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Old August 28th, 2009, 09:50 AM   #1
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nanoFlash Wish List

I hope this isn't a duplicate thread. Feel free to delete or transfer if it is.

While I love my nano so far, I'm sure we all will have our own personal wish list of features for the future. Below is my first wish...

If the nano is set to start recording from incrementing time code in the SDI stream, the nano's record button is disabled. I would love to have the option of starting the recording with the nano's record button in that case. This would help in a couple of ways.
  1. In a dual recording setup, like the one Alister Chapman mentions in his video on YouTube (YouTube - NanoFlash Dual), the nano could then be used to record the time lapse sequence and could be used to record the lightning flashes as well. That is assuming the cache function is enabled, of course.
  2. When the unit is being used with a camera such as the HDX900, it would be great to be able to trigger the nano locally, if the camera runs out of tape. This would also require that the nano resume recording with the last generated time code or reverting to internal time code when embedded time code from the SDI stream is not detected.

That's just my $.02 for today. Does this sound feasible?
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Old August 28th, 2009, 10:47 AM   #2
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I agree with you on that steve. It would be nice to have the NanoFlash record button available no matter what other trigger method is being used. I guess the question is what about the stop button? Do you allow it to override the other trigger method, so you can force the nano to stop recording when it has previously been started by running timecode? Again a stop override would be a good option too.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 11:58 AM   #3
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Dear Steve,

We have been discussing your suggestions with our engineers.

We will see what we can do to add the features that you have requested.

At this time, if you have any reason to expect that the event will last longer than your internal tape or memory, we recommend against using Trigger on Incrementing Timecode.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 08:31 PM   #4
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Maybe the appropriate solution would be to provide "enabling" or "disabling" of buttons (Record, Stop) via the menu, a feature available on many professional VTRs. If you were using the nano for the first example I cited, being able to stop the nano would be necessary, but in other cases, that might not be desirable.

Another related feature... it would be nice if the record button could stop and start the recording (as a menu option), much like a camera's record button.

With all of that said, I know there might be a limit to the number of menu items that would be feasible for a device like the nanoFlash or FlashXDR. I, for one, appreciate the fact that the nano is a fairly simple device with a modest number of menus. To keep this manageable, maybe the extra choices could be in an extended menu, which users could ignore or access only when necessary. Programmable user menus might another smart choice, if that is practical.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #5
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I guess I need to keep a notepad with me so I can consolidate my items... here are two other things that occurred to me the other day.
  • Is there any way to re-set the clip number to "0" for a new project, short of doing a complete re-set of the entire device? If not, that would be a welcome addition. Of course, being able to set the clip number to any desired number would be even better. That way, if a project needed to be resumed at a later date, clip numbers from production days that are days or months apart could still be consecutive.

  • Does the device capture user bit data? I haven't seen it on the device's display, nor do I see it in the metadata on the XDCAM player. Could that be captured in the SDI stream and possibly be shown in the display, via a toggle between time code data and user bit data?
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Old August 28th, 2009, 09:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Brown View Post
Maybe the appropriate solution would be to provide "enabling" or "disabling" of buttons (Record, Stop) via the menu, a feature available on many professional VTRs. If you were using the nano for the first example I cited, being able to stop the nano would be necessary, but in other cases, that might not be desirable.

Another related feature... it would be nice if the record button could stop and start the recording (as a menu option), much like a camera's record button.

With all of that said, I know there might be a limit to the number of menu items that would be feasible for a device like the nanoFlash or FlashXDR. I, for one, appreciate the fact that the nano is a fairly simple device with a modest number of menus. To keep this manageable, maybe the extra choices could be in an extended menu, which users could ignore or access only when necessary. Programmable user menus might another smart choice, if that is practical.
Hi Steve-
Great suggestions! Numerous users have requested that the record button act as both a start and stop switch. This would be easy to implement.

We will be revamping the entire menu system in the coming months. We do want to keep the nanoFlash simple, but I think we can add many of these features without adding loads of complexity.

So please keep sending recommendations, we will seriously consider their implementation.

Best-
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Old August 29th, 2009, 05:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Brown View Post
  • Is there any way to re-set the clip number to "0" for a new project, short of doing a complete re-set of the entire device? If not, that would be a welcome addition. Of course, being able to set the clip number to any desired number would be even better. That way, if a project needed to be resumed at a later date, clip numbers from production days that are days or months apart could still be consecutive.

  • Does the device capture user bit data? I haven't seen it on the device's display, nor do I see it in the metadata on the XDCAM player. Could that be captured in the SDI stream and possibly be shown in the display, via a toggle between time code data and user bit data?
Dear Steve,

You can reset the clip number to zero by navigating to the Unit ID item in the System Menu, then clicking OK.

Here is the long version:

1. Go to the main Menu.
2. Ensure that "System" is highlighted.
3. Press the Right Arrow to enter the "System" Menu.
4. Press the Down Arrow until the "Unit ID" item is highlighted.
5. Press the Right Arrow to change the "Unit ID"
6. At this point you can change the "Unit ID" (if desired), then press OK to accept the change.

Whenever the Unit ID is changed, or just "Ok'ed", the Clip Number is reset to zero.
You can change the Unit ID back to the original number if appropriate.

While I did not test it this morning, we originally had the code setup so that just by going to change the System ID, then pressing OK, resets the Clip Number back to zero.


Question 2:

I do not think we handle User Bit data at this time.

I will discuss this with our engineers.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 05:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve Brown View Post
Another related feature... it would be nice if the record button could stop and start the recording (as a menu option), much like a camera's record button..
Dear Steve,

1. As Mike said, we will seriously consider allowing the Record button to also be the Stop button, as it is on cameras.

However, there are some things to consider before we do this.

1. We do not have the luxury of the camera person looking at our device at all times.

A cameraperson normally looks through the viewvinder or at a monitor and knows that they are recording by seeing the "Rec" light or some other indication.

It is vitally important that our device record when the user thinks it is recording.

If, for example, a person hits the Record button, then accidently hits it again, he may not realize that the unit is not recording.

Having two separate buttons is much safer. If one hits the Record button twice, there is no damage. If one hits the Stop button twice, there is no damage.

2. In the future, I would like for our unit to, while already recording, upon request from the user, close the current clip and open a new one.

This would be accomplished by pressing the Record button, while already recording.

This can be very handy.

One application is when multiple takes are shot, all in a row without stopping, in other words: "Keep Rolling" is called.

It is very nice, while still recording, to be able to press the Record button again and a new take is created.

This is very handy for the editors, as it makes it very easy to locate the start of each take.

Another application is during event recording.

For each segment, song, speaker, or whatever, one could hit the Record button again, then each segment would start a new clip, without any frames of audio or video lost.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 07:45 AM   #9
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I like the idea of the record button being used to break up continuous clips, you could treat it to mark interesting points in an interview by breaking the clip at points of interest.

Whatever you do (or don't do) please keep the menu's simple. One of the things that struck me about the nano was just how simple it is to use. It would be a shame to spoil this with pages and pages of menus and options.

Saying that I would like interval record (I believe it's already on your road-map).
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Old August 29th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #10
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Dear Alister,

I agree, we must keep the menus as simple as possible.

It just gets too tedious when there a lot of menu items and menu levels.

I do like the idea that Steve came up with of a Options menu, but he called it an Extended Menu.



We have received requests for an option to put the system in a partial lock-down mode.

In this mode the network/station/etc. could setup the unit to operate according to their standards and prevent accidental or intentional changes which would deviate from those standards.

An example, would be File Type. If the station wants the unit to record in Quicktime, then this could be locked so that MXF/MPG/M2V file types could be locked out.

I would want this so that a person, with effort, or with a passcode, could make a change, but it would be obvious that the change was intential. In other words, the system could be taken out of lock-out mode.

I also like this idea in that, "In the Heat of the Battle", some accidental change can not be made without due effort.

Also, if the lock-down mode was setup by a Station/Network/etc., then emergency support could be quicker and easier. One would only have to confirm that the system is still locked down, then concentrate on the issue at hand knowing that most of the settings have not been changed.
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Old August 29th, 2009, 04:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Saying that I would like interval record (I believe it's already on your road-map).
Hi Alister-
Can you give us some recommendations on the time lapse feature? Is the option to capture one frame every 1,5,10,30,60 seconds, or 5,10,30,60 minutes sufficient for 99% of the applications? Yes, I know that more is better, but we want to stay with the "simple" approach.

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Old August 29th, 2009, 06:43 PM   #12
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Mike,

It is very important you don't cripple time lapse that way. Many times the interval is determined by knowing how long an event is and how many frames you need to end up in the finished piece. As you go up in the interval the graduation can gradually increase, you don't need 1 hour and 1 hour and 1 second for example. But there are long term events such as construction sites where a 1+ hour interval would be appropriate.

So, I vote for a scale of 1-60 sec in 1 sec increments, 1 minute 10 sec to 10 minutes in 10 sec increments, 11 minutes + in 1 minute increments. Or something to that effect.

This would be simple as in holding the up/down arrow to get the result.

Crippling a sophisticated device due to a belief that only people who can use simple equipment are going to use it diminishes its value.

Jeff

Last edited by Jeff Silverman; August 29th, 2009 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Fixed a bit of math
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Old August 30th, 2009, 03:37 AM   #13
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I believe you can keep it simple as there is always the option to trim the final speed of a timelapse sequence in post. I always shoot with the shortest interval I can get away with. That way I can then speed the clip up further in the edit suite if I want the clip to be shorter. If you shoot with too big an interval then there is no way you can slow the clip back down. Once you get up to a 1 hour interval it will take over 3 years to fill a 32Gb card at 100Mb/s so there really isn't any need for intervals any longer than an hour. Even at an interval of 1 minute it takes 12 hours to get a 30 second clip (25fps), so with a 1 min interval, a single 32Gb card would last a month. By having a longer clip you can speed up the less interesting parts of the sequence more than the more interesting bits. Once you start getting into long timelapse shoots of a few days or more your going to be much better off using a DSLR anyway. You have lower power consumption, higher resolution and a simple one-piece lower cost item. I think there is a strong argument that says that for something like a nanoflash the longest interval needed is probably a minute. For longer projects not many people are going to tie up an expensive HD camera and NanoFlash with all the issues of power etc when a simple high resolution DSLR would be more appropriate and cost less.

The vast majority of time lapse sequences I do are shot at 1 frame every second. I've never done a timelapse with a video camera with an interval greater than 30 seconds. Mike, I think your suggestion of one frame every 1,5,10,30,60 seconds, or 5,10,30,60 makes sense. If anything the only extra intervals I would like is 1 frame every half second and 1 frame every 2 seconds.
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Old August 30th, 2009, 06:19 AM   #14
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Mike,

I am open to having someone explain to me how having more choices on a scale you select with one button makes something complicated? How much more complicated is it to hold down a button a bit longer to reach the number you want.

I am certain I don't want to be forced to trim timelapse in post. It is so easy to do it correctly in the field. And I know that in the years of using my Norris intervalometer the one thing I didn't hope for was less flexibility.

I would suggest though that firing off a single frame using the trigger at will would be a very useful function as well as a 1/2 second interval.

Jeff
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Old August 30th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #15
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I am certain I don't want to be forced to trim timelapse in post. It is so easy to do it correctly in the field.
Jeff
So do you never adjust the playback speed of you clips to suit the mood of the edit, or speed up nights where nothing happens, or maybe on a building project slow down the really interesting bits and then speed through the rainy days where nothing much happens due to weather restrictions. By shooting with a shorter interval you gain so much more creative flexibility. In addition if at the end of the project the client turns round and decides they want the clip to run longer than originally planned then you can do that too. Sure you can work out the exact interval needed to produce say a 20 second clip from a particular project and then shoot at that exact rate, but then you have locked yourself in to a minimum clip duration. What then happens if whatever you are shooting takes much less time than planned? That's why I always shoot with the minimum interval I can get away with. This flexibility (in post production) is one of the great advantages of video over film and negates the need for incremental time steps especially once you get beyond a few minutes, where it will take many months to fill a card.
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