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Old February 20th, 2012, 05:57 PM   #1
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nanoFlash with Canon C300?

I'm setting off on my first foray with the Canon C300 tomorrow and thought it might be a good chance to see how it plays with my nanoFlash (currently running v.1.6.248.) Thus far I've not gotten the two machines to shake hands as the nano doesn't seem to recognize the C300's HD/SDI output. Has anyone else played with this at all?

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Stephen McCarthy
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Old February 20th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Hello Stephen,

What do you have the HD-SDI output set for 1080p24? 1080p29.97?

Also do your have the Overlay or OSD on? on the SDI out?

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Old February 20th, 2012, 06:41 PM   #3
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Hi Andy,

I've got the data overlay switched off for the SDI out although it's still visible in the onboard viewfinder. The camera is set for 24fps although when I plugged it into a TVLogic monitor to confirm that signal from the BNC cable the screen flashed 60i momentarily so I suspect it may be outputting an interlaced signal. If that seems a likely culprit I can dig deeper in Canon's literature to see about changing settings.

best,

Stephen
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Old February 20th, 2012, 06:43 PM   #4
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Dear Stephen,

The nanoFlash will definitely work with the Canon C300.

We had one for months and have used the nanoFlash with it very successfully.

Do you have the HD-SDI output on the C300 turned on?

On Page 129 of the manual, you will need to set the following:

Video Setup|SDI Output| set to HD.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 06:59 PM   #5
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Hi Dan,

I think the problem may have something to do with my being in "true" 24P mode rather than one of the NTSC categories. Just had a look at page 55 of manual after looking at tables on p.127. Will play with that and let you know results.

Stephen
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Old February 20th, 2012, 07:22 PM   #6
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

It seems that, despite getting a solid image out to the monitor, the problem may have been my BNC pigtail. I switched to a full length 25' BNC and the nanoFlash latched right on. Will shoot some tests later this evening and let you know if I have any more questions but thanks to both of you for jumping in with your characteristic speed! Any thoughts on your own experiences with C300/nano combo? Still getting my head around 8-bit but I guess there's a lot to get my head around in general.

best,

Stephen
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Old February 20th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #7
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Dear Stephen,

Please do not under-estimate 8-Bit or the nanoFlash. This is over 10 million colors and it is highly unlikely that you will ever see any banding.

The Canon C300 can produce some amazing images and the nanoFlash can take the image quality further.

I have sent you an email with all of my phone numbers in case you want assistance, any time, 24/7.
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Old February 20th, 2012, 07:40 PM   #8
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Thanks as always. Hope your time in the chair is short and uneventful.

best,

S
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Old February 21st, 2012, 01:26 AM   #9
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Hi there,

While there's no question that technically the NanoFlash will work with the C300, I would have to question why you feel the need to use the NanoFlash at all?

I realise you can crank the bitrate up much higher than the 50Mbps limit on the internal recorder in the C300 but I wonder what shooting situation you feel you need a higher data rate for?

In our experience 50Mbit is 'good enough' for almost all situations except arguably green screen or VFX.

Regards

Dave
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Old February 21st, 2012, 03:46 AM   #10
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Dear Dave,

While we have not done exhaustive analysis, our team shot some footage with the C300 + nanoFlash at 180 Mbps Long-GOP, and we were just amazed at the amount of detail in the images.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 09:27 AM   #11
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Dan:

I'm interested in this camera and recorder combo and would love to have you elaborate on this. When you say that you and your team were amazed at the amount of detail, are you saying that there were quantifiable differences in the images that were recorded on the Nanoflash vs the internal recording? And that it manifested as additional information in detail?

I'm going to be shooting tests with the C300, F3 and Alexa shortly and will be also testing outboard recorders, so this is all useful to me. I had mentally "moved on" from 8-bit to 10-bit, but recently had a bit of a shocker when I learned that all flavors of XDCAM were 8-bit, after posting multiple episodes of a series in a DaVinci bay. We had pushed and pulled the footage this way and that, with power windows and keys and all the usual goodies and none of us including the longtime colorist had any indication that the footage was "thin" in any way. I detailed my reasons for recording the F3 to XDCAM in another thread, but that decision had come as an emergency measure and I hadn't used that workflow before but after learning that several other shows were using it albeit from the Alexa (Community, Happy Endings), I agreed. Bottom line--I concur with Dan that 8-bit is not the pariah that its made out to be these days.

As far as Dave's query as to why you would want or need to use the Nanoflash if the camera can record internally; I have experienced data loss enough times in the past few years across so many platforms that I will no longer record mission-critical projects (aka all projects!) to a single source of flash-based media. Implementing two recording sources at the same time is good insurance against this. Think about it: we always backup to two drives on download, right? There's still plenty of room for error and corruption at the acquisition stage. For those who have never experienced this--it's just a matter of time.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 10:17 AM   #12
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Dear Charles,

We were testing the Canon C300 in December.

We had one of 35 C35's at the time.

At this moment, we do not have a C35, but we expect this to change very soon.

I am check to see if we can post any stills or videos from our tests.
I know that we shot some greenscreen footage internally and at 180 Mbps I-Frame Only on the nanoFlash.
I am attempting to get that footage now.

We do plan on running some serious tests in the near future.



I hope you will be including a Gemini 4:4:4 in your upcoming tests. We expect to release our ARRIRAW in March, which allows one to capture all of the image quality from the Alexa.

When recording using anything but an ARRIRAW recorder, one does not obtain all of the image quality from the Alexa. It may be "Good Enough" and it may be "Very Good", but it is not the best.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 01:19 PM   #13
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Why use a NanoFlash on the C300?

Well there is no advantage to using a 10 bit recorder as any recording will still be 8 bit due to the 8 bit output.

The NanoFlash uses the same media as the C300.

At 50Mb/s the C300 codec can struggle with lots of in frame motion. Things like leaves blowing in the wind, ripples on water can make the codec struggle. This can manifest itself as visible artefacts or a less obvious increase in quantisation noise, which degrades the ability to grade the material.

At 80Mb/s or more it is no longer simply "good enough". It is excellent.

At 100 Mb/s the NanoFlash files do offer a reduction in quantisation noise over the C300's 50Mb/s (I tested this today). Given the clean, very low noise output from the C300 this gives you a highly gradable image, even though it is "only" 8 bit.

You may want to record low bit rate proxies.

You may want 100% compatibility with the XDCAM optical disc system as used by many broadcasters worldwide.

I think the C300 and NanoFlash are a match made in electronic heaven.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 04:32 PM   #14
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Charles,
I believe that the Canon C300 can record to both cards in the camera simultaneously. It cuts down on the amount of recording time you would have but gives you a backup immediately. One of the nice features of this camera.
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Old February 24th, 2012, 06:14 PM   #15
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Re: nanoFlash with Canon C300?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Willis View Post
I believe that the Canon C300 can record to both cards in the camera simultaneously. It cuts down on the amount of recording time you would have but gives you a backup immediately. One of the nice features of this camera.
I fully agree! I see the point of making a dual recording, but however good the nanoFlash may be, an external recorder and cables must be seen as a point of failure - as evidenced by Stephens comment about the BNC lead above.

Is the 50Mbs codec the ultimate? The answer must be "no", but as more and more people are finding out, it's very, very good. It does have full broadcast approval for acquisition. It's a case of where lines get drawn.

It follows on that better must be obtainable - but I can't help feeling that once you start to spend more and more money, where do you stop? I tend to think I'd want some sort of RAW acquisition, where 10 or more bit depth does make a difference. Often it's a question of whether equipment hits a sweet spot or falls between stools. In the case of the C300 I think much of the appeal is that it gives a s35 sensor in a fairly small basic package, which is broadcast acceptable out of the box, and at a price point that wouldn't have seemed possible a year a so ago. That's why I think it hits the sweet spot.

A nanoFlash may improve technical quality a little - but is the price and complexity worth it?
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