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Interview: Jeremy Young, Atomos

Shawn Lam and Atomos' Jeremy Young discuss the Samurai Blade, Atomos' new field recorder that features an improved 16:9 preview screen, waveform functionality, and enhanced Canon 5D Mark III support.

Price and Availability

Shawn: You never want to lose your files. Excellent. What about price and availability for the Samurai Blade?

Jeremy: $1,295, and it will be available end of May or beginning of June.

Legacy Support for Samurai Users

Shawn: What about Samurai owners? Are they still going to be supported?

Jeremy: Of course. We're not getting rid of the original Samurai, because we see that as a real workhorse SDI product. We've sold a lot of units for specific purposes like recording switcher feeds, of course on top of cameras, like the Sony FS700 camera you're using. The FS700 has had a lot of Samurai users. You can take the slow-motion in in 25p or 30p.

So we're not letting them fall by the wayside, and we will continue to update the operating system with audio-level meters, things like this that customers are asking for. So they're all in the pipe. And as you know, we do updates very often and improve functionality. Samurai goes to $995, so it's $300 cheaper. It's dropped $600, and the reason for the price drop is that our volume's gone up enough that our buying power has increased, and we can pass that on to the customer.

Audio Level Meters

Shawn: So now you mentioned audio level meters. I was always challenged having the small ones, and so now there's going to be improvement.

Jeremy: Well, they were never supposed to remain that size, but then we had other features we wanted to put in. Once Blade is out and AtomOS 5 is finished, which will be when Blade is shipped, then we want to clean up a few of the extra features, and some of the features in Blade will go into AtomOS 4. Waveform won't. We just don't have enough grunt inside. But we might do some user interface adjustments. They'll get the audio-level meters. They'll probably get the improved peaking that we've put into the Blade. So AtomOS 4 will continue to develop, and really it's only because we can't push that hardware anymore. Things move on and we get more grunt for a similar cost.

Canon 5D Mark III Support

Jeremy: I really just wanted to highlight the 5D Mark III with clean uncompressed out straight to a Ninja 2. And one of the big announcements we have at the show is Ninja 2 has been reduced in price by $300 down to $695, so it's becoming much more affordable for all customers out there. I have a clean uncompressed out coming from the 5D Mark III. Now, that's a beautiful image from their great sensor. There's a lot of people who love this camera, and Canon has really come to the fore. We worked very closely with them on development of the start-stop trigger from the camera to our recorder and timecode, so that was really a nice experience working with the Canon development team.

They asked us how we would like it implemented, and here's how it works: So I've got my timecode coming in here from the camera, and if I hit "start" now I'm recording. So you can see the red bars here, and you can see the red dot down here. Now, I'm recording 1080p 24 on both, so this is an MPEG recording and this is a ProRes recording up here. So that's what customers have been wanting.

That's what they've been asking for. We sync them up with timecode and exactly the same start-stop point, so we think that's probably one of the best solutions on the market for the DSLR ranges. There's also the D800, and Nikon are coming very strong with $400 versions of the 3200, 5200, 7100. These are $400, $800, $1,000 cameras that all have clean uncompressed out to us. So they're really going hard for that lower-end market. Sony has their Alpha 99, which is an amazing camera. You can see they put a lot of their video knowledge in there. I see this FS700. That's the same group making that camera.

So I see this marketplace as the future of affordable, high-quality, independent productions. And go and check it out, $695. Pretty much every reseller around the country has these in stock, and you can go and see. Canon is releasing this firmware. They have indicated, not confirmed, that it's going to be in April, and we expect that to be at the end of this month. But you can see this is working. We haven't had any problems with it. We've been testing it for about a month now, so we expect this to be the final release version.

Shawn: All right. Well, thank you very much, Jeremy. This has been a look at the Samurai Blade and the updates to the AtomOS. Thank you very much.

 

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