Several decades into the computer era, manufacturers have integrated more and more capabilities into today's cameras and camcorders.
Now, a new startup takes computer-and-camera integration to a new level: Cinedeck delivers what's basically a camera-mounted Windows computer to handle recording, monitoring, playback, and editing.
The small New York-based company has made an innovative move. The only company that I can think of with something comparable is Silicon Imaging, which integrates a highly capable Windows computer into its SI-2K rig.
But this standalone unit works with any HDMI or HD-SDI camera, according to Cinedeck. It's a full-featured Windows XP computer, hardened for field use and measuring 5"x8"x3.5" with a weight less than 4lbs. It offers pretty comprehensive VTR and monitoring functionality, although all of these features aren't available in the initial units (software upgrades are coming). These features include preview, focus assist, record, playback, downconvert, and transcode, all in a form factor similar to that of a standard on-camera monitor.
While it's not something you'd necessarily put on a handheld camcorder, the company has said it would work with one of the proliferating HDSLR rigs, holding a camera with the Cinedeck slung underneath.
Cinedeck, which is the name of both the company and the product, records from "nearly any" HDMI or single-/dual-link HD-SDI camera, while handling a wide array of codecs and file formats, including 10-bit 4:2:2 or 12-bit 4:4:4 CineForm in both AVI/MOV wrappers, and MPEG-2 MXF. Audio is monitored via onboard headphone jack, and recording levels can be viewed onscreen.
Recording formats include SD PAL/NTSC; HD 720P 50/59.94/60; and Varicam HD 1080 50/60i , 23.98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94,60 P/PSF. Additional modelsincluding Cinedeck 3D, Cinedeck/2K, Cinedeck/422, and Cinedeck/DSLRwill be announced later this year, according to the company.