After getting my hands on it for a while, I can tell you the Atomos Ninja V+ is perhaps Atomos' best product thus far—bringing future-proof 8K ProRes RAW footage into an accessible, and more importantly, feasible place.
A lot of people like to argue about the importance of resolution in the camera tech space. "Why would I ever need 8K footage?" they say.
"It's pointless, we should only be concerned about dynamic range!" they say, which to an extent I agree with, but hear me out.
On one side of the argument I understand that for most projects, 8K would be a bit of overkill. You may not have the drive space, you may not have the ability to edit in such high resolution, and your final export may only need to be 1920x1080.
However, here's where I kind of divert from the pack in terms of this argument. My response to the question is another question: "What if it was really easy and not a hassle at all to shoot 8K footage? Why wouldn't you go ahead and future-proof everything you're shooting, if it wasn't a big deal to do it."
I mean, wouldn't you? Why wouldn't you gather the data of your shoot in the most archival level quality possible? If it was super easy, I can't think of a good reason not to. If you can, you should always opt for more future-proofed content that can last through many technological leaps and advancements without looking low-res or dated. 8K ProRes RAW footage is a great way to make sure you're keeping your content fresh for years to come.
In recent months, there have been quite a few jumps in the technology space that make shooting in such a high resolution possible and stress-free, and to that effect, Atomos has dropped its hat into the ring with much aplomb—the Ninja V+.
Though the Ninja V+ has been out for a bit, I've recently gotten the opportunity to give it a try. I would confidently say it's their best entry into the recorder/monitor hybrid range (a product category that they basically single-handedly put on the map). With this powerful little piece of technology, shooting ProRes RAW in multiple flavors and resolutions is just a couple of touches away, and it has all the extra bells and whistles you'd hope for with a professional reference monitor and recorder.
8K ProRes RAW Recording
If you're lucky enough to be an owner of a Canon EOS R5, you'll be able to record 8K ProRes RAW internally with the Ninja V+. You'll get 4K p120 high-frame-rate ProRes RAW on the Z Cam (E2 and E2-M4), or Sony FX6 or FX9.
This is a world-first from an external monitor/recorder. Atomos has always been keen to grow the ProRes RAW ecosystem and was the first one to include it as a recording option with previous products. Now they're pushing that even further with 8K. The Ninja V+ has a top-notch onboard processor that allows the V+ to record up to 8Kp30 or 4Kp120 in ProRes RAW.
The thing about ProRes RAW is that it's truly a very easy to work with RAW codec. It's one of those fun-to-edit and lightweight RAW codecs that doesn't set your computer on fire when you're trying to do an edit.
In terms of 8K footage, there are a number of ways that having that extra resolution is more than beneficial. Even though a lot of deliverables are still maxing out at HD or UHD resolution, when it comes to data acquisition on set, you want to be able to have as much bang for your buck during production so that your footage can live on in various formats and uses for years and years to come. We may be just a few short years from everyone having an 8K television in their living room, so if you want to release your content in a more future-friendly way, you can. No need to go through any lengthy up-rez type processes, you can have it the way you need it right there.
Everything Else You'd Ever Need
So, another thing about that whole, "Why would I need 8K?" thing is that—well, what if you just didn't need to use that part? Because you don't.
The Ninja V+ is the best release yet in my eyes regardless of the 8K ProRes RAW. It's just a best-in-class reference monitor and recorder from all sides of the argument, and for all uses.
The Ninja V and Ninja V+ are there to suit whatever your needs are from a recording and monitoring perspective. If you need to shoot in ProRes, you got it, if your project requires RAW, you got it, and if you need any number of other formats (the Avid Dnx formats, H.265, other levels of ProRes, etc.) you've got a ton of different recording options to choose from.
It has every single monitoring tool you'd ever want, false color, real-time LUTs, scopes, tools, and frame guides, all at the touch of a couple of buttons.
This monitor probably has my favorite false-color look of all the ones I've used (which has been the way I've felt about all Atomos monitors that include it), and it is just honestly such a robust and easy to use interface that no monitor I've used can come close to matching. A common way I always feel about Atomos products is, "Oh yeah, this thing is a recorder too!" Because it's always worth the price to me as a monitor alone.
So, if you don't need 8K, then quit complaining—because it's just a good recorder and monitor without all that.
A Great Tool for Future-Proofing Any Filmmaker
Even if you're not an R5 or Sony FX6 or 9 owner, you can still really get a bang for your buck out of this product. It's a solid monitor at a reasonable price point of around $1,500, with all the impressive features of a high-end and very format-capable recorder.
However, pay attention. In the coming years, I would absolutely guarantee you that more and more cameras will be compatible and/or the advent of super-high-resolution footage will become commonplace. With the new powerful MacBook Pros and extremely powerful GPUs becoming more and more the norm, the rest of the camera tech world will have no choice but to follow suit.
Atomos has really placed a firm footstep forward in leading the charge with the Ninja V+.
They’ve also launched the Level Up Promotion for Ninja V+ and Ninja V+ Pro Kit, which means they are currently discounted until Dec. 31. See prices below. This makes the Ninja V+ even better!
You lost me at future proof. Anyone using a ninja 5 has no need to future-proof their content.
November 16, 2021 at 12:47PM
I see the points they are trying to make, but I have to agree with you. Once something you shoot with a prosumer monitor/recorder is on Youtube, you're not going to need an 8K version of it down the road.
"We may be just a few short years from everyone having an 8K television in their living room, so if you want to release your content in a more future-friendly way, you can." That sentence really stuck out to me. It's sad to think of someone in the future sitting in their living room thinking,"Man, this 6K TV is just looking so blurry and outdated. I think I need to go down to Costco and get an 8K TV". They'll convince themselves that they can tell the difference to justify the purchase. But the human eye can't tell the difference, especially on a TV.
November 16, 2021 at 7:35PM
Futures proof? It can't even do 8K 60p (Nikon Z9). This thing is already obsolete.
November 17, 2021 at 11:30AM
Note that the use of HDMI2.0 ports (both the R5 and the Ninja V+ means that only 10 bit 8k can be recorded externally. 12 bit for internal recording. Why Canon can't record 4k/120 externally is puzzling and should be possible if the bit depth is lowered.
Recording externally is one piece in the puzzle but you also have to store it on hard disks and even if the price drops over time, it is still an investment to consider.
November 18, 2021 at 5:42PM
I still have the Atomos Ninja V and I'm loving it. As soon as I can get my hands on the V+, I'm going for it.
November 21, 2021 at 9:25AM