THERE ARE FEW accessories out there that have quite the range and the reach of the ATOMOS NINJA V. For so many professionals working in the fields of stills and video this is a product that is utterly indispensable for a number of solid reasons. For a start it’s a stunningly bright 5.2in 10-bit HDR monitor with 1000 nits of output, giving the user a much bigger image to look at when composing and reviewing images or footage in the studio or out in the field.
However, it’s the ability to record directly from a camera’s sensor to a wide range of codecs, including Apple ProRes RAW, that makes it such a truly versatile device, and the list of cameras that it’s compatible with is enormous and it’s growing all the time. The newly launched Olympus OM-1 is the latest to be added to the line-up and pretty much any camera that has aspirations to be a hybrid option – which is most serious cameras these days of course – sits alongside, everything from the Sony Alpha series through to the Nikon Z cameras, the Canon R range and a wide selection of models from Fujifilm and Panasonic.
So, why is it so important to record data in RAW? Quite simply, this is a pro-minded format that allows the maximum amount of information to be captured, which ensures total flexibility when it comes to the post-production stage. The majority of professionals choose to capture their stills in RAW and ProRes RAW is an industry standard codec that has become hugely popular over the past few years.
The NINJA V does more than just make RAW recording straightforward, however. It can, for example, when paired with the Canon EOS R5 C, support recording of ProRes RAW at up to 6K at up to 30fps and 3K at up to 60fps, expanding the capabilities of a stunningly well-specified camera still further. Using the AtomRemote app for IOS enables wireless remote control at up to 15 metres via Bluetooth LE, while instant playback and review in amazing detail is also possible, and you can also review and tag your favourite clips to create playlists. All this for a price that’s just a little over £500: what’s not to like?
The Ninja V in Use
It’s not just filmmakers who are finding the ATOMOS NINJA V an invaluable ally. Liverpool-based portrait and newborn photographer and Holdan Ambassador Alyssa Zalabai considers the product to be an essential part of her kit, and she’s working with it on the majority of the jobs she’s undertaking, pairing it with her Sony Alpha A7 III, A7R III and Sony ZV1.
“I found myself in need of an external monitor for my portrait sessions,” she says, “as well as an HDMI recorder for screengrabs, both for my camera and computer, which I use mainly for YouTube content. The ATOMOS NINJA V
provides both, which makes it a perfect fit for me. It’s helpful to use on my photo shoots because it has great resolution and the screen size is perfect for previewing images.”
Alyssa has discovered that being able to share images as she goes along provides all kinds of benefits when working on a family session. “Most of the time I’m taking photos of children,” she says, “and I need a constant connection with them during my shoots, like talking, instructing, making jokes, anything that helps with their short attention span. Putting the camera over my face breaks this connection and can affect the outcome of my photos as I love to shoot genuine facial expressions. So, using the NINJA V gives me the advantage I need when it comes to a relationship with my subjects.
“Also, many of my photo shoots are outdoors, so a large bright screen is very useful especially when I’m working on a sunny day. It’s also much easier for me to take photos at lower angles because I can mount the NINJA V on my camera and easily adjust it. I’m not a tech savvy person, but I was able to learn how to use it with ease and I can even use LUTs to get a preview of how my photos will turn out, which is pretty awesome!”
Giving some idea of the flexibility of the ATOMOS NINJA V, another regular user of this versatile monitor/recorder is underwater specialist Alex Dawson, who uses a Nauticam housing to take his monitor along on his shoots to record stills and footage from his Nikon Z 6 and Z 6 II cameras for use in music videos, commercials and social media. “What I love about the ATOMOS NINJA V is its huge screen,” he says, “which enables you to see details and the quality you get while shooting ProRes and ProRes RAW.
“The Nauticam underwater housing allows me to reach most of the buttons on the NINJA V, and the way I have it set up means that I can hit the rec button straight from the housing if I want to shoot remotely, the distance I can work from being dictated by how long the cord is between the housing and the camera.
“Having a 5in monitor is super useful to me in my DPV (Diver Propulsion Vehicle) set-up. The camera is mounted at the front of the driving handle to avoid getting the DPV itself in the picture and it makes it easy to see all the details without having to look through my viewfinder.”
Obviously having the ability to record so much data using the Ninja V comes with the requirement to store it safely, and Alex is using a RAID system from PROMISE to ensure that everything he shoots and films is backed up securely. “I’ve been using the PROMISE Pegasus3 R4 in a RAID10 build for around four years now,” he says. “I’m running an iMac Pro with only a 1TB internal HDD, so my Pegasus is my daily working driver and it’s the place where I store all my work from the past year.
“In terms of safeguarding your files you can never do enough. But using a PROMISE Pegasus in Raid10 is very safe and it’s also a highly efficient way to have a double back up of everything you shoot, while delivering super-fast reading and write speeds to and from your hard drives.”
Holdan at the BSC Expo 2022
IF YOU WANT TO take a closer look at the ATOMOS NINJA V alongside a wealth of other useful pro kit aimed at the hybrid photographer and filmmaker then visit Stand 440 at the upcoming BSC Expo Show, which takes place at Battersea Evolution in London from April 7-9. Atomos’ UK distributor Holdan will be showcasing the company’s range of on-camera monitor/recorders and production monitors, as well as the ultra-lightweight, high performance XEEN cine prime lenses from Samyang, including the recently announced XEEN Meister lenses. PROMISE RAID storage will also be on display, offering professionals the chance to check out the company’s exceptional products in the flesh and to talk through back-up requirements directly with experts.
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