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Old July 10th, 2008, 12:22 PM   #1
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Worthwhile to add Convergent's nanoFlash to the JVC?

Just wondering whether anyone had contemplated whether "upgrading" the JVC's output with the nanoFlash would be worth the considerable expense.

Of course, anyone with less than an HD250 would also have to add in the price (and extra physical box, cabling, power, etc.) of a component --> HD-SDI convertor.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #2
 
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Indeed, I'm planning on using it with my HD110. Blackmagic Design has a component to HD-SDI adapter box for ~$500.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #3
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Right -- just the convertor I was thinking of. Not sure how cumbersome mounting both the Blackmagic adaptor and the nanoFlash would be for run & gun?

I was basically wondering (greenscreen uses aside) whether the total expense of the upgrade would be really worth it in the end, although everyone has a different definition of this.

We'd still have "only" 720p, but the high bitrate & bigger colorspace could potentially breathe new life into the JVC and make one feel better about having an "older" camera body (in comparison the Sony EX3, etc.)

I suppose you could justify the purchase by knowing that you could later attach the nanoFlash to your next camera...although the nanoFlash Mark 2 or 3 might be out by the time that purchase happens...
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Old July 10th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #4
 
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JVC had a comparison video on their website, demonstrating the diff between the onboard MPEG2 compression vs 4:2:2 capture from their component out port. There was a distinct difference in image quality.

In addition, long form GOP compression introduces substantial motion blur due to compression artifacting. My hope is that the higher bitrate of the codec in nanoflash will make this artifacting significantly better.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 12:41 PM   #5
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In theory, it's all great. The question is whether it's worth doubling (or whatever) the price of the camera.

I'll be very interested to hear your experience, as well as see pictures of your mounting solutions.

I currently have a DR-HD100 (unfortunately, as having to sell off this first makes the whole idea that much less attractive). I've never been happy with the size/weight of the unit or with any of the official mounting solutions. I'm not sure how both the Blackmagic adaptor and the nanoFlash will work out mounting-wise. It's a shame that we need to fuss around with the adaptor...
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Old July 10th, 2008, 12:47 PM   #6
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I think Mike and the team are working on mounting solutions for the various cameras. Thought I also heard that the XDR will detect on/off camera power and either turn on/off or go into standby mode when this happens - nice feature.
I'm sure there'll be a huge jump in image quality, most notably at 60P with fast moving subjects - 160 mb/sec I-frame vs 20 mb/sec Long GOP has got to be a huge stpe in the right direction.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:40 PM   #7
 
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You have a concern, if shoulder or boom holding, but, if it's tripod mounted, there must be a million solutions. The whole recorder HAS to be easier than lugging around a damn capture laptop.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brent Kolitz View Post
Just wondering whether anyone had contemplated whether "upgrading" the JVC's output with the nanoFlash would be worth the considerable expense....
I'm definitely considering going that route. I'm trying to determine which camera to purchase (110 or 200) and then go the analog converter to SDI method.

It not only allows you to record from the camera at a cleaner 4:2:2 pathway, but also provides a way to get a higher quality 24 bit audio recording.

This pathway seems to be a very good way to squeeze every bit of quality from the cam on the original recording without eating an over abundance of storage capacity.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
You have a concern, if shoulder or boom holding, but, if it's tripod mounted, there must be a million solutions. The whole recorder HAS to be easier than lugging around a damn capture laptop.
Agreed -- just wondering whether the nanoFlash/Blackmagic combo will be even worse shoulder/hand-held than the DR-HD100 already is.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #10
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This pathway seems to be a very good way to squeeze every bit of quality from the cam on the original recording without eating an over abundance of storage capacity.
Makes perfect sense -- just trying to figure out whether the considerable expense would be better spent put toward a new generation of camera...
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Old July 10th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #11
 
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Yeah, it's a bit of a risk. The fact that it can be mounted to any camera with HD-SDI output will lengthen Nanoflash's useful lifetime. I think it will be a while before 50-100Mb/sec data streams are available in prosumer cameras to onboard storage solutions. Comparing to the Panny P2, this solution is a bit cheaper than investing in a slew of very expensive P2 cards.

Then, there's the issue of how to injest high data rate streams with "conventional" computer equipment. I don't get why cam makers haven't adopted CF cards for storage. It will surprise me if they did, at this point. Maybe C-D will force them into it, who knows? We've been "stuck" with the archane 1394, and even more arcane USB bus in all it's glorious incarnations, for so long, what's the problem with OEM's? Maybe, one of these days, HD-SDI will come standard on a laptop....nah!

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Old July 10th, 2008, 05:18 PM   #12
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I don't get why cam makers haven't adopted CF cards for storage. It will surprise me if they did, at this point.
They have. The Z7 and the S270.

And what will be interesting is to see what JVC and Canon do next. Whether it's as well as or instead of tape, and what bit rates it's capable of. But I strongly suspect solid state must feature in their plans fairly soon, and for them Compact Flash would make a lot of sense. (They don't have the P2 baggage that Panasonic do, and SxS in the EX seems more like doing the spadework for forthcoming high end SxS cameras than the EX needs SxS.)

Also, don't forget that lower end cameras are using standard SD cards.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
I think Mike and the team are working on mounting solutions for the various cameras. Thought I also heard that the XDR will detect on/off camera power and either turn on/off or go into standby mode when this happens - nice feature.
I'm sure there'll be a huge jump in image quality, most notably at 60P with fast moving subjects - 160 mb/sec I-frame vs 20 mb/sec Long GOP has got to be a huge stpe in the right direction.
Steve
Hi Steve-
You are correct about the power standby mode in the nanoFlash. We can detect the presence / absence of an incoming HD-SDI stream and go into active or standby mode as appropriate. It looks like the "boot-up" time will be on the order of 3 seconds. Active power should be under 8 Watts, while standby will be under 0.5 Watts. We are also including a total power-down time out, which shuts off the box after a preprogrammed time-out. (All of these power saving features can be disabled).

We are also adding a number of new programmable power saving features such as turning off the HD-SDI output, auto power down of the LCD backlight and power down of the RS232/485 and LTC inputs. Reduction of power is a major design effort on the nanoFlash as we are greatly reducing the size (about 18% the volume of Flash XDR), so we have to cut every last bit of power to avoid the use of a fan.

Regarding the video quality, I think many people will be pleasantly surprised at how well the 100 Mbps Long-GOP holds up even in high-motion scenes. It sure looks superb in our tests, but I'm sure everyone will want to run their own comparison shots.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 08:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
They have. The Z7 and the S270.

And what will be interesting is to see what JVC and Canon do next. Whether it's as well as or instead of tape, and what bit rates it's capable of. But I strongly suspect solid state must feature in their plans fairly soon, and for them Compact Flash would make a lot of sense. (They don't have the P2 baggage that Panasonic do, and SxS in the EX seems more like doing the spadework for forthcoming high end SxS cameras than the EX needs SxS.)

Also, don't forget that lower end cameras are using standard SD cards.
Hi David-
I think that 95% of the professional cameras will have some sort of solid-state recording in the next 2-3 years. It will be interesting to watch these developments, especially with regard to the CODEC choices as well as the type of solid-state memory.

We chose CompactFlash because it has sufficient write speeds for high-quality MPEG2 video, is widely available and low-cost (compared to SxS and P2). SxS does have much higher read/write speeds (800 Mbps vs 400 Mbps for the fastest CF cards), but you pay a heavy price for a slight reduction in the download time. I don't think P2 has any performance advantage over Compact Flash whatsoever.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 09:32 PM   #15
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My other question relates to having to use the Blackmagic A/D convertor box in the chain. Besides the obvious irritation of having to mount and cable this, does anyone know whether this will be significantly degrading the signal vs. if the JVC had the HD-SDI natively?

I guess the best comparison would be testing an HD200 & Blackmagic convertor combo against the HD250's HD-SDI output.

Otherwise, I'm wondering whether anyone here has had experience with this convertor on other cameras and can comment on how well it does.
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