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Old November 6th, 2009, 05:27 PM   #1
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280 Mbps I-Frame-Only Coming Next Week

Next week's firmware update for the nanoFlash will include one unannounced feature - 280 Mbps I-Frame-only! Our new Compact Flash I/O algorithim has provided about a 25% improvement in read/write speeds, so we can now bump up the top bit-rate to 280 Mbps.

So far, we have qualified the Sandisk Extreme, Extreme Pro and Extreme IV cards. The Lexar 300X 8/16 GB cards also work well. The PhotoFast 533x 32/64 GB cards are limited to 220 Mbps, but we feel confident the 533X Plus cards will be qualified for the 280 rate (we will confirm next week).

The nanoFlash firmware has auto bit-rate back-off, so if your card is too slow, the bit-rate will automatically be lowered to the next lower rate, until you can record successfully. So, you you can now test any card to determine it's performance, by starting at the top rate and watching the box auto-adjust down to the highest possible.

At 1080p24, using the 280 Mbps, the individual frames are about 1.5 Mbytes in size. This should be sufficient for any single image frame grabs and a wonderful rate for time-lapse work. Also a great rate for cinematography.

NLE testing looks very positive, as the files play fine in FCP and Avid. We plan to test all the NLEs over the next day or so. We will also post some test footage early next week.

We have not moved this code to the Flash XDR yet, but feel confident it should also work without any major issues.

Best-
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Old November 6th, 2009, 05:38 PM   #2
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Dear Friends,

We hope our friends are pleased with today's surprise. This sets a new high quality standard for I-Frame Only (IntraFrame) recording.

We will continue to add additional features to the nanoFlash and Flash XDR over time.
We will add this new feature to the Flash XDR as soon as possible.

We have a very substantial number of Flash XDR's and and nanoFlashes in the field and they are being used on professional shoots quite frequently.

I recently saw footage recorded by the Flash XDR for National Geographic. This footage was shot by using the Flash XDR, before the first nanoFlash was delivered.

The quality of the footage, between the Flash XDR and nanoFlash is identical for any given mode and bit-rate.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 05:40 PM   #3
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I guess it's not a secret anymore. Wooo hoo!
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Old November 6th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #4
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Woo- Hoo ! XDR will be the New solid state HDCAM SR VTR !

Hi Friends:
280 Mbps Intra ! Yes ! We're marching forward men ! Let us march to 440 Mbps and we win ! - HDCAM SR resolution should be reachable soon :-) I hope the new 90 + Mega Byte per second Sandisk CF cards will afford even higher data rates. I was hoping for a 330 and a 440 rate. Still, this is pretty amazing, because I think the 220 Intra looks as good as Long GOP 100. I am dreaming of a carl Zies Distagon adapted to the front of my XL H1 and to record at 440 Mbps or uncompressed 10 bit (oops ! Sorry ! There goes my obsession again !)
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Old November 6th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #5
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You joke Mark about putting a Zeiss lens on your camera but when I went to buy my XDR, they had an EX3 with a $20,000 Digiprime on it, and I had my camera with a $1,000 Canon ENG lens on it. We had a good laugh about that.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 06:20 PM   #6
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Very cool. I've been asking about uncompressed frame grabs, and this is just getting closer and closer to that.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
You joke Mark about putting a Zeiss lens on your camera but when I went to buy my XDR, they had an EX3 with a $20,000 Digiprime on it, and I had my camera with a $1,000 Canon ENG lens on it. We had a good laugh about that.
...I wasn't joking ! P.S. I would love to put the 20 K digi-prime on my H1 - why not ?
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Old November 6th, 2009, 06:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gints Klimanis View Post
Very cool. I've been asking about uncompressed frame grabs, and this is just getting closer and closer to that.
...Gints used the un....... word ! :-)
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Old November 8th, 2009, 06:42 PM   #9
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Dan, are both the Long GOP and I-Frame only datarates limited mostly by the write speed of the flash media? Is there an upper limit in the spec for your encoder chip?
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Old November 8th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #10
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Dear Gints,

Yes, there is an upper limit on the Sony Encoder Chip.

And yes, there is a limit imposed by the CompactFlash cards themselves.

And, for reliability purposes, we test very high bit-rates, then back off some.

Reliability under a wide range of conditions is our utmost concern, so it makes sense for use not to be the edge of what works.

We need a certain maintainable speed, but then when we are closing one file and then opening another we need more speed. And when we enable Pre-Record buffer, we need some extra speed.

In any case, when we add a new speed, we do extensive reliability testing.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:02 PM   #11
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Is the Sony encoder implemented on a Sony chip or is the encoder code programmed into one of your custom chips? Just curious. If it a trade secret issue, I'll understand.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #12
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Dear Aaron,

We purchase a module from Sony. This module contains two of Sony's latest and greatest, sixth generation MPEG-2 encoder and decoder chips.

Each of these chips is a marvel in engineering.

In addition to the Sony module, we have a very capable, high performance FPGA that does quite a bit of work.

Then we have a microprocessor for other tasks, such as working with the user interface and LCD.

The Flash XDR has two FPGA's so that we can support 4 CompactFlash card slots. The nanoFlash needs only one. This helps reduce the power requirements on the nanoFlash.

In addition their are many other chips or custom circuits for other functions, such as audio.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:16 PM   #13
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The more I learn about the XDR/Nano, I realize that these boxes are probably capable of many more things. I pray that you guys continue to sell enough of these to finance adding a whole slew of cool features.

This could easily be the best portable recorder ever.
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Old November 8th, 2009, 07:36 PM   #14
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Hi Aaron:
So far it is the best portable solid state digital recorder ever. Mine will be when it comes out. If I live long enough ;-) I'm hoping and praying and patiently waiting for CD to turn on everything that's in the XDR. This would be sweet. Can the XDR and Nano screen's produce any sort of different colors ?
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Old November 8th, 2009, 08:20 PM   #15
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Hello Dan & Mike,
Well done on the new bitrate looks the search for 1TB cards will on now.
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