We're always a big fan when a company takes existing hardware and can improve it through firmware or a simple upgrade. As consumers, when we invest in something, we generally don't want to see a new shiny product from that same company released weeks later. It just stings.
Over the last several years, Atomos has become one of those companies that doesn't SKU you to death wondering which version you should get. They simply take existing hardware and make it better without breaking your bank account.
The Ninja V Pro Kit is just one example from Atomos which allows you to record external 12-bit RAW over dual 12G-SDI connections.
The entire kit includes a Ninja V, AtomX SDI Module, an AtomX 5" Sunhood, a pre-activated key code that enables Apple ProRes RAW recording over SDI, and other power accessories like a locking DC to D-Tap cable to power the unit from the camera battery.
If you haven't invested in an Atomos monitor to record RAW externally, this kit is essentially all you need to start, as it allows you to record video over HDMI or SDI. Meaning, not only can you record external RAW from mirrorless cameras like the Sony a7S III, but you can as well with higher-end cinema cameras from Panasonic, Sony, or Canon.
Credit: AtomosKit aside, the good thing that Atomos did is that if you already own a Ninja V recorder, you can still take advantage of SDI recording by purchasing the AtomX SDI Module separately ($199) and activating it to enable RAW recording via SDI.
If you already own both the monitor and module, all you have to do is pay to activate RAW recording, which is $99. According to Atomos, existing owners will be able to purchase the activation key and download firmware 10.61 for the Ninja V directly from the Atomos website this month.
With the AtomX SDI Module attached to the Ninja V, it adds 12G-SDI I/O support through two industry-standard full-size BNC connectors. Both single link and dual-link connections are supported and feature timecode, recorder trigger commands, and up to 12 channels of embedded audio as well as file naming for RED and ARRI cameras.
Current supported cameras and formats:
- Varicam LT: RAW to 4K 60p and high frame rate up to 2K 240p
- EVA-1: RAW up to 5.7K 30p and high frame rate up to 2K 240p
- C500 MK II: RAW up to 4K DCI and 4K UHD up to 30p
- C300 MK II: RAW up to 4K DCI and 4K UHD up to 30p
Credit: AtomosIt is worth noting that Sony's FS range (FS700, FS5, and FS7) is not supported with the Ninja V and AtomX SDI Module. To record RAW, you'll need to use the Shogun 7 instead.
Besides the ability to record RAW, the kit provides HDMI to SDI cross conversion where 4K DCI cropped and 4K to HD can be down-converted to bridge the resolution gap between EVFs and wireless TX/RX without needing to add any converters. For playback, the Ninja V provides a lossless signal distribution with two 12G-SDI inputs and a single HDMI 2.0 connection that can simultaneously output up to 4K 60p.
Atomos says RAW inputs can be debayered in real-time, and non-standard high resolutions are processed to SMPTE standard output formats. When shooting RAW or Log content, they can be converted to HLG, PQ, or your preferred LUT and previewed on the monitor which can come in handy when lighting scenes. The entire setup can be powered through the included DC power supply, via D-Tap, or with an NPF battery.
Credit: AtomosThe Ninja V Pro Kit retails for $949 and comes with everything mentioned above.
It would be cool if Atomos offered a version of the kit without the Ninja V at a reduced cost. Many of us already own the Ninja V and buying the module ($199) and RAW activation ($99) is about half the cost of the Ninja V alone. Maybe there's a way for them to trim down that cost. Either way, it's still cheaper than buying a Ninja V and a Shogun 7, though the Shogun 7 does have some cool features not found on the Ninja V.