I’ve said it multiple times here, especially when we talk about rigging up cameras—you absolutely should pick up a real on-camera monitor if you want a better filmmaking experience. If you want to elevate that you should very much consider a monitor that also features advanced recording functionality.
One of the most dominant brands in monitors is Atomos, and for good reason. They made well-spec’d and relatively affordable devices that quickly proved themselves in the market. One set in particular, the Ninja V and V+, is perhaps the most popular. If you want to know why, B&H Photo Video has a nice video outlining the key benefits.
1. Recording Camera Menus/Settings
Maybe a point more useful for camera reviewers than your average filmmaker, but the Atomos can take in the information displayed on your camera’s screen.
They were using it to record this to use in tutorial and demo videos for later. You could use this to simply get a larger view of your camera’s screen if the rear screen is too small or dim for your liking.
2. Better Codecs
Among the most popular options for an external monitor/recorder is to record in better codecs than your camera provides.
Generally, internal recording relies on compressed codecs that are lower quality and are potentially more difficult on your computer when it comes to editing. ProRes and DNx options offered on the Atomos are high quality and optimized for smooth editing.
3. ProRes RAW!
A big advantage of the Atomos line is the ability to record in ProRes RAW with select cameras. Many cameras can’t record a compressed raw format internally and by using the Ninja V/V+ you can capture 12-bit raw footage.
That’s probably the best format you can get with most cameras.
4. User LUTs
Users can load in their own LUTs on the Ninja V/V+. You can then use them to preview your image or even just bake in the correction on your recorded media for superfast editing.
Many cameras have built-in timelapse recording, but the Atomos system is likely going to be simpler to use and at the end will produce a video file.
6. No Recording Limit
A lot of budget mirrorless cameras have recording limits. Usually, this is just under 30 minutes by software limits or even shorter if you consider overheating.
If you want to record longer takes you can record with the Atomos offering which has no such limit. For things like interviews and events this can be very useful.
7. It’s a Monitor
Ignoring all the advanced recording options, the Ninja V/V+ is a solid monitor. It’s bright, sharp, and bigger than most camera displays and has tons of helpful tools for monitoring your footage.
It’s hard to deny that the Atomos Ninja V/V+ is one of the best monitors out there today. Do you have one? What do you think?
[source: B&H Photo Video]
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