August 12, 2016 at 4:01PM
Again, Atomos Ninja Blade or Blackmagic Video Assist?
This has become an intriguing decision, the stakes of which are really hard to figure out. So, while it's been asked a lot, the Blackmagic Video Assist (BMVA) firmware updates (http://nofilmschool.com/2016/02/blackmagic-video-assist-update-1-2-adds-...) continue to narrow the gaps between these monitors/recorders.
If people have solid comparative experiences or are happy using the BMVA I (and hopefully some others) would love to know.
I shoot and screen documentary and art projects while traveling overseas alone, using a Canon C100 mk1.
Saving space in my backpack is a major concern, so recording to SD cards and not having to pack an SSD card reader (required for the Ninja Blade) sounds great.
The Ninja Blade, especially when loaded up with batteries, is bulkier and heavier than the BMVA.
The monitor function of the BMVA seems way superior (1080, and now with all the firmware update focus/exposure assist features--although people really talk a lot about a green image). But still, it seems a far superior monitor to the Ninja Blade.
It has been noted by many commenters elsewhere that Blackmagic has a bad reputation when it comes to taking user experience into consideration. However, those comments often refer to experience with BM cameras. When I've talked to a lot of different people in camera shops (I'm in NYC for the month so I've got plenty to talk to) about Blackmagic products, people have very different experiences with their cameras, as opposed to their other products. So I'm not sure how important a bad experience with a BM camera is for deciding between the Ninja Blade and the BMVA.
The only thing that seems to make the BMVA the bad move in this decision is the lack of 2:3 pulldown, which, as far as I understand, as long as you're handling you're own post-shoot workflow (which I am), can be fixed in Apple's Compressor or another free software option (http://blog.abelcine.com/2011/08/19/simple-workflow-for-removing-23-pull...). Apart from the time taken to do this (in the background while you do something else), is there going to be a quality difference between the Atomos removing the pulldown versus removing the pulldown using Compressor, having outputted to the BMVA? It seems this is the crux of the matter, and I promise I've spent a lot of time trying to find an answer.
Thanks for any help or info.