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Old October 11th, 2011, 02:42 PM   #1
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nanoFlash Advantages

Dear Friends,

It is obvious that there is a lot of interest in some of the new video recorders that are coming on the market.

I feel that it is reasonable to point out some of the advantages of the nanoFlash.

1. Size. The nanoFlash is very small, and easily camera mountable.

2. Weight. The nanoFlash's light weight, 0.85 pounds, 385 grams also makes it easy to mount on a camera and to carry.

A simple Hotshoe Ball Mount is all that is needed for some cameras. Of course, more sophisticated mounts are also available.

3. Power. The nanoFlash draws under 6 watts (maximum). Our 5.6 watts of power, during recording, makes it easy to power the nanoFlash with a very small, lightweight, and low cost 2-Cell Lithium-Ion battery.

And it is very easy (and practical) for many cameras to power the both the camera and nanoFlash with just one battery. The nanoFlash power draw is just a small fraction of the power required for most cameras, thus making the use of one battery very practical.

4. Codec Efficiency. For Networks and Broadcast Television Stations, the nanoFlash is far more efficient than any other video recorder.

The excellent Sony XDCam 4:2:2 codec which we use in the nanoFlash, achieves full Broadcast Quality at only 50 Mbps.

All of the other competing video recorders require a much higher bit-rate to achieve quality close to what the nanoFlash can deliver at only 50 Mbps.

At first glance, this may seem minor, but when one adds up the costs, including transfer time, disk space for editing, and archive space, the costs are very significant.

5. Versatility. The nanoFlash has a wide range of bit-rates (3 to 280 Mbps), flavors (Long-GOP, I-Frame Only), and special options such as MPG (Recording of Pre-Rendered Files for SD DVD's or HD BluRay disks).

6. Image Quality. The nanoFlash allows you to choose among the many options listed above to suit the needs at hand, allowing one to choose the image quality one desires.

The bit-rate that one chooses in the nanoFlash is the bit-rate that you get, regardless of frame rate.

For example, ProRes HQ is 220 Mbps at times, but not always.
ProRes HD, for 720p24 is only 88 Mbps.
220 Mbps for 720p24 in the nanoFlash is 220 Mbps.

And most importantly, the 50 Mbps Long-GOP option can be used to obtain Broadcast Quality at a very low bit rate, while the 100 Mbps Long-GOP option can be used to obtain even better quality and still keep the files to a reasonable size.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #2
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

Nanoflash is great, but it's in need of a mid-life "kicker." How about a new version that takes 1.8" or 2.5" SATA SSDs instead of two compact flash slots? If not, how about selling a factory retrofit that does the same? I'd even be willing to accept a "break-out" solution that uses the existing CF slots.

Overall, I'm pleased with 50-100 Mbps 4:2:2 LONG GOP and 220-280 Mbps I-Frame only. I'm not pleased with the large interframe quality fluctuation of 140+ Mbps Long GOP, and I'm not pleased that Compact Flash (CF) cards rated for the higher bitrates cost about 4-8x more than higher quality SSDs. [EDIT] Though, the quality fluctuation is an artifact of the MPEG compression algorithm, and ConvergentDesign doesn't have a lot of say in SanDisk pricing.

Last edited by Gints Klimanis; October 11th, 2011 at 07:53 PM.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 05:24 PM   #3
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

Dear Gints,

I understand your wish to find a way for the nanoFlash to write to SSD's.

We will look into that as soon as practical.

Also, at 140 Mbps or above, we also recomment using I-Frame only.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 07:32 AM   #4
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

I agree whole heartedly about what you say about the Nanoflash. The one thing that does not work for me (this may have been brought up in previous threads) is the playback functionality of the unit. I use four of the Nanoflash devices for long back up records. Not having rewind capability is a problem when trying to determine where the edit will take place ( the operators would prefer to do this on the machine as opposed to playing back on a PC, just like a regular VTR).
Another issue is not being able to see the time code when in play mode. Is it possible to have the TC show up on the HDMI monitor O/P.
I am looking at purchasing more of these units due to the XDCAM format which is a standard at our facility but am held back due to the lack of playback functionality.
Can you let me know if either of these issues are in the works.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

Dear Reagen,

On the nanoFlash, the following functions are currently supported:

Play - Press the Play Button

Pause - During Playback
.......Press The Play Button

Fast Forward - During Playback:
......Press the Play Button for one second for 2X Fast Forward
......Press the Play Button for two seconds for 4X Fast Forward
......Press the Play Button for three seconds for 6X Fast Forward

In our terms:

A Clip is one recording which can be made up of multiple Files.
A File is one segment of a Clip.

Advance to Next Clip - During Playback:
......Press the Up Arrow Button

Backup to Previous Clip - During Playback:
......Press the Down Arrow Button

Advance to the Next File - During Playback:
......Press the Right Arrow Button

Backup to Previous File - During Playback:
......Press the Left Arrow Button

Rewind to the Start of the Current File - During Playback:
......Press the Left Arrow Button, then Press the Right Arrow Button

Loop Playback is also possible
......This is controlled by the Loop Playback menu option, in the main menu.


The HDMI spec does not provide for timecode.

The Sony FS100 was introduced earlier this year and it sends timecode over HDMI.
The nanoFlash is not currently setup to send timecode over HDMI.

I doubt that your HDMI Monitor would display timecode.

I hope this helps.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 09:07 AM   #6
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

Hi Dan,
Yes I know that play and FF (somewhat) is supported now. Can you let me know if anymore functionality will be available in either nanoflash or Gemini?
Can you also let mw know about TC monitoring?
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Old October 12th, 2011, 09:34 AM   #7
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

Dear Reagen,

I am not certain what you mean by Timecode Monitoring.

The nanoFlash outputs Timecode via HD-SDI, as Timecode is supported in the HD-SDI spec.

The nanoFlash also displays Timecode on the front panel LCD.


The Gemini 4:4:4 will provide many tools for playback.

You will be able to instantly go, during playback, from any point in the file to another.

We will have, in a future release, an area (or line) near the bottom of the screen during playback.

If you touch the leftmost point of the line, we go back to the start of the file.
If you touch the middle, we start playing from the middle of the file.
If you touch near the end of the line, we start playing back from near the end of the file.

You can scrub the file.

And there will be other playback featues.
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Old October 12th, 2011, 09:53 PM   #8
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

If/when Nano goes 10-bit I'm on it. I just can't get myself to drop that much cashola on an 8-bit recorder, as good as it is. I don't think I'm alone. I think that would give the Nano the midlife boost it needs in today's market. Just like I'd never get 1/3 chips again even though they keep introducing them.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 12:25 AM   #9
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Forester View Post
If/when Nano goes 10-bit I'm on it. I just can't get myself to drop that much cashola on an 8-bit recorder, as good as it is. I don't think I'm alone. I think that would give the Nano the midlife boost it needs in today's market. Just like I'd never get 1/3 chips again even though they keep introducing them.
Ditto :)

With the success of the F3, 10bit acquisition is becoming a necessity. Furthermore, many people, me included, already have XDCAM EX cameras (EX1/3) and are adding a F3 to our arsenal. Thus, we need a 10bit recorder that can be used on any camera and we don't have the extra cash for multiple different recorders or don't want the hassle of using multiple different recorders based on the camera we use. Having a single 10bit recorder greatly simplifies this.

The Gemini is just too costly to use for most people. The quality one can get from Pro Res HQ at 1080 24p (~172Mb/s; 30p is 220Mb/s) or DNxHD 220 or Cineform 422 is more than good enough for all but the most extreme jobs. Once you include the SSDs, it costs as much as the Cinedeck Extreme, BUT the Cinedeck gives you the option of Uncompressed, Cineform 422, 444 and I believe they added Pro Res HQ and DNxHD. Recording 444 is nice but the F3 cannot output a true 444 signal due to it having a bayer sensor; so, I don't see the need.

After using the PIX240, Cinedeck Extreme and owning a nanoFlash, here is a brief list of what I want in an external recorder from CONVERGENT DESIGN (you guys are GREAT):

Version 1:
1) Price: $2000-2400
2) Records PR HQ
3) Decent 5" LCD
4) Similar size of the PIX240 but smaller if you can
5) Waveform (and RGB Parade if you can easily)
6) Focus Assist and Peaking
7) Similar feature set of the nanoFlash such as pulldown.
8) Layout of the PIX240 and Menu structure - it is so simple to use.
9) Same feature set minus all of the excellent audio settings - most people will either use the cameras XLR inputs and in-camera settings or they will have a dedicated sound guy with his own gear.

Version 2:
1) Price: $3000-3500
2) Hi Rez, Very High Quality LCD 5-6" - its ok if it is 95% equal to the TVLogic 5.6" but for $1500, that LCD rocks!
3) Same as Version 1
4) use 3D LUTs
5) Another difference could be adding TC In/Out for syncing whereas Version 1 does not have this.

The main difference is having a better LCD so I don't need multiple LCDs on my camera. For paying work, I prefer to use a TVLogic for exposure and focus pulling while recording to the PIX240.

Another difference between the 2 models is having just SSD recording in the entry model while including CF slots in the Version 2. Or do something like Sound Devices and sell caddies for various connections and features. Or if you can make certain aspects modular so people can upgrade as they go, that would be ideal.

I think the best acquisition codec would be AVC-Intra 100Mb (or the recently announced 200Mb Ultra) because it is superior to Pro Res and DNxHD while consuming less space. However, I doubt Panasonic would license their technology for someone else to use while NOT recording to dumb P2 cards.

Another idea for high-end feature work would be something like Codex but far cheaper (the codex recorder is just amazing at what it can do - it can record up to 2 cameras while converting to a 2nd file format (DNxHD) and sending over ethernet to a workstation for instant editing).

PS I will be in LV for NAB 2012 so I hope you guys make my wishes come true - in person ;)
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Old October 13th, 2011, 02:26 PM   #10
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

Dear Dan,

In another thread where people are suggesting an upgrade of the nano you wrote;

"1. Stay Tuned!"

And on my request for how long:

"Dear Cees,

We are aiming for next week. I am not being coy or attempting to hype this; doing this right requires permission and licensing from other companies. We cannot announce until everything is in place. Then we will announce our plans."

Does your post now, highlighting the advantages of the nano, mean that we cannot expect anything new in near future yet?
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Old October 13th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #11
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

Dear Cees,

I have searched this forum, and I believe my comment on "Stay Tuned" was for a new feature announcement for the Gemini 4:4:4, not the nanoFlash.

I was trying to state, in my post that started this thread, that the nanoFlash is still a very viable product for many applications, especially for networks and broadcast, as well as other applications.

When one evaluates all of the video recorders that are now on the market, or will be shipping soon, there are advantages and disadvantages for each one.

Two of our major advantages are low power draw and small file size while still achieving Broadcast Quality.

We have a list of features that we want to implement in the nanoFlash.

Right now our team is very busy on the firmware for the Gemini 4:4:4.

We have a new firmware release for the nanoFlash that we have been testing in our lab, but it is not ready for release yet.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 08:42 PM   #12
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Re: nanoFlash Advantages

Dear Steve,

Thank you for your suggestions.

I was swamped today and could not find time to answer your post in detail.

And a three hour power failure, due to a storm, did not help either.
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