I received my DataVideo DN-60A recorder today along with the 128Gb CF Card. Thanks for that.
The setup of the device was actually quite simple; it comes with a clear 9 step quick-start guide, and if you follow it carefully, then getting started is actually quite easy and you can be up and running within about 10 minutes.
Where I ran into trouble was in getting the footage from the device into my computer for editing. I mistakenly assumed that if I plugged the device into my PC's Firewire port, that it would be recognised as a Firewire storage device and allow you to read the video data files directly from the card via the device.
Instead, it was recognised as a Firewire video recorder, so in order to get the footage from the device into the computer, it meant that I had to start up Adobe Premiere and attempt to 'capture' the footage from the device by playing the footage back into the computer (much like I would from MiniDV cassette, which kind of defeats the purpose of the device).
Having tried this with HDV footage, the captured footage was unplayable; it had all kind of digital distortion all through it, it basically locked up on the the first frame and was utterly useless. The audio was fine though.
I then attempted the same with DV footage; it played back and captured much better, but near the end of a 20 second clip it suddenly jumped and skipped a second or two of the original footage before continuing to the end of the clip.
I was starting to get that horrible sinking feeling of having possibly flushed nearly NZ$2k down the toilet, when I decided to do a little more online research to see if there was a solution to the problem; after all, everything I'd read so far said that you could ingest the raw video files directly into the PC without having to go through tedious capturing processes, which meant that I should surely have been getting an external storage device showing up on my PC. Then I struck gold; I found a review which included the comment, "you must purchase a separate card reader for your PC". So, off down to a shop I went and purchased a Multi-Format Card Reader for NZ$49.95, returned to my office, inserted the CF card into the new reader, connected it to my PC and WHA-LA!! There was my CF card complete with the raw files which play back absolutely perfectly! :-)
Oh, also, one step that I've read that a lot of people seem to forget - before you eject the CF Card from the DN-60A, you must go to "Tools" > "Make Media Files". This will take a short time to process and it just finalizes all the clips ready to be read by a PC. If you forget to do this, the PC won't be able to recognise any of the files.
Something else I have learned is that the device does not yet appear to recognise CF Card capacities above 64Gb and, according to their online FAQ, also only supports up to UDMA6, 133MB/s cards. I got the 128Gb UDMA7 160MB/s card; it does still work with this card, however it is only recognising it as being 64Gb (although, when I connect it to the PC, it is showing up as 128Gb, so it may yet be possible that the device's display only goes up to 64Gb and that it will still hold a full 128Gb of footage; will have to wait and see on that one). The speed isn't really an issue as HDV footage only has a bit rate of 40MB/s anyway; the extra speed comes in handy for reading back via the external card reader.
I don't know if this is something that happens with all cameras or if it's just mine; I'm using both a Sony HVR-FX1E and a Sony HVR-Z1P and on both of them, while I'm recording with the DN-60A, not using the Sync-to-Tape option, if I start recording to MiniDV tape on the camera (as a backup to what I'm recording on the DN-60A), the recording on the DN-60A pauses for about a second while the tape recording kicks in, so on playback of the file, there is a 1 second jump in the footage. There is no affect on the DN-60A's footage when I stop the MiniDV recording, only when I start recording. This happens whether I'm using the camera's "Quick Record" setting or not.
It's not a biggie, but just something to be aware of, so that if you are recording something lengthy such as a wedding ceremony for example, and you run out of tape on the MiniDV and have to make a tape-change, perhaps wait for a moment in the ceremony (or whatever you're recording) when it might be ok to lose 1 second of time in the footage on the DN-60A before hitting the record button to resume MiniDV recording.