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AJA Io and Ki Pro
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 12:42 PM   #16
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To All :
Sorry - somehow I missed replying after September on this particular thread! Not sure how I managed that... I usually notice the posts and manage to reply pretty quickly.

Olakunle O. - ProRes QuickTime files can be used on Windows as long as the latest QuickTime (version 7.6.x or higher) is installed. If you are using an earlier version of QuickTime, Apple provides a Windows ProRes decoder that can be installed. At this time, there isn't an encoder for Windows, so if you want to render effects, you'll need to create those with another codec.

Len C. - I suppose the Ki Pro Mini and the nanoFlash could be considered competing products. I think they are fairly different products and users will choose the product that best fits their particular needs. AJA isn't interested in producing a "comparison" or "shootout" document. We feel it's better to simply focus on what our product provides. If you have particular questions about the AJA product you feel aren't answered by our literature or website, you can phone or email AJA directly. Or (as long as I notice the posts!) inquire here.

Arnt M. - Ki Pro Mini does not provide a pre-record buffer.

Again, sorry I missed some of the posts in this thread,
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Old November 5th, 2010, 01:58 AM   #17
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aja ki-pro mini

Hi Jon
Since the Canon XH-A1 has a BNC video out can you use the ki-pro mini with it or is my only solution the Ki-Pro? Thanks.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 02:01 AM   #18
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Hi Jon
Since the Canon XH-A1 has a BNC video out can you use the ki-pro mini with it or is my only solution the Ki-Pro? Thanks.
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Old November 5th, 2010, 11:49 AM   #19
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L. Jeffrey M. - The BNC labeled as "Video" on the Canon model you have outputs composite video. The Ki Pro Mini accepts SDI or HDMI video, not composite. The Ki Pro also does not accept composite video, but does accept component which your camera also outputs:
XH A1 High Definition Camcorder :: Specifications

If you would like to connect your camera to Ki Pro, you will need to use the cable supplied with your camcorder (which likely has RCA video connectors) and use RCA to BNC adapters. Your analog audio out of the camcorder could also be used with Ki Pro.

Again, Ki Pro Mini features digital video input only.

Hope this is helpful,
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Old November 5th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #20
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Thanks Jon. I was curious what the bnc output was. Looks like the ki-pro is for me then. Thanks for your time.
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Old November 6th, 2010, 10:53 AM   #21
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Jon,

I am wondering if there was any serious consideration to using DNxHD as a recording format? Also has compact flash become fast enough that ProRes 4:4:4:4 is a possibility?

Thanks much.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #22
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Peter M. - I can't comment on what codecs have been or may be considered for use in AJA products. You may or may not be aware that Apple ProRes QuickTimes are supported in Avid MC5 via AMA.

The Ki Pro Mini is a 4:2:2 recorder, so it does not support Apple ProRes 4444.

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Old November 7th, 2010, 07:22 PM   #23
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Very true, but DNxHD MXF performs better inside Avid than does ProRes QT via AMA. One could transcode, but then I'd be transcoding to DNxHD.

Also I feel uncomfortable using Quicktime as a passthrough. It has all sorts of gamma and platform issues I'd rather steer clear of.

Anyway, thanks for your help.
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Last edited by Peter Moretti; November 7th, 2010 at 09:24 PM.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 08:26 PM   #24
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Simultaneous output of HDMI and HDSDI

Hi Jon,

Does the kipro-mini output HDMI and HDSDI simultaneously? Meaning, if I was feeding an 10bit-sdi signal out of an EX1R or EX3 into the kipro-mini, would I be able to hook up an hdmi monitor to the kipro-mini output for a director/producer to view the live signal?

Thanks in advance for the answer,

Geoff Murillo
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Old November 7th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #25
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Geoff M. - Yes, the SDI and the HDMI outputs are active at the same time so you could monitor via HDMI from an SDI input.

Hope this is helpful,
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Old November 7th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #26
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Jon,
Thank you. That's great news.
-Geoff
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Old November 9th, 2010, 02:38 AM   #27
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A silly question.

I hope this is not a silly question but I've not used ProRes as an acquisition format before and wondered how it performs? I'm constantly told that MPEG2, XDCAM, HDV and other codecs are not really suitable for editing due to their cpu-intensive demands on a workstation (and this is born out by experience) but wondered if there are limitations to the ProRes codec which impair its ability in acquisition when compared, say, with MPEG2 at 100 or 160 mbps? Would I notice a difference is noise, dynamic range, gamma, colour sampling and so on?

Justin.

Last edited by Justin Benn; November 9th, 2010 at 08:37 AM. Reason: Increased clarity.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 03:04 PM   #28
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Justin B. - No such thing as a silly question. In my opinion, it's always good to ask for clarification if you feel you aren't clear about something. In my opinion, one major benefit of using the Apple ProRes 422 family of codecs is that they are native to Final Cut Pro for editorial. Apple has optimized the application for the use of these codecs (Dynamic RT, etc.). Apple ProRes QuickTime files can also be used in other applications including those from Adobe, Autodesk and Avid, but ProRes offers the biggest benefit to Final Cut Pro/Final Cut Studio users in terms of workflow. Additionally, Apple ProRes is a high quality codec family which exceeds the quality of the on-board recordings produced by many cameras (with the Apple ProRes 422 and Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) versions - the (LT) and (Proxy) versions serve other purposes).

Most cameras record to 8-bit codecs, sometimes at less than 4:2:2 quality, and sometimes with a downscaled picture. Using HDV as an example; it is an 8-bit, 4:2:0 codec that is 1440x1080 instead of full size 1920x1080. Compare this to Apple ProRes 422 codecs: 10-bit, 4:2:2 and full size. Why is this distinction important? Well, the more quality you can obtain at the outset, the more likely you are to maintain the picture quality throughout the post process - especially if color correction or keying tasks are involved. Additionally, the construction of a codec can play a role in how easily it can be used in post production applications. Generally, I-frame codecs are preferred and the Apple ProRes codecs are I-frame. Long GOP codecs are efficient during acquisition, but can be more processor intensive for post, as you noted.

In terms of picture quality, you generally want to use a codec that performs the least possible "harm" to the image as it comes from the sensor. In an ideal world, there would be no compression and you would get a one-to-one relationship to the image as acquired by the sensor, but this isn't very practical due to bandwidth considerations, so compression schemes have been produced to obtain a quality picture efficiently. The quality of Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) ranks alongside Panasonic D-5 and falls just a bit shy of the quality level of Sony's HDCAM SR (in 4:2:2 mode). This is good company for ProRes to be included with as Panasonic D5 and Sony HDCAM SR are considering mastering quality formats throughout the post-production community.

You mention comparing the ProRes codec to MPEG2 at two particular bit rates in your post. To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any 100Mbps or 160Mbps MPEG2 camcorders on the market, so I'm guessing you are referring to nanoFlash produced recordings which are limited to 8-bit quantization, but can produce 4:2:2, full size files at these data rates. Without going into a "shootout" comparison, I can say that these 100Mbps or 160Mbps MPEG2 files, if imported into Final Cut Pro, are perceived as 50Mbps since Final Cut Pro supports Sony's native maximum quality setting for Long GOP MPEG2 recordings in their cameras, which - as of this writing - is 50Mbps with the XDCAM HD422 codec. The suggested solution for working with these 100Mbps or 160Mbps files is to set the rendering of sequences within Final Cut Pro to ProRes to produce optimum quality results... which begs the question: why not start with the ProRes codec to begin with and as would be the case if a Ki Pro or Ki Pro Mini was used? That's as far as I'd like to take this particular comparison because I've always tried to be respectful of other companies even when we've been labeled as their competitors. AJA's goal is simply to provide useful tools to creatives to the best of our ability and I think a 10-bit 4:2:2 post-production friendly recorder tends to speak for itself, on it's own merits, without resorting to negativity about other products on the market.

With your questions related to noise and dynamic range, here you must first and foremost consider the sensor's performance. If the sensor is poor in performance (generally defined by the S/N ratio, but also by other factors), you essentially will produce a sub-par result before you even pass the signal on to a codec. If there are imperfections in the signal - such as noise - Apple ProRes tends to faithfully reproduce them. Conversely, if you have a good, clean source, then a "visually lossless" codec like ProRes will produce excellent results as the codec will faithfully reproduce as much quality as possible as defined by it's parameters.

If you would like a more expanded "considerations in choosing a codec" commentary, I'd be happy to provide that in another post - but this post is already getting rather long in my effort to properly answer you!

I hope you find this information helpful,
Jon Thorn
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Old November 10th, 2010, 08:06 AM   #29
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Thanks Jon, for your fulsome reply.

I guess I am keen to see ProRes in capture as, to date, I have only used ProRes in post in Final Cut. I assume it performs as well in acquisition as it does on the timeline. Hopefully your continued investment in ProRes bodes well for FCS' future.

Thanks,

Justin.

Last edited by Justin Benn; November 10th, 2010 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Went OT.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 12:18 PM   #30
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Can the mini also be run as a standalone audio recorder? Meaning how are it's preamps and a/d converters in comparison to an sd702 audio recorder? Thanks!
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