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James Baldanza SOC

Blackmagic HyperDeck Shuttle

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I had a chance to play with it, and ask a few questions. It records uncompressed files in a quicktime wrapper (not pro res). He explained that this enables use on more NLE systems than just final cut. It has an internal rechargeable battery that lasts an hour and a 12v input on the back.

 

It uses SSD drives that the user will buy from somewhere else. I asked the cost and space requirements to which be told me a 500gb drive costs about $1,000 on amazon and would hold 50 minutes of uncompressed video.

 

One thing that I didn't like is that there are no mounting points anywhere on it. It's completely smooth all the way around. I asked him if there was any way of attaching the device to rods, and he told me that they expect 3rd parties to create a sleeve or clamp to use with it.

 

It also doesn't come with any accessories like a dock to off-load SSDs to a pc.

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Just looking at the enclosure and the drives they're advertising, I think it would be worth seeing if other types of hard drives work. The connections are SATA connections, so any 2.5" SATA hard drive will work. 500gb SATA 2.5" drive on Newegg for $60-70.

 

SSD is the drive du jour, and for on-camera solutions, solid state is perfect. However, for us, traditional platter hard drives should work.

 

As for offloading the footage, look on Newegg or Frys for a toaster dock with USB, FireWire or eSATA connections. They're <$50.

 

For mounting, good old Velcro would probably work. Cool device!

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I think the issue with using standard hard drives would be a speed one - this thing is recording truly uncompressed 1080 video, which is a huge throughput of data. Most hard drives, at least in laptop form, cannot sustain this on their own. Apart from that, and also the lack of any kind of analog input, it looks like a pretty cool device. Might make something like the new Sony F3 a more viable solution for high-end productions - a very interesting idea for us ops, as it means that everything can come down weight-wise.

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I wish I had seen the blackmagic box. I was looking quite closely at the Sound Devices PIX-240 as a possible on-board recorder. The monitor might double as a nice decent program monitor as well (bonus). But HDMI and SDI only (no analog) might be an issue.

 

post-1-0-34448400-1302493417.jpg

 

PIX_240-300x200.png

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Thanks!

 

I have a lot of compact flash cards, I was going to see if a 2.5 SATA to Compact Flash adapter would work.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036DDXUW/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B001870W98&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1AXQK51DM1X6P3RQ3JVW

 

For the $ I might just order it but I also saw this the other day:

Atomos The Samurai $1495

http://www.atomos.com/samurai/

It will not be available until the summer.

 

-James

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I think the issue with using standard hard drives would be a speed one - this thing is recording truly uncompressed 1080 video, which is a huge throughput of data. Most hard drives, at least in laptop form, cannot sustain this on their own. Apart from that, and also the lack of any kind of analog input, it looks like a pretty cool device. Might make something like the new Sony F3 a more viable solution for high-end productions - a very interesting idea for us ops, as it means that everything can come down weight-wise.

 

Yea, I forgot to pay attention to the uncompressed HD part as far as bandwidth :blink:

 

Most laptop hard drives max out at write speeds of ~100MB/s, whereas writing uncompressed 1080x24p 4:2:2 10-bit video weighs in closer at 150MB/s.

 

Keep in mind, as of right now, I'm seeing SSD drives of 512GB in 2.5" form costing around $1140 ( here's one option ).

 

So, if you're thinking of buying this, remember you'll also need the storage to make it go boom. With the current cost of SSD drives, $345 for the unit plus $1140 for 512GB SSD drive = $1485.

 

Oh, and as far as I can tell right now, 512GB SSD uncompressed 1080x24p 4:2:2 10-bit video = 64 minutes recording time.

 

Like Tom said, I think this might be a great solution for people trying to get better images out of the Sony F3 or similar situations.

 

For roughly the same cost, The Samurai gives you the same recording capabilities, but recording to Apple ProRes (and I edit on FCP anyway). It also accepts 2.5" laptop hard drives (non-SSD), and they can support the write speed.

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I believe the Sound Designs was $1700 with HDMI or $2499 with HDMI/SDI. Not terrible. It did seem like a robust build with an actual locking Hirose connector and all. They were showing some sort of HDD attachment as well, but I was in too big a hurry to check too closely.

 

If you edit FCP, the AJA KiPro-Mini is my other option at $1500. It has SDI and HDMI, records ProRes to CF Cards, but has no monitor. I like that the KiPro and PIX both have nice mounting options, not sure on the Atomos.

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With cameras like the Alexa, F3 etc. the need for a HD on board recorder is in the past. Takes can be instantly played back via the camera on your Steadicam monitor. With the Alexa you can jog through the take using the scroll wheel on the side of the camera. That's very useful for finding reflections and boom shadows. Epic users, not yet, but someday.

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With cameras like the Alexa, F3 etc. the need for a HD on board recorder is in the past. Takes can be instantly played back via the camera on your Steadicam monitor. With the Alexa you can jog through the take using the scroll wheel on the side of the camera. That's very useful for finding reflections and boom shadows. Epic users, not yet, but someday.

 

I like to review my shots after I have left set.

 

-James

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To continue a discussion from this thread

 

Thomas, as James said the specs he links to show that it is HD/SD switchable, but only for SDI, there is no analog input (as Tom says in this thread).

 

It's interesting that they claim SSD's are cheap, but I can't think of a more expensive recording solution based on the prices I'm seeing. SSDs are fantastic, no argument here, I just don't see how they're calling it inexpensive.

 

According to the specs, at 1080 650gb will get you about an hour and at 720 230gb will get you about an hour. They have yet to answer questions about speed requirements of the drives.

 

Will, I would be concerned about using a spinning drive on the rig, too much opportunity for failure, and a shock mount would need to be devised.

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In regards to my concerns about the stability of a spinning drive, I checked out the samurai's web page. And while they specifically warn about the same thing, they also list some drives they tested and recommend (with no guarantee of course) which is pretty cool of them.

 

They also only have SDI input, no analog.

 

What is it about the Samurai that allows it to be used with HDD that the Hyperdeck cannot?

 

Ultimately I think I'd be fine with the Hyperdeckc over the Samurai. I can delete takes i know I don't want and I can download footage at lunch. Only in extreme situations would I be concerned about having a lot of record time. For review purposes only, the Hyperdeck is way cheaper, though there is something to be said for not having to erase every take after shooting it. For reel purposes it can still be under $1000 with 2 drives so long as you know what you want for your reel and delete what you don't.

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A shock mount I can understand for on camera applications (jittery handheld, etc), but laptop hard drives have functioned during movement or acceleration for years. If it's on a Steadicam, the smooth movements should be sufficient to dampen any need for shock mounts.

 

I mean, a shock mount solution could be devised if people are that worried, but I don't see it as necessary. They recommend a shock mount probably to be safe, knowing people will try anything mounted to camera or off camera but in danger.

 

The Samurai uses regular HDD's because it records using Apple ProRes instead of uncompressed, so it needs less hard drive speed to record. Without looking it up to verify, uncompressed requires 1.6Gb/s whereas ProRes can record around 220Mb/s I think.

 

Personally, I'd go with the Samurai because the cost of the unit may be more, but then I could buy several 500gb laptop hard drives to swap in. If a hard drive fails, I can replace it for <$75. Whereas currently with SSD prices, that's a lot more money.

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With cameras like the Alexa, F3 etc. the need for a HD on board recorder is in the past.

 

I always prefer to do my own playback. With the Alexa you are quite limited in material you have on-board (2x13 min), so it's cumbersome to preview an earlier take. Also if you just want to make a stealth personal playback to the steadicam screen only, the extra on-board recorder is a must have. I would prefer a small unit with hd.sdi, recording 20mbit h264 to a portable usb flash stick....

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The Sound Devices one looks like the best out of the lot, but it is literally 10 times the price of the black magic, which for a playback device and for recording back up showreel material is quite a chunk of money, money I would rather drop on other more important kit if need be.

I'd sooner buy the black magic and experiment with some relatively low cost normal disc platter based hard drives than drop serious cash on SSD drives, as I think the amount of shock it is going to endure on a steadicam would be minimal for instance compared to say being in a laptop that gets thrown around in a bag all day long, and see 2-3 year average lifespans on those hard drives in laptops that get pretty well abused.

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