Atomos Samurai Review. by Alister Chapman

It’s taken me a while to finish this review as I’ve been pretty busy. While preparing it I posted various frame grabs that I pulled from the Samurai and the Gemini on a couple of blogs and forums and these have created a bit of a stir that was never intended.

Anyway, what about the Samurai? Well to be honest I was impressed before I had even turned it on. When you buy a Samurai, not only do you get a neat little video recorder, but you also get a flight case full of everything you need to use the recorder (with the exception of a hard drive or SSD). The flight case contains the Samurai itself, a couple of adapter cables to go from the mini BNC’s to full size BNC sockets. A couple of batteries, a neat dual channel charger, a pair of drive caddies and a docking station for off loading your material. Everything is well made.


One of best bits about the Samurai is that it is extremely simple to use. A push button on the side turns it on and your quickly greeted with the home screen. From this one screen you can record clips, enter playback mode, go in to monitor mode, format a drive, turn on timecode triggering and choose whether your progressive files get tagged as interlace or progressive (more about that in a bit).


For my tests I used a 250Gb 2.5? hard drive that I had kicking around. I’m not a fan of using spinning discs to record on, but in terms of cost per GB they are very affordable. The discs spin at between 5,400 and 7,200 rpm and this means there are some quite high gyroscopic forces in play. Twist the unit too fast or drop it and you may damage the disc leading to the loss of valuable material. read more...

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