Any tips for new Ninja V user?

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
LuxShots Contributing Member • Posts: 501
Re: Any tips for new Ninja V user?

Well, there is a lot actually!

I have been using the Ninja V since it's release; first with a GH5S, and then with my S1H. I'm going to stick this info to simple ProRes/DNxHR recording, and not go into ProRes RAW, as this is another animal entirely. This also is centered around using a LOG workflow, which I use 99% of the time.

Take it all in, this is gonna be a mini clinic!

Camera Setup:

  1. Pick V-Log as the picture profile for your video.
  2. You need a really good HDMI cable, and the Atomos cable is not necessarily that good! I use this cable for everything from ProRes RAW to 4K 60p recording
  3. Go to the Panasonic Varicam LUT Library and download both the .CUBE E-E and .VLT files.
  4. Decide which LUTs you would like to use to preview while you shoot your footage. I use the basic Panasonic Rec-709 LUT from here , and the Bleach Bypass Lo-Con, Fashion Lo-Con and Nicest-709 from the Varicam Library. I believe you can only have 5 LUTs registered in camera and a similar amount on the Ninja V.
  5. After you download the .VLT files, you have to rename them to something shorter and DOS 8.3 compliant, like NICE.VLT. This is very important, or else the import  to the camera will fail.
  6. Place the .VLT files you renamed onto your SD-Card root (this means not in any subfolder). Go to the camera and find the V-LOG View Assist option. Use the Read LUT File Option. Do this for all the .VLT files.
  7. Enable the LUT View Assist [Monitor] function. This is so you can get a preview of how the image will look through the camera EVF and camera LCD monitor.
  8. Very Important! Disable LUT View Assist [HDMI]. You never, ever want to do this when using the Ninja!
  9. On the camera, in the HDMI Output section, make certain to have it set to 4:2:2 10-bit.
  10. Also make sure to have the HDMI Down Convert set to Auto. If you have the S1H, and are recording in 5.9K (as I do quite often), the HDMI port will output in 4K to the Ninja.
  11. Set HDMI Info Display to off. Again, very important!

Ninja Setup:

  1. Insert the HDMI cable into the IN Port. SImple, I know, but it has caused issues in the past! Also place the SSD drive in the supplied caddy and insert it in the Ninja drive slot. Insert a Sony NPF Battery or use the supplied AC Adapter to power the Ninja.
  2. Power up the Ninja V by long pressing the power button for around 4 seconds or until you hear the hair dryer turn on (it's loud). You will need to take additional steps to register ProRes RAW and DNxHR codecs, but that is not necessary for this tutorial.
  3. There is A LOT going on in the Ninja V screen, and one of the things that is not quite obvious, is how to format the SSD drive. You may see some numbers in the top right of the screen. Press on these numbers, and you should be taken to a screen to format the SSD drive. Format the drive in the Ninja.
  4. Copy the .CUBE files that you want to use on the Ninja to the SSD from your computer, and place it back into the Ninja. They do not have to be named in 8.3 format.
  5. Next go to the Input Screen. Set the HDMI to 2.0, Set HDMI Triggering to On with Source set to Timecode.
  6. On the Camera Output Screen, select Panasonic as the camera, and enable V-Log and V-Gamut for Gamma and Gamut respectively. Also enable HDR Auto.
  7. Go to the Record screen, and to select the ProRes codec with 422 compression. This is the middle of the road as far as compression goes, with LT (Lite) being the most compressed and HQ (High Quality) being the least compressed format. 
  8. I'd leave Pre-Roll off, as what this does is constantly record video and will go back in time like 3 seconds or so when you press record on the camera.
  9. Close this window, and select the Monitor word in the Top/Middle of the screen.
  10. Click on LUTs, then select the 1 icon, and then select your desired LUT for that slot from the LUT on your SSD. Then select the 2 icon, and repeat these steps for as many LUTs as you have.
  11. You will see the During Record item. DO NOT SELECT THIS!!!
  12. You should now be ready to to record video. The LUT files on the SSD can now be safely deleted, as they are stored internally on the Ninja V.

What you have now is the ability to record video in V-Log format. The video you record, you can preview on the camera LCD with the LUT you choose by selecting the LUT in the V-Log View Assist menu. You should also select the same LUT on the Ninja V so the views between the camera and the Ninja are similar.

When you are finished recording video, you now need to take this into your NLE of choice (Premiere, AVID, Final Cut, Davinci, etc.), where you will quickly notice that you video almost looks black and white it's so washed out. 
And this is a good thing!

Why is it good? Because now you can apply the same LUT you were using in the Ninja and you should be home free. But you can also choose a different LUT and have the ability to significant change the look of your video after the fact, while maintaining all of the quality!
When you get to using ProRes RAW, almost all the steps are the same, but now you have additional control over blown highlight recovery, white balance and ISO values and the same final V-Log based color profiles can be applied.

I hope this helps!

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