Since the SSD technology already matured a lot and the drives are mostly more stable than Hard Disk, the only question remains on which drive to choose. Actually, the answer is more simple than you might have thought: go for the longest warranty.
The OCZ Vertex 3 is a very cheap and awesome piece of hardware (read the benchmarks here: OCZ Vertex 3 vs. Intel 520 SSD) but the Vertex 3 has one major problem: it features only 3 years of warranty. So what drives are currently offering more than 3 years? The OCZ Vertex 4 and the Intel 520 SSD drives, both the cutting edge of speed and durability offer 5 years of warranty.
Both drives feature a 5 year warranty, which shows us that the drives are really high quality.
Optibay Replica for $14 for a second HDD or SSD in your Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro, including external case for your optical drive
A lot of readers and friends keep asking me about the Optibay and the modding possibilities of their MacBooks and MacBook Pros. Here is a current and up-to-date information on what you can do to tweak your Mac Notebooks to the extent:
First of all, you might want to max your RAM: read our article "Confirmed: 16GB RAM Upgrade for Unibody MacBook Pros" to see how to obtain the cheapest RAM upgrades possible. Second, you might want to consider an SSD replacement for your internal drive. Intel and OCZ are currently the best brands to look out for, you can read our article "OCZ Vertex 3 vs. Intel 520 SSD Benchmarks on OSX (Hackintosh)" for details.
The best way to mod your Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro is the Optibay still: for around $14 you can get the full shebang, including the Optibay (replica) as well as an USB casing for your optical drive, should you need it ever (i don't).
If you don't like the white color, the external drive is also available in black and there is even a slim version (slot-in) in silver. Don't worry about the replicas, they are not really different to the original Optibay - anyway you are mounting them inside your MacBook Pro and you won't see them any time soon.
Also take a look at our previous post "2011 Macbook Pro and SATA III 6Gbps, Optibay: two HD drives – setup explained". There, we recommended saving the few bucks for the external casing and getting a bluray drive instead, a recommendation i can still emphasize.
Atomos presents the Ninja 2 HDMI Field Recorder with Updated Sceen 800×480 and HDMI Out, adds Avid DNxHD
Atomos released the "Ninja 2" HDMI Recorder, following the success of the previous Atomos Ninja - featuring a much larger screen (800x480 pixels at 4.3") and support for Avid DNxHD Codecs. Furthermore the device has HDMI Output now, which means that we can mount a Blackmagic Design HyperDeck Shuttle SSD Field Recorder to it, allowing for simultaneous RAW Video and ProRes/DNxHD 220Mbit recording. (that was a joke, why would you do that?)
The Ninja is really an awesome device. Pricing is also quite moderate, $995 USD | €795 Ex.VAT | £695 Ex.VAT is the cost for a portable DSLR recording monster. Owners of the Version 1 of the Ninja will be presented with an upgrade option soon, according to Atomos.
A recent update to the AtomOS operating system allows native 24P recording, which is supported by the Nikon D800. Nikon owners are very pleased, as outlined on some example videos on Vimeo.
Here are the news in a flash:
- Online or Offline, Master or Back-up: 10-bit 4:2:2, 220Mbps, 2.5” HDD or SSD
- Any HDMI or HD-SDI source: DSLRS, Decks, Switchers, PC, Mac, iPad & iPhone
- Ready to deliver, high-capacity HDD or SSD: No more expensive memory cards!
- 800x480 screen with 170° viewing and loop play: Focus Peaking, Zebra, False Color & Blue Only Exposure
- Pristine Playback & Playout: SmartLog - Just Mark & Tag
Black Magic Design unleashed the Black Magic Design Cinema Camera with 2.5K RAW Video in CinemaDNG (12-Bit), Avid DNxHD (10-bit) and ProRes (10-bit) support. The Camera can record on SSD drives internally and features a touchscreen with 5" and 800 x 480 resolution. But that's not all: it has Thunderbolt connection, so getting that recorded data out fast is not an issue.
The camera has a dynamic range of 13 stops (!) and supports EF (Canon) and ZF (Zeiss) lenses. Only disappointment seems to be audio support: one integrated mono mic, 2x 1/4" jacks for balanced analog audio (why no XLR?).
Oh, and wait - that's not all - for the suggested price of $3000 they also give you DaVinci Resolve, which is said to be "world's most advanced color correction software", as well as BlackMagic Media Express (Capture Software) and Blackmagic UltraScope software for waveform monitoring from the camera’s Thunderbolt port.
If that isn't something!
OCZ just released the OCZ Vertex 4 as a successor to the OCZ Vertex 3. The internals and performance of the Vertex 4 are very different from the Vertex 3: based on the Indilinx Everest 2 Chipset, the OCZ Vertex 4 is a totally different story: I would call this drive the Octane 2, but OCZ went with Vertex 4, to show the future of the Vertex product line.
The drive shows lots of potential, especially in random 4K writes, where it even outperforms Intel's 520 Cherryville SSD. Anandtech notes "OCZ has finally delivered much of what we've wanted in an SSD: low write amplification and very good random/sequential write performance. It could use a more aggressive real-time garbage collection algorithm but running an OS with TRIM, that's mostly picking nits." Is the Indilinx Everest 2 Chipset finally challenging the throne of the dominating Sandforce Chipset? I would definitely say: yes.
The tool to test read/write speeds: AJA System Test is a free download from AJA. The Software is available for Mac and Windows, the Tests performed were on a 10.7.2 Z68 Chipset Hackintosh System (Intel Chipset).
Just as Canon announced the C300 DSLR Video Camera - RED, the company behind the legendary RED EPIC camera, announces the RED SCARLET-X with Canon EF or Arri PL mount: a 4K camera with a price starting below 10.000US$. While the Canon C300 is a 1080p camera that uses 4:2:2 sampling, (50 Mbps MPEG2) and captures a total of 3840x2160 pixels with its Super 35mm image sensor, the RED has other specs: 440Mbps RED REDCODE RAW format at 444 , 12fps at 5K, 25fps at true 4K, 30fps in 3K and 60fps in 2K.
Canon also announced a real 4k Camera to be available somewhere in the next year. So 2012 could become the real year of DSLR Video.
Here is the original press release from RED.COM
RED STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD, Hollywood, Calif., November 3, 2011 – RED Digital Cinema has officially released its third industry-changing camera, the Scarlet-X. With burst modes up to 12 fps at full 5K resolution alongside 4K motion capture from 1-30 fps, the camera allows professional photographers and cinematographers to simultaneously capture motion footage and still content. Never miss a shot. Ever. Scarlet-X’s compact design, endless modularity and advanced feature set provide a future-proof solution catering to every shooter’s needs, leaving one-dimensional DSLRs and 1080p camcorders in its wake. Priced at under $10,000, Scarlet-X advances RED’s vision to democratize superlative cinema and professional photography.
Scarlet-X comes standard with a Canon EF or PL mount, which can be swapped easily using Scarlet-X’s interchangeable lens mount system. Panavision, Anamorphic, and Nikon lenses are also compatible with the camera, providing ultimate freedom when it comes to creative decision-making. The addition of HDRx reaches up to 18 stops of dynamic range, bringing digital images closer than ever to the natural perception of the human eye.
With the innate ability to capture 5K REDCODE RAW stills and true 4K motion footage, Scarlet-X produces visually lossless files that can easily be graded and finished. Combining all of the finest qualities of cinema and photography into one camera, Scarlet-X allows the customer to have the best of both worlds. Compromise nothing. Shoot everything.
“The future is dependent on those who push… not those who react,” said Jim Jannard, founder of RED Digital Cinema.
RED is now taking orders on RED.com for Scarlet-X.
Since delivering their first camera – the RED ONE – in 2007, RED Digital Cinema has jumped ahead of the pack over camera companies that had dominated the market for decades. Feature films shot with RED cameras such as the Academy Award-winning movie “The Social Network” and the more recent “Contagion” have contributed to a lineage of cinematic success. Since the 2011 introduction of DSMC (Digital Still & Motion Camera) technology, photography icons like Bruce Weber, Greg Williams and Inez + Vinoodh have used RED cameras to shoot covers and spreads for the some of the most influential fashion magazines in the world.
Follow the announcement at REDUSER.net/SCARLET.
[Update 20.11.2011] Philip Bloom posted a balanced take on the Scarlet. Worth a read.
Recommended reading on this topic: The Truth About 2K, 4K and The Future of Pixels
RAW Video for DSLR with Magic Lantern and Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle (vs. Atomos Ninja): 5D MKII, 550D, Rebels
[Update] Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle 2 as well as the Atomos Ninja 2 Recorder are already out. We are reviewing them shortly, as we have used both already in production. Both are capable of DNxHD as well as Apple ProRes.
SLR Film making got even more exciting: with the availability of HDMI recorders, RAW Video footage can be recorded to get the maximum out of your Canon 5D MKII or other camera compatible with Magic Lantern. Standard Firmware does not output a "clean" HDMI signal, at least not for Canon cameras; the Panasonic GH2 produces a clean HDMI output, as noted by Philip Bloom (!).
What are currently recommended HDMI field recorders?
1. Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle (RAW Video)
2. Atomos Ninja - Portable HDMI Recorder (ProRes)
Unless you are super-rich and have tons of money to spend for Solid State Drives and a RAID Array, you should get the Atomos Ninja. Besides the actual device, you also get a monitoring solution and have a true portable device, that creates files usable with normal hard drives. Overall cost is much lower and there should not be a really visible difference from ProRes to RAW footage. If you are into Bokeh Porn, you might want to spend your money in the Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle.
Keep in mind, there are currently some issues with HDMI out an Magic Lantern: there is a video on the 5D MKII's 1080i out and also some discussions going on in the Magic Lantern Forums, because some processing needs to be done to get actual usable files. Actual resolutionis 12-19% less (depending how you do it) but still the results are awesome - especially in low light situations. Maybe we will get real clean HDMI out with the Canon EOS 5D MKIII.
We recently blogged, after purchasing two OCZ Vertex SATA3 Drives (240GB) and inserting them with an Optibay setting (2 Drives in one MacBook Pro; see our previous post: 2011 Macbook Pro and SATA III 6Gbps, Optibay: two HD drives – setup explained).
Since we still were experiencing freezes and Sandballs on our Mac OSX Lion 10.7 SSD Setup that were actually not related to TRIM, also the system did not feel as snappy anymore.
Conclusion: don't use TRIM on OSX Lion 10.7, if you are using a Sandforce based SSD. Revert to the original driver and not only the Beachballs will go away, but also the system feels snappy again. See the below Benchmarks for real-life results (since AJA System Test does not work on internal drives, we can recommend using XBENCH to verify the figures for you).
XBENCH Screenshot with TRIM Enabled (using TRIM Enabler for OSX 10.7 Lion)
Screenshot of XBENCH without TRIM Enabler (Restored to original setting)
UPDATE: Grant Pannell (digitaldj.net) reports on how to restore to the original settings.
Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID system for high-speed data demands: 6x3TB for a total of 18TB (mod)
[Edit 23.12.2011] CAUTION! People trying the below mentioned modification of the Promise Thunderbolt reported issues and data loss. Please consult the Promise Support if you are planning to do modifications or already did!
[UPDATE] with the announced Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 4000GB(4TB), 5K4000 as well as the 4TB Seagate Barracuda XT a total of 24TB could be reached when modding the Promise Pegasus just replacing the 2TB drives it comes with. 5TB HDDs are reported arriving in January 2012. Read our updated Article: Caution with Promise Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID 6x3TB (18TB) or 6x4TB (24TB) modification. 6x5TB (30TB) possible as of January 2012?
The Promise Pegasus is the most "promising" hardware for enthusiasts and pro users, since it offers really fast transfer speeds, even topping the OCZ Vertex 3 SATA 6Gbps internal SSD on Macbook Pro computers.
Delivering over 800MB/s of disk performance, Pegasus is compatible with Mac systems with Thunderbolt
Compare the Promise Pegasus R4 (4x 2TB) and the Promise Pegasus R6 (8x 2TB). Of course, if you want to pimp your pegasus, you can replace the internal drives with different ones.
Internally Promise uses a PMC Sierra PM8011 8-port SAS-2 RAID controller. This is an 8-lane PCIe Gen 2 controller with eight SAS/SATA 6Gbps ports. On the R6 obviously only six of those ports are functional. The PM8011 has an embedded 600MHz MIPS processor and is paired with 512MB of DDR2-533. (via Anandtech)
Possible replacements and hacks for the Promise Pegasus:
* replace the internal hard drives with SSD drives: at the current date this still has stability issues. We are waiting for updated drivers or a response from Pegasus about the current freezes and issues with SSD drives. If you really have to test it out, make sure you get 6Gbps SSD drives. 2.5inch drives will also fit in the caddy.
* replacing the internal drives with 3TB drives: this is a confirmed and stable way of pimping your pegasus drives. Pegasus comes with 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 drives, so make sure you are getting 3TB drives from the same brand. We can recommend the Hitachi 3TB 7200RPM drive, but also we can confirm the Pegasus runs with the Western Digital 3 TB SATA II Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive and the SEAGATE Barracuda XT 3 TB SATA 6.0 Gb-s 64 MB Cache. Just keep in mind, not to mix up brands: you should get 6 times the same hard disk for the most stable system.
* replacing the internal drives with SAS 6Gbps Hard Disks: while this would render the promise pegasus a real pro system that is rock stable, drives should be used, that offer a compatible SAS-connector. Since SAS-drives are generally compatible to SATA-connectors, we can generally recommend the Seagate Constellation ES.2 3 TB Internal Hard Drive SAS 600 7200rpm 64MB
Conclusio: The Promise Pegasus is a fast solution for great read/write speed plus the extra feature of having the possibility to daisy-chain more Pegasus devices together, to increase the space when needed. Compared to the Data Robotics DROBO PRO System, it only offers 1-drive fail (1 drive can get corrupted, if 2 fail your data is lost) while the DROBO offers dual drive redundancy. Also, the DROBO PRO supports different sized drives, while you can only put drives of the same size (and it is recommended to also only use the exact same drive models) in the Promise Pegasus.
Overall, nanofunk is recommending the Pegasus R4 and R6, because of its faster speed and possibilty to enhance the system. Since we had our DROBO PRO replaced twice (the unit itself was faulty) we are currently fully in favor of the Promise Pegasus.