in , , , ,

Unboxing: Atomos Samurai Blade

This is the first in a series of reports reviewing the Atomos Samurai Blade.  If you’re not familiar with it, the Samurai Blade is a smart production recorder, monitor and playback deck. The device records Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD files directly from your camera’s sensor via HD-SDI or HDMI using a converter, (sold separately).

Introduced in 2013 and receiving multiple improvements via firmware updates, the Samurai Blade offers a 1280 x 720 SuperAtom IPS touchscreen, at 325ppi 179-degree viewing, 400nit brightness and multi-frequency (48/50/60Hz) operation, depending on video input.  The capacitive touch panel gives lightning-quick response times and gesture capability. Controlling AtomOS 5.0 on Samurai Blade is silky smooth.
Unlike some field recorders or monitors, the Blade, (as you’ll see from the video) comes with everything you’ll need to get started save three items that I recommend you purchase prior to using your Blade.
1.  HD-SDI Cable to connect your camera to the Blade — these can be purchased for about $14.
2.  HDD or SSD Drive – best bang for your buck are the spinning hard disk drives.  A 750GB/7200rpm drive holds up to 16 hours of high quality Apple ProRes® footage.  Here are a list of drives recommended by Atomos:

Hitachi HDD Travelstar Z5K500 (HTS545050A7E380) 500GB 5400 RPM
Hitachi HDD Travelstar Z7K500 (HTS725050A7E630) 500GB 7200 RPM
Hitachi HDD Travelstar 7K1000 (HTS721010A9E630) 1TB 7200 RPM
Sandisk SSD Extreme (SDSSDX-240G) 240GB N/A
Sandisk SSD Extreme (SDSSDX-480G) 480GB N/A
Sandisk SSD Extreme II (SDSSDXP-240G) 240GB N/A
Sandisk SSD Extreme II (SDSSDXP-480G) 480GB N/A

*Note:  this is a short list of the MOST recommended drives from ATOMOS.  For a complete list, go to their website at:
3.  You’ll also want to purchase a mounting device.  The Blade has 2 quarter-twenty connectors on the top and bottom of the unit.  You’ll need to get a shoe mount or something similar to mount the unit to your camera or rig.
4.  If you plan on using the Blade with a camera that only has an HDMI output, you’ll need an adapter. Atomos has you covered with three converters  and the one that seems to be the best as far as size and usability is the ATOMH2S002, and it lists for about $300.  Find out more about here:

Samurai-Blade AccessoriesHere’s what you get in the box:  

  • Samurai Field Recorder
  • NP Series-Compatible Battery
  • Battery Charger 110-240V
  • AC Adaptor
  • D- Tap Adaptor
  • 2 X Master Caddy Cases
  • 2.5” HDD/SSD Docking Station USB ⅔

Look for our next report where we dive into some real world scenarios using the Samurai Blade coming soon.
Finally, Atomos is running a special on the Samurai Blade (as well as the Ninja-2), offering $265 worth of cash back and accessories. With this special you get:

  • $100 USD cash back
  • Free carrying case
  • Free battery
  • Free sun hood

You can find out more about that by clicking on their banner on the right hand side, or on their website at the link below, however be sure to note that this special only lasts until January 31st, 2014.
If you want more information about the Samurai Blade, or any of the other products from Atomos, go to their website at:

Written by Clint Milby

Band Pro Open House: DRACAST

Tiffen Very Busy At The Consumer Electronics Show