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Old January 25th, 2012, 09:31 AM   #1
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Location: UK
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SanDisk extreme/pro no longer recommended ?

Can anyone throw any light on the statement on convergents media page for the nanoflash ...
I clicked on the media link and found myself looking at the recommended media for Nanoflashes and underneath in red the following sentence......
''PLEASE NOTE: We no longer recommend use of SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk ExtremePro.''
The above statement a bit worrying as I use these cards.
Any thoughts greatfully received current use is for SD recording and not HD

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Old January 25th, 2012, 02:00 PM   #2
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Location: Augusta Georgia
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Re: SanDisk extreme/pro no longer recommended ?

Dear Phil,

This is a recent development.

SanDisk frequently changes the parts that are used to build their CompactFlash cards.

Thus, it is an almost impossible task to fully qualify each type/version of their cards.

This puts our users in a bind as the cards may or may not work successfully in the nanoFlash, thus it makes it hard for us to fully qualify their cards.

Two other manufacturers, Delkin and Axtremex work very closely with us and do not change their parts without us having the oppportunity to test the cards first. Delkin has a nanoFlash and checks out any potential changes first.

Please feel free to send me a Private Message if you wish.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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Old January 25th, 2012, 04:24 PM   #3
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Re: SanDisk extreme/pro no longer recommended ?

Many thanks for putting it all in context, so most likely my existing cards are fine.
I have experienced no problems to date.
Thankyou for the quick reply to my query
regards ...phil
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Old January 26th, 2012, 02:00 AM   #4
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Location: London, UK
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Re: SanDisk extreme/pro no longer recommended ?

This creates a massive problem for us.

We own 15 Nanoflashes as well as 45 XF305s, and various other units that use CF cards. We originally had Photofast G-Monster cards, but as Canon, Sound Devices and other manufacturers did not recommend them, we had to buy Sandisk Extreme Pro cards to suit them.

Our Photofast G-Monster cards have been literally dying one after the other, and we lost footage from the main camera at a recent Duran Duran concert. If it hadn't been for the SxS backup we would have severely damaged our relationship with our client.

We made the decision therefore to only use Sandisk Extreme Pro, of which we now own well over 100 cards. There is no way we are prepared to invest even more money on another brand of card, especially when our clients are now wighing to move to units that record ProRes and Avid files onto SSD, and the C300 is just days away.

Can this not be resolved with Sandisk?
Can you not elaborate on which batch of cards are not acceptable, so we can decide that ours are not affected.

It's not good enough to carry on using them, when your website clearly suggests not to. If there were ANY problems on a shoot with a client, they would naturally blame us for supplying the wrong cards.

We already went through all this when Axtremex released a batch of cards that fell over in the XF305 after 5 minutes. Getting emergency flights to Afghanistan to replace the cards was not funny, so I would rather clear this up if possible.

Don Grant - Systems Manager, Procam Television
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:16 AM   #5
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Re: SanDisk extreme/pro no longer recommended ?

Dear Don,

First, lets talk about the Axtremex cards.

When you had the problem with the Axtremex cards, they were not on the approved list for the Canon XF 305 and similar Canon cameras.

We have a very close working relationship with Axtremex. We tested their cards for months, in our lab at Convergent Design, before we approved them.. We only approved them for the nanoFlash.

Just like Delkin, Axtremex coordinates with us before they make any changes to their cards.

And Axtremex works hard, by changing their card's internal firmware, to improve performance.

An example of this is the firmware changes they made to improve the cards performance in the nanoFlash from 220 Mbps to 280 Mbps. Thus their latest cards work at 280 Mbps.

Another example of this is the work that they have done to add compatiblity with the Canon XF 305.
At this time Axtremex cards are being thoroughly tested at Canon for use with the C300 camera.

Now, back to SanDisk.

We have and many situations where the SanDisk cards were working for customers, then they start having problems. then we do our best to troubleshoot the problem with the customer.

We know which error codes are typically caused by a CompactFlash card issue.

In many cases the nanoFlashes were returned to us, for repair, and we have even provided an entirely different unit back to the customer, in an attempt to solve the problem.

The actual problem almost always proves to be either a bent pin (which is clearly visible in the CompactFlash card slot) or the CompactFlash card itself.

The actual components used in your SanDisk cards vary according to when they were built.

Not all SanDisk cards have problems.

Thus, we are no longer recommending that you purchase new SanDisk cards for use in your nanoFlash.
We did not take this step lightly. It is the direct result of our collective experience working through these issues with many customers.

If your cards are working fine then you are free, of course to use them.

If you ever have any problems, such as failure to format on the first try, then remove that card from service until the issue is resolved, which typically means having SanDisk replace the card.

(We had one case two years ago, using SanDisk cards that had achieved very heavy usage and would not format. It gave errors on each of seven tries to format the card. It happened to work on the eighth try, so they used it, and (of course) it cause a problem for the shoot.)

If you experience any error message while recording, please call us and we will help determine if it is a CompactFlash card issue or not.

SanDisk is a leading, high volume manufacturer of CompactFlash cards. As such, they are the target for counterfeiters. We have recommended for years that one should purchase their cards from reputable sources.

SanDisk cards, of a certain type, all look the same externally, in other words they have the same label.
It is difficult to tell one batch from another.

We will attempt to contact SanDisk today.

You can run a test on your cards:

1. Set System|Trigger to Record Button.
2. Insert one or two of the cards to be tested.
3. Format the cards (after saving any footage on the cards).
4. Set the bit-rate to the desired bit-rate for your test.
... For many CompactFlash cards, this would be 220 Mbps, or some 280 Mbps.
5. Press and hold the Left Arrow key on the nanoFlash.
6. Press the Record Button, then release both buttons.
7. Continue recording until the card or cards are full.

You will then see our FIFO Level Meter on the second line of the screen.
It has 0% on the left ant 100% on the right.

FIFO = First In, First Out buffer

If the FIFO Level Meter (like a progress bar) stays to the left, then the card is fast enough.
If the FIFO Level Meter moves all of the way over to the right, then the card is too slow.

The above only tests the card for speed, it does not prove that the card works flawlessly.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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