Addressing the growing need for options for monitoring HDR acquisition, Atomos announced Neon, a new line of four HDR field monitor-recorders. They range in size from 17 inches to 55 inches, shine at 1,000 nits, deliver 100% coverage of 10-bit DCI-P3 color, and record ProRes Raw at up to 4K 60p.
Atomos is positioning the Neon17 (1920 x 1080) as a good companion for focus-pullers or as reference displays for laptops, the Neon24 and Neon31 (both 4096 x 2160, with a 17:9 aspect ratio) as suitable on-set reference monitors, and the living-room-sized Neon55 (3840 x 2160) as an impressive option for clients and color-grading suites.
They’re not exactly cheap, but they’re pretty affordable as quality HDR monitors go, so they should help some productions step up their color management. Atomos plans to ship the Neon17 and Neon24 in August for $3,999 and $6,499, respectively, with the Neon31 and Neon55 to follow in September at $7,999 and $16,999.
The familiar Atomos touchscreen interface is gone from the new displays, which are instead controlled by an iOS app connected via Bluetooth. The Neons can also be frame-sync’d with Atomos Ninja Vs that have the AtomX Sync module installed using the app.
Also new in these models is something Atomos calls the Master Control Unit — the “brain” of the system — that can be upgraded in the future. Atomos didn’t say as much, but the suggestion seems to be that the Neon may one day be able to record 4K at higher frame rates, or perhaps at higher resolutions. The Master Control Unit can also work with AtomX expansion modules to add SDI and NDI connectivity to the standard HDMI I/O. Update 06/03/2019: Well, that was fast — Atomos said today that a Neon 8K Master Control Unit will be available later this year to enable 8K 60fps ProRes Raw recording on the Neon series.
The Neons convert log and raw files to Rec. 709 for SDR monitoring and to HLG or PQ for HDR. They can also output a Dolby Vision signal in real time so recorded pictures can be checked on TVs or monitors with Dolby Vision technology, including consumer models. The company says its Dynamic AtomHDR display technology uses a dense system of 512 zone backlights (or 128 on the 17-inch model) to control and increase brightness while maintaining inky blacks, pushing the screen’s apparent contrast ratio to 1,000,000:1. (Atomos claims its blacks are “deeper” and “better” than those of OLED screens.)
All of the displays capture ProRes Raw as well as ProRes, CinemaDNG, and Avid DNxHD, and can be used with sources ranging from a clean 10-bit HDMI signal from a video camera all the way up to 12G-SDI 12-bit 4K 60p raw cinema camera output.
Atomos Neon: atomos.com/neon