The Mini is the smaller brother to AJA's Ki Pro, which captures to hard drives and is much larger and heavier than the Mini. At 1.2 lbs (vs. 6 lbs) the Mini makes it possible to attach the device to the camera itself, though unlike the Ki Pro, it lacks several features including the ability to up-convert and down-convert, analog ins and outs, and wireless support.
The Ki Pro Mini was announced a few months ago, but they've only just started shipping. According to Jay, one of the reasons it was delayed was problems they had certifying Compact Flash cards that worked with it. "We'd get it working with one manufacturers card, and then it wouldn't work with another," he said. They also encountered issues with cards that would work fine for 20 minutes, and then would start dropping frames. He said that they've already tested it with several cameras including the Panasonic AG-AF100 and the Sony PMW-F3.
Other important notes:
- The Ki Pro Mini has slots for two Compact Flash cards: it does not support relay recording (i.e. automatically switching from one card to the other in the middle of recording.) They are hot-swappable however.
- The cards are Mac HFS+ formatted. You will need something like MacDrive software if you're using it on the PC.
- It's powered using a 4-pin XLR jack. There's an included AC adapter, or you can connect to a - not included - external battery (12 volts.)
- Jay says the VU meters are useful for setting input levels and checking presence, rather than closely monitoring the audio.
- There's no built-in Wi-Fi, but you can connect through Ethernet to a LAN, and then access it through a regular web browser. Jay recommends using a LAN to hook up through your laptop to control the device - particularly for adjusting settings - rather than using the small LCD.
- LANC is not currently functioning with the first release; there will be an update of the software in a few weeks.
- They are selling a separate cheeseplate to attach to the sides for $75 each, and some third parties are working on mounts for it as well.
The Ki Pro Mini is shipping now, though they are heavily back-ordered; it could be up to 90 days to get delivery!
Currently Certified Cards:
- Hoodman - UDMA RAW Compact Flash 32GB 675x
- Lexar - 32GB Professional 600x
- SanDisk - Extreme Pro CompactFlash 32GB & 64 GB
B & H: AJA Universal Mounting Plate for Ki Pro Mini [$75]
AJA: Ki Pro Mini