The leaner meaner little brother to the Shogun.
Atomos has introduced a new 4K Recorder that will open the door wide for 4K. The Shogun is a great recording device but expensive. The new Ninja Assassin by Atomos has stripped away the things that you can do without, like SDI recording, and left you with a great 7 inch monitor that will record 4K to the A7s and the Panasonic GH4. I have heard it’s under 1500 dollars.
I had only had the Ninja in my hands for a couple of hours when we opened the box on camera and found out what was inside.
What we found inside the box was a sturdy black carrying case with red piping. I love it when companies include a good sturdy way to protect your purchase. What was inside the carrying case was the Ninja Assassin with a power cord and caddy to hold your SSD drive. The power cord has adaptors so it will work all around the world. It may come with a battery but there was not one in the box we got.
Atomos was nice enough to send a SanDisk Ultra 2 SSD drive. It was the 240 GB drive that will go up to 550 read and 500 write speeds. We got just under 2 hours or record time on a 240 GB SSD drive. I was surprised that when I downloaded the drive back at the office it took less than 35 minutes. Very fast for 240 GB.
Features of the Ninja Assassin:
4K 10-bit color resolution
4:2:2 color accuracy
ProRes and DNxHR record formats
Record up to 10 hrs HD on a 1TB drive
Audio line in, 3.5mm input
Pre-roll 8 sec in HD, or 2-3 sec in 4K
Now for the shoot. I had set up to shoot with Kitten Kay Sera who is known as The Pink Lady of Hollywood.
I wanted to do a documentary interview with Kitten and try out our new Ninja Assassin. I think that one of the best uses right now of 4K is shooting interviews and having the ability to crop into the image when editing. If you shoot in 4K and edit in 1080p, you can crop in to 1/4th of the frame for the CU shots. I can set one camera up in a medium shot and punch in when I edit for the CU shots to add interest. One less camera on set and a seamless editing workflow.
Our lighting set up was simple. There was a strong ambient light coming from the camera left side and we added a soft box up front to open her face up. I added a rim light from camera right to rim her hair and add some interest to the image. The last light was a grid on her face to help her stand out and open up the eyes. The image looks so wonderful with all the pink.
Kate edited the final footage together to illustrate how this cropping in process works.
Last of all I pulled some frames as still images for a friend of mine, Joel Ackerman of Ackermania Creative. We looked at the still images and they are impressive as you would expect. I still am not a big fan of pulling frames but if you have to do it, 4K is the way to go.
My assessment of this new product from Atomos is that it will make doing 4K affordable and practical. At first look this is a great product. Keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’.