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Old May 30th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olivier Depaep View Post
Having followed this post I was looking forward to seeing the KiPro in action at the AJA World Tour in London yesterday. Unfortunately the meeting was, for me as an AJA novice, quite disappointing. I really hoped the meeting would bring the KiPro to life and show us the difference in picture quality between in camera compression and recording straight to pro res, how does it affect colour grading, will the end result on e.g dvd look better, maybe even throw in some hands on workshops. Instead we had to sit through facts & figures slideshows, testimonials and promo videos which can all be found on the website anyway. It all felt a bit like going to a new product launch at Starbucks and not being able to taste the actual coffee. Speaking of drinks, it was baking outside and we weren't offered any refreshments at the start of the show. Please don't take this personally as it is meant to be constructive criticism. I just think it is such a shame that an opportunity like this which will no doubt have cost a lot of money and preparation, is well ... wasted.
thanks for posting this .. I am registered for the one in NY but given the above (and I think I would share similar expectations for the video content) not sure it's worth time to get to the city, for the event, time to get back, and opportunity cost of all that time ... thank you again for posting

edit: but still quite interested in the product!

Last edited by Dave Stern; May 30th, 2009 at 09:42 PM.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Jon Thorn View Post
If you were standing next to me, I would simply show you on my iPhone what it looks like! (sigh)
So I guess there's no chance of you posting a photo of your iphone... showing the photo!?! LOL! Probably not I guess.

Thanks so much for keeping an eye on this thread and for all your detailed responses to our questions.

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Old May 30th, 2009, 10:03 PM   #63
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Replying from... Beijing

Olivier D. - Sorry to hear you felt you did not have an optimal experience with the Ki Pro London event. I checked with my co-workers (I am personally on the Asia portion of the tour right now and typing this from Beijing as noted in the title of my post). The group on the Europe portion of the tour informed me that there were beverages available at the event, but that due to the nature of the facility, those beverages had to be kept in another room adjacent to where the presentation was held. Sorry if you were not directed to that area when you arrived. At the Seoul event, we were able to have water in the room without any issue, but again, different venues have different rules.

The presentations we are giving throughout the world right now assume that the user has no (or little) prior knowledge of the benefits of Apple ProRes 422 nor of Ki Pro in technical terms, so I apologize if the presentation was remedial for you in some sense (we cannot assume that everyone will be as thoughtful as you have been and take the time to visit our website, read about the product, and view the videos posted there!) In London, like Seoul, the Ki Pro was demonstrated in operation - performing a recording (typically of the audience so you can verify that it is indeed real and not "smoke and mirrors") - and then we take the media and connect it to a MacBook Pro where we edit and playback the recording. To cover all of the specifics as presented in the slides, give the brief demo as I have just described it AND have time for a question and answer session does not leave us with much time to do some of the good suggestions you have made: comparison of camera compression vs. Apple ProRes 422 compression, color correction benefits of using a 10-bit codec, etc. We offer this type of detailed and more hands-on opportunity to present the product via our reseller channel in the coming months. Many of our resellers are eager to hold such events, so I'm sure that Boxer or Jigsaw or NMR or any of the resellers in the UK who will be carrying Ki Pro in your area will have such events where you will have time to consider the product in the detail you describe. This is part of what makes these companies value added resellers for AJA. For events on our world tour, we really have had to limit the nature of the presentation for duration reasons, and also because we are trying to present a similar presentation in different areas where (as in my case in Seoul) the entire presentation must be given via translation... adding quite significantly to our total running time. I'm sure if you stayed for the question and answer portion in London, you likely got more details that were not part of the slides or of the brief demo. We really are making a concerted effort to give you the best opportunity to see the product by bringing it to many, many cities around the world over the next month. I really do appreciate your feedback and if a reseller has an event soon, perhaps you will consider attending that event which will likely give you more of an opportunity to investigate the product in the detail you describe.

Dave S. - I think there is a lot of valuable information presented at the events, as noted above in my reply to Olivier. I think this is especially true for people who were not able to attend NAB 2009 where we gave similar presentations. I know the commute in from New Jersey to the city is "non-trivial" since I used to live in NYC. Having said that, I think it would be worth your time to attend the event, especially for the question and answer portion which is a good opportunity if you are specifically interested in some aspect of the product to inquire and/or to hear others' questions which may spur the "I hadn't thought of that..." moment regarding your own workflow needs.

Tim B. - If you were in Beijing right now, I would show you my iPhone with the handheld photos. 'Nuff said! I know, I'm a broken record on this point... but I'm under a marketing edict.

Thanks for the kind words... doing my best to keep an eye on this thread (and the events worldwide) because I legitimately care about your questions, concerns and opinions... I hope you can appreciate that there might be a lag in my reply from Seoul... or Beijing... or Tokyo... or...

Regards,

Jon Thorn
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 07:03 AM   #64
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Jon Thorn (or Olivier, or anyone else who attended a tour event), is there any discount (e.g. rebate) being offered for orders placed at the world tour to incent immediate purchases?

And Jon, thanks so much for your presence here on this board, it really makes a huge difference and we all realize you are quite busy right now.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 07:55 AM   #65
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Hi Dave, there were surprisingly no special discounts at the London event.

Hi Jon, thanks for finding the time to reply during your hectic schedule. I am not a very technical person, in general I don't really care how something is done, it is the end result that matters most. The KiPro's biggest selling point for me was the increase in picture quality without having to buy a new camera, so I was hoping to see its benefits in action. Just like the Apple Final Cut world tour last year showed us the benefits of using e.g. Color (shots before and after color correction). I would have liked to have seen a hands on demo's so I could understand how the KiPro would affect the (image) quality of my productions. It's great to hear the resellers are keen to set up events as well, but honestly I already committed time and money to go and see the product in London (you had me and possibly lost me). But then again you will have researched the needs of your customers before starting the tour. Oh and I did stay for Q&A. Anyway, good luck with the rest of your tour. All the best! Ollie
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Old June 5th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #66
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Does AJA now know when the Ki Pro will be out "in the channel" and available for purchase?
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Old June 7th, 2009, 12:15 AM   #67
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A quick reply... from India.

Once again, sorry for the delay in replying... several busy and exciting days in Japan on the Ki Pro World Tour.

Dave S. - Regarding your question about discounts on Ki Pro... rarely do new-to-the-market AJA products begin with discounts. If you have an established relationship with a local reseller, you can certainly inquire with them regarding pricing. I really encourage people to purchase AJA products from their local value added resellers.

And thanks for the kind words about keeping up with the forum... admittedly, it is a bit grueling to keep up with the forum while traveling from country to country in Asia right now. And I'm usually getting by on only a few hours of sleep, usually naps taken on planes! So apologies in advance for spelling errors or grammar mistakes... :-)

Ollie D. - In my presentations now - based directly on your feedback on this forum - I show side-by-side comparisons of an image in HDV, DVCPRO HD and Apple ProRes 422 and compare these to the uncompressed source image. (We do listen to your feedback!) Again, due to the timeframe in which we need to move through what is designed as a general presentation, we just don't have time to properly light and shoot a setup where HDV and Apple ProRes 422 can be properly compared, split screen and difference matte comparisons performed, etc. at these events. Again, I think hands-on demos will be the domain of our value added resellers, though I must admit, at many of the events here in Asia, if people stay for Q&A, I walk through the menus, shoot a few more shots, etc. But even at my events that has not always been possible due to time limits at the venues. I, like you, wish it was otherwise... I like going through everyone's questions in detail in an attempt to answer their questions.

Thanks for your feedback and words of encouragement for the rest of the tour. Again, I personally hope you will visit a reseller for a more hands-on experience with Ki Pro in the future.

Andrew S. - We are still on target to begin shipping Ki Pro in June, so I would expect that units will be available in a variety of dealers shortly thereafter with many resellers seeing units in July with respect to their place in line in terms of their purchase orders.

Thanks again for your questions, doing my best to keep up with them from the road!

Jon Thorn
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AJA Video Systems, Inc.
California
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Old June 7th, 2009, 03:02 AM   #68
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Which camera?

Hi Jon

Can you give me an idea of which camera(s) - considering the best price/performance ratio - will give the best results with the Ki Pro?

Many thanks
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Old June 7th, 2009, 10:30 AM   #69
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Any photos of how the Ki-Pro is to be used in when a camera is being used on the shoulder, like the HPX-500?
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Old June 9th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #70
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Sorry again for a somewhat tardy reply... from Singapore

Andreas S. - I think there are a wide variety of cameras that can produce excellent results when coupled with the Ki Pro; everything from small prosumer cameras to broadcast ENG cameras. Personally, I really like the cost-to-feature balance of a few cameras:
Canon XH G1s
JVC GY-HM700
Panasonic AG-HPX170
Sony PMW-EX1

Each of these cameras has their own merits of course and I think personal taste plays a large part in choosing a camera, so I cannot predict which you might prefer. Coincidentally, all of the aforementioned cameras come in at roughly the same basic price point. All of them also feature professional manual controls (exposure, focus, etc.) as well as an HD-SDI output for ease of connectivity to Ki Pro. In my opinion, the real power of Ki Pro is to elevate high-quality optics and sensors in the smaller modern cameras by providing them with an equally high-quality recording... Apple ProRes 422.

Matt G. - I wish I was in charge of AJA's professional photography of products... but unfortunately folks, it's one responsibility I'm not given! ;-) Photos of Ki Pro in handheld configurations are supposed to be forthcoming. As for the handheld ENG, shoulder mounted cameras, I think most people will want to mount the Ki Pro on the camera's top handle for handheld work and then add a t-handle to the top of the Ki Pro exoskeleton so you can easily lift or carry the camera that way.

Thanks again for your questions and interest,

Jon Thorn
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Old June 9th, 2009, 12:41 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Jon Thorn View Post
Andreas S. - I think there are a wide variety of cameras that can produce excellent results when coupled with the Ki Pro; everything from small prosumer cameras to broadcast ENG cameras. Personally, I really like the cost-to-feature balance of a few cameras:
Canon XH G1s
JVC GY-HM700
Panasonic AG-HPX170
Sony PMW-EX1
Thank you Jon
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Old June 21st, 2009, 04:05 AM   #72
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Hello Jon,
I noticed the cameras you mentioned above all have HD-SDI outputs (I'm sure this was in wanting to keep an all digital workflow). However, the Canon XHG1 has a baby brother - the much more affordable (and somewhat ubiquitous) Canon XHA1 that has HD Analog Component outs.

Have you tested the Ki Pro's images with HD Analog Component? and if so, is there a difference to the images produced by HD-SDI?

Thanks in advance,
Lonnie
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 02:49 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Jon Thorn View Post
Can you open up the drive cartridge shell and put a new drive in? Yes, physically possible... but we don't want users to do this and will "strongly discourage" this type of activity. This is not a "I'll just put my own drive in there to save money" solution; we worked long and hard to qualify the drive the unit ships with. Putting something else in there could be a big headache for you, your production, and our tech support team if it doesn't meet the requirements in terms of bandwidth to support write/read speeds of Apple ProRes 422. I hope you believe us when we say that we are not interested in marking up the drives - the 250GB shipping unit that is included can also be purchased for $269 if you need additional cartridges. Close to a dollar per GB is pretty reasonable and standard for our industry.

Hope this information is helpful - feel free to ask other questions,
Jon Thorn
Product Manager
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
California
Jon, the AJA Ki-Pro is filling a market void--that is certain. I am interested in it as a Sony EX3 owner who would like to make full use of the camera's 4:2:2, 10-bit HD-SDI port. I also much prefer recording to SSD rather than have to deal with a pile of CF cards containing 8-bit video of whatever flavor. However, I have two concerns that are preventing me from ordering the Ki-Pro.

First point: While your price reasoning may come close on Rotating Mechanical Hard Disk (HDD) units, your argument does not hold water for the prices you are quoting on Solid State Drives (SSD). I understand SSD pricing is a moving target these days. However, the 4th Gen SSD that are now available are twice as fast or faster than any HDD currently available. They are also half the price of your currently quoted prices for 128GB and 256GB units. Either price your SSD's into market reality or provide us with an option to purchase a case without an SSD.

Second point: where is the SATA-2 port? Yes FW800 is OK for some Laptop folks. However SATA-2 is the preferred interface for the rest of us who would like to actually make use of the blazing SSD read speeds that make tapeless workflows much more time efficient.

Thanks for listening. Cheers!
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 03:06 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Barry J. Anwender View Post

First point: While your price reasoning may come close on Rotating Mechanical Hard Disk (HDD) units, your argument does not hold water for the prices you are quoting on Solid State Drives (SSD). I understand SSD pricing is a moving target these days. However, the 4th Gen SSD that are now available are twice as fast or faster than any HDD currently available. They are also half the price of your currently quoted prices for 128GB and 256GB units. Either price your SSD's into market reality or provide us with an option to purchase a case without an SSD.

Second point: where is the SATA-2 port? Yes FW800 is OK for some Laptop folks. However SATA-2 is the preferred interface for the rest of us who would like to actually make use of the blazing SSD read speeds that make tapeless workflows much more time efficient.

Thanks for listening. Cheers!


1. It depends on what SSD you're using. If AJA is using good stuff like the Samsung or Intel then the pricing is going to be higher but so will the stablity. We also cannot compare these to a bare drive because each case has a FW bridge chip which for FW800 isn't cheap. I don't think AJA is trying to soak anyone here but they're also not trying to go broke selling the media at cost.

2. eSATA is a horrible connector that has little place being on Pro gear. It's limited to less than 300MBps real world so it's not that blazing and it doesn't offer power either.
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Old June 23rd, 2009, 07:34 PM   #75
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1. It depends on what SSD you're using. If AJA is using good stuff like the Samsung or Intel then the pricing is going to be higher but so will the stablity. We also cannot compare these to a bare drive because each case has a FW bridge chip which for FW800 isn't cheap. I don't think AJA is trying to soak anyone here but they're also not trying to go broke selling the media at cost.

2. eSATA is a horrible connector that has little place being on Pro gear. It's limited to less than 300MBps real world so it's not that blazing and it doesn't offer power either.
Harrison, Samsung and Intel are not the only game in the SSD market and their products are now 3rd Generation with issues of their own. The 4th generation devices by OCZ-Vertex, RunCore, Corsair are already faster and more economical.

On your second point, try telling Red that the SATA cable/connector for their camera to interface with SSD's has no place on Pro gear. The 4th generation SSD speeds are more than capable of saturating a FW800 port. Finally, the SATA-3 specification has also been finalized to make room for these newer/faster storage devices.

At the end of the day, video shooters/editors want to squeeze all we can out of our more modern HD camera's that produce very respectable 10-bit video coming off the HD-SDI port. That means larger file sizes even with ProRes(HQ) and hence the need for faster data transfer speeds. Cheers!
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