By Neil Bennett | on February 18, 2004
Price When Reviewed: 1495
JVC Pro’s DR-DV5000E is a FireWire hard-drive container (with removable 40GB hard drive) and controller that you can add to your shoulder-mounted JVC Pro DV camcorder, and use alongside or instead of tape. Users of the GY-DV5000E camcorder can just bolt it on between the back of the camcorder and the battery, though it can be attached to the DV500, DV550, or DV700 through an adaptor plate. To fully utilize the DR-DV5000E’s functions though, you need the GY-DV5000E.
We tested the DR-DV5000E with a GY-DV5000E, where it didn’t add much to the already-heavy weight. Attaching the hard drive unit to the camera looks easy, but ours came already mounted. Recording to the drive was straightforward, though the No Tape message that appeared every time we pressed record was annoying. However, under most circumstances, you’d record to both the drive and tape for safety.
The DR-DV5000E’s menu system was as friendly as your average laser printer’s – but luckily you shouldn’t need to use it much. It allows you to play, delete, and organize clips, plus it can record tapes to disk and vice versa. You can even select the type of DV you want to record, choosing from a long list including raw DV, AVI Type 1, AVI Type 2, Canopus AVI, Matrox AVI, QuickTime, and Avid OMF.
Back in the edit suite, getting the footage off the hard disk can either take place using conventional capture tools, or by plugging in a separate FireWire cable and just copying the files off the drive that appears on your computer. You could just edit the files on the DR-DV5000E if you’re in a real hurry. Drive management is better here too.
The DR-DV5000E and its hard drive technology are very expensive compared to conventional tapes – which are much easier to find while on location in Bognor Regis. However, the DR-DV5000E makes getting footage onto your machine much faster, and the security of hard drive backup – or even of being able to watch footage on-location without having to run the tape through the camera’s transport system – shouldn’t be sniffed at. The DR-DV5000E’s main competition is Sony’s DSR-DUI, which works with a wider range of camcorders (Sony-only though), but requires some £140 conversion software to work with most NLE systems, slowing the process down.