Atomos has been one of the leading companies for on-camera external recording solutions. The sleek design and large front panel of the Ninja and Samurai paved the way to a new market of products, converging an external recorder and on-camera monitor.
In regards to the latter, the display panels on the original Atomos recorders fell a little short. And not surprisingly, the panels weren’t designed as reference monitors; they were used to provide easy-to-navigate-and-operate menu systems.
To answer demand, last year we were granted with the Samurai Blade, an SDI in/out external recorder with a 5″ IPS 325ppi 1280X720 display. This helped bridge the gap between an external recorder and monitor, and Atomos have now brought in another product to bolster their line up, the Ninja Blade.
The martial arts reference to their product line is clever, it’s memorable and easy to determine.
Ninja – A HDMI external recorder
Samurai – An SDI external recorder
Blade – A display panel suitable for on-camera monitoring.
So by referring to the above, and listing a few of its key features, the Atomos Ninja Blade is a HDMI external recorder, with a 1280X720 SuperAtom IPS touchscreen display, boasting 325ppi, 179-degree viewing angle, 400nit brightness and multi-frequency (48/50/60Hz) operation.
Like all current Atomos recorders, the Ninja Blade allows recording in 10-bit Apple ProRes/Avid DNxHD codecs, directly to a 2.5″ HDD or SSD.
It features various monitoring assists such as tri-level peaking, zebra, false colour and blue-only. The screen is calibrated to SMPTE Rec 709 colour space and a D65 white point with 100% gamut from factory.
This is quite an exciting product; it will be a great addition to any Pro DSLR, C100 or Sony FS100. This is just to name a few (and the term pro DSLR is merely in reference to a DSLR which can provide a clean feed via HDMI, such as the Canon 5D mark III or Nikon D800); really any camera with clean HDMI will be suitable.
And what’s more, with the nifty Atomos Connect S2H (SDI to HDMI) converter, this recorder would work with a camera working solely from SDI.
Naturally, it’ll come in less than the Samurai Blade (the SDI version), with a retail price of $995. Whilst cross compatibility with both protocols would have been nice, it’s also great to have the ability to save money if you do not need certain features. And with above mentioned convertor, you can ensure your recorder is future proof, as the piggy back design of the Atomos Connect means a no fuss workflow when convertor signals.
The Ninja Blade is ready for imminent release, and will be available for view at the Atomos Stand at BVE 2014.