Are you looking to improve the quality of video captured by your camcorder? Maybe you need a professional portable video recorder?

13.06.2013 16:37

Convergent Design Gemini Review

nanoFlash Video Recorder Review

May 11, 2013 - New York, NY
Courtesy B&H PhotoVideo

Convergent Design ranks among industry leaders in the manufacture of the portable video recorder, a type of device that offers better image quality than the built-in recorder in most camcorders. Convergent Design has recently announced the Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q monitor and recorder, their new flagship models, which should be available in July.

Gemini 4:4:4

The Gemini 4:4:4 is a portable video recorder and monitor that features two HD-SDI inputs, two HD-SDI outputs, one HDMI output and—most importantly—a built-in SSD recorder with dual slots for two proprietary 1.8” SSDs. Gemini can record uncompressed 1080/60p video with 10-bit RGB 4:4:4 color. Other recording formats include Avid DNxHD (QT) and a variety of optional formats via paid upgrades, including ARRIRAW, Canon 4K Cinema Raw and Stereo 3D. B&H currently offers the Gemini with two free 512GB 1.8” Convergent Design SSDs.

Recorded footage can be quickly and easily ingested by removing the proprietary 1.8" SSD and inserting it into a docking station. As a replacement for Convergent Design's original eSATA Transfer Station—which is included with the Gemini 4:4:4 video recorder—Convergent Design now also offers the Universal Transfer Station. The new Universal Transfer Station features a built-in AC power source to ensure safe data transfer. It is also compatible with a range of third-party adapters, such as Seagate's External Thunderbolt Adapter, which enables transfer speeds of up to 10 Gb/s.

Available firmware upgrades can enable the Gemini 4:4:4 to record ARRIRAW and Canon 4K Raw. The latter option allows Canon EOS C500 users to capture 4K Raw at up to 30 frames per second. Moreover, using the C500 with two Gemini 4:4:4 recorders, you can capture 4K Raw at up to 60 fps or 1080HD at up to 120 fps. A third, paid firmware upgrade offers support for Stereo 3d recording. The Stereo 3D option allows the Gemini 4:4:4 to record left- and right-eye channels independently to Gemini's dual SSDs. Other Stereo 3D features include side-by-side, line-by-line, anaglyph, 50% + 50%, Left/Right Luma and Right/Left Luma.


The nanoFlash recorder has been popular with video professionals for years. The device utilizes a camcorder’s HD-SDI or HDMI output to capture an uncompressed video signal on a CompactFlash memory card. The two CF card slots support hot swapping, and the HD-SDI and HDMI output enable external monitoring and playback. The nanoFlash is currently offered in a bundle, which includes a USB 2.0 CF card reader, a shoe mount with adjustable ball head, an HD-SDI cable, an HDMI cable, a D-Tap power cable and an AC power adapter.

The onboard recorder built into many older camcorders is limited to 1440 x 1080 resolution, 25/35 Mb/s and 4:2:0 color sampling, but the nanoFlash allows users to record full-raster 1920 x 1080 with 4:2:2 color at up to 220 Mb/s. In addition to improved image quality, the nanoFlash revitalizes tape-based camcorders by recording to solid-state media. The nanoFlash can also perform real-time DVD and Blu-ray encoding by recording MPG formats.