HD Video capture device

Do you have suggestions about capture devices?
what’s the state of the art and more recent hardware that does a good job?
Let’s summarize here all users knowledge and experience regarding this specific need.

Device usage:

  • Record realtime visuals for documentation (without entering in NonRealtime recording mode) and video playback.
  • Eventually use video stream inputs from DLSR cameras (a sony a7s mark I atm) as vvvv input.


  • compatible formats: 1080p60, ideally up to 2160p30
  • video sampling: 4:2:2, ideally 4:4:4 at least for 1080 sources
  • color precision: 10bit RGB/YUV, 12bit would be great
  • HDMI and HD-SDI inputs
  • ideally an external device, but can consider also PCI Express cards
  • less than 1000 dollars ideally, 1500 max

Options from Blackmagic:

I quite like the simplicity of this kind of devices:

  • HyperDeck Studio Mini
    It seems just so easy to plug and rec everywhere without bringing around much hardware…
    With this blackmagic device (which has just 1 SDI in) a HDMI to SDI converter would be needed tho:
    Mini Converter HDMI to SDI 4K
    Unfortunately this kind of setup wouldn’t allow to use DLSR video streaming from camera as a realtime input in vvvv.

I referenced just Blackmagic products because I’m not very much into the video hardware field and I don’t know other professional brands.
Please report if you know other options


As for internal solutions have a look here:

Only used the VisionRGB E1S / E2S though and they are most likely outside your given budget.

Maybe @MSBERGER has some more recommendations, also concerning your other question

Maybe that doesn’t realy match your criteria in terms of price and I/O, but I’ve used Bluefish444 Epoch Neutron 4K cards for a recent project without any problems.

They work out of the box with VideoIn (DX11 DShow) using the LegacyDShowFilters they provide. They also have a great user support and are working on why vvvv won’t accept their regular DShowFilter (both are provided with the card).

We’ve also tried Decklink cards in the past, but we were never realy satisfied, doesn’t seem realy stable.

Besides the Datapath capture cards i can recommend the cards made by magewell http://www.magewell.com/ . Especially if you need an easy and reliable solution based on standard DirectShow drivers they a good choice. Their drivers are very clean and streight forward … no annoying applications which handle the settings … just a driver.

I think it would be a good idea to split up the tasks and have a dedicated hardware video recorder and a dedicated capture card.

Some good options for capture cards are in the thread already.
Here you can find some inspiration for hardware recorders: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Hard-Disk-Solid-State-Recorders/ci/10042/N/4028759533

A good (PCIe or thunderbolt 2/3) capture card, combined with some good SSD, allow to record HD/4k video streaming right?
I’ve no experience with these capture devices. How does it work? do they come with specific software for recording?

@sunep: does a device like this Atomos shogun flame record easily from a PC (from the graphic card) or from a video splitter matrix?
does it work good with any HDMI signal?

@dottore, that is my understanding.
Check before you buy though!
It is exactly the same problem with capture cards you have attached to a computer unless it is one specifically designed for capturing computer resolutions, like the ones from datapath. You are thus limited to recording standard video resolutions and frame rates.

May be a bit late, but just want to give my 2 cents:

I have used some older and smaller Atomos and they are awesome, recording any HDMI signal you throw at them. You can usually rent these at your local pro camera gear rental place. They usually cost around 50 Euros per day (in Germany/Switzerland) for the Shogun Flame and usually you can rent over the weekend for just one days rent. In one store where I have rented a lot of camera gear they even discount by the rental price if you end up buying it through them.

For capturing computer output we have had pretty good results with the Elgato devices, which are not very pro in terms of video formats, but do work well for long recordings, have very little overhead and have a bunch of other features that might be useful, like streaming video. For the very cheap price they are definitely worth having in your arsenal.

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