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Old September 13th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #16
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Jon,

Thanks for your considered reply to my laundry list of questions. One dangling question about the recording to the cards. Will a recording or take that starts out on one card gracefully move over to record on the second (empty but formatted) card or do you have to stop the "take" and make the second memory card active to receive data?

I do understand from your earlier reply that hot-swap isn't available. Here I am talking about two cards that are in A and B slots from the start of the shoot and A card is filled up. What happens if the camera is still running? Does it bounce to B card without a hiccup?
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Old September 14th, 2010, 01:29 AM   #17
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David W. - Regarding the Panasonic AJ-HDX900, I would refer you to that product's manual:
http://service.us.panasonic.com/OPERMANPDF/AJHDX900.PDF
Please note that this camera outputs 1080p 24 over 1080i 29.97 (aka 1080 60i) according to the manual, chapter 4 page 31. This means that the Ki Pro Mini would see this incoming signal as 1080i 29.97 and that is what it would record. At this time, AJA only supports flagged frame removal from a larger framerate for some 720p formats. Extraction of 1080p 24 within a larger framerate is not supported at this time, but may be in the future via firmware update.

Bob G. - If you need to calculate storage times for a given Apple ProRes 422 flavor (as well as other codecs), I would suggest using AJA's free AJA Data Calc application, available for Mac, PC and iPhone. This handy calculator gives the various data rates when a selected codec/framerate and recording time are selected. You can download the app for Mac and PC OS use from the AJA website and the iPhone app is available from the Apple App Store.

Billy S. - The Ki Pro Mini features two independent, at this time, CF card slots. You can record to only one at a time. "Rollover" recording will not be offered at the outset, but may be offered later via firmware update.

Keith D. - Glad you pointed people to the Apple whitepaper... if you hadn't, I would have! One thing to consider with regards to the data rates: personally, I think that the ideal selection is the "regular" Apple ProRes 422 flavor which runs up to 145Mbps. This is very, very high picture quality with light compression that produces a visually indistinguishable picture when compared to uncompressed. The lower data rate Apple ProRes (LT) and Apple ProRes (Proxy) are not suitable, in my opinion, for "source" picture quality; they make for good low bandwidth recordings where perhaps you want something for rough cutting or very long recordings that don't require perfect picture quality, etc. Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) need only be used, in my opinion, for material that will be heavily color corrected or composited such as green screen work. For all other types of material, Apple ProRes 422 is the ideal "everyday" codec. Regarding your comment about XDCAM EX compression: yes, it is a lower data rate because it's 8-bit quantization, 4:2:0 chroma sampling with a Long GOP structure and more compressed in comparison to Apple ProRes 422 at 10-bit, 4:2:2, I-frame.

Andrew S. - Andrew, they are independent CF cards. There is no "spanned" recording as we feel this is "fraught with peril" for a variety of reasons. You will stop the recording on the first card and then need to start recording anew on the next card. So at launch, no "instant rollover" will be provided; it will be a manual process to switching recording to a new card.

Hope this is helpful... as usual for the sake of clarity - and brevity - in the volume of posts, I'm simply answering the questions for the benefit of all, but addressing you each individually.

Last day of IBC... I'm admittedly exhausted...

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Old September 14th, 2010, 02:05 AM   #18
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Thanks for your continued support Jon!
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Old September 14th, 2010, 07:46 AM   #19
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Keith,

Perfect. Thanks for the info!
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Old September 14th, 2010, 08:09 AM   #20
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1080

Thanks Jon, fingers crossed the firmware update is not far away to deal with 1080/24. But looks like a great product!

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Old September 14th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #21
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Jon, am I right in thinking that you cannot sandwich the Ki Pro Mini between camera and a battery (on full size cameras) and still power both from that battery?

If not, adding this would be relatively simple and a massive ergonomic improvement.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #22
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This looks interesting: I'll be following this thread :-)

I noticed on the website that simple information is still missing (probably because it's not shipping yet):
- weight (has been approx. anwsered in here, but I prefer metric values ;-) )
- dimensions (I always like to know how much space I need in my cases/bags)

I often shoot slowmo at 720p 60/25 (60frames/sec will play as 25fps) or 50/25 with an EX1R.
Is it possible to record this on a Ki Pro Mini as if it were 60fps or 50fps?
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Old September 14th, 2010, 05:04 PM   #23
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It looks big compared to the NanoFlash. I guess for 1,000.00 less it's a fair trade off. Is there anything the Ki Pro can do that the NanoFlash cant? Or vice versa? They are obviously competing for the same market. How do they compare?
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Old September 14th, 2010, 05:39 PM   #24
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@ Chad:

I don't know a lot about both devices, but I can tell you that the Nano Flash records 8-bit 4:2:2 as Mpeg-2 and the Ki Mini records 10-bit 4:2:2 as Prores.
I've read the Nano Flash has the ability to record over/undercranked (if the camera sends that signal) and to record timelapses. (I guess they listened and came up with some firmware-updates... It's up to Aja to do the same or not.)

The similairities I see:
They both have HD-SDI and HDMI connectors and they both use CF-cards.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Thorn View Post
Billy S. - The Ki Pro Mini features two independent, at this time, CF card slots. You can record to only one at a time. "Rollover" recording will not be offered at the outset, but may be offered later via firmware update.
This is a pretty big deal breaker for my needs, and prompts another question: Why did you even bother to put in two slots?

If one has to stop recording, use the SLOT function to close out the card, select something in the menus to tell the KiProMini to use the other slot, and then go into record on the second slot, how does this save any time or confusion, or offer any benefit, over simply having a single slot?

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Old September 14th, 2010, 06:13 PM   #26
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Very good question Billy. I'm sure the answer would be for future upgrade possibilities - ie hot swap and continuous clip record from one card to another.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 09:20 PM   #27
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We now have the Ki Pro mini up for sale on our website:

AJA Ki Pro Mini Ultra-Portable Digital CF Recorder :: Portable Players/Recorders :: Video Players/Recorders & Accessories :: Post Production Tools :: Equipment Sales :: Abel Cine Tech

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Old September 14th, 2010, 11:42 PM   #28
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David W. - I just want to be clear that Ki Pro and Ki Pro Mini support 1080p 24 fps natively, but just not from within a 1080i signal at this time. Perhaps at a later date, we will add this feature via firmware as noted. FYI, we support this now with our KONA and Io HD products when connected to Panasonic and Canon "VFR" 1080p within 1080i output type cameras.

Mike M. - Because of the multi-screw hole pattern on the Mini Adapter Plate, you can mount Ki Pro Mini to a battery mount, such as Anton Bauer or V-mount and then, after that, sandwich Ki Pro Mini between another adapter plate with a battery mount on it. It's one of the ways we had Ki Pro Mini displayed at IBC (in our case, on a Panasonic HPX3700). Since Ki Pro Mini has a low power draw, operating it, as well as some cameras from the same battery, will be possible.

The Mini Adapter Plate is really the heart of the mounting system; it attaches to the four corners of Ki Pro Mini via standard 1/4-20 screws and is milled out to be light, but made from aircraft grade aluminum to be strong. It is finished in military spec matte black coating. At IBC, we used it to mount Ki Pro Mini to the battery mount as already noted, to a clamp for a tripod handle, to a set of 15mm rods, to a wireless bracket, etc. Additionally, the bottom two 1/4-20 threads allow the Ki Pro Mini to be secured in the stand that is designed for the product along with a right angle power adapter cable for desktop use.

Hope this is helpful,
Jon Thorn
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AJA Video Systems, Inc.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 12:23 AM   #29
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Chad J. - I'm going to diverge from my normally strictly technical answers to be a bit more philosophical in my reply to you. I hope that you, and others, will think this is okay.

First, AJA has always shied away from doing "shootout" comparisons to other products on the market. We prefer to denote the merits of our own products and let you decide for yourself if our product fits your needs.

Now... here is my philosophical statement for those reading this, and other, "comparison" types of posts on these and other forums:

In general, almost all manufacturers strive to provide YOU - the consumer/prosumer/professional/individual/artist - with the best possible product they can.

Let me use this analogy... WE - as consumers/prosumers/professionals/individuals/artists - are like Goldilocks when it comes to determining which product suits us; we evaluate the choices and make statements like, "This porridge is too hot... this porridge is too cold... this porridge is just right." Or, perhaps its more like, "I like this porridge, but wish it came in a slightly different bowl and included a brown sugar packet at no additional cost."

The art of creating - as well as purchasing - products is all about compromise. Manufacturers try to create products that are "just right" in terms of their "porridge" aka product. Again, I hate the word "product" even though I'm a "product manager," because I'm honestly much more interested in creating and supporting useful tools; tools address a problem and provide a solution. Creating product can be a difficult task because you are catering to a wide audience, but the individuals who make up that group are just that - individuals - with individual opinions. And this is why, ultimately, more than one product can occupy a market space; we don't all buy the same vehicles after all... a two door coupe suits me, an SUV suits you, etc. You think a Ford Mustang is great, someone else would only ever buy Mercedes Benz; this could be dictated by previous experience with the brand, the price point, the feature set, etc.

So, having said all of that (and I apologize if it's too philosophical, but sometimes it's good to know the manufacturers perspective too), I can enumerate the merits of Ki Pro Mini for you in a "non-offensive to other manufacturers" sort of method:
It is a fairly small device; just bigger than the size of an Anton Bauer Dionic 90 battery honestly, but lighter in weight. It features two balanced analog audio inputs via XLR (which accounts for part of it's size as those aren't small connectors) whereas other recorders on the market don't feature this, and therefore may be smaller, but provide more limited features when connecting to microphones or mixers. It features VU meters and audio control knobs, which again, increase size but allow for intuitive operation compared to digging into menus to adjust volume. Ki Pro Mini features an industry standard 4-pin XLR style power connector, meaning the power options are abundant as many, many products can be - and are - adapted to this standard connector. Ki Pro Mini is a 10-bit 4:2:2 solid state recorder at a very low price point; other comparably priced recorders are limited to 8-bit. I stated these items because they are factual, and not any type of marketing hyperbole.

And, speaking of marketing, I'm sorry... I am surprised that the specific weight and dimensions of the product aren't listed in the brochure... that isn't my domain, but I will see if we can add this information to our website specifications at least when we return from Amsterdam and IBC. I don't want to "approximate" beyond the weight of 1 lb. and I don't have anything to measure a unit in my flight case with me here in my hotel room, nor do I keep sensitive documents with pre-release product information like dimensions on my travel laptop... sorry.

I hope the information I am providing is helpful. Feel free to ask specific questions and I will do my best to answer them in a timely fashion (not always easy with the time differences though!) Again, I apologize if this has been a bit too philosophical of a post...

Regards,
Jon Thorn
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AJA Video Systems, Inc.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 12:28 AM   #30
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Billy S. - Hot swapping is, as the engineers I work with would say, "non-trivial". There are some serious file open/close/append/directory/volume/etc. issues to be considered. And, as perspective... did you ever own a tape camcorder that rolled over to a new tape? Or a non-linear edit system where you targeted the capture drive and if it was getting too full, rolled over to a new piece of storage? Not common among things in general without creating spanned files (which can have some serious demerits if you lose one piece of media).

Why does Ki Pro have two compact flash slots then and not one slot? Because you can at least have two pieces of media readily at hand and because it gives greater flexibility to us as developers when enabling future media features.

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