Shining CitiDisk DV test and review from Computer Video Magazine

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Shining CitiDisk DV

The pocket-sized CitiDisk DV makes it possible to record DV directly to hard disk while shooting in the field. This cuts out the time-consuming business of capturing from tape to disk and can offer greater non-stop recording capability than using tape

Portable DV-to-hard-disk recorders are an interesting development for the busy videographer. They allow digital footage to be recorded to disk during shooting so that it's instantly accessible for editing when the drive is connected by FireWire to a computer. This cuts out the tedious stage of capturing from tape to a hard disk connected to (or within) a PC.
Shining Technology's CitiDisk DV (FW1256B) is an all-in-one unit with a built-in 2.5in/40GByte IDE hard drive of the sort typically used in laptop PCs. The CitiDisk converts the DV output from a digital camcorder or VCR to a choice of four edit-ready file formats that are recorded to the internal hard disk - Raw DV, Windows AVI Type 2, Canopus AVI Type 2 and QuickTime.

We like the CitiDisk and were sorry to see it go back. It's portable, reasonably priced and easy to use both for capture and when connected to a computer. Life would be easier still, though, if users had information fed to them in words and figures on an LCD, rather than by a series of flashing LEDs.
The internal battery doesn't have enough juice to take full advantage of the drive's ability to store 160 minutes of DV footage - it's necessary to run the unit from the mains or a big external battery to get a continuous recording of this length. Also, because the unit has to be running from external power to change the capture file format, it's necessary to make the right choice before going out on the road, or to carry around an external battery. We'd also like the battery-power switch to be made easier to use.
Although it doesn't have all the features (such as playback) of the Videonics FireStore, the CitiDisk DV is fully portable and half the price - and that's despite including a hard drive. However, Shining's forthcoming CitiDisk Pro seems better still. It has playback controls and an LCD info display, and looks set to cause a big stir in the DV-to-HDD recorder market.

Lisa Keddie

Read the full review in May 2004's Computer Video magazine.

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Pinnacle ShowCenter
Canon MVX3i
CyberLink PowerProducer 2.0
Magix Movies on CD & DVD 2.0
Pure Motion EditStudio 4
Shining CitiDisk DV
Ulead DVD Workshop 2
Wacom Graphire 3 Studio XL

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Video Forum 2004
Task-centric Creator 7
Apple GarageBand
Cut-price Canon cams
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