This is why you want an external recorder!

As you may know I’m preparing a review of the Atamos Samurai as well as the Convergent Design Gemini. Both excellent devices, but suited to different applications. If your wondering why you need an external recorder, below are a couple of crops from some footage that I shot today on the F3. High compression codecs can struggle when there is a lot of motion in the frame. What you see in the pictures below is some leaves on a tree blowing in the wind, one frame from the F3’s internal recordings and the other from the ProRes HQ from the Samurai. The clips were graded, as it was shot using S-Log, but this is a quite realistic scenario and with TV’s getting bigger and bigger, this kind of thing is getting much more noticeable.

leaves-crop-f3 This is why you want an external recorder!
F3 35Mbps Internal Recording
leaves-crop-sam This is why you want an external recorder!
Samurai ProRes HQ

7 thoughts on “This is why you want an external recorder!”

  1. Hey Alister, does an external recorder help with the slight blurriness that occurs when doing a slow pan (limit of the xdcam codec?)

    1. Blurriness during pans is more often caused by factors other than the codec. If you shooting 24/25P without the shutter the image will blur when you pan. If you have detail correction switched on the image will blur when you pan (I wrote about this here: http://www.xdcam-user.com/2010/12/why-do-my-pictures-go-soft-when-i-pan-camera-detail-correction-in-depth/ ). SO before blaming the codec, do consider these other factors. It could also be your monitor, especially if you using a PC monitor which may be having to interpolate to get from the cameras frame rate to the display frame rate.

      In extreme cases the codec can introduce a small amount of softening, but generally it is one of the other factors.

  2. Just to help with the comparison, is it possible to show the whole frame, or note how much of a crop that is? Thanks. And thanks for your blog.

  3. Wow, that is pretty conclusive!

    Obviously the Samurai imagery would be a darn sight easier to compress (the fate of all our footage), and with less damage – which is probably why European broadcasters demand it. Any thoughts about the SD Pix devices?

    1. The PiX recorders from my limited experience with them look to be very good. Solidly built and an easy to use menu system. They are a bit on the bulky side though.

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