Video / News

Unveiled: Atomos Ninja Assassin

Atomos is at it again, with the announcement of its latest on-camera monitor/4K recorder—the Ninja Assassin. Continuing the legacy of the Ninja line up, the Ninja Assassin is an HDMI-only recorder that features a 7.1" 1920 x 1200 touchscreen display and records UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30p, as well as Full HD (1920 x 1080) up to 120p. Aimed at DSLR and mirrorless image makers, the Ninja Assassin is a cost-effective 4K-recording solution that lets you get the most out of cameras such as the Sony a7S, a7RII, Panasonic GH4, and Canon XC10 by recording their uncompressed UHD HDMI output.

The Ninja Assassin is, in essence, an HDMI-only version of the Shogun. It uses the same touchscreen display and shares the same rich feature set and functionality of the Shogun, with the exception of RAW support, Genlock, and any other feature that is only available over SDI. While sharing a similar form factor to the Shogun, the Ninja Assassin is 10% lighter, thanks in part to the exclusion of the SDI input and output hardware components. Another key difference between the two models is that the Ninja Assassin only has a 3.5mm audio input, rather than the LEMO-type connector and breakout cable of the Shogun that provides full-balanced XLR, line/mic, and phantom power input, as well as two-channel balanced output. I don’t see this as being an issue for the majority of shooters, and some may even prefer a standard 3.5mm input rather than having to use a breakout cable. Like the Shogun, the Ninja Assassin can be powered using a single Sony L-series type battery, an included AC adapter, or an optional D-Tap adapter cable.

The Ninja Assassin makes a useful addition to any DSLR or mirrorless camera capable of outputting 4K/UHD video, such as the Sony a7S, a7RII, and Panasonic GH4. The a7S, in particular, can’t record 4K/UHD internally, so an external option is the only solution. Even for cameras that can record 4K/UHD internally, they are often limited by 8-bit 4:2:0 color, lower bit-rates, recording length restrictions and, sometimes, even overheating. The Ninja Assassin allows you to bypass many of these issues and record the uncompressed HDMI output—which in many cases is 10-bit or 8-bit 4:2:2—in high-quality and edit-ready 10-bit Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR codecs. And because it takes 2.5" SSDs, you can record to high-capacity drives up to 1TB, which will hold three hours of 4K ProRes 422 HQ footage.

With all of the recording benefits, it’s easy to forget that the Ninja Assassin is also a 7.1" monitor, packed with the typical video analysis tools you would expect to find in a professional monitor, including waveforms, luma and RGB parade, vectorscope, and more. You’ll also find a variety of tools to help you set up your frame and focus your shots, such as focus peaking, 1:1 and 2:1 zoom, and even anamorphic de-squeeze. The monitor also allows you to import custom 3D LUTs that let you more accurately monitor your log or flat footage while on set.

The below specifications chart details the differences between the Ninja Assassin and the Shogun.

  Ninja Assassin Shogun
Display
Type 7.1" (18 cm) IPS capacitive touchscreen
Resolution 1920 x 1200
325 ppi
Brightness 400 nit
Frequency 48 to 60 Hz
Viewing Angle 179°
Color Space Rec 709 (HDTV)
LUT Support User-defined 3D LUTs available
Interface
Inputs 1 x HDMI In (1.4b)
N/A 1 x 12G-SDI In, BNC
N/A 1 x Genlock In, BNC
1 x LANC In
1 x 3.5mm audio input jack 2 x XLR In (included LEMO breakout cable required)
Outputs 1 x HDMI Out (1.4b)
N/A 1 x 12G-SDI Out, BNC
N/A 2 x XLR Out (included LEMO breakout cable required)
1 x 3.5mm audio output jack
USB 1 x USB
Supported Video Format
Supported Signal Input: 10- / 8-bit 4:2:2 (dependent on video source)
Output: 10- / 8-bit 4:2:2 (dependent on video source)
Supported Resolutions UHD 4K (3840 x 2160): 2160p 24/25/30 
HD (High Frame Rate): 1080p120, 1080p60/50, 720p120 
HD: 1080i60, 1080i59.94, 1080i50, 1080p30, 1080p25, 1080p24, 1080p23.98, 1080pSF23.98, 1080pSF24, 1080pSF25, 1080pSF30, 720p60, 720p59.94, 720p50
Supported Loop-Out Formats HDMI to HDMI:
720p 50/60/120
1080i 50/60
1080p 24/25/30/50/60/120 
2160p 24/25/30 
N/A SDI to SDI:
720p 50/60
1080i 50/60
1080psf 24/25/30/50/60/120
1080p 24/25/30/50/60/120
2160p 24/25/30
Video Signal Conversion N/A HDMI to SDI:
720p 50/60
1080i 50/60
1080p 24/25/30/50/60/120
2160p 24/25/30 
N/A SDI to HDMI:
720p 50/60
1080i 50/60
1080p 24/25/30/50/60/120
2160p 24/25/30 
4K Down-Conversion:
Down-Converts 4K input to 1080p at matching frame rate (enable via "input" menu)
Encoding Formats UHD 4K (3840 x 2160):
Color Sampling: 4:2:2 at 8- or 10-bit
Apple ProRes: HQ, 422, LT 
Avid DNxHR: HQX, HQ, SQ, LB 
Full HD (1920 x 1080):
Color Sampling: 4:2:2 at 8- or 10-bit
Apple ProRes: HQ, 422,LT
Avid DNxHD: 220/220x, 145, 36 
Pull-down Conversion 50i from 25PSF > 25P (2:2 Pulldown)
60i from 30PSF > 30P (2:2 Pulldown)
60i from 24P > 24P (3:2 Pulldown)
60i from 23.98P > 23.98P (3:2 Pulldown)
Supported Audio Formats
HDMI 2 or 8-channel, up to 24-bit (camera dependent)
SDI N/A Up to 12-channel, 48 or 96 kHz, up to 24-bit (camera dependent)
Phantom Power N/A +48 V phantom power via XLR inputs
Remote Operation
HDMI Auto HDMI trigger
Supported Protocols: Canon, Sony, Atomos Open Standard
SDI N/A SDI trigger camera selectable
LANC Supports master and slave configuration
Recording Media
Supported Media 4K / HD High Frame Rate (50/60/120p):
2.5" SSD
 CFast 2.0 (via adapter)
Raided HDD (via Master RAID Caddy)
HD (30p and less):
2.5" SSD 
CFast 2.0
HDD
Master Caddy Dock Interface: 2.5" SATA to USB 2.0/3.0
General
Operating Power 10 to 20 W
Input Voltage Battery: 6.2 to 16.8 VDC
Supported Batteries Sony NP series
Battery Run Time (based on 7.2 VDC) 5200 mAh: up to 1.5 hours (monitor & record 4K)
7800 mAh: up to 2.2 hours (monitor & record 4K)
DC In 1 x DC in (6.2 to 16.8 VDC)
Dimensions 7.7 x 4.3 x 1.85" / 196 x 110 x 47mm
Weight Without Batteries & Media: 15.16 oz / 430 g Without Batteries & Media: 1 lb / 460 g 
Included Items AC Adapter Full Version:
1 x Master Caddy II AC Adapter
Red Armor Bumper 5 x Master Caddy II
Soft Carry Case D-Tap Adapter
  NP-770 Battery
  Battery Charger
  XLR Breakout Cable
  SATA / USB 3.0 HDD / SSD Docking Station
  Custom HPRC Carry Case
  Bare Bones Version:
  AC Adapter
  1 x Master Caddy II
  Soft Carry Case

Items discussed in article