Atomos Ninja Inferno REVIEWED


Daniel Peters TV-Bay Magazine
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Bristol-based Daniel Peters is one of a new breed of indie filmmakers discovering that you dont need big budgets to create filmic shorts. Often working solo, shooting and editing his own work, he creates the look and feel of bigger productions with only limited resources. His commitment to the craft is so great he had to sell much of his own gear to fund his most recent short film Deserted in Paris, after he went over budget due to lost locations and actors pulling out.

Because every penny counts, he relies heavily on more affordable camera kit. He is currently using the Panasonic GH5 coupled with the Atomos Ninja Inferno 4K external recorder and monitor a combination that has received a lot of buzz in indie film circles because it offers a lower-cost way to get excellent 10-bit 4K images at 60fps, direct to Apple ProRes. Combined with the right lenses and lighting, the skilled Director of Photography can make footage shot on this combination look like it was done on a fully-fledged cinema camera.

Along with the 10-bit quality, one key advantage for Peters is the ability to work in Apples ProRes codec all the way through the production chain. The camera files are recorded directly to SSD drives in Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR formats, and can be easily brought into most popular editing software. Peters explains: I was recording to 10-bit ProRes to speed up my editing, rather than converting the files to ProRes afterwards. NLE systems are still a bit behind supporting the in-camera GH5 10-bit files to work without hiccups.

It isnt just about cost. The GH5 and Ninja Inferno make sense for his style of filmmaking, he explains: The FS7 and Ursa Mini are both great cameras but for low budget filming, sometimes you want to draw as little attention to yourself as possible, especially if you end up near locations where they dont like you filming. So even handheld with the GH5 draws less attention.

Deserted in Paris was shot in the Mojave Desert and Palm Springs California, in bright conditions where it could have been very hard to see most monitors without a sunhood. The 7-inch high brightness screen on the Atomos helped Peters focus and compose with ease.

Anyone who has shot in desert conditions also knows that setting the correct exposure can be tricky. Thankfully, the AtomHDR tool on the Ninja Inferno helped Peters get the right balance between protecting the highlights and getting detail in the shadows of the image. Although the AtomHDR function is primarily designed as a tool for HDR, many shooters like Peters have also discovered that it is also a quick and reliable way to assess exposure when capturing Log for a standard REC.709 finish as well. With a simple slider, the user can quickly check the detail and noise in the shadows, and the level of detail retained in the highlights, then adjust exposure to their taste.

Peters also loves the look of anamorphic lenses. The Ninja Inferno can aid when shooting with these by displaying the footage correctly de-squeezed for the correct aspect ratios. Having all the anamorphic options to de-squeeze 1.3x, 1.5x or 2x is amazing, Peters enthused.

Another advantage to the Atomos 4K monitor recorder range is the ability to load creative looks as LUTs. Up to eight can be stored on the devices internal memory, with the option to store many more on the SSD drive to be loaded when needed. Peters is expert at creating his own LUTs and having them loaded on the device proved very useful: Viewing my LUTS on the Inferno meant I was pretty much viewing my final result, he said.

He added: The GH5 and Ninja Inferno produce stunning images. Yeah, the GH5 has a smaller sensor and may not be the best lowlight performance in the world, but I love what it can do and the price is amazing compared to the FS7 and USRA Mini.

Id happily recommend this setup to other filmmakers, especially for quick turnaround edits. Recording to 10bit ProRes is great rather than transcoding afterwards. The monitor is also great to use to keep an eye on noise in an image/scene, plus viewing the image with the Inferno gives more confidence when setting up scenes.


Tags: iss127 | atomos | inferno | ninja | review | prores | dnxhr | gh5 | fs7 | lut | Daniel Peters
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Ollie Kenchington

Start with calibration

The right colour management process can be the difference between being certain of what the end results are going to be, and having to spend time fixing things in post production.

Tags: iss127 | calibration | colour | x-rite | xrite | colorpassort | colorchecker | Ollie Kenchington
Submitted by Ollie Kenchington Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
A 360 degree view of fashion
Michael Parsons Im often asked, what do you do when the students arent around?, and the simple answer is, as it would be from any university technical support member of staff, I get involved in passion projects and these help me to stay up-to-date with the kit and keep my hand-in with video filmmaking.
Tags: iss127 | 360 | vr | portsmouth | university | nokia | ozo | pxw-fs7 | avid media composer | Michael Parsons
Submitted by Michael Parsons Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
A bluffers guide to image stabilisation
Mike Colyer One of the greatest challenges I face when designing a Special Camera system is how to minimise such vibrations, be they the very passive such as vibrations from a human wearing a camera system (10 20Hz), or more pronounced (try strapping a camera to a race car!).
Tags: iss127 | stabilisation | eis | ois | Mike Colyer
Submitted by Mike Colyer Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Class - Treat your virtual machines like cattle
Bruce Devlin - new

The AWS Summit 2017 in London

For several years I have felt that I should attend the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit in London, but never quite found the time to do it. After an exhilarating and educational day, I will now regret that I didn’t go sooner.

Tags: iss127 | aws summit | azure | Bruce Devlin - new
Submitted by Bruce Devlin - new Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Cellular, Satellite or Fixed Link - how do you choose
Lorna Garrett Having a choice is a good thing. Take apples, for example. While one may look pretty much the same as the next, we know that the subtle differences between varieties can make a huge difference in how we choose to use them some are best for pies, some better for cider, and others just perfect for eating from the tree.
Tags: iss127 | liveu | garland | tranmission | uplink | cellular | Lorna Garrett
Submitted by Lorna Garrett Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Why the IABM matters
Peter White The broadcast and media industry is going through a once-in-a-generation transformation right now. Broadcasters and media companies are facing unprecedented challenges with enormous opportunities opening up for the winners. To grasp those opportunities though, broadcasters and media companies need a new generation of agile, cost-effective technology to power their operations to enable them to spin up new services in moments, to repurpose content and serve viewers on their device of choice, wherever they are and whenever they want it.
Tags: iss127 | iabm | standards | Peter White
Submitted by Peter White Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Multi-camera fly-away for live music production
Aaron Dunleavy A specialist in multi-camera concert films and music documentaries, Toward Infinity began working with Trickbox TV around 18 months ago. Run by Producer, Director and Editor Tim Sidwell and Producer and DP Jeremy Mason, Toward Infinity is a creative collaboration that works with top flight venues including: Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Arena, the O2 Arena, Shepherd's Bush Empire and the London Forum, with artists in all genres.
Tags: iss127 | trickbox | multicamera | flyaway | Aaron Dunleavy
Submitted by Aaron Dunleavy Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
5 reasons to use a soft box with LED lighting
James Mathers LEDs are a highly efficient light source, and putting aside any color spectrum issues, (that have generally been improving) they still have limitations for lighting people. The naked illumination coming off a single emitter, or an array making up a larger fixture, such as a panel, is just not the soft, beautiful glow that we seek for human subjects.
Tags: iss127 | led lighting | softbox | soft box | James Mathers
Submitted by James Mathers Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Understanding the process of video production
Joseph Adamson In this article I will focus on understanding the process of video production. The use of miniaturised video equipment and understanding the capability of the kit chosen for the job will be mentioned. The video production process is a road map, which not only helps the producer to minimise problems during production and achieve professional results, but also saves time.This process can be tricky to understand and many videographers are self taught, including myself.
Tags: iss126 | video production | wasd | ail | africans in london | Joseph Adamson
Submitted by Joseph Adamson Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Ad servers and switching solutions
Peter Blanchford Hardware-based ad servers and switching solutions have been around for a long time and, broadly speaking, do the job just fine.
Tags: iss126 | starfish technologies | ad server | ts splicer | ts switch | gop | Peter Blanchford
Submitted by Peter Blanchford Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
IP Based Remote Production
Ed Calverley Over the last few years Suitcase TV has been getting involved in remote production at the software layer, and I want to talk about some of the ways we have been getting involved in remote production, including a specific trial that we did last year with BBC Sport for the Euro 2016 tournament in Paris.
Tags: iss126 | remote production | IP | jt-nm | smpte 2110 | suitcase | Ed Calverley
Submitted by Ed Calverley Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Lighting - the stuff you do not see
Tama Berkeljon Lighting is the stuff you don't see that makes a difference in what you do see. How the audience feels about a character and whether the scene is scary, tense or upbeat are communicated by the quality and placement of light. Lighting can take the drama to a whole new level - think about film noir with all those shadows on the wall.
Tags: iss126 | outsight | ghost in the shell | led lighting | Tama Berkeljon
Submitted by Tama Berkeljon Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Media Production Show and other news
Duncan Payne So, the 2nd Media Production Show has been and gone. Hands up who went to Islington by mistake? I know at least two people who did. Their secret is safe with me! For me, the sign of a great trade show is when I come away really enthused about an innovative use of existing technology or a brand new product. When I find something that combines both these things, then I'm a very happy man.
Tags: iss126 | adamantean | finance | leasing | mps | ptz | sam | Duncan Payne
Submitted by Duncan Payne Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Advances in LED lighting innovation with Rotolight AEOS
Rod Aaron Gammons There's no doubt that lighting plays a critical role in videography, filmmaking and photography. It's the area of content capture that brings added creativity to shoots, whether that's filming a wedding, producing a commercial or making a movie. Much like cameras have evolved over the past few years, lighting has also evolved; from the traditional tungsten, through to the use of LEDs. Of course LEDs have been revolutionised too, now delivering powerful, cost and energy efficient solutions to creatives.
Tags: iss126 | location light | led lighting | AEOS | rotolight | anova | neo | Rod Aaron Gammons
Submitted by Rod Aaron Gammons Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
TV Futures
Jane Lawrence When I was younger my dad used to encourage me to be a Jack of all trades and a master of none. One of those clich© things parents hand down to their children. However, as I have grown and gone through different stages of education I have found this little piece of wisdom has followed me. Don't get me wrong, being amazing at one thing is a great skill to have, but for me having a good understanding of everything is also vital.
Tags: iss126 | tvfutures | ccitv | portsmouth | preditors | Jane Lawrence
Submitted by Jane Lawrence Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine