Let’s talk workflow for a second on using this Cindeck. The entire system runs on Windows and the Cineform .MOV files record to NTFS formatted SSD drives. I work on a Mac. So here’s what I do:
Drag files from SSD to CalDigit VR Mini via e-SATA. Plug the CalDigit into my Mac and start editing.
Yes, that easy. When I get home, I’ll transfer the files to a Mac-writable drive, but for now that’s it. I run Parallels on my machine as well so when I offload the SDHC cards from the T2i, I just pull them from my OS finder over to the appropriate folder open in Windows Explorer.
Parallels will only boot from USB, so I use FW to power the drive, and USB to boot the drive. When I’m done in Windows, I unplug the USB and the drive loads in OSX.
Now this next point is probably for all of us using this combo like, ah, me and Danny Boyle. The overheating issue I had was due to the fan dropping RPMs when I hit record (and hot stinkin’ Cairo temps mid day in the sun). The fan is controlled by the SI software and will override any existing fan control software (like Speed Fan)- at least this is what I discovered. The remedy:
The SI software includes a prefs.xml file. In there about 1/3 of the way down, you’ll find a FanSpeed preference with a value set to either 0, 1, or 2.
0 = high RPM all the time 1= high RPM when not recording, low RPM when recording 2= low RPM all the time
The second problem I had was the SI software not recognizing the 2K Mini sensor when I received it. If, for some random reason, you happen to receive this set up in a way other than HD Camera Rentals and it doesn’t connect up right away, it’s your NIC settings. To fix this you’ll want to access the Binaries folder in the main SI software folder. Inside you’ll see find the EBDriverTool.exe file (or something like that). Run that and change the settings to GigE on the appropriate port. This information is also on the bottom of page 12 of the installation manual (section 2.4.2).
One final tip to controlling temps: if you carry yours in a bag or pack while using it, like I’ve been doing and it’s wicked warm out, throw in some frozen water bottles. It’ll keep the box much cooler and if it’s that hot, you can drink ’em when they start melting away.
How do I feel about this combo? Well, the camera’s the size of a lunch pail juice box, the Cinedeck replaces 4 different things and I can stand out of the way in a hall, stick the camera through the window and grab all sorts of funky angles while monitoring without contorting myself into all sorts of painful positions. I can’t do that on even on the DLSR. This combo rocks.
How do I feel about the Cinedeck? I love it. I was running around all day in villages, rooms, stairs, buildings, hallways, around corners, inside windows, cars and churches and about everywhere else you could think of. It held up and it held up well (like it should). I would shoot an entire doc solo on this box any day- camera of choice. A studio situation would be an even greater no-brainer. The monitor, histograms, focus checks, color previews and guide overlays at the touch of a button (literally) are about as nice as it gets. All in one sweet little package.