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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old November 27th, 2008, 09:38 AM   #1
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New Flash XDR owner

My Flash XDR arrived yesterday to use with my EX1. The 32GB Transcend 133x flash cards should be here on Friday maybe Monday due to holiday along with HD-SDI and audio cables. Anton Bauer Dionic 90 battery is on the way with Dual 2722 charger.

First impression of the XDR is the unit is well made and has a solid feel. I am in the process of finding a mounting solution for my Zacuto rails. This will allow me to hand hold use on the tripod and in the helicopter. If all goes well with the XDR which I expect I will also be getting an EX3 with a couple of optional HD lens and modifying Ted’s OMalley’s great looking shoulder brace to hold the flash on that camera.

I know a lot of people are waiting on the Nano Flash for the lower cost and lighter weight. I am sure the Nano will be a great unit but I went for the XDR due to the 4 Flash cards and longer recording. This is important in the helicopter so we can keep the shoot rolling.

I have been in business for along time and it is rare to deal with people as responsive and helpful as Dan and Mike. I look forward to a long business relationship.

I will post more information pictures and clips once I am at that stage.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #2
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Dear Paul,

Thank you for the kind words.

We look forward to serving you well.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 08:51 AM   #3
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Wow loads of emails asking about my set up. The battery and cards are not here yet but this is what I have now.

Solved the mounting of the Flash XDR on my Zacuto rails. The system works very well and can be adjusted for my three needs. The Anton Bauer Diconic 90 battery will go under the lens up front to help balance the rig. And the XDR can move forward when on the tripod and Heli gyro rig. Then when it needs to be hand held I slide it back and the LCD with viewfinder options works perfect. I was able to simulate the battery weight and the rig balances perfect. It is a lot lighter then my hand held two-gyro rig.

Cards arrive today so will start testing. The battery arrives tomorrow so I will start field-testing.
Attached Thumbnails
New Flash XDR owner-img_1396.jpg   New Flash XDR owner-img_1400.jpg  

New Flash XDR owner-img_1401.jpg   New Flash XDR owner-img_1403.jpg  

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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:17 AM   #4
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Thanks for the photos - nice job of mounting.

You also addressed the prevention of wearing out the SDI ports on the XDR and EX1 by placing a coupler between the camera and XDR as Mike Schell suggested. Can you supply more details on your SDI cable setup.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:08 AM   #5
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I can't think of a way to more quickly damage the BNC connectors on a Flash XDR or any other device than leaving cables plugged in when it is not in use and being transported. The leverage that the cable and connector provide are far more likely to damage the XDR during transit than any number of times you might plug it in. I have never heard of any other manufacturer of connectors, cables, or broadcast gear suggest this approach.

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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:25 AM   #6
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John, Dan Keaton built the cables with the coupler it gives me options and he did a very nice job on all of the cables.

Jeff that could be true but it is nice to have the options if I connect and disconnect when the XDR is left on the rails.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:40 AM   #7
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Dear Jeff,

Even when using the best available BNC connectors, the manufacturers rate the connectors at around 1,000 mating cycles.

I fully agree that if one attempts to leave the BNC cablele connected to the Flash XDR or camera, one should take into consideration how the unit (with the cable) will be stored.

If one does not have room for cable, or cannot make room for the cable, then it should be removed.

We are attempting to give each user their choice. If one wants, they can leave the cable attached. If there is going to be strain on the device, then remove the cable.

Even if one only leaves the cable attached during a shooting day, this could mean quite a few mating cycles that are avoided (under certain conditions).
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 10:08 AM   #8
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So how much $ are these?
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 10:15 AM   #9
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Clint from their site the retail is $350-480 for the arm options. This is very high end gear.
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 12:05 PM   #10
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5 G's? Would a average videographer notice a substantial difference in this and the Sony?
I shoot hunting DVD's and am very interested in getting started using a flash type drive. I was going to pick up the Sony before I seen this.
thanks
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Old December 2nd, 2008, 01:34 PM   #11
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Sorry Clint I thought you were asking about the Zacuto arms.

I suggest you search on the Flash XDR forum so you can see examples of higher bit rates and better color spacing. You will find loads of information on the forum and the Convergent Designs site.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 05:07 PM   #12
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Well cards arrived and battery. Today I took a few hours late in the day to start some test.

First I upgraded the firmware this is a piece of cake and took 3 minutes. Directions are easy to follow.

Then installing the fourth card the eject button got stuck my fault. I called Dan and in 5 minutes he talked me through the easy fix pulling the side cover off and resetting the eject button.

First 1080p 30p 50Mbps 422 test was two clips. I shot both sitting at my desk so not very interesting but in low light. Both went from CF card to Mac Pro easy and imported into FC as XDCAM HD 422 1080p 30 (50Mb/s). I did the same with 100Mb/s and it imported in FC at the same 50Mbps since FC does not support 100Mbp/s yet. But interesting the playback Data Rate in Item Properties is twice what the 50Mbp/s is at 12.2 MB/sec. In the FC manual this is what rate is needed to play back the time line. But I found it interesting it was twice at 100. Either way the footage is stunning. I also recorded on the SxS card and the difference is easy to see.

In QuickTime the 100Mbp/s imports just fine.

Off to town meeting or I would keep testing tonight.

A couple of questions for Dan or Mike when they read this post:

1. How do I record with out camera info and still have it on my LCD/viewfinder? Or is this not possible?
2. Options to start record with camera? I know it is on the way and it will be a great feature. You talk about a remote?

3. Oh yea how do I change files names with out loosing data?
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Last edited by Paul Cronin; December 3rd, 2008 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Question 3
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 05:16 PM   #13
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Dear Paul,

We are testing a new release.

One of the features in this new release is a menu item for record triggers.

You will be able to set each of the three options individually. By this I mean that you can set any or all of them on, in any combination.

One Record Trigger is the Record Button. If this is disabled, then pressing the Record Button on the Flash XDR will have no effect.

Another is the Remote Trigger. This enables the remote control input, via the Hirose connector.

The third is the Timecode Trigger. This allows the Flash XDR to automatically start when it detects incrementing timecode on the External Timecode Input, or incrementing timecode embedded in the HD-SDI signal.

If this is enabled, then your camera, if appropriate timecode options are set, will be able to start and stop the Flash XDR.

I will attempt to research your other question.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 05:21 PM   #14
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Wow that was 5 minutes for a response you are quick.

All three trigger options sound great.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 05:24 PM   #15
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Dear Paul,

I am downloading the Sony EX1 manual now.

I hope to have an answer soon.
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