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Old April 10th, 2009, 10:20 PM   #1
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nanoFlash Progress

We made a major milestone with the nanoFlash today.

We picked up the nanoFlash circuit boards around noon today. These are the complete boards, fully populated with all of the electronic components.

We took them back to our office, and then first checked out the power supply circuits, they worked fine. The rest of the day was spent performing other circuit tests.

So, today was the first day that the nanoFlash saw power.

We have been working to port (transfer) the fully operational Flash XDR firmware to the nanoFlash. Adjustments to the firmware have to be made to accommodate the differences between the two units, but we are using one code base for both products.

By having one code base, any new feature that we make to one product will be automatically added to the other (within the limits of the hardware).
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Old April 11th, 2009, 03:52 AM   #2
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Congratulations, Dan and Mike.

While patiently waiting for the NanoFlash, is it possible to find some mxf from the FlashXDR, but specifically recorded on the EX1 or EX3 camera?
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Old April 11th, 2009, 08:02 AM   #3
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Schedule

What does this mean for the schedule?

I have a shoot from May 18 through the 26th. Any chance?
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Old April 11th, 2009, 09:34 AM   #4
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Dear Piotr,

We will post some EX1/EX3 footage, as recorded on the Flash XDR in MXF format on our website.

Dear James,

We are working this weekend, we will know more by NAB.

First we will bring up the features that are currently in the Flash XDR, then we will add the features that are unique to the nanoFlash.

It is too early to tell if we would meet your deadline or not.

Please remember that the first to get the nanoFlash will be those that participate in our nanoFlash priority pre-order program.
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Old April 11th, 2009, 07:43 PM   #5
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Snapshots of nanoFlash

Here are some quick photos of the nanoFlash.

(Note: We did not use a professional hand model for these photos, we just used a guy with the largest hands we could find! <grin>)

Our testing of the nanoFlash went very well today. We are bringing up and testing the circuits one by one. We are very pleased with our progress.
Attached Thumbnails
nanoFlash Progress-nano_6735.jpg   nanoFlash Progress-nano_6741.jpg  

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Old April 11th, 2009, 08:16 PM   #6
 
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now, that's what I call one HOT lookin' piece of gear!!
I can't wait to get my hands on one. My only complaint against the XDR is its size. This is MUCH sexier.
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Old April 12th, 2009, 03:14 AM   #7
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fully agree Bill ...

The nano is sexy!!!
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Old April 16th, 2009, 07:33 AM   #8
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Dear Friends,

Yesterday was a very interesting day in the development of the nanoFlash.

We had already made great progress in bringing up the nanoFlash. Our first power-on was last Friday.

However, we were struggling to get the LCD (the display) to work, which was hampering our progress.

Then, yesterday morning, there was a gas leak in our building, probably coming from a restaurant on the first floor. This caused a 2 1/2 hour delay for us.

Every minute counts to us in our efforts to get ready to show the nanoFlash at NAB (National Associations of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas next week).

After the delay our engineers resumed their work and stayed late.

By the end of the day, we made significant progress.

1. We can both read and write to the CompactFlash cards.

2. We can perform a firmware update. This is critical to us as we will not release a unit that is not field upgradable.

3. We now have a working LCD (Display).

4. We have the HD-SDI video and audio stream flowing through the nanoFlash.
This may not sound like much, but it actually tests out quite of large portion of the nanoFlash.

5. We successfully recorded a 100 Mbps Long-GOP file to CompactFlash.
This, of course, is a major milestone.

Today, our plans are to enable the keypad and then check out more functions of the nanoFlash. HDMI input and output features remain to be enabled.

We hope to see many of our friends at NAB. We will be in booth SL10805 which is in the South Lower Hall.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #9
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NanoFlash 8 or 10-bit?

Hey Dan,
I just got done reading all the literature on your website. I'm very excited to work with the Nanoflash, but i'm curious to see if it will be 8 or 10-bit? also, does the Flash XDR record 10-bit? on the site it stated by late 2008 10-bit recording will be available. was there any setbacks?

thanks for your time,
Mike
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Old April 16th, 2009, 05:23 PM   #10
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Dear Michael,

At this time, the Flash XDR and nanoFlash record in 8-Bit, as they currently record using MPEG-2.

All MPEG-2 is 8 bit.

We have plans to implement a 4:2:2 uncompressed option for the Flash XDR, typically called "Full Uncompressed" by some, which will be 8-bit or 10-bit depending on your camera.

Yes, we did not meet our schedule to implement full uncompressed, this was a matter of priorities.

While, full uncompressed sounds great, it really does impose a heavy workload on post. The workflow with 100 Mbit Long-GOP or our I-Frame Only modes are much easier in post.

10-Bit is better than 8-bit, but the difference is very minor, as shown in tests that our users have run. Once you introduce compression, their is very little difference.

Some users will demand 10-bit. We do not have a solution, at this time for those than demand 10-bit. We recomemnd that potential users check out the test results.

As far as I know, all HD Television is 8-bit, as it is transmitted using MPEG-2.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #11
 
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I would really expect most of what you suggest, Dan, as the bottom line to 8 bit vs. 10 bit. Nevertheless, my opinion and experience is that 10 bit, as a minimum, is necessary for post production processing, especially for color grading and FX manipulations, where mathematical precision is critical. Once this is accomplished, 8-bit display is probably acceptable, provided a hi-quality dithering down to 8-bit is performed.

I guess, what I'm trying to say is that 8-bit or 10-bit capture is OK, as long as a 10-bit DI is used in post. Once color grading and timing is completed, a good dither down to 8-bit for display is OK.

I really don't know what to think of "in camera" processing of 8-bit imaging. It would be subject to the same limitations as 8-bit post processing, I would assume. At any rate, I, personally, would prefer a 10bit stream all the way thru to the delivery format, if practical.
Just my humble opinion.....and...I withhold the prerogative to change my mind on this topic...;o)
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Old April 16th, 2009, 08:43 PM   #12
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Dear Bill,

For any serious color correction, I highly recommend using a 10-bit timeline (or canvas).

We are in complete agreement on this.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 09:20 PM   #13
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Timeframe

Dan,

What does this mean for the timeframe on release? Once you have everything working, how long will it take to manufacture them in quantity?

jim
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Old April 17th, 2009, 05:51 AM   #14
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Dear James,

First, a progress report:

We now have the keypad working. We will be putting the nanoFlash through a series of tests today to ensure that everything works as planned. The nanoFlash is built upon the field-tested code in the Flash XDR.

After that, we will be enabling the HDMI Input and HDMI output. This may take a week or possibly two. But enabling the HDMI features will not impact the delivery schedule. Due to our extensive experience in designing HDMI converters, we do not forecast any problems in enabling the HDMI.

Our first units, these engineering prototypes, were manufactured using normal manufacturing techniques. In other words, these were not hand-build prototypes, they are actual production units, but they were build in a limited quantity to ensure that everything was correct in the design before starting volume production.

Our contract manufacturers for the circuit boards, cases, keypads, etc. are all capable of volume production.

We found a few problems, all of which are easy to correct.

1. The case will be slightly modified so that one part of the large internal heatsink aligns up with one heat-producing component better. Due to the low power consumption of the nanoFlash, our testing has shown that heat is not a problem at all.

2. Just a few internal wiring changes will be made.

3. The top coating of the keypad assembly will be changed to make it clearer.

4. The LCD mounting and or keypad assembly will be adjusted slightly to eliminate an air gap between the LCD and the protective lens.

5. We will redesign the LCD cover.

All of these are minor issues.

We expect that our initial deliveries will be in late May (this may mean May 31st.)
Mike and I agree that we will be shipping in June in reasonable quantities.

Due to these tough economic times, we do not know how to predict the demand.

We do have a priority pre-order program, for North America, for those who wish to obtain some of the first production units. For outside North America, just contact your dealer.

At NAB (National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, April 20 through April 23) we will be showing operational nanoFlashes at our booth, SL10805.

We have already successfully recorded live HD video, at 100 Mbps Long-GOP, and then played the recorded files in a NLE. We will be performing more tests today.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 12:19 PM   #15
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Flash XDR sample footage

Hey Dan,
I was unable to view any sample footage of the XDR from your website. is there another way for me to view these samples?

thanks.
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