Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony Alpha and NEX Camera Systems > Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)

Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 4th, 2014, 11:30 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Long Island, USA
Posts: 46
Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

Ninja Star | Atomos

Would liike to purchase this as it appears to be perfect in terms of price, weight, codec, and size for mounting on the EA-50. Better than FMU in terms of cost and convenience.

I see this as an additional solution in terms of being flexible for any other cam I would consider such as A7 or A7R or A7S(this is truly where it's all going).

Would be great to see some postings of clips captured in pro-res and how it looks as opposed to same clip captured on an SD card.

It's on my must have list!!!
Scott Nocella is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 5th, 2014, 02:20 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

Quote:
Better than FMU in terms of cost and convenience
The FMU is the most convenience tool you can get for the ea50, it just snaps onto the camera and you never will notice it's there, no separate second recording or powering buttons, no separate powersolutions, just shoot like you always did and the fmu will record every single bit along the way. The ninja star though looks like a very interesting recorder, you only need to be sure it can record 4K because I don't see that listed in the specs. (if you plan to get a a7s it would be a waste not to get a recorder that can record 4K)
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 5th, 2014, 12:43 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Long Island, USA
Posts: 46
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

FMU is convenient there's no doubt about it. Having a lightweight Pro-Res recorder reduces conversion time for post process as Final Cut is what my clients use for post. It's cheap enough to keep sensor cool in A7, A7R, and A7S when shooting in HD not 4K, for 4K it's going to be pricier, about $2K for a recorder from Ninja-that model would be the Shogun.
Scott Nocella is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 5th, 2014, 01:30 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 626
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

Hi Scott,

I have a lot of experience with the Atomos Ninja units, connected to HDV camcorders. Don't expect the ProRes recording to really look any different to the naked eye versus the native H.264 codec. A lot of folks on the forums seem to get disenchanted when they buy an Atomos and compare the two clips on a monitor. The real benefit of the ProRes recording is that it's a high-bitrate 4:2:2 recording, and the benefits would become more clear when working with chroma-keying, compositing, or heavy color grading. Simply "playing" the two clips won't usually show any appreciable difference.

With my older HDV cameras, the Long-GOP MPEG-2 codec would get pretty blocking sometimes with complex motion, such as a water fountain, and then I could see an obvious visual difference versus the ProRes recording. The newer AVCHD cameras have a much better compression to start with since the H.264 codec is more efficient than HDV.

One trick I've used to compare the HDV to the ProRes is to layer the two clips in Premiere, with them synched of course, then change the Program Monitor to say 200% to "blow up" a portion of the image. Then I can toggle the top video layer on and off to compare the compression blocking and detail of different areas of the image. Another tip is to add CROP effect to the upper clip and move the slider back and forth to wipe between the two clips and then I can also see the difference in compression artifacts that way.

ProRes seems to have an actual "grain" to it versus blocks of color that I get with HDV. Definitely a lot more detail in the ProRes, for instance facial features during a stage play. A wide shot will show actual lips, nose, eyes versus the face being a solid blob.

True story - one poster shared a lock-down shot of a close-up of a flower in his garden and complained that Atomos/ProRes didn't make it look any better. You need to stress the codec first in order to break it down a bit before making comparisons. Fast motion, high detail, etc.

Whether I'm recording to HDV tape or SDHC cards, I appreciate the Atomos Ninja for the larger color monitor and ready-to-edit clips (with no tape or card changes changes for long events!). Of course the Star has no screen, but the recording should be the same great quality as Ninja.

Thanks
__________________
Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers
Jeff Pulera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 5th, 2014, 02:13 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,068
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

Can I ask Jeff which hdv camera you use in combination with the Atomos Ninja? I have a Sony fx1000 here that is collecting dust and I don't want to shoot on tape again, the ninja star also seems like a good alternative to give that fx1000 a second life, I"m only not sure if it will work with the sony fx1000, that camera does have a hmdi out connector so suppose it should work.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 5th, 2014, 02:35 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 626
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

Hi Noa,

Sony FX-7 and also a Canon HV20. Really, ANY camcorder with HDMI output should be fine. Not so much with the DSLR units, as many of them did not put out a proper signal and/or require specific menu settings to work (newer units getting better though). Camcorders are easy, they just always work. I also record a Newtek TriCaster HDMI output into Ninja.

Thanks
__________________
Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers
Jeff Pulera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2014, 07:00 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Blue Mountains, Australia
Posts: 170
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

I'm looking closely at the new Ninja Star because of it's small size and low weight but a cost effective alternative is to immediately transcode your 8bit AVCHD to 10bit ProRes 444 and edit in the 10bit domain. You don't gain as much head room as if you would if you recorded ProRes 4:2:2 in the first place with say, the Ninja Star (IMO, CF media costs are still far too high compared with SSDs) but transcoding to 10bit 444 costs you nothing and you do not 'lose' any headroom in the edit either.

I like the ClipToolz 'Convert' transcoder as it preserves your color space 100%, generates and embeds timecode, creates PCM audio (5.1 too) and the new version v2.0 will do a timecode burn into your proxies if you want.
Craig Marshall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2014, 06:59 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Flint, Michigan, USA
Posts: 364
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

I have not tried the Ninja Star but I am current trying out the Ninja 2. I do some chroma key projects and such. I have not had a lot of time to actually compare the two. However I do have footage from a shoot from both Ninja 2 and the AVCHD. I will have to load up a sample along side each other and post it here soon as I get a chance. I'm assuming the ninja Star and the Ninja 2 has comparable recording qualities.
Aaron Jones Sr. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 12th, 2014, 07:58 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,706
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

The Ninja Star does not record ProRes 4444.
Gary Huff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2014, 03:04 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Blue Mountains, Australia
Posts: 170
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

I have not suggested it does. I you read my post carefully, I wrote: "a cost effective alternative (to using 3rd party HDMI recorders) is to immediately transcode your 8bit AVCHD to 10bit ProRes 444 and edit in the 10bit domain."

To do this (and a lot more) I recommend using ClipToolz 'Convert', one of the few transcoders I have tested which maintains 100% colour accuracy and embeds timecode into your Prores and DNxHD transcodes.
Craig Marshall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2014, 04:15 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,706
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

I would avoid both ProRes 4444 and "ClipToolz" for something like this. LT and 422 are more than good enough if transcoding is needed, and ProRes 4444 is completely overkill, requiring more computing power and storage space to deal with while bringing zero gain.

Use MPEG Streamclip and transcode to LT.
Gary Huff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 2nd, 2014, 04:44 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Blue Mountains, Australia
Posts: 170
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

I have used MPEG Streamclip in the past but it did not suit my needs. ClipToolz 'Convert' on the other hand has been continuously developed for professional applications with a fast interface and rigorous adherence to broadcast standards. There is a small fee for Convert which I'm happy to pay as I have found generally that fee paying customers, as with most software, get a faster response from developers when suggesting software improvements or additional features.

Although ProRes 4:4:4 could be considered 'overkill' if you are just considering file size vs perceived quality compared with 422 or LT but my recommendation is to transcode 8bit AVCHD to a 10bit post production codec which offers increased 'headroom' without compromising picture or sound quality. Another advantage of ProRes 444 is that 4:4:4 formats require less computer resources when converting to RGB for computer display because there is a more-or-less direct math conversion. Conversely, converting from 4:2:2 to RGB display requires a bit more math. Add decompression to the 4:2:2 conversion to RGB (for display) and you have a tough compute scenario. This why trying to edit native compressed LongGOP can be a frustrating experience, especially if you are chasing absolute frame accuracy.

I also shoot exclusively with a Schneider Digicon filter in my matte box which 'compresses' light entering the lens toward an 8bit video camera's ideal four stop dynamic range. The Digicon does this by reducing highlights and lifting blacks before light reaches the sensor but without softening the picture as do some other 'low contrast' filters. In order to 'expand' back out the dynamic range, filter compensation is applied in post to achieve more than you could with the camera alone.

Consequently, I find 10bit ProRes 444 is the perfect post production codec when editing material shot on modern consumer and pro-sumer video cameras or DSLRs which record compressed 8bit 4:2:0 LongGOP streams to removable media. Recording directly to ProRes from a camera's clean 4:2:2 HDMI out to an external recorder like the Ninja Star is a far better solution so long as the additional cost of portability, battery requirements and recording media is justified.
Craig Marshall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 3rd, 2014, 11:20 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,706
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Marshall View Post
I have used MPEG Streamclip in the past but it did not suit my needs.
How so? I'm only curious because I see a lot of postings from you about ClipToolz to the point where I would need more information about this software before I would say anything positive about it. Perhaps you have pull enough to finagle me a preview copy?

Quote:
my recommendation is to transcode 8bit AVCHD to a 10bit post production codec which offers increased 'headroom' without compromising picture or sound quality.
Of which, ProResLT, ProRes 422, and ProRes HQ are all suitable.

Quote:
Another advantage of ProRes 444 is that 4:4:4 formats require less computer resources when converting to RGB for computer display
You're not being quite correct here. There may be a slight gain in efficiency on the GPU end of displaying footage from ProRes 4444, but you will lose that from the data-rate necessary to play it back. ProResLT on the lower end, in which you will see no visual difference with AVCHD source material, is 82Mbps. While ProRes 4444 is 264Mbps.

Quote:
Conversely, converting from 4:2:2 to RGB display requires a bit more math. Add decompression to the 4:2:2 conversion to RGB (for display) and you have a tough compute scenario.
Except what you say does not reflect real-world usage because people can edit HD video on a PowerPC Mac in YUV ProRes codecs. So if the performance hit was that severe, then surely those machines wouldn't be able to handle it.

Quote:
This why trying to edit native compressed LongGOP can be a frustrating experience, especially if you are chasing absolute frame accuracy.
LongGOP codecs are only an issue for full-speed playback without choppiness. I routinely edit straight up LongGOP codecs and have never had an issue with frame accuracy.

Quote:
I also shoot exclusively with a Schneider Digicon filter in my matte box which 'compresses' light entering the lens toward an 8bit video camera's ideal four stop dynamic range.
All this filter does is give you a flat image. It does not increase anything related to dynamic range. Plus, it is inaccurate to say that an "8-bit video camera" only has 4 stops of DR. You should do some more research because what you apparently think you know is not accurate.

Quote:
Consequently, I find 10bit ProRes 444 is the perfect post production codec when editing material shot on modern consumer and pro-sumer video cameras or DSLRs which record compressed 8bit 4:2:0 LongGOP streams to removable media.
That's fine if you are married to this workflow and want to do it, but for others, they will simply find larger files and less smooth playback for absolutely zero gain.

Quote:
Recording directly to ProRes from a camera's clean 4:2:2 HDMI out to an external recorder like the Ninja Star is a far better solution so long as the additional cost of portability, battery requirements and recording media is justified.
The Ninja Star is a great piece of kit, especially on smaller cameras like the GH4. If you want the absolute best quality and a robust codec for post, then I would highly recommend picking up a Star, and forget this ClipToolz/ProRes4444 transcoding nonsense. Really, in today's world, you only need to transcode to ProRes if you have an older machine and it struggles playing back AVCHD or other LongGOP codecs. You get zero image benefit from transcoding, especially if you are using Premiere, which can upconvert to 32-bit floating point color.
Gary Huff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2015, 04:20 PM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Blue Mountains, Australia
Posts: 170
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

For those of you who use an external HDMI recorder with a camera which does not generate timecode or those who may wish to 're-stripe' your existing timecode, ClipToolz have just released their popular 'Convert' transcoder app as a free download and it includes a handy 'Timecode Tool' which will re-stripe ProRes timecode as recorded by the Atomos Ninja 'Star' HDMI recorder.

Accurate timecode is essential if like me, you export EDLs or AAFs from your NLE for further processing in DaVinci Resolve, etc. Here's the link to the user guide and free download: ClipToolz Convert V2 Home Page
Craig Marshall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 27th, 2015, 06:13 PM   #15
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,706
Re: Anybody using HDMI out to Ninja Star/Lightweight Pro-Res recorder

How exactly will ClipToolZ sync the timecode that is internally generated in the camera with the clip recorded on the Ninja Star?
Gary Huff is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony Alpha and NEX Camera Systems > Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:06 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network