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Old November 2nd, 2009, 07:14 PM   #1
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nanoflash with converted analog input?

Anyone using the nanoflash with converted component input from their camera? I may have an opportunity to add a tapeless recorder to my rig.
- would this be worth it in terms of picture quality or am I condemned to HDV? (from the XHA1, with component out available). I would think that barring noise, it would be a step up from the HDV on tape (even if the signal went analog to digital to analog in the camera first)
- if it were worth it, I would look to convert the analog to SDI with embedded audio ... but would need a separate box (another $1k), and then I start to think well if I am going to record the audio in the SDI, then I should have the audio signal go straight to the converter box rather than out of my camera from the headphone out (or should I do that to better sync the audio to video, but I would think the audio out of the headphone jack would be lower quality b/c of the unbalanced output). I could run the mikes through a pre-amp but that's another box (not sure how else to verify levels and audio quality).
- And, if I use an analog to SDI box, it's another box with more wire, not to mention where to mount the second box (handheld).

Anyone doing this? if so, I'd be interested to know how you are approaching this (or even thoughts on the above if you are not doing this).

thanks in advance!
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 11:30 PM   #2
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What a coincidence Dave. I'm doing this very same thing right now. I have basically two cameras that I like to use. One has an SDI output and the other (an HDV cam) only has component output.

The component output is very good quality and bypasses the crappy HDV compression, but I couldn't use it with my XDR recorder.

So I got a component -> SDI converter box. I've been doing some unofficial tests with it and it looks very nice. However, the converter box power supply I have only works on wall power. I need to make a power cable to power it from my battery pack, then the real testing will begin (when I can leave my house with it).

The converter box I'm using is by AJA. So far I'm pretty happy with it.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 07:03 AM   #3
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Aaron - very interesting! Are you using the AJA HD10A? I'd be interested to know how it works out. If you are using that box, I see that it doesn't have audio, so I assume you're capturing the audio in another way rather than embed it in the SDI signal? I wish I had something to contribute back, but please keep us posted if you could.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 07:25 AM   #4
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Hi Aaron & Dave,
I have installed the NanoFlash on my SD broadcast camera which has a DVcam back. I use the Y/C output into a Blackmagic Mini HD/SD component Analog to SDI Converter. The converter is about the same size as the NanoFlash and I have mounted them on back of the camera, Back to Back so the NanoFlash's screen is always in view of the operator. I have been using this for the last two weeks for long form work. The picture quality is excellent and rock solid. On my last job I had everything running on mains power and noticed a bit of interference in the highlites. I need to do some more testing to see which mains power supply is causing the problem. I edited directly from the Cf cards and and produced my DVD with no ingest, what a time saver. The only downside in doing that is if anything happens to the vision on the cards I will have to re ingest from the DVcam tape which is my backup.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:00 AM   #5
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Lance, I looked at the blackmagic too .. much cheaper than the AJA, but I didn't compare the two sets of specs. Are you doing anything with Audio to the nanoflash, or are you handling that separately?

Edit: I see that the nanoflash shows on the convergent-design website as having a new balanced mono / unbalanced stereo input so I'm trying to look at that as well in cases where I would not be using a separate audio recorder (having a little trouble with the PDFs on the website, not sure if it's the site or my laptop).

Last edited by Dave Stern; November 3rd, 2009 at 09:28 AM. Reason: add info on audio input
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 10:41 AM   #6
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Dear Dave,

The nanoFlash can currently record two channels of audio embedded in the HD-SDI input or the HDMI input.

Or up to two channels of analog audio can be recorded, 24-Bit / 48K.

One channel of balanced mic/consumer line level (-10 dB) or

Two channels of unbalanced mic/consumer line level.

No power is provide to the mic's.

If a mixer is used, then generally the mixer's tape output can be feed directly into the nanoFlash via a very low cost 3.5mm mini-plug cable.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 11:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Stern View Post
Aaron - very interesting! Are you using the AJA HD10A? I'd be interested to know how it works out. If you are using that box, I see that it doesn't have audio, so I assume you're capturing the audio in another way rather than embed it in the SDI signal? I wish I had something to contribute back, but please keep us posted if you could.
Hi Dave. I'm using the HD-10AVA. This one is a little different since it takes 4 channels of audio on XLR connectors and embeds them into the HD-SDI stream. As Dan states though, I think you can only record 2 channels of audio embedded in the HD-SDI stream.

I have not testing the audio capabilities, as it's much easier for me to just plug the audio directly into the XDR. I don't need it embedded in my SDI stream.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 08:35 AM   #8
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Hello Dave,
In my situation with live events I take a mixed down signal from the mixing desk to camera and the output is then sent to the mini converter and embedded into the SDI signal for the Nanoflash to record.

The system works very well, the only thing to be careful about with the mini converter is that it only likes a 12 volt supply. If you are thinking about using battery power you will need a DC to DC converter. The NanoFlash on the other hand is very forgiving and operates from a much broader voltage range.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 12:43 PM   #9
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thanks .. I called black magic design yesterday to check that, and they told me the analog to SDI converter can operate at 11-15VDC and also gave me the plug size .. (are you using AJA or black magic design?).

so I was looking to use a switronix NP-L60 battery which has it's own ptap and then use the NP handle clamp which also gives a ptap, such that I would have one avail for the nanoflash and the other for the analog to SDI converter (assuming the handle clamp does not obscure the ptap in the batter, which the switronix guy told me it doesn't but I'd like to confirm).

anyone with any thoughts on this, I'm all ears ...
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Old November 4th, 2009, 06:05 PM   #10
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Hi Dave, I am using the Black Magic Mini Converter the AJA has a wider input voltage range making it much more suitable for on camera use.
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Old November 5th, 2009, 08:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Dave,

The nanoFlash can currently record two channels of audio embedded in the HD-SDI input or the HDMI input.

Or up to two channels of analog audio can be recorded, 24-Bit / 48K.

One channel of balanced mic/consumer line level (-10 dB) or

Two channels of unbalanced mic/consumer line level.

No power is provide to the mic's.

If a mixer is used, then generally the mixer's tape output can be feed directly into the nanoFlash via a very low cost 3.5mm mini-plug cable.
Hi Dan,

I believe I read somewhere that the roadmap is to increase the number of audio channels in the HDSDI stream. What would be equally nice would be if the analogue input on the nF could be captured in parallel with the HDSDI stream. This would allow 2 channel cameras like the EX1 to produce 4 channel files. For me who likes to shoot with a short stereo shotgun AT835ST and a Micron RF this would be ideal. Is this possible? In the works? Have a timetable? Enquiring minds, who have a shoot coming up in February, want to know :)

David
AllinOneFilms.com
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Old November 5th, 2009, 08:31 AM   #12
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Dear David,

We are actively working to support more audio channels. This is a high-priority project for us.

We also want to do what you asked, two channels of embedded audio, two channels of analog audio.

First we have to support more audio channels, then I expect we will tackle the second part.

We may be able to release both parts simultaneously, but it is too early to tell.

Supporting more audio channels is a major project. While it may not seem so, it is. We are doing the research now.
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Old November 5th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #13
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Thanks, Dan. Please let us know as the road map for the audio support develops.

David
AllinOneFilms.com
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Old November 11th, 2009, 11:11 PM   #14
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I did a little research on the power requirements for three analog to SDI miniconverters, so I thought I would post the info here for reference (e.g. analog to SDI into a nanoflash). This info was provided by blackmagic design and AJA (and I have not tested this, it is only as provided by the manufacturers).

blackmagic design analog to SDI miniconverter:
input 11vdc - 15vdc
2.1mm x 5.5mm center positive plug
Kycon KLD-0202-A power connector on the converter

AJA:
HD10A - 5 volts regulated
HD10A-12V - 12 volts regulated
HD10AVA - 5 - 18 volts dc

AJA part number D5-10 mini connector to supply power to the connector on the mini converter
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Old November 12th, 2009, 02:30 AM   #15
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Hello Dave,
My 5 year old IDX Vlock batteries fully charged produce 16.8 volts the blackmagic design analog to SDI mini converter: that has an input 11vdc - 15vdc. This would cause the converter to shut down from over voltage or damage it.

That's why I suggested a 12 volt voltage regulator to protect the unit and save you you from hardware failure.
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