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Old January 26th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #1
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Nanoflash Operational Features Discussion

Hi Dan & Mike:
I hope it is appropriate to start a new thread which very specfically discusses the operational functionality and specfic application of the Nanoflash device. I have been researching and reading up on the Convergent-Designs website all preliminary specification information I can find on the Nanoflash. So far, I have not been able to confirm wether or not Nanoflash can accept a firewire input.

In case this feature is not considered at this point, I wish to make the argument for including full firewire support. I believe there would be a strong market for folks who want to record via firewire stream to a solid state CF card. If there is any doubt as to market demand for firewire stream recording, then I point to all the folks who continue to shoot with Firewire recording solutions by Rolland, Firestore, and others.

Also, the price point of this device would be closely comparable to those markets. Adding this simple functionality will make the Nanoflash more compatible with more camcorders, thus leveraging a greater market share. I would think there would be enough room in the box to put a firewire socket. Perhaps you could make it Firewire 800 MB, so as to be backward compatible with FW 400 MB, yet allowing an output interface for all recorded data modes to a laptop or PC, or MAC. Once again, this would extend this devices flexibility and functionality. Since you already list low Mb recording capabilities sich as 18 and 50, why not add HDV-DV recording at 25 Mbps ?

Last edited by Mark Job; January 26th, 2009 at 12:50 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #2
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Dear Mark,

We agree with you that a nanoFlash that was capable of Firewire input would be nice.

Our design goal for the nanoFlash was to make it as small as possible along with low power consumption.

We currently manufacture the HD-Connect SI which converts Firewire to HD-SDI. This HD-SDI can then be feed into a nanoFlash or Flash XDR for recording.

I fully realize that you want a single-unit solution, but we do not have room in the nanoFlash to add this circuitry.

It may not be obvious, but the nanoFlash is completely full. We do not even have room for just a simple Firewire connector.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #3
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Dear Mark,

We agree with you that a nanoFlash that was capable of Firewire input would be nice.

Our design goal for the nanoFlash was to make it as small as possible along with low power consumption.

We currently manufacture the HD-Connect SI which converts Firewire to HD-SDI. This HD-SDI can then be feed into a nanoFlash or Flash XDR for recording.

I fully realize that you want a single-unit solution, but we do not have room in the nanoFlash to add this circuitry.

It may not be obvious, but the nanoFlash is completely full. We do not even have room for just a simple Firewire connector.
......OK Dan. I didn't know if you folks had already finalized the circuit board design yet. It's good to know Convergent has a firewire to HD SDI converter solution. To my point of view from the production end of life, firewire seemed like the next logical step, since you already built in an HDMI to HD-SDI converter inside of Nanoflash, so why not have it accept firewire streams as well ? I'd be happy if it just did timelapse in HD resolution ! :-)
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Old January 26th, 2009, 04:45 PM   #4
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Dear Mark,

Both the Flash XDR and nanoFlash will do timelapse in HD resolution.

This will be done using the I-Frame Only option and not available with any Long-GOP option.

When we implement this, you will be able to specify the timelapse interval.

If you specify a long interval, you will need an appropriate way to power the unit over the expected period of time that you wish to record.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Mark,

Both the Flash XDR and nanoFlash will do timelapse in HD resolution.

This will be done using the I-Frame Only option and not available with any Long-GOP option.

When we implement this, you will be able to specify the timelapse interval.

If you specify a long interval, you will need an appropriate way to power the unit over the expected period of time that you wish to record.
Hey Dan. I have a shoot coming up in late Spring which must be timelapse and must be full HD resolution. Do you think this feature will be enabled by this time (Say May-June) ?
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Old January 27th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #6
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Dear Mark,

I am hopeful, but I cannot make a promise at this time.

We expect to implement quite a few new video formats prior to that time.

These include more frame rates and I-Frame Only modes. These will probably be implemented as a group.

Each one has to be tested. We do have a very versatile camera that can do all of the frame rates, so we can test in-house.

I-Frame Only mode is a prerequisite for Time-Lapse recording.

I have reviewed our development schedule prior to posting.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:01 PM   #7
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nano ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Mark,

Both the Flash XDR and nanoFlash will do timelapse in HD resolution.

This will be done using the I-Frame Only option and not available with any Long-GOP option.

When we implement this, you will be able to specify the timelapse interval.

If you specify a long interval, you will need an appropriate way to power the unit over the expected period of time that you wish to record.
Is the nano going to have I-Frame capabilities? If so, I'm very happy ~ will the upgrade path be the same as the XDR?
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Old January 28th, 2009, 04:22 PM   #8
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Dear Dean,

Yes, the nanoFlash will have I-Frame only support.

ASI is the only planned extra cost upgrade, at $995.00.

Full uncompressed option will not be available on the nanoFlash.
We need four CompactFlash cards to record uncompressed and the nanoFlash only has two.

We only put two CompactFlash card slots in the nanoFlash to keep the size as compact as possible.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 02:35 AM   #9
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I-Frame nano ...

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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Dean,

Yes, the nanoFlash will have I-Frame only support.

ASI is the only planned extra cost upgrade, at $995.00.

Full uncompressed option will not be available on the nanoFlash.
We need four CompactFlash cards to record uncompressed and the nanoFlash only has two.

We only put two CompactFlash card slots in the nanoFlash to keep the size as compact as possible.
Will allow for ramping up and down = slow mo?
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Old January 29th, 2009, 03:13 AM   #10
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Dear Dean,

I have not tested slo-mo, with any camera, with the Flash XDR.

Thus I have a hard time fully answering your question since we have not tested these modes yet.

(I just do not know how these modes work over HD-SDI.)

But, I can tell you, that if the Flash XDR will support these modes, so will the nanoFlash.

The nanoFlash will never be restricted in any way as compared to the Flash XDR, except:

1. The nanoFlash has only two CompactFlash card slots preventing us from implementing full uncompressed support,

and

2. The nanoFlash does not have analog audio inputs or outputs of any kind.

To make the nanoFlash as compact as possible, the multiple power supplies for analog audio were removed, as well as the XLR input and output connectors, the analog circuits, and the headphone jack.

The nanoFlash will record audio using the embedded audio that is passed over the HD-SDI/HDMI inputs. Our HD-SDI/HDMI outputs will also have audio, thus allowing the audio to be monitored via any HD-SDI or HDMI monitor (as long as the monitor has audio capabilities).

Both the Flash XDR and nanoFlash will have audio level meters implemented via the LCD Display.

For professional audio inputs and outputs we recommend the Flash XDR.

The Flash XDR is better suited for the original Canon XL H1 and most all POV cameras.

For long recording times, we recommend the Flash XDR.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #11
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Perhaps it's time for a third Model Design of this Technology

Perhaps it is now time for a third CF recorder design ? One Flash device could be made to be even smaller, or possibly even with a "modular" type pluggin design. Allow me to explain. Instead of two CF sockets, put one. With the higher density CF cards slowly becoming available, then this might make sense. If a client wanted to record firewire, then they could purchase the optional FW plugin interface. If a shooter required HD-SDI, then they could purchase this optional pluggin interface. If another client wanted to use analogue ballanced audio I/O, then they could add this modular piece. If HDMI was required, then this modular pluggin box is purchased and attached. Think of the recorder part as the main engine containing the essential circuitry, then features being built into the seperate interface attachments. In this way, you don't have to design or purchase and pay extra for features one dosn't want, or will never use.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #12
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Mark, I still think your first suggestion: DV25 via Firewire in, to a single CF card, is the killer device for market sales.

This is just what I and a lot of collegues are looking for.

Alan
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Old January 29th, 2009, 09:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Mark, I still think your first suggestion: DV25 via Firewire in, to a single CF card, is the killer device for market sales.

This is just what I and a lot of collegues are looking for.

Alan
....I agree. It's unfortunate that Convergent Designs seems to have already finalized their Nanoflash design spec without any way to facilitate the inclusion of FW streaming functionality. This of course, opens the door for other local US & Canadian enterpaneurs to build a box which will accommodate this heavy market demand function.

Also, why use CF cards ? One can now use SDHD or USB 2.0 (or USB 3.0) High Speed flash drives plugged into such an external box. You can now get high speed 16 GB mini SD cards. Do you know how small this recording media is ? The recording box size can somewhat be reduced further based on the size of the media.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 01:12 PM   #14
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I think the whole point of Convergent Design's Flash and nanoFlash units are to bypass the on-board camera compression and allow recording less compressed or uncompressed footage to compact flash cards giving you better quality than HDV.

DV25 to a Convergent Design box doesn't offer any advantages other than a tapeless workflow if your camera shoots on tape. You won't experience any bump in image quality.

I believe there are other options out there for recording direct from firewire to hard drive, etc. although I'm not sure how robust they are.

I'm glad CD is trying to make the nanoFlash unit as small as possible and look forward to using it with my EX1.

As to Compact Flash cards, I'm sure Dan or Mike can answer that. However, I do know that my Nikon D700 (as well as most all other pro level cameras) use Compact Flash cards for a reason. Not sure what it is, but they do. There must be a good reason for it.
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Old January 29th, 2009, 01:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
....I agree. It's unfortunate that Convergent Designs seems to have already finalized their Nanoflash design spec without any way to facilitate the inclusion of FW streaming functionality. This of course, opens the door for other local US & Canadian enterpaneurs to build a box which will accommodate this heavy market demand function.
#1. Sorry guys - the product is already out there. It's called the Sony HVR-MRC1K.
Look it up here.

Sony Product Detail Page - HVRMRC1K

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
Also, why use CF cards ? One can now use SDHD or USB 2.0 (or USB 3.0) High Speed flash drives plugged into such an external box. You can now get high speed 16 GB mini SD cards. Do you know how small this recording media is ? The recording box size can somewhat be reduced further based on the size of the media.
#2. The reason for CF cards is at any given time you can buy them in sizes about double the competition and in speed grades that are far, far higher. That latter point is what makes doing uncompressed with the XDR and 100 Mbps MPEG2 with the Nanoflash possible. It isn't happening with SDHC. And I have yet to see a USB thumb drive with a speed spec. on it. So you are going to have to do a hell of a lot of research to verify a particular one is really fast enough to work.

You seem to have missed that both the XDR and Nanoflash are pointed at folks who are wanting a far better codec than the HDV/AVCHD that is coming out of their cameras. That's the core reason why they command the price premium they do over something like the above Sony product.
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