Gemini 444 and Arriraw
Hello! It's been awhile.
I got a mailer from Convergent Design that had some interesting info regarding the upcoming Gemini solid state recorder -
Gemini 4:4:4 Progress
Volume shipments of the Gemini 444 to dealers/distributors are now scheduled to start on Oct 15. While originally planned for August delivery, the extra time has enabled us to add a number of significant enhancements, including:
1. Redesigned the milled aluminum case to add cooling fins for better thermal management. Additionally, we redesigned the SSD trays, integrating the cover with a simple slide-out tray mechanism.
2. Developed SSD formatting techniques that eliminate almost all of the read/write performance degradations due to garbage collection and wear-leveling that occurs within the drive. All tests indicate that our SSDs will maintain full read/write performance levels over the lifetime of the drive.
3. Increased the SSD read performance to a blazing 500 Mbytes/sec, allowing users to download DPX files at 2X faster than real-time.
4. Added metadata support for scene, reel, take and camera ID, among others.
We have a considerable backlog to fulfill, so we recommend that you contact your local dealer for exact delivery details. If you need a Gemini in the next 3-4 months, please consider placing an order soon, as we expect additional orders as soon as shipments begin.
DPX File Format Compatibility
While the Gemini natively records in 10-Bit RGB 444 DPX files, which are widely supported in compositing, color grading and NLEs, some applications require encoding to lower bit-rate (compressed) formats. Offline editing, streaming to the internet and productions that do not require the utmost in final quality, can all benefit from compression.
To this end, we are developing a number of workflows to enable DPX to DNxHD, ProRes and H.264 conversion. Our first application will encode DPX to DNxHD for use on Avid systems, but we also plan workflows for Apple Compressor and Cineform. Stay tuned for more updates, to be announced prior to actual shipment of the Gemini.
And what I find most interesting..
ARRIRAW Support Planned for Gemini
We are pleased to announce that we are planning to support ARRIRAW, in the Gemini, as an extra cost option in the future.
Convergent Design has been accepted into the ARRIRAW development program. RAW mode recording offers the highest possible quality images from a given camera. The unprocessed video data, directly from the sensor, is piped over dual HD-SDI connections (T-Link) and recorded to the SSD s in a special .ari file format. These .ari files are later processed on a PC (debayer, color correction, etc) using special software supplied by ARRI.
Additionally, Gemini will also support confidence monitoring and playback of recorded ARRIRAW files. Special firmware within the Gemini will scale, debayer and color correct the RAW data stream, in real time, for output in 422 or 444 over HD-SDI.
While ARRIRAW support will not be available immediately, the Gemini is still well suited for recording the uncompressed HD-SDI output of an Alexa now.
BC - It's pretty exciting news that this relatively low cost deck will be able to do Arriraw. I'm a big fan of the Codex but it's a hefty rental which has kept Arriraw out of the hands of a lot of productions that could benefit from it. It's nice to have so many options now where before there were few. While I'm loathe to spend anymore money on gear right now, the Gemini is looking more and more appealing all the time. I must say, the NanoFlash is a rock solid product so if they're able to build these to the same standards, the Gemini should be a real winner. I suppose if Arri wasn't impressed by the build quality they wouldn't have let CD into the Arriraw program. What's next? Cinedeck?