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Convergent Design Announces Beta Firmware for its nanoFlash Recorder/Player Providing 8-Channel Audio and Variable Frame Rate Support (8/3/2010)

Convergent Design posted new beta firmware for their popular nanoFlash recorder/player which includes 8-Channel audio, variable frame rate (over/under crank), loop recording and expanded XDCAM Optical support. This new firmware marks the 4th major upgrade to the nanoFlash since its introduction last August 2009.

The nanoFlash is the world's smallest, lightest-weight, lowest-power, professional HD/SD recorder/player available today. nanoFlash utilizes the very high quality Sony XDCAM 422 (MPEG2) CODEC, with bit-rates up to 180 Mbps (Long-GOP) or 280 Mbps (I-Frame). The video and uncompressed audio (now up to 8 channels) is stored on affordable Compact Flash media in QuickTime, MXF or MPG file formats. These files can be edited in Avid, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Vegas, or Edius or played directly off the Compact Flash cards.

The nanoFlash can now be found in a wide variety of applications. Upgrading the video quality of solid-state camcorders such as the Sony EX3, JVC 700, and Sony Z5U is by far the most common usage. By increasing the bit-rate to (50 Mbps or higher) and employing 4:2:2 full-raster sampling, nanoFlash upgrades these cameras to quality levels acceptable by most major networks, as well as stock footage applications. Along these same lines, the nanoFlash can also be found mounted on tape-based cameras, such as the Sony F800, Panasonic VariCam and Canon XL-H1, providing tapeless workflow and improved video quality. As a testament to the video quality, the nanoFlash is now used on Thomson Vipers and Sony F35s, as a primary (on-line) recorder.

nanoFlash has also found wide-spread acceptance as a POV (Point of View) camera recorder for products from Toshiba, Iconix and Hitachi, among others. The low-power (<6W), lightweight (<1 lb), rugged all-aluminum construction makes nanoFlash ideal for intense, high-G applications in the cramped space inside helicopters, acrobatic airplanes, and race cars. These attributes also make nanoFlash the recorder of choice for many underwater shots as well as 3-D applications (where two recorders can be simultaneously triggered). Finally, nanoFlash is starting to gain acceptance in the presentation market for both tradeshows and travelling museums, where video quality and portability are paramount concerns.

The new firmware brings 8-Channel audio support for 5.1 and 7.1 audio programs as well as Holophone recording. Loop recording provides 24/7 continuous record for applications such as earthquake monitoring and surveillance. Variable frame rate recording (over/under crank) enables slow and fast motion recording. Finally, expanded XDCAM optical support adds compatibility for 50Mbps HD 422, 35 Mbps HD 4:2:0, and 30/40/50 Mbps SD IMX formats.

The new firmware is available to all nanoFlash and Flash XDR users as a free upgrade; downloadable from Convergent Design will demonstrate the nanoFlash at the upcoming NAB show, April 12-15, booth C11731.

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