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    Spent a week with the D800 and the Atomos Ninja....my thoughts
    #1
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    I have all of the settings correct, latest firmware, using approved drives. The quality of the images it records (used ProRes HQ) were simply amazing...when it worked. First problem is with the 2.2 Firmware it won't playback on the device. Says there's a firmware error and you have to pull the battery and reboot. So now when I need to check takes, I have to pull the drive, go to the computer....huge time suck. THEN it started locking up. It was pretty much consistent in that it would do it either at the end of a perfect take or when you didn't have time to do it again. The worst was we were doing these long 2 minute dolly shots, every 3rd or 4th one: crash. The file is there but it's truncated and unsalvageable. Nothing worse than looking at a 3.36GB solid gold take that's there but gone. Upside; it did become rather exciting when you held your breath, pushed the stop button and were rewarded with success. It felt like winning the lottery. Downside was I felt compelled to keep checking the start and stop before each take to make sure it wasn't going to freeze (let it run for 15 seconds or so) and ended up a bunch of garbage clips to sort through at the end of the day. Not a big deal, just another time and resource waster. But the killing blow came when I went back to check shots after a series to find that several were missing. Just gone like a defector from communist China. I'm OCD, I check the REC almost as much as I watch frame and focus - I know for a fact it wasn't user error. So for the rest of the shoot I had to spend a maddening amount of time holding up production, checking and re-checking things at the computer before moving on to the next setup. If you enjoy being nervous, paranoid, obsessive compulsive and being asked constantly by the director; 'did we get it? Are you sure?' - it's a fantastic device.

    Overall I wanted to love it but it was like swimming with Piranhas; thrilling but occasionally I would get bit and come up with something missing. I had a friend ask if I would recommend it. I would say this; not for a professional shoot. Ever. If you're just messing around and you can afford to suffer a disaster every other setup, go for it. Assuming all of the problems are addressed first, it could also use a belt clip, arm belt or a lanyard - there was just no ergonomic or pleasant way to mount the thing anywhere. It also needs to power on from either battery slot, not just #1.

    All of the complaints I've read about image quality, interlacing, crushed blacks etc are user error. The quality of what actually makes it onto the drive is mind blowing. That said, I have a Ninja for sale and am currently shopping for a PIX 220 or similar for my next gig. The competition may cost more but it's far cheaper than scheduling a reshoot because you had a shot disappear into the mystic Ninja ether.


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    #2
    Senior Member Stephenh's Avatar
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    Bloody Windows FAT32 file structure.. I almost bought the Ninja, but because of my Mac work flow I went for the BM Hyperdeck Shuttle. There must be something going on with the new firmware because there are plenty of review's with the Ninja + D800 without the problems that you have indicated.


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    #3
    Senior Member macgregor's Avatar
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    Ive had zero issues with the ninja. Maybe its time to blame your drive and not the recorder?

    www.blackmilk.eu

    Macgregor is a trademark of Miguel de Olaso


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    #4
    Senior Member Stephenh's Avatar
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    +1 to that too.


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    #5
    Senior Member Stephenh's Avatar
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    Says there's a firmware error and you have to pull the battery and reboot.
    Have you spoken to Atomos support about your problem. I am just wondering if the firmware update got corrupted somehow.


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    #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by macgregor View Post
    Ive had zero issues with the ninja. Maybe its time to blame your drive and not the recorder?
    I tried 3 different drives it made no difference; a 256 Samsung SSD, Seagate Momentus 750GB (approved) and an Apple brand 750GB. I had the same problems with all three. I also re-downloaded the firmware from the site 3 times reinstalled it during pre-shoot testing. Nothing made a difference. Used the batteries that came with it, also tried some larger capacity ones - fully charged. I also tried using 1 battery at a time, and 2 at a time. Again, no difference. I threw every variable I could at it - it's the recorder.

    I'm using it with Mac (although that should make no difference). The Ninja was used during 12 hour shoot days, 5 days in a row. Every day the problems were exactly the same.

    Also tried 2 different HDMI cables.
    Last edited by TheRedMenace; 06-06-2012 at 10:20 PM.


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    #7
    Senior Member Stephenh's Avatar
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    How about contacting Atomos, You may just have a faulty unit! Msr Faulty! Msr Faulty! Sorry, English comedy, can't help myself.


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