Trouble with this FCE setup...

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by OrganMusic, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. OrganMusic macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2008
    Well I have a little video project to do over the next couple months or so. I can get around OK in iMovie HD06 and honestly could probably do most of this project in it but I figured it was my big chance to learn FCE. This will probably be about 25 minutes, mostly shot on the Canon below:

    iMac 24" 2.8 ghz (early 2008 model)
    Canon ZR800 (consumer grade MiniDV camera)
    FW800 / 400 / USB / eSATA drive enclosure
    Final Cut Express 4

    Here's the big problem:

    Whenever I plug my camera into the FW, the drive plugged into the FW800 disappears from finder. It immediately re-appears when I unplug my camera. I've also read that any time you plug in a FW400 device any FW800 devices slow down too.

    I bought this drive to use as a scratch disk, but If I can't have my camera and external drive at the same time, that's not going to work.

    I also have a MBP (pre-unibody)

    I was planning to use my camera to run my external monitor as well. Is the camera the problem or is there another way around this? Should I run my external drive in USB (which everyone says not to do) when capturing or just do everything on the internal drive (which everyone says not to do)
  2. -DH macrumors 65816

    Nov 28, 2006
    Nashville Tennessee
    Due to Canon's rather lax adherence to the Firewire standard, they don't often play nice when sharing a Firewire bus. And since all Macs have but one Firewire bus (regardless of the number of FW ports), that can sometimes make editing a hassle.

    But since you have a MacBook Pro, you can add a Firewire express card to the slot. Doing so will create a second Firewire bus in your Mac and your hard drive and Canon camcorder should be happy.

    If you don't have the budget for a FW express card (usually around $80.00 US), you could try daisy-chaining: connect the camera to the hard drive and connect the hard drive's other FW port to the camera. That works for most FW devices ... but not always for Canon.

    FWIW, a camcorder is a Firewire 100 device - not 400.

  3. OrganMusic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2008
    Ah, that's what I was afriad of. And of course one of the reasons I bought a 24" imac was to have lots of nice screen real estate for things like FCE, so I'd rather not do this work on the MPB unless I have to.

    >But since you have a MacBook Pro, you can add a Firewire express card to the slot.

    Shame there aren't express card slots on the iMac, I could run eSATA then!

    >you could try daisy-chaining

    I'll try that, but it means buying a 800 -> 400 cable
  4. OrganMusic thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2008
    I was thumbing through a FCE book and the author specifically mentioned the problem with Canon cameras not playing nice on the FW bus. I can live with capturing to the system drive then moving to the external for scratch, but I would like to be able to monitor on a regular TV via FW. This works great with my Canon as long as the FW drive isn't plugged in.

    Should I just look for a cheap Sony camera? I'm thinking of getting a used Digital8 camera to archive some old 8mm tapes I have. Do those usually support FW monitoring as well, and do Sony cameras play nice on the FW bus?

Share This Page