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Canon 5D Mark II HDMI external recording with Atomos Samurai

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Francis Levy
Canon 5D Mark II HDMI external recording with Atomos Samurai
on Jan 23, 2012 at 6:47:59 pm

Hello guys, I need advice on if it is worth using the new Atomos Samurai to record the HDMI out (cleaned by Magic Lantern, and without pressing record on camera) of a Canon 5D Mark II.

The Atomos Samurai records directly to Pro Res HQ, which is the codec I plan to use to edit footage on Final Cut Pro. This project is a feature film that is going to be transfered to 35mm for theater projection, so I want to know if there is actually an edge on skiping the h.264 codec compression, and going directly to Pro Res.

The budget of the project is very small (the director, who is also a mainstream mexican actor, got a deal to have the movie transferred to 35mm almost for free!), and the plot demands shooting at creeks, rivers and forests in Mexico, so the 5D is the option, lighting-wise, money-wise and portability-wise too.

For what I know, the Samurai pulls down the 1080 60i 3:2 HDMI out to 1080p 23.98 16:9 among other frame rates (correct me if I'm wrong) but from the vague reviews and tests I've seen online (none for the Samurai, one on Vimeo for the Ninja here, there are some issues with Magic Lantern, crop marks, aspect ratio and resolution. More on the Samurai here:

Sorry for giving so much extra info, but I wanna spare you from asking why not renting a Red or why using a 5D and Pro Res for a project that will have a theatrical release... It is what it is, just need advice on using or not a device such as the Atomos Samurai, or just sticking to the 5D's h.264 in-camera recording. I even considered a BlackMagic Hyperdeck, but since it does not compress footage, much more SSD media will be needed, and encoding to Pro Res HQ for FCP editing will still be done, so why bother?

Thanks in advance, and please correct all my technical miscues, I am trying to make sense here, even though I'm not an expert, just a filmmaking enthusiast advising a debutant film crew...

Francis Levy
Colima, Mexico

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