T.Stops Blog

An Examination of: Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle 2

In this installment of Tstops, I will be looking at the Hyperdeck Shuttle 2.

The new HyperDeck Shuttle 2 (HDS2) Uncompressed/Prores/DNXHD recorder, which records to off the shelf SSD’s.   The HDLS “1”, was an uncompressed 10bit422  recorder.  It generated a lot of excitement when first launched because of its price of roughly $325, small size and  excellent cross compatibility and affordable media.  It can also be used as an HDMI/SDI cross converter.  The reality of its novelty hit when you actually recorded uncompressed video.  Nearly 11 Gigs per minute.  While the quality is pristine, the prospect of recording practically 700Gigs per hour of video is daunting.  Without an expensive raid array, you dont have a hope of trying to view your footage in realtime in post.

BlackMagic recently upgraded the original HDS2 to record DNX-HD, the compressed 220mbps Avid codec.  Had you been an Avid Editor, this could have been a god send considering the price.  Recently, BMD released a new firmware, that upgrades the recorder to record in Apple ProResHQ422!  This breaks this product wide open.   With its ability to record pretty much every signal you can put into it, and record it directly into that same flavor of Prores, this product suddenly became a whole lot more interesting in the world of digital filmmaking.

I purchased mine to use as a Prores proxy recorder with my Epic ( or a scarlet!), though it can really be used with practically any camera that has an HDMI or SDI out.  Everything from clean output DSLRs all the way up to an Epic/F65/Alexa(not that you’d need cause it records Prores internally).

The unit is very simple.  You use the included software to give it the initial setup, frame rate, auto triggering, format, timecode etc… then its ready to go.  It has an onboard battery that runs the unit for about 75min of constant recording.  You can then recharge it with the included AC adapter, or purchase (or make) a Dtap to BMD 12v connector. Yes its proprietary, and thats annoying as all hell.  But for the price I can deal.  Its playback functions are as easy as a VTR, with REC, Play, Stop, Next and Back as its only controls.  You really dont need anything else.

I purchased the HDS2, HDS2 Mounting bracket, a Samsung 256gig 6gbps SSD, and a few DIN to SDI adapter cables as the HDLS2 has miniSDI connections like the REDONEMX.  All in, I paid about $750, for a prores/DNXHD/Uncompressed Recorder/Cross converter/Playback device.  One of the cool little benefits is that i can take any finished product mastered in ProresHQ, drop it on the SSD, and play out to any projector, TV, or display in either HDMI or SDI.

This particular system is the least expensive way of recording ProRes with camera TimeCode on the market right now.  For RED owners inparticular, it has a specific benefit. It can accept the pure 24p signal from the SDI, and record it into 24p Prores.  The next recorder that can do this is the Atomos Samurai, but it costs nearly three times as much when all is said and done.  For Scarlet/Epic owners, interested in a proxy recording system, or who dont have a rocket card, you can use the HDLS2 as an inexpensive way of trans-coding your footage to Prores in realtime.  You simply play out the footage from camera and record the signal.  You may have to send the footage back to the cards on your computer when you get home if you wind up reusing all your cards thought the day, but realtime transcoding to ProRes is significantly faster than doing a software transcode.  Dial in the color temperature on the cameras playback menu, select Redlogfilm, and record away. Instant grade able color accurate 10 bit ProRes.   A fantastic way to deliver footage to clients.

Also, in the newest RED Scarlet firmware upgrade, audio is sent through the SDI so your footage is sound synced.  In theory, with the Look around enabled and all markers turned off, you can record to ProRes the full 5K frame.  5K field of view on a Scarlet.  As i dont have a scarlet anymore i would love for someone to confirm this is possible.  You may get some letter boxing, but if you want the full effect of your lenses on the bigger than S35 MX frame, this could be a very real possibility.

I think this is a great solution for quick turn arounds, and emergency back up recordings for critical assignments.

Since my latest workflow with the RED involves keeping the camera in REDlogFilm, then outputting the LOG signal to my DIT, the beauty of this system is that I get Log recordings in ProRes off the bat.

I hope this helps you find out if this is a viable solution for your work flow.  Its affordable,  practical, and compact.

Thanks for reading,
-Timur

Follow me on Twitter @timurcivan !

I’ve got a lot of new content coming up soon:

An Examination of : Rokinon Manual Primes  24mm F1.4, 35mm F1.4, and the 85mm F1.4

An Examinaton of : Sekonic LiteMaster Touch Screen Light Meter.

Until Next time!!!!

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4 Comments on "An Examination of: Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle 2"

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Great summation of the device. I use one with my f3, very nice little device. I didn’t think about using it as a player to watch finished masters…good idea. A caveat is that currently there isn’t a way to delete clips or format the drives within the device. I’ve found that I’ve stuck ssds in the device and they still have footage on it, and I have to stick it in a field laptop SSd reader to format. A tip for those who have the mounting plate like you do…go to Home Depot and get a “L” bracket and screw… Read more »

It certainly isnt perfect, but for the price i can deal with its shortcoming.

I called BMD but they could not answer this simple question

Do you use a mini sdi to mini sdi cable if you have a Red Scarlet and Hyperdeck shuttle?

If not, what cable should you get to link the two devices?

Can you post a link of what cable you are using. Thanks.

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