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Old July 29th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #1
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Sony PDW-700 and Nanoflash

Hi,

Is anyone using the Sony PDW-700 XDCAM HD and the Nanoflash? I am prepping an indi feature and I am curious to see how much improvement in picture there is by bypassing the XDCAM component and going straight to the Nano Flash.

Any insight appreciated.

Ben

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Old July 30th, 2010, 02:21 AM   #2
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Depends on bitrates

Hi there,

Since the PMW700 is already recording at 50Mbit 422, you would need to record on the NanoFlash at significantly higher bitrate to make it worth the hassle of having an external device, media management etc.

If you intend to do a lot of heavy grading or CGI effects or heavy compositing on your feature, then there may be an argument to shoot 100Mbit on a NanoFlash, but otherwise, I'd have to ask if you would be better putting the money elsewhere in the production.

Past 100Mbit you're giving up a lot of storage for a smaller and smaller return visually.

Dave
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Old July 30th, 2010, 03:48 AM   #3
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Presumably if you are doing lots of "heavy grading or CGI effects or heavy compositing" it would be more sensible to shoot 220 mb/s I frame?

One thing that it would allow is for easier overcranking. This was a real pain when I had a 700, you had to shoot 720/50P, then transcode everything to ProRes or another I frame codec in order to conform in Cinema Tools (it doesn't work on GOP codecs). This takes ages, and also degrades the quality somewhat. With the Nano you can do it "in camera".

Steve
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Old July 30th, 2010, 07:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Ruffell View Post
Hi,

Is anyone using the Sony PDW-700 XDCAM HD and the Nanoflash? I am prepping an indi feature and I am curious to see how much improvement in picture there is by bypassing the XDCAM component and going straight to the Nano Flash.


Ben Ruffell
I don't shoot with a 700, but I can say I've noticed a significant increase in perceptible image quality moving from 100mbps long GOP to 220 I-frame with my HDW 730. So, my assumption would be that you might see an improvement when moving up from 50mbps as well. And depending on your anticipated post workflow you might benefit from working with an I-frame codec.

That said, no advice will be a sufficient replacememnt for testing and seeing for yourself--especially if you're investing in a feature. I'd rent the nano for a day or two and see what you think.

Cheers,
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Old July 30th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #5
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Interesting Eric as Convergent Designs' tests always seemed to indicate that 100 mb/s GOP was the best overall setting. I must say I have always liked I frame though, but never used the Nanoflash myself.
Steve
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Old July 30th, 2010, 09:15 AM   #6
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Dear Friends,

We have recommended 100 Mbps Long-GOP as the "Sweet Spot".

By this, we mean taking image quality and file size into consideration, we feel that this is a good option.

220 Mbps or 280 Mbps I-Frame Only offers better image quality at the expense of larger files and shorter recording times.

Above 100 Mbps, the "Laws of Diminishing Returns" apply. Yes, the image quality is better or slightly better, but there is a price to pay in terms of file size and reduced recording time.

For general work where reasonable high quality images are desired, and a freedom of artifacts due to excessive detail or motion, we recommend 100 Mbps Long-GOP.

For event work, where long recording times are important, we recommend 50 Mbps Long-GOP.

Above 100 Mbps, we recommend using I-Frame.

For Avid users, at this time, the valid choices are 50 Mbps Long-GOP or any I-Frame Only bit-rates.

Please note: that 100 Mbps I-Frame Only is not as good as 100 Mbps Long-GOP, so we refrain from recommending 100 Mbps I-Frame Only. But, we freely recommend using I-Frame Only at 140 Mbps or higher.

For those shooting a movie, 220 Mbps or 280 Mbps options are worth consideration. 220 Mbps is always a good option as it allows the use of less expensive CompactFlash cards while still maintaining very high quality images.

It used to be that one generally had to purchase a new camera in order to get a different bit-rate.

Now, with the nanoFlash one can easily test alternative bit-rates and use what is appropriate for the task at hand.


I hope this helps.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #7
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Thank you everyone for the interesting information.

Yes, we will be grading extensively, and using one of the higher bit rates I expect. 220 sounds like an option to test. (Yes we will be doing extensive testing).

Thats a great tip on the overcranking. I had not even considered that benefit.

I am aware that the NonoFlash is 8 bit, and that there is also the Cinedeck that is 10 bit, Cineform. Has anyone had experience with the Cinedeck? How does it compare to the NanoFlash?

(The film is very contained, exterior night locations, small cast, modest lighting package, all on tripod or dolly, we are thinking of using the Letus B4 Relay with Zeiss CP2).
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Old July 30th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Ruffell View Post
Thank you everyone for the interesting information.

Yes, we will be grading extensively, and using one of the higher bit rates I expect. 220 sounds like an option to test. (Yes we will be doing extensive testing).

Thats a great tip on the overcranking. I had not even considered that benefit.

I am aware that the NonoFlash is 8 bit, and that there is also the Cinedeck that is 10 bit, Cineform. Has anyone had experience with the Cinedeck? How does it compare to the NanoFlash?

(The film is very contained, exterior night locations, small cast, modest lighting package, all on tripod or dolly, we are thinking of using the Letus B4 Relay with Zeiss CP2).
Cinedeck ... 10K ... good for film out. Nanoflash will do just as good at 220 I-frame 8bit.
good choice on Letus B4 w/zeiss glass! Got the makings of a good package ... my 2 cents.
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