Why is using the Atomos Ninja Recorder with the Canon C100 Mark II a good thing?

Q.Why is using the Atomos Ninja Recorder with the Canon C100 Mark II a good thing?

A. Our Pro-Video expert has produced a handy guide as to the advantages of using an Atomos Ninja Recorder with the Canon C100 Mark II. Please click on the following link to download the file or see below: 

Why-adding-an-Atomos-Ninja-Recorder-to-the-C100-Mk-2-is-a-good-thing.docx

Limitations of the C100 Mk 2 recording capabilities

The C100 Mk 2 records in either AVCHD @ 24mbps 8-Bit 4:2:0 or MP4 @ 35mbps 8-Bit 4:2:0, which is fine for most straight-to-web work.

However, these codecs aren’t great for work that requires extensive colour grading/post production as they are highly compressed. As an example, think about how a JPEG would handle being manipulated in Lightroom as though it were a Raw image: It would break down pretty quickly as the heavy compression and lack of colour information became evident.

Moreover, broadcast television has a minimum requirement for footage to be 50mbps 8-Bit 4:2:2, so the codecs recorded on the C100 Mk 2 simply won’t cut it.

This is where Field Recorders become useful…

Using the HDMI output

The C100 Mk 2 has a “clean” uncompressed 8-Bit 4:2:2 HDMI output on the back of the camera. This means we can run an HDMI cable out and into an Atomos Field Recorder and record in the Pro Res codec at much higher bitrate, so we have footage that is easier to colour grade and is “broadcast safe”. All of the Atomos range can record the following in 1920 x 1080 at 25P/50i (PAL) or 30P/60i (NTSC):

  •          Pro Res HQ (maximum 220mbps)
  •          Pro Res 4:2:2 (maximum 150mbps)
  •          Pro Res LT (maximum 100mbps)

Another good aspect of recording Pro Res is that it’s a “direct to edit” format, so an editing software like Final Cut Pro for example will accept it without having to any kind of “transcoding”, which is when editing software has to process the camera’s recording format into a filetype it can understand.

Three Atomos recorders ideal for the C100 Mk 2:

*note that these record the standard HD framerates of 24P/25P/30P/50i/60i, if your customer wants to record the 50P output from the C100 Mk they will need a Ninja Assassin/Ninja Flame/Shogun/Shogun Flame*

1) Atomos Ninja Star

This is the smallest recorder out there as it doesn’t have a screen. It uses CFast 1.0 card media which Atomos offer themselves in 64GB and 128GB. It’s currently supplied with a 64GB card in the kit along with a standard life battery and charger, mounting plate with ¼” and 3/8” threads and a case. Even better, we are still offering the Ninja Star, Card and Robust HDMI-Micro HDMI cable with the C100 Mk 2. The only extra your customers will need will be a way to mount the recorder to the C100 Mk 2 top handle: I recommend the Manfrotto 492LCD ball head for hot-shoe mounting or a simple arm to screw into the handle.

2) Atomos Ninja 2

The original Ninja 2 is very good value but the screen is pretty low quality. However, it uses 2.5” SSD Drives so if your customer has a low budget but needs lengthy recording times then this is a good option. It has ¼” threads on both the top and bottom so the mounting aforementioned ball head/arm mounting solutions are ideal. It has a full size HDMI in/out.

3) Atomos Ninja Blade

The upmarket version of the Ninja 2. Exactly the same recording capabilities and mediabut a far superior screen. The great thing about this screen is that the monitor features (zebra, peaking, waveform etc) are much easier to use. It has ¼” threads on both the top and bottom so the mounting aforementioned ball head/arm mounting solutions are ideal. It has a full size HDMI in/out.

All of the above record the same formats and use the same batteries. Recording time information can be found on this page but bear in mind this is based on a 256GB drive (most people use a 240GB drive so it’ll be a little bit less).

Remember as well that these recorders can be used to just as good an effect on the original C100 and other cameras with clean HDMI outputs.