With the newest Atomos Shogun Flame (SDI/HDMI) and Ninja Flame (HDMI-only), the company has improved upon both build quality and image quality, and is giving us one of the more advanced monitors we've seen yet. So what is HDR? High Dynamic Range, or HDR, allows for far more details in highlights and shadows, those that would generally be clipped when looking at a traditional Rec709 image. HDR theoretically gives you the best of both worlds between viewing an image in a traditional flat-looking Log, or viewing in a much crunchier Rec709 color space. Rather than constantly switching between Log and Rec709, the AtomHDR image will let you look at an image that has richer colors, but more dynamic range — up to 10 stops of luminance detail. At the moment, we have support for most Sony, Canon, Panasonic, and ARRI cameras capable of shooting a true log image.
Check out the intro video:
Not only are these some of the most technologically advanced monitors on the market, but they are also some of the least expensive 4K recording monitors at $1,700 for the Shogun Flame and $1,300 for the Ninja Flame. Both of these will come with everything you see here:
In addition to the HDR tech, Atomos is giving us a monitor that is far brighter than any we've seen from them. At 1500 nits, it's easier to see in bright environments, and for this kind of HDR technology, this brightness is necessary for getting the full image as it's meant to be seen.
Though the monitor is still a plastic ABS Polycarbonate, it is far more rugged than before. This is something you feel comfortable taking on set, and having played with it for a few days now, it feels much sturdier than the previous model. Atomos started incorporating a rubber shell around their newer monitors, but the Flame series doesn't really need this, as it's not only tougher, but it has bumpers in the corners.
Power is improved from the previous models. Not only is the power button way better and easier to use (thankfully), but the locking power input has been moved to the rear, and there is a new D-tap to DC accessory that's included as standard, instead of using the dummy battery with D-tap. We also have dual battery slots, which means that we can hot-swap when one battery is getting low (either battery can be pulled). Atomos is also including a brand new charger that should get juice to your batteries up to three times faster.
Here's a look at the rear of the new Shogun versus the old, where you can see the battery slots and the DC moved to the rear:
Not much else has changed from the previous models in terms of exposure tools, focus aids, and recording. You're still getting the same 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes and DNxHD recording in 4K or 1080p, and they still use the same non-proprietary media (SSD/HDD) from the previous Shogun and Ninja monitors.
Here are the main specs (Shogun and Flame are differentiated by yellow and red bumpers, respectively):
- 7" 1920 x 1200 10-bit 325 PPI Monitor with HDR Technology
- Brightness: 1500 nits
- More rugged design
- Records 4K up to 30p, 1080p up to 120fps
- 10-bit DNxHD (from LB to HQX) and ProRes Codecs (LT to HQ)
- Uses non-proprietary media, can take SSDs or HDDs using Atomos custom housing
- Record RAW with Sony FS700/ FS7 and Canon C500/C300MKII (coming in a firmware update)
- Audio: 2ch balanced XLR analog in/out, 48V Phantom Mic Power
- Power input moved to rear, New D-Tap to DC cable
- Dual battery design allows hot-swapping, NP series batteries, 10 - 24W operating power
- Battery Life: 5200mAh - up to 1.5hrs (monitor & record 4K), 7800mAh - up to 2.2hrs (monitor & record 4K)
- 10-bit processing — 1.07 billion colors vs. 16.7 million of traditional 8-bit panels
- 1 x 3G/6G/12G SDI Input and 1 x 3G/6G/12G SDI Output (Shogun only)
- 1 x HDMI 1.4b Input and 1 x HDMI 1.4b Output (Both models)
- 1 x Genlock
- Weight with batteries and media: 1094g / 38.6oz
- Price: Shogun - $1,700 and Flame - $1,300
There are essentially four viewing/recording color modes with the new Flame series: Native, AtomHDR, Log to Video, and Custom Look. All of these modes are easily switchable, and can be set to view both on the monitor outputs, as well as in a split screen mode:
With Native, you've getting exactly the image that's coming out of the camera. Log to Video is a traditional Log to Rec709 image, the way its always been done, and Custom Look is exactly how it sounds. With Custom you can load on any LUTs you want, and can either record the image with the LUT applied, or just view with the LUT. For example, if you wanted to shoot with a LUT that more closely resembled film, you can do that with Custom Look, and even record it to the SSD.
AtomHDR is where all the magic happens, and there are a number of different viewing modes. If you're in a bright environment, choosing the Sun icon gives you the brightest image, but HDR benefits greatly from a darker environment, so if you're inside, it doesn't have to be turned all the way up, and in fact, looks better when it's not.
With AtomHDR tech and these monitors, you'll also be prepared for viewing HDR images in post, and should be able to edit/view HDR images assuming you have the right computer setup.
I'm told that these monitors are going to be replacing the previous models, but it's unclear right now what will happen to the old stock when these go on sale later this month. We're going to have much more with the Shogun series, including a hands-on review, so stay tuned.