Most of you have heard of the new Atomos Ninja, a very compact field recorder that is one of the more affordable models available.

It looks like Atomos will be getting some competition from a few products that are popping up on the market. Cinemartin will be offering the ‘Small Form portable Video recorder/computer’ or SFV for short. This field recorder can record up to 2k 24p or 1080 60p with a rumored target price half that of a Cinedeck (The Cinedeck retails for $7995). The SFVe is a yet to be priced version which will accept HDMI inputs rather than the SFV’s HDSDI Dual link and 3G.

Both recorders will feature a 7″ touchscreen monitor with a 800×640 native resolution. They will be able to record up to 115 minutes uncompressed 4:4:4 footage or up to to 8.5 hours with a 300mbps 4:2:2 compression.

The SFV and SFVe recorders are advertised as actual computers that will be able to edit, master and broadcast although I’m a little skeptical about how much editing you can do on a 7″ screen. Cinemartin did not mention what operating systems the SFV’s run on or what peripherals will be compatible (mice, keyboards, etc.), so again I’ll have to say that I’m a little skeptical – I have Photoshop Express running on my Android-hacked HTC HD2 cellphone, I could say that’s an editing system but I’d be lying.. (Please see the update below.)

With current specs and pricing I would have to say Atomos’ Ninja and upcoming Samurai recorders will have the edge. We will keep you posted on Cinemartin and Atomos news as new details are released.

Update: Cinemartin contacted me with some more information. They tell me that the SFV and SFVe recorders will run a Windows based operating system, however, the exact OS is still under wraps. It will be compatible with Adobe Premier and other Windows NLEs (Non-Linear Editors). It will have two monitor outputs and will be able to accept three 2.5″ SATA 6G Solid State Drives.

Conclusion: Unfortunately I’m still not sold on the SFVs. Although it looks like the SFVs will be a much more affordable recording solution than a Cinedeck, I think they still might be too large for mounting on most camera rigs. We won’t know for sure until more details are released. I don’t know about you but I’d much rather have a compact recorder like the Ninja AND a brand-spanking-new 13″ Macbook Pro for one quarter the price of a Cinedeck. Personally I’d like to see Cinemartin release a compact recorder for all us DSLR shooters, If they can beat the Ninja on price I think it would be a hit.

However, having the features of a built in editor give it a unique selling point over other field recorders. But will it be something that professionals want?

Cinemartin will be keeping an eye on this post and I think they will appreciate your feedback. What are your thoughts?

I hope you enjoyed my first article on NextWaveDV, look out for my video channel coming up very soon. Meanwhile, you can see some great tips, tutorials and reviews on my website
Nitsan Simantov – Photographer and Film-Maker