Sound Devices Pix-240 Gets Free Upgrade to 3G 444 Recording. Perfect for the F3!

pix-firmware-auroraThe latest free firmware release for the Sound Devices Pix240, called “Aurora” adds the ability to record 10 bit or even 12 bit ProRes444 RGB or YCbCr. Using the Pix240’s 3G HDSDI input this means that you can record the full 10 bit S-log RGB output of the Sony PMW-F3 (or the F5 if you want ProRes or DNxHD). This makes the PIX240 the cheapest portable recorder that can record the RGB output, previously the cheapest option was the Convergent design Gemini. Of course you must have the RGB option on your F3 for this to work, but with the prices of used F3’s at rock bottom (I’m looking for £5.5k for mine) a used F3 plus a PIX240 works out at about £8k ($13K) which really is a bargain for this quality of image. Full details on the firmware update are on the Sound Devices website. pix_240i_images_frontThe Pix240 is a good, solid and robust external recorder with a high quality monitor, XLR audio inputs and the ability to record to compact flash cards or SSD’s making it very versatile. It really is quite incredible how little you need to pay these days for top end image quality, more than good enough even for cinema release. I’ve shot several cinema commercials with my F3’s and they have always looked excellent when projected on a big screen.

5 thoughts on “Sound Devices Pix-240 Gets Free Upgrade to 3G 444 Recording. Perfect for the F3!”

  1. Alister,

    Do you know if with the upgrade also 60 fps PsF comes available, making it a good companion for shooting slomo with the FS700?

  2. Hi Alister,

    Hope you’ve had clear nights in Norway. Your rundown of the NEX FS700/Gemini pairing was extremely useful for recent shoots where I used that combo. I’m trying to confirm whether or not the new firmware update for the Pix-240i with 3G opens it up to super-slowmo with the FS700 as well. The manufacturer lists input options as follows: “1080PsF23.976/24/25/29.97/30”. Lack of 1080/60P would mean they’re still incompatible for NEX’s Super Slo Mo, no?

    1. You do need to be able to record 50/60p to be able to take advantage of the slow-mo buffer output, so the PIX-240 won’t work for this. I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The quality of the Super Slow Mo recordings are very good and you are allowed 20% of a broadcast programme to contain “non” broadcast material. The higher the frame rate the more efficient a codec becomes as the changes from frame to frame are much smaller.

  3. Hi Alistair,
    if not for your blog, I still would not be able to get the best out of my F3.
    With the Aurora update for the pix240, is it possible to get a 444 signal for use on a windows system? At this point I shoot 422 DNXHD. Also, I somehow had the impression that to get a 444 signal, you needed to use both A and B dual link HD-SDI connectors on the camera. If i’m right, do I need some kind of Y cable to link to the pix’s single SDI input.(or maybe I’m just wrong).

    1. You don’t need to use both the A and B connectors if you set the output to 3G. When set to 3G RGB you just use a single BNC cable on Output A.

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