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Old November 2nd, 2011, 01:12 PM   #1
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External Recorder Choice

Hi guys...
I'm new to the forum so thought this would be the best place for my question....
Am just about to purchase an F3 and have some extra cash to spend so my question is this...
Which would produce a better image and give more latitude stop wise for roughly the same price-
the S-Log upgrade with a Ki Pro Mini(4:2:2) -or- Convergent Designs Gemini(4:4:4)??
I am aware that buying the Gemini would cost more when you add on the cost of the internal drives and also what type of shooting I would be doing would factor on my decision but just wanted to know which option would produce the best actual image(I'm also kinda leaning toward the Gemini as I think the 4:4:4 output would probably best future proof me against the onset of 4K imaging but then again S-Log looks fantastic too)...

Your thoughts and views???

Cheers....
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Old November 2nd, 2011, 05:13 PM   #2
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Re: External Recorder Choice

Convergent Design has an excellent history of support for their products. I have the NanaFlash and have been quite happy with it and the upgrades. You can't go wrong with the Gemini ... it will prove to be a valuable product.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 07:37 PM   #3
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Re: External Recorder Choice

I think all of this new batch of 10 bit recorders has minor growing up issues. Firmware upgrades and minor tweaking to get everything right.
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Old November 4th, 2011, 10:41 PM   #4
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Re: External Recorder Choice

That's always the case.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 02:13 AM   #5
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Re: External Recorder Choice

You have to realise that S-log recordings need much more (grading) time in post. So match your investment to the 80% of your type of work (final product). Else spend it on a nice lens, if it's a good glass, it'll be there forever.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 02:17 AM   #6
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Re: External Recorder Choice

I'm told my samurai will be shipping this Monday November 7.
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Old November 5th, 2011, 07:12 PM   #7
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Re: External Recorder Choice

I would definitely go for the Cinedeck EX. It can record to Pro Res, DNxHD, Cineform 422, Cineform 444 and uncompressed (using their faster SSDs).

On a budget, I would get the PIX240 which records to Pro Res and DNxHD 422. I like the PIX because it gives you options of recording to CF cards or SSDs in addition to their caddy system which offers various connections such as USB 3, FW800 and eSata.

The F3 has a Bayer sensor which means it cannot output a true 444 signal; so, I don't see any value in recording the 444 output. However, the S-Log output is definitely worth every penny.

I like the PIX240 more than the Aja because the Aja is formatted with HFS which is Apple only; so, you need a Mac to download from it or you must buy extra software to read it on a Windows PC. The PIX240 can be read on any computer. Also, the Aja must stop recording when the CF card fills up in order to switch to the other CF card; so, you must constantly be aware of how much space is left and how long the current shot will take. The PIX has a good LCD so shot review is fast and easy.

FYI, grading S-Log footage takes no time at all. A simple S curve makes the image look normal. In another thread, I posted 2 images of S-Log ungraded and S-Log with a Curves effect applied to demonstrate how easy it is to grade.
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Old November 6th, 2011, 12:06 PM   #8
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Re: External Recorder Choice

Hi,

I am looking into investing into an external recorder for my sony f3...I would love the recorder to do 2 main things, recording of s-log in 4:2:2 in prores codec and recording of 1080p 60frames...is the PIX240 capable of doing that? if not...what are the current external recorders that are able to do that apart from gemini and cinedeck which are both a bit too expensive for my taste....
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Old November 7th, 2011, 06:06 PM   #9
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Re: External Recorder Choice

When you say slog and ki pro mini or gemini 4:4:4 are your aging not getting the slog upgrade with the gemini?

I think owning a gemini without having the slog/444 upgrade is a lot like having a sports car but not being able to drive. If it comes down to slog and a recorder and no slog with a recorder, I would go with the slog upgrade without a doubt.
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Old November 7th, 2011, 07:31 PM   #10
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Re: External Recorder Choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drazen Stader View Post
Hi,

I am looking into investing into an external recorder for my sony f3...I would love the recorder to do 2 main things, recording of s-log in 4:2:2 in prores codec and recording of 1080p 60frames...is the PIX240 capable of doing that? if not...what are the current external recorders that are able to do that apart from gemini and cinedeck which are both a bit too expensive for my taste....
Unfortunately the PIX240 can not do 1080p60. Its a hardware limitation. This info was received directly from SoundDesigns. I have confirmed it doesn't work with my camera and recorder.

The PIX240 does work well with the LOG on the F3. Once v1.3 of the Sony firmware comes out it will work even better.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 01:17 AM   #11
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Re: External Recorder Choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drazen Stader View Post
Hi,

I am looking into investing into an external recorder for my sony f3...I would love the recorder to do 2 main things, recording of s-log in 4:2:2 in prores codec and recording of 1080p 60frames...is the PIX240 capable of doing that? if not...what are the current external recorders that are able to do that apart from gemini and cinedeck which are both a bit too expensive for my taste....
My Cinedeck can record S-log 4:2:2 (or 4:4:4) from my F3. It can also record 1080p60 from my F3 using 8bit 4:2:2 Cineform codec. Looks very good.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 01:25 AM   #12
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Re: External Recorder Choice

Aaron,

What about 60p with Pro Res HQ or DNxHD?
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Old November 9th, 2011, 01:28 AM   #13
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Re: External Recorder Choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Harrington View Post
Convergent Design has an excellent history of support for their products. I have the NanaFlash and have been quite happy with it and the upgrades. You can't go wrong with the Gemini ... it will prove to be a valuable product.
Yes Dean, I'll agree that CD is pretty good and they make decent products. In my opinion though, they fall quite a bit short of "excellent history of support".

Anyone who owns a Convergent Design XDR (like me), has to agree with me on this point. It's a fact that CD promised a number of features for the XDR and simply never delivered. There's no apologies or explanations. It is what it is. They've moved on from the XDR and that's that. I actually understand a bit about why they'd just abandon the product for upgrades, so I'm not sore about it.

Ordinarily, I probably wouldn't have a reason to mention CD in a post at all but when I see something like this, I can't help but say something. Again, any XDR owner would agree with me.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 01:35 AM   #14
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Re: External Recorder Choice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Aaron,

What about 60p with Pro Res HQ or DNxHD?
Hi Steve. My current Cinedeck software can only do Cineform for 1080p60. However, ProRes works nice for standard frame rates.

I did just get a phone call from Cinedeck this morning though, telling me about the new 2.5 version. How's that for excellent support. A phone call, from a human?! Maybe the new 2.5 version can do other 1080p60 codecs. I won't be able to check it out for a bit though. Currently on a show.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 01:39 AM   #15
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Re: External Recorder Choice

While the cinedeck is an excellent device, like the PIX-240 these are significantly bulkier than the Gemini and that should be considered when making your choice. The Gemini mounts very nicely on the handle of the F3 and can be powered along with the camera with a single Swit battery for a couple of hours.

If your are handheld, or on the move a lot the Gemini is a lot easier to work with. If your working on a set where portability is not so critical then perhaps the Cinedeck or PIX-240 (422 only) will be better.
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