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)

Black Magic Design Hyperdeck Shuttle

* Product information page/ manufacturer: Black Magic Design
* Discussion on the Magic Lantern User Group: hyperdeck shuttle

Pro:

  • Very Cheap: ($339.99 in the USA, 299€ in Europe
  • Records UNCOMPRESSED (!) RAW Footage from HDMI Out.
  • Cons:

  • Expensive in usage: 15 minutes uncompressed (1.6 GB/s) = 180GB
  • SSD drives NOT included, so you might need to calculate in some OCZ Vertex 3 SSDs in your budget
  • No Video Monitoring on the device itself. You might need to buy an external monitor, such as the Liliput external HDMI monitor (starting at $169 in the USA and 186€ in Europe)



    2. Atomos Ninja – Portable HDMI Recorder (ProRes)
    Atomos Ninja HDMI Recorder for almost RAW Video (Apple ProRes)

    Pro:

  • Smaller files, since it is no real RAW footage but Apple ProRes: 6 hours ProRes 422 (HQ) (220 MB/s) (16.5 Hours with 750GB Disks)

  • Monitoring included! 4.3” diagonal, 480×270 resolution
  • Cheap usage, since Hard Drives can be used! (though, the initial price is higher:
  • Less storage space needed
  • Supports two Hard Drives or SSD-Disks.
  • Firewire 800, USB-2 and USB-3
  • Continous Battery: two power cells to guarantee uninterrupted usage

    Cons:

  • Apple ProRes and no real RAW footage (this can be a good thing, as you are saving tons of money and storage space)
  • No ProRes for Windows users yet; Apple users might need to get Final Cut, since Apple ProRes is included in FCP Studio


  • Conclusion:
    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.

    2 thoughts on “RAW Video for DSLR with Magic Lantern and Black Magic Hyperdeck Shuttle (vs. Atomos Ninja): 5D MKII, 550D, Rebels

    1. The BM Hyperdech Shuttle (pro 2) can record Avid DNxHD to save space.

      BUT

      it does not do any pulldown or flag in PsF recording. This has been corrected on Atomos hardware.
      That means, any PsF recoding (most of the HDMI cameras do this) will be recorded as interlaced, leading to unusable footages until you convert them…

      I wouldn’t recommend anyone to buy the Shuttle.

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