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Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?

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Duke Sweden
Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 6, 2016 at 1:15:56 pm

I just bought a Ninja 2 to use with my Nikon D5500. While doing some research about the Ninja 2 I noticed that 95% of the videos on youtube and vimeo have to do with the Ninja 2 and high end cameras like Arri, Red, Black Magic and Canon's C100 and C300. My question is, why would someone with those kind of cameras need to use a Ninja 2? A lot of those videos basically say, "Look. The Ninja 2's output is almost indistinguishable from the Red (or Arri, etc.)

I'm not saying "why the hell are they bothering!?!" I'm just wondering why they're adding another component to an already top of the line camera. Are even these cameras lacking in some way?


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Aaron Star
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 7, 2016 at 6:29:08 pm

I believe it must have to do with recording to a specific format that does not need to be converted. For example:

Arri - records to ArriRAW and Prores, where as the ninja would allow you to record stright to DNx for AVID.

Canon C100 - has 10-bit output abilities but only records internally to h.264 about 28Mbs, so again the Ninja allows direct optimal format recording for AVID or Final Cut NLEs.


Possibly recording proxy versions of raw footage, which might save space on master media, which increases recording times.


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Duke Sweden
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 7, 2016 at 7:34:56 pm

Interesting! So even those monsters have "shortcomings", so to speak. Thanks for the reply.


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Laurence Loz
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 10, 2016 at 3:06:04 pm

Hi! sorry to jump in here but how are you finding the Ninja 2? i shoot with D7200 & D5200 and thinking of getting one, saw a review on youtube and was pretty impressed with the features like focus peaking, False Color etc. i love nikon but find shooting run-and-gun style videos a bit tedious on nikons, does the ninja 2 help to shoot more efficiently?


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Duke Sweden
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:22:56 pm
Last Edited By Duke Sweden on Jun 10, 2016 at 10:26:11 pm

Hi Laurence! Well, tell ya the truth I just got this thing the other day and just shot my first video, which, as usual, is 95% green screen, so I haven't really had a chance to shoot outdoors or really put this through it's paces.

I don't know about run and gun, this thing is nowhere near as light as they claim, and I imagine I'd have to upgrade to at least a glidecam 2000 from my 1000 to be able to balance the weight.

I'll tell you this, your D5200 is similar to my D5500, and the D5500 is NOT compatible with the Ninja 2 in one important category. Nikon's mid-level consumer dslr's do NOT output 24p, so the Ninja 2 (hearby called the N2) always defaults to 1080p 29.976. I found a way to record in 23.976 but it only worked once. I think the 7200 should be fine, however.

Now, I just shot about 8 scenes for my video today and discovered another annoyance which I'll have to look into, but some of the clips recorded at 23.976 and some at 29.97 without me changing any settings. But they all dropped into my 23.976 Premiere Pro sequence with no error messages. I'm rendering the video right now so I don't know if I'm getting true 24fps or not until I watch it and check for smooth or juttery playback.

I am still learning to use focus peaking, zebra stripes, etc. There seems to be a discrepancy between what the camera says is proper exposure and what the N2 considers correct exposure. For now I'm setting exposure and focus with the D5500 and going with that.

One other thing to consider is Atomos is HQ'd in Australia. Getting technical support or help is a nightmare, and as you may have noticed, 95% of the youtube videos and vimeo videos have to do with Atomos and Canon. Very aggravating and frustrating. Good thing I've got my pals in the Premiere Pro forum to ask for help.

Any other questions feel free to ask. I'm always happy to help.

One other thing, these are going for around $295 now, both on Atomos website and ebay. I got mine for $279 and it included an SSD.


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Laurence Loz
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 12, 2016 at 6:57:29 pm

Thanks for the reply I wasn't expecting that! :)

I have 24p @1080 on both d5200 and d7200, won't the Nikon let you export to the N2 at this?

also could you clarify something for me regarding frame rates, Ive been shooting short wildlife films, recently I went out and shot everything @60p because I wanted the headroom to slow things down and also my pans looked smoother, now once in premiere I worked in a 29.97p sequence and once finished I exported at 29.97 and (at least to me) things looked ok and the video appeared smooth... I haven't tried yet but would things look right if I exported at 24p... I guess what I am trying to say is what is the difference between shooting in 24p, and shooting in 60p and down-sampling to 24p? I want to shoot at a high frame rate so I can slow things down when needed yet I want that "film" look once exported.

any pointers would be greatly appreciated!


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Duke Sweden
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 12, 2016 at 7:48:37 pm

No problem. If you wait for these other bums to reply... Nah, just kidding. These guys are great. I'm really a sub-amateur. The only reason my mug is up there in the 2nd spot on the Wall of Fame is because I ask so many questions.

I'll answer what I do know. The 7200 from what I've read, does output 24fps from it's HDMI out. The D5200, and all other "non-Pro" Nikons, like my D5500, does not, you can only output 29.97 or 60p (or 59.97 at 1080i). So you're batting .500 as far as that. I'm still debating whether to sell my Ninja 2 since 24fps is important to me (and remember, I'm just an amateur shlub).

As far as your other question I've always heard people mention that they shoot at 60fps and then conform to 24p. I've never heard of anyone conforming to 29.97 but if it looks smooth to you, keep doing it. If you have any examples you could link to...btw, I THOUGHT that when I conformed the 29.97 video from the Ninja 2 to 24 it looked smooth but when I compared side by side with 29.97 rendered video I could see the juttery movement.


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Ali Quintana
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 10, 2016 at 11:29:11 pm

Well, use it for cameras that can not rec in proress or raw or formats like that.

As soon a a camera records H264, I use my ninja blade. That would almost cover all DSLRs as well as gh4 and sony a7.

Personally I dont use it with red, red can film raw and proxies at the same time, I dont use it with BM and I dont use it with ARRI.


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Duke Sweden
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 11, 2016 at 12:36:59 am

I'm not saying everybody does. I just said that I was surprised at the number of videos featuring the Ninja 2 and high end cameras.


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Tom Sefton
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 12, 2016 at 9:28:42 pm

It adds a ProRes feed direct from sensor on high end red cameras. It's not a shortcoming at all - it's only since the release of the weapon that any camera has been able to record in raw and ProRes simultaneously. Most people would use the ProRes files for a proxy workflow so that edits can take place before relinking to original raw files before grading.

The reds can export a file via the hdsdi port with sharpening and grade loaded, so it sometimes can be used to avoid rendering from r3d to ProRes, speeding workflows up hugely whilst getting the best from a stunning sensor like the epic dragon.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Duke Sweden
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 12, 2016 at 11:52:34 pm

Well, it's safe to say I've been well schooled here. As I've told the pros over in the Premiere Pro forum many times, I can't believe how helpful you guys are to a nobody doofus like me. Thanks, guys!


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Emre Tufekcioglu
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 14, 2016 at 1:07:32 am

Some people use Arri Alexa Raw in camera and use Ninja for Proxy, I use my Arri Alexa internally to do ProRez on the SxS and do Arriraw on the Q7. A lot of my stuff is good enough on the SxS at ProRez 4444 and rarely need Arriraw. Cheaper to buy Q7 than upgrade the module.



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Duke Sweden
Re: Expensive, high end cameras + Atomos Ninja 2....why?
on Jun 14, 2016 at 2:31:53 am

This thread has now officially become sticky worthy ;-)
Thanks Emre!


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