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Atomos Ninja Star Pocket-Size ProRes Recorder & Deck

3.6 out of 5 stars 20 ratings

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  • Records 1080p 10-Bit, 4:2:2 via HDMI
  • ProRes HQ, 422, and LT Codecs
  • Micro HDMI Input & Loop Output
  • Stores to CFast Cards
  • Audio Line-In

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Product description

The Atomos Ninja Star upgrades your consumer MPEG video camera to a truly pro recording device. Record seamlessly from expensive cameras, actioncams, and secondary production cameras to edit-ready Apple ProRes files. It can operator for over 5 hours on one battery so you can record your entire shoot and playback all on one battery. The Ninja Star is the word's smallest and lightest Apple ProRes recorder. At 3 inches and 100g, it can fit in your pocket, strap to a tripod or hang from a quadcopter. It uses CFast cards, which are small, reliable and sold at up to 256GB, giving the Ninja Star up to 2hrs and 40 minutes of Apple ProRes HQ recording, more than doubling the existing record time of your action camera and equpal to your DSLR. The Ninja Star is the next break through in external HDMI recorders based on core technologies that have made Atomos the leader in camera mounted solutions. Its small, self contained size and flexible mounting options allow DP’s and cameramen to mount it to just about any POV set-up and offer edit ready format recording with ProRes. The dimensions of the Ninja Star are slender at only 3.5" wide, 2.3" tall, and 0.8" deep and it weighs a fraction of a normal recorder at just 100grams (3.5 oz). The Ninja Star is perfect for creative or extreme camera work or in situations where a large monitor is prohibitive or stealth is required.

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3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5
20 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2016
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3.0 out of 5 stars Produces beautiful, flexible video - but it's not as economical as it seems
By Matt Turner on April 30, 2016
The Atomos Ninja Star makes beautiful, extremely flexible video. As a stills photographer accustomed to the flexibility of RAW photos, I'm glad to have similar quality on video footage now that I'm shooting more motion. There is a noticeable increase in video quality vs. shooting in-camera compressed footage on my Nikon D750. Just like RAW vs. JPEG still images, this is by far the most noticeable when you "push" the files in editing. In other words, if you need to push exposure up or down or color grade the footage, shooting in ProRes vs. in-camera H.264 makes a huge difference. If you don't grade your video, the quality difference will be much less noticeable.

It has intuitive controls and a very compact form factor. This product comes with a number of useful accessories such as a mounting bar, battery, a car charger, and a wall charger with a number of different plugs for use in different countries. It also comes with a nice case and a C-Fast card reader.

In short, this was a great product has great potential for a stills photographer who also needs to shoot professional looking video on occasion. It would also be great for those just getting into professional videography or who are enthusiasts or YouTube producers with smaller budgets.

HOWEVER. I have several issue with this product that mean I'd advise you to explore alternatives before deciding that this is indeed the best solution for your needs.

1. Most problematically, the HDMI input into the device came out after less than a few days of use, rendering it inoperable. I did not drop or abuse the product at all, it simply came out when I was pulling out a cable as I normally would. Now this could absolutely be a fluke but I was glad the product was so new so that I could easily return it. Still, I'd recommend that you do fill out the warranty for this product and insure it if possible.

2. The C-Fast cards are hard to find and incredibly expensive. They are, in fact, the most expensive form of storage per Gigabyte that exist in the photography world. You can find off-brand cards that enable you to record around an hour of storage for $50 or so depending on the codec you use. (Normally I don't pay much attention to brands, but for memory/storage I DO because the potential for losing client footage due to memory failure terrifies me). For a reputable brand of C-Fast card that has recovery software in case of failure, you'll be paying 3x that amount. If you need to shoot more than a couple hours of footage, the price for storage cards will exceed the price of the Atomos Ninja Star itself. This is unworkable for me personally, and I should have done my research before buying the product. It might very well be the case that C-Fast card costs will come-down in coming years - especially since Canon is rumored to be using the format for it's upcoming 5D Mk IV, which will no doubt be massively popular. But at the time being this might mean other options are better.

As for myself, I will be replacing this product with the Atomos Ninja Blade recorder. It costs $200 more than the Ninja Star but it records straight to a standard 2.5" hard drive (SSD or HDD) that are normally used in computer storage. Solid state memory being more reliable, especially in rougher conditions, I will be opting for the SSD option. I can currently purchase a name-brand 250 GB SSD for less than $100. What this means is that I will spend LESS overall for a better product when considering the price of memory storage. Moreover, the Atomos Ninja Blade can utilize Nikon or Canon batteries, on top of a whole host of other features that come with a dual monitor-recorder product.

Now the Atomos Ninja Star COULD absolutely meet your needs. If you never shoot more than a a half hour of video at a time before, are comfortable using less-known storage brands, and have a very tight budget then you can get the same fantastic video quality from this recorder that you would from a much more expensive product. For an YouTube producer, for example, this might work fantastically (although if you just record in doors off a tripod I might also consider a direct-to-PC interface such as BlackMagic's Intensity Shuttle).

I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions.
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