June 4, 2019

Atomos Clears Up A Big Mystery Surrounding the New Mac Pro

One mystery of the Mac Pro reveal has been solved.

One of the big mysteries of yesterdays presentation of the new Mac Pro was the fancy new Afterburner card that can create playback for up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW. That's amazing, of course, and presumably, Apple can create ProRes RAW files in whatever format they want. But for end users, the two big platforms for capturing PRR (the Atomos Shogun Inferno and the DJI Inspire 2) don't capture 8K. 

So that left a mystery: what was this platform that is capturing to PRR in 8K?  Is there a PRR RED Module we don't know about?  

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the new Neon platform from Atomos; the ability to control the unit with a remote control, avoiding a touchscreen while working on a large 55" monitor, and capturing straight to ProRes RAW, on top of ProRes, DNx and CinemaDNG, are just a few.

But by far the coolest feature among all those is the upgradeability, with the monitors built around a replaceable "Master Control Unit" that can be swapped out later as workflows evolve.

The answer came within hours as news broke that Atomos will be supporting 8K with a module available within the year.  

Since Neon, as a platform, only launched a week or so ago, and Atomos surely would've loved to talk about the 8K option at Cine-Gear over the weekend, it's very likely that this release was timed to sync up with the release of the Mac Pro and its Afterburner card, which can play three streams of that 8K ProRes RAW all together.

To be clear, we don't think that this was used for the test footage shown on stage (we don't know any details of how that footage was created), but the demo left us wondering "what precisely captures 8K ProRes RAW that we might use in the near future?" and this answers that question.

Of course, the Mac Pro is pricey, and Neon runs up to $16,000, so this is very much a "pro workflow" situation, but there is a clear synergy here to the ability to run an 8K camera body, use SDI to patch to the Neon, capture straight to ProRes RAW and start editing right away. The only thing that might make it faster is if you could plug your Neon straight into 10gig ethernet and record directly to shared storage.  

But maybe that will come with a future MCU. 

Tech Specs: Neon

  • ProRes RAW, ProRes, CinemaDNG and DNx Recording
  • Replaceable Master Control Unit, with 4K and 8K options
  • SDI and HDMI 
  • 1000 night peak brightness
  • integrated DolbyVision HDR preview
  • 512 independent dimming zones
  • 100% DCI-P3 Coverage
  • True 10bit
  • App and remote control

Neon17 and Neon24 will be available this August, while Neon31 and Neon55 will be available in September. Here's a quick pricing breakdown for each unit: 

All monitors except the Neon55 have available field cases.     

Your Comment

2 Comments

The 8K footage Apple was showing was captured by an unreleased Canon 8K camera. CanonRumors has already posted it and Jonathan Morrison has a video on Youtube just right after the keynote at the demo area that shows the 8K Canon camera on a MIA robot.

Exciting times ahead.

June 5, 2019 at 6:52AM

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Yannis Papanastasopoulos
Filmmaker | AC
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Cannon has a pretty decent pro level line up, they just don't really advertise them as much as their consumer products.

But yeah, indeed.

June 5, 2019 at 12:32PM

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Kyle Dockum
Videographer and Editor
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