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    7D II and external recorder
    #1
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    Since the 7D II can record internally at ALL-I, is there any potential benefit in using external recorder (apart from the ability to have larger files with hard-drive recorders)?


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    Hello josh, hope you're well.


    benefits are


    -Bigger brighter monitor

    -Exposure/focus assist (peaking/zebras etc, which the camera lacks and needs)

    -Recording to stronger/higher capacity media type (harddreives/SSDs)

    -Unlimited recording time beyond the internal 29:59m limit

    -Get a back-up for security as it records both internally and externally at the same time

    -Higher quality compression, less data thrown (thus bigger files) in the form of getting 4:2:2 220mbps 8bit ProRes HQ vs 4:2:0 90mbps 8bit H.264. (so the gain is 422 and higher bit-rate) - what does this really really practically mean in real life? you import Mov. ProRes files to your computer which is the fastest and easiest type of files to edit, even on a 10 year-old laptop, and the files will have ever so slightly less colour pixelation around bright edges, basically it will be better virtually only for greenscreen keying, due to 4:2:2 colour and when subject move too fast, there will be less break-up due to higher bitrate, but for normal scenes, side by side, I can't really see a noticeable difference between internal & external.

    -Secret feature: it gives you a 5x crop mode if you just magnify 5x and even in live view and record it on the ninja, it's a 1:1 pixel window from the 20mp sensor and looks absolutely beautiful recorded at 1080p prores, very helpful for telephoto, it's a similar mode/feature to crop modes on mirrorless cameras.


    Disadvantages are


    -Larger files/storage

    -It's an extra size and weight to the camera + needs a separate battery to take care of, that's it.



    So people use external recorders with DSLRs mainly for the other reasons than increase in image quality, that's just a little virtually unnoticeable bonus (unless you do greenscreen or need to edit on a PC that's slower to handle h.264 then it's an advantage).

    I think that covers it.

    Disclaimer: keep in mind all this information on the image quality is based on all the other canon & nikon DSLRs and not the 7DII, which may have a different HDMI quality, I say this because a friend was using a monitor with 7DII and said ''the HDMI output looks much better than the recorded image) which might be something, he's not a scientific tester so I doubt it 90% but worth a look into. Hook your camera up to your HDTV and see for yourself if the HDMI signal looks better/worse.


    I think it's a worthy addition to the 7DII package since the HDMI implementation on it is the best on any SLR I've seen, they all have strange quirks like only outputing 30p, screen turns off entirely, doesn't carry sound to the ProRes file, locks up internal recording, doesn't trigger recording from the camera, etc, the 7DII does it 100% perfectly just like a C100.


    If there's a budget for it just go ahead and grab one for a monitor/prores recorder on top, it's just a good gadget to have that will work for all future cameras, an Atomos Ninja 2 available now, and I have a blackmagic video assist on order (the only rival to the ninja) since NAB and I think I'll get in in 2017 or something, so just go with the trusty ninja.

    Here's how the set-up looks on set



    That's all I know about the subject. Hope it helps at all.


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    #3
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    Hi Ebrahim,
    Thank you very much.
    All is well.

    How is the Atomos Ninja 2 as an external monitor, both in itself and compared to the better external monitors, like the SmallHD? I'm interested especially in its' usefulness as an external monitor shooting outdoors, under bright summer sunlight.


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    The panel is quite low quality compared to other dedicated monitors if you don't need the recorder function.

    Best monitor I've ever seen and brightness/function is the new 501 smallHD http://store.smallhd.com/store/501-m...tor#tabs#specs

    As a monitor device, it's no where near the league of the ninja 2 monitor (which just makes you see things larger), this a gorgeous image, the LUT capability where you can save grading presets and swipe between them with your finger (say when shooting cinestyle which I love) makes shooting a whole different experience seeing a graded final image, many grades too. Plus it's like an iphone size thing, super light. 899$. A worthy investment for all you future cameras.

    If the Blackmagic VA doesn't arrive soon I'll cancel and just spend the extra for one of these since it's one of the longest term investments in a filmmakers kit.

    Want a cheaper 599$ and don't mind bulk, a bit worse IQ (but still quite a lot better than a ninja 2 lcd) the 720p 7 inch LCD is a very good large monitor to see stuff clearly, not small enough for comfortable mounting on a DSLR hot shoe
    though:

    http://store.smallhd.com/store/ac7-l...bs#keyfeatures


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    Thanks Ebrahim,

    It looks like the Ninja is useful as an external recorder but useless (for me) as an external monitor.

    I don't mind much if the external monitor has LUTs, as I don't need to see accurate contrast and color rendering on the monitor. What I need most is ease and speed of adjusting focus manually, with my non-perfect eyesight - including outdoors on bright summer sunny days.

    So, between the 501 and the AC7, which one is better?


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    #6
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    I highly think it depends on how lare/bulky you're willing to go. As both are going to be very easy to adjust focus with, with or even without peaking. And even better the 7DII outputs the ultra sharp 5x 10x fast focus check, that on a large monitor is the most accurate experience I've had. 501 if you want to carry less weight/size on the hotshoe and get a bit more modern (Luts, iphone like software) and the ac7 if you want a big monitor you can immerse yourself watching and focusing but with added bulk and weight. A 7 inch is considerably bigger and focusing is too easy vs a 5 inch, especially for someone with reduced vision quality.

    Mind weight = 501
    Don't mind weight = AC7
    , it's a large display and will make seeing easier. It's a very popular monitor in the industry.

    Both monitors are fairly good in bright sun but the ARE reflective nonetheless, so having a cheap hood when shooting outside is a good solution on both monitors.


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    #7
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    Thank you.


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    #8
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    Surprised no one mentioned the ninja blade. It's a recorder that has a very useful 5" monitor and will add waveform to your 7D. If you don't care about monitoring and want to keep the package light, the ninja star is a great option.


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    I can confirm that the 7D Mark II HDMI-out looks way better than the internal ALL-I recording.

    I've not used it with an external recorder but I would assume that the image would be better.

    On my 7 inch 1080p monitor (Marshall) the 1080p signal looks as clean as the A7S. I am interested to know if recording this signal would do the same?

    PS: Not that I would go with a 7D Mark II + External recorder for the image quality since I would just go for an all-in-one solution such as the A7S anyways.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ectobuilder View Post
    I can confirm that the 7D Mark II HDMI-out looks way better than the internal ALL-I recording.

    I've not used it with an external recorder but I would assume that the image would be better.

    On my 7 inch 1080p monitor (Marshall) the 1080p signal looks as clean as the A7S. I am interested to know if recording this signal would do the same?
    The way the image looks on a 7" monitor isn't the right way to evaluate video quality; actually it's almost meaningless - since the final movie, or video, wouldn't be viewed on a 7" monitor (in most cases).

    Quote Originally Posted by ectobuilder View Post
    PS: Not that I would go with a 7D Mark II + External recorder for the image quality since I would just go for an all-in-one solution such as the A7S anyways.
    Those who like the Sony cameras video colors are lucky in certain ways.
    I'm not amongst those lucky ones.


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