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Old July 14th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #31
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Dan and Mike,

You know I appreciate your work in making the units more reliable. I have taken exceptional heat from clients when we have had problems in the past but I agree that I am much more comfortable than ever with the improved reliability of the units.

I realize that much of the firmware architecture will be shared between the XDR and Nano. That should go a long way to making the Nano's release smoother than the year we have spent improving the XDR. I always clearly knew what I was getting into as a early adopter.

When these boxes work they are exceptionally valuable to productions. I have not run into one client who isn't fascinated by potential of the systems. I only ask as always that the number one priority is reliability. That should trump new and cool features, and release dates. No doubt we are going to find other new cameras and NLE's which don't behave exactly within spec.

And I know we all would appreciate a current and updated list of known shortcomings in the units. That is the first I heard about the Cumina camera, thanks for mentioning it. I don't see sharing issues such as that as any sort of a negative. It is a great way for everybody to avoid repeating problems until they are solved.

Thanks again.

Jeff
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Old July 14th, 2009, 09:22 PM   #32
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Reliability Remains our #1 Priority

Hi Jeff-
Thanks for the feedback. We wholeheartedly agree that reliability must remain our first priority. We do have a rather exhaustive test procedure in place now. Every new code release now requires one full week of testing, including extensive recording in which every file is checked for proper playback in the XDR/nano and on a PC/MAC. It has become quite an arduous task.

That said, I'll be the first to admit that we do make mistakes and can overlook some test cases. We have a limited amount of hardware (cameras, supplies, etc) and we certainly cannot test under all possibly conditions or with every possible app (we do regularly check files on FCP and Avid). So problems and issues can slip through.

I do agree that making everyone aware of problems, such as we recently found (and corrected on the next firmware release) on the Cumina camera, is in our best interest. It's far better that a user know about a particular problem beforehand, rather than miss a critical shot. We will try to be more forthcoming when these problems arise in the future.

Best-
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Old July 14th, 2009, 09:37 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Mike Schell View Post
That said, I'll be the first to admit that we do make mistakes and can overlook some test cases. We have a limited amount of hardware (cameras, supplies, etc) and we certainly cannot test under all possibly conditions or with every possible app (we do regularly check files on FCP and Avid). So problems and issues can slip through.

Best-
Mike, there are those of us out here with the means to do some checking for you guys. I have access to 3 editing machines and have an FTP server. It would take absolutely nothing for me drop a short file into one of my NLEs and run it through a battery of standardized tests. Right now, I have Vegas 9.0 64bit, 9.0 32bit (both running on Windows 7 and about to install on XP64), I have Vegas 8.0b and 8.1 running on XP64, and Vegas 8.0c running on Windows 2003.

-P
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Old July 14th, 2009, 10:35 PM   #34
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Dear Perrone,

That you for your generous offer.

You could be of great assistance to us.

For Sony Vegas, we need 8.0(c) or above, as 8.0(b) does not support the XDCam files, such as ours or the ones from the Sony PDW-700/800 cameras.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 10:54 PM   #35
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Dan, as mentioned, I have 8.0c available and installed, and 9.0 64 and 32 bit. If you're serious PM me, and we can discuss what you need.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 04:33 AM   #36
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Dear Perrone,

Sorry, I was just trying to say that you will not need to test in 8.0(b), just 8.0(c) and above.

We appreciate you very kind offer. I will send you a PM shortly.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 06:13 PM   #37
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Who got the nano's first off ... I suspect people who are going into a production ASAP or who are doing some high end production that will test the nano/flash. I haven't received any notice that mine has been shipped ... so, I'm assuming early adaptors have not been shipped yet.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 08:50 PM   #38
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Dear Dean,

We have had a delay in shipping.

On Friday, our testing uncovered a problem when we record long files, say 10 minutes or longer.

The Flash XDR and nanoFlash code is very similar, in fact they share the same code, except for the physical differences between the two units.

We thought it was best to delay shipments until this problem is resolved. We believe this to be a firmware issue and our engineers were working today to fix it.

Since this is a repeatable problem, not an intermittent occurance, we are confident that this will be resolved in a few days.

We based this assessment on past experience with the Flash XDR. We have had similar problems with the Flash XDR firmware, ones that were detected in our testing program, and in all cases, it never took more than a few days to correct the problem.

In the mean time, we are still building nanoFlashes and will be able to resume shipments as soon as we correct the firmware.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 06:49 AM   #39
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yep ...

Seems like they've found a problem. Would like to hear about a revised schedule?
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Old July 21st, 2009, 07:30 AM   #40
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Dear Dean,

Yes, we have a problem in the firmware.

We are still working to determine the problem.

While this sounds like a big deal, it is not.

A FPGA, Field Program Gate Array, is one of the main parts in the nanoFlash.

This is like a microprocessor, except that it does everything it is programmed to do at once (in parallel).

A normal microprocessor does what it is programmed to do in sequence, step by step, one instruction at a time. Of course some microprocessors are capable of executing a few instructions at a time, up to 8 or 16.

The FPGA does thousands of things at once.

It is typically much more complicated working with a FPGA than a microprocessor, but the rewards are much faster operation for a given amount of power.

We will announce when we have this fixed. Typically these problems take a few days to find and fix.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 08:24 AM   #41
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thanks ...

I await with pleasure!
all the best
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Old July 21st, 2009, 12:51 PM   #42
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I wholeheartedly feel that delaying the release is a prudent idea until the units can be made to work with a reasonable degree of reliability. Remember we are one year into the development of the XDR and are still discovering CF card and other more minor issues.

I would suggest anyone who expects to take a Nano out to the wild reaches of the Congo test the unit for a month or two until it is evident that the risk of failure is small enough to justify the risk of using anyone's brand new product (insert RED or Iconix camera here). The exceptionally good news is that each and every problem with the XDR has been able to be fixed by a down-loadable firmware update. I have a very early XDR and it performs every bit as well as the more recent ones.

There is no problem with a manufacturer being excited and optimistic about their new product, I would expect nothing less. I would suspect the delay was not announced because CD felt the fix will happen sooner rather than later. I too would like to have heard preemptively as well though. The Nano is ahead of its time, no other product packs so much power to record high quaility HD in such a small package for a such a reasonable price. It is going to be an outstanding product... when it is done.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 03:42 PM   #43
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Dear Friends,

The initial nanoFlashes were shipped for presentations and trade shows, one in South Africa that only occurs every two years, one in Japan, and one for an industry event in Los Angeles.

We have found, this morning, that the problem was not in our FPGA, Field Programmable Gate Array, but in our microprocessor code. We have narrowed it down to the specific internal firmware version that caused the problem.

We are now attempting to determine the exact cause of the problem so we can fix it. If for any reason that we can not find the problem, we can always go back to a previous version of our microprocessor code. As I said before, this is not a big deal, but it is a delay.

While it is possible that we shipped the intial units with a problem, I doubt that we did. Otherwise, we would have heard by now. During trade shows, it is very typcial to record and playback hundreds of times.

When we detected the problem, via our internal testing, we held up deliveries to end users. While we could have shipped and then asked that the units be updated upon arrival, we choose not to do so.

We have not intentionally lied about anything. We posted this problem within a few hours of when I learned about it.
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Old July 21st, 2009, 07:30 PM   #44
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I made the decision to get the EX3 and the nano to do high end work. I'm very pleased with the EX3 and when I add up the costs for this camera, the nano and SGBlade with lens ... I still put out less than the cost of a basic Red. I will get a scarlet when it comes out later this year and intend to use the nano on all HD productions I shoot. Whatever the future holds ... we are going into a deep depression economically and do think this will put a damper on production but believe my equipment will last to weather out the bad times coming!

Kuddos to Dan and Mike for being responsible to their customers. They have always shared their dilemmas with us on this forum. I certainly wish all the other manufacturers of equipment do the same but that is not the case. I for one say get it right ... then ship. I've waited for the nano since it's inception and have no problem waiting a bit more! They'll ship when it's ready!
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Old July 21st, 2009, 08:01 PM   #45
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I've waited for the nano since it's inception and have no problem waiting a bit more!
Agreed. I have a specialized application that has desperately needed a product with the small size and power requirements of the nano for the last four years. I don't mind waiting a few extra weeks/months for a product which has no current substitute. If I needed to shoot tomorrow I would just get an XDR and live with that.
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