Atomos Ninja V Review

In our latest YouTube video we look at and test the new Atomos Ninja V. With all of the mirrorless cameras coming out that can output 10 bit 4:2:2 is this the perfect monitor/recorder for them?

Thanks to Lux Automotive Ltd for letting us film the beautiful Lambo!

With all of the new mirrorless cameras releasing lately there seems to be a bit of a pattern, they all require external monitors to get the best image out of them. Atomos haven’t released a 5 inch recorder in years but finally we have the Ninja V. The Ninja V is the slightly smaller sister to the Ninja Inferno and they do share a lot but there are a few key differences and improvements. One thing it hasn’t lost is the ability to record 4K 60p 422 10 bit signals, this is going to be an extremely popular pairing with cameras like the EOS R, Nikon Z series, GH5 and Fuji’s XT-3, all of which can output 4K 422 10 bit at varying frame rates.

Before we start this is a pre production unit and there are a few things subject to change, especially the software but let’s start with the hardware.

The Ninja V comes with a blisteringly bright 5 inch 1920 x 1200 1000 nits screen. This is great when you are out in daylight but still want to monitor your image.  You can make it even better in daylight by using their new quick release hood also. The monitor also feels a lot more sturdy than previous Atomos recorders and this is because it now uses a aluminum body instead of plastic. Considering that it’s actually extremely light and compact at only 320g which is almost half that of the Ninja Inferno. It’s a really nice size, and to be honest a perfect combo for people wanting something easy and flexible to mount.

On the left hand side you have your HDMI in and out for if you want to loop your image out into a larger on set monitor or wireless transmitter. On the right you have a recessed power button, 3.5mm mic input, headphone out and remote port. On the back you can see that it uses Sony’s standard F type battery which I’m sure a lot of you have a boat load of.

  

It comes with a PSU which uses a dummy NPF. I see a lot of people using dummy NPF to D-Tap, like Hawk-Woods’s LR-05, to power the unit from a D-Tap source. The Ninja V uses the same SATA standard as the current 7 inch recorders so your regular caddies do work but the space where you insert the SSD caddy is slightly smaller than the regular full size recorders. This means when you are mounting full size caddies it will overhang slightly, Atomos have worked with GTECH and Angelbird on a new set of SSDs called AtomX drives which are smaller and designed to sit flush with the Ninja V.

You also have two ¼ inch threads for mounting on the top and bottom but they also feature the ARRI Standard locating pins to prevent the monitor from twisting which is great when paired with some of SmallRIG’s mounting options.

Now onto the software.

You can tell Atomos have really spent some time working on their menu system. The touch interface is the easiest it’s ever felt. You can tap to hide the menu and then tap again for it to come back up. You obviously have the recognisable Rec, Play, Mon and Edit. Record for obviously recording and going back when you are in the playback menu, Playback for obviously playing back your clips once you have recorded them, Mon is your monitoring menus & Edit for adding Atomos’s unique Metadata to your clips.

The colour of the cog on the right hand side show you the menu you will be navigating, let’s explore Red first.

Here you have all your settings for your input, where you can see your input and enable timecode & trigger functionality, output, recording, codec and file name. Under codec you can switch between the different flavours of ProRes or DNX. It will also give you an exact time remaining based on your SSD.

You can then tap monitor and you can see the cog changes colour and we are now in the monitor menu. Here you can control a range of things. You have three focus peaking modes. One which uses the full colour image, one that turns the image black and white and one that turns the image black. You can also then change the colour and the intensity.

You also have your Zebras threshold. Under waveform you can change position, which you can also do by tapping on the bottom left of the screen, as well as change the transparency and brightness. Under HDR you can change from a range of preset gammas and gamuts which make recording in LOG much easier. You also load in LUTS via the SSD and then decide whether you want to record them in, output or just review.

Display allows you to enable screen lock, tally and also flip your screen when changing your mounting. You can also change your brightness, lift, gamma and gain all separately.

You then have Edit, this allows you to add metadata tags that you or an editor can use in post production. Back on the home screen, when you have monitor selected you can also slide between the toggles at the bottom. Going through them you have waveform, RGB parade, Vectorscope, magnified vectorscope, peaking, Zebras, falso colour, B&W mode, aspect ratio guides, 1:1 zoom, 2:1 zoom, ATOM HDR toggle, Lut toggle, TV Safe guides and anamorphic desqueeze.

Along the top bar you can tap on each different part. HDMI and your Resolution and Frame rate will bring up your Input settings, hitting your codec will bring up the codec settings. Hitting your file name will bring up your file name and hitting the record time will bring up your media settings, this is a fast way to format when needed. You can also hit the battery percentage which will bring up the source and time percentage remaining. When you’re in playback you still enable all of your assists. You can scrub through your clips easily and even loop them. You can also hit edit and make metadata changes here also. To go back just hit the record button.

We also managed to shoot a few test clips using the GH5S, Ronin S and Ninja V. Shooting with the Ninja V there are a few things worth talking about.

  1. If you are wanting to take advantage of the 4K 60p you MUST make sure that your HDMI can handle it. I went through 3 HDMI cables to find one that worked. If you want one that works the ATOMOS PRO HDMI 2.0 cables will 100% works, links are below.
  2. Mounting this on a gimbal is super easy! Due to the weight and size it’s very easy. However if you are wanting to get 50/60p out of it like I was with the GH5S the heavy duty HDMI can make things a little tricky. I would advise getting the biggest one possible or just shooting 30p or less.
  3. Inside 100% may be a bit much so don’t be afraid to reduce the brightness down to 50%.
  4. It handles reflections really well.
  5. The menus feel intuitive and easy.
  6. It munches through NPF’s so make sure you invest in some new ones when you purchase one.

Atomos Atomflex Cables for 4K 50/60p 4:2:2 10 bit

Atomos 4K 60p 2.0 HDMI to HDMI 40cm

Atomos 4K 60p 2.0 Mini HDMI to HDMI 40cm

Atomos 4K 60p 2.0 Micro HDMI to HDMI 40cm

Atomos 4K 60p 2.0 HDMI to HDMI 30cm

Atomos 4K 60p 2.0 Mini HDMI to HDMI 30cm

Atomos 4K 60p 2.0 Micro HDMI to HDMI 30cm

So in conclusion the Atomos Ninja V is incredible value,  £540 for a 5 inch, 1000 nits, 4K 422 10Bit HDR monitor built this well is incredible and I think that with the increase of mirrorless cameras coming out that can output 10 bit, Atomos couldn’t have timed it any better!

Let us know what you think in the comments below and make sure you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel.

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