Cheap CFast Recording with new SSD Interface – Kickstarter Campaign

May 15th, 2015
Cheap CFast Recording with new SSD Interface - Kickstarter Campaign

CBoxSystem_1

Here’s an interesting Kickstarter campaign that will provide options for CFast users. The C-Box System allows SSD drives to be used as cheap CFast media.

CFast cards are the recording medium of choice for many professional cameras, especially those that shoot 4K (Blackmagic URSA, URSA Mini, Canon C300 mkII, etc.). But they’re currently expensive in comparison to regular Compact Flash or SD cards.

Well, there’s a new Kickstarter campaign that could provide an alternative to CFast cards. The C-Box System is a dual-SSD bay with an adapter cable that connects to the CFast ports in the camera. Since the C-Box connects directly to the CFast ports, and not to a SDI or HDMI port, it’s not sending out a video signal. Since it’s not an external recorder it isn’t limited to a different set of recording options. You can record all of the cameras native recording formats. It’s also worth noting that any SSD drive can be used; there are no proprietary drives. It receives power either through an Anton Bauer or V-Lock 5V plug (2.1 x 5.5mm).

CBoxSystem_2

If funding goals are met the C-Box System will start shipping in August for a retail price of $499.95. For more information check out their Kickstarter page.

C-Box System Features

  • Dual SSD Bay
  • Uncompressed Footage: Record at any of your cameras native recording formats
  • Plug and Play: No camera modifications required
  • 1/4” Screw Thread for Rig Mounting
  • Use any SSD
  • Powered by Anton Bauer/V-Lock 5V

What’s Included

  • One (1) Dual-SSD Bay C-Box System
  • One (1) 2.1mm x 5.5mm DC to USB Cable
  • One (1) 2.1mm x 5.5mm DC to DC Cable
  • Two (2) SSD Spacers (for 7mm SSD’s)
  • One (1) “I Helped Launch C-Box” Sticker
  • One (1) User Guide With Special Thanks Information
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Peter Stanley
Peter Stanley
GuestMay 15th, 2015

Stu Stanton

Paul BaLu Ambrusch
Paul BaLu Ambrusch
GuestMay 15th, 2015

Gamechanger!! Oo

Oscar M
MemberMay 15th, 2015

Now make a HDMI box for 129$ that can rec. 4K to a iPad and you will become a millionaire over night :)

Joseph Carney
Joseph Carney
MemberMay 16th, 2015

Use Intel’s new 750 class SSD (3 gigabytes per second transfer rate, 1200.00 USD for 1.2 Terabytes) and you have an excellent alternative to CFast.

Neil Andrew Cerullo
Neil Andrew Cerullo
GuestMay 16th, 2015

Michael Brown it costs $499, but the parts cost about $20-35 to build it. im gunna make a couple of them after i do some research

Attila Bakos
Attila Bakos
MemberMay 16th, 2015

Yeah the parts cost way less, it should not be that hard to build one. For this reason I think we will see similar products cheaper in the near future.

PiDicus Rex
MemberMay 17th, 2015

Yup, looks like they gutted a C-Fast card and soldered in a Sata connector, with a D-tap providing the power (so you’d need a power regulator there too)

 Erik Lieders
Erik Lieders
MemberJune 11th, 2016

No need to. Just buy any sata bay and plug it. It works.

Miklos Nemeth
Miklos Nemeth
GuestMay 16th, 2015

Honestly, I’d be really reluctant to buy a 4K camera with Cfast or XQD. BlackMagic should have gone on with SSD as they did on the Production Camera. All the cameras with CFast cards are huge, and SSD shouldn’t have been a problem. The A7S + Atomos Shogun combo is much more meaningful. I hope the next iteration of Sony A7S will use SDXC cards with 4K internal with 100Mbps XAVC-S for consumer, and professional 4K with Atomos + SSD.

PiDicus Rex
MemberMay 18th, 2015

It already takes SD-XC – in fact, the A7s engineers thoughtfully built in an test that occurs when you insert a card, that will tell you when the card is not fast enough to record the format you’re currently set for.
4K internal XAVC-S,.. yeah, I wouldn’t say no ;)
But the 4K ProRes on a Shugun, no problem,… as the Shogun can be used for other things too.

Miklos Nemeth
Miklos Nemeth
GuestMay 18th, 2015

Thanks, Rex for the comments. I think the fact that newer Canon and Black Magic Design cameras use CFast significantly reduce their versatility. Panasonic GH4, Samsung NX1 and Sony A7-line are much better options for advanced enthusiasts and professionals with low budget just because inexpensive media. Still, when we want ultimate recording capability, we can buy Shogun any moment, when we have the budget. I have an Atomos Ninja 2 with a 500G SSD, and its an incredible machine when required, otherwise I simply use the internal 50Mbps XAVC-S (1080p/60fps).

PiDicus Rex
MemberApril 4th, 2016

Since making this post, I’ve bought a Shogun, and a mate-ette bought an A7s.
Using them together makes for fantastic footage, especially with classic, and fast, prime lenses.
The only issue with this combo is that the HDMI output of the A7s is 8-bit, but the Shogun still records it as a 10-bit file.

I used the Shogun on a Cion, and it was fantastic, but not always practical, whereas an adaptor like the one in this story for an SSD to replace the bespoke PakMedia unit on Aja’s cameras turns out to be easy – the PakMedia cards are an mSata drive in a ruggedised housing, which I suspect is what the RedMag is too.

Oscar Goldman
MemberSeptember 28th, 2015

Couldn’t agree more, Miklos. BlackMagic blew it with the CFast decision.

And it’s not just that a TB of raw-capable SSDs cost $700, while the equivalent CFast is $3000.

It’s also that CFast will die, for the same reason its prices won’t come down: There will never be widespread consumer adoption of CFast. Consumer cameras have already standardized on SD. CFast is too big, and it’s unnecessary for the paltry bitrates of most cameras. So when CFast goes away and your cards wear out, bye-bye BlackMagic camera.

Jordi Mol
MemberMay 17th, 2015

Can this be used with a 5DIII while running Magic Lantern as well? Or am i missing the point…

Attila Bakos
Attila Bakos
MemberMay 17th, 2015

This is for the new CFast cards based on SATA bus, so it won’t work on the 5DIII.

PiDicus Rex
MemberMay 17th, 2015

This reminds me of the difference between the Sony EX-3 and EX-3R, where the only change was a mod to the SxS slot cover to allow the use of external drives vis the SATA port included in the ExpressPort the SxS cards use.

Hope they can get it to function, after that, maybe a version for using SSD’s in the Cion ?

Oscar Goldman
MemberSeptember 28th, 2015

A good idea that shouldn’t be necessary. CFast is DOA.

 paolo santia
paolo santia
MemberDecember 29th, 2015

It s a good idea but not cheap. I do not understand why Blackmagic decided for Cfast . SSD worked great on Cinema Cameras..

Andy Krucsai
MemberApril 2nd, 2016

I rather buy the cfasts, than make our cameras even a bigger Christmas trees with additional magic arms, power supplies and clumsy little plastic boxes just to save couple of bucks.

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