Convergent Design will release this week new firmware adding a 280 Mbps I-Frame-Only CODEC for their popular nanoFlash HD/SD recorder/player. Additionally, the company qualified three new 64GB Compact Flash cards, doubling the record/playback time.
The nanoFlash is easily the world's smallest, lightest-weight, lowest-power, professional HD/SD recorder / player. nanoFlash utilizes the very high-quality Sony XDCAM 422 (MPEG2) CODEC to record video and uncompressed audio onto cost-effective Compact Flash media.
This camcorder-mountable unit is arguable one of the most rugged (all aluminum case) and reliable (all solid-state) recorder/player now available. It's also one of the most versatile recorders, offering bit-rates ranging from 18Mbps (proxy) to 280 Mbps (master quality) in HD and 5 Mbps to 50 Mbps (IMX) in SD; recorded in MPG, MXF or MOV file formats. The MPG format can enhance the creation of DVD or Blu-Ray disks by eliminating lengthy video re-encoding; while the MXF format enables compatibility with Adobe CS3/4, Avid, Final Cut Pro, Edius, Matrox Axio, and Sony Vegas. The MOV format is ideal for Final Cut Pro users; but Convergent also offers a free MOV -> MXF converter if you need to create files for PC based editing.
Besides the new 280 Mbps I-Frame Only mode, Convergent also increased their Long-GOP CODEC to 180 Mbps. For reference, I-Frame compression only considers spatial redundancies (within a given frame), while the more sophisticated MPEG2 Long-GOP considers both spatial and temporal redundancies (frame to frame). Comprehensive testing has shown that Long-GOP is typically 2 to 3 times more efficient than I-Frame-Only. So 180 Mbps Long-GOP is roughly equivalent to 400 Mbps I-Frame, thus providing the highest possible quality from the nanoFlash. However, some users prefer I-Frame only, so the nanoFlash uniquely offers Long-GOP and I-Frame modes; both providing visually lossless recording/playback.
These high bit-rates were enabled via a new proprietary Compact Flash I/O algorithm, recently developed by Convergent Design. This new approach improved the card read/write speeds by about 25%, opening the window for higher-quality video/audio recording. Furthermore, on the heels of these higher speeds, comes news of three new 64GB Compact Flash cards, recently qualified for use with the nanoFlash: the Sandisk Extreme Pro, the PhotoFast 533X and the Delkin 402X Pro. These new cards double the record capacity of the nanoFlash to previously unimaginable levels. For example, using the high-quality 50 Mbps XDCAM 422 CODEC, the nanoFlash can continuously record 5.5 hours of video/audio on a single load of two Compact Flash cards. In 18 Mbps (proxy mode) the time stretches to almost 15 hours, while at the 280 Mbps level, users can still enjoy one full hour of uninterrupted record time.
"In just 3 months, Convergent Design has delivered over 550 nanoFlash recorder/players to a wide variety of users and applications, including upgrading the quality of existing cameras, users transitioning to tapeless workflow, and for use with POV and underwater cameras. The nanoFlash has a proven reliability record. Examples include applications in helium balloons shoots at 98,000 feet and -75 degrees F., acrobatic airplanes pulling 12 G's, deep-sea underwater dives, and in the hot-humid rain forests of Papua New Guinea", noted Mike Schell, President of Convergent Design.
More information is available at http://www.convergent-design.com