Hi, this is Jay P. Morgan. Today on The Slanted Lens, Kenneth is back and we’re reviewing and comparing the Sony a7R II with the Atomos Ninja Flame. We typically shoot using the Atomos, so I was very curious to see how they would stack up.
Today on our review we’re looking at the internal 4k recording on the Sony a7R II vs the external 4k recording on the Atomos Ninja Flame, shot in S-log 2. I’ve been really interested in this comparison because we frequently use the Atomos on set. I want to see how they compare and is the external really necessary? It’s a lot of work to use the Atomos Ninja Flame external recorder. You have to worry about batteries, the media. It’s just another thing to worry about.
For most of our comparisons we’ve been grading by hand. However with this project it was a real struggle. The Atomos recorded much more depth out of the Sony, accentuating the oranges and yellows. Trying to match the two was very difficult. In light of this we decided to apply a lut. We used FilmConvert. Kenneth dialed back the curve to 75% and applied a second coloring layer with Premiere’s coloring tool, and boosted saturation. This helped keep all of our comparisons in the same realm.
These two cameras were pretty similar. Our highlights started to go at about +5. We used a variable ND on our underexposure tests. We got a lot of noise right away. Sonys in general don’t respond to underexposure well.
In our backlit situation there was much more contrast in the Atomos. By the time you grade them these two will be very similar.
Our ISO tests also returned comparable results. Starting at 100 ISO the results looked identical.
Then we took 4k and cropped in. The internal Sony was much softer than the external Atomos.
One of the real benefits of using the Atomos is that you then have an external 4k monitor on set. It’s very hard to judge focus with the screen on the Sony. However, in regards to picture quality or dynamic range, there aren’t any earth shattering differences.
Data is a huge difference as well. The Atomos gives 7x as much data as the Sony. That amount of data takes a lot of storage.
For us, the external monitor is really worth it, especially with the sharpness we saw. If you don’t need that and you want a more compact set up, the Sony will be the way to go.