June 8, 2014

Atomos is Now Making Cheap CFast Cards for Their Ninja Star ProRes Recorder

We talked with Atomos back at NAB about their new Shogun, Ninja Star, and Ninja Blade/Samurai Blade recorders, and now they've got a few more surprises related to these products up their sleeves. The $300 monitor-less Ninja Star compares favorably to the Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle, except the Ninja has a CFast card slot to keep the size down. The biggest issue with this is that CFast is a very expensive format at the moment, and so Atomos have built their own CFast cards that are just fast enough to record ProRes HQ.

Here is Nate Weber talking with Jeremy Young at Cine Gear 2014 (via Newsshooter):

Something obviously needed to be done to make the Ninja Star a viable option, because the current CFast 2.0 cards on the market are very expensive. For example, the Sandisk 64GB and 128GB CFast 2.o cards retail for $650 and $1,200, respectively, which is double and quadruple the cost of the actual recorder itself. Since these are only CFast 1.0 cards, it's unclear if they could be used to record 4K ProRes on the Blackmagic URSA, which has two CFast 2.0 slots. 4K RAW is likely out of the question as the data rate is probably too high, but 4K (3840 x 2160) ProRes at 23.98 comes in right around the write limit of these cards. Obviously some testing would have to be done, but I think at the very least these could be a good option for recording 1080p ProRes HQ on the URSA.

The other big thing they are introducing is coiled Micro HDMI to Micro HDMI cables, which is helpful if you don't want to deal with adapters. This will work well for something like the GoPro and also if you wanted to shoot RAW on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera but record ProRes proxies at the same time. Here is the Ninja Star with the GoPro on the DJI Phantom, which is where these cables would come in handy:

The Atomos CFast 64GB is coming in at $160, and the 128GB card is retailing for $240. The bundle with the card reader will be $300, and the Micro to Micro HDMI should cost around $20 to $30.

Links:

[via Newsshooter]

Your Comment

36 Comments

Are they working on a similar 4K recorder?
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FWIW, when the Blade came out, they denied ever hearing about a 4K unit or even knowing what 4K was.
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Then, a couple of months later, Shogun popped up seemingly out of nowhere. The rumors, of course, correctly predicted its unveiling at the NAB'14.

June 8, 2014 at 3:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

I would love a 4k recorder which is like the Ninja Star. The shotgun is too expensive for me and I don't need the monitor either.

June 8, 2014 at 4:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gareth

You may not need a monitor but any professional shooting with GH4 or Cinema camera or basically any camera for that matter needs usually 3 things.

The first thing a professional usually needs is a EVF for proper focus pulling, the onboard lcd screens just do not cut it for professionals and a decent 3rd party evf is about $1600, to $2000.

2nd , the second thing or option that a professional needs is an external field monitor to pull foucus, most decent monitors that display true blacks and true colors start at around $900 - $1,300 on the low end.

3rd the third thing that a professional will use is an external recorder for GH4 OR A7s, currently the cheapest options are only the SHOGUN at $2k and the convergent screnn at $2,100 that currently has not even annouced plans to be a recorder for GH4 or A7S, however philip bloom did state that convergent designs said you would need panasonic YAH interface at least for their recorders so add another $1,300 on top of their monitor.

So to put things in perspective, a professional usually needs a EVF and/or FIELD external monitor to pull focus, and external storage. Adding to that we all know that external storage can get very steep in price quickly.

The shogun is very very good monitor aswell as an external recorder that uses cheap reliable spinning discs. Convergent design requires you to use proprietary media like Red cameras.

The SHOGUN is a win win no matter how you look at it and lastly the Shogun is not bound for just one camera, it is a universal external monitor/external recorder

June 8, 2014 at 7:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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JAYEE

Nobody said the Shogun is useless or over the top. You make extremely valid points, and if the situation and finances allow, then there is no doubt to it's usefulness. However, a 4K sub $500 recorder similar to the Ninja Star would open the door to loss less acquisition to anyone who cannot justify spending $2k, or needs to be indiscreet. Besides the GH4 and Sony A7S, I believe there is also a niche for such a device for the Sony AX100, a very good camcorder hobbled by very low 4K bitrates; 60Mbps. I would certainly be tempted by a small 4K camcorder which could record to ProRes and costs less then $2,5k.

June 9, 2014 at 2:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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JAYOO

The soon-to-be-released Panasonic GX8 is rumored to have 4K as well. I assume, it'll be compressed down to about 60 Mbps, as is the norm for the consumer units of the moment. On the other hand, a 1" sensor, its compact size and price point (~$800) will make it very tempting for a lot of folks. Add a decent lens and you may have something.

June 9, 2014 at 3:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

@Jayee some people have EVF's and field monitors already. Not everyone is starting from nothing like your comment suggests. So no, everyone doesn't always need what you feel they do. I def do not need a recorder AND monitor in one unit. It just drives the price up for me. Of course some people do, but a 4k recorder without monitor is a great idea.

June 27, 2014 at 3:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Eric

Yeah, I would love a 4K version of this.

June 8, 2014 at 5:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Coty

How is this going to be dependable using micro HDMI without any locking device. Come on Atomos loose connectors with any movement kills this devices dependability.

June 8, 2014 at 6:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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SAraG

One thing I appreciate about Atomos is they have certainty in the company. There's no, "...if... around.... uh...... um......" about their products or reps.

June 8, 2014 at 6:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Just repeat what I heard on the video at 1:52: (2) 64gb cards with a card reader for $300. Not too shabby.

June 8, 2014 at 6:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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earnestreply

This is such a ridiculous solution for recording media. Instead of CFast for 1080p hq recordings, use SD!!! The cards are more than fast enough and they cheaper.

June 8, 2014 at 8:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Completely agree!

June 9, 2014 at 6:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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calmic

If you look up comparison videos you'll see that the quality of Atomos memory is better than the internal memory of most cameras. The image looks better with the Atomos than internal memory cards. I used to think Atomos external memory was a ridiculous product too. But after seeing the quality difference I did change my mind. There's more to Atomos stuff than it appears at first.

June 9, 2014 at 11:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

SD is much cheaper and they make adapters sold on ebay for $15. I wonder if this would work with the Ninja Star?

June 18, 2014 at 1:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Steve

The important question now is whether or not URSA can utilize 1.0 cards.

June 8, 2014 at 9:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nigel

URSA needs the 2.0 cards, data rate is to high for 1.0

June 8, 2014 at 11:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Sky

URSA definitely needs it for 4K RAW, 4K ProRes at 23.98 is iffy, right up near the limit. It's probably not possible, but it would need some testing. As far as the HD resolutions, they are no different on URSA as they are on the Star, so if you're shooting HD on URSA these should theoretically work fine.

June 9, 2014 at 12:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

So all in you're paying 600 dollars for 128 gigs of storage and recorder? This is really a specialty item not a budget item. You might as well get Ninja 2 and have 500gb of storage

June 8, 2014 at 11:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I don't see how you figure that when the ninja 2 is $100 more expensive and that's without any storage?

June 8, 2014 at 11:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Sky

But HDD drives are cheaper than CFast cards plus you dont need readers etc to access your media.

September 14, 2014 at 5:43AM

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Kayode
894

Would these cards work on the 5D III and if so would they they allow higher frame rates and resolutions with ML RAW??

June 9, 2014 at 12:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nick

CFast is different than Compact Flash, so unfortunately they would not be compatible.

June 9, 2014 at 12:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

Don't panic nick. Soon, the cfast cards will bring the cf prices down for good.

June 9, 2014 at 9:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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edgar

I wish they make a 90 DEGREE mini sdi to sdi for their samurai

June 9, 2014 at 2:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Would this bypass a Canon 5D's 12 minute per clip recording limit? Say for continous shooting? Also, how many hours would a 64GB CFast card allow you? Thanks to all.

June 9, 2014 at 4:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DSLR User

CFast and Compact Flash are different formats, so it would not work.

June 9, 2014 at 4:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

This recorder cannot be connected via HDMI to a 5D for external recording? i'm sorry but I think I am missing something here.

June 12, 2014 at 2:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DSLR User

Anyone have a rough estimation of how many minutes of ProRes you can fit on a 64 GB card at these data rates?

June 9, 2014 at 6:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ty

I think just under an hour of ProRes 422 (HQ).

June 9, 2014 at 6:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pat

1 hr of ProRes HQ @220 Mbps is ~ 78 GB.

June 9, 2014 at 10:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

I was curious too...

if ProRes 422 HQ is 220 Mbps... 64 GB would fit 38.79 minutes

June 9, 2014 at 11:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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SanDisk announced new SSD's, their Extreme Pro line - 520 MB/s write/550 MB's read speeds. MSRP's, 240 GB $189, 480 GB - $369, 960 GB $369 (or as low as .39/GB)

http://phys.org/news/2014-06-sandisk-extreme-pro-ssd-highest.html

June 10, 2014 at 7:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

I am genuinely grateful to the owner of this web page
who has shared this fantastic post at at this place.

June 11, 2014 at 10:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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can any1 tell
5d2 will work with ninja star ?
is it 10 bit 4;2;2?

June 13, 2014 at 9:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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kashif

if the card only says 80mbps how is the card able to record hq422 220mbp? i dont get it

June 21, 2014 at 6:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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angelo

You're getting MB and Mb mixed up.

July 2, 2014 at 3:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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