The Atomos Ninja V is a 5″ 1080p HDMI monitor for video production, but also a 4K prores recorder. The Ninja V gives you a much larger and clearer view of what you’re shooting as you shoot it.
The screen gives you a host of features to aid filming, such as focus peaking, zebras and LUT overlays. So, you have a better idea of what you’re shooting, and it makes it easier to keep track of the technical aspects of shooting.
The Ninja V records the HDMI feed from the camera, straight to an SSD. This gives you the option of using a far bigger storage medium than an SD card will give you. SSD’s are also much faster, meaning editing directly off of them is feasible, skipping the transferring step.
It records at a maximum quality of Apple ProRes 422 at SDI 4K. which makes for big files but also incredible quality and grading flexibility.
The Ninja V is so small that 2.5″ SSDs are too big. Atomos sell smaller SSDs that fit, or you can use generic 2.5″ SSD’s in the housing you get in the box but they overhang the monitor by about an inch off the left side. This i haven’t had an issue with, it just makes the monitor slightly bigger. However, considering how cheap standard 2.5″ SSDs are, i don’t see a reason to buy the Atomos ones.
The monitor comes with a dummy battery that gives you a mains connection, so you can power it from an outlet, which would be great for a set where it will be staying still. It is also compatible with NP-F batteries which come in a variety of capacities, they are also cheap and accessible. These batteries are commonly used for lighting panels so a variety of companies make them.
I have found with the 5200mah battery Atomos sells, that i get roughly 2 hours worth of ProRes recording at 4k. Which i have found to be adequate. Especially considering how easy they are to swap out.
I found the monitor most useful when working on projects with small to medium sized crews. I’m a film production student and i’m often DP or camera man on projects with 4-10 people, and being able to show them what we are shooting and what we have just shot on a decently big screen makes all the difference. It allows me to know i’m getting the shot they want, and i can get feedback on shots while we shoot.
My preferred ways to use the monitor on a shoot is either on my Ronin SC with the PolarPro arm to attach it, or on top of the camera when its on a tripod.
Heres the gimbal setup:
The Ninja V has been a great addition to the gimbal setup, it makes seeing what i’m filming so much easier. It allows me to make sure my shots are in focus, where normally the screen is difficult to see, and also allows me to film with a log profile which by its nature is low contrast and hard to see with a LUT overlay so it looks like normal footage. This makes judging composition and exposure easier.