Atomos had a big showing at this year’s NAB 2014, from raffles to their new mini Ninja Star recorder and the award winning new Shogun. In addition, CEO Jeromy Young took some time to demonstrate their products and operating system, AtomOS.
Using their Samurai Blade to demo, Jeromy Young explains how their units record directly from the sensor to SSDs and Hard Discs, and makes note on how important it is to choose one of the models they have listed on their website. With the proper media, you can record a number of hours (depending on the disc) of ProRes footage, and AtomOS even automatically saves your footage should power be lost, or the media is removed improperly. He even makes a point to note that their recorder’s screens are the same 325ppi screens found on iPhones and Samsung phones, meaning you’re looking at the same kind of screen you’re already used to.
Young then takes us through the various features of their AtomOS operating system, showing what information is displayed such as the current recording format and codec (Apple ProRes, Avid DNx and Cinema DNG on the Shogun) and even the quality level of your current codec. Atomos recorders also display audio level meters, with simple channel selection, analog gain, and audio delay to adjust for any delays coming from your camera.
Atomos recorders come with a number of test measurement tools: Luma Parade, RGB, Vector and Vector Zoom. Young notes they’ve included these to reduce the amount of time you spend in post, making your production all the more affordable, high quality and fast. They can be set to full screen, bottom third, or lower corner, giving you a range of options to position your tools.
These include Focus Peaking, Zebra, False Color, and Blue Only. Again, all of these are standard functions that could be found piecemeal on other monitors, cameras, etc., but in this case are all on the same unit. Each of these functions can also be further customized. For example, you can choose what color you’d like your focus peaking to be. During our time on the floor using our Ninja Blade, I generally went with bright pink, as it really seemed to pop and help me focus all the better.
Black and white, focal plane focusing, and more round out the peaking tools. He also makes note that you can simply touch the screen to hide the menus while leaving any settings (such as shot guides, peaking etc.) will stay enabled on screen.
All of these functions are also available after you’ve recorded. You can go to a recorded clip and toggle any settings you need as if you were preparing the shot itself. As Young notes, “If there’s an argument about who was in focus, we can definitely settle that argument very quickly.”
The third tool provided in Atomos recorders, cut and tag editing, is found while playing back a recorded clip. This allows you to make metadata cut edit that is “native to Final Cut X, can be converted for Final Cut 7, and can also go into Adobe with that Final Cut 7 conversion”. All you have to do is find a frame (where you’d like your in-point for example), press ‘Favorite’, find where you’d like to end the shot by dragging the timeline or simply letting the clip play, and then press ‘Favorite’ again. It’s that simple, and perfect for the trip back to the studio when you’re itching to start editing.
Finally, Young goes over their two new products the Shogun and Ninja Star, both of which we’ll be covering in our upcoming interview with Jeromy Young. However the Shogun is their new, affordable 4K recorder that is necesary if you want to record 4K with the upcoming Sony A7S, while the Ninja Star does everything the Ninja recorders do but without the screen.