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Old June 14th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,367
nanoFlash versus "The Competition"

Dear Friends,

I frequently am asked, "How does the nanoFlash stand up to "The Competition".

I am offering my personal assessment. Of course this is self-serving, but I will try my best to be fair and respectful.

1. The nanoFlash is field proven.

...We have built over 4000 nanoFlashes so far. A high percentage are used for professional applications.

...Quite a few are used under extreme conditions.

.......Extreme Cold (-75 F, -60C),
.......Extreme Heat (185F, 85C),
.......Extreme Vibration (Helicopters),
.......Extreme G-Load (F-16, F/A-18, F22, F35)
.......Extreme Altitude (with little protection) (99,200 feet, 30,236 meters).

2. The nanoFlash is 100% silent, has no fan, and is very rugged.

...The nanoFlash can achieve 212F, 100C internal temperature and still work perfectly.
...It will fail at an internal temperature of 221 F, 105C.

...The nanoFlash will not interfere with capturing ambient audio.

3. The nanoFlash is the sum of our design plus the input of thousands of users.

...We try hard to listen to our customers and add features, over time, via free firmware updates.
...We have a solid track record of enhancing our products.

...Many of the features in the current nanoFlash are the result of user’s requests.

...We have a solid track record of improving the nanoFlash over time. We will continue to do so as it is a very important product for our company. Of course, we are currently devoting time to our new product, the Gemini 4:4:4 in order to meet the demand for us to deliver it as soon as possible. We will be coming out with a new firmware release for the nanoFlash as soon as practical.

4. The nanoFlash has many features that much of the competition lacks.

...If one uses a nanoFlash, they benefit from all of the features that we have added over time,
features that some of the new competition does not have, or may never have.

...Since the competition is varied, every point may not apply to every competitor.


...Proper "True Progressive" recording.

......Many other recorders cannot accept and record 1080psf23.976 (23.98) and convert it to true progressive.
......Almost all cameras output "PSF" Progressive Segmented Frames and not "True Progressive", but this is want you should record, to make editing easy. The nanoFlash does this well.

......The same applies to 3:2 Pulldown removal. We handle this properly for most all cameras.
(We need to update our firmware to make this work properly with the Panasonic AF100.)

...Support for "True" Frame Rates

.......The nanoFlash supports "True" Frame rates such as 1080i60, 1080p30, 1080p24, 720p60, 720p24, and 720p30.

...Support for HDMI and HD/SD-SDI

...The nanoFlash has both HDMI and HD/SDI inputs and outputs; and both outputs are active full time.

...On-Screen Tally Bar

......The nanoFlash will, when selected in the menu, put out a Red Tally Bar to indicate the it is recording to both the HD-SDI and HDMI outputs.


......The nanoFlash supports time-lapse allowing any user specified time-lapse interval from 1 second up to over one frame per 24 hours (or more).

...Pre-Record Buffer

......The nanoFlash supports a Pre-Record Buffer so one can trigger the nanoFlash after something has occurred and still get the footage.
......This is great for shooting wildlife, lightning and live events.
......The length in seconds of the Pre-Record Buffer depends on the bit-rate being used.

...Over and Under-Cranking

......The nanoFlash fully supports over and under-cranking.

5. Support for Card Spanning, Long Record Times, plus "Hot Swapping".

.....Some of our competitors are limited to recording to one card at a time.
.....With the nanoFlash, when one card fills up, it will automatically and seamlessly advance to the next card without loss of a video frame or audio sample.

.....With the nanoFlash, one can record, in Broadcast Quality, for approximately 10 hours and 40 minutes without using "Hot Swapping". Long Recording time is very beneficial for covering breaking news, events, and for recording at high bit-rates. Being able to record for such a long time is a great relief for professional camera operators and for those recording all-day events.

.....Of course the nanoFlash also supports "Hot Swapping", one of our "user requested" features.
.....This was a very complicated and time-consuming to implement, but now every nanoFlash user has this option available.

.....The benefits of Card Spanning should not be minimized.
.....Without the ability to automatically record from one card to another it is typically impractical to fill up each card. One has to worry if the next clip will fit on the card or not. Thus one cannot achieve the full capacity of any one card.
.....With some other recorders, once a card gets full, one has manually switch to another card, then restart recording.
.....With the nanoFlash, one can use moderate cost cards. Even moderate cost 128 GB cards may be used. With some of competition, one needs very expensive 600x cards.

6. Image Quality

...The Sony XDCam Codec is widely known for its very low noise images.
...The nanoFlash gives you the bit-rate you select, regardless of your footage.
........For example, in Prores HQ (typically described as 220 Mbps), one gets only 88 Mbps for 720p24.
........There are sound technical reasons why the nanoFlash footage looks so good.
........I have made other detailed posts comparing Prores to our footage.
........Prores HQ is not always 220 Mbps.

7. Size and Weight

...The nanoFlash is easily camera mountable, in a wide variety of positions.
...It is lower in weight than any other professional recorder.
...Expensive mounting kits are not needed with the nanoFlash.

8. Power

...The nanoFlash draws under 6 watts of power in all modes, and approximately 0.2 watts in standby.
...Very small, lightweight, low cost, 4 ounce, 2-cell Lithium-Ion batteries can power the nanoFlash for approximately 3 hours.
...Many of our competitors draw substantially more power, thus adding cost and weight and making the unit far less desirable for field applications.

9. Acceptance and Approvals

...The nanoFlash has gained full approvals from The BBC and National Geographic.
...It is also used by Discovery, CBS, NBC-Universal, and for ABC productions, as well as by many production houses.
...It was used for the filming of action sequences of "Battle: Los Angeles", a large budget Columbia Film and for all of the filming "I Will Follow".

10. Versatility

...The nanoFlash has extended the life of many tape-based cameras.
...It has added 1080p23.976, 1080p24, 1080p25, 1080p29.97 and 1080p30 to the Panasonic HDX900, thus greatly enhancing the versatility of this camera.

…The nanoFlash can easily, via a menu selection, create files for the Mac world, or the PC world.
…And we provide a utility to convert MOV (Quicktime) to MXF.
…And the Sony provides a free utility to MXF to MOV.

…Please compare the versatility of the nanoFlash to other Prores only solutions.

...The nanoFlash offers the following bit-rates:

......SD: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9, IMX 30, IMX 40, and IMX 50
......HD: 4:2:0 18 and 35 Mbps
......HD: 4:2:2 Long-GOP 50, 80, 100, 140 and 180 Mbps
......HD: 4:2:2 I-Frame Only 100, 140, 180, 220 and 280 Mbps

Up to 8 Channels of audio embedded in HD-SDI are supported, with each channel being 24-Bit/48K.
Up to 2 Channels of analog audio, Mic or Line, are also supported.

11. Boot-up Time and Backup Power Options.

…The nanoFlash is ready to record in a very short period of time. No extended boot-up time required.

...When a battery has to be replaced, the nanoFlash will reboot quickly.

...Dual Power is also available for the nanoFlash.
......For example, one can run on AC Power with battery backup in case the AC power is interrupted.
The backup battery will automatically be recharged when AC power is available and power the unit for approximately 3 hours without AC Power.
......Also, one can run on camera battery power, such as Anton Bauer or IDX, with backup battery power to allow the files to be closed automatically.

12. Format Time

…The nanoFlash formats cards in a very short period of time.

13. Ease of Operation

…The nanoFlash does not require any special “Mount” or “Dismount” of the CompactFlash cards.
…There are no special functions required to remove a card from the nanoFlash, just stop recording first.

…One of our competitors requires a special procedure before a card can be removed, otherwise a procedure has to be performed, on an external computer, to recover the otherwise lost footage.

14. Special Applications:

...Our Gemini 4:4:4 is ideal, for some, for use with the Sony PMW-F3.

...If one is not going to upgrade the F3 with the S-Log option, the nanoFlash is a very workable solution.

...The F3 is a very low noise camera, and when coupled with the nanoFlash, the images are just stunning, according to outside experts.
...This very low noise camera, plus the very low noise codec of the nanoFlash combine to create these magical images.

...Of course, if one wants to record S-Log, or full uncompressed, the Gemini 4:4:4 is a great solution.

15. Availability:

....The nanoFlash is available now and it is not "Version 1.0"; it is a field proven, mature, reliable recorder, yet we will be adding more features over time.

16. Customer Satisfaction.

...The nanoFlash has achieved a very high degree of customer acceptance and loyalty.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia

Last edited by Dan Keaton; June 15th, 2011 at 01:13 PM.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 02:14 AM   #2
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Re: nanoFlash versus "The Competition"

Hi Dan,

In the 4th point, I would add that the Nano is the only one, I think, to offer a pre-record buffer.
This feature is very appreciate by wildlife filmakers.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 03:18 AM   #3
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Re: nanoFlash versus "The Competition"

The Time-Lapse feature has been a handy one for me, allowing my video camera to perform this function (where otherwise I would have had to have rented a DSLR).
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Old June 15th, 2011, 06:55 AM   #4
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Re: nanoFlash versus "The Competition"

Dear Ronan and Simon,

Thank you!

I have edited the original post to add:

Pre-Record Buffer
On-Screen Tally Bar
Over and Under Cranking

Thank you for your suggestions, they are greatly appreciated.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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Old June 16th, 2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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Location: Chicago, IL
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Re: nanoFlash versus "The Competition"

On a side note, my most important feature request is to make a <$3000 recorder with 5" 800x480 LCD and 10bit recording like the PIX240 AND have an upgrade path for current nanoFlash owners where we can return our units and get a discount on a new model.

To be completely honest, if I were in the market for an external recorder around $3k, I would buy the PIX240. It does everything I need and then some in addition to working with Premiere Pro CS5 and Adobe Media Encoder without major ram problems. Because of this ram problem, I cannot use nano files for a project longer than 7 minutes without all 24GB of ram being used and causing Premiere and AME to bog down; thus, it makes my 12 cores/24 threads useless. Furthermore, I cannot get CS5.5 to install without major problems on multiple PCs so I am skipping this upgrade and CS5 no longer gets updated with bug fixes. I tried using PPro to convert to Cineform for editing but the ram problem still rears its head when exporting to Cineform.

Ok, my ranting is over.

I will buy either the FS100 or F3 later this summer. If I get the FS100, I was thinking that my nanoFlash would work perfectly but the ram problem with Adobe CS5 makes me NOT use my nanoFlash. I am seriously considering selling my nanoFlash and use that money to invest in a FS100 or F3 kit, and wait for the new recorders to be field tested. If I could afford it, I would get the Gemini, but that will have to wait for when I get the F3 and S-Log upgrade.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 06:59 PM   #6
Inner Circle
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Re: nanoFlash versus "The Competition"

Dear Steve,

I thought the Ram problem with CS5 was solved.

Our support team knows more than I. I expect them to post an answer in the morning.

I know that Adobe was in contact with us about your issue.

I will get in touch with Andy.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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Old June 16th, 2011, 07:15 PM   #7
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Re: nanoFlash versus "The Competition"

Hi Dan,

I had reported that Premiere CS5.5 worked but I have had too many problems installing and using Master Collection CS5.5 on two different PCs; so, I am sticking with CS5.

I really do appreciate any help from your team on this issue.

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Old June 17th, 2011, 06:41 AM   #8
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Re: nanoFlash versus "The Competition"

I remember your trying to help me with my Mac CS5.5 upgrade.
I had lots of help from Todd Kopriva and Kevin Monahan over at the Adobe Forum for Premiere.
My problems turned out to be of our own making and once that was sorted out 5.5 runs well.
Maybe these aforementioned fellows will have some ideas for you. Sorry for your troubles - know how agonizing it can be.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 03:57 PM   #9
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Re: nanoFlash versus "The Competition"

Hi John,

At $550 per PC for the MC upgrade, all 4 computers would need the upgrade, and we are planning on adding a 3rd camera later this summer, a FS100 or F3; so, I have decided to save that $2200 and invest it in the camera kit.

I was able to use PPro and AE 5.5 and test the Warp Stabilizer, but they don't add value to my current workflow. I have a friend with Pro Tools so any advanced audio work can be outsourced to him; thus, Audition doesn't add any value to me. My main reason for wanting 5.5 was the Warp Stabilizer (WS) but after countless hours of using it, I feel that it is way over-hyped - especially when I can do the exact same thing in Mocha with a free plugin. I determined that those videos which Adobe uses to highlight the WS are planned shots that show the best case scenario. In addition, it just takes way too much time adjusting one parameter after another and waiting for the results to be rendered, even with my 12-core HP Z800.
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Old April 7th, 2012, 09:28 AM   #10
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Re: nanoFlash versus "The Competition"


You forgot to say that the Nanoflash is backed by the best tech support in the world. Your tech support at Convergent Design is truly amazing.
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Old April 7th, 2012, 10:10 AM   #11
Inner Circle
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Location: Augusta Georgia
Posts: 5,367
Re: nanoFlash versus "The Competition"

Dear Augusto,

We greatly appreciate your compliment.

We try very hard to provide world-class service.

I just do not want anyone to have to wait for an answer, while they are under pressure before, during or after a shoot.

So we provide 24/7 service.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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