Atomos Ninja Upgrades Old Recording Technology

Stephen Yagielowicz

Looking for a cost-effective way to recycle an older camera using obsolete tape and compression technology? Then grab your HDMI to go, and upgrade your camera to work with modern, high-quality filebased digital workflows.

According to Atomos, its revolutionary Ninja (www.atomos.com/ninja/) is a portable touch-screen professional 10bit HD recorder, monitor and playback device that captures pristine video and audio directly from any camera with a clean HDMI output.

Part of this real-world functionality is seen in the Ninja’s continuous power ability ...

The Ninja encodes video in real-time, via the visuallylossless Apple ProRes format, using inexpensive, removable 2.5” HDD/SSD disks for expandable storage. The unit is enclosed in a compact, sturdy aluminum body and all accessories are packaged in one rugged case, including batteries, chargers, disk caddies and a PC/Mac docking station.

Ninja is powered by ATOM-OS, a custom operating system for video applications that dedicates tasks such as encoding and camera input support to its precision hardware. The special OS also drives Ninja’s touchscreen and user interface, running on top of the hardware “much like a computer running Mac OSX,” and has been written from the ground-up to guarantee the low-power, high-precision, reliable functionality that users need in real-world production use.

Part of this real-world functionality is seen in the Ninja’s continuous power ability, which relies on a pair of hot-swappable 2600mAh batteries, similar to those powering a wide range of video cameras and other devices.

Ninja eases video workflows by eliminating the need for capture cards, scene logging and lossy, time consuming capture-toedit processes. The device bypasses the degrading compression required to squeeze HD onto in-camera flash storage, such as SDHC, etc. and also uses its intuitive touch screen to double as a viewfinder and playback monitor.

FireWire 800, USB 2 and USB 3 interfaces are built into the included docking station. Simply insert the 2.5” disks into the dock and the Apple ProRes files are automatically recognized within seconds, enabling native workflows using Final Cut Pro (or any other app supporting Apple ProRes HQ, 422 or LT codecs, including suitably configured PCs.

If you want better quality from your new or old camera, infinite, cheap storage and no worries about battery life, then Ninja may transform the way you work with video.

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