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Worth the view: New Ninja and Shogun Ultras

Posted on Nov 26, 2023 by Samara Husbands

A pair of Atomos monitor/recorders with names referencing Japan’s Edo period are standing by – but no katana sword is required to help deliver a final cut you’ll be proud of

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Following nominations for both the Atomos Ninja V+ and the Shogun Connect in the best monitor category for this year’s Gear of the Year Awards, the brand has just unleashed another dynamic duo of potential winners in the Ninja Ultra and flagship Shogun Ultra monitor/recorders. 

Both promise to go above and beyond in delivering everything we’d expect from the Atomos brand while providing a gateway to the cloud. Sounds mystical, but they’re designed to be practical and the perfect accompaniment to working with mirrorless and cinema cameras.

The new products are part of Atomos’ mission to extend the capabilities of its monitor/recorders with a host of cloud-based tools and services, giving content creators peace of mind that their footage is simultaneously being stored on the camera, in the cloud and on their Atomos recorder. The intention is that workflows anywhere in the world can access the media from a cloud-enabled Atomos device – and it’s bringing new functionality to the market all the time.

The ultimate Ninja

No surprise, then, that the camera-mounted Ninja Ultra is being described as the most powerful Ninja ever. It can be used stand-alone or in tandem with Atomos Connect to provide a gateway to cloud workflows. This means filmmakers can edit their projects in the cloud and publish the action to social media within minutes of shooting. Or, if we’re not ready for the cloud just yet, we can just go for the Ninja Ultra on its own.

New features of the Ninja Ultra include a brand-new AtomOS 11 operating system, which is not only speedier than before but packed with extra features. More codecs are included for free, too, including 8K ProRes Raw, ProRes, DNxHD and H.265. We also get a dual record feature to allow dual 4K/60p ProRes Raw and proxy recording for offline or the cloud. In terms of connectivity, compatibility is offered with cutting-edge Wi-Fi 6E, offering not only a faster but more stable connection. The RemoteView function shares live views from the screen over the internet. Adding an Atomos Connect expansion module enables this feature while also allowing for wireless sharing to iPads, Macs and Apple TVs. This makes it a real game changer for remote production.

The Ninja Ultra’s screen is a five-inch HDR wonder, with the device capable of being connected to almost any camera in the world. Like the latest generation of its standard Ninja sibling, the Ultra features a distinctive ‘camo’ polycarbonate body. While the basic Ninja is aimed primarily at DSLR and mirrorless camera owners, the Ultra version is built to make the most of camera-to-cloud technology and lean into cinematic workflows with Atomos Connect. It supports automatic matching of filenames, timecode and recordings from Arri, Canon and Red cameras, with support for more models promised soon.

The Ninja Ultra’s new 4K camera-to-cloud mode allows users to record and upload much higher-quality bit rate H.265 video with higher frame rates, with H.265 files being half the size of H.264 media. While small enough to be shared in this way, quality is more than sufficient for immediate sharing on social media, as well as for newsgathering and sports reporting. Because the latest Ninja and Ninja Ultra products are backwards-compatible with the earlier Ninja V and V+ models, all Atomos and third-party accessories can be used with the latest products immediately.

One Shogun to rule them all 

Arriving hot on the heels of the Ninja Ultra is the Shogun Ultra from Atomos, the flagship model that’s ideal for cinema cameras. It also makes use of the AtomOS 11 operating system, delivering a host of features and new playback and recording tools. Featuring more codecs as standard, the Shogun Ultra includes 8K Apple ProRes Raw (when compared to the regular Shogun’s 6K, thus giving users the choice of a more affordable price point or better performance), along with Apple ProRes, DNxHD and H.265, which was previously only available as a paid option.

Compared with the Ninja’s five-inch screen, the Shogun Ultra has a brighter, 2000-nit, seven-inch screen, plus fully integrated connectivity via both 12G-SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs. The Shogun has more power options, too, with an NP battery slot and integrated 2.1mm locking jack DC input socket.

The Ultra version provides the ability to record full-quality Apple ProRes Raw at up to 4K/60p resolution, while at the same time recording HD 60p to H.265. It also supports automatic matching of filenames, timecode and record trigger from many popular Canon, Arri, Red and Sony cameras. A 4K camera-to-cloud mode allows users to record and upload much higher-quality bit rate H.265 video with higher frame rates and customised parameters. While, as with the Ninja Ultra, the files are small enough for camera-to-cloud workflows, they boast more than enough in terms of quality for immediate use on social media, sports reporting or other journalistic endeavours.

Those working in this way can further take advantage of another fresh feature: Atomos RemoteView. This allows sharing of live views from one Atomos screen with other Atomos monitors, as well as wirelessly to iPads, Macs and Apple TVs. It’s the kind of feature never seen before
at this device’s price point.

Thanks to Wi-Fi 6E integration, the Shogun Ultra also features lower-latency cloud connectivity and higher throughput. While the new AtomOS 11 operating system is being offered as a free update to existing Shogun Connect users, going forward the latter is being superseded by the all-in-one convenience of the Shogun Ultra. 

First announced in September, the flagship Shogun Ultra will be available to purchase by the time you read this. So make sure you head to the below URL to find out more and invest in a unit. 

Originally published in the November/December 2023 issue of Pro Moviemaker.

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