Yesterday Atomos announced the development of new members of its Ninja Line – the Ninja V+ and the Ninja Stream. The company shared some information about these devices but at the moment it seems that more questions are left open than answers that we were given.
Ninja V+ – Advanced capabilities, but who can actually use them?
As we noted (and explained very well by Carl Yates from ProAV TV in the video above) the two new products currently under development by Atomos might be very capable but at least at the moment, it seems that they might be in very early levels of maturity (in the sense that the market needs to catch up with what they can do).
Here are some of the capabilities confirmed for the Atomos Ninja V+:
- Ninja V+ can continuously record up to 8K 30p and 4K 120p in ProRes RAW (8k is limited to the Canon EOS R5 at launch but this of course might change with future firmware updates).
- 4K 120p recording in ProRes RAW will be possible for both the Z CAM E2 and E2-M4 cameras.
- The Ninja V+ will be able to record in 10-bit H.265 (HEVC).
- The Ninja V PRO kit will come with additional accessories and enables 4K 120p ProRes RAW recording from the SDI RAW output of the Sony FX9 and FX6 cameras (you will need the AtomX SDI module and on the FX9 the XDCA-FX9 Extension unit).
As you can see very few cameras at the moment get any sort of benefit from the new recorder although EOS R5 users might be the ones that will benefit the most from it – especially if it will show that it can extend the 8K (and 4K 120p) recording times significantly without overheating the camera.
For Sony A7S III/A1 users as well as users of Nikon and some Pansonic cameras it still remains to be seen what benefits the Ninja V+ will bring to the game later on.
Besides the Ninja V+ & Ninja Stream, Atomos also announced that the existing Ninja V will receive the option for H.265 codec upgrade
It will also continue to receive updates for cameras and additional functionality via AtomX modules.
The upcoming Ninja lineup
What we know about the future Atomos Ninja Stream
If for the Ninja V+ we have some information and a lot of open questions, for the Ninja Stream information is even more limited and it seems that the product is still very much under development (and likely arrive later compared to the Ninja V+, although no dates have been given by Atomos at this stage).
What we do know is that the Ninja Stream will offer simultaneous recordings of both ProRes and H.264/5 proxy with shared file names as well as timecode functionality.
Another interesting feature mentioned by Atomos is the ability to send video feeds to other Ninja, smart devices, or web-based platforms simultaneously (how this will happen is not clear at this point – possibly with some new wireless module).
You will also be able to share video feed with others via Wi-Fi and Ethernet 1Gbe at up to 300m away. This should let users Livestream without the need for a computer and might be a very powerful option but as we noted Atomos will have to provide a lot more info and actual demonstrations before we can say if this device will really change the industry in any important way.
It is clear that the information released so far is limited and that with the official announcement (sometime next month, at least for the Atomos Ninja V+/Pro) we will learn more about what the new devices can do.
It also seems clear that Atomos designed both devices with a lot of forward-thinking and plenty of potential for future development and future product support.
Just like the Ninja V received (and is still receiving) firmware updates supporting new capabilities, formats and cameras, the Ninja V+ is likely to support new cameras and formats for years to come and with its significantly more robust processor, it should be able to handle a lot of future technologies and will likely mature over time.
Adding the H.265 functionality to existing Ninja V units will cost $99 and be available starting from May 2021.
Note: We approached Atomos with some questions and we shall update this post if and when we get answers.
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