April 14, 2015

Atomos cuts costs to Bare Bones

Anyone buying a recorder from Atomos has always got a lot for their money - including various accessories, such as a case, batteries, etc. For the $1,995 Shogun, there are more than $500 of accessories included (HPRC hard case, AC adapter, SSD media cases, D-Tap adapter, 5200mAh battery, battery charger, XLR breakout cable and SSD docking station).

If you already have an Atomos system, you may not need all of these items, which is why Atomos is adding a complete range (in May) of “Bare Bones” models, which reduces the price of the Shogun (with just an SSD media case, AC power supply and a soft case) to $1,695, the Ninja 2 to $395, and both the Ninja Blade and Samurai Blade to $795. The complete suite of Shogun accessories will also be available for $395, and $195 for Ninja Blade and Samurai Blade.

“Now users can decide what makes sense for their first and second 4K camera rig,” said Atomos’ CEO, Jeromy Young.

Atomos has also announced seven new hardware enhancements, a 25% student discount, and a three-year warranty for Shogun at NAB.

Magnificent 7 Shogun upgrades

There will be seven significant firmware upgrades, available via free download for Shogun users over the coming months, which add:
  • Anamorphic de-squeeze for Panasonic GH4 (photo above) and standard lenses allowing users to view anamorphic content in its true 2.39:1 ratio. It will also de-squeeze the Panasonic 8:3 format, effectively supporting 2x, 1.5x and 1.3x anamorphic lenses.
  • Raw recording to ProRes, DNxHR and Cinema DNG for compatible Raw formats for 4K, UHD, 2K or HD.
  • Expanded Raw compatibility to include Sony FS series (available mid June), Canon C500, Arri Alexa and AJA Cion (all end of June). “Expensive Raw is no more,” said Young. “When we see companies charge over $4,000 for the Raw formats we include for free or alienate existing users by adding new features only for new users, we run the other way. We reward the early adopter just as much as tomorrow's buyer with a steady stream of new functions for free.”
  • 3D LUTs on HDMI/SDI output and in recording - LUTs will be available to toggle on/off not only on the Shogun 7-inch screen but also out to a larger screen via the HDMI and SDI loop out. Available end of May.
  • Cinema 4K and 2K DCI support, so it can record 4096x2160p and 3840x2160p - in addition to Ultra HD and HD. Available June.
  • Uncompressed V210 support for green screen and advanced post-production. Available end June.
  • The Genlock connection on the back of the Shogun will be activated via free firmware end of May, allowing synchronous playback across multiple video devices.

AtomOS6.3 for Shogun

In just four months on sale, more than 15,000 Shoguns have rolled off the production line, and Atomos is continuing its feature updates with more enhancements for AtomOS6 (AtomOS6.2 brought significant upgrades in February).

Available via free download with AtomOS6.3 at the end May 2015, Shogun users will gain:
  • Custom metadata tagging, which will be saved as an XML file that is dropped straight onto the timeline in FCPX, with ten custom (user created) metadata tags in addition to the Favorite/Reject tag. 
  • Pre-roll or Cache Recording will continually buffer content internally (even with Shogun not in record mode) allowing the user to record the previous eight seconds of HD recording or two seconds of 4K the moment you hit the record button.
  • Timelapse video (photo above) will allow huge flexibility in making timelapse recordings, essentially making them keyframeable (so the duration and time can be altered during a long recording).
  • Playlist generation allows users to not only tag sections within a clip for playout but also tag entire clips and have them all replayed as a playlist. Useful when pulling together the best takes of the day or for storyline review.

By David Fox

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