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Greg Jones
BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 2:51:54 pm

What are the pros and cons to the BMD 4K Extreme vs the Aja Kona 3G? I am currently an AJA customer and I need to upgrade my Mac Pro to a new video output/input card that does 4k. I love the AJA Customer service and support. The BMD 4K Extreme is tempting because it is half the price of the AJA Card. The card I currently have has worked great but AJA have stopped supporting it. Having no experience with Blackmagic, I would be interested in peoples opinions.


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Herb Sevush
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 3:15:15 pm

[Greg Jones] "Having no experience with Blackmagic, I would be interested in peoples opinions."

BM makes excellent products but they offer no, as in none zero zilch, customer support. What they save in that they pass on as lower prices. AJA products tend to have more bells and whistles but the BM products do exactly what they say they are going to do, just don't expect to ever hear anything back from them.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Jamie Pence
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 3:36:18 pm

I have found customer support from Blackmagic to be excellent... I had an audio question with the MiniMonitor, posted it on their forum and had a call from them within 24 hours.

Jamie



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Lance Bachelder
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 3:54:12 pm

With AJA you get lifetime "live" FREE support - meaning you can call during support hours and actually talk to someone. I don't know any other company that does this.

I also feel that AJA software is easier to set-up and use and just works. BMD software always a little confusing and harder to get hardware working with various apps like Premiere.

Also AJA product line is focused i/o only and they've been the gold standard for a long time now. 4K on the Kona 3G works rock solid today.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Frank Gothmann
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 4:19:22 pm

Depending on your workflow, you may be ok with BM but there is a lot of stuff that is just buggy or simply not working as advertised (plus a lot less features)
Eg: no way to capture from a 444 source to Prores444 in Media Express. You can select it, but you won't get an image. Uncompressed is the only way. And it's not a limitation of the card as it works just fine in FCP7.
If you do a speedup with Cinema Tools (eg. 24 to 25fps), Media Express won't accept the file anymore. Aja VTR Exchange will take the file just fine.
If you are using the card under windows, you can capture 444 uncompressed ok but you can ONLY output it with the card set to output p and not psf.
On OSX it works just fine with the card set to psf.
Hyperdeck shuttle won't output any psf at all although the website claims it does.
Under windows, expect some stability issues. Zero issues whatsoever with Aja or Bluefish444.
There are more issues but this is just some stuff that came to my mind.
All that plus much better features on the AJA card relating to timecode and flexibility would make the Kona my first choice (or Bluefish444).

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Herb Sevush
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 4:23:57 pm

[Lance Bachelder] " BMD software always a little confusing and harder to get hardware working with various apps like Premiere."

I agree, BM drivers are often issued later than AJA, they don't have as many options, and the software is not nearly as easy to set up.

All that said I have had 3 different I/O boards from BM over 8 years, along with a large number of converter boxes, and they are all still fully functional today, never a hardware failure. If you want to spend the money on the ease, elegance and support then AJA is the way to go, if you want a simpler version that is totally reliable for less cost, then BM is fine.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Paul Jay
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 4:15:38 pm

AJA has great products and great support, but they have a problem. And that problem is called
DaVinci Resolve.

If you need monitoring from Resolve you don't have an option.


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Lance Bachelder
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 5:09:42 pm

This is true and a constant question in the AJA booth at NAB last week. Smart move by Grant to giveaway Resolve knowing he's gonna sell a lot of hardware - heck I bought the Ultrastudio Mini just for Resolve!

The good news is all the AJA products will support Adobe Speedgrade when the new suite is available. Though I was never a Speedgrade fan, after spending a few days with it in the booth with Kona 3G, Tangent Element controller and Lookabs looks I've become a big fan - it's fast and much easier to use than Resolve once you know the workflow - not saying it's better - just surprised how good the new version is.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Oliver Peters
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 5:23:24 pm

[Greg Jones] " I am currently an AJA customer and I need to upgrade my Mac Pro to a new video output/input card that does 4k."

Why?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Greg Jones
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 6:00:33 pm

Hey Oliver

Aja has stopped supporting the Kona 3. That means no more driver updates. If I wanted to never upgrade my software, I would be ok, but. Since I'll want to upgrade to CS7 when it comes out, I'm sure Ill need whatever the latest drivers are for it to work.

Greg Jones
D7,Inc.

Greg Jones
Orlando,Fl.
http://www.d7-inc.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 6:27:32 pm

[Greg Jones] "Aja has stopped supporting the Kona 3. That means no more driver updates."

Really? Hadn't heard that. I thought all their drivers were the same. In any case, I've been on Decklink cards for a while where I do most of my freelancing.

[Greg Jones] "Since I'll want to upgrade to CS7 when it comes out, I'm sure Ill need whatever the latest drivers are for it to work."

Gotcha. Makes sense. So you really don't need 4K now, but are just future-proofing. Right?

In any case, my experience with the Decklink Extreme 3D cards has been fine. That's with FCP7, X, CS6, MC 6.5.2, Color and Resolve. Although I'm really an AJA fan!

OTOH, if you are planning ahead, I would not be so sure that you'll see any Macs with PCIe slots any more (hopefully we'll know in June). Maybe you should be considering the Thunderbolt peripherals from these two companies.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Greg Jones
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 6:40:58 pm

Thanks for the info Oliver. Im trying to future proof by buying a 4k card. As far as Thunderbolt, that sounds like a good idea, however I currently haven't any computers with thunderbolt. Im kinda In a pickle, I guess. Sounds like Decklink cards are pretty good. They are a lot cheaper than Aja Cards. I've always had very good experiences with my Aja products, though, and I've always been able to talk with someone there.


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Oliver Peters
Re: BMD 4K Extreme or Aja Kona 3G?-Suggestions
on Apr 17, 2013 at 6:51:43 pm

[Greg Jones] " I've always had very good experiences with my Aja products, though, and I've always been able to talk with someone there."

You really should confirm with AJA that your Kona 3 card won't work with the Kona 3G drivers.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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