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Old March 9th, 2010, 05:20 AM   #1
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Nano reliability

There seem to be alot of posts about problems.. ofcourse thats the purpose of the forum..
and very rapid response from CD..

Is this just the beta software.. or is the nano still really a work in progress..?

Sorry to be blunt.. but is the Nano really reliable for paying jobs.. esp if not recording to tape as back up..

Just throwing that out there.. no disrespect intended in any way or form..

Thanks
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Old March 9th, 2010, 06:13 AM   #2
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Using NanoFlash for real work...oh yes.

HI there,

You're right to check, but I can assure you that we're using our mulitple NanoFlashes for real broadcast work almost every day and have no concerns.
We don't dual-record to tape and so far we've never lost a shot.

As you say, forums are at their best reporting issues and when everything works it's all quiet. The telling sign is how quickly CD respond to genuine issues, compared with other vendors which is what really makes the difference for us.

Regards

Dave
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Old March 9th, 2010, 06:52 AM   #3
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Thanks for your response Dave
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:56 AM   #4
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Robin,

I own 17 NanoFlashes and 8 XDR's which I rent out and use on a regular basis. We are using the latest officially released firmware (not Beta). I estimate we have recorded at least 300 terabytes of data over time. We are only using approved CF cards.

First, CD is very responsive to problems.

Second, there are problems still. Just this weekend we wrapped up the NBC Heads Up Poker Championship in Las Vegas. We did not have 100% reliability. One unit reported that it was recording when it was not, the minutes remaining did not decrease when it said it was recording and the tech noticed it. They ended up having to recycle power and then the unit worked properly again. Also separately we had problems like a error message which would not go away even when the problem was corrected. The unit was recording properly but we could not be sure. We have had intermittent LTC timecode problems which CD tells us they are looking into. We have recently had units which would not loop out of the HD-SDI output and CD had several users with this problem, the problem may be related to compatibility with certain models of monitors.

Do the units work fine most of the time? Sure. Do I consider the Nano and XDR, flawless or done, no way. If you are not ready to eat (financially) the occasional problems which still are present, I would still do a dual record on footage which is irreplaceable. Otherwise they are great units.

Jeff
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Old March 9th, 2010, 09:42 AM   #5
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I have more confidence in my nanoFlash to record without incident than I do the internal encoder in my Sony EX3 which creates bum LongGOP frames occassionally on long form shoots.

Many, if not all, of the issues stated in the past couple of weeks have to do with the BETA firmware that has been released. The current production version of the software has been used for a couple of months without cries of bugs from it's users.

What the unit does is truly remarkable given the current state of technology around it and for it's price point. The unit is production ready in my view as far as stability and depenability goes.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 12:38 PM   #6
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Robin,

I guess it's all a matter of perspective. I know a DP who couldn't wait to get the Nanoflash connected to his 900R. He just returned from Vancouver and shot footage there for a high profile piece which turned out beautifully. In his case all three of his 900Rs have had tape related issues, it has been the Nanoflash which has given him back confidence in his cameras.

Dave
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #7
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Reliable, yes. Do we need a Beta Firmware forum, yes.

The nanoFlash is reliable, but like all file based recording devices you need to get a few hours under your belt before taking it to a paying job. There are a few things that occur but once you have seen them you are good to go. For instance pushing in two CF cards at/ near the same time will cause an error.

The flurry of posts relating to Beta firmware creates the impression that this is a buggy product, but it isn't. I have suggested that they have a separate forum for Beta firmware releases so the day to day questions can be more easily seen (and Beta posts too). I also pointed out what you have commented on... that potential buyers will see all the Beta FW issues and be rightfully concerned about the core product. Maybe someone could contact dvinfo.net and have a sub-form for the FW Betas inside this one. Just my two Kilobytes.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #8
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I have some thoughts on reliability of this product when using "stable" firmware. As soon as I have few minutes to lay my thoughts out, I'll certainly share them.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 08:54 AM   #9
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I'm working with the Nano since August and no problems.
Now I've been one week shooting without checking the footage because I haven't brought my lap-top with me (first time since I've got my EX-1 two years ago).
Back home all the rushes were OK.
Some of the most beautiful pictures I've ever shot,
Rafael
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Old March 10th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #10
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George taking your idea further, a sub-forum for beta testers should be viewable only by registered users at the very least, in my view, so the content doesn't become part of Google's pantheon.

Typically beta testers are required to submit their names and give reasons why they should be part of a beta testing team. I understand Convergent Design's "new world" approach to software development which is transparent and directly connected to it's entire user base. It is laudable but there are drawbacks to being all-inclusive and without restriction when it comes to beta testing: those who aren't familiar with the process make a wrong association that the beta software is pre-release production software. Creating small barriers in the process of becoming a beta tester drive home the point they are using "not ready for prime time software" and get in the mindset they are testers; should be of the mind of submitting bug reports and not merely waging complaints that things aren't working.

I am sure that the "heavy lifters" of the beta testing group wouldn't mind signing up to a separate forum be it on Convergent Design's site or on a partitioned one on DVinfo.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #11
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Now I am going to be a contrarian... The other side of the coin is the marketing buzz that is created by publicly showing efforts to add significant features to a hardware product.

It's highly unusual for a company to do this. Making notice of this has significant marketing pull. Something to consider.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 11:23 AM   #12
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For The Record: This is a VERY bad idea !

....The whole purpose of this transparent *public* information posting endeavour is to inform *not only existing users* but to future purchasers especially, who need to know the pros and cons of using such a device *Before* making a purchase. Beta or Non-Beta is not the point. Free flow and access to the information should be the primary objective here.

Respectfully,

Mark Job
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Old March 10th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #13
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Dear Andrew,

We are trying very hard to:

1. Be very open.

2. Listen to all of our users and potential users.

3. Implement the features that are suggested by our users and potential users, to the best of our ability. Of course we can not implement everything at once so we have to set priorities.

4. Be very transparent in everything we do.

I do know that we take a hit, where someone fails to understand that we are talking about a beta release, a version not for production use, as well as those who question our reliability, as they see all of these comments.

Of course, this adds ammunition to our competitors, but being 100% open helps us all, especially our users.

As we have shown, we try hard to fix every reported issue as soon as humanly possible.

By having a Public Beta, with no other requirements, other than having a nanoFlash, ensures that as many people as possible can test the new firmware prior to it becoming a "For Production User" version.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:02 PM   #14
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And I don't want to get lost in the "beta" firmware issue discussion that my comments were related strictly to the "production" release only. I also wanted to be clear I was using only approved CF cards as well.

I also said it was a great product but for "irreplaceable" footage I would not trust the production release firmware yet. By irreplaceable I mean something that happens once and can not be staged again (a building implosion for example, a shuttle liftoff, a interview with Beck and Massa, lol). In that case I would seriously consider 2 methods of recording. I am looking forward to the day when the firmware is reliable enough not to have to worry about that. And I am only relating my direct experience with the product.

Jeff
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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:51 PM   #15
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I have been part of a few beta test teams. They are usually not public, as a matter of fact you can't talk about the new features publicly.

The thing to remember about beta anything is do not use it on anything important.

I usually only do this on a system for playing with, not for production.

I think it is a great thing that CD is putting the beta out there, it speeds up development and it is great to know what is coming.

My NanoFlash has been rock solid. I am using the current release, not beta. I have never had any problem even though I am using a MBP to offload CF cards not a Nexto.

I do reformat every card as I put it in the NF. Seems as solid as SxS so far. And that is the cool thing I shoot both SxS for BU and NF for actual use.
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