Enter the Ninja – ProRes hard-drive recorder28 September 2010
A start-up Hong Kong/Australian company, Atomos, has launched a new hard drive based ProRes recorder that undercuts its rivals from AJA Video Systems and Convergent Design and also acts as a monitor.
The Ninja will cost €795, £695 or $995, including two hot-swappable hard drive caddies (you have to supply your own 2.5-inch 9.5mm-high laptop-sized hard drives – disk or solid state). A pack of five caddies for installing extra drives will cost about €25.
It has a dual battery system, using common Sony DV batteries (it comes with two MP570s offering 4.5hours of power). These are hot swappable, so when one depletes, it will switch to the second, and the first can be replaced.
It records 10-bit ProRes HQ at 220Mbps, 422 at 150Mbps or LT at 100Mbps in hardware, and Apple has checked that it is "bit-for-bit accurate" (and gave its approval) said Atomos CEO, Jeromy Young (pictured), which means that you can bypass the camera compression (on those cameras that have non-compressed HDMI outputs).
"We were trying to solve three problems: storage capacity, quality of recording and battery life," he said.
Users can edit off the hard drive, using a docking station that is included with the Ninja – it has FireWire 800, USB 2.0 and 3.0 and eSata connections. The recorder also comes with a carrying case.
It has LANC input/output for control plus a 4.3-inch touch screen. For audio, it has a mini-jack stereo input, or can record up to six channels of digital audio via HDMI (if the camera supports it), and a headphone jack. It has 1/4-inch mounts top and bottom.
It should be available early December, and further models are planned, including one with HD-SDI input.