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.
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.