Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4 Recorder and Monitor… Yum Yum!

New Convergent Design Gemini

Well here it is. I’ve known about this rather amazing device for some time, but have been under NDA. I see this as the perfect companion for Sony’s PMW-F3 and with a street price of around $6,000 it’s a bit of a bargain. It is both a 4:4:4 uncompressed recorder and a rather handy monitor (it will do 3D recording and monitoring too), all in a single unit that is no bigger than most high end HD monitors. It records to readily available, cost effective SSD’s and can even make dual recordings to both drives giving an instant backup. It records uncompressed, so you get the absolute best quality possible. If you need an alternative codec then you simply transcode to your chosen codec when you ingest the material in to the edit system. When will it be available? Well CD are hoping to start shipping at the end of July, but that may slip a little, still it should not be too long to wait. Here are some of the headlines from CD’s press kit:

“Gemini enables videographers and cinematographers to capture at the ultimate video quality, in a small, low-power, lightweight package, at a very affordable price.  Gemini features a built-in high-brightness 5.0” 800×480 24-bit LCD touch-screen for monitor and playback, and introduces an industry first – the ability to simultaneously record to two removable solid-state drives – creating instant backups; an invaluable insurance against lost footage, as well as, opening new workflow options.

Building on, but not replacing, the highly successful nanoFlash, Gemini records 10-bit uncompressed 4:4:4 / 4:2:2 video in most popular HD/2K/3G formats, including 1080p24 and 1080p50/60, with up to 16-channels of embedded audio and timecode.  Gemini has slots for two removable 1.8” solid-state drives (SSDs), enabling recording in either parallel mode (instant backup), or spanning mode (longer record times).  Sporting a lightweight milled aluminum case, Gemini is about the same size and weight as the popular SmallHD DP6 monitor, but includes Recording, Playback, Image Processing, Dual HD/3G SDI I/Os, HDMI-Out and consumer level audio I/O; while consuming only 8 to 15 watts of power.

Gemini features S-Log support, with user programmable viewing LUTs, which can be enabled selectively for either HD-SDI output.  Flexible recording options, include simultaneously recording native S-Log video to one SSD (for on-line), and the same footage with burned-in LUTs to the second SSD (for faster creation of off-line proxies and/or H.264 video for mobile devices/internet).

Gemini records on to one or two SSD's

A 3D/Stereo (extra-cost) option will also be available, enabling dual-stream recording and playback in a single Gemini unit; creating the world’s smallest, lowest-power, 3D recorder available anywhere.  Gemini will record independent left/right channel files, while providing full synchronized playback of two streams as well as side-by-side, 50/50 composite, or anaglyph combinations.  Gemini can uniquely output 3D in multiple formats simultaneously (ie side-by-side and 50/50 composite), to aid in camera alignment and monitoring.”

3 thoughts on “Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4 Recorder and Monitor… Yum Yum!”

  1. Hi,
    Gemini seems very good in a good size, good for ..
    I’m surprised about how well finished is, but there are an important, very important things to say

    Does anyone notice the slower transfer speeds of 1.8 SSD’s vs 2.5′ ? (Convergent Design Gemini uses 1.8′ bays)

    What kind of internal protocol for the 1.8 SSD’s convergent uses, SATA II OR SATA III ?

    Do Gemini supports Raid ? (if not, how can it be able to ingest 4:4:4 at 60P without dropping frames)

    Any onboard solution for hard drives degradation (trim, gc, soft..) ?

    For those about don’t know.., when any, i said any SSD fills over time, OR when any SSD fills up about 80-85% of its capacity, write data transfers comes down, and only can be restored A)On some SSDs not all and B)Secure eransing the drive, using Trim or any O.S. Software.

    What when you fill the drive ? ok, you detach make a backup attach again AND .. loosing frames.. that’s a real world issue with non O.S. based SSDs (windows or last MAC OS).

    I’m sorry guys, but i’m not sure of how that device will be able to record uncompressed 4:4:4 1080 60p or even 1080 24p without need to use, let’s say 10 or more SSD to avoid dropping frames.

    Check out the article about SSD for video purposes at

    1. Gemini supports SSD raid. They have working prototypes so I must assume that they are able to sustain the advertised data rates. Like the NanoFlash they will manage drive erasure and formatting in the device to ensure that the drives really are erased, unlike most PC type formatting which does not actually erase the data and leads to performance degradation.

      Convergent design know what they are doing, they get much higher CF card speeds than you would think possible without dropping frames.

  2. Wow, sounds very exciting, Alister! Can’t wait to hear more about it after NAB. CD reported record times for 10-bit 4:2:2, but not for 4:4:4. Since we typically record two hours at a time (live classical concerts), wondering how many and what size SSDs we’d need with the F3?

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