Studio Review: AJA Ki Pro

Studio Monthly by Helmut Kobler

Viagra for video cameras? This wonder I/O device-meets-tapeless deck records raw files from any camera for better editing, no transcoding required.
AJA’s Ki Pro lets your aging or inexpensive video camera record a sharper, better looking, and more editing-friendly picture than it could otherwise. Basically, think of the Ki as Viagra for video cameras.

The Ki Pro works its magic by taking over your camera’s recording duties, provided the camera has a component, HDMI, or SDI output. Having one of those outputs is essential, because it carries the camera’s raw video signal to the Ki Pro before the camera can apply chroma subsampling and other image-destroying compression to it.

Just connect your camera to the Ki via an appropriate cable and it records the camera’s “pure” signal to a removable 250 GB hard drive module (your camera can still record to its internal tape deck, optical drive, or memory cards, even as the Ki Pro does its thing). Of course, the Ki applies its own chroma subsampling and compression to the video, but it’s not nearly as heavy-handed as what you find in older and/or cheaper cameras. In fact, the Ki records video as a QuickTime file using Apple’s modern, industrial-strength ProRes 422 codec. ProRes captures full-raster HD imagery using intra-frame recording (i.e., every frame is recorded) at a data rate up to 220 Mbps, with 10-bit color depth, and 4:2:2 chroma subsampling. read more...

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