- Parent Category: Test Drive
- Category: Articles
- Published on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 20:12
- Written by David Hurd
When I recently tested the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera (BMCC), I realized that it only had an SDI output, which is normal for professional cameras, but the problem was that my SmallHD DP4 monitor with EVF only connects via HDMI. I solved this issue by using an Alphatron EVF because it uses both HDMI and SDI cables. I later learned of another solution for all of you with HDMI EVFs and monitors in need of a conversion between HDMI and SDI.
Atomos dual-battery Connect converters are great little devices for anyone needing to convert content from HDMI to HD-SDI (the Connect H2S model) or from HD-SDI to HDMI (Connect S2H). I used the H2S model, which was pretty easy to set up. The SmallHD DP4 monitor with EVF has a mount on its back for two batteries. I put the Connect H2S (with its standard Sony NP battery) in the first battery slot and another battery in the second slot. Following the signal flow out of the BMCC, I used a short SDI cable from the SDI out of the camera into the Connect H2S, and a HDMI cable to connect the output of the Connect H2S to the input of the monitor. It was that easy to convert my SmallHD DP4 monitor with EVF for use with an SDI camera. I also really like that the Connect H2S has a loop-through SDI connection that I can use to feed a signal to my Marshall 7-inch monitor or 2s2 17-inch monitor.
The Connect H2S and S2H converters have an internal battery that will last up to one hour in normal conversion mode, and both models are supplied with an external battery that will last up to 10 hours after a full charge. The external battery automatically recharges the internal battery, which is good for most shoots. If you do run out of power, just go to AC or replace the battery with a charged one. With the AC power supply (which is included), you can charge up to three Connect units simultaneously, which lowers downtime. For other applications, the Connect converters are small enough to fit in your pocket — and yet they offer more than just format conversion. Both models also include a test pattern generator and audio test tone, as well as 3:2/2:2 pull-down removal. There’s even a flashlight mode to use in dark locations. I found the color bars and tone to be very handy since none are built into the BMCC.
Many believe that there are benefits to shooting and editing pure progressive, regardless of what the final delivery will be. If you’re using a DSLR, this can be problematic. Since not all HDMI monitors and HDTV sets can accept true progressive 1080p signals at their native frame rate, DSLR camera manufacturers tend to output an HDMI progressive signal with a 2:2 or 2:3 pull-down. I’ve found that the best thing to do is to remove the pull-down in a single device while simultaneously converting to HD-SDI or 3G-SDI — and that’s exactly what the Atomos converters do best.
What started as an everyday work-around for the DP4 turned into my discovery of a product that’s very useful for converting SDI and HDMI signals for many video applications. For professional or amateur shooters alike, the Atomos Connect converters are very reliable devices to have in your bag of tricks.