There is no shortage of 4K RAW ready cameras being announced recently, from the Sony FS700 to the Canon C500 (and one internally recording 4K camera). It reminds me a little of when HDTVs were first released and many didn't include HDTV tuners internally to actually get HD over the air. It's a nice gesture and a smart idea to attempt to future proof a camera line - but details are a little more hazy on actually recording those 4K video streams to external recorders. Well, for a solution right now, you need to look no further than Convergent Design's new Gemini RAW recorder.
Convergent Design has been releasing powerful products since the introduction of the nanoFlash only a few years ago. The Gemini RAW is one of the most fully featured recorders ever released, from its ability to do 4K to its Avid DNxHD record mode. Here is some basic info from their website:
Our new Gemini RAW is a more powerful version of the Gemini 4:4:4, with more inputs and outputs, and the ability to record up to four cameras simultaneously, while maintaining the same small size, weight and low power requirements of the original Gemini 4:4:4.
With the additional processing power and memory built into the Gemini RAW, it can record up to two full uncompressed video streams, or up to four using Avid DNxHD. And in certain modes, it can record up to 120 frames per second.
It's got a lot going for it, and with all of the new 4K ready cameras coming out, I expect quite a few more of these to be released. Some of the major specs:
- 5.0” 800x480 LCD touch-screen
- Six Programmable 3G-SDI ports (4-In/2-Out or 2-In/4-Out)
- Single Stream 4K RAW up to 30p
- Single Stream 1080p/2K RAW up to 120fps (over dual 3G-SDI)
- Quad-stream up to 1080p30/2K RAW
- In Some Formats, the Creation of Two Identical Masters (Auto Backup)
- Avid DNxHD 36 for Proxies and Avid DNxHD 444 (220)
- Dual Convergent Design 1.8" SSD Drives for Sustained Throughput
- Transfer Station with USB 2.0, USB 3.0, Firewire 800, and Thunderbolt Ports
- RAW and 3D are Standard on the Gemini RAW
- 4K images Can Be Output to a 4K Monitor Using Four HD-SDI Outputs Built into the Gemini RAW.
It already supports the Arri Alexa, and compared to that camera, this recorder costs practically nothing, but if 4K is ever going to become mainstream, we're going to need some affordable 4K recording options. Though a price hasn't been released for this item yet, I can't imagine it's going to be cheaper than the Gemini 4:4:4 since it has the same feature set and much, much more. That specific recorder runs about $6000, and it seems like either they will drop the price on that one, or this one will be $7K-$8K (or more). That's not peanuts for those of us on a budget, but it's chock full of features and it's well worth the money whether you're going to buy it or rent it. Honestly, it would be hard for me to spend almost the same price on the recorder as I spent on the camera (in the case of the FS700), but depending on how cheap the Sony and Canon 4K recorder options are, this could be a good solution.