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Codex Digital announces ground-breaking portable field recorder

Codex Digital, specialist in high-resolution media recording systems, is launching a new, high-resolution portable field recorder with the potential to revolutionise digital cinematography and the production of high-end broadcast TV and motion pictures.

No larger than a toaster, the Codex Portable‘s cutting-edge design is packed with powerful, ground-breaking features, and the industry‘s most advanced technology – creating brand new opportunities for single and multi-camera production. The Codex Portable can record from virtually every digital camera from HD to 4K. It is quick to deploy – on set, at a sports event or up a mountain – and takes production workflow to unprecedented levels.

The new system has been designed to meet industry demand for a compact and rugged field recorder. It complements the original, award-winning Codex HD, 2K, 4K media recorder/server, which has already redefined tapeless digital cinematography and is now being used on major studio productions in the US and Europe. Using visually-lossless compression, the Codex Portable brings cinema-quality disk-recording to every production where uncompressed recording is not an absolute demand, but total portability is.

Constructed from carbon fibre and with rubber-sealed connections, the Codex Portable is tough, weather-resistant, and weighs only 9 lb / 4 Kg. It is powered from standard camera batteries, and can be carried on an operator‘s shoulder or back, or secured on camera equipment such as dollies and cranes. A large record button and illuminated status ring mean the Codex Portable is always ready-to-go, and near-silent operation lets it get right into the action.

Taking its key, unique features from its larger sibling, the Codex Portable adds immediate full-frame playback and review of footage on a daylight-readable touchscreen. Also unique is its secure wireless system, which enables instant shot monitoring, or remote-control of the system, from any networked computer or PDA. The Codex Portable even features a special “Mutter Track” microphone input, which allows the user to add comments during a take for shot-logging and notes.

Technical Features:

The new Codex Portable is filled with unprecedented technical capabilities to pack all the benefits of the Codex tapeless workflow into its remarkably small package.

Top-line features include two dual-link HD 4:4:4 inputs, Infiniband and Ethernet data-connections, 10Gbps optical I/O, timecode and control ports, eight channels of audio, HD and SD monitoring of all formats up to 4K, and MP4 wireless video output.


The Codex Portable is the first portable disk-recorder to handle all formats up to 4K at cinema-quality, and the first to handle both video and data-mode cameras.

Flexible I/O configurations mean the Codex Portable can record from virtually every digital camera available today – including all HD cameras in video mode, plus data-mode from cameras such as the ARRI D-20 TM and DALSA‘s Origin®. It can also record Red Digital Cinema‘s RED ONE™ camera in 4K data-mode, when it becomes available.

Recording is made to hot-swappable, shock-mounted RAID diskpacks that can hold up to three hours of continuous recording at the system‘s highest quality – the first portable recorder (disk or tape) to offer such capability and capacity. The compression method used is JPEG2000, a wavelet-based industry standard, which is visually indistinguishable from the original and is comparable to the highest-quality mode of HDCAM-SR tape.

Stereoscopic 3D & Multi-camera shoots:

The Codex Portable has the unique ability to record from two 4:4:4 cameras simultaneously – either independently for A and B cameras, or locked together for 3D stereoscopic acquisition. It is also the first to record from four 4:2:2 cameras simultaneously, and to allow the complete synchronisation of multiple recorders. With this feature, six synchronized Codex Portables can act as a 24-track video, 48-track audio-recorder – enough to record an entire concert or sports event at cinema-quality in a package no larger than a couple of tape decks.


The Codex Portable is the first portable recorder to provide multiple standard file-formats, for the seamless transfer of shots to all post-production workflows.

After recording, the Codex Portable‘s diskpacks may be plugged directly into the matching Codex Transfer Station. This copies them (much faster than real-time), backs them up, and then delivers the material, plus the associated metadata, across local or worldwide networks.

In conjunction with the Transfer Station, the Codex Portable can deliver shots in all industry-standard formats, including DPX, BMP, BWAV, QuickTime, AVI and MXF files. It can even provide native-mode files that editing-systems can use with no importing at all.

The result is a clean, fast system in which the production moves completely seamlessly between shooting and post-production, on-set or off, with no intermediate steps or delays.

“We have developed our new portable with a no-holds-barred approach,” said Paul Bamborough, a co-founder of Codex Digital. “There are huge advantages in shooting direct to disk, and we are making those available to all productions – cinema or TV – who want the highest quality but who also need complete portability.”

Codex Digital expects to ship production Codex Portable systems in late 2007.

– Ends –

About Codex Digital:

Codex Digital is headquartered in Soho, London, from where it designs and manufactures high-end digital equipment for motion picture and broadcast production. Products include: an award-winning high-resolution media recorder, which captures moving images from the new generation of digital motion picture cameras, at up to 4K uncompressed resolution; plus a range of high-performance media management stations to manage the entire workflow of a digital production from set to post production. With the introduction of the new Codex Portable, the company is setting a whole new standard for digital cinematography.

Editor‘s Note:

The product names and registered trademarks noted in this news release, DALSA Origin®, RED ONE™ and ARRI D-20™, are each the property of their respective owners.