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Old September 14th, 2009, 01:51 PM   #1
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Extreme Pro CF for Uncompressed on Nano?

Video: SanDisk Extreme Pro CompactFlash card does 600x, the hokey pokey

According to Engadget they are shipping any time and manage 90Mb/s. I wonder two of them in Nano in Raid 0 can't they sustain uncompressed HD recording?
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Old September 14th, 2009, 02:07 PM   #2
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Yowza!
I know what to do with the 64GB part of the Extreme Pro but the 90MB/s seems excessive for the nanoFlash in its current form. According to the article, the lower Extreme model runs at 60MB/s, which would work for the fastest current nanoFlash speeds... but doesn't come in 64GB! Bummer! :-(
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Old September 14th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #3
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Dear Emmanuel,

With these new 64 GB, 90 Megabyte per second, cards, we have the opportunity to add full uncompressed to the nanoFlash.

We will consider this, especially if their is a reaonable demand for this. This is already in the discussion stage.

Note: This is not a promise to add Full Uncompressed to the nanoFlash at this time.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #4
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Uncompressed Nano!

Hey wonderful friends at CD. Reasonable demand is a given in my very humble opinion.
If i am not incorrect to shoot uncompressed one would have to buy a RED or above (not sure).

But give a small man that and you would have changed the wold of acquisition FOREVER.

I'm buying my Nano soon and it better be uncompressed!!!! :)

But seriously i believe it is worth both our whiles for you to research and roll out that ability ASAP.

Nolan
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Old September 16th, 2009, 06:12 PM   #5
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Dear Nolan,

Thank you for your input, we appreciate your point of view.

We are actively considering this.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 06:24 AM   #6
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Hello Dan,
I have at last managed to find stock of the new 64 GB, 90 Megabyte per second cards at a reasonable price.

I have decided to wait and not purchase until you have completed your tests. Do you any time frame as to when you anticipate testing the cards.

Many thanks
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Old September 17th, 2009, 07:40 AM   #7
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Dan always nice to have the option to go uncompressed.

By the way two shoots on my Nano and both clients are wowed by the footage.

I am still convinced that the motion footage is a huge improvement at 100 bit rate compared to the 35 bit rate the EX offers. I did a test shooting high motion clip with and without IS on the camera. I was surprised the one at 100 bit rate and IS off into the Nano was better then the camera at 35 bit rate and the IS on. Remember this was high motion and lots of vibration.

Now to start looking at 160 bit rate to see how much I notice at the next step. Then I-Frame slow motion.

Thanks for helping wow my high end customers.
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Last edited by Paul Cronin; September 17th, 2009 at 09:40 AM.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #8
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Dear Lance,

We will start testing the 64 GB CompactFlash cards as soon as we can get them.

What is nice about the SanDisk 64 GB cards, is:

1. They are Type 1, so they are the same size (thickness) as regular CF cards.

2. They are listed as 90 Megabyte per second for both read and write.

But, we do not know the actual speed yet, but I expect it to be close.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #9
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Dear Dan,

With uncompressed you can choose your post workflow and compression scheme at will, depending only on your projects needs. If you have an established workflow different from MPEG2, you will not need transcoding which sometimes can lower the quality of the footage, especially if a lot of post processing is involved afterwards. Nano will appeal to a broader group of prospective buyers (people who now use Cineform, DNXHD, PRORES, AVCINTRA, JPEG2000 or want 10bit),without ConvDes having to implement any new compression routine to it. Furthermore it will be future proof, you can always redigitize your footage should you move to a new post environment or needed for a job with different quality settings.

There are two caveats:
You need much more space to save your original material, which nowadays is becoming cheaper and cheaper.
You are adding one step to the workflow which Nano flash meant to eliminate, that of digitizing. For those who needed transcoding in order to use the Nano footage, that was unavoidable. For those with MPEG workflow it will be a matter of choice. They can always use Nano's compression.

I think its a must have feature.

Of course it may cannibalize XDR's sales. But I think, given the direction the market is heading(i.e. New Arri cameras), you should redesign XDR for higher resolution and/or Raw acquisition and knock the door of the big guys.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 02:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmanuel Plakiotis View Post
I think its a must have feature.

Of course it may cannibalize XDR's sales. But I think, given the direction the market is heading(i.e. New Arri cameras), you should redesign XDR for higher resolution and/or Raw acquisition and knock the door of the big guys.
.... Yes, it will cannibalize XDR sales, but if you enable uncompressed RAW capture and Raid 0 striping of either 2 or 4 CF cards, then this opens the XDR back up for much more uses once again. I was wondering if it would even be possible for CD to offer a re-manufactured upgrade to allow dual link or single link 4:4:4 capture and output for Viper, Arri, and RED acquisition. Also, enabling the RS-422 interface will open up the XDR's ability to function as a complete digital VTR replacement.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #11
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Hi Dan,

I bought the Flash XDR and paid twice as much as I would have paid for a NanoFlash (when it was already announced) knowing (based on your statements) that only the Flash XDR will be able to shoot uncompressed - that leaves me in a less than comfortable position as to the value of my Flash XDR in case I would like to sell it and get a NanoFlash or two for that matter.

Please let me know what you think about my concerns,

Thanks,

Ofer
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Old September 19th, 2009, 03:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ofer Levy View Post
that leaves me in a less than comfortable position as to the value of my Flash XDR in case I would like to sell it and get a NanoFlash or two for that matter.
Since CF's theoretical limit is 133Mb/s, this development shouldn't surprise you at all. Actually there was an announcement of Pretec back in March that paved the road for the things to come:
Pretec unveils 666x Compact Flash Cards: Digital Photography Review

Imagine how they feel those, who a few years back, gave $50000 for Venom which is essentially an 18min HD422 uncompressed flash recorder.

Computer related technology can be such an expensive girlfriend experience...
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Old September 19th, 2009, 07:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Ofer Levy View Post
Hi Dan,

I bought the Flash XDR and paid twice as much as I would have paid for a NanoFlash (when it was already announced) knowing (based on your statements) that only the Flash XDR will be able to shoot uncompressed - that leaves me in a less than comfortable position as to the value of my Flash XDR in case I would like to sell it and get a NanoFlash or two for that matter.

Please let me know what you think about my concerns,

Thanks,

Ofer

Dear Ofer,

We respect your concerns.

1. 64 GB CompactFlash cards were not unexpected. Frankly, we were expecting them by December of 2008, based on information from a very reliable, and innovative CompactFlash card manufacturer.

2. What was completely unexpected was 90 Megabyte per second (MBps) write speed. This is a speed that allows us to consider adding uncompressed to the nanoFlash. We need about 150 MBps to do uncompressed and 180 MBps gives us the headroom that is required for reliable recording.

The other day, I was editing the FAQ's for our nanoFlash.

I just wrote that full uncompressed is not planned for the nanoFlash but there may be technological advances in the future that allow it to be offered.

Then, less than a minute later, I received an email from Mike Schell indicating that SanDisk had come out with a 64 GB card with a spec of 90 MBps read and write-speed.

Note: It is important to note that very few manufacturers live up to their marketing specifications.
Some are close, some are so far off it is laughable.

We purchased one early 64 GB 45 MBps specified CompactFlash card, months ago, not from SanDisk.

It failed our formal testing process. Then we tested the write-speed; it was around 10 MBps.

We called the manufacturer. They said: "You tested it! you actually tested it? We thought no one would actually test it!"

Now, just to be clear, SanDisk is in another league entirely.

3. If and when we implement full uncompressed on the nanoFlash, we will implement it on the Flash XDR also.

4. This is important: The Flash XDR will always have added value as the Flash XDR has four card slots instead of two.

Also note, that it will be more cost effective to record full uncompressed on the Flash XDR, as lower write-speed CompactFlash cards can be used. While a 90 MBps write-speed card, with 64 GB of memory is great, it does cost much more per Gigabyte (at this time).

5. We are investigating the level and duration of effort it will take to implement full uncompressed at this time.

But, we have other features, Time-Lapse for one, which is higher in the queue.

6. Full uncompressed is great and will be accepted and used by some.

But, in my personal opinion, they are really compelling reasons to use our 100+ Mbps Long-GOP, as it is visually indistinguishable from uncompressed.

The files are much smaller in size.

An extremely fast storage system on the computer is not required.

It is easier to archive the footage.

The workflow is much easier.

We have not discussed this before, but now is a great time.

The following is for discussion purposes our exact implementation may change.

All of our recordings on the Flash XDR and nanoFlash are "File Based". One can take one of these files and it contains all of the audio/video/etc and transfer it into a computer.

This is nice, easy, and the Flash XDR / nanoFlash is not involved in any way, other than creating the original recording.

And, a very low-cost CompactFlash card reader is all that is needed to act as your deck.

With uncompressed, we have to write to two or four cards simultaneously.
While our plans may change, our current plan is to write the audio/video/etc data to separate files on each of the two or four CompactFlash cards.

But, since Non-Linear Editors are not setup to support these files (a portion in one file, a portion in another file, etc.), one will need to put the CompactFlash cards into the Flash XDR / nanoFlash, then play out the HD-SDI or HDMI port.

Our device will recreate the original uncompressed video/audio/etc stream. This HD-SDI or HDMI output will have to be captured with a computer setup for full uncompressed HD-SDI / HDMI capture. This means a capture card and a very fast disk subsystem.


When one considers both alternatives, our 100+ Mbps modes become compelling.

While I have attempted to discuss both alternatives, please do not consider this as meaning that we will not support full uncompressed.

If it is important to our customers and potential customers, it is important to us. There are those who want nothing less than full uncompressed, and we respect their needs.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 07:57 AM   #14
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Dear Ofer,

We respect your concerns.

Our device will recreate the original uncompressed video/audio/etc stream. This HD-SDI or HDMI output will have to be captured with a computer setup for full uncompressed HD-SDI / HDMI capture. This means a capture card and a very fast disk subsystem.

When one considers both alternatives, our 100+ Mbps modes become compelling.

While I have attempted to discuss both alternatives, please do not consider this as meaning that we will not support full uncompressed.

If it is important to our customers and potential customers, it is important to us. There are those who want nothing less than full uncompressed, and we respect their needs.
...Dan, thank you for addressing Ofer's concerns. I know many of us with XDR's have simular questions and concerns. Regarding the uncompressed feature on the XDR/nanoFlash, will you folks at CD implement digital RAW recording or some other proprietary method ? Also, will you be turning on the FireWire interface on the XDR ? Firewire *can* serve as another interface to get raw data in and out of computers for post production. In fact, Avid Media Composer will allow a firewire drive to act as a regular hard drive and play right off of that unit on the time line. In this way, the Uncompressed XDR becomes an external Raid 0 array.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #15
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Dear Mark,

It is too early to tell which method we will be using to record uncompressed.

Turning on the Firewire, which was original intended for outputing a HDV signal to a backup HDV recorder, is lower in priority that other features that we have planned.

Our original thoughts were not to make the Flash XDR a computer mountable drive.
We have to weigh both the time to develop and the amount of memory available for our firmware. This feature is not high on our priority list.

We like the idea of taking the CompactFlash cards out of the Flash XDR and inserting them into a low cost CompactFlash card reader for the transfer to a computer or storage device. This allows the Flash XDR to be available for other capture work.

Transfering full uncompressed over a Firewire interface would be very time consuming, so this is not in our plans.
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