External hard disk recorders like the new Atomos Ninja Star have been very popular. They offer an easy way to record to high quality easy to edit codecs on cameras that would only offer highly compressed quality. cinema5D reader Björn Kurtenbach shared a comparison he shot on a Canon C100 that shows off the difference between highly compressed internal AVCHD recording (which is a 4:2:0 signal) and external ProRes 422 and 422 HQ recording to an Atomos Ninja Star external recorder via the uncompressed HDMI output. Check out the great video comparison below. Which solution do you like better? Please let us know in the comments. Make sure you watch this in HD!!! What we see up here is surprising to say the least. In some moments it seems as though internal AVCHD recording is on par or actually better than ProRes. External on a Sony A7S? I just returned from a shoot with 3 Sony A7S cameras where I also tried to record the feed on an Atomos Ninja Star. Unfortunately at this time the ProRes signal on the Ninja cuts off some highlights and blacks on an A7S so it is not recommended. Sony needs to work on an update on numerous issues with the A7S firmware. Generally I would say the internal Sony A7S encoding is absolutely sufficient for most if not any application. The C100 codec is a lot weaker though.Read more
News Shooter caught up with Atomos at Cine Gear, showcasing a new line of CFast 1.0 cards and HDMI leads. The cards are made specifically by Atomos for their Ninja Star recorder and the cables are coiled HDMI leads for easy of use with their recorders. I like many were excited at the release of the Ninja Star at NAB 2014, it’s a very affordable and compact external recorder capable of recording into multiple ProRes formats. To save costs against their other products, Atomos went with a screen-less design that made it a very attractable product to GoPro and drone users due to its form factor. The problem, it utilizes CFast 1.0 cards. Despite a huge cost saving over CFast 2.0, CFast 1.0 cards are few and far between. I myself looked thoroughly into this product to use with my C100, but in the end chose the Ninja Blade; here were my calculations for each product. Ninja Blade Shooting Package Ninja Blade $995 X2 240 SSDs $291.98 Total cost $1286.98 Ninja Star Shooting Package Ninja Star $295 X4 128 CFast 1.0 cards $1,460 Total cost $1755.00 So if I wanted the same amount of media (more or less) with a Ninja Star, I would be paying more than if I went with a Ninja Blade package. You could probably get away with buying 2 less CFast cards, but even then you are only saving a couple of hundred dollars. For the extra the Ninja Blade offers and considering the CFast card brand are relatively unknown, it was an easy decision to pick the Ninja Blade. Atomos has now closed the gap with release of their own cards. Their 128G and 64G CFast cards cost $239 and $159 respectively, the cards meet the minimum speed requirement of recording Apple ProRes at 80MB/s. Now, if you went with a Ninja Star package with X2 128G cards, you’d save over $500 versus a Ninja Blade package (albeit less overall media). They’ve also announced a nice looking CFast card reader that they’ll be offering in bundle deals with their cards for further savings. Furthermore to new arrivals, Atomos has announced exploration into the cable industry. In the video at the top of the page Jeromy debuts a pair of coiled micro to micro HDMI cables. The cables come in two lengths, and he mentions support for DSLRs and the C100 so I assume a mini and standard version of the cable will be imminent also. Coiled cables are fantastic for use in our industry, the ability to shrink down or double up in size makes them very versatile for an array of shooting configurations; I just wish Atomos had made them slimmer! I’ve spent longer than I’d like to admit sourcing the ideal HDMI cable for my Atomos and SmallHD products, I looked into coiled HDMI leads but most were quite thick; a knock or tug around the port often causes thick leads to drop signal. I therefore settled on an ultra slim HDMI cable (thinner than an iPhone lighting cable) as this offers 0 influence over the HDMI port when knocked or pulled; if it were coiled it would make the perfect cable. We’ve seen both coiled HDMI leads and ultra thin HDMI leads are possible. We just need a company to now combine the two. For reference, the Sennheiser MKE400 microphone has what I’d describe as the perfect cable (ultra thin and coiled); HDMI cable designers please use this as a reference!Read more
You’ve heard about the new Sony A7s that delivers a very fine 4K at unprecedented lowlight levels. Unfortunately the camera is not laid out for internal 4K recording and only outputs that signal via its hdmi port. Atomos and Sony have worked closely together here to offer a seamless integration in recording the feed to the new Atomos Shogun 4K disk recorder that doubles as a very nice display. CEO Jeromy young gave us the details in the video above. The Atomos Shogun records ProRes 422 in 4K and up to 10bit via its hdmi input and can also record 12bit RAW via SDI, while the Sony A7s delivers an 8bit hdmi stream. The results are never the less very pleasing which you can check out yourselves in the video we posted here. The full HD IPS screen doubles as a field monitor and is factory calibrated to SMPTE Rec.709 with 100% gamut and D65 white point. The Shogun records to hard disks, to a dedicated RAID module or the new Cfast CF cards and can even take slow motion up to 120fps. While the Atomos Shogun was announced together with the Sony A7s it does also work with other cameras like the new Panasonic GH4 or the flagship cinemaEOS camera the Canon EOS C500. The Shogun will be $1995 and start shipping in October. It is available for pre-order here. We reported about another nice product by Atomos, the Atomos “Ninja Star” which is their first disk recorder without a display. The Ninja Star can record in both HD and Apple ProRes to capture pristine, 422 10-bit images straight from any camera sensor directly to inexpensive first generation CFast media with up to 3hrs Apple Proes for $250. It also features Timecode and Start/Stop Trigger along with Audio Line-in. The Ninja Star is available for pre-order and cost $295. More information on atomos.comRead more
Atomos Press release NAB 2014: The Ninja Star is the next break through HDMI recorders based on core technologies that have made Atomos the leader in camera mounted solutions. Its small, self contained size and flexible mounting options allow DP’s and cameramen to mount it to just about any POV set-up and offer edit ready format recording with Apple ProRes.Read more
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