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FS-4 cuts down post production time for Casegrfx Challenge

At Casegrfx, a full-service multimedia agency based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, video projects can take many forms–from promotional pieces for clients‘ websites to product training videos, even instructional videos for surgeons.

The company was recently contacted to produce a series of videos for radiologists. The project would encompass eight different doctors discussing twelve different procedures. With an expected length of 20-30 minutes per procedure, Stephen Case, owner of Casegrfx, knew this project would entail a significant amount of footage. And with tape, this project would require long days, and nights, in the editing room.

“Capturing tape in real time is an incredible waste of time,” said Case. “For this particular project, I was anticipating a lot of footage. We‘d be filming doctors, not professional talent, so there would be multiple takes for each segment. And I did not want to have to sort through all the video in real time to figure out which clips to use.”

Solution Case started investigating more efficient ways to produce his video and cut down on post production time. Already familiar with the concept of tapeless acquisition, he researched the available solutions and came to the FS-4 from Focus Enhancements. “I burned through a lot of tape before, so when I saw the price point of the FS-4, it was a no-brainer,” he said. The FS-4 DTE recorder from Focus Enhancements lets camera operators record DV and HDV streams directly to disk via FireWire. With its standard 40 GB configuration, the FS-4 provides three hours of recording time, while the 80 GB model offers six hours. Once shooting is complete, Case can connect the FS-4 to his editing system like any FireWire disk drive and drag clips straight into Final Cut Pro‘s timeline–bypassing the time-consuming steps of capturing tape and converting footage. By eliminating these intermediate steps, footage is ready for editing almost as soon as it has been shot.

The FS-4 allows Case to record both to disk and tape in parallel, offering the time-saving efficiency of disk, along with the security of a back up source. “I appreciate the fact that I can record to both; however, I find myself more and more shooting exclusively with the FS-4. I‘m confident I won‘t lose a shot.”

For Case, the FS-4‘s portability was a critical factor. Weighing only one pound, the FS-4 is ideally suited for the field. “Portability is key. I shoot on location a lot–and I don‘t have a crew to carry my equipment. Whatever I take, I have to be able to carry,” he explained. “The FS-4 is great. We‘re talking about a product that‘s roughly the size of a paperback book.”


By eliminating the need to capture tape in real time, the FS-4 has significantly reduced post production time for Case. This improved efficiency proved particularly valuable during his radiology project. As anticipated, a significant amount of video was recorded for the project. “In all, we captured over 100 hours of footage which I then edited down to a two-hour DVD,” said Case. “The FS-4 was a huge time saver in this project. I can now do in minutes what used to take hours to do in tape.”

Since the FS-4 creates a new clip each time Case presses stop and record on his camcorder, he can easily pinpoint which takes to keep and which to delete–while on location or back in the editing room. “With the FS-4, I can easily pick and choose the digital clips and don‘t have to spend hours searching through tape to find the take I want. I‘ve found that to be extremely useful.”


The FS-4 takes Stephen Case of Casegrfx directly from acquisition to editing. By eliminating real time capture, the DTE recorder saves Case hours in post production time.

“In all, we captured over 100 hours of footage which I then edited down to a two-hour DVD. The FS-4 was a huge time saver in this project. I can now do in minutes what used to take hours to do in tape.”

– Stephen Case, Casegrfx Casegrfx

Based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Casegrfx provides agency level service, without the agency price tag. The company provides a wide range of service for its corporate clients–from graphic design to digital video production and editing.

FS-4 Portable DTE Recorder The FS-4 brings Direct To Edit technology to DV and HDV handheld camcorders. It‘s the most complete tapeless acquisition solution for digital videographers in the broadcast, sports, wedding and event, and education industries. There‘s no capturing, no file transfer, no file conversion–just shoot and edit. Weighing just one pound and only 1.5 inches thick, the FS-4 is designed to excel in the field.

Available in four configurations, the FS-4 comes standard with a 40 GB hard drive for three hours recording time and is available with an 80 GB hard drive for six hours recording time. FS-4 supports all the major DV nonlinear editing (NLE) systems, recording files to disk as RawDV, AVI Type 1, AVI Type 2, AVI Type 2 24p, Matrox AVI, Canopus AVI, QuickTime, or QuickTime 24p. FS-4Pro models also include Pinnacle AVI and Avid DV-OMF. In addition to DV file formats, the HD models also support 1080i and 720p MPEG-2 (.m2t) files. About Focus Enhancements, Inc. Innovation, efficiency, and superior quality are the foundation upon which Focus Enhancements builds its products. A world leader in advanced video production, digital asset management, and digital signage solutions, Focus delivers products that perform superbly day in and day out and backs them with unparalleled service and support.