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Old August 11th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #1
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Flash XDR v.s. Nano Flash

Hi,

I've been trying to read through the documentation on both products and was wondering if there was a bullet list showing the differences between the two.

I have an EX1 and am trying to see what I'd be missing if I went with the nanoFlash unit.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old August 11th, 2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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XDR v. Nanno ...

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Old August 11th, 2008, 10:44 PM   #3
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From my reading the Flash is bigger, has four CF slots, has two audio XLR sockets, one four pin power XLR socket, and future uncompressed upgrade available. The Nano is smaller, two CF slots, no XLR sockets, and no uncompressed option. Other than that they function the same quality wise.
I'm dithering over which option too :D
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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
From my reading the Flash is bigger, has four CF slots, has two audio XLR sockets, one four pin power XLR socket, and future uncompressed upgrade available. The Nano is smaller, two CF slots, no XLR sockets, and no uncompressed option. Other than that they function the same quality wise.
I'm dithering over which option too :D
Hi David-
Your understanding is correct. In general, we think the Flash XDR is ideal for POV cameras (like Iconix, Toshiba, Hitachi, etc) and for the Canon XL-H1, which does not have embedded audio.

The nanoFlash, on the other hand is ideal for HD-SDI cameras with embedded audio, like the Canon XL-H1s, the Sony EX1/EX3, the JVC 250/251, and the upcoming Panasonic HPX-170.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 11:04 PM   #5
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Dear James,

The nanoFlash's most important design feature is its small size.

In order to achieve such a small size, there are two less CompactFlash card slots and no external audio capabilities.

With four CompactFlash card slots, the Flash XDR can record for twice as long without changing cards. Also, the Flash XDR can support uncompressed, where the nanoFlash cannot.

The Flash XDR with its high quality audio circuitry, with 24 bit recording capability, is ideal for recording where the audio capabilities of a specific camera are not up to par.

With the nanoFlash, the audio passes though the camera before reaching the nanoFlash. Thus the quality of the audio may be compromised by the quality of the audio circuits in the camera. This is less important if you are doing dual-system sound.

Another nanoFlash advantage is that it draws less power since it does not need to power the external audio circuitry. Significant design work (magic) was performed to lower the power consumption.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #6
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Uncertain about format relationships

The reality of being able to record HD-SDI material from 1/3" sensors (e.g. XL H1-S) or 1/2" sensors (e.g. EX3) onto a portable recording device such as the XDR or Nannoflash is amazing.

The broadcast networks often specify a format standard (such as DVCPro HD or HDCAM or HDCAM-SR, etc.) for HD submissions.

The specifications of the recorded material from the XDR (whether recorded from a 1/3" or 1/2" camera) can meet the top specifications for HDCAM-SR. The Nannoflash is about the level of HDCAM insofar as the specificaitons are concerned.

Am I correct that the original sensor size does not affect the colorspace or bitrate if captured from the HD-SDI? I understand that the color fidelity and low light capability of the orginal recordings will be different.

Suppose the stated broadcast High Definition standard is HDCAM-SR. Can one simply edit into that format from either device?

Many thanks,
Alan
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Old August 14th, 2008, 08:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Emery View Post
The specifications of the recorded material from the XDR (whether recorded from a 1/3" or 1/2" camera) can meet the top specifications for HDCAM-SR. The Nannoflash is about the level of HDCAM insofar as the specificaitons are concerned.
It can't quite meet the specs of HD-CAM SR since this is a 10 bit codec and MPEG-2 is an 8 bit codec. Although admittedly this doesn't matter if the HD-SDI out is 8bit from the camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Emery View Post
Am I correct that the original sensor size does not affect the colorspace or bitrate if captured from the HD-SDI? I understand that the color fidelity and low light capability of the orginal recordings will be different.
Sensors don't limit the bitrate or colorspace, it's the codec that limits these.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Emery View Post
Suppose the stated broadcast High Definition standard is HDCAM-SR. Can one simply edit into that format from either device?
You can transcode to any codec, and as long as you are going a smaller or lessor bitrate/colorspace, you'll have the same quality as if the footage was recorded that way out of the camera.

Although you can transcode to HDCAM-SR, since it's a 10bit 440Mbps codec, the transcode from the XDR isn't going to be as good as if the footage was captured to a HDCAM-SR deck, unless your plan is to only record uncompressed to the XDR and the XDR records uncompressed in 10 bit.

Fortunately, unless you're shooting a fairly serious episodic, nobody is going to be requiring HDCAM-SR.
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Old August 15th, 2008, 08:06 AM   #8
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I am located in Canada and am contemplating HD submissions (about nature) for broadcast. So I must admit I was surprised by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation standards:

"4 Delivery Media (Tapes)
CBC/Radio-Canada requires that the HD material be provided on Sony Hdcam SR™
videotape.
Delivery of any program on a medium other than Hdcam SR™ shall have to be approved
beforehand by CBC/Radio-Canada, shall be submitted two weeks before the planned
delivery date, and shall be transferred to Hdcam SR™ format by CBC/Radio-Canada at the
producer’s expense.

5 Video
5.1 Image Format
The image format shall be 1920 x 1080 pixels and compliant with the SMPTE 274-1998
standard.
The sampling structure shall be 4:2:2 with 10-bit quantizing. These image specifications
should be preserved as much as possible throughout the complete production process."

This was the reason I asked (and many thanks for the answer!) if the results from a Nanoflash or XDR could be transcoded to HDCAM-SR -- even if the original was not in that format. It looks like they just want a uniform delivery system although they do call for 10 bit 4:2:2.

Alan
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Old August 15th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Emery View Post
I am located in Canada and am contemplating HD submissions (about nature) for broadcast. So I must admit I was surprised by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation standards:

"4 Delivery Media (Tapes)
CBC/Radio-Canada requires that the HD material be provided on Sony Hdcam SR™
videotape.
Delivery of any program on a medium other than Hdcam SR™ shall have to be approved
beforehand by CBC/Radio-Canada, shall be submitted two weeks before the planned
delivery date, and shall be transferred to Hdcam SR™ format by CBC/Radio-Canada at the
producer’s expense.

5 Video
5.1 Image Format
The image format shall be 1920 x 1080 pixels and compliant with the SMPTE 274-1998
standard.
The sampling structure shall be 4:2:2 with 10-bit quantizing. These image specifications
should be preserved as much as possible throughout the complete production process."

This was the reason I asked (and many thanks for the answer!) if the results from a Nanoflash or XDR could be transcoded to HDCAM-SR -- even if the original was not in that format. It looks like they just want a uniform delivery system although they do call for 10 bit 4:2:2.

Alan
Hi Alan-
I would assume that the video quality from the XDR/nano would be acceptable to the CBC, since the 100Mbps 4:2:2 level is clearly above HDCAM quality. I am sure you are correct in assuming that the CBC just wants a uniform delivery method.

Video/audio/time-code from the nano/XDR could be transferred to HDCAM SR via the HD-SDI output (which is 1920x1080 4:2:2 10-bit, although only 8-bit effective). Given the small size and lightweight, you could either hand carry the box to a dub house or possible send directly to the CBC and pay a fee for them to make the transfer.
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Old August 15th, 2008, 07:16 PM   #10
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Hi Mike,

Many thanks for the help and reassurance. I will work on the assumption for now that once on the HDCAM-SR tape XDR Nanoflash material will be of very acceptable quality and the demand for this medium by the CBC is a combination of looking for high quality and to standardize the delivery system. When I get closer I will discuss it with the CBC.

Alan
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Old September 8th, 2008, 02:40 PM   #11
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Most HD broadcasters specify HDCAM-SR as the delivery format. There are many reasons, but for one the broadcaster only needs one type of deck to accept submissions. Discovery HD will allow you to make a programme using certain HDV cameras, but the finished programme must still be mastered to HDCAM-SR. Another reason is that by mastering to HDCAM-SR, whatever the origination format the final format will be 10 bit full raster. Most other tape formats do not offer full raster. Converting from the XDR/nano-flash to HDCAM-SR should be pretty straight forward as it uses the same codec as the top end XDCAM cameras and workflows for these are already well proven.
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