March 07, 2012

Atomos makes the Connection

The recorder manufacturer, Atomos, is getting ready to ship its new HDMI to HD-SDI and HD-SDI to HDMI Connect converters, and has revealed plans to extend the range with other units, such as one to add XLR audio inputs to its recorders.

The converters, claimed to be the world’s smallest, each cost about £200, and can add HDMI inputs to the Samurai recorder or HD-SDI to the Ninja. Each will be able to fit in a mainstream Sony camcorder battery mount, and has a one-hour battery built in for stand-alone work. This also gives it continuous power when swapping the Sony NP battery that can power it for many more hours (12 on a small battery), and it can pass that power through to the recorder, light fitting, monitor or camcorder it is fitted to (meaning all of them can also be continuously powered). The 3G-ready convertors include Pulldown removal where necessary (60i to 24p and 30p; 50i to 25p), and an inbuilt test pattern and audio tone generation.

Atomos is now developing a range of Connect products “that add functionality to the recorders, but that only 10% to 20% of users need, such as XLR audio inputs,” said its CEO Jeromy Young (pictured with the Connect HDMI to HD-SDI converter).

Since Atomos shipped the Samurai in November, it has “outperformed my forecasts by about 8,000%,” and the company is only now beginning to match production to demand. By BVE it had released 11 free updates to the firmware for the Samurai, with another almost ready to ship. Future updates include off-speed recording (over- or under-cranked), while focus peaking, zebra stripes and false colour should be added by NAB.

“We’re pumping our money into development,” hiring extra engineers, he added.

One of its longer-term goals is an affordable 4:4:4 recorder. “The difference between even 8-bit 4:4:4 and 10-bit 4:2:2 is incredible. You can see the extra colour. But, the infrastructure isn’t there yet – as it isn’t for 50/60p,” said Young.

By David Fox

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