News Shooter: Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Review (lite)

https://www.newsshooter.com/2019/08/22/blackmagic-design-pocket-cinema-camera-6k-review-lite/

“This is a ‘lite’ review of the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) 6K. I say lite because there is no way anyone can do a proper, in-depth review of a camera in a few days or even a few weeks. To properly review a camera you need to spend a lot more time with the camera than I have so far….”

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Heavily-rigged Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (EF).

Commentary

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Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT Pro’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K rig ready for shooing a feature movie. Paul says that “
The new Blackmagic Pocket 6K is a game changer. This truly is the realisation of 6K for $6K 😮 Lens aside, this setup cost less than $6K, and for that you have a full Super35, RAW 6K shooting package with batteries, rigging, timecode sync, follow focus, monitor/recorder and more. Just nuts!”

Australian cinematographer Matthew Allard ACS of video industry bible News Shooter has just published a lengthy, in-depth though “lite” hands-on practical review of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and it makes for useful reading especially for those who own a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and are considering replacing it with its Super 35 sibling.

Blackmagic Design has pulled one out of the hat with both cameras, making them the currently most affordable cinema cameras, but not without a number of compromises.

Mr Allard has the longterm experience as an on-location news and documentary cinematographer working around the globe to write well-qualified reviews like this one and I look forward to the non-lite version of this review for even more invaluable insights.

Meanwhile Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has obtained his own BMPCC 6K and as a seasoned BMPCC 4K owner is even better qualified to opine on both cameras.

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Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT Pro in footage from his Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. NOTE: this is an uncompressed still frame from the BMPCC 6K and so will take a little while to download on some Internet connections.

These are some of Paul’s initial thoughts on the BMPCC 6K:

Let me say right off the bat, this camera is going to be my A cam simply for the fact that there’s no Speed Booster glass to degrade your lens!!! No matter how good the Speed Boosters are from Metabones (and the new BMPCC4K one is quite good), it just can’t hold a candle to the quality of the lens on a native mount. Not to mention that the 6K is smooth and sharp across the entire frame, and downscaling that to 4K is going to give incredibly clean images. Look into the very corners of this frame and you can clearly see the benefits.

This still only has my Blackmagic V4 1.5 LUT applied, plus a small amount (25%) chroma noise reduction done in Resolve to get rid of some of the tiny BRAW fringe issues that that format seems to have. Hopefully, being their own format, they will eventually figure out how to do that better without NR being required. The clip was shot 6K at Q5 quality.

Some out of the box things I like – the screen is more neutral (second gen I’m guessing, same as the later 4K’s) and I like the locking body cap which I haven’t seen anyone mention before anywhere.

Paul shared some notes on the rig illustrated above:

  • [Blackmagic] Pocket [Cinema Camera] 6K
  • 8Sinn Pocket 4K cage, rod riser and handle
  • Shoot35 Cine Follow Focus
  • Ultrasync One timecode generator/receiver
  • Atomos Ninja V 4K monitor/recorder
  • Smallrig arm for Ninja V
  • Hawk-Woods Mini V-Lok 98Whr battery and plate
  • Sigma FF Cine 50mm T1.5 prime lens (EF mount)
  • Samsung T5 SSD 1TB

Links

  • Leeming LUT Pro – “Leeming LUT Pro™ is the world’s first unified, corrective Look Up Table ( LUT ) system for supported cameras, designed to maximise dynamic range, fix skin tones, remove unwanted colour casts and provide an accurate Rec709 starting point for further creative colour grading.”
  • News ShooterBlackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Review (lite)

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Clicking on the links and purchasing through them for our affiliate accounts at Adorama, Alien Skin, B&H Photo Video, SkylumSmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Unititled’.

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (Canon EF) B&H
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Blackmagic Design Shares Downloadable Movies and Camera Original Files from Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and 4K

Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty continues to make good on his promise for professional-quality moviemaking to become accessible and affordable for all who want it and has raised the bar even higher with his surprise announcement of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and its Super 35 sensor and even more firmware and hardware features than its older sibling the Super 16 sensor-equipped Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. 

The affordability and cinematic feature-film quality achievable with the raw-shooting BMPCC 6K and BMPCC 4K and their associated editing and colour grading software package DaVinci Resolve have bumped high-quality moviemaking out of the longtime death-grip of the rich WASP boys’ club into the hands of self-funded independent documentarians like myself and I am beyond chuffed at this excellent development. 

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K comes with Canon EF-mount for the vast array of Canon and other brand cinema and stills photography lenses out there and supplements the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s Micro Four Thirds mount that accepts M43 and adapted larger sensor format lenses.

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Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K with Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens.
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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera rigged for heavy-duty moviemaking.

In order to demonstrate the high quality, similarities and differences between the two cameras’ output, Blackmagic Design is sharing a number of movies in various genres at its Workflow and Gallery pages, with the files viewable in-page or downloadable as camera original files and finished products.

Blackmagic Design’s absence from the recent SMPTE Australia METexpo conference and trade show in Sydney was disappointing but the announcement and imminent release of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K takes some of the edge off that.

Priced at US$2,495.00 compared to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K’s US$1,295.00, the BMPCC 6K is the most affordable cinema camera in its class with both BMPCC models usable stripped-down and handheld as well as heavily rigged and tripod or gimbal-mounted for Hollywood quality feature film production of documentary and narrative movies.

What next for Blackmagic Design and its noble quest to make high-end moviemaking accessible to the rest of us?

Perhaps Grant Petty might consider creating a second version of the BMPCC 6K with a shorter lens flange depth and a set of adapters permitting attaching a broader range of lenses such as those made by Fujifilm, Nikon and more.

Fujifilm’s Fujinon lenses are of particular interest given that Fujifilm’s X-mount cameras use APS-C/Super 35 sensors, the same size as the one in the BMPCC 6K.

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Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujifilm VG-XT3 Vertical Battery Grip and Fujinon MKX 18-55mm T2.9 cinema zoom lens. Imagine a possible variable-mount adapter version of the BMPCC 6K allowing for use of other mount lenses such as X-mount cinema lenses like this and the very affordable X-mount MicroPrime cinema lenses made by SLR Magic.

Fujifilm’s Fujinon MK 18-55mm T2.9 and MK 50-135mm T2.9 cinema zoom lenses would be terrific to use natively with the BMPCC 6K as would SLR Magic’s X-mount MicroPrimes which now come in 12mm, 15mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm and 75mm focal lengths.

Imagine ever-increasing numbers of hybrid photography and video shooters relying on Fujifilm XF cameras and X-mount lenses for stills work then being able to use the same lenses on a possible future variable-mount BMPCC 6K camera.

It seems unlikely that Fujifilm would provide raw video capability on its cameras any time soon, whether via Apple ProRes Raw or Blackmagic Design’s BRAW, but Fujifilm and Blackmagic Design cameras would complement each other nicely if the latter takes up this suggestion.

Adapted lenses have their pros and cons given the variable feature sets and quality of currently available third-party adapters, but the BMPCC 6K now makes Sigma’s Canon EF-mount 18-55mm and 50-100mm zoom lenses even more appealing in their stills and cinema versions.

Pity Metabones has not seen fit to make an EF-to-X-mount Smart Adapter and a Speed Booster given the proven quality of their other adapter offerings, and the reason remains a mystery given the high potential market for them.

The same thoughts above apply to the short flange distance L-mount lenses made by Sigma, Panasonic and Leica – imagine being able to use them on a possible BMPCC 6K variant as well as L-mount cameras.

Links

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Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom lens for APS-C sensors and for adapting to M43 with Metabones SpeedBoosters, lens available in Canon EF or Nikon mounts. This Super 35 lens may be a great choice for the Super 35 BMPCC 6K unadapted, and for use on the BMPCC 4K adapted with the recently-released Metabones SpeedBooster for BMPCC 4K.

Clicking on the links and purchasing through them for our affiliate accounts at Adorama, Alien Skin, B&H Photo Video, SkylumSmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Unititled’.

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4KB&H
  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (Canon EF) B&H
  • Canon EF mount lensesB&H
  • Fujinon MK18-55mm T2.9 cinema zoom lensB&H
  • Fujinon MK50-135mm T2.9 cinema zoom lensB&H
  • L-mount lensesB&H
  • Metabones lens adaptersB&H
  • Micro Four Thirds mount lensesB&H
  • Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon EFB&H
  • Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon EFB&H
  • SLR Magic MicroPrime ciné lensesB&H

Gerald Undone: Exposure Tips for the BMPCC4K & Why I Don’t Use ProRes

Discussing Blackmagic Pocket 4K exposure complications, ETTR vs middle grey, what Highlight Recovery does, and why ProRes isn’t good for low ISOs.

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Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K aka BMPCC 4K.

Commentary

With Blackmagic Design’s Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K being a reasonably recent release in short supply in many parts of the world, high-value information on how to get the best out of it also remains in short supply so Gerald Undone’s data on the two best ISOs is particularly welcome.

Instead of the more commonly used base dual native ISOs of 400 and 3200, Mr Undone recommends ISOs of 400 and 4000 and supports those numbers with a thorough set of tests.

Using these preferred ISOs on your BMPCC 4K in conjunction with the expose-to-the-right aka ETTR principles espoused by Australian cinematographer/director Paul Leeming of Leeming LUT Pro will provide optimum exposure and the most suitable footage for grading.

Links

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Clicking on the links and purchasing through them for our affiliate accounts at Adorama, Alien Skin, B&H Photo Video, SkylumSmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Unititled’.

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K B&H

The Beat: NAB 2019: PolarPro’s New Peter McKinnon Variable ND Filter

NAB 2019: Polar Pro’s New Peter McKinnon Variable ND Filter

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PolarPro Variable Neutral Density Filter, Peter McKinnon Edition.

“Polar Pro is slowly becoming one of my favorite companies. As with Aputure and Blackmagic Design, it seems they’re doing this crazy thing where they listen to their customers and make products that actually help people. So, that being said, the new “Peter McKinnon” branded filters are, quite frankly, super dope….

The filter is a fused, quartz glass, variable ND filter with apparently the lowest refractive index currently available….

The stop indicators are pretty rad, and they can really help you get the shot you want — perfectly exposed and consistent (as all things should be)….”

Specifications

  • Available in 2-5 and 6-9 stop variations.
  • Preset stop range eliminates any chance of cross polarization.
  • Zero vignetting down to 16mm focal length lenses.
  • Pure Fused Quartz ensures superior optical clarity over any glass on the market.
  • Includes a DefenderSlim cover for fingerprint-free installation.

PolarPro Variable ND Filter, Peter McKinnon Edition

Commentary

Variable neutral density filters aka VNDs are a mainstay of independent documentary movie production and the best are anything but cheap.

Given that one or two VNDs can replace five or more fixed density value neutral density filters, prices of the best VNDs compare well with those of sets of fixed NDs, so sticker price shock should not be a consideration if one is going for the best and most versatile production kit, one that will last for years through thick and thin.

PolarPro’s QuartzLine range of UV filters, fixed density ND filters and Circular Polarizers has been quietly satisfying the needs of drone operators, photographers and videographers with its brass traction-framed filters, and the company recently came to my attention with advance mention of a new concept in VND filters.

That new type of VND was shown off at NAB 2019, was covered by The Beat, and has been selling like crazy direct from the PolarPro online store.

I have never had the pleasure of using or seeing any PolarPro products in real life, but from what I have read they are outstanding.

I have been researching possible replacements for my ageing VND, a Genustech 77mm Eclipse ND Fader that was the most-recommended when I got back into moviemaking, and have decided to standardize on 82mm filters with step-up rings to help minimize vignetting when using them on wide lenses.

I began replacing my aluminium step-up rings with the excellent knurled brass traction frame step-up rings made by Breakthrough Photography a while ago, and have some Breakthrough Photography fixed ND, UV and CPL filters with which I am well pleased.

I discovered that brass filter frames are far less prone to binding than aluminium ones, and that knurled frames are better than non-knurled, the more knurling the better.

It was a little disappointing to learn that PolarPro’s Peter McKinnon Variable ND Filter comes with aluminium frames rather than brass ones but I am hoping for the best with their performance in the field and am waiting for reviews by well-qualified professional users to appear.

I am impressed that PolarPro has chosen to issue its VND in two densities, 2-5 and 6-9 stops, a wise move given the high base ISOs of many contemporary hybrid cameras.

Aurora-Aperture followed a similar path with its 1-7 and 4-11 VND pair while SLR Magic took another path again with its SLR Magic 82mm Self-Locking VND 0.4-1.8 plus 86mm Solid Neutral Density 1.2 Image Enhance Filter Kit providing a range of 1.3 to 10 stops with both filters combined.

The question now is going to be which pro-quality VND brand to opt for – PolarPro, Aurora-Aperture or SLR Magic?

Links

Help support ‘Untitled’

Clicking on the links below and purchasing through them or our affiliate accounts at B&H Photo Video, SmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Aurora-Aperture FiltersB&H
  • Breakthrough Photography Filters and accessories – B&H
  • PolarPro QuartzLine Filters B&H
  • SLR Magic Neutral Density FiltersB&H

DPReview: CP+ 2019: Fujifilm interview – ‘We want to show photographers the future’

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/8410636142/cp-2019-fujifilm-interview-we-want-to-show-photographers-the-future

“At the CP+ show earlier this month in Yokohama Japan, we sat down with senior executives from Fujifilm. During our conversation we covered everything from the upcoming GFX 100, to plans for APS-C and why the X100 still occupies such an important position in the company’s lineup.

Our interview was conducted with three senior executives in Fujifilm’s Electronic Imaging Products Division:

  • Toshi Iida, General Manager.
  • Makoto Oishi, Product Planning Manager.
  • Shin Udono, Senior Manager of the Sales and Marketing Group.…”

Links

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  • Fujifilm camerasB&H
  • Fujifilm lensesB&H

DPReview TV: Waveforms are better than histograms (and stills cameras should use them)

“By now, most serious photographers are familiar with histograms, a tool we’ve used for years to judge exposure. But what about waveforms? In this episode, Chris and Jordan explain why this tool from the video world may be the best way to judge exposure for photos – and why still cameras should use them too.”

Commentary

This is not a bad idea as other tools formerly the exclusive province of video production have found a place in photography, such as exposure zebras, which is a much better alternative to the dreaded blinkies.

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False colour as seen on RED cameras, courtesy of Tom Huczek at timeinpixels, maker of the excellent False Color Plugin for NLEs and colour grading software.

Even better may be false colour, well illustrated in several different styles as provided by a range of cameras at Tom Huczek’s timeinpixels’ web page and video for its excellent and highly recommended False Color Plugin for a range of non-linear editing and colour grading applications including DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro X.

As a documentary and portrait person, skintone-oriented false colour exposure functionality would be more useful than histograms and waveforms.

Links

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Lesspain Software: Kyno 1.6 is Here

“Kyno 1.6 brings checksum-verified camera offloading, new metadata and copy workflows, Red (R3D, Redcode) Raw support and tons of other improvements. Check out the release notes at lesspain.software…”

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Kyno 1.6 is here!

https://support.lesspain.software/support/solutions/articles/12000016005-release-notes-for-kyno-1

1.6.0 (macOS: 106027, Windows: 1.6.0.23) – Released 2019-02-25

This major update brings a number of exciting new features and improvements as well as fixes for issues that have been reported.

The highlight of this feature is without a doubt the addition of verified copy (sometimes called “offloading”) using industry grade checksum verification based on the established media hash list (MHL) standard. From now on, you never have to leave your favourite workflow tool from camera card to edit/delivery.

Kyno Premium users will welcome the much-requested support for the RED RAW R3D format that you can preview and transcode with Kyno 1.6.

If you’re looking to get in touch with us directly be sure to drop us a line at @lesspainsoft on Twitter or on Facebook at facebook.com/lesspainsoft. If you have questions or need support just pop on over to support.lesspain.software and we’ll point you in the right direction.

What’s New (all editions):

  • Added “Copy & verify” function (aka verified copy, aka offloading) that copies your camera media or any folder with industry-grade verification using the media hash list (MHL) standard, full or incremental mode supported.
  • Added workflow for exporting and importing/merging descriptive metadata to aid collaborative workflows that operate on multiple copies of the same material.
  • Added new “Paste & rename” workflow for people copying and batch-renaming in one step as part of their ingest process.
  • When browsing through similar clips using the “next” and “previous” button or shortcut audio track and speed settings are retained for similar clips.
  • Added marker and subclip statistics to “Create report” function
  • Improved stereo audio track handling when sending files to Premiere Pro
  • Use full file name as clip name when sending to Premiere (or exporting for Resolve) instead of removing file extension to be consistent with what Premiere does on regular import
  • Display the XDCAM type in clip metadata for XDCAM footage
  • Support rewrapping of HEVC files to Mov container
  • Selected audio track and playback speed are retained when skipping through similar files
  • Thumbnails are now created with current LUT settings applied
  • LUTs are now applied when exporting still frames from videos
  • Added fade in/out support to transcoder
  • Added preset for XDCAM HD 422 29.97 FPS
  • Added FPS column to Excel export
  • Include marker and subclip titles when matching search term in the Browser filter
  • Added possibility to filter assets based on folder name and date range
  • Allow tags to be imported and exported
  • Added a global index as a naming variable to count across multiple rename, export or transcode operations
  • Added video/audio codec, format, start, end, path as optional metadata columns in Browser
  • Display overlay icons for tags, metadata, markers in list mode
  • Support playback of certain old PCM audio tracks from old camcorders
  • Improved sorting in Navigator tree
  • Adjusted labels for color properties to be more in line with industry standards
  • Made subclip time range controls in transcoder window take into account clip timecode
  • Renamed MJPEG transcoding preset to Photo JPEG because it’s more known under that name

What’s New (Premium edition):

  • RED RAW R3D support (playback and transcoding)
  • Multi-Destination verified copy (aka offloading) in one step. Back up your camera media in a simple workflow in two locations
  • Added ability to automatically transcode files in delivery workflow
  • Added ability to transfer image files together with video files in delivery workflow
  • Add a new folder naming option in delivery options
  • Improve behaviour of delivery folder history
  • Automatically display folders created by local delivery in Navigator tree
  • Sort subfolders correctly in delivery folder selector
  • Improve performance of delivery folder selector for slow connections

New Enterprise Features:

  • Changed Custom Package Deployment configuration overrides to one XML file that can be loaded from file system or via HTTP
  • Added functionality for delivery endpoints to be preconfigured via Custom Package Deployment
  • Added functionality for tags to be preconfigured via custom package deployment

Fixes:

  • Identified and busted the cause for accidental folder moves in the folder navigator
  • Improved display of drag and drop items (folders, clips)
  • Kyno now prevents input of invalid folder names on Windows
  • Fixed Premiere Pro 2019 not being detected automatically by the “Send to” function
  • Fixed a minor inaccuracy in duration filter
  • Fixed a rare crash that happened during drag & drop on certain OSX versions
  • Fixed a bug where moving a file between volumes resulted in a stale file remaining in the old location
  • Fixed a bug on Windows that prevented another volume to be registered in the workspace with the same drive letter
  • Fixed a problem where in rare cases empty clip names where transferred to Premiere or Resolve
  • Fixed a bug that caused certain HDR ProRes files not to play back
  • Fixed a rare freeze on Windows when double-clicking subclips

Kyno 1.6 Screenshots

LumaForge: Media Asset Management and Kyno

Commentary

Kyno goes from strength to strength as it continue to add essential video and photography production functions that many of us have relied for on a cluster of other dedicated applications made by a range of small software companies.

Add up the licence fees for all of that ever-growing cluster of separate applications and compare it to Kyno’s licence fees in whichever version, Kyno, Kyno Premium or Kyno Enterprise, is relevant to your work.

I am particularly excited about Kyno 1.6’s checksum-verified camera offloading after having tried out a number of dedicated offloading products as well as its metadata workflow improvements as the latter has been something of a sore point for a while.

Kyno 1.6’s ability to add two LUTs – one for camera profiles and one for looks LUTs for example – to still frame image files exported from markers as well as thumbnails is also very welcome.

These and more new and improved features are making Kyno the number one on-location media management system for a range of producers including self-funded independent documentary moviemakers and photographers like me.

I have already put the offloading function in Kyno 1.6 – now updated to version 1.6.1 – to good use in the course of reviewing a camera and lens and look forward to putting more of its new features and improvements to use in the coming days.

I can only imagine what may be coming in Kyno 1.7!

Support for Blackmagic Cinema DNG and Blackmagic Raw come to mind right now for example  – I received some sample BMPCC 4K footage from Paul Leeming the other day – and look forward to Kyno adding support for all the latest affordable hybrid and video cameras and camcorders as they appear.

Links

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Kyno: Designing a workflow for a Netflix Series using Kyno 1.6

https://lesspain.software/kyno/pages/news/designing-a-workflow-for-a-netflix-series-using-kyno/

“A couple weeks ago we were approached by a company intending to create a Pilot for a Netflix Series which presented several challenges, the series was going to be shot in 4k DCI 60p in XAVC-I in S-log3 using a pair of PXW-FS7 cameras in several locations around Mexico, the Caribbean and the US, all the media had to be reviewed and qualified by the series director on site, basic editing was going to be done in one city using Adobe Premiere with low res media, and finishing, audio mastering and color grading was going to be done on another city across the country, and as in most productions, budget was extremely limited, so most of the regular tools used on major productions were completely out of reach, so we needed to develop a workflow that would allow…”

Kyno media management system software by Lesspain Software.

Links

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News Shooter: Hands-On with the HDMI Atomos Ninja V recorder/monitor

https://www.newsshooter.com/2018/09/10/hands-hdmi-atomos-ninja-v-recorder-monitor/

“I first saw the 5″ HDMI monitor/recorder at NAB 2018 and was impressed with the design, however, the Ninja V wasn’t ready for prime time yet as Atomos didn’t power it up for us to see the 1000 nit screen and new user interface. Well, today I have my hands on a working Ninja V….”

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Atomos Ninja V monitor/recorder attached to Nikon DSLR.

Atomos Ninja V

Commentary

Great to see Atomos release a beefed-up 5-inch monitor/recorder that is sized to suit the smaller video-capable hybrid cameras that have almost become the defacto standard for independent documentary and other moviemakers.

I have yet to see or try an Atomos Ninja V here in Sydney but it looks like a great piece of kit that is well priced enough for affordability by, well, just about anyone who needs one.

Thanks to Erik Naso and the News Shooter crew for writing and publishing this informative first look hands-on review of the Atomos Ninja V.

Links

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manfrotto_492lcd_micro_ball_head_01_1024px_80pc
Manfrotto 492LCD Micro Ball Head for attaching monitors and other accessories to cameras and camera cages.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.

  • Atomos Ninja V 5″ 4K HDMI Recording MonitorB&H
  • Manfrotto 492LCD Micro Ball HeadB&H