HyperDeck Shuttle “User Review” £263 (Updated)

Categories: Miscellaneous 14 Comments

When I heard of the HyperDeck Shuttle (HDS) at the price point of £263 it was a no brainer when I was asked to review one. To explain the HyperDeck Shuttle gives you the quality of uncompressed recording direct to common SSDs (Solid State Drive) in the smallest possible size! HyperDeck Shuttle bypasses your camera’s compression and records from SDI and HDMI direct into the highest quality uncompressed video.

Although the unit has a mini USB 2 socket you have to format your SSD drive in a SATA dock not supplied and it must be erased as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) if you don’t use a Mac you will have to buy software for the PC like MacDrive which will set you back $49.

On paper or should I say screen the Shuttle looks quite small but in reality it’s a lot bigger and as yet has nothing to mount it on a camera, though as you read on I think Black Magic have good reasons for this.

This in my opinion is a specialised piece of kit and it’s not a coincedence that “It feels like a VTR” …although it has a 1 hour built in battery this unit is more suited to studio work.

The data rate alone at 10Gb per minute is astounding and if I tell you my first shot lasted 40 seconds and that equated to 6 Gbs on my hard drive. The 240Gb Vortex SSD that came with the Shuttle (Optional) would only last for 24 minutes, one point is that due to the lack of a screen the HDS gives you no indication on how much space you have filled.

 

What about the results, there is no doubt that at 10bit uncompressed 4:2:2 you are getting every ounce from your Sony FS100 via it’s HDMI socket (8bit).

So just who is this relativly inexpensive SSD deck aimed at, well I have had a lot of soul searching as firstly with a 1 hour inbuilt battery you are not going to get far out in the field with the HDS, there is a 12V input on the side but it’s not the standard 4 pin canon power connector.

The second and strangest decision in my opinion was to put non standard SDI sockets on the shuttle, these are seemingly standard on computer boards but in my opinion this is not aimed at that marketplace and should have had BNC connectors. Black Magic tell me that they are now selling a lead which converts from the smaller SDI to a standard BNC SDI.

There is a “Display” button but no one could tell me what it was for as there is no display on the unit itself unless it’s for a future re designed unit. The other thing that is missing is the ability to start and stop the Shuttle from your camera, competitors units give you 422 or Lanc control.

If you are using the Sony FS100 you will need the up to date firmware which is 1.01 otherwise like my HDS it would not work till I updated the FW.

As far as who this unit is aimed at well firstly if you are doing green screen work this unit is right down your street, anything that needs 10bit uncompressed 4:2:2 fantastic picture quality and at a price that won’t break the bank but remember SSD drives are averaging about £1 per Gb and even at 600Gbs this only gives you one hour of footage.

My honest opinion is that the HyperDeck Shuttle is a great bit of kit as long as you can justify the need for uncompressed footage, one hour = 600Gb of space. A word of warning if you take this into Final Cut Pro under ProRes 422 you won’t see any difference in picture quality.

Q. Would I buy one…Certainly if I was doing green/blue screen work and my camera did not record 4:2:2 but I see the unit as a small recorder sat near by your camera so you can switch it on and off then transferring the footage is as simple as drag and drop , once again from the SATA dock (Not supplied).

LIKES :

1. The price…at £263 this is a must for anyone producing HI-End video productions, mainly in a studio e.g.. Green/Blue screen work.

2. The picture quality is the best I have seen and I thought my Sony FS100 was fantastic till I saw the uncompressed pictures from the HD Shuttle.

3. The first manufacturer to give us both HDMI (full size) and SDI (non standard) though a cable is now avaliable from Black Magic Design.

4. Using off the shelf SSD drives gives you a choice rather than a dedicated unit.

5. Build quality, the buttons feel very positive, the unit is simple in design.

DISLIKES :

1. No LCD screen, not being able to tell how much drive space you have used is very limiting.

2. The non standard SDI sockets

3. Not being able to format the SSD drive via the HD Shuttle is a pain.

4. One hour internal battery is very limiting though there is a 12v input that a 3rd party manufacturer could utilise.

5. Does not accept 1080 50p output from a Sony FS100 or a Sony NX70.

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14 comments on this post

  1. Tom says:

    Thanks for that review Philip, very useful and right to the heart of the matter as usual. The lack of battery life and inability to mount to the camera makes it a no-no for me – not to mention the cost of SSDs meaning you’d end up spending more than a Ki-Pro Mini or Nanoflash in order to get a day’s recording out of it. It’s a shame, I want something that records on Avid compatible formats but doesn’t require a huge battery setup. Here’s hoping the Atomos Samurai gives more recording formats in the future!

  2. Adam says:

    It sounds like a great idea that’s 3-5 years ahead of its time… When SSDs are commonplace, inexpensive and have larger capacities, drives like these will be a no-brainer – but until then they’re not that practical.

  3. Graham says:

    This just isn’t very useful. As Tom said, it will cost more than a KiPro to get enough SSD storage. This really needs to be able to record the various flavors of ProRes. If it did, then I’d jump on it. Otherwise, I’ll look elsewhere.

  4. Martin says:

    Anyone test this with Canon 7D? If so..how is it 🙂 thanks in advance

  5. Susan says:

    Since when was the FS100 10bit out? It’s 8 bit 4:4:4 not 10 bit 4:2:2.

  6. HD Warrior says:

    Dear Susan, yes you are 100% correct, it’s the way you read it sounds like I am referring to the FS100 having 10bit but to clarify your noted point I have added 8 bit beside the Sony FS100 HDMI to save further confusion.

    Sadly you are 100% wrong about the 4:4:4 it’s 4:2:2 coming out of the HDMI socket and just in case you are in disputing mode here it is in Sony’s own words…

    “HDMI Output with Embedded Time code for 4:2:2 Uncompressed digital output. For extra convenience when using external recorders, the NEX-FS100 provides an HDMI Output with Embedded Time code and pull down markers Signal Output al Output.”

  7. Michael says:

    There is some confusion about the NEX-FS100 because Sony has said it also supports 4:4:4 RGB…but practically none of the recording hardware supports that mode.

    Can you explain your note about Final Cut Pro? Does it not work/support it at all, or it just doesn’t display it correctly?

  8. HD Warrior says:

    HI Michael, the main confusion seems to be info spilling over from one camera to another. The Sony FS100 is 8 bit 4:2:2 via the HDMI socket, the Sony F3 is 10bit 4:2:2 from the HD SDI connector but with the £3K upgrade it becomes 4:4:4.
    Sony have deliberately separated the two camcorders due to cost you are not going to get a £4K camera with 4:4:4 this side of 2012.

    Initially I took the HDS uncompressed footage into FCP with 422 ProRes, my regular setup, forgetting that if you bring in footage like uncompressed into that scenario it would “downgrade” it to ProRes giving you the missconception that there is no difference in picture quality between AVCHD and uncompressed.

  9. MichaelM says:

    Thanks Philip.

    Just to muddy up the 4:4:4 waters a bit more, here’s four sources that all claim the NEX-FS100 does do 4:4:4 RGB (Juan Martinez is a US Sony Product Manager) This is an issue I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching, and I still haven’t really figured out what the story is:

    Sony FS100 with Juan Martinez from Sony [at 4:52]:

    Doug Jensen says FS100 hdmi is 4:4:4: http://www.cinema5d.com/news/?p=5965
    http://setlafilms.com/blog/2011/06/04/report-from-cinegear-fs100-does-444/
    http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/atepper/story/untapped_features_in_sony_nxcams_new_hdmi_output/

    Maybe your contacts at Sony can clarify?

  10. Paul says:

    Although fairly useless right now because no HDMI recorders support it, the FS100 does indeed output 4:4:4 uncompressed. Not only has Sony said this themselves (see the sources Mike posted) but it’s in their own literature (download the latest brochure) and is very clear.

  11. nelson says:

    Hi Guys

    I recently came across the Hyper deck and on the first look it seems like a creat device for what im trying to do using the Canon XLH-1 using its 10-bit SDI OUTPUT i know that the camera its a bit outdated but i really like its picture even on HDV . The dilema with HDV its its compression for green screen its real a bad format to use for cromakeying so i was looking for a device like this one to be able to get full HD 4:2:2 COLOR SPACE .

    i recently just worked on a project using the ARRI ALEXA and the files were about 32G PER 14 minute using a sxs card . the project got its first and second cut on final cut and to say there where no problems …

    what im seeing on this device its the uncompressed size the 240 G Solid state drive will only allow for 24 minutes this will mean that shooting on the arri alexa with a 32G CARD the average would be a 2.5 G per minute …with this device the average would be 10.G per minute 600GB P hour …

    my questions is… how would this affect editing for croma keying ?
    using editing platforms such as VEGAS 10 FINAL CUT AND AFTER EFFECTS which are my main editing platforms .

    is there any difference in cromakeying using uncompressed or the the compressed PRORES ?

    THANX in advange for your opinions comments .

    Nelson

  12. Susan says:

    So I’m 100% wrong? I’d like an apology and an explanation of how recording an 8bit signal at 10bit makes it any better.

  13. HD Warrior says:

    Dear Susan, I apologise it seems you were correct, I will be doing a blog about 10 v 8 bit soon.

  14. Susan says:

    Apology accepted. Still interested to know what benefit recording an 8bit signal in 10bit has? Your article doesn’t mention any benefit. Presumably because there isn’t one.

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