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capturing to hard drive without a pc!!!

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capturing to hard drive without a pc!!!
on Oct 22, 2008 at 8:36:53 pm

i have discovered this firewire hard drive
which claims it can be directly connected to a camcorder.

my questions about this are....
is this to 'rip' your tapes to hard drive and if so what format would it be?

is it possible to record live from the camera to the hard drive without the need to connect via pc/mac and again what format would the file be?

is it only this particular type of hard drive that does this or would it work with ANY firewire hard drive?

would it be possible to do this with more than one cam at a time?

the main reason i ask is that i film bands live and i am plauged by the need to change tapes when sets run over the tape space available.
i would like to capture directly to hard drive at minidv quality on each of my static cams(up to 6 of them) and only use tapes for the handcam/s without the need for a laptop for each of the cams to do this.

all potential suggestions and solutions are welcomed!!!! Laughing Wink

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Alex Cantu
Re: capturing to hard drive without a pc!!!
on Oct 22, 2008 at 9:17:05 pm


You need a camera with a 1394 (newer cameras has HDMI also). Most cameras can record live to a computer, but only those compatible with tapelss formats can record directly to disk.

The files recorded are usually .mxf type (and u need a NLE that supports them), tapes can't be riped; and u can oly recodr from one source (no single disk is fast enough to support capture from multiple sources).

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Re: capturing to hard drive without a pc!!!
on Oct 23, 2008 at 7:23:12 am

hi and thanks for your reply.

i should have made it clear that ALL my camcorders have firewire.
how do i tell if my units are compatible with tapeless formats?
i curently use up to 3 panasonic nv-gs5/b a sony pc-8e a sony trv6e(older cam) a panasonic nv-ds25(older cam) and sometimes also a panasonic nv-gs60(newest cam of the lot.

i am not familiar with .mxf type files as i usually rip to dv quality .avi files. do you know if sony vegas pro 8 is capable of handling these type files(it handles all types i have imported into it so far!).
also are .mxf files of similar quality to dv .avi files?

i suspected that i was being over optamistic regarding using a single drive for more than one camera but thought it was worth asking as buying 5 of these drives is a big financial step for me.

the majority of bands i film are of a 'space rock/prog rock' genre so the problem of sets lasting longer than the tapes is a very common one!! if i do a 7 cam shoot on a band that plays for an hour and 15 mins say, then i am having to work with 14 files (plus audio files)in the edit or offset quality by switching to 'lp' mode which i really dislike having to do.

i have been filming bands for a few years now and recently had my first official dvd release with several other bands very interested in releasing also so this seems like a natural step forwards should it be a 'workable' solution for me.

thanks again for your help with this

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Alex Cantu
Re: capturing to hard drive without a pc!!!
on Oct 24, 2008 at 5:07:17 pm

Hi again

I'm afraid none of the cameras you listed are compatible with tapeless formats, the kind of cameras that record tapeless (such p2 cards) are "pro" type.

They use either a 8-32 GB card or a hard drive, and the quality can be set to dv or hdv (with the dvcpro HD codec for the panasonic p2 cameras).

Mxf files are "metadata" and when imported to a NLE they become an .avi or a .mov file. The advantage of working this way is that you skip all the time capture from a tape and import all the .mxf right to your proyect. Every time you stop recording a new file is created, so is very easy to keep organized.

Vegas is compatible only with sony xdcam .xmf files.

What can be set with your equipment is that the central camera could be conected to a computer with an external disk, and that's it.


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Re: capturing to hard drive without a pc!!!
on Oct 24, 2008 at 5:20:46 pm

thanks for your consise and informative response.
at least now i wont be throwing money in the wrong directions!!
i can hardly wait to buy cameras at 'pro' level and equipment that will allow me to do the 'job' properly!!!
for now i have to make do at what ii can glean from ebay, which is having suprisingly good results, but anyhting that saves time and also help keep me organised is a definate once i start making some money at doing this.

cheers again for putting me in the know, you may or may not have an idea of how long i was looking around to find out before i asked!!!!!

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