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Old November 8th, 2006, 07:39 AM   #16
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Brazil
Posts: 1
No such thing as "seamless" transition...

I am one more sad Citidisk costumer. I bought not one but 2 Citidisks HD 120Gb and cant put them to work.

Better saying, I can record .mov, .avi etc... but only in 2 Gb files (FAT 32...). It would be "ok" if there was a seamless transition as they claim.

The first file is always ok, but the next ones have a dropout frame problem right after the beginning. So there is no "seamless" transition at all. In the end I can only count with 2 min 16" long takes: not good enought for a documentary...

I tried both Final Cut and Canopus with no luck, so Im giving up. Ill try to return mine, Im tired of waiting for new firmware updates.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #17
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NYC Metro area
Posts: 579
I've been loaned one by a local vendor.

This is a looonnng post, but I try to detail my recent experience with the CitiDisk as well as what I learned from Rich, who, it seems, is becoming the most well-known rep from ProCon.

I've developed a good relationship with a vendor local to me. In fact, I even met Rich from ProCon, just this past week. It turns out that I live less than a 20-mile drive from ProCon. (FYI, ProCon claims to be the largest distributor of the CitiDisk, and they also handle other DTE storage devices, e.g. nNovia). He told me they are aware of the CitiDisk's operational problems, most of which seem to occur with the 120 Gb version, and nearly all of which can be attributed to - and are corrected in the latest release of - the firmware. In fact, the vendor offered to loan me one to test for a few days. (For the HVX, Rich actually recommended the 100 Gb model over the 120 model, particularly because the 100 Gb HD model was built specifically for the HVX-200. At a Gig -a-minute, that provides 100 mins of HD recording).

Camera in hand, I went and the vendor worked with me to try to get the 100 Gb model CitiDisk to work. I was leaving for Las Vegas and Zion Nat'l Park the next day and hoped to put the CitiDisk through it's paces during my trip. Unfortunately, neither of us could get the first one to work, so it didn't accompany me on my trip out west. (I learned later from Rich that the particular drive I had been loaned had only the old firmware from a July release - 2 releases older than the latest).

After returning home, the vendor invited me in specifically to meet Rich, feeling confident that he could get it to work with my camera. I went to the vendor's place of business to give it a shot, and met Rich, who was there installing the new November 3rd release of the firmware to all the CitiDisks the vendor had. When Rich looked at my loaner, he quickly recognized that it had the old firmware. He put that one down, took a 100 Gb model off the shelf, attached it to my HVX, started it up, made a couple of menu adjustments in the HVX, and voila...it was working like a charm, recording HD while we walked around the vendor's offices.

Rich said that the latest firmware was dated Nov. 3 and that resolves lots of the problems they've had until now, though it still isn't perfect, so another update should be available in about 2 months. He said that seems to roughly be Shining's release cycle. (Prior releases occurred in July and August). I plan to spend time over the next couple of days using it and will report back. Despite that, Rich was emphatic that the latest firmware release should be used for anyone who's been having problems with the 100 Gb model.

Though it isn't perfect, even with the latest firmware, i.e.
- Rich said it will only record HD if there is a P2 card inserted in the camera AND that card is not full; (I'm still testing and haven't confirmed this yet);
- Rich said it works with both MAC and Windows, but is formatted in FAT32 and cannot/should not be formatted to NTFS, so all files are written in 2 Gb "chunks", BUT, if ALL the files are selected in order and dragged into an NLE at one time, no problems should be encountered;
- it has only partial camera-button control, i.e. pressing "record" on the HVX without a P2 card or mini-DV tape inserted will not start the CictiDisk recording - the record button on the CitiDisk must be used to start/stop recording;
- the user manual could be clearer and a bit more in-depth;
- it does not yet work with either of the 2 HVX native modes;
- it does NOT create MXF files, only .MOV and AVI-2;
- and the CitiDisk/Shining utilities on the accompaniying CD should NOT be used, instead they should be downloaded from the Shining Disk site. (These are necessary to install new firmware as it becomes available).

If I recall correctly, Rich also warned that files s/b deleted ONLY using Shining's utilities or the quick-erase feature built into the drive (PREFERABLY THROUGH THE BUILT-IN QUICK-ERASE FEATURE)...DO NOT ERASE FILES OR REFORMAT THE DRIVE USING YOUR KEYBOARD AND OS WHILE THE DRIVE IS BEING USED AS AN EXTERNAL COMPUTER DRIVE, e.g. as an external FireWire drive. For some reason, that reduces the usable space from 100 Gb to 60 Gb. (Rich gave a quick explanation of how/why that happens, but he went so fast, I wasn't able to retain it).

I use PPro 2 and Cineform Aspect HD in a Windows environment. While I have the loaner CitiDisk, I'm presently focusing on it's use with the camera and have not yet attempted bringing files into my NLE.

At a price (I think) of $ 1,199 for the 120 Gb model and maybe $ 1,099 for the 100 Gb, AND Rich's confidence that many of the remaining problems are - or will be - resolved through the latest and future firmware releases, AND from what I saw while working/talking with Rich, for the moment at least, I'm much more inclined to actually buy my loaner, including the accessory pack with extra battery, a couple of cables, and a sleeve/holder for shoe-mounting the drive. I learned that the particular vendor I mention is one of ProCon's largest CitiDisk vendors, though not a sponsor of this site, so I'm not sure propriety allows me to mention their name here. They had quite a few on their shelves. If you want their name, e-mail me at : adhocvideo@comcast.net

I also found the nNovia intriguing, as it has a removable/replaceable hard drive, though it can't record HD, (I think it will record only DV and DVCPro), AND it's not as "portable", being just slightly larger and heavier than the CitiDisk, and, if I recall, it lacks a shoe-mount. The ability to swap drives was what I found most interesting. After I finish playing with the CitiDisk and decide whether or not to actually buy it, I'll have to give more thought to the nNovia. For non-HD work, I think there's a place for it in my workflow.
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