AtomOS 10.3 firmware adds new features and addresses Nikon RAW image issues.
The 5" Atomos Ninja V has been out in the field for over 2 years and has had its share of criticism. Some users have reported it dropping frames or having gamma shift errors. Others are displeased with the separate $75 Atomos Docking Station that's needed to transfer the SSD files to a computer. (Quick Tip: there are less expensive alternatives out there in the form of SATA adapter cables, including this one that's a SATA to USB-C.)
The Ninja V can record up to 4K 10-bit HDR video straight from the camera sensor over HDMI 2.0, or via SDI, with the optional AtomX SDI Module that adds 12G in/out support. RAW recording is now being offered with the Nikon Z7 and Z6 full-frame mirrorless cameras. In order to unlock the functionality, the camera must first be sent into Nikon for the update. Panasonic and Atomos are developing firmware that will enable RAW recording for the S1H. It's expected that 5.9K up to 29.97fps and 4K DCI up to 59.94fps will be supported. The release was scheduled for early 2020. No Film School has reached out to Panasonic to check the status and will update this post with what we find out.
9 Grid Overlay
It's odd a 9 grid overlay wasn't available right out the box, but it's available now. It's helpful when applying the rule of thirds while framing.
Atomos has added both 1.25x and 1.8x de-squeeze for those shooting anamorphic glass.
Frame Guides for Social Media
Social media frame guides for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube are now available. Included are 1:1, 4:5, 1.91:1, and 9:16 to cater to the popular square, portrait, vertical, and landscape aspect ratios for the platforms.
IRE Scale for False Color
A generic IRE % scale with values has been added to False Color mode view to help expose skin tones.
Legalize HDMI Input
You can now manually apply Full-to-Legal range conversion on input recordings. This is good news for those who had issues with the Ninja V clipping the recorded input. Before, it would treat all recordings as legal broadcast range, which in 8-bit is 16-235 (or 64-940), where 16 is pure black and 235 is pure white. Now, you can select when that happens, whether it's 8-bit or 10-bit, and it will accurately map full levels (8-bit 0-255 / 10-bit 0-1023) to legal range when desired.
Rolling File Naming
Scene, shot, and take filenames can now maintain continuous rolling file naming and take counts after reformatting a drive. The feature can be turned on or off in the file naming menu.
Other fixes include a refinement to the Nikon RAW image where a blue pixel would appear in the last line of the frame and improvements to the AtomX SDI module where some SDI inputs would not lock.
With this update, all users will be required to activate ProRes RAW as a codec on the Ninja V, even if ProRes RAW has been used prior. After the update, an activation code will be requested when plugging in a RAW source. More info on activating ProRes RAW, is available here. The free AtomOS 10.3 update for Ninja V can is can downloaded directly from Atomos.
If there are other features that can improve the Ninja V, share them in the comment section below.