wanting to move to this method for a while now, to eliminate the capture time in Final Cut and am finally hoping to before the end of the year.

I was wondering if anyone here has made the switch yet?

Also, I am debating between two versions:


The 40GB or the 60GB. Roughly: $700.00/$1200.00

As of right now, the lack of full HDV recording methods in the 40 isn't a problem but I don't want to limit myself if I could afford to move to a HD system in a year or so and have to purchase another back.

I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Thanks, Jeff.
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Old November 26th, 2007, 12:14 AM   #2
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Focus HD

I purchased the Focus FS-C 60 gb drive--I have used it so far only for a couple of hours worth of recording (only because I'm in limbo on finishing a current film)

To me the big advantages--the ability to record to tape as well as tape and the tape becomes your master--never needing to be touched.

All your footage is simply copied over to a drive you want it on--no capture necessary. I travel so I can download the days footage to my mac laptop at the end of the day--clearing the drive for another days use.

It comes with a holder which I have fixed to my tripod legs--when I use the FS-C all I have to do is slip it into the holder -attach the cable and hit the on botton and then the synch button--pretty easy to use.

I would say go with the bigger drive( depending on what you are shooting)

I think it's well worth the money!!

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Old January 4th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #3
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Purchasing the big model is not worth the money, if you know how to use a screwdriver and replace the 40GB drive with a bigger one. So unless the Focus people went to great extent into making a self upgrade impossible by locking the chip into a specific drive size, you can possibly even use a 200GB+ Drive.

I did purchase the FS4HD for my XL2, and the usage is rewarding in the workflow after capturing.
As I see it, there are both pros and cons of the FS4.


Easy and fast transfer to your NLE

Each clip has its own file, which makes browsing through your footage very easy.

Lots of capture formats supported. (including Avid in the FS4Pro)


Power consumption. What good is a big harddrive for capturing 5-6 hours of footage, when the standard battery only holds a bit over 1 hour. So make sure to have backup battery packs.

The small firewire socket in the XL2 is not very ridgid, it feels like the cable is gonna fall out any minute, and if you use it very often, chanses are that you will ultimatelly break the socket in the XL2. Im hoping for some wireless mini plugs in the future like Bluetooth.

In AVI2 capture mode you will not get the 3/4 audio channel recorded.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #4
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That flimsy firewire connector may be the source of random and unexpected dropouts on long recordings. I've learned to never shoot tapeless on critical sequences.
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