Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

Started Dec 23, 2012 | Discussions
losangeles Contributing Member • Posts: 655
Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

Hi All,

Have any of you used this recorder with the D600 (or D800), and does it allow noticeably improved quality over the internally compressed video?

For the D600, is this one usage scenario that would suffer from the ridiculous black border around the frame? Or are there ways around it (assuming, pessimistically, that Nikon will never repair the problem)?

Thanks!

Nikon D600 Nikon D800
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rcgehrzmd
rcgehrzmd New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

I use the following setup when I am shooting video with my D800E (or D4) on a video tripod mount: Zacuto DSLR base with a Z-focus; Zacuto EVF with a Z-Finder 2.5 Pro connected in series with an Atomos Ninja-2; Mosaic Engineering VAF-D800 AA filter. I always use the Tassinflat PC settings that I downloaded from the Internet to maximize flexibility in post-processing and record the clean HDMI output using the ProRes HQ format to an SSD disk in the Ninja. When I shoot video hand-held, I mount my Z-Finder to a tall body Zacuto mounting frame to magnify the LCD screen on the camera. I find that I get the best manual focusing using the EVF instead of the image on the LCD or Ninja. I alway shoot in manual mode with fixed shutter speed (i.e., 1/50 for 23.98 fps) and adjust my aperture in live view with the DOF and Function buttons to optimize exposure using the histogram on the camera's LCD screen. I use a Singh-Ray variable ND filter to achieve shallow DOF in excess lighting conditions. Recording the camera's HDMI output to the Ninja enables me to make aperture adjustments while recording and eliminates the time-consuming process of rendering the compressed H.264 files that the camera records to the memory cards after importing to FCP-X

I think that the ProRes 422 files recorded to the Ninja/Ninja 2 are superior to those recorded to the memory cards and compressed to H.264 in camera  thenrendered to ProRes 422 in FCP-X.  You can see an example of my D4/D800 video recorded to Ninja/Ninja-2 at http://www.youtube.com/user/rcgehrzmd?feature=mhee.  The full views of the handbell choir were recorded on a D4; the close-ups were recorded on a D800E;  All video and audio channels were processed in FGCP-X.  The sound was recorded in 4-channel stereo using a Zoom H4n recorder and Sennheiser MKE400 microphones; synched to video in FCP-X.

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rcgehrzmd

 rcgehrzmd's gear list:rcgehrzmd's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D4 Nikon D800E Nikon D5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +17 more
Brian Miller
Brian Miller Regular Member • Posts: 475
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

I'd love a pic of your setup.

But like losangles, I'm wondering if the D600 has the black border issue with external recorders like the Ninja.

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Digital Photography Links, D3/D300/D3x/D700 Reviews and Info: http://www.psyche.com/psyche/links/miscellaneous2.html#D3_D300

rcgehrzmd
rcgehrzmd New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

Nikon D800E + Zacuto EVF + Atomos Ninja; Nikon D4 _+ Atomos Ninja-2

Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mmf/2.8; Nikon D800E + Nikkor 70-200mmf.2.8

Nikon D800E mounted on Zacuto Baseplate/Follow-Focus/EVF/Z-Finder + Atomos Ninja

Here are several photos of my 2 camera movie setup using Ninja/Ninja-2 external recorders.

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rcgehrzmd

 rcgehrzmd's gear list:rcgehrzmd's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D4 Nikon D800E Nikon D5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +17 more
Brian Miller
Brian Miller Regular Member • Posts: 475
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

Thanks, impressive!

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Digital Photography Links, D3/D300/D3x/D700 Reviews and Info: http://www.psyche.com/psyche/links/miscellaneous2.html#D3_D300

VividExposures Contributing Member • Posts: 987
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

"Recording the camera's HDMI output to the Ninja enables me to make aperture adjustments while recording"

What do you mean?

rcgehrzmd
rcgehrzmd New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

In Movie Live View, you can adjust your aperture continuously using the DOP and Function buttons in Manual Mode to optimize your histogram. However, as soon as you activate Record to the in-camera memory card, continuous aperture adjustment is disabled. However, if you record the HDMI output directly to an external recorder, the aperture adjustment with the DOP-Functiuon buttons is still functional. Hope this answers your question.

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rcgehrzmd

 rcgehrzmd's gear list:rcgehrzmd's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D4 Nikon D800E Nikon D5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +17 more
VividExposures Contributing Member • Posts: 987
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

It does. Thx and merry xmas

marike6 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,088
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

The D800 is the better of the two bodies with the Atomos Ninja as the HDMI out.  The D600 has outputted Live View images doesn't completely fill the LCD so there are black bars that frame the image.

https://vimeo.com/50199647

There was a rumor of a firmware fix for the D600, but AFAIK none has come yet.

Both the D800 and D600 produce better quality with the Atomos Ninja as you can record uncompressed or straight to a moderately compressed ProRes HQ.  Cheers, Markus

 marike6's gear list:marike6's gear list
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KnightPhoto2
KnightPhoto2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,964
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

marike6 wrote:

The D800 is the better of the two bodies with the Atomos Ninja as the HDMI out. The D600 has outputted Live View images doesn't completely fill the LCD so there are black bars that frame the image.

https://vimeo.com/50199647

There was a rumor of a firmware fix for the D600, but AFAIK none has come yet.

Both the D800 and D600 produce better quality with the Atomos Ninja as you can record uncompressed or straight to a moderately compressed ProRes HQ. Cheers, Markus

Thank you for that! Does the Ninja 2 have focus peaking by any chance?

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Best Regards,
SteveK
'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/119002

 KnightPhoto2's gear list:KnightPhoto2's gear list
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rcgehrzmd
rcgehrzmd New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

Ninja-2 has focus peaking, zebra, and false color; they all work well.

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rcgehrzmd

 rcgehrzmd's gear list:rcgehrzmd's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D4 Nikon D800E Nikon D5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +17 more
KnightPhoto2
KnightPhoto2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,964
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

rcgehrzmd wrote:

Ninja-2 has focus peaking, zebra, and false color; they all work well.

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rcgehrzmd

Sorry for my late reply, I really appreciate the info.  It does sounds like Ninja-2 meets many of my video-needs all in one package (focus peaking, zebra, and false color) and since it also provides the uncompressed-video recording I wouldn't be opposed to that either.

I have been finding all your video-related posts and gear-photos very helpful, again Thanks!

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Best Regards,
SteveK
'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/119002

 KnightPhoto2's gear list:KnightPhoto2's gear list
Nikon 1 V3 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR +21 more
John Miskelly Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

I have another question on the Ninja 2, which I hope someone can answer for me. I use a Nikon D800E and sometimes use a 24mm TSE lens for landscape photography. As well as having the video recording facility of the Ninja, would it enable me to use it to zoom in on live view to assist in focussing the T&S lens?  The LCD panel on the camera isn't really good enough for critical focussing and I would prefer to buy one device for this and for recording than two separate devices.

VividExposures Contributing Member • Posts: 987
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

I would imagine the camera's lcd is much higher in resolution compared to the ninja 2. I think you would need to shoot tethered to a tablet for use with your tilt shift lens. There is a way to rig the below setup in a wireless config. The windows surface pro tablet is the only one that can do it from my understanding.

Control My Nikon (you could use nikon's camera control pro)

Microsoft Surface Pro with usb

rgolub
rgolub Senior Member • Posts: 2,061
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

The Ninja would work fine for focus but so would cheaper portable monitors.  Do you really desire the recorder function?

Another device is the CamRanger (wireless device that hooks up to the camera via USB, sends data to an iPad via an ad hoc network).  Also does video.  Not a recorder, just a controller.

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RG www.lostrange.com

 rgolub's gear list:rgolub's gear list
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huyzer
huyzer Senior Member • Posts: 2,904
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

rcgehrzmd wrote:

The sound was recorded in 4-channel stereo using a Zoom H4n recorder and Sennheiser MKE400 microphones; synched to video in FCP-X.

Hello rcgehrmd,
I was curious about your handbells audio recording.  You mentioned the Sennheiser, but I was thinking of purchasing the Zoom H4n and using the 2 built-in mics.  Did you feel the Zoom's mics were not enough to get a quality recording?

Also, in that setting, the 120 degree rotation of the heads would be preferable, compared to the 90 degree, narrower field, correct?

Also, would you know off-hand if the H4n has the ability to record two separate tracks (I know it has 4), but one at a lower level, so as to compensate for moments that may have peaking that's not planned for/level adjusted for in the first track?

Take care,
Huy

 huyzer's gear list:huyzer's gear list
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rcgehrzmd
rcgehrzmd New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

The stereo microphones on the Zoom 4n work great.  I just find that recording a group spread over 20-30 feet using 4 channels with the Zoom microphones in the center and 2 outside microphones makes it easier to equalize the sound.  In FCP-X, you can adjust the sound from each source with better stereo separation.  I recorded the Creation choir performance with just 2 center stereo microphones and felt that it lacked the dynamic range that I get with 4 channels.  It also makes it possible to adjust base-treble independently for the different vocal ranges.

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rcgehrzmd

 rcgehrzmd's gear list:rcgehrzmd's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D4 Nikon D800E Nikon D5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +17 more
huyzer
huyzer Senior Member • Posts: 2,904
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

rcgehrzmd wrote:

The stereo microphones on the Zoom 4n work great. I just find that recording a group spread over 20-30 feet using 4 channels with the Zoom microphones in the center and 2 outside microphones makes it easier to equalize the sound. In FCP-X, you can adjust the sound from each source with better stereo separation. I recorded the Creation choir performance with just 2 center stereo microphones and felt that it lacked the dynamic range that I get with 4 channels. It also makes it possible to adjust base-treble independently for the different vocal ranges.

Hello rcgehrzmd,
Thank you very much for the reply and explanations.
Just out of curiosity, are you able to record two separate tracks, one with the level adjusted lower, so that if there is any peaking from one track, the other one is insurance as the lower set recording, thus not overloaded and distorted?
Thank you,
Huy

 huyzer's gear list:huyzer's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM +1 more
rcgehrzmd
rcgehrzmd New Member • Posts: 23
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF
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The levels of the 2 external microphones can be set independently from those of the H4n microphones to make sure that you don't get clipping due to variations in microphone sensitivity or sound input levels. You can equalize all 4 tracks independently in post-processing..
rcgehrzmd

 rcgehrzmd's gear list:rcgehrzmd's gear list
Nikon D700 Nikon D4 Nikon D800E Nikon D5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR +17 more
huyzer
huyzer Senior Member • Posts: 2,904
Re: Using Atomos Ninja-2 Video Hard Disk Recorder with Nikon FF

rcgehrzmd wrote:

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The levels of the 2 external microphones can be set independently from those of the H4n microphones to make sure that you don't get clipping due to variations in microphone sensitivity or sound input levels. You can equalize all 4 tracks independently in post-processing..
rcgehrzmd

Thank you so very much for clarifying that for me.
Cheers,
Huy

 huyzer's gear list:huyzer's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM +1 more
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