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$40 SDI-HDMI converter test & review


Hdmi is now one of the most widely available connections around, it comes in various sizes, can handle a variety of formats, and comes on items both consumer and professional, expensive and cheap.

But what if your camera doesn't have it? What if you only have SDI? 

Let's be clear, SDI is the better connection, it's a pro grade connection that's secure and robust, whilst HDMI decidedly isn't. Both have their uses, and sometimes you need to cross between the two.

My original EX1 had only SDI out, and now my Blackmagic 4k is in the same boat. So what is a fella to do? Well, there are quite a few options, one of the neatest ones is the atomos connect, it sits right between your battery and the battery mount, which is brilliant. But what if your budget is particularly tight? No worries, theres sub $100 unit such as the one i have here. So the main question is: Does it work?

Yes.

OK, i'll expand: The unit is about the size of a pack of cards, so it's pretty small, it has all the connections on one side, which i like. It takes 5v, meaning it can be powered by the vast amount of usb cell phone backup chargers. 

The biggest question though is its compatibility. On my ex1, it worked just fine on some output settings, but not all, and on the original blackmagic cameras, i heard of incompatibilities as well. I just tried it on my blackmagic 4k at 23.976 with a computer monitor and it works just fine. But others have reported mixed results depending on interlaced vs progressive outputs, various framerates, and what specific monitor they are trying to use. 

Sounds quite iffy, i agree. But then i remind myself it was only $40, and i bought it knowing that it may not work. Thus far though, it has worked with most of the setups i've tried it with. If you can get your hands on one to try out first, then do so. If not, post on the forums and see if anyone has tried it how you intend to use it.

Added on 2013-02-23 by
Darren Levine

Darren Levine

Stimulus Video

DP/Videographer, Video/Film Editor
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