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Hard Drive DTE Recorder options for Canon XH A1 Video Camera: What would you use?

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Alan lipman
Hard Drive DTE Recorder options for Canon XH A1 Video Camera: What would you use?
on May 1, 2014 at 9:53:59 am


I own the Canon XH A1, a pro-prosumer DV/HDV camcorder which records uses Mini DV tape.

I am considering what would be the best quality/value choice for portable tapeless recording and editing as of 2014.

So far, I've found the Firestore FS-4HD Pro, and other DTE recorders from Focus Enhancements/Vitec, that seem to have made their splash in 2008 or so (although reviews seem to suggest that these had a habit of being buggy, virus prone, perhaps somewhat unreliable), and similar, more expensive options from DataVideo, such as the DN-60, which also appears to have had its day in 2008-9 or so.

It occurs to me that there must be other options/methods that have been developed since then to record and directly edit video with portability and ease using this camera, apart, of course, from purchasing a hard drive camcorder.

Any thoughts/knowledge on what the options may be here? Willing to consider purchasing the somewhat older methodologies, such as Firestore and DataVideo, but I suspect that there are also other brands/options/methods that have been developed since then as well, in order to be able to record in the field, and edit directly to PC (Premier).

The used FS-4 HD Pro seems to be running at a roughly 300.00 price point; the DN-60 around 450-500. As 6 year old technology, I suspect that there are now other ways of doing this, at a similar price point.

Compact flash? Just firewire straight into the laptop (although carrying a laptop on field shoots doesn't seem the best choice in terms of portability)? Or other options/methods that I am unaware of? New in this area, so not aware of the field of possible options here.

Would appreciate your thoughts and knowledge on the options, alternatives here. Many thanks for your thoughts, ideas, and help.


Dr. Alan J. Lipman
Washington, DC

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David Stembridge
Re: Hard Drive DTE Recorder options for Canon XH A1 Video Camera: What would you use?
on Nov 13, 2014 at 12:42:50 am

I use the DN-60 with an XHA1s, we have 2 of the cameras. The DN-60 is used on solo shoots, and works great. When filming performances we run a firewire line into out MBP s and record as QT movies. This works great also; but still requires mixing in real time on 2 camera shoots.

I am seriously considering getting a second DN-60; but honestly, the only thing tape is still used for the second camera is weddings. We do 4/5 a year.

I have started using my Canon 6D for most promo work, so the DN-60 isn't used quite as much. Its a great concept, and I think a perfect alternative to using tape on these HDV camera that still have beautiful optics!

-another fine day at
GreenPeas Productions

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