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Using external monitor+recorder like Atomos Ninja V?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by ManW_TheUncool, May 23, 2019.

  1. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Anyone using something like an Atomos Ninja V for videos w/ their mirrorless (or DSLR?) cams? What's your preferred choice and why, if not the Ninja V?

    As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm likely (and previously unexpectedly) picking up a Nikon Z6 kit later today... but want to make more sure about the video side of things since that's a major factor in going mirrorless at all.

    I usually expect to shoot videos on a tripod... at least w/ such a rig anyway (even though I often deferred to a small Panny 1080p camcorder handheld w/ a monopod-plus-attached-Tascam-recorder wedged against my body)...

    The Atomos solutions concern me a bit when it comes to fan noise (and heat perhaps). I guess I will probably need to place the monitor as far as possible away from my Tascam recorder (or whatever mic) -- I used to just attach the recorder to the tripod ~1/2ft below the camera... but not sure that's good enough anymore.

    Ideally, I'd set up stereo miking much closer to subjects for best sound, but that's a bit extreme and not usually possible for the kids' recitals (unless I was the official shooter providing near-pro resuls, LOL), which are what I shoot most on video. I don't really even need 4K video for that... though better codecs in the Atomos, et al along w/ recording to SSD is desired... and the Z6 apparently isn't good for external miking anyway (due to noisy preamp). I do have a Rode shotgun mic, but that's no good for stereo sound -- and the Rode stereo mic might not be noticeably better than my Tascam recorder (and can't backup the audio).

    Think I might need to set up the monitor on a separate arm running off the tripod's video head (Manfrotto Nitrotech N8).

    Anyone here done that w/ something like the Ninja V? Any better choices/suggestions in similar ballpark?

    Guess I'll probably need to use post-NR to filter out the fan noise along w/ other ambient noise that I already usually do (merely a passable job w/ Audacity)... Just wish I could minimize the noise so less/simpler NR is needed -- also, probably have to hope the fan noise doesn't vary mid-recording to keep things simpler.

    I did find a Vimeo video demonstrating the noise diff between the Ninja V and the bigger Ninja (and Shogun?) Inferno. Wonder which is easier to filter out particularly for violin music -- I'm guessing the lower frequency noise of the Inferno... but the Inferno is otherwise probably overkill, including the necessary complete kit costs, especially since I'm not using pro level audio setup, eg. no XLR, no phantom power needs...

    All this... and I also gotta wonder if the fan noise will be too loud for most of the recitals (not just my recording) in general... :oops: Guess I better ask to have a listen in person for myself at B&H...

    Problem is I most likely need some kind of external solution and not just rely on in-camera monitoring and recording... or the Z6 won't end up being nearly as useful/good upgrade over my current setup/solution to justify the purchase...

    Decisions, decisions, decisions...

    _Man_

    PS: Sorry about the redundant post in the mirrorless thread. Just realized I should probably break this out into its own thread since some might use a Ninja V or similar w/ a DSLR instead of mirrorless cam...
     
  2. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Well, I finally took my Ninja V rig out for a long-ish day of the kids' concert performances, and unfortunately, did not get enough time practicing beforehand... The day just crept up very quickly on me after the long wait...

    And I apparently missed the part where I needed to switch audio channels for monitoring... Ugh!

    You'd think Atomos would automatically default to monitoring the mic input (out of multiple channels... that include whatever's coming via HDMI), especially if you explicitly (have to) choose to record it in their Audio section/tab. But nope, so I ended up wasting one concert finding out I'm monitoring the wrong channel while I kept adjusting the mic-in levels apparently to no avail (except to way over-boost it!)... Ugh! Now, for those recordings, I only have a choice between noisy, blown audio w/ plenty of clipping (from external mic) or very quiet audio from the Z6's weak mic. :angry:

    Figuring how to properly use log video format also seems like it'll take some practice... I probably ended up w/ substantially underexposed videos, especially for the first concert, even though I went w/ EV settings that are equal or higher than past shoots at same venues w/ similar lighting -- seems almost like you have to waaay over-expose (compared to normal SDR shoot) to use log format... and maybe that's just not very useful for indoor, low-lit situations...

    BUT what was Atomos thinking to not include any user manual w/ the product on top of all this complexity -- I did quickly look up their online manual or things would've gone worse...

    _Man_
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Had a quick check thru the videos, and seems like most of the audio boosted 1st concert (5 out 7 pieces I recorded) thankfully didn't actually clip... though the audio does seem rather noisy nonetheless. Guess the Ninja V's mic-in preamp/audio section is actually noisier than the Nikon Z6's.

    There's also the (albeit readily correctable) issue of analog audio synch on the Ninja V, which the Z6 doesn't seem to experience.

    Maybe what I should actually do is run my stereo shotgun mic's output into my Tascam DR2d to be recorded at likely higher quality (and w/ backup at audio lower level) on top of sending the DR2d's own analog output to the Z6 to be embedded in the HDMI stream sent to the Ninja V.

    That's essentially what I used to do w/ the Tascam recorder's own built-in mic, which is not shotgun, but w/out the HDMI stream out to Ninja V. That does introduce additional risk of user error, eg. needing additional setup of the Tascam recorder (though it does minimize audio setup on Ninja V side), extra button presses to record, other potential problems like the Tascam's own rather limited AA battery life or it erroring out and stopping if/when it's SD card becomes full, which has happened once before (and I didn't notice right away)...

    _Man_
     

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