I have a tape based Varicam. It's been a great camera, and I spent a lot on it and the lens. I have newer stuff, too, but I'd like to extend the life of the Varicam, because it still makes great pictures. I know there are some devices I can add on board and record the10 bit output, and transcode to 1080. What recommendations have you?
I know what you mean, I still have two Varicam 27F's (but rarely use them).
The best choice amongst the many third-party digital recorders is the Sound Devices PIX 240. The main reasons being it's fine build, ease of use and ProRes and DNxHD Codecs which are the most common direct to edit formats.
It also records on both CF and SSD.
This device will also enhance your next camera when you eventually get it, as most newer cameras offer Log recording internally, so you can simultaneously use the PIX to record proxy dailies with a LUT or 709 look.