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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old January 23rd, 2010, 12:02 PM   #1
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EX Cache Record Experiences

I was filming some surfers at Jaws in Maui when a whale breached about 500 feet beyond them.
I was using an EX1.....
Managed to gets some tail shots with the surfers nearby.
This is the first time i could have used the cache recording of the EX1R..
Anyone have any similar experiences?
Bob
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 12:28 PM   #2
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The NanoFlash has cache recording built in.

So now my EX3 has cache recording as well as my EX1R.

NanoFlash is a great upgrade of your EX cam. I would recommend it instead of trading up to an EX1R. Money better spent IMHO.

From the NanoFlash manual:

Pre-Record Buffer (for MXF, QT file formats only)
Enables 4 to 7 seconds of internal storage of video before a record session starts. When the
record session is started, recording will begin 4 to 7 seconds in the past. (Pre-buffer = 7
seconds up to 100 Mbit bit rate, 4 seconds @ 140 Mbit bit rate)
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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Dear Bob,

The nanoFlash makes an excellent companion to the Sony EX1 (and EX1R).

You have the ability, with the nanoFlash to record 4:2:2 at a wide range of bit rates, 50/100/140/180, and I-Frame only at 100/140/180/220/280.

Our XDCam 4:2:2 footage is very robust; it holds up very well in post.

Also, in the rare circumstances with there is too much detail, or movement, for the 4:2:0, 35 Mbps codec in your EX1, our higher bit rates eliminate this problem.

If you look on our home page, then click on the image of sparks, you will see the difference. (This is, however, an extreme case).

Convergent Design

And, as Olaf stated, you get a pre-record buffer. There are many other features such as time-lapse. Soon we will have loop recording, and 8-Channel Audio.

Disclaimer, I am the Director of Sales and Marketing for Convergent Design.
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Old January 23rd, 2010, 04:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Jackson View Post
I was filming some surfers at Jaws in Maui when a whale breached about 500 feet beyond them.
I had an HVX-200 with pre-record cache. It works nicely but only if your camera is already pointed at the event as it unfolds. Otherwise you're still stuck with the camera not pointed in the right spot when it happens.

A pre-record cache is also great for catching spontaneous conversation and other audio in reality-TV coverage.

One drawback: when turned on, all your shots become prefaced with several seconds of "aimless camera" which could leave some editors scratching their head wondering "what the heck was he doing?" :-)
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Old January 24th, 2010, 04:54 AM   #5
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Pre-record cache should be very usefull for any live performance on stages of any kind, shows, speeches, animal filmings and so on. Anything, where the camera is already on, fixed on a tripod, focussed - and one is just awaiting the exact starting point.
For me its the large scale fireworks displays where one knows, that it will start in seconds or few minutes, but do not know the very exact second. I really was willing to sell my EX1 with + 1500,- loss just to get pre-record cache.

But because of this thread I am thinking about the coming nanoFlash...
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Old January 24th, 2010, 05:21 AM   #6
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Dear Markus,

Just to be clear, our Pre-Record Buffer, is a feature that is in our current firmware.

If you decide to get a nanoFlash, the feature will be immediately available.

If you obtain a nanoFlash with an older version of the firmware, the firmware can be updated, in the field, in under 10 minutes, by downloading our free firmware update.

During the life of your nanoFlash we will be providing free firmware updates.

Certain, very specialized features may be extra cost, such as if we decide to implement uncompressed on the nanoFlash (we have not promised this feature). Full GPS support may be an extra cost option also.

So far, all firmware updates have been free, except for a very specialized updated which allows for ASI. In essense, this transforms the nanoFlash into a different product. ASI turns the nanoFlash into an ASI (Asynchronous Serial Interface) Encoder and Decoder.

Please note that we have a solid track record of adding new features to the nanoFlash, for free, by releasing a new firmware update, approximately once a month.

Timelapse and Pre-Record Buffers were added this way, as were many other features.

Our next firmware update will have "Delete Last Clip", "Loop Recording", Over and Under-Cranking, and more, and we are hoping to have 8-Channel Audio ready for the realease.

"Delete Last Clip" is important to this discussion.

Lets say that you are at a live event, but do not know when it will start. You setup the camera, focus, etc., then you can press Record. Then you can walk away, if need be.

When you return, if something happened while you were gone, you will have recorded it.

If nothing important happened, then just stop the recording, then "Delete Last Clip". When you delete it, you will not have wasted any of your recording capacity, no matter how long the clip was.

Think of this as a "Pre-Record Buffer" that can be as long as your want, up to the capacity of your CompactFlash cards.


For other purposes, we will have "Continuous Loop Recording". This is great for Earthquake Monitoring and other applications.

I hope this helps.

Disclaimer: I work for Convergent Design.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #7
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Thanks Dan
I think i will save up some money and get the unit this year.
I like the idea of 4:2:2.
and the cache record, make this a better option,including price, than upgrading to the EX-1r.
Bob
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #8
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Cache recording is great. The only way to make it even better is to increase the length of the buffer which is on the short side at higher bitrates.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #9
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The Nanoflash is sounding more interesting by the day.

I would very much like cache recording for natural history subjects. My only experience with cache recording is with a Sony PCM-D50 audio recorder. This recorder is very susceptible to handling noise when you are using the built in microphone. When using cache, the handling noise involved in switching from standby to record can ruin the recording. So to successfully use caching for video not only would the camera have to be focused, framed with exposure set etc it would be necessary to be able to start the camera without jarring.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 05:14 PM   #10
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Dear Alastair,

We offer a wired Remote Control, with Tally Light, so that the nanoFlash can be put into record without affecting the camera.

Even without the Remote Control, we have a solution. The nanoFlash does not have to be mounted on the camera. It can be at the end of an HD-SDI cable, so one can press the Record and Stop buttons without jarring the camera.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 07:06 PM   #11
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Dear Dan,
As I said the Nanoflash gets more interesting by the day.
One of my natural history interests involves the use of near infrared sensitive cameras of which there is a very limited choice. Unfortunately I cannot use my EX3, instead I use monochrome cameras intended for machine vision or surveillance work and which have a Composite output. Can a Nanoflash be used with composite?
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Old January 26th, 2010, 02:38 AM   #12
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Will the Nano flash offer more options to capture slow motion say 120fps, or is this a limitation of the camera?
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Old January 26th, 2010, 02:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post

Our next firmware update will have "Delete Last Clip", "Loop Recording", Over and Under-Cranking, and more, and we are hoping to have 8-Channel Audio ready for the release.

Disclaimer: I work for Convergent Design.
Sorry, just seen this post. How much over/under cranking do you think the Nano could achieve?
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Old January 26th, 2010, 07:34 AM   #14
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Dear Vincent,

The camera is the main limitation in most cases, in just a few cases, the HD-SDI standard (Single Link 1.485 Gigabits per second) is the other limitation.

To put it differently:

For 720p60, the highest number of frames we can receive per second is 60. And these are progressive frames.

For 1080, the highest number of frames that most cameras can provide, and the maximum number of 1080 progressive frames that can be sent over the HD-SDI link (in Single Link 1.485 Gbps mode) is 30. This comes from 1080p30.

Thus, we can over-crank to 60 frames per second with 720p60 and 30 frames per second in 1080p30.

(1080i60, is still 30 frames per second, it is 60 fields per second)

For 720p60, using a timeline or playback speed of 24 frames per second,
then the ratio is 60/24 or 2.5.

For 1080p30, the ration is 30/24 or 1.25.
(Not a "Slow Motion" as possible with 720p60)

As a side note, one can take high-quality 1080i60 (59.94) footage into a NLE, such as Sony Vegas, and create a very workable slow-motion effect by using the velocity control.

I did this for some Top Fuel Drag Boat Racing footage and I was just amazed how good it was. Your mileage may vary.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #15
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Thanks for the reply Dan, although in an earlier post you did say "Our next firmware update will have ........ Over and Under-Cranking" . If I am not mistaken, can't the camera over-crank to 720 60p already?
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