The Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4 might be the cheapest RAW recorder on the market, but it just got some company as far as 4:4:4 recording is concerned. Sound Devices, better known for their superb audio recording equipment, has just announced that they are offering a free upgrade to their PIX series of external monitor/recorders that is capable of giving access to the full power of the 3G-SDI, thereby allowing you to record in the 12-bit ProRes 4:4:4:4 codec at up to 30fps.
If you've never heard of the PIX recorders, here is an introduction to the PIX 240i:
Here is Andy Shipsides from AbelCine on the announcement:
With this upgrade, the PIX240 can now record in ProRes 4444 in 12-bit at up to 30p, which means it will work well with cameras, such as the the Alexa and Sony F3 (with the RGB 444 upgrade), that output 10-bit RGB 4:4:4 over 3G-SDI.
To take full advantage of the 12-bit ProRes, you can combine the PIX240 with the Canon C500, which features 12-bit RGB 4444 3G-SDI output. ProRes 4444 is used as the primary recording method on many major television productions, so giving this option to all PIX240/PIX240i owners is big news.
If you can't record RAW, ProRes 12-bit 4:4:4:4 is the next best thing -- and, depending on the RAW output, can actually be better. The new firmware update is much more significant for the PIX 240 and 240i, which both have 3G-SDI, but the PIX 220 and 220i certainly weren't left out, as noted in the video above. One of the other benefits to the PIX recorders is that they are able to do 3:2 pulldown on the fly, which helps recording the HDMI output of many cameras, as they send out 24p footage wrapped in a 60i stream:
The PIX recorders will run you anywhere from $1,750 to $3,300 depending on the model.
If you own a PIX recorder, head on over to the Sound Devices website to see the rest of the additions and fixes, and download the 3.0 update.