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Sony NXCAM NEX-FS100 CineAlta
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Old August 24th, 2011, 05:01 AM   #1
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How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

I'd like to ask those using the combo for their ideas on the best way of attaching the nano to FS100 when shooting handheld (on dedicated shoulder or tripod rigs, this is less of a problem).

I'd like the nanoFlash to be located at the right back of the camera - exactly the way it's located using Olof's base plate+nanoFlash arm and wing solution for the EX1. I've used it with my EX1 and it's great!

Yes I know the FS100 has a lot of sturdy mounting points at the bottom - pity though they're all covered once you fix a large tripod QR plate :(

Ideas?

Piotr
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Old August 24th, 2011, 06:58 AM   #2
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

Why bother with the Nano at all? I did some split-screen tests that I showed at NAB with the Nano at 100Mbps vs. recording to the internal memory card -- and there is absolutely no visible difference. None at all, even on crashing ocean waves, blue skies, waving grass, etc.

On the other hand if you do use the Nano, then you have to mount it, power it, and start/stop the recording manually every time. The only two advantages I can see are:
1) You get to bypass the clunky AVCHD workflow for FCP 7.
2) You can use the Nano to convert the HDMI to HDSDI if your professional monitor does not have HDSDI.

If the Nano was 10-bit instead of 8-bit, that might make it worth it, but it is not.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 07:08 AM   #3
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

As we discussed elsewhere, Doug, 100 Mbps Long GoP indeed is not worth it - apart from getting 4:2:2 which can be broadcast compliant, but for this 50 Mbps is enough.

On the other hand (and believe me, I do have this subject tested in and out with my EX1), 4:2:2 in 220+ Mbps I-Fo files does hold much better than 20-35Mbps 4:2:0 those cameras record natively (not to mention bypassing AVCHD which you mentioned, in the case of fs100).

But I totally agree that visually, there is no difference whatsoever using today's consumer equipment.

So, back to my original question, if you please :)

Piotr
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Old August 24th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #4
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

Just for the record, I'm not talking about judging picture quality by viewing it on "today's consumer equipment". Nobody who saw the tests at NAB could see any difference on a professional high-end Sony field monitor or 2K projector. If you can see a difference, that actually makes up for all the hassle of using a Nano, then you have better eyes than anyone else I know. :-)

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it would probably be a waste of money for someone to buy a Nano with the hopes that is is going to make some kind of big difference with their FS100. It won't. Hopefully I just saved someone a couple thousand dollars.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 07:34 AM   #5
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

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Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that it would probably be a waste of money for someone to buy a Nano with the hopes that is is going to make some kind of big difference with their FS100. It won't. Hopefully I just saved someone a couple thousand dollars.
In this regard you're absolutely right, Doug. But I do have a nanoFlash already, so I want to use it :)

And, even though I don't have better eyes, I simply know where to look - so yes, I can see the 4:2:2 vs. 4:2:0 difference. One striking example can be a red flower on a green grass background, blown up on a 50+ " plasma (this is what I mean by "today's consumer equipment" - the shear size of it, not necessarily quality). In 4:2:0, I can see horizontal jaggies in the red color boundaries with green; in 4:2:2 they're gone (were it 4:4:4, the vertical ones would also disappear). I can send you some grabs to prove my point.

Of course, 10 bit color would also create a visible difference - but hey, FS100 can't output it so it's a moot in this forum...

Piotr
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Old August 24th, 2011, 07:49 AM   #6
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

Piotr, thanks for the offer, but don't bother posting any examples. If you say that you can see a difference with your footage, then I believe it. But with my footage, using my Picture Profiles and my chosen exposure settings, I do not. Or at least I don't see any difference that is important enough to make me want to use a Nano. Like many things in this business, it all comes down to what works best for each individual. Two different points of view, where neither is right or wrong.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 09:35 AM   #7
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
it would probably be a waste of money for someone to buy a Nano with the hopes that is is going to make some kind of big difference with their FS100. It won't. Hopefully I just saved someone a couple thousand dollars.
As an aside, over here in PAL-land, the BBC requires that you record HD using an intraframe codec with a bitrate of 100mbps or more (or the 50mbit LongGOP formats as in the Nano) in 422, rather than XDCAM-EX or AVCHD, for example. The quoted reason being the nasty hurtful journey one's footage makes from rushes to edit to master to TX master to live encoding and muxing for terrestrial/satellite digital broadcast and subsequent display on non-CRT sets.

Any little encoding funnies from XDCAM & AVCHD will, however invisible at rushes stage, get 'enhanced' over and over again until you can tell 'something's up' or 'looking a little cheap' at the consumer's end.

I'd like to think that it's just Auntie Beeb's way of dissuading production companies of cheaping out, thinking they can hand EX1s out to Assistant Producers to do the drudgery of docu-soaps, but then Canon made the XF300 which is... a camera given to Assistant Producers to do the drudgery....

Obligatory on-topic comment: whilst not quite in EX1 levels of detail, so far very happy with simple talking-head chromakey from FS100's AVCHD - lack of noise being a biggie.
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Last edited by Matt Davis; August 24th, 2011 at 12:21 PM.
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Old August 24th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #8
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Jensen View Post
Why bother with the Nano at all? I did some split-screen tests that I showed at NAB with the Nano at 100Mbps vs. recording to the internal memory card -- and there is absolutely no visible difference
You should bear in mind that the higher quality codecs hold up much better when it comes to serious color grading & correction. Most users of the nanoflash would have it for this reason, and for getting within broadcast thresholds.

If you plan on looking at footage on the the internet or on your plasma screen then yeah, the nanoflash is definitely above your needs.

What about a noga arm or something for holding the nanoflash? Something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Flashpoint-Adjustable-Double-Articulating-Arm/dp/B004ZBAJPQ/ref=sr_1_26?ie=UTF8&qid=1314206527&sr=8-26
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Old August 25th, 2011, 04:16 AM   #9
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

All that Simon, Matt and I said, plus:

- with the EX line of cameras, their amazing detail - due to low compression - gets augmented along with their accompanying noise when recording at nanoFlash high bitrates, which is unfortunate and denies the very purpose of using L-GoP at 100 Mbps and above.

But with the FS100, which is practically noise-free, I'm expecting much more substantial benefits. I'm saying "expecting" as I cannot test it right now - my nF is at CD for servicing. But I'll elaborate on it soon!

Piotr
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Old August 25th, 2011, 04:51 AM   #10
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

Yes Piotr,

'Noisy' cameras will show up the noise in the higher bit rates. But the fact that the codec is 'robust' at higher bit rates means the noise can be handled by running filters, if required, without adversely affecting the image.

I recently sold some footage to an international news broadcaster, and this footage ran during some of their main bulletins alongside footage captured by professional Sony HDCAM broadcast cameras (the reporters carrying those cameras turned up later than me). There was little discernible difference between the images when I saw the report on my tv.

Bear in mind that this footage was captured with an XLH1 (a noisy camera); under no circumstances would they have accepted HDV footage. However, the nanoflash footage (at 50mbs) was acceptable, and either the noise was not an issue for them or they removed it in post.

But back on topic - how about an articulating arm for the nanoflash as mentioned above? I believe Berkey Systems has made a cheesplate for the FS100, though it only offers additional mounts on the front.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 05:07 AM   #11
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

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Originally Posted by Simon Wood View Post
Yes Piotr,

'Noisy' cameras will show up the noise in the higher bit rates. But the fact that the codec is 'robust' at higher bit rates means the noise can be handled by running filters, if required, without adversely affecting the image.

But back on topic - how about an articulating arm for the nanoflash as mentioned above? I believe Berkey Systems has made a cheesplate for the FS100, though it only offers additional mounts on the front.
Absolutely Simon - with the Neat Video plugin for Vegas, I can get much better images de-noising high bitrate video from the nanoFlash, than from my native EX1 recordings!

As to the merits: thanks, I guess I'll use the Manfrotto "hydrostatic arm" for attaching the nF directly to my FS100, when hand-held.

Piotr
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Old August 31st, 2011, 10:32 AM   #12
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Absolutely Simon - with the Neat Video plugin for Vegas, I can get much better images de-noising high bitrate video from the nanoFlash, than from my native EX1 recordings!

As to the merits: thanks, I guess I'll use the Manfrotto "hydrostatic arm" for attaching the nF directly to my FS100, when hand-held.

Piotr
Hey Piotr,

I have seen the same results as you with Neat Video. Did you know that version 3 just came out and is CUDA accelerated (with Premiere Pro I think). Maybe you should take the plunge and try PPro now.

So, when are you going to tell us what happened with your nF?

In addition, I have seen great results with using NV and exporting to Cineform for grading in After Effects. The non-NV cineform files were 3-4 times larger so NV greatly helps there. Plus, my NV to CF to AE grading process works much better with 220-280 I-frame nF footage versus XDCAM EX.

Just to add another reason for a nF (or any recorder) is having a backup recording. I wouldn't be surprised with more errors on the SD cards in the FS100. Actually, I expect it after having been a stills photographer and experiencing SD & CF errors in addition to knowing many other photogs who experienced errors. With SxS cameras, one could save money and buy SD adapters and use that saved money on a nF setup.

Personally, I love the ability on set to have my nF send out signals over both HDMI & SDI so I can use my panny 17" SDI in addition to either a HDTV or my Eizo CG243W. Also, the ability to record to DVD or Blu Ray compliant files is a huge plus for certain events. I tested a workflow by recording to DVD files, download the files to a PC, convert to a DVD image and burn DVDs. With our two robotic burners, I could have 30 DVDs ready in an hour. With a 7-bay burner rig, I could have 21 DVDs made in under 30 mins. Maybe this could work for a dance recital or graduation by charging more for DVDs immediately or offering incentives. Just a business idea I have had but have not followed up on it.

To be completely honest, I don't see the nanoFlash as being a serious contender now that many other recorders have been released in addition to the PIX240 and many of them can record 10-bit. However, if the price were reduced considerably (~$2k), it might hold its ground. With the LCD built into the PIX plus multiple 10-bit recording options at the same price as the nanoFlash, it would be extremely difficult for me to justify buying the nanoFlash. If I didn't own a nanoFlash, I would buy the PIX240
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Old August 31st, 2011, 10:47 AM   #13
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

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Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Hey Piotr,

I have seen the same results as you with Neat Video. Did you know that version 3 just came out and is CUDA accelerated (with Premiere Pro I think). Maybe you should take the plunge and try PPro now.

So, when are you going to tell us what happened with your nF?
Hi Steve,

Well, as far as my nF is concerned, it just died on me the other day - the symptoms being:

- all buttons dead
- "Button error" message displayed
- " .0V" power voltage displayed

Dan says it's a major failure and nothing like this happened to any nanoFlash before... But when I ask him what exactly was wrong (the unit is currently on its way back to me from repair), he doesn't answer at all :-(

As to the new CUDA-enabled NeatVideo v.3, I have downloaded the demo version so far, and used the Performance->Optimize tool - only to find that with my current very fast CPU, the Quadro 4000M cards doesn't speed up this at all. Here is the log from this utility:

Frame: 720x576 progressive, Radius: 1 frame
Running the test data set on up to 8 CPU cores and on up to 1 GPU

CPU only (1 core): 7.94 frames/sec
CPU only (2 cores): 15.2 frames/sec
CPU only (3 cores): 20.8 frames/sec
CPU only (4 cores): 25 frames/sec
CPU only (5 cores): 25 frames/sec
CPU only (6 cores): 24.4 frames/sec
CPU only (7 cores): 24.4 frames/sec
CPU only (8 cores): 23.3 frames/sec
GPU only (Quadro 4000M): 14.7 frames/sec
CPU (1 core) and GPU (Quadro 4000M): 14.7 frames/sec
CPU (2 cores) and GPU (Quadro 4000M): 16.7 frames/sec
CPU (3 cores) and GPU (Quadro 4000M): 22.2 frames/sec
CPU (4 cores) and GPU (Quadro 4000M): 22.7 frames/sec
CPU (5 cores) and GPU (Quadro 4000M): 22.7 frames/sec
CPU (6 cores) and GPU (Quadro 4000M): 22.7 frames/sec
CPU (7 cores) and GPU (Quadro 4000M): 22.2 frames/sec
CPU (8 cores) and GPU (Quadro 4000M): 22.7 frames/sec

Best combination: CPU only (4 cores)

So frankly, I'm not sure I'll be upgrading... Not unless I'll get convinced version 3 is still faster even if not using CUDA, or the results are still better than in Version 2....

Piotr
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Old August 31st, 2011, 11:02 AM   #14
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

NICE graphics card! I have a FX3800 and use its Displayport to get 10bit out from PPro into my 10bit Eizo.

What was your reason behind spending so much money on a Quadro 4000 versus a cheap Geforce?

Something must be going wrong in the NV 3 tests. I'm not saying that you did something wrong, but I think that it might need better programming and optimization. As of right now, its CUDA acceleration is a fail.

Does CUDA acceleration work in all programs and did you use Vegas for this testing?

Does installing version 3 affect the currently installed version 2?

I am going to do some testing today with my i7 920 + GTX 260 computer and my 12-core Z800 + FX3800. What is your i7 clocked at?
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Old August 31st, 2011, 11:54 AM   #15
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Re: How do you fix nanoFlash to your FS100?

Steve,

First of all, this is a laptop; the CPU (i7 -2929XM) is a screamingly fast extreme quad. Plus, I've got 16GB of fast 1600 MHz RAM...

As to the graphics card, well - you must know that my main and first profession is Computer Aided Engineering, and the application I specialize in is Autodesk Moldflow (plastics injection simulation). This application is CUDA-capable, and yes it does the number-crunching much faster with CUDA enabled.

AS the Vegas Pro, I already knew that its only feature taking advantage of CUDA so far - H.264 rendering - is not gaining much from this card (probably because the CPU is really fast), so those Neat Video results do not surprise me at al...

Piotr
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