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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS100 CineAlta
An interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorder using E-Mount lenses.


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Old May 24th, 2011, 06:34 AM   #1
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Which external recorder?

I am going to use the FS100 on a film project this summer. The project may include some color grading. For the purpose of retaining the picture quality I have decided to use an external recorder.

Now the question is.
Should I go for the Atomos Ninja or the Nano flash?

I can buy 3 Ninjas for the price of a Nano and the Ninja media is cheap.. But... is there a trade of in picture quality between the two?
I know the Nano Flash has many features the Ninja has not, but for this production the price difference and additional features is not the decisive factor, the picture quality comes first.
I am editing in EDIUS but investigation on their forum shows that the ProRes files is no problem.

An additional question. I am not able find anywhere if the Ninja is able to accept the time-code from the FS100 HDMI signal and if the slow-mo 1080 50P is going to be reduced to 720 50P.
Anyone has an answer?
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Old May 24th, 2011, 07:00 AM   #2
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re: Which external recorder?

Im thinking this might be an application where the Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle would be nice. Its compact, and there is no need for the monitor like on the ninja. When you add a drive to the Shuttle, it should be about 1/3rd the price of a nano, if I am not mistaken.

They are all nice products tho.

-burk

Last edited by Jason Burkhimer; May 24th, 2011 at 07:01 AM. Reason: misspell
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Old May 24th, 2011, 05:40 PM   #3
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re: Which external recorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Burkhimer View Post
. When you add a drive to the Shuttle, it should be about 1/3rd the price of a nano, if I am not mistaken.
It only takes SSDs and since it records uncompressed youŽll need A LOT of SSDs^^
IŽll buy the ninja. Best bang for bucks!
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Old May 25th, 2011, 04:04 PM   #4
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re: Which external recorder?

I'm hoping someone comes out with a drive that can read the timecode.
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Old May 27th, 2011, 11:12 PM   #5
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re: Which external recorder?

Check with Dan Keaton at Convergent Design as he stated that they are in the process of getting timecode over HDMI working with the nanoFlash, and I would bet my own money that they are the first to do so.

For over and under-cranking, the nanoFlash is the only recorder in this price range with COMPLETE support of all image sizes and frame rates. Heck, it can even do under and over cranking with normal speeds coming out of the camera (certain limitations apply).

The Ninja does not support many common HD formats such as 1080 30p and 720 24p.

For the absolute HIGHEST image quality, the nanoFlash wins because its 280Mb/s I-Frame is superior to the 176Mb/s I-frame Pro Res HQ.

Here is where I get technical and explain why the nanoFlash's image quality is superior for recording from an 8bit source: from the Apple ProRes whitepaper, ProRes HQ uses a variable bitrate and for normal scenes, the actual bitrate used is 5-10% less than the stated 176Mb/s. In addition, a 10bit recording of an 8bit image uses up an extra 20% of the allotted bitrate. For example, with a 100Mb/s bitrate recording 10bits of info from an 8bit source, only 80Mb/s is being used to record the actual 8bit source. The other 20Mb/s is being used for the extra 2bits which do not exist because the source is only 8bit. In conclusion, with normal scenes, the ProRes HQ recording is only using about 127Mb/s for the 8bit source (176 x .90 x .80 = 126.7) for 1080 23.98p. FYI, ProRes uses different bitrates for each image size and frame rate. 720 24p uses only 88Mb/s. The nanoFlash uses the bitrate you set for it no matter the image size (1080 or 720) and frame rate.

Here is a good comparison of some formats and their quality compared to HDCAM SR. It is a little hard to understand at first, but you will see the 280Mb image from the nanoFlash is closer in quality to the HDCAM SR than the ProRes HQ.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/converge...mparisons.html

I think many would agree that a mechanical hard disk is the last thing you want as your recording medium out in the field because it is extremely delicate and easy to damage. Solid State is the safest and most reliable way to go whether it be SSDs, CF or SD cards.

Another thing to consider is that the Ninja does NOT support 3:2 pulldown when the camera is outputting 1080 23.98p within 1080 60i whereas the nanoFlash DOES do it.

One last bit of info: the Ninja does not have any video outputs so there is no way to use a good monitor whereas the nano has both HDMI and HD-SDI outputs and both work at the same time (versus only one working at a time).

Last edited by Steve Kalle; May 28th, 2011 at 02:11 AM.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 02:00 AM   #6
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re: Which external recorder?

^ Good summary!

Another thing to bear in mind is that the Nanoflash is fairly well battle-tested in all types of environments and conditions, and has done well in the cold, in the heat, (and I believe well in high altitude). The BBC and The Discovery Channel seem to hold it in high regard.

I have used mine in (albeit briefly) in Finland (-10 Celsius) and in a damp humid Ugandan rain-forest (+38 Celsius) - no bother. Its a rugged little device; as a recent fall from over 6 foot (while it was attached to a camera) on to a concrete floor proved. The nanoflash recorded that collapse - and kept recording! I'm sure a unit recording on a hard-disk would have lost that footage and most likely all the footage leading up to the fall.

That is not to say that the Ninja wont also be reliable, but right now the verdict is out on that until more field reports come in about that device operations in the real world....
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Old May 28th, 2011, 08:54 AM   #7
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re: Which external recorder?

Hi all thanks for your input.

Steve regarding time code. I have mailed Atomos about that, and they responded that they are working on it.
I am aware of the Nano doing over and under cranking and this is a major advantage. In my mail to Atom I also asked about this issue and they answered that the Ninja is max 1080 30P, no talk of getting higher, so I believe this is the final spec.

After reading your link to the comparison I can see your point. I am surprised to see, or should I say, not to see the advantage of 10 bit!!

Regarding hard drives. I will never use a spinning disk for important work. The SSDŽs in coming down in price, and here in Denmark I can buy a 128 gig SSD disk for whats equals around 200$. This is way cheaper per gig than using CF.

24P. I will newer use that . All my productions are 25P and 50i, and I have no intention on changing that.

No pas-trough on the Ninja is a big disadvantage. On top of that the low res screen in no good for judging the image on.

That leaves me with the Nano. Or does it?

For the same price as the Nano I can get the new PIX240. It has most of the Nano advantages and on top that a high res screen and xlr input.. ItŽs a brick, but nothing comes for free.

As I sees it the Pix is a extremely versatile piece of equipment.

You can use the screen for judging focus. You can use it as an high quality audio recorder. It can convert and output simultaneously from HDMI to SDI and the other way around. It can use SSD or CF. On top of that I have been reading somewhere that Sound devices is looking into other file formats.

My conclusion for now is. The Ninja is cheap but to limited in features. It falls on the lack on HDMI pass-trough and a low res screen. This is not the only disadvantages of the Ninja, but the ones that had me abandoned it. Or let me say it in a other way, if the Ninja have had hdim pass-trough and a 800x480 pix screen I would had bought it, taking the cheap price in consideration!!!

As it is for now I will go for the PIX240 and hope for the best :-)
Why not the Nano? In my opinion it is a little old, needing an update, and on top of that it is pricy.
The Gemini is overkill and too expensive for me.

Thanks again for your input.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 09:45 PM   #8
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re: Which external recorder?

Come on now. You should have just stated from the beginning that you were leaning towards the PIX because it would have saved me a bunch of time (just giving you a hard time ;) I totally agree about the PIX 240 and would buy it if I didn't already have a nanoFlash. It looks like it will be a killer recorder. When you do get it, please report back.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 10:21 PM   #9
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re: Which external recorder?

I got this message from blackmagic
Hi,


Currently there is no HDMI input for the HyperDeck Product series. You might consider to have a Converter for your HDMI to SDI conversation to work with products.
Do kindly note that our Miniconverters HDMI to SDI series does not support 1080p60 formats.


If you are planning to use with the NEX-FS100 do also note that there will not have remote RS422 control as this is not available in the camera.

Best Regards,


Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix Steinhardt View Post
It only takes SSDs and since it records uncompressed youŽll need A LOT of SSDs^^
IŽll buy the ninja. Best bang for bucks!
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Old May 30th, 2011, 06:35 AM   #10
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re: Which external recorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Come on now. You should have just stated from the beginning that you were leaning towards the PIX because it would have saved me a bunch of time (just giving you a hard time ;) I totally agree about the PIX 240 and would buy it if I didn't already have a nanoFlash. It looks like it will be a killer recorder. When you do get it, please report back.
Steve. I can see your frustration on me not informing you all that I was thinking of the pix240, but it was actually not in consideration when I started this thread.
At first I have decided on the Nano, but finding out that there were a new product that could meet my needs, for a third of the price I was driven towards the Ninja.
As I am not used to use external recorders. I posted this thread to find out if there were something I had overlooked.

In the meantime I stumbled over the PIX and could see it was just what I was looking for, and it was within my budget.

Just to clarify. Your efforts has not been in vain. I have learned something and I thank you for that :-)

If the PIX arrives in time I will use it on a film camp in July, where we are going to produce a film to be shown in the local theater. It should be out in June, fingers crossed. I will post something about it when it arrives!
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Old May 31st, 2011, 08:30 AM   #11
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Re: Which external recorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Bang Jensen View Post
If the PIX arrives in time I will use it on a film camp in July, where we are going to produce a film to be shown in the local theater. It should be out in June, fingers crossed. I will post something about it when it arrives!
PIX 240: PIX Recorders | Sound Devices, LLC

Looking forward to your report, Brian -- please post as a new topic when you can,
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