The Blackmagic Design UltraStudio Mini Recorder Capture Device is a very interesting and a highly useful device that Blackmagic has put out there. It is the "capture" aspect of any Blackmagic capture and playback device (and of any capture and playback device in general).
Where a capture and playback device, such as the UltraStudio 3D or the Intensity Extreme, captures video from a camera, transfers it to a computer, and additionally lets you output the video to a display other than that of your computer's, UltraStudio Mini Recorder only performs the first of these functions.
The point of capturing, as opposed to just unloading the camera's memory card into a computer, is to transfer the highest quality footage possible. A capture and playback device does such in two ways: one -- by capturing a live feed from a camera, as the camera is doing the filming, in which case footage is captured directly from the camera's sensor, bypassing any compression of the footage and transferring pure, uncompressed footage; or two -- by capturing from a camera's playing back of the footage it already recorded (stored). In the second option, the footage got compressed upon the camera's recording it, since a memory card has nowhere near the storage space necessary to store without compressing. In the camera's playing the footage back, to be viewed, for example, on its own LCD screen, the footage gets uncompressed -- the 1s and 0s that got packed together in the compression get let out of their cage so that they can form images, with only some 1s and 0s having been permanently lost when the compression happened, but with the loss of those 1s and 0s being hardly noticeable since compression algorithms are so exotic that they achieve a "lossless" compression. So, the footage that got uncompressed in playback gets captured by the capture and playback device and transferred to a computer in uncompressed form. In either of the above scenarios, upon the footage's being delivered to a computer, the application that you accept the footage into will let you select the codec to compress the footage into again, and then you can edit the footage and hopefully keep it in that same codec for the length of its stay in your editing system. The Mini Recorder performs exactly as just described. The alternative, unloading from your camera's memory card, experiences more loss in quality than can be achieved by capturing.
Included as a free download with your purchase is Blackmagic's Media Express software, which you're free to use to accept and encode incoming footage. Mini Recorder connects to your camera by HDMI or SDI and outputs to your computer by Thunderbolt (so you need a Thunderbolt-equipped computer, such as any recent Mac).
So, if you want to capture the best quality footage possible, and you don't need the other characteristics of a capture and playback device, then UltraStudio Mini Recorder is all you need and it comes at a small portion of the cost of an average capture and playback device (also known as an I/O device).
(If you'll need the "playback" aspect instead, please check out the UltraStudio Mini Monitor).
|SDI Video Input||1x 10-bit SD/HD switchable|
|HDMI Video Input||1x HDMI type A connector|
|SDI Audio Input||8 channels embedded in SD and HD|
|HDMI Audio Input||8 channels embedded in SD and HD|
|SD Format Support||625/25 PAL, 525/29.97 NTSC and 525/23.98 NTSC|
|HD Format Support||720p50, 720p59.94, 720p60, 1080PsF23.98, 1080p23.98, 1080PsF24, 1080p24, 1080PsF25, 1080p25, 1080PsF29.97, 1080p29.97, 1080PsF30, 1080p30, 1080i50, 1080i59.94 and 1080i60|
|SDI Compliance||SMPTE 259M and SMPTE 292M|
|SDI Metadata Support||VITC read for 3:2 pulldown removal
VANC capture and playback using up to 3 lines of video in file
Television standard sample rate of 48 kHz at 24 bit
|Color Space||REC 601, REC 709|
|HDMI Configuration||HDMI automatically configures to connected display|
|HDMI Resolution||Pixel for pixel HD resolution input to connected device|
|HDMI Color Precision||10-bit|
|Multiple Rate Support||SDI and HDMI are switchable between standard definition and high definition|
|Copy Protection||HDMI input is unable to capture from copy protected HDMI sources
Always confirm copyright ownership before capture or distribution of content
|Colorspace Conversion||Hardware based real time|
|HD Down Conversion||Software based down conversion during video playback|
|Real Time Effects||Apple Final Cut Pro internal effects
Adobe Premiere Pro Mercury Playback Engine effects
Avid Media Composer 6 internal effects
|Internal Software Upgrade||Firmware built into software driver. Loaded at system start or via updater software.|
|Physical Installation||Requires computer with a Thunderbolt port|
|System Compatibility||Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later, and Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or later
(If you encounter incompatibility issues with updated versions of OS X, please download the newest driver for the recorder from http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support.)
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