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Old March 22nd, 2011, 02:25 PM   #1
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nanoflash editing options

Sorry this is a big post with a lot of questions! If there are any people out there currently editing nanoflash files on laptops then please have a look as I would like some advice!

So I have an older model editing workstation with a Matrox RT.X2 running CS3 production suite. It's been good for all of my HDV projects.

Obviously CS3 does not run XDCAM files so I've been trying to get the Main Concept XDCAM plugin (trial version) to work on this machine, but for some reason it wont extract the zipped files at all (but it will extract on the computer that I downloaded it on to). I'll keep trying, but in the meantime I've figured now might be a good time to invest in a newer editing machine, preferably a laptop that I can take with me, for dumping footage in the field and previewing the rushes.

Does anyone have any experience with editing nanoflash files on a laptop? Any specific recommendations?

I've had a look at Apple laptops, but they seem pretty pricey. Anyone currently running FCP and editing nanoflash files? I kind of prefer PC's though, and out in East Africa there are practically no Apples, so servicing would be an issue.

Regarding PC editing: I've read that people are having issues with nanoflash files on Premiere CS5 - is anyone getting this to work without issue? Anyone using a laptop to do so? Most of my experience has been with Premiere so there would not be much of a learning curve.

The other option would be Sony Vegas - I hear xdcam files seem to work best with this (is that true)? Anyone running vegas on a laptop and if so any recommendations?

Finally: I've been hunting around for a robust but reasonably priced laptop. Have a look at these specs and see if they would do the job:

* Intel® Core™ i7-2630QM Processor
* Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
* 8GB DDR3 memory
* 500GB hard drive (7200rpm)
* 1.5GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® 460M
* Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD SuperMulti with Labelflash®
* 1920x1080 native resolution (1080p)
* Bluetooth®
* HDMI output



Thanks!
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 04:34 PM   #2
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Re: nanoflash editing options

I've had excellent results with MXF files using Vegas. My main recommendation is to run the 64bit version, since it handles rendering a lot faster than the 32bit version. I currently have Vegas on 2 desktops (Win7/64 and Vista64) and a notebook (Vista32). They offer a fully functioning 30 day trial of Vegas, so it's pretty easy to test. I'm a happy user (though primarily a cameraman and not a full-time editor) One of my favorite Vegas features is its ability to output Blu-Ray compatible files onto a standard DvD disc - so I can make short (up to 20 minute) demo discs on my DvD burner that play perfectly - in beautiful HD - on a Blu-Ray player! Vegas also has handled numerous formats on the same timeline with ease for many years, can deal with RED footage directly if necessary, and seems to be on the cutting edge for 3-D editing.
As for hardware, my last several notebooks have all been Sony VAIOs, primarily because I think they have the best viewing screens out there (for my money, they put HP, Dell, Lenovo and the MacBook Pros all to shame, both in brightness and in color rendition.)
If you get a windows-based machine, make sure to install the Sony XDcam Player (PDZ10 -?) software, which allows you to play MXF files beautifully.
As a cameraman with an EX camera, I need to have an Expresscard34 slot, and it's often convenient to have both the Memory Stick and SD card slots as well.
My last 4 laptops have all been VAIOs, they've been to shoots on five continents, and I've never had a hardware issue with any of them (unless I include letting iTunes change registry settings to make my dvd drive hidden and inaccessible - which was a FAQ fix)
I'm within a month or two of upgrading to a newer VAIO, and one thing I'm looking forward to is the fact that the newer computers have both eSATA (to connect to my NEXTO2500) and USB3 ports for faster data transfers.
Above all - once you make sure the machine has the specs you need, make sure the screen is to your liking!!!
Dave Sperling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 23rd, 2011, 08:51 AM   #3
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Re: nanoflash editing options

I just got the Main Concept plug in working on CS3 - so far so good (turns out there was a worm on my flashdisk that was corrupting the zipped file)! This is a very cool development! So far I've played a small nanoflash file on it (@ 50mbs) without any issue. I'll try working with some larger files before I pay for the full version...

Dave thanks for your reply: I'm going to look at those Vaio laptops now to see what looks best for the job. With regards to Vegas; do you find it does everything you need to do in terms of your own projects? Obviously with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Suite you get a large number of extra programs that deal with colour correction and so forth - does vegas have similar options?

Thanks.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: nanoflash editing options

Hello Simon,
Remember, I'm a cameraperson, so my needs from an edit system are not as great as an editor's. But ---
Vegas actually has a surprising number of features. I have a couple of clients who use it all the time for their edits (one of them originally introduced me to it, and I found it simple and capable enough that I moved to it from premiere.) It does have some color correction tools - you can do both primary and secondary corrections - though I don't think you can use a hardware color correction controller as you can with DaVinci Resolve.
The green screen keyer doesn't give you nearly as many options as in Premiere (which I believe uses the code that they got from Serious Magic Ultra - which I used to use as a standalone.) Of course the keyers included with other edit programs (such as FCP) are really not much better than in Vegas, so if you're doing critical keying you'd probably need to buy the Boris Effects plugins.
The other plug-in that I've bought is the Neat Video noise reduction module, which does a pretty amazing job (though slowly) reducing video noise - particularly useful when taking footage shot with a GoPro in low light, or a DSLR in max auto gain, or an EX at +18 gain -- basically times when you're shooting stuff your eyes can barely see - and making it usable.
The flip side of the Vegas program is that, because it was developed originally out of a sound editing program, it has excellent audio mixing capabilities without needing to go to to an outside program.
And of course it works well with the MXFs from the NanoFlash.
Again, the trial version is free for 30 days, so give it a try...
Dave Sperling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 27th, 2011, 02:38 AM   #5
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Re: nanoflash editing options

Do you own a CS3 suite or just Premiere Pro CS3? If upgrading to a CS5 suite (Production or Master) is an option, then I would go that route because you get After Effects, Encore and Photoshop, which are all 64bit now. However, if this is only for laptop use, then your selection of laptops must include an nvidia card with 1GB of vram or more to enable Premiere's acceleration.

I use Premiere CS5 and a nanoFlash and I have no problem editing. The only issues I have are importing and recently, Premiere has had a couple of conforming glitches causing out-of-sync audio. With importing, Premiere uses 1GB of ram per 1GB of nanoFlash file, which requires importing small amounts of files at a time and restarting Premiere after each import in order to clear its ram.

I should add that Vegas is very different from Premiere; so, don't be surprised by the high learning curve.

For a laptop, make sure it has an Expresscard slot. Recently, many manufacturers have adopted Apple's exclusion of Expresscard slots on lower end models. Two years ago, I got a $700 Dell laptop with it but 2 months ago, I couldn't find any laptop with it under $1000 at a local retailer. I like Sony laptops but find them priced similar to Apple with similarly equipped hardware. 2 manufacturers ahead of Apple in reliability are ASUS(#1) and Dell (#2) with Toshiba and Lenovo at the rear. I find Dell's to be rock-solid if you handle them carefully, ie no little kids playing with it. For example, my mother's 5yr old Dell laptop still works great aside from the plastic on a hinge cracking; however, her laptop did tumble down an entire escalator causing the hard drive to pop out (while in a thin brief case). Also, my sister's 3yr old Dell laptop has had to endure her young kids so it has a few issues - if it were a cat, it has used 8 of 9 lives.

One other issue to look out for is getting a Windows 7 install disc. Many companies offer it for an additional cost when custom ordering a computer, and I say that is the only way to go. However, last I checked with Sony, they rake you over the coals in order to get a system disc WITHOUT a load of crapware. Getting a clean install disc is very important so you don't run into poorly written programs conflicting with Pro NLE's.

PS I'm a computer geek at heart; so, if you have any other computer questions, just ask.
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Old April 3rd, 2011, 05:06 AM   #6
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Re: nanoflash editing options

Dave & Steve,
Thanks for your replies.

I actually bought the CS3/Matrox editing computer secondhand from a post company that had gone under, so I'm not sure if I would be entitled to an Adobe Upgrade? I guess it wont be possible but I'll investigate.

Those Vaios & Dells, look really nice. I also had a look at some Eurocom laptops (with HDMI/Out so it could be used for monitoring), but they were quite expensive.

In the end the Toshiba Qosmio X500 laptops seem to suit my needs best - quite fast, Cuda enabled, express card, firewire, bluray writer, full 1080p 18.4 hd screen etc.
Simon Wood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2011, 09:28 AM   #7
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Re: nanoflash editing options

Simon:

Sorry, no experience attempting to run any video applications on a laptop (other than the typical video chat applications!)

My main PC (no Apple experience for 10 years!) is a Boxx, 64 bit, running i7 overclocked at about 3.7, 6 GB RAM, NVidia Quadro CX, two hard drives, one for programs, and second 1 TB running in RAID 0 for both video and audio files (I know, that's small, but the PC is two years old - have 10 TB external drives,in RAID 5, for storage and can edit directly from them via e-SATA.

But to cut to the quick, finally, I have operated all of the Adobe CS series over the years (starting with the LE!)
and on this Boxx, I started with CS4, and Vista, and the MainConcept Plug In to enable handling the nanoflash files. All I can tell you is that it was buggy, with problems and some crashes. I diden't care for it!

Then, as soon as they both were out, I installed WIN 7 OS and CS5, and EVERYY\THING now runs perfectly!
No crashes, no problems, sooooo quick. That in a nutshell says everything about my experience.

I have the Vegas Pro program disc and manuals sitting on my shelf. I installed Vegas, and tried to work with it - had I been more patient, it probably would have worked wonderfully - there were certainly aspects of it that were sooooo much simpler than Premier. But has been said above, A STEEP LEARNING curve, so back
to Premiere and the wonderfully integrated Adobe CS5 for me!
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Old April 4th, 2011, 01:12 PM   #8
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Re: nanoflash editing options

William,

You don't have ANY problems while importing nanoFlash files into Premiere CS5? Such as your ram being used up and locking up your computer?
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