I have pointed out how outdated Focus Enhancements FireStore line of recorders had become over the years. Initially, revolutionary, they had become quite dated and wickedly expensive for the technology you received.
Now, six months after I compared the FS-4 to a glorious Archos portable video recorder, Focus Enhancements showed off their forthcoming FS-5 which addresses many of the issues I brought up.
I have and use a Focus Enhancements FS-4 recorder and I am continually frustrated by the downright awful LCD screen, and various other limitations of the device, which costs well over $1000. When compared to other much less expensive portable media devices with huge color screens and built-in video recording AND playback, the Firestore really showed how far behind the times it had fallen.
Well, the new FS-5 looks like Focus Enhancements have actually been hard at work not only addressing the deplorable screen, but also adding numerous other enhancements that can greatly facilitate the usefulness and interactivity of the little recorder.
Not only does the FS-5 enable you to go straight from shooting to editing by recording video in the NLE-compatible file format of your choice, but it allows you to add custom metadata to footage while you’re recording.
Not only designed to handle some of the latest HD variants:
Native MXF HDV Support
With the FS-5, you can record native MXF HDV 720p 30 and 1080i 50/60 clips and import them into Avid Xpress Pro, Avid Media Composer, or Avid NewsCutter for editing.
Native QuickTime HDV Support
With the FS-5, you can record 1080i 50/60 or 720p 30 clips as native QuickTime HDV. The FS-5 extracts and decodes the audio from the incoming HDV stream, combines it with the video stream, and wraps it as a QuickTime HDV file. When recording is complete, your QuickTime HDV file can be imported directly into Final Cut Pro-no capture or conversion is required.
The wireless interactivity is a very innovative solution.
Assign metadata to footage while it’s being recorded (Requires an 802.11 dongle, sold separately) using the FS-5 browser-based interface and your wireless handheld device or laptop.
All the more reason to get an iPhone or iPod touch- alread designed to be a Protools HUI, it’s now an accessory to the FS-5.
Now, all we can do is hope that the new recorder doesn’t come with a new and even more expensive price tag. When new, exciting features are added, they often come with a price bump. If Focus Enhancements manages to bring the cost of the recorder down 10% – 20% in addition to addressing the FS-4 problems, I can see a lot of people jumping at the FS-5.
More info on the new recorder, here.
I hope to have a review of it soon.