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Atomos Ninja / Samurai / Shogun
HD-SDI field recorders supporting a variety of codecs.


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Old May 20th, 2011, 08:42 PM   #16
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Re: Samurai $1495

$1495 gets you the Pix 220 model, which only accepts HDMI pain in the butt inputs. Another thousand for the PIx 240 with BNC's. If one doesn't need Apple ProRes or Avid DN X HD video formats, nor the better sound recording capabilities, what else does the bulky black box with a fan in the back buys me over the more compact proven Nanoflash?
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Old May 20th, 2011, 09:19 PM   #17
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Re: Samurai $1495

10 bit, which is a big deal in certain circumstances.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 10:40 PM   #18
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Re: Samurai $1495

Also, a built in Lockit. Multicamera and/or dual system sound jamsynced TC. Running time of day TC, post syncing is a doddle.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 11:29 AM   #19
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Re: Samurai $1495

Also you get, VTR style control of footage on the unit, industry trumping sound preamps, phantom powered pres and a company known for best in class product design, trusted in the industry at ALL levels.

I'm a very happy nanoFlash owner but to have a dim attitude towards the Sound Devices unit before the unit gets it's due with field testing is premature at best.

10 bit is a very big deal to most of us particularly to those of us that are moving into cinema replacement cameras where 10 bit or better source will become standard fare before we know it.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 11:43 AM   #20
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Re: Samurai $1495

Would love to hear Nate's views on the quantitative difference between 8 & 10 bits when it comes to color correction and ultimately how the advantages of 10 bits affect our decisions in exposure & lighting contrast.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 12:07 PM   #21
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Re: Samurai $1495

Brian,

There is a lot of material on DVinfo on that very subject going back at least 1 year probably 2. Have a go with the search engine here. Alister Chapman within the past week or two had an excellent post on the matter.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 12:49 PM   #22
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Re: Samurai $1495

Thank you Andrew, me d....dumb. I'm in Vancouver most of the summer so if you ever hop the ferry over we can trade stories over coffee. <tiny@netvigator.com>
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Old May 21st, 2011, 10:10 PM   #23
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Re: Samurai $1495

Wish I can wait a month or two but for a shoot happening next week, is Ninja the only 10 bit option at present since it has already shipped? Am thinking to relegate it to record Canon 5D when Samurai & Pix comes out in the summer. Atomos mentioned <http://vimeo.com/groups/romania/videos/16246480> if you record from the Canon 5D's liveview feed without pressing the record button, then the HDMI signal is uncompressed and you get a clean signal to the Ninja. If this is true the 5D has just gone up a major notch. Can anyone verify this?
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 05:42 AM   #24
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Re: Samurai $1495

I can verify that recording the 5d live view in standby is not a viable option. Regardless of what their website says.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 09:13 AM   #25
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Re: Samurai $1495

Brian,

Do you know about AJA's Ki Pro Mini? It records in 10 bit 4:2:2 but the files are saved out to the Apple ProRes file format. Availability, last time I checked was pretty good on the Ki Pro Mini.

Below is a comparison chart that Abelcine Tech has put together of all the current outboard recorders:

http://blog.abelcine.com/wp-content/...art_051611.pdf

here is the webpage it came from:

http://blog.abelcine.com/2011/05/16/...rs-comparison/
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:07 AM   #26
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Re: Samurai $1495

Andrew,

Thanks for the suggestion and a very helpful chart. I did contemplated on the Ki Pro mini when I saw it in Abel before NAB and before hearing about Gemini's capabilities. The standard Ki Pro can be rented locally so I'll just use that next week over haphazardly getting the Ninja which seems like a ver.1.0 product. In a month or so the decision will either be staying with 10 bit 4.2.2. or going for the 4.4.4. upgrade using Gemini. On the other hand, the Blackmagic HyperDeck Shuttle at that price point seems hard to beat, even if it eventually becomes a back up field recorder. How do you feel about this unit?
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:24 AM   #27
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Re: Samurai $1495

The gamble is on Sound Devices Pix 240. In the audio world, they are probably the biggest brand in mixers and they have been doing a lot of work with hard disk recorders. They care about sound obviously so if it has a fan on it, it's got to be very quiet. AJA's KI Pro Mini has been having what seems like some issues and yes Atomos is pretty unproven - it's their first product. My money is still on the Sound Devices PIX 240 recorder because of the superior audio recording which I like. Let's see what happens.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 01:08 PM   #28
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Re: Samurai $1495

What issues is the Ki=Pro mini having.
So far I'm attracted to the Samurai for price and size. Sounds Devices sounds great but the truth is I don't need anything except 10 but recording in Pro Res. Key Pro mini looks large to me.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 02:43 PM   #29
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Re: Samurai $1495

My biggest gripe with the AJA recorders is they don't switch to the next CF card when one fills up. It stops recording. The convergent design recorders will fill a card and automatically switch to the next card during recording. They do this without dropping a single frame and it works very well.

During recording a long interview or a live event, it's a real pain to stop recording and switch cards.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 03:37 PM   #30
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Re: Samurai $1495

HI Brian,

BlackMagic's HyperDeck Shuffle isn't out yet, as you know. If I was buying a recorder right now I would take a wait and see approach with it, It only has one drive slot so it has very limited application in a production environment, even less than the Ki Pro Mini which, like the HyperDeck has to be stopped to either switch to another memory device or to swap out.

If I had the money right now, I would do exactly as you just suggested... rent and wait for the dust to settle on a few of these new units.

If I were to hedge my bets, I would say for the under 3 grand unit I would say Sound Devices for over 6 I would be looking at the Gemini, Cinedeck and the Sony unit. All have their pluses and minuses and above all most of them have no field reports. Many have in fact settled on the Gemini but I am curious about the other units even though the price for the others is presently stated as higher than the Gemini. I am not going to rush into getting another recorder, it will be based on real need which is not only the quality of footage but also workflow considerations. The faster you work, the more money you generally make.

And I have to say this... Of the existing units, from a practical perspective the nanoFlash is by far the best recorder in existence. It doesn't crash, it doesn't overheat, it doesn't make any noise, it's super light, injest is very fast and it just works. It can be attached to anything with a strip of velcro, an HD-SDI cable and 6 watts of power. Most broadcast outlets will take footage from cameras recording to this unit. It's 8 bit but blessed by major large media outlets because it far exceeds the 8 bit, 422, 50 Mbit minimum that most require. So it shouldn't be written off just because it doesn't have the attractive specs that some of the other units have.

In any event, renting is the best option in my view. I personally wouldn't get a HyperDeck Shuffle except as a second unit and treat it as a novelty item for banging off short clips in uncompressed form. I can see something like this working if you were shooting a commercial in a studio but even then I try to eliminate as many things as possible that draw my attention away from making shots regardless of the shooting environment. Every piece of gear or bit you add to your rig is a potential distraction and a thing to go wrong.

"Set it and forget it" would be one of the main criteria I would have for a outboard recorder, so hot-swap would be a baseline requirement, Also featuring highly would be easy to configure (and confirm), easy to wire, power and mount and good after sales service record and a brand name that would instill confidence from a production company hiring me.

Last edited by Andrew Stone; May 22nd, 2011 at 04:53 PM. Reason: clarify a point
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