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Sony Alpha Mirrorless and DSLR
Sony Alpha a7s: Full HD Recording in XAVC and 4:2:2 UHD 4K Output via HDMI.


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Old November 21st, 2012, 02:35 AM   #1
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Ninja 2 with Sony a99

The a99 is still driving me mad. Beautiful video but lots of needless limitations/complications. Tried to hook it up to the Atomos Ninja 2 tonight and the a99 screen shuts off immediately and the record mode on the Ninja 2 is disabled. Nether Atomos nor Sony's manuals or web site has any helpful baby step by baby step instructions for how to pair these two together even though they brag about each other all the time. Does anyone have any idea what I'm doing wrong (aside from not buying a Nikon?)?
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Old November 21st, 2012, 02:58 PM   #2
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

Set the HDMI setting on the camera to Auto and give it another try. The Ninja2 can't record 1080p60 as far as I know.
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Old November 21st, 2012, 05:49 PM   #3
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

Thanks so much Matt:). That got me half way there. The LCD screen on the camera no longer shuts off and the ninja monitor now displays the camera image at full screen. Now the only problem is the record button is still grayed out. Is there one more thing I'm not doing that's keeping it from recording? Do I need to initialize the solid state drive or something?
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Old November 21st, 2012, 09:20 PM   #4
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

Does the ninja2 display the input format in the upper left corner and remaining time in the bottom right?
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Old November 21st, 2012, 10:17 PM   #5
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

Hey I want to make sure I don't give the wrong answer so I've attached a photo of the screen
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Ninja 2 with Sony a99-ninja-screen-photo.jpg  
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Old November 21st, 2012, 11:47 PM   #6
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

Looks like the remaining recording time is blank. Do you have a drive with available space in the ninja?
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 07:40 PM   #7
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

Have you contacted Atomos? They show the Ninja 2 at photokina working with the A99 and VG900, it looked like plug and play, but there's no info on settings.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 03:26 AM   #8
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

You nailed it Matt!

I'm so new to any technology that's come out since the last time I made a major investment in video that these external recorders were alien to me. Either there wasn't anything in the manual or I failed to see where you're supposed to format the disk. To answer your question Chris I did contact Atomos, and a rep did send a reply asking a couple of questions. I replied back answering the questions and also asking if I needed to format anything--if that's why it wasn't working. Never heard back after that. Nada. Looks like Atomos is going to try to out-Sony Sony in customer service.

Bottom line, as soon as I got back from Thanksgiving, I took Matt's suggestion and pressed the hard drive space remaining button and that lead me to a formatting option and voila--it works!

Thank you both so much!

Once I got footage on the big screen I was disappointed to note how much noise was there in 1600 iso--too much for narrative work without a de-noising filter. Tomorrow night I'll try tests at 1250, 1000, and 800.

Daunting how large the files are. I recorded a little over five minutes and it was 7+gbs. Whew! What price, quality:)
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 06:52 AM   #9
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

Betsy, which picture profile are you using when you shoot? On the Nex5n I shot mostly with portrait and sunset with the contrast, saturation and sharpness turned down anywhere from -1 to -3, and then you can just tune the colors and add a little sharpness in post. Good to hear you got the Ninja working. I'm still a month or two from getting an external recorder myself, any comparisons would be welcome.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 05:42 AM   #10
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

I'm experimenting with picture modes right now. I know say the Blackmagic shoots everything as flat as possible in raw and then you decide just about everything later. Trying to figure out how close I can come to doing that in the Sony for maximum latitude.

Does turning the sharpness down merely turn down Sony's artificial sharpening?

We're shooting a couple of test scenes this week and if I'm not totally humiliated by them I'll post a couple of still caps for sure:)

I haven't done any side by side comparisons with the 24mb mode and the raw mode but I'll try to do that too.

Any idea about whether shutter speed of 50 is the slowest safe mode in 24p or with the new set up can I go down to 25?
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Old November 25th, 2012, 07:22 AM   #11
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

IMHO, even with the sharpening set at 0, there are artifacts in the high contrast/high detail areas. I learned that from using the 5d2, shoot flat and correct in post, so I always added a little sharpness. I actually picked up that workflow on this board a few years ago.

You can shoot with the shutter at 1/25 or less, but you'll notice that movement will be blurred. It can be used to create cool effects like the Kia commercials where the cars are driving and the lights are blurred.

I've run into an issue with my camera and there are others reporting this as well -- in some wide shots such as a landscape or cityscape the images are noticeably soft. I'm wondering if its a compression issue - which shouldn't be a problem with an external recorder. This only happens sometimes, which is puzzling, and if I switch to stills mode, the images are beautifully sharp. This doesn't happen when shooting interviews or any other shallow DOF shots that don't seem to challenge the processing as much. Curious thing is I've seen lots of great wide shots from various A99 video so its inconsistent.

If its not an issue with the codec, then it might be an issue with my camera.

EDIT: For those that have ordered the A99, Sony is offering a free TV through Cyber-Monday online and through its stores, and they're honoring the deal for those that pre ordered the camera. Get yours while the deal lasts.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 01:47 AM   #12
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

You know I've felt the wide shots were a little soft too but I wondered if that was just because 24mm was not supposed to be the sharpest part of the lens and I've been interested in mostly low light testing.

More to come...
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Old November 26th, 2012, 10:58 AM   #13
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

If you're getting a better image with the external recorder, then it might just be turning the AVCHD to mush. Even a 24mm stopped down should be sharp in the center with the image getting softer toward the edges. You can use the APS-c crop mode and lose the edges to get an even sharper image. But my 24-70 Zeiss is really good to amazing across the frame at pretty much any focal length, so its not the lens. Stills are crazy sharp and have great depth because of the FF sensor's DR, just certain situations the video looks mushy. I may just exchange mine and hopefully its just an issue with my camera. I'm using the same Sandisk Extreme 45mb/s cards I use in the FS100, so its not the media. I will say most of the time the A99 absolutely nails it, I love what the camera is capable of producing and I'm very happy with it -- most of the time. It may be the case I just don't have the settings mastered, but I'd like to try another camera out just to make sure.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 11:08 PM   #14
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

Curious now your experience has been with the A99 Betsy. Update?
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Old April 25th, 2013, 06:34 PM   #15
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Re: Ninja 2 with Sony a99

Hey guys,
having trouble with "no input" showing up on the ninja. I've tried replacing cables, and also connected the sony camera to my tv monitor, and the monitor was unable to display an image from the camera ...which leads me to think there is a problem with the Sony a99. I don't know if there is a problem with the HDMI cable jack, or if perhaps my settings are wrong on the camera.
Any ideas or suggestions before I send the camera off to Sony?
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