By far the dominant name in the monitor/recorder marketplace right now is the Australian company Atomos, best known for its 5" and 7" on-board units. The company did make larger monitors, namely the 19" Sumo, which hasn't quite taken off the way something like the Shogun Inferno has.
However, that is all likely to change now with a full line of larger monitor/recorders that Atomos has just announced at CineGear 2019: the Neon line. These are physically larger monitor/recorders, starting at 17" and going all the way up to 55".
These are True 10bit monitors with 100% DCI-P3 color space coverage, exciting for anyone wanting accurate, on-set color reproduction. Atomos continues its collaboration with Dolby, offering the ability to monitor DolbyVision HDR content accurately on set, as well as 1000nit peak brightness and 512 independent dimming zones.
One of the coolest features offered by Neon is the replaceable Master Control Unit. This is designed to future-proof the monitor, since right now they are built around a 4K workflow. So, if 8K takes off in the future (and that's a major if, and might be a while), you'll just have to replace a single MCU rather than the whole unit, which should make the risk of investing in the platform easier to stomach for many.
Additionally, Atomos has smartly moved away from a touchscreen interface to an app and remote control. Touchscreens make a ton of sense on a 7" form factor, but having a touch screen on a 55" monitor would involve a lot of arm wagging.
In addition, a 55" monitor is likely to attract a crowd around it, and having a remote to make changes without having to stand in front of the monitor and block the view is a very smart innovation.
While it might seem too big for on set work, I did a project last summer (Salty Pirate) with a 50" monitor wirelessly connected with a Sidekick, and honestly, it was such a pleasure working with a big monitor on set. Even the 1st AC was pulling focus from it from time to time. Combine the Neon55 with a Teradek Bolt 4k and you'll have a really useful on-set unit. Even the 31" will be appreciated on some productions, though of course the 17" and 24" will be the most portable and probably the most common.
We also have to point out the movement away from Atomos traditional naming structure to a new format. "Neon" is still "cool," but it feels a little less "eXtreme GamerZone to the Max!!!!" than their previous Ninja Inferno scheme, and it's a move we applaud as they clearly target a higher end slice of the industry.
- ProRes RAW, ProRes, CinemaDNG and DNx Recording
- Replaceable Master Control Unit
- 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:
- Neon17: $3,999
- Neon24: $6,499
- Neon31: $7,999
- Neon55: $16,999
All monitors except the 55 have available field cases.
Stay tuned for more on the Atomos Neon line. Hopefully, we'll be able to get our hands on some this summer.
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