Although not a recommended workflow (because of excessive head were in rewinding and playing) you can playout through the firewire to capture in NLE, but you will not have deck control. The playout is in realtime, which is the advantage of P2 cards, although the format is the same, namely DVCPRO100, although some of the P2 cameras and the Ps Mobile do offer the higher recording format of AVC-I which rivals the quality of D5, namely it is 10 bit and does not downres the horizontal resolution, so you can see that P2 can offer quite a few quality and workflow advantages.
The FS100 from Focus Enhancements is a hard drive device that you can mount to the HDX900 via firewire and record in P2 format directly. You then just copy the files from the FS100 onto your computer and import into your NLE and you're good to go.
Except the FS100 is flaky. The firewire jacks are not that secure and many have had problems losing connection. That's why I will not buy one. I miss a take or two and I could ruin the entire project. Not worth the chance.
While I would never use a Firestore without also rolling tape
simultaneously, the advantages of the FS-100 for ease of capture and the ability to shoot Native are compelling to me.
When shooting 720/24P Native, the bit rate is only about 40Mbps, which yields a record time on a 160Gb Firestore of around 6.5 hours. It also means less hard drive storage space in post, faster ingest, and less rendering time. The workflow is actually less demanding than DVCPRO 50. The other advantage is recording at 40Mbps vs. 100Mbps means the Firestore isn't leaning on error correction as heavily, which should make for more reliable recordings.
Right angle Firewire cables are a bit more secure, but have to
be watched carefully. I have also had issues with vibration causing some dropouts. Rolling tape as a backup is essential.
I agree with Ernie on the flakiness of the firewire connection with the firestore...it's a royal pain. However, we've been using it since last July. My camera assistant/audio checks it frequently during shoots to be sure it's running, (silly that we have to do that). We also always record to tape. We did lose a shot in the firestore once on a commercial shoot, but the tape saved us. One place I would never use the firestore is for "run and gun"/documentary stuff. There's no way to constantly check it, so for those type of shoots we record tape only. For controlled situations it's fine and makes the post process so much easier. I do use the double right angle firewire cable and also gaff tape it on both ends...proof that we live in a world of advanced technology.
I use the HDX-900 by rolling tape and then play HD SDI into my edit sysem using the camera. True,there is no device control, but the HD SDI looks great. I rewind to the top, Capture "Now", and roll the tape. Some people worry that somehow this is worse for the camera than just recording another pass, but if you don't stop, cue and play over and over it is not a problem. The life of the heads is probably 2500-3000 hours from what I have been able to determine, right now I am at 300 hours. With a 1400 deck at around $20K I accept that replacing the heads may be down the road, but in the meantime I am really maximizing the payoff of the camera. By the time I wear out these heads there well may be numerous changes in record/ playback technology-- hopefully I will not to buy each one along the way.
Say what you want about the demise of tape recording, but it is the most durable medium right now. In two years I can find it, take it off the shelf and recapture it.
I'm glad you mentioned that. I believe the exact same thing. The small price of servicing the camera with new heads is cheap, even if you have to do it twice over it's lifetime, that's only about an 1/8 of the price of a new 1400 deck. I think there's many who are doing the exact same thing.
Question to you, I can't get TC out of the camera using HD-SDI into my Kona3? Firewire, yes, how are you getting TC?
I apologize for getting ahead of myself in my previous post--- my previous captures were Firewire not SDI HD.
I just switched to FCP from Avid so I have not done a capture with FCP and my Aja ioHD. Before FCP I had an Avid Xpress Pro system--- used Firewire in with no problems-- it got TC when I captured. I don't have my manuals nearby, but I would think that with the ioHD I could select TC from the TC IN jack (out from CAM) and take A/V from SDI. I will give it a try later this week. To be honest I hadn't even crossed that bridge yet-- I will want to come in SDI HD so I can use the ProRes 422 conversion as I capture. I suppose I could import via Firewire, but then I miss out on the benefits of the ProRes ability of the ioHD. For the Kona you may be able to come in Firewire with no performance hit-- that is for the FCP forum.