Last year I bought the BlackMagic Hyperdeck Shuttle II hoping it would be the perfect onboard recorder. It was a great price and generally I've been happy with other BM products i've used, but in this case I was immediately disappointed by it's functionality and thought of it as a FAIL.
It didn't auto start/stop,
No onscreen menu or Clip control
Not enough compression options
Silly mini din connectors that I feared would break with every connect/dissconnect
The necessary SSD's are as expensive as the Hyperdeck!!
A rather comprehensive list of features that I would have deemed critical, and all in all I thought I was the wrong tool for the job. But since I had made the purchase and there was still hope that these shortcomings could be fixed with firmware improvements I endeavoured to make the deck part of my rig.
In my first attempt I mounted it to the back of the Cinetronic monitor
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and it stayed here for the next few months.
I tried a using the recorder the best I could but the process of needing two different signals - The raw LOG C that I wanted to record and then needed to loop through the Hyperdeck and into the monitor for REC playback, as well as the REC 709 that I wanted on the monitor during shooting made the procedure cumbersome and a chore to maintain. Not to mention the fact that I had to remember to Start and Stop the recording, and in todays NEVER CUT world that wasn't easy. Forget about trying to find any portion of a clip you might want to see again - with no clip numbering or onscreen display doing anything from the Hypedeck is maddening. And truthfully the Alexa we were using has rather good playback options that are very easy to use once you get the hang of them, which made the whole struggle seem so pointless. Hell if I didn't want Video village to see what I was watching back I just had to turn off the transmitter and have at it. Even though the recoding process was a pain there were still shots that I wanted to archive and have for MY own reasons and watch on my own time. So what I started to do was use the Hyperdeck to record the takes I wanted after the fact. If there was a shot I liked or maybe I didn't like and wanted to keep it I would transfer it over to the Hyperdeck after the fact. And all of a sudden I liked the device again - I was getting high quality copies of what I wanted, and ONLY what I wanted. If the damn thing did start and stop with every take, just imagine all of the useless KEEP ROLLING crap that would be filling up the drive for me to then have to sort through later on my computer.
When I bought a new Monitor Bracket from Cam-Jam (awesome bracket BTW) because of the drop down offset design on the bracket I couldn't access the SSD card in the Hyperdeck without a little surgery. I started to be much more selective about what to record and then sort of tired of having to take the bracket off every time and soured on using the recorder at all. I kinda missed it, but didn't know where else to put it.
Now just very recently I purchased the new PRO Battery rack and I saw a chance to move the Hyperdeck to a VERY handy position on the battery rack where the third battery would normally go.
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I'm now back to using the Hyperdeck again and have to say I'm not sure if I want them to add any of those features that I wanted before - other then maybe more file size options. I added regular BNC in/outs and I don't need an onscreen display as I only look at the clips on my computer after uploading. If it started and stopped on it's own the card would be full by the time the director had finished giving notes while we rolled. Boy do I pity the poor junior editors that have to filter through all the extra crap, why would I want to do the same?
Anyways, this is all just one man's opinion on how my onboard recorder became a nice addition to my rig and ultimately a WIN.