Thoughts On The Atomos Ninja Star

One of the best investments I have made for shooting with my FS100 was the Atomos Ninja 2, an external monitor recorder. And while I am incredibly satisfied with this set up, there are times when I work with folks who already have monitors, but are looking to up their recording format.

Atomos has created a solution in the tiny Ninja Star.

Atomos made their claim to fame, partly by creating outstanding monitor-recorders. In this respect, the Ninja Star is quite a departure from their usual product: it is a recorder with no monitor.

Atomos Ninja Star

Thoughts On The Atomos Ninja Star

The Atomos Ninja Star is tiny. Weighing only a minuscule 4.6 ounces alone and just above 8 ounces fully loaded. But don’t let the small size fool you. The Atomos Ninja Star is a recording powerhouse. It is so small that the Atomos Ninja Star could be loaded on a remote drone for high powered recording even away from traditional higher end cameras.

The Atomos Ninja Star will record edit-ready ProRes 422 HQ in either 10-bit or 8-bit color space. ProRes typically is a much better format for editing and especially color correction. While you lose out on the monitoring capabilities of the larger Atomos recorders, you can play the video back through another monitor.

The Good of The Atomos Ninja Star

  • Prores 422 10/8-bit recording
  • Small size
  • Micro-HDMI input
  • Diverse battery power (Sony/Canon/Nikon batteries)
  • Long battery life

The Not So Good of The Atomos Ninja Star

  • Records the C-fast Cards (small, but not cheap for now)
  • No on-board monitoring

Final Thoughts on The Atomos Ninja Star

Bypassing high compression formats common to many less expensive cameras makes the Atomos Ninja Star an excellent addition for shooters who have access to clean HDMI feeds. And using the new standard CFast 1.0 cards means that media costs for the Ninja Star will only go down. But for now, the media costs almost as much as the Star itself.

If you’re looking for good ProRes recording for your shoots and don’t need a monitor, the Atomos Ninja Star is a great little tool in your bag.

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ARTICLE BY Michael Head

Michael Head is a filmmaker and full-time geek living the the Dallas-Fort Worth Metromess. Follow him at @michaeldhead. Check in every Tuesday for Micheal’s “tech-Tuesday” articles. Check out his website.
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