The Atomos Samurai Blade 5″ SDI Monitor & Recorder features a 1280 x 720 resolution monitoring display, substantially better than that of the original Samurai’s. Like the original, Blade can record up to 1080/30p/60i resolution directly from your camera’s sensor to an HDD or SSD in Apple’s ProRes or Avid’s DNxHD edit-ready codecs. Color precision records at a high 10-bit, even from an 8-bit sensor, and color sampling at 4:2:2. Recording an 8-bit signal in 10-bit won’t increase the quality of the signal but will let you work with the signal in post-production as if it’s 10-bit, meaning you can add effects and not see jagged lines and other artifacts. Being able to record direct from the sensor lets you bypass your camera’s compression and instead have the first compression be in an edit-ready codec. Generally, the less compressions, the less image degradation.
Blade has an SDI input for ingesting from a camera and an SDI loop-output for simultaneously looping out the camera signal to a large SDI monitor up to 300 ft away. You can also ingest by HDMI through an optional Atomos SDI to HDMI converter. Blade supports all cameras for monitoring, even 4K and 5K cameras like RED’s Epic and ARRI’s Alexa, and can successfully record 1080/30p/60i from most cameras.
Blade’s display is capacitive touchscreen, meaning intuitive to human touch but unresponsive to the touch of an object, such as a pen, and therefore safe against accidental contact with objects. The operating system is AtomOS 5.0, which features a comprehensive set of advanced focus and exposure tools and a cut and tag editing tool that will let you delete undesired shots and tag the remaining ones as good for editing later on your main editing system. Cutting and tagging directly on your Blade means you’ll be able to do so while on the road and thus arrive at your studio with a portion of your editing job done. Additional to monitoring and recording on Blade, you can also play back footage or connect to a Mac or PC for playback on QuickTime.
Blade accepts 2.5″ HDDs/SSDs. These are sold separately, but you get a docking station that offloads these drives to your computer via USB 3.0/2.0. You also get a Sony-type NP-F570 battery, a charger, an AC adapter for continuous power, a D-tap battery adapter, and two master caddies.