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SD744 vs. Deva 2


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Hi all,

I'm starting to plan out my next round of purchases (yes, I'm always dreaming ahead... ;-).  I'm curious to see what everyone things...looks like I can get a well equiped used Deva 2 for around the same price as a new SD744.  Presuming the Deva 2 is in excellent condition, what do you all recommend?  Right now I don't do a lot of bag work, so that is less of a consideration right now (does anyone carry a Deva in a bag?).  If I was looking at a Deva 4 or 5, the answer would be obvious, but that is still out of my budget range.


Phil Talsky

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Guest Glenn

The Deva II has many advantages. 4 Mic/Line inputs, internal mixer, the ability to output to DVD-RAM without the use of an external computer, and the ability to instantly access any function through the units keyboard.

The Deva II is at this point a 10 year old recorder that is in use every day. The 744T is an excellent recorder and has many points in it favor as well.

If you do look for a Deva IV or V, its strong points in a bag situation are.

All controls on the top surface.

Internal mixer capable of pre or post fader mixing

Instant routing from any input to and disk track or output

Full color meters on a single display

10 tracks to record on

6 hour battery life

8 mic/line inputs with 48v phantom power

Touch screen interface makes it the easyest machine to learn and use.

Direct on recorder entry of meta data

4 hardware faders and 4 software slide faders.

Direct camera feed connector

3 pin XLR for every audio input

Instant touch solo for headphones

Track meta data visable in the audio meters

No Audio Zipper artifacts when mixing

For a run and gun situation the Deva IV and V will stand out as the best choice for many reasons. Please get a demo and decide for yourself. The Deva IV would be the better choice for your budget over the Deva V.


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Deva's suck in a bag. Not user friendly for run and gun. Go with the 744T more options in my opinion. Small footprint, two recording formats, universal file formating, If you want a over the shoulder with more tracks look to the Portadrive (6 inputs) as it has dedicated pots for each track and the Cantar (8 tracks & waterproof) does too. Others may feel differently.

Having used the Deva II, the Deva IV and the SD 744T in an over the shoulder bag configuration, and having used all 3 machines for a considerable length of time (the Deva II, the Deva IV and the SD744T all used by me from their respective births), I have some opinions on their use and appropriateness for your needs. I would like some clarificaton from Scott on some of the things he points out above. The "two recording formats" I guess you refer to are the 744T's use of both an internal hard drive and removeable flash media. This is a good thing that SD has done but Scott's mention of this does not bring up the issue that 744T users have to deal with which is delivery of the days work. This is not to say that there are not lots of peoiple using the 744T on a daily basis and delivering their work quite easily, it is to say, however, that the 744T presently requires some additional copy stage, usuallu using an external host computer, to deliver your files on standard optical disks. Unfortunately, few if any post facilities are dealing with the Compact Flash media directly. As for a general comment, both the 744T and the Deva have excellent ergonomics and ease of use in a bag --- I don't feel that either "sucks in a bag" (is that a technical term?) but I believe that Scott's other suggestion of the Portadrive would not be so good in a bag. I have not used the Portadrive in a bag but from having a reasonable familiarity with the layout of that machine it appears that there are control surfaces on 3 sides, not such a good idea in a bag. Lastly, the Cantar is a beautiful machine and obviously more fully featured and capable than the SD 744T (even as simply with respecrt to track count and inputs) but is considerably more expensive than any of the other choices suggested. Since the original question was titled SD744 vs. Deva 2 it seems somewhat out of place to be recommending a new Cantar or HHB.

As Scott says, "Others may feel differently..."

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

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They both will sound great--do you care about the relative size?  Will your workdays accomodate the extra time needed to burn the discs from the 744 (secret: use the fastest CF cards you can get--80 x etc) as opposed to the Deva's "burn as you go" scheme?  Would you ever want to rent the recorder out to someone else?  If you ever do want to do bag-rig work, it seems that the 744 is the machine that most "baggers" have voted for, mostly due to size and weight.  In terms of future resale, I'd say you could sell the 744 in a heartbeat, while the Deva 2 might be tougher to move.    On a cart rig both will be great.

Philip Perkins

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In terms of future resale, I'd say you could sell the 744 in a heartbeat, while the Deva 2 might be tougher to move.    On a cart rig both will be great.

Philip Perkins

Good point, Phillip. I had not even considered the issue of re-sale since the original question seemed to be aimed at the used Deva II. I agree with you completely that the Deva II, third time arounf, would probably be a hard sell - re-sale, but the SD 744T is a currently shipping product still in its first generation of service.

Regards,  Jeff Wexler

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