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Old October 26th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #31
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Mike, I was in the market for one of these units because I needed a better long form recording solution than the SxS cards. I really didn't need the 100mbps capability, though it was going to be a great side benefit. Given the SDHC solution, I cannot now justify the purchase.

That said, I think these boxes you guys are building are remarkable. It will open these cameras, to an entirely new audience of users. It should help push the EX1/EX3 out the door in droves next year. Those in the industry looking for a cheaper solution to SDI recording will no doubt be thrilled. Especially once you get he uncompressed recording going. It's overkill at our level, but for the big boys, a necessity.

I wish you guys all the luck in the world with these, and maybe someday, I'll be able to convince the powers that be here to go that route. But it will be some time before I get there!

All the best.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #32
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Jim, thanks for the test! I'm more concerned about very slow, very sharp pans, as you provided in the other forum. Since I don't know much about specs, and it appears the 'specs' sound good from everyone talking about them, my eyes still see distracting motion blur.

I'd be willing to drive to Colorado Springs are wherever Convergent Designs is located to "test" a NanoFlash before buying, if they allow it (when it's available). I'd hate to plunk down $3,500 if it doesn't truly solve my issue, especially since that is probably more than the price of a new Scarlet (whatever that camera will end up being, who knows!).

In the meantime I'll trying shooting more 1080/60i and see if that helps my motion issues. Thanks again!
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Old October 27th, 2008, 12:50 PM   #33
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Hey Buck,

The issue you are speaking of is pretty clear in this thread.

It is solely dependent on the recording codec and bitrate.

This is not motion blur and is not effected by framerate.

In short, this is the recording codec being overloaded with information (with camera movement, every pixel changes from one frame to another, therefore no redundant pixels can be compressed) and taking image quality away to be able to function.

When movement stops, the amount of changing information goes way down and the codec does not have to cannibalize its image to keep up and sharpness returns.

The Flash XDR will give the codec more headroom (100Mbps vs 35Mbps) to handle more information, and hopefully allow it to never have to go so far as to lose detail and sharpness.

Hope this helps!
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Old October 27th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #34
 
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Buck has this thread going on several websites. He just doesn't seem to want to hear the message. If he wants to drive to Colorado Springs, and it makes him feel better, let him....;o)
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Old October 27th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #35
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Ha! I asked the same question on one other site because I don't know who goes where and there seems to be different quantities/qualities of advice on each site. I also don't see the same screen names at both sites so I don't know about the redudancy. I apologize if everyone visits both sites and I'm being redundant. But my redundancy is on dos sites, not 'several'. If there are other sites I don't know about that I can ask this question, please fill me in, I'd be glad to ask there too! :^D

As for "getting it", I'm not seeing a consensus on this issue? Some skilled videographers are telling me that the EX1 codec is fine for motion and what I'm seeing is not the limitations of the EX1, but the limitations of the LCDs I'm watching it on (refresh rates, etc.). They say if I output to Blu-Ray or DVD I won't be seeing these motion artifacts.

Others are saying it is the limiations of the EX1 codec and the NanoFlash will alleviate the problem. I need the problem to vanish, not just be "less", so I don't know if I want to spend $3,500 for something that will just make it 'less' of a problem.

I'm not trying to be difficult! I'm new at this stuff and I am admittedly ignorant on all this tech talk. With the quick-pan test above I actually have no idea what I'm really looking at... I actually see bad blocking in both, one is just a little less than the other, but I wouldn't do such pans anyway so it's not a concern. I'm talking very slow, creeping horizontal pans with a stationary foreground object. I have yet to see anything 'visually' acceptable, on this site or the "other", that would fit my 'vision'. Admittedly maybe what I'm trying to achieve can't be done without a $100,000 three 2/3 CCD camera? I was hoping maybe the NanoFlash will be my "savior", ha! :^D
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Old October 27th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #36
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Hi Buck-
We should have some very definitive comparison shots this afternoon, which compare 35Mbps 4:2:0 to 100 Mbps 4:2:2. The difference is very clear.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 08:59 PM   #37
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Hey Buck,

We are just trying to help!

I am not an EX-1 owner, I really considered it but the rolling shutter and lack of an affordable "Big" camera to go with it steered me to Panasonic.

Plenty of people are more than happy with the EX-1 and that is fine.

But you are wanting the highest level of output.

If you look at broadcast output, the use of compression is often limited to the last part of the signal chain - the path to your house.

The XDR will allow you to operate more towards this method of production.

Your recorded image will be closer to uncompressed, which will get the best out of your $6,000 camera that you can get.

Which is a bargain. $11,000 or $9,500 for full raster, near uncompressed output.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 09:40 PM   #38
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35Mbps 4:2:0 vs 100Mbps 4:2:2 Comparison

Here's some great comparison shots courtesy of Jim Arthurs. The video was simultaneously captured on his Sony EX1 using the internal 35 Mbps CODEC in HQ mode and externally via HD-SDI into the Flash XDR. The Flash XDR CODEC was set to full-raster 1920x1080 4:2:2 Long-GOP at 100Mbps.

The images were taken from a horizontal pan with a very high speed shutter setting to eliminate blur.

Zoom in and you will clearly see the differences. The 100 Mbps is virtually 100% free of any compression artifacts.

IMO, the 4:2:2 Long-GOP format holds up extremely well at 100Mbps, even in high-motion scenes and is virtually indistinguishable from uncompressed.
Attached Thumbnails
Question about the Nano Flash and my EX1-35mbvrs100mb_extract_1.png   Question about the Nano Flash and my EX1-35mbvrs100mb_extract_2.png  

Question about the Nano Flash and my EX1-35mbvrs100mb_extract_3.png  
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Old October 27th, 2008, 09:41 PM   #39
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Thank you, Tim, and I do understand and appreciate your help. Bill just seemed to imply I was posting this on 'several' forums and was burying my head in the sand and not listening. I am eager to learn and I am taking all considerations and I'm taking notes and am certainly not "not wanting to hear the message". Of course it's all in fun. We're just talking cameras here anyway.

I'll admit I take things Jan says with a grain of salt, even though she is no doubt knowledgeable, she works for a company that doesn't really want to say good things about the EX1, ha! :^D That would be like asking Obama what he thinks of McCain's campaign. I'm wary of possible agenda-driven advice, no matter how good it may be.

You say it's codec driven, and I have no reason to doubt that. Someone else says it's LCD refresh rates and the codec is fine, and I have no reason to doubt that either. That's just my lack of experience. I'm gonna have to "see" it myself. That's why I would be happy to drive to Colorado Springs... it's a nice drive anyway and I love that place, plus I don't want to spend that kind of moolah and "hope" the results are what I want. Mike said he'll have some results up soon so I'll see if it's the kind of footage and results that I hope will help me here. I have no doubt the higher bit rates will be a big improvement spec wise, but like I said, I judge with my eyes not tech specs. If it's just the nature of "video" and motion, then that's just how it is I guess, but I see stuff that tells my eyes motion can remain sharp with movement. But that may be $100,000 talking too, ha ha!

I honestly do appreciate your help. My day job has been keeping very busy (as well as my kids!) so I haven't had much time in the last week to thoroughly test the 60i option (I've been shooting 30p), but this week I should be able to do more. I'd like one of those Sony F900's... since the government seems to be handing out moolah all over the place, maybe they'll be so kind. I think I'll change my company name to AIG Productions. :^D
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Old October 27th, 2008, 10:02 PM   #40
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Hey Mike, cool, and thanks... you don't happen to have any "motion" comparisons, such as slow pans, do you? Let's say 1080/30p at 35 mpbs, and then at 100 mbps? Stills don't tell me the story my eyes want to hear. Not that I expect you would do so just for me, I'm just wondering if you have any in all the testing you do with this thing.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:34 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Forester View Post
Someone else says it's LCD refresh rates and the codec is fine, and I have no reason to doubt that either.
I doubt that LCD refresh rates have anything to do with sharpness/detail and camera movement.

You may question Jan's motive, but she knows her tech and she speaks the truth.

She is on the inside, we are on the outside.

BTW, I have seen quite a few posts where you were defending the EX-1 choice really hard to people like Jan, now you are looking for more from the camera.

What she was saying is the very reason why you are asking about the Flash XDR, the codec is bitrate starved and with camera movement the image detail is compromised.

In the end, we all have to see how much the XDR long GOP will change the equation, but as I posted before, it also will have an I-frame option that will handle motion without question.

All in good spirit and to pass along information...
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:39 PM   #42
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Thanks for the shots Jim & Mike.

There is quite a bit of difference between the two sides.

Almost to the point that it looks like two different cameras from a detail and color depth point of view.

One can see the 35Mbps 4:2:0 filling in areas with grey while the 100Mbps 4:2:2 side has solid color information.
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Old October 27th, 2008, 11:55 PM   #43
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Tim, don't get me wrong, I'm VERY happy with my EX1, even with motion following a subject. Even while running at high speeds chasing my 2 year old in the park with no stabilizer, the footage is amazing. I'm blown away. It's *only* in a single specific regard, very slow horizontal pans on stationary subjects is where I have my conerns. I have never seen any rolling shutter effects in 100+ hours of shooting on the run, except up close flash, which I won't be shooting anyway (my boy just happened to get a hold of my wife's point-n-shoot and was snapping away right in my EX1 lens, ha!).

Again, I don't doubt Jan's knowledge, just her obvious bias. I mean, she has to be biased, I don't blame her. It's her job. She has come down very hard on the EX1, but again, she's gotta. If I owned a McDonald's and someone asked me about a Whopper, I'd do my best to portray my Big Mac as better, no doubt. Barry and Jan seemed to be implying that any movement will cause wobble effects (Barry even wrote an article saying any CMOS movement induces wobble, not in my experience at all). As long as there's something to follow, the motion is fine with me.

I was told by another experienced videographer that just as the motion of this text is blurry when you grab the scroll bar with the mouse and slowly scroll the text, that's purely LCD refresh rates causing the text blur. That's how it is when viewing EX1 footage on the same monitor. I have no idea. It sounds rational though, ha!

If I go the NanoFlash route, maybe shooting I-frame is the way to go? Would that pretty much be an end-all for this concern? Maybe at a cost of more disk space? If so, I'll bring stacks of harddrives with me in the field if need be!

Thanks again!
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Old October 28th, 2008, 03:40 AM   #44
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Dear Buck,

Good Morning.

The Flash XDR offers "I-Frame only" recording at up to 160 Megabit per second maximum bit rate (Mbps) recording. This is a great option for those who need to place their priority on speed of editing and cannot, or just do not want to use the "Long Group of Pictures" ("Long GOP") option.

However, possibly other than the full uncompressed option, which is coming later, the Long GOP option at 100 Megabit per second maximum bit rate (Mbps) recording will give you the best quality.

The 100 Mb Long GOP option appears to be visually very close to full uncompressed according to all of the tests that we have run as well as the detailed tests that others have run. These tests have been run with still images, moving images, and fast pans.

At this time, we have not found a torture test (that I know of) that shows a breakdown of the 100 Mb Long GOP codec. There will be many more tests performed. Many of these tests were performed with the Sony EX1 and the Flash XDR.

This is good news for us as well as everyone who wants very high quality images without the burden of working with very large uncompressed files.
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Old October 28th, 2008, 07:05 AM   #45
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While this is obviously a problem also related to the limitation of the codec, loss of sharpness in camera movement is normal even in film originated material. You are taking a solid picture of something passing by the lens. It won't look like the object is standing still.
But naturally, the codec makes it worse.
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