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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 September 30th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #1
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NanoFlash with Sony EX Series Cameras

Hello all, is anyone using the nanoflash recording system with their Sony EX Series Camera? If yes what was your overall experience like and why exactly did you start using it?

The reason i ask is i have been thinking about the investment so that my cameras can record at a higher bit rate to meet certain broadcaster requirements.

In your opinion is it worth the investment and can you actually see the difference on your record media as well as when you are editing it?

How much was the change over to get recording on the nanoflash

opinions are very much welcomed

Thank you
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Old September 30th, 2010, 06:04 AM   #2
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There's an entire forum dedicated to the Nano here, and thousands of posts relating to it and the EX cameras.
Steve
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Old September 30th, 2010, 06:08 AM   #3
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Shawn - Please do a search here and over on the Convergent Designs' forum on the Digital Video Information Network and you'll have a wealth of information in response to your query, specifically re the combo of EX series with nanoFlash. You'll also seen my postings, which go along with the mostly positive responses - I say mostly, since some aren't very enthusiastic about the additional hardware and expense except for very specific applications such as enhancement of greenscreen results.

In a nutshell, I may be a bit over the top in my enthusiasm about this product combo, based upon over
six month's experience. I love the EX-1, but the nanoFlash I found REALLY enhanced the results for this camera in exactly the way I wished. Its very easy to hook up and to use - there's a good instruction manual, quicky and then the LONG one - it'll take a different battery (something like a Swit) to get dual power feed to the camera and the nano, but then just a short DVI out connection from the camera to the nano. Nice straightforward set up. My results through the viewfinder - WYSIWYG. From my perspective, here is where MY use of the nano on EX-1 shines, set up to record DVI output at 1080x1920 30p output recorded at 100Mbps Long GOP on approved cards - 1) On large screens, 100 inch and larger, fewer artifacts apparent- 2) certainly even less noise in night shots or those with considerable dark areas - 3) far less likelihood of interline twitter when shooting scenes with fine horizontal detail or sharp edges - 4) MUCH better results in downrezzing hi def shots for use in DVD output. I'll never go back and be without my nano!

All that said, look around here and the Convergent Design's forum for the latest on two brand new competing products at 2/3 and 1/3 the price - given the proven (to me) reliability of the nano, and the superb service and advice provided by Convergent Designs, I'm not interested in the other two new products, but some really are - be sure to look into them also.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 06:15 AM   #4
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Shawn - PS, and IMPORTANT! Be sure you have an editor that can handle the MXF output of nano - if, for instance, you happen to be PC and have Adobe Premiere CS4, you can't edit till you spend a couple of hundred on a MainConcept plug-in which operates flawlessly and invisably (I just can't spell that latter word) - and Premiere CS5 didn't work at all until Adobe's recent (and unbelievably major) update to Premiere CS5. Convergent Design's website has info on use of various editors, most of which work fine.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Dooling View Post
What was your overall experience like and why exactly did you start using it?
Extremely good. You configure it to trigger on timecode advancement, set your bitrate, turn it on and forget about it (almost). Got it for 3 reasons: entrance into markets where broadcast quality is required, green screen work and redundant recording in the event of bum frames or catastrophic data loss on the SxS cards. The rest of the obvious benefits were gravy at the time.

Quote:
In your opinion is it worth the investment and can you actually see the difference on your record media as well as when you are editing it?
Worth it? Completely. Peace of mind as a backup recording device, broadcast ready material, alternate ways to concurrently record, tool to upsell the client, weighs almost nothing & is completely silent which is worth a lot to me as a Steadicam Operator, very low power draw for what it does, can use efficient codec and bitrate for long runtimes (if need be), etc, etc. See the difference? It depends on how you set up your camera. The EX series cameras are a lot noisy than their more expensive brethren so if you are sloppy with your approach to setting up your scenes you could in fact have more noise showing up as the a lower bitrate codec can in act like adding some smear or blur to hide the noise that the camera is in fact generating. When you are doing colour correction or green screen work the difference is immediate once you start yanking on things in software. There is so much more latitude and the image work break apart as easily. Again better results if you do things like light things well, set your profiles up to get good latitude as so on given the situation of your shoot in question.

Quote:
How much was the change over to get recording on the nanoflash
Depends on how much of a completest you are. In the low 4's with cables, memory and battery. If you outfit yourself with Anton Bauer batteries, Gold Mount plates for the batts, a good selection of alternate cabling for different situations, different mounting solutions, you are easily in the high 4's and 5's but few (here) go there. If you go to Nanoflash.net you will see the essential things you will need to get going with out getting distracted by the "nice to haves".

There is a good and recent thread in the NanoFlash forum here called "State of the NanoFlash" which lists in an objective way what are most of the benefits of the unit including a lot of things that competitive products do not have.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 11:25 AM   #6
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I don't go anywhere without mine! The NanoFlash is a great tool and capable of so many things from simply upping the image quality to being used as a proxy recorder. It's also great as a playback device when you don't want to tie up a camera. In the future if you upgrade your camera the NanoFlash will still be useable and as you won't change your file format your workflow can remain constant. If you do news it also acts as a recorder for pool feeds etc.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 10:06 PM   #7
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Thanks guys, lots of help. Very much appreciated.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 04:18 AM   #8
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I know this isn't the correct place to post about the NanoFlash but I was thinking of a NF with my EX3 to use at weddings and reading your other post Shawn about "Card reformatted by accident" its making me think again.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 10:30 AM   #9
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I believe he was talking about a 32GB SxS card reformatted by accident. If you have the NF then no problem - I do like the security of having backup of all shots - just another example of the usefulness of the NF.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 10:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony McErlean View Post
reading your other post Shawn about "Card reformatted by accident" its making me think again.
It would be very difficult to accidentally reformat a card with the nanoFlash.

-Garrett
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 01:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
It would be very difficult to accidentally reformat a card with the nanoFlash.

-Garrett
I was thinking, if the SxS card was formated by mistake you would still have it covered with the NF.
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