Streamline Post Production with AJA Ki Pro Tapeless Recorders

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The AJA Ki Pro family of tapeless recorders is built around four different models designed to optimize workflow, making it possible to record analog or digital footage from any device and have it ready to edit without the need for conversion or transcoding. The Ki Pro lineup includes several portable recorders, such as the Ki Pro Mini and the Ki Pro Portable ProRes File Recorder, as well the studio-ready Ki Pro Rack.  All Ki Pro models offer a bounty of the most common digital SD/HD, HDMI and analog inputs, making it easy to connect with virtually any type of camera you’re using on your production. 

In addition to a plethora of connection options, all of the Ki Pro tapeless recorders feature familiar VTR (video-tape-recorder) type controls, with clearly marked buttons dedicated to record, play, fast forward and rewind. As production tools designed to streamline your workflow, all Ki Pro devices capture 10-bit, full raster files, for higher quality images than you’ll find on most 8-bit recording equipment. Each Ki Pro model can also capture video using Apple’s ProRes 422 codec, while the Ki Pro Mini and Ki Pro Rack also offer the option of recording with the Avid DNxHD codec. 

Ki Pro Portable Solutions

The compact Ki Pro Mini can capture files in ProRes 422 and NDxDH formats and save them directly to removable CompactFlash cards. Plus, you can use the Mini with both SD and HD cameras, making it an ideal option when you need a lightweight, solid-state recording option in the field. The Mini’s small size and compact design makes it easy to mount on cameras and tripods with common adapters, while its mounting plate can be used to customize your needs for battery plates, hot shoe mounts and articulated arms. Recording to the Mini can be done automatically, either via a trigger from the SDI signal, or you can use a separate LANC control on compatible cameras.

Even if you’re not shooting, the Mini’s SDI and HDMI outputs still help keep your production moving forward by letting it function as an on-site converter. You can play back shots directly from the Mini and determine whether or not you got the right take or need a reshoot, and you can even edit footage right on the set when used with a mobile editing system. 

The Mini also has two XLR analog audio inputs, which means that you can record analog audio directly into the ProRes or DNxHD files, thereby cutting down on the editing that would typically be needed further down the pipeline when synchronizing audio and video from separate sources. 

Adding to the Mini’s versatility is the ability to control it via an iPhone or Web browser at a distance of up to 100 feet. You can also connect multiple Minis together on a single network and control them via a single interface. 

If you’re just starting to put together your mobile recording unit or are adding to your existing gear, you may want to consider two Ki Pro packages in addition to the basic Ki Pro Mini. The first Ki Pro Mini Compact Field Recorder Kit includes a V-Mount Adapter with the Mini. They work together seamlessly, making it easy to change the CompactFlash cards and access the controls while powering the camera. The second Ki Pro Mini Compact Field Recorder Kit includes the V-mount as well as a professional Endura 14.4V/98Wh Li-ion battery and V-plate battery charger. Either package will help you get the most out of your Ki Pro Mini Field Recorder.  

Slightly Larger Portable Options

For a larger, yet still portable recorder with more storage capacity and the option to capture video in 4K, 2K and HD ProRes formats, there is the AJA Ki Pro Quad 4K. This solid-state recorder has two easy-access SSD slots and can ingest raw footage from your camera, storing it directly to an SSD card. You can then view your footage right on the recorder’s display or connect up to two 4K or HD monitors. You can then transfer the files directly to a RAID or Thunderbolt-enabled computer, where you can edit the 4K, 2K or HD ProRes files using Final Cut, Premiere or Avid. 

Another robust portable recording solution is the AJA Ki Pro Portable ProRes File Recorder. The Ki Pro Portable ProRes includes a 250GB drive and offers the same convenience that makes all the Ki Pro modules ideal for a streamlined post-production workflow. As with the Ki Pro Mini and Quad, the Portable ProRes File Recorder can work with a variety of digital and analog cameras though with the added benefit of a larger memory capacity. The 250GB storage module means less time is wasted swapping out cards or cleaning the camera between takes, which means quicker, more efficient and economical shoots, as well as less wear on your camera. In addition to the SDI and HDMI inputs/outputs you’ll find on other Ki Pro devices, this model also features FireWire 800 data transfer. You can also control the Ki Pro Portable ProRes remotely from a computer or iPhone. Using the Ki Pro Portable ProRes File Recorder won’t just give you better picture quality than tape, it may also help you save thousands of dollars when compared to the cost of using HDCAM tapes.

B&H also offers the Ki Pro Portable ProRes without a storage module that you can then outfit with the type of memory you prefer, from Expresscard 34 media to optional high-capacity drives with either 250GB or 500GB recording capacity. Either Portable ProRes will help you take advantage of working with Apple's ProRes 422 codec and get more consistent looks throughout the entire post-production process.

Tapeless Recorder for the Studio

The AJA Ki Pro Rack is a tapeless, file-based video recorder that’s ideal for replacing your in-house tape equipment.  It captures 10-bit 4:2:2 full-raster files that can be used with either high capacity hard drives or SSD media modules. The Ki Pro Rack has two storage media slots, and it takes just seconds to go from one slot to the other as you’re shooting. Using the Ki Pro Rack will help you maintain superior color depth throughout your production, yielding better color grading and balance in post, while staying true to the original vision.

As with the other Ki Pro units, the Ki Pro Rack uses easy-to-identify VTR-type buttons, and is also equipped with the types of video and audio ports used commonly used on tape decks. If you’re upgrading to a tapeless workflow, you’ll find that the Ki Pro Rack is easily compatible with your existing cabling and routing system. You can also network multiple Ki Pro Racks together and control them over a single interface, either remotely via a Web browser or on site.

  AJA Ki Pro Mini AJA Ki Pro Quad Solid State 4K Recorder AJA Ki-PRO Portable ProRes File Recorder AJA Ki Pro Rack 
Storage Module Drive Bays N/A N/A N/A 2 (each with eject button & select LED)
Format Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
Apple ProRes 422
Apple ProRes (LT)
Apple ProRes (Proxy) Avid DNxHD
4K, Quad HD, 2K, or HD ProRes (supports 10-bit 4:4:4, 10-bit 4:2:2 & RAW) Apple ProRes 422 N/A
Camera Compatibility Any SDI/HDMI-capable camera Any SDI/HDMI-capable camera Any SDI/HDMI-capable camera Any SDI/HDMI-capable camera
Media Card Slots CompactFlash x 2 SSD Slots x 2 AJA Storage Module 250 GB (also available without a drive)
(2) SxS Memory Cards
AJA Storage Module Slots x 2
Video Input (Digital) SD & HD-SDI (BNC x 1), SMPTE-259/292/296, HDMI SD & HD-SDI (BNC x 4) SD & HD-SDI (BNC x 1), SMPTE-259/292/296, HDMI 1-channel, selectable input SD & HD-SDI (BNC x 2), SMPTE-259/292/296,  HDMI
Video Input (Analog) N/A N/A SD & HD Component (BNC x 3): SMPTE-EBU N10, Betacam 525 line, Betacam 525J, RGB & YPbPr 12-bit A/D, oversampling x 2 SD & HD Component (BNC x 3): SMPTE-EBU N10, Betacam 525 line, Betacam 525J, RGB & YPbPr 12-bit A/D, oversampling x 2
Video Output (Digital) SD & HD-SDI (BNC x 1), SMPTE-259/292/296, HDMI SD & HD-SDI (BNC x 4), SDI Monitor Out, HDMI SD & HD-SDI (BNC x 1), SMPTE-259/292/296, HDMI SD & HD-SDI (BNC x 1), SMPTE-259/292/296, HDMI
Video Output (Analog) N/A N/A Composite (BNC x 1): NTSC, NTSCJ, PAL & 12-bit D/A, oversampling x 8 / SD & HD Component (BNC x 3): SD (SMPTE-EBU N10, Betacam 525 line, Betacam 525J, RGB & 12-bit D/A, oversampling x 8), HD (YPbPr, RGB & 12-bit D/A, oversampling x 2) Composite (BNC x 1): NTSC, NTSCJ, PAL & 12-bit D/A, oversampling x 8 / SD & HD Component (BNC x 3): SD (SMPTE-EBU N10, Betacam 525 line, Betacam 525J, RGB & 12-bit D/A, oversampling x 8), HD (YPbPr, RGB & 12-bit D/A, oversampling x 2)
Audio Input (Digital) 24-bit SDI embedded audio, 8-channel, 48 kHz  /  HDMI embedded, 8-channel N/A 24-bit SDI embedded audio, 8-channel, 48 kHz  /  HDMI embedded, 2-channel AES 24-bit, 8-channel, 48 kHz (BNC x 4)  /  24-bit SDI embedded audio, 8-channel, 48 kHz  /  HDMI embedded, 2-channel
Audio Input (Analog) 24-bit A/D, 2-channel balanced (XLR x 2), 48 kHz  /  Input level: Line, Mic, Mic + phantom power (48 V DC) 24-bit A/D, 2-channel balanced (XLR x 2), 48 kHz  /  Input level: Line, Mic, Mic + phantom power (48 V DC) 24-bit A/D, 2-channel balanced (XLR x 2), 48 kHz  /  Input level: Line, Mic, Mic + phantom power (48 V DC) 24-bit A/D, 2-channel balanced (XLR x 2), 48 kHz  /  Input level: Line
Audio Output (Digital) 24-bit SDI embedded audio, 8-channel, 48 kHz  /  HDMI embedded, 2-channel N/A 24-bit SDI embedded audio, 8-channel, 48 kHz  /  HDMI embedded, 8-channel AES 24-bit, 8-channel, 48 kHz (BNC x 4)  /  24-bit SDI embedded audio, 8-channel, 48 kHz  /  HDMI embedded, 2-channel
Audio Output (Analog) N/A Headphone output (3.5 mm jack) 24-bit D/A, 2-channel balanced XLR, 48 kHz  /  2-channel unbalanced (RCA x 2) 24-bit D/A, 2-channel balanced XLR, 48 kHz
Network 10/100/1000 Ethernet (RJ45), Embedded web server for remote control 10/100/1000 Ethernet (RJ45) 10/100/1000 Ethernet (RJ45), 802.11g Wireless, Embedded web server for remote control 10/100/1000 Ethernet (RJ45), Embedded web server for remote control
Panel User Interface 3-line character display with dedicated buttons Monitor display 2 x 20-character display with dedicated buttons 2 x 20-character display with dedicated buttons
Timecode LTC timecode input & output via BNC LTC timecode input via BNC LTC timecode input & output via BNC LTC timecode input & output via BNC SDI embedded RP188 timecode On-screen timecode display on SDI 2 output
Control LANC Loop (LANC x 2) N/A LANC Loop (LANC x 2), Lens Tap, FireWire 400 (for control & timecode data) N/A
Machine Control N/A N/A RS-422 RS-422 (1: GND, 2: TX -, 3: RX +, 4: GND, 5: No Connection, 6: GND, 7: TX +, 8: RX -, 9: GND, Shell: GND)
FireWire N/A N/A FireWire 800 (800 Mbps) connects to Mac Pro or MacBook Pro N/A
Hardware Up-Conversion (10-bit) N/A N/A Anamorphic, Pillar Box 4:3, Zoom 14:9, Zoom Letterbox, Zoom Wide Anamorphic, Pillar Box 4:3, Zoom 14:9, Zoom Letterbox, Zoom Wide
Hardware Down-Conversion (10-bit) N/A N/A Anamorphic, Letterbox, Crop Anamorphic, Letterbox, Crop
Hardware Cross-Conversion (10-bit) N/A N/A 1080i to 720p, 720p to 1080i, 720p to 1080psF 1080i to 720p, 720p to 1080i
SD to SD Aspect Ratio Conversion N/A N/A Letterbox, H Crop, SD Pillar Box, V Crop N/A
Power Requirements AC: 100 - 240 V  /  DC: 12 V N/A 110-220VAC
30W Typical
3.3 Amperes maximum current
AC: 100 - 240 V  / Typical Operating Power: 40 W
Operating Temperature 41 to 104°F (5 to 40°C) 41 to 104°F (5 to 40°C) 41 to 104°F (5 to 40°C) 41 to 104°F (5 to 40°C)
Storage Temperature   -4 to 140°F (-20 to 60°C)   -4 to 140°F (-20 to 60°C)   -4 to 140°F (-20 to 60°C)   -4 to 140°F (-20 to 60°C)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 1.82 x 5.39 x 4.35" (4.62 x 13.7 x 11.06 cm) N/A N/A 19.0 x 1.75 x 12.5" (48.3 x 4.5 x 31.8 cm)
Weight 1.26 lb (571.5 g) N/A N/A N/A