An Under-$2,000 HDR Option for Log/Raw Cameras

Atomos, the Melbourne-based maker of 4K HDR recorder/monitors and the popular Ninja series of pocket-sized ProRes and DNxHD recorder/monitors, is now shipping its 10-bit 4K 60p HDR Shogun Inferno field monitor for a list price of $1,995.

The new 1920×1200 resolution, 7.1-inch on-camera device features 10 stops of dynamic range and brings shoot-what-you-see HDR recording and monitoring — revealing those rich, true colors you usually have to wait until HDR grading in post to reveal — on location when shooting with newer, higher-frame-rate 4K Log/Raw cameras. The recorder/monitor records via HDMI or 12G-SDI the high brightness range of the original image from the camera's sensor for later grading, but its AtomHDR engine means those in the field can also get instant feedback about exposure when shooting log or raw. It is also, for its size, very bright, at 1500 nits, and typically doesn't require use of a hood (included for free) to view accurately when shooting outdoors in the daylight.

"The Ninja Flame and Shogun Flame were the world’s first on-camera monitors to bring HDR to every filmmaker that shoots log," Tony Trent, the company's chief marketing officer told StudioDaily. "The Shogun Inferno, however, building on our award-winning Flame series, is the first 4K 60p HDR recorder, perfect for today’s Sony FS700/FS5/FS7 shooters and other 4K 60p cameras, including those looking to buy Panasonic’s GH5 early next year."

In the shipping release, HDR log/raw can be captured as Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHR via the log from 4K 60p Sony cameras, as well as those from Arri, Canon, Panasonic, JVC and Red. Sony's FS Raw to ProRes/DNxHR lets Sony FS5, FS700 and FS7 users record up to 4K 60p. Atomos announced in September during IBC that it would release another firmware update by the end of the year that will handle raw directly from the ARRI Alexa Mini, Sony FS series, Canon and Panasonic VariCam LT cameras and add quad-link SDI connection for cameras with multiple 1.5/3G or single 6G or 12G. An update in November will also add HD/2K 100/120/200/240p recording compatibility for Sony FS series users.

"The AtomHDR technology utilizes the monitor's 1500 nit brightness range in tandem with image processing to perfectly map each camera brand’s Logarithmic curve for our products," adds Trent. "This really is the perfect exposure tool in the field for log, giving you the most accurate preview of the final post-production result." All users of the company's other related products, including the Ninja Blade, Samurai Blade, Shogun Studio, Ninja Assassin and previous Shogun models can update to HDR viewing via a free update

The current version of the Inferno also lets you output HDR via the PQ standard to playout on larger compatible HDR screens or take an input from an NLE for mobile grading. In a future firmware upgrade, you'll be able to do the same with HDR connections from NLEs and cameras with Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) outputs. 

Atomos says it plans to begin shipping a range of compatible 4K 60p HDMI cables in November that will range in price from $99 to $149. But the company also likes to give its users as many accessories as it can for free. "The Atomos philosophy has always been to create a full kit that includes a hard case that the product comes in along with the accessories so people can start getting to work right away," says Trent. A master caddy case, fast chargers, cables, batteries and a sunhood come included with the monitor. "All the customer really has to supply is the off-the-shelf media to put in the included caddies and they are ready to do their production work."