The rise of the high-quality SDI solid-state on-camera recorder will continue at NAB 2011 with the launch of Fast Forward Video‘s new sideKick HD combined recorder/monitor, writes David Fox.
The $2,495/£1,695 sideKick HD includes a 128GB solid-state 2.5-inch (laptop sized) drive. It joins: the recently-introduced AJA Ki-Pro Mini (which uses CF cards and costs about £1,400); the new Atomos Ninja (SSD or HDD, and about £680, but HDMI only, although an SDI version, the Samurai will launch at NAB); the Convergent Design nanoFlash (CF cards, about £2,250); and a new SDI-based CF card recorder from Datavideo also expected at NAB. At least two more recorders are anticipated, but not yet announced.
Like the Ki-Pro Mini and Ninja, the sideKick HD records Apple’s 10-bit ProRes 422 codec (at 145Mbps to 220Mbps), which can be imported straight to the timeline in any non-linear editor running on a Mac (or on Windows with a QuickTime plug in).
Additional codec options are promised in future, in purchased firmware updates.
The sideKick includes a 480×272 pixel resolution 4.3-inch TFT display for live and playback monitoring (including scrub and jog).
It has both HD-SDI and mini HDMI inputs (so can be used with DSLRs and budget camcorders without SDI), and it has automatic recording and frame rate/resolution sensing functions. It can record: 1080p at 29.97, 25 or 23.98, 1080i at 59.94 or 50, and 720p at 59.94, 50, 29.9, /25 or 23.98. It can also record eight channels of embedded audio at 24 bits/48 KHz, and has an analogue mini-jack microphone input.
It measures about 16×10.5×5.3cm, and weighs about 285g without the drive. There is also a USB port, which FFV says is for future use.
The sideKick HD comes with an AC power adapter, has a Mini XLR power connector (9-16v DC), and requires 16-21W of power. It can also be fitted with an Anton/Bauer or V-Lock battery adapter cable or have an optional external battery with charger.
Ninja laid low by bug
Deliveries of the Atomos Ninja have been delayed. It was expected to start shipping in mid-February, but a bug was discovered in the release firmware that had to be put right. However, the latest word from Atomos is that it should finally start deliveries about now….
“We had a very strange bug in the release version that has taken us a few weeks to fix, we are shipping this week, I am testing all now,” explained Atomos CEO, Jeromy Young.