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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old July 12th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Billy Steinberg View Post
Thanks Dan,

I also check your main site as well as this one, and if you plan on posting the spec sheet - brochure on your main site, I can just grab it there when I grab the manual you're planning on uploading there; thanks.

Delighted to hear that you deal with interruptions to the SDI input now, that's pretty important to me. (And yes, I realize that the feed shouldn't be intermittent, but I shoot so many "only happens once" things that I tend to prefer equipment that deals well with unexpected circumstance). :)

Billy
Hi Billy-
We should have the updated brochure and owner's manual uploaded to the website by 14-July. I am working on a major update to the FAQs this week.

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Old July 12th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #17
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Two other cool features

Just wanted to mention that the nanoFlash also includes an auto power-down and battery voltage monitor (voltage is displayed on the LCD screen).

The power-down feature, reduces the power dissipation from 6W to 0.2W whenever the HD/SD-SDI input is disabled (for example when you turn off your camera). The nanoFlash will "boot-up" in about 4 seconds when you turn your camera back on.

If you enable this power-down function and enter record mode, the nanoFlash will automatically close the current file and enter low-power mode whenever the HD-SDI stream is turned off. When HD/SD-SDI reappears, the nanoFlash will boot-up and resume recording. So you could setup the nanoFlash in record mode and simply use the on/off button on the camera to trigger record start/stop. The low active power dissipation combined with auto power-down provides hours of operating time, even on a small battery.

Regarding the battery voltage monitoring, we plan to add more code in the future to automatically close files and enter low-power mode whenever the battery is about to run out of juice.

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Old July 12th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #18
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Go here ...

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Hi Dean-
Can you send (or post) sample images?

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some examples of Panasonic's solution.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 05:58 PM   #19
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strobe banding ...

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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Hey Dan,

Glad you guys are reaching your next milestone.

The repeated frame for the strobe banding sounds like an easy fix.

My only concern is shooting at a lower framerate like 24p might be slow enough that this could be noticeable?

60p would probably have no issues.

It is crazy to think the frames can be analized and corrected whizzing by in HD!

How would the XDR know when to add the correction?

Seems like that parameter would need to be pretty narrow as you wouldn't want that shot of a bride for example with a white dress being confused by the XDR as a white band area and start repeating frames...
I suppose if you are going to shot a fashion show or red carpet affair ... you might just want to do it with more frames in the shoot. But on the whole ... it does sound possible to correct this issue in this way. The other main concern would be to turn this function off and on as there are times when you might not want to have it.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 12:02 AM   #20
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I'm super excited about the nano!

I will be posting many interesting image comparisons between on board HDV from the XL-H1, and then various simultaneous SDI/nano recordings as soon as I can get my hands on one in the next few weeks. (I have a good friend on the July pre-order list)
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Old July 13th, 2009, 09:08 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Hey Dan,

Glad you guys are reaching your next milestone.

The repeated frame for the strobe banding sounds like an easy fix.

My only concern is shooting at a lower framerate like 24p might be slow enough that this could be noticeable?

60p would probably have no issues.

It is crazy to think the frames can be analized and corrected whizzing by in HD!

How would the XDR know when to add the correction?

Seems like that parameter would need to be pretty narrow as you wouldn't want that shot of a bride for example with a white dress being confused by the XDR as a white band area and start repeating frames...
Dear Tim,

I feel that the fix I proposed may be a problem in 24p mode. Also, this new feature must to optional, via a menu selection. But, for higher frame rates it should work find, in my opinion.

This fix, using the previous frame, will not work if there are constant or multiple flashes in successive frames, maybe this is why Panasonic chose the the solution they did.

Yes, it may be very difficult for us to analyze the video and make the corrections.

To start this process, we will need to analyze video from multiple CMOS cameras to determine if we can find a way to detect the problem.

I do feel that it would be worth the effort to determine if we can find a fix for this problem.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 09:32 AM   #22
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If the flash compensation is something you guys could really add it would be another strong reason to go with your products over any other option.

The Ex-1 crowd would be rather happy.

Although now that Panasonic has this for their CMOS camera, one would think Sony would offer a solution to the EX series, but maybe not.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #23
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Flash compensation could be really undesired when shooting either explosions or fireworks, but I repeat myself.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #24
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Dear Bill,

Yes, this would have to be an option, selectable via the menu. Only those that would need this would turn it on. Anyone with a CCD camera would probably not need this.

For some it might be a huge help, for others, it may not.

If one is at a major press conference, with flashes going off in most every frame, my solution would not be so good.

We may be able to make a trigger that could distinguish between fireworks and photographic flashes.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 08:34 PM   #25
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Agree ...

Here's the thing ... it might be going with the light flow to sample the flash and spread it through-out the imagine instead of cutting it out. That is I think the approach Panasonic is doing. It's worth the effort. Good luck!
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Old July 14th, 2009, 02:21 AM   #26
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Dear Dean and Tim,

In an ideal world, a nice tool, in all of the NLE's that would correct for the image problems would be great.

This tool would thoroughly examine the contents of each frame, and

1. Drop the video from certain frames if a Flash occurred, and the frame rate was high enough, and the previous frame was good.

2. Adjust the light level in each frame where the previous frame also had a problem, as one cannot drop more than one frame, in my opinion, without the effect becoming noticeable.

A tool in post would be far superior to what we can do since whatever we do is permanent.



In the real world, it will take time for the NLE's of the world to add this tool.

And in the real world, we have limited time to analyze and process each frame. The HD video is coming at us at 1.485 Gbps!



I like Panasonics approach for when there are flashes in successive frames or the frame rate is low, as in 24 fps.

I like my idea of duplicating the previous frame when there is only an occasional flash.

I like the idea of doing it in post, as the original footage is not affected in any way.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 06:48 AM   #27
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With all due respect to those looking for image manipulation as part of the XDR and Nano, I would much rather see time spent on making the units bulletproof and utterly reliable. I would also like to see many of the features which are more important as a recorder such as 10 bit, hot swapping, Raid 1, locking keyboard and time lapse for example completed and solid before time is spent to fix a problem which is from a camera and probably could be more appropriately fixed with a plug-in in editing or in the camera itself.

Sorry to be blunt.

Jeff
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Old July 14th, 2009, 08:17 AM   #28
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Dear Jeff,

This is just been a discussion of what we may be able to do to respond to a customer's problem.

At this time, no engineering time has been spent working on a solution to this problem.


We have spent many hours making the Flash XDR and nanoFlash reliable. Time will tell if we have achieved our goal. This has been our number one priority.

In our quest to achieve perfect reliability, we have found that some cameras put out illegal values, codes that, according to the spec, have special meanings.

With these cameras, exceptionally bright points of light will cause illegal codes to be generated. With others, just a very bright overall scene will cause these codes.

An example would be the bright sun reflecting off chrome or glass.

We now have firmware that detects these codes and takes corrective action.


We also have built into the firmware support to gracefully handle a long term, or very short-term loss or glitch in the HD-SDI signal. This support closes the file gracefully and restarts recording when we lock on a good HD-SDI signal again.

At this time, this support works, but we want to improve upon it, as it currently takes us 4 to 10 seconds to perform the above steps. We will improve upon this in a future release.


Here is our priority list.

1. Investigate and fix any reliability problems that are reported.

2. Build a "Golden Image" into the nanoFlash.

We have had many instances of our firmware update process being interrupted. This typically occurs when someone uses an almost dead battery, the power is interrupted, or a person interrupts the process by powering off the device or removing the CompactFlash card.

The nanoFlash was designed so that we can store a "Golden Image". This is backup firmware that allows the unit to function, even if the firmware update is interrupted.

We will be working to incorporate this "Golden 'Image" into the nanoFlash.

3. Hot Swapping.

We intend on adding Hot Swapping into the nanoFlash and Flash XDR as soon as possible.

And, of course, we have other items on our list.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #29
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To be clear, I agree that the flash band thing is out of the XDR's main role.

Would it be a positive, yes.

Is it a deal breaker, no.

Are other features more important, yes.

Dan's suggestion about NLE's is a better way as it is not permanent.

But this is a discussion forum and I see no harm in the topic being thrown around.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 11:21 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
With all due respect to those looking for image manipulation as part of the XDR and Nano, I would much rather see time spent on making the units bulletproof and utterly reliable. I would also like to see many of the features which are more important as a recorder such as 10 bit, hot swapping, Raid 1, locking keyboard and time lapse for example completed and solid before time is spent to fix a problem which is from a camera and probably could be more appropriately fixed with a plug-in in editing or in the camera itself.

Sorry to be blunt.

Jeff
Hi Jeff-

We agree! We have another XDR update in final test this week which corrects an issue with the Cumina camera. The Cumina camera produces HD-SDI luma and chroma values which are technically outside the legal range. These values caused processing errors in our HD-SDI detection which resulted in drop-outs during record. The new firmware corrects this problem.

We also found an issues with some of the QT/MXF file headers which occurred about once every 500 files. The files were repairable, but
had to be e-mailed to us for the correction. This issue has also been fixed with the new firmware.

We continue to test on a daily basis to identify and fix any remaining issues.

Best-
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