There is a good reason why CFast cards are considered as an extremely reliable and solid memory solution chosen by camera manufacturers like Arri and Blackmagic Design as a prime storage media for their flagship cameras. The only drawback, though, is that this type of cards are still relatively expensive, especially in comparison to much more affordable SSDs. Given the fact that the Blackmagic Design URSA camera along with the URSA Mini 4K/4.6K cameras are using this media as main onboard storage solution it’s a shame that users need to spend so much money on memory cards just to carry through a single shooting day. Fortunately, Emm of Cheesycam has found an excellent workaround. We initially reported on the Atoch C2S CFast to SSD Adapter back in March this year, it is a neat little solution allowing users to use standard SSDs to record in any format the URSA Mini 4.6K camera offers, including 4.6K Raw at 60fps.
Apparently, as Emm highlights, with this setup you will save a ton of money, especially in the long run. For instance, if you want to get the equivalent of this particular setup of SSDs, you will need to pay $2, 000 more for the CFast cards to get roughly 1TB of storage space. The Atoch Dock can be tethered to your camera by utilising two CFast cards dummy adapters, thus giving you the ability to record raw footage on much more reasonably price media.
The C2S adapter has two 2.5″ / 9.5mm SATA drive bays each of which is equipped with a wired CFast adapter that plugs directly into each of the URSA or URSA Mini’s CFast card slots. Each 2.5″ drive bay supports SSDs up to 2TB, for a total storage capacity of 4TB, or the equivalent of 16 x 256GB CFast cards.
Keep in mind, that you will need to power up the Atoch adapter so using the D-Tap connector of your external battery would be an excellent solution. Currently, the Atoch adapter should set you back around $600, but if you already own a bunch of SSDs this would be a reasonable investment that will not only save you a ton of money but will give you much more record time. For instance, with two 240GB SSDs you will be able to record roughly two and a half hours of 4K Prores HQ files, whereas two 256GB CFast cards can handle only 20 to 30 minutes of the same footage depending on the recording format you opt for.
Furthermore, if you are shooting compressed RAW video at any resolution at all available compression levels, including 3:1 for the 4K sensor and both 3:1 and 4:1 for the 4.6K sensor, you wouldn’t even need to enable the dual card mode on your Ursa Mini 4.6K camera and still be able to capture your footage flawlessly without any dropped frames. In dual card mode, the C2S supports up to 4.6K RAW recording at 60 fps.
Additionally, when used with Atoch’s recommended SSDs, the C2S supports a greater maximum data rate than the 4.6K version of the URSA and URSA Mini are designed to output. Even though it’s an additional accessory that can make your setup a little bit bulkier it’s the most inexpensive way to capture high-quality footage directly on your Ursa Mini 4.6K camera for a fraction of the cost of the much more expensive CFast cards.