Gemini 444

Gemini 444

To quote our always eloquent Vice President, "this is a big fucking deal !"

Convergent Design's Gemini 444 Recorder - MSRP $5995


I'm going to indulge in a little speculation - Gemini 444 hasn't hit market and is totally untested so please take with a grain of salt. 

With a relatively low cost Uncompressed Solid State Recorder such as this and the potential for 10GB/sec data transfer with Thunderbolt, the era of uncompressed capture, playback, and realtime editing seems to be approaching fast. Uncompressed HD is fantastic stuff and until recently has been pretty much the exclusive domain of very expensive decks such as the OB-1 and Codex. The Cinedeck has been in the field for over a year now and is definitely a fully capable uncompressed recorder but the small size, low power draw, and price point on the Gemini 444 is what's really turning heads. If it proves to be issue-free and stable enough for the rigors of field use, I can't imagine any production that wanted to do uncompressed capture not utilizing this low cost deck. As far as HD video quality is concerned, there's no place to go beyond uncompressed. That's the creme de la creme of video so if these higher cost recorders can't offer anything more in terms of functionality/stability or compete with the price, then they seem to be at a bit of an impasse.

Sony has yet to drop their solid state HDCAM SR-R1 deck and compared to the Gemini it already has 2 problems - you can guarantee that both the deck and mags will be substantially more expensive AND it's compressed. Granted HDCAM SR is a superb compression scheme and has been the industry workhorse for years but it's still compression nonetheless whereas Gemini records the 1200 mbps 10 bit data stream that's coming directly off the camera before it hits the internal compression. There could be all kinds of issues with this product that could prevent its practical use but on paper, it's pretty phenomenal. 

Sony SR-R1, D.O.A.?


Now that the factory making HDCAM SR tape stock is underwater and will be "closed indefinitely", this just might just be the last nail in the coffin for tape based HD capture.

Got a RGB Log enabled Sony F3? Get a Gemini and in many ways, you've got a F35 with an OB-1 sitting on top for a tiny fraction of the price. 

If there's anything I take away from all this is that there's just no excuse anymore. The tools that were once the sole domain of deep pocketed productions have never been more accessible. If you can't make great looking images with this stuff then you're probably in the wrong business.