Panasonic’s high-end GH5 mirrorless camera looks to continue to series’ leadership in video production, offering 4K resolution at up to 60 frames per second. But to truly take advantage of the GH5’s full potential — and other cameras with HDMI output — an external recorder is required. The new Ninja Inferno from Atomos, at $995, was built specifically with GH5 users in mind.
The Ninja Inferno appears to be a scaled-back version of Atomos’ top-of-the-line Shogun Inferno, which costs $1,000 more. It is built around the same seven-inch monitor and looks nearly identical at first glance. As a professional tool, the Shogun Inferno includes both HDMI and SDI inputs, but mirrorless cameras, DSLRs, and lower-end cinema cameras all make due with just HDMI. For operators of these cameras, SDI is overkill. The Ninja Inferno does away with the costlier pro connection in favor of an HDMI-only approach, but it will still handle everything the GH5 can throw at it.
It starts with being able to record Panasonic’s V-Log footage at 4K/60p straight to the editing and grading-friendly formats of Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR. It’s the emphasis on 60p that separates the Ninja Inferno from lower-end external recorders. With support for 4:2:2 chroma subsampling and 10 bits per pixel, it also captures the full-color resolution and bit depth that the GH5 can handle. Combined with the high bitrate of ProRes or DNx file types, this will give colorists the most latitude to work with in post processing.
What is more, both Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) and DCI (4,096 x 2160) resolutions are supported, making the Ninja Inferno the first HDMI recorder to correctly handle the wider aspect ratio preferred in cinema production. When shooting in log, operators will be able to monitor footage in true color with high-dynamic range thanks to Atom HDR tech. Like other Atomos recorders, it also features XLR inputs for high-quality, synchronous audio recording.
It’s nice to see an external recorder that can fully keep up with the GH5 that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Naturally, other cameras are supported as well, but few have the same hefty requirements of 10-bit 4K/60p. The Ninja Inferno is available now. For more information, visit Atomos online.
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