Atomos Shinobi 4K HDR Monitor First Impressions

Atomos are famous for their industry-leading external recorders most of which double as external monitors. Ninja V has already made a huge splash in the industry with its compact and lightweight form factor, 10-bit IPS touchscreen display, and excellent recording capabilities. Now, along comes the Atomos Shinobi that gives you just the external monitor part of the equation. It’s light, bright and great if you’re tight for cash.

Let’s see what the guys at ProAV TV have to say about this clever little monitor.

Little monitors like the Shinobi are really useful for a lot of shooters. Ideal to mount atop a DSLR or mirrorless style camera, giving you a screen with a full range of motion. Perfect for gimbal operators when mechanisms make it tricky to see a camera screen. Great when you are shooting outdoors in the bright sunlight – the  Shinobi is a perfect option for all these requirements.

Right away let’s be very clear – this is not a recorder. Don’t try it because nothing will happen.

It does have an SD Card slot but that is just for data loading in the form of LUTs (upload your favourite 8) and firmware updates. The Atomos reputation for external recorders may lead to some erroneous Shinobi purchases so I hope they have a good returns policy.

The Shinobi:

Weighs about 200g with a battery attached.

It has a 5.2″ full HD display.

The Shinobi boasts 1000 nits of brightness and everyone loves nits!

So what does this mean? With a bright 1000 nits you will be able to clearly view the screen in strong daylight. 5.2″ is a nice size for a solo or hand-held shooter and the weight is great for mounting on a camera hot shoe or articulated arm. It has hardly any fan noise which is good to hear, or not hear in this case, and it comes with some nice software features.

A new multiscope mode lets you jump into a scope-heavy display mode quickly, giving you easy access to all your image data and no excuses for a dodgy shot. The display will also show you HLG which could be very interesting in combination with cameras that offer HDR.

It is a well-built monitor and the minimal weight doesn’t mean minimal quality. The whole unit feels sturdy and nicely put together. It does have some build differences from the Ninja 5 that mean not all accessories will be compatible so it’s worth having a good look if you intend to use both or switch to the Shinobi.

Should you buy this or the extremely similar Atomos Ninja V? Well, that’s a simple question – do you want to buy a recorder? They are almost identical and fundamentally different products. Aside from the size, weight and price differences – and did I mention that one is a recorder and the other isn’t? – the Shinobi benefits from a centrally mounted battery that means the unit is well-balanced, making it an even better addition for gimbal work.

Atomos Shinobi Highlights

  • 1920 x 1080 Touchscreen Display
  • 10-Bit Exterior Viewable Monitor
  • 4K HDMI Input
  • 1000 cd/m² Brightness
  • AtomHDR Mode with 10-Stop Dynamic Range
  • Supports a Variety of Log Formats
  • Single Sony L-Series Battery Slot

This is a really nice little monitor that should be a handy upgrade to a lot of different cameras. I think it would also be great as a second, on-camera monitor for a focus-puller for example. This is definitely worth a look and great competition for the likes of SmallHD.

[source: ProAV TV]

Order Links:

Atomos Shinobi 5.2″ 4K HDMI Monitor (B&H, Amazon)

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