Pro Video Tips
Illustration by John Hersey

Pro Video Tips

with Anthony Q. Artis

Video: Looking at the Atomos Ninja

Now I want to show you how we can couple So this camera normally records at 420 color space 25 So I'm going to go into Time Code, and I had to change, two things here.
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  1. 5m 44s
    1. Five things you can do when your production stalls out NEW
      5m 44s
  2. 2m 8s
    1. Intro to Pro Video Tips
      2m 8s
  3. 17m 27s
    1. Controlling reflections in glass
      4m 7s
    2. Managing color with polarizers
      2m 32s
    3. Using a polarizer to adjust skin tones
      2m 0s
    4. Using polarizers when shooting landscapes
      4m 42s
    5. Ten polarizer tips
      4m 6s
  4. 14m 34s
    1. Supplies to get to hide lav mics
      2m 13s
    2. Hiding lavs in collars
      5m 16s
    3. Hiding mics in hair
      2m 17s
    4. Hiding mics in sheer tops
      2m 40s
    5. Hiding transmitter packs on talent
      2m 8s
  5. 34m 25s
    1. Canon C100 overview
      11m 33s
    2. Looking at the Atomos Ninja
      12m 20s
    3. Checking out the C100 menu options
      10m 32s
  6. 10m 28s
    1. Ten tips for set safety
      10m 28s
  7. 9m 18s
    1. Packing a truck
      9m 18s
  8. 19m 24s
    1. Putting together your lens kit
      1m 0s
    2. Normal lenses
      1m 54s
    3. Wide lenses
      3m 5s
    4. Ultra-wide and fish-eye lenses
      2m 53s
    5. Telephoto lenses
      4m 53s
    6. Super zooms
      2m 54s
    7. Macro lenses
      2m 45s
  9. 17m 22s
    1. The importance of exposure
      1m 31s
    2. Using waveforms
      5m 3s
    3. Using histograms
      6m 53s
    4. Using zebra stripes
      3m 55s
  10. 10m 20s
    1. Shutter speed overview
      3m 18s
    2. Different ways to use shutter speed
      7m 2s
  11. 10m 29s
    1. Tips for keeping your budget down
      10m 29s
  12. 10m 11s
    1. Working with batteries
      10m 11s
  13. 24m 39s
    1. External audio settings
      4m 2s
    2. Audio input menus
      9m 31s
    3. Audio output menus
      4m 6s
    4. Setting and monitoring your levels
      7m 0s
  14. 16m 33s
    1. Introduction to backlight
      1m 18s
    2. Types of backlight
      3m 51s
    3. Exposing for backlit shots
      5m 31s
    4. Backlighting translucent object
      1m 39s
    5. Avoiding lens flare and wash out
      4m 14s
  15. 13m 28s
    1. Booming techniques
      13m 28s
  16. 5m 42s
    1. Feeding your crew
      5m 42s
  17. 8m 36s
    1. Choosing between prime, servo, and manual zoom lenses
      5m 19s
    2. Running and gunning with prime lenses
      3m 17s
  18. 10m 55s
    1. Green screen lights and materials
      3m 47s
    2. Mounting the green screen
      1m 39s
    3. Lighting the green screen
      3m 8s
    4. Lighting your subject
      2m 21s
  19. 9m 28s
    1. What to look for when buying a tripod
      6m 13s
    2. Working with monopods
      3m 15s
  20. 23m 19s
    1. Choosing a camera
      3m 2s
    2. Preparation and supplies for a surf shoot
      2m 13s
    3. Dealing with lens fog
      1m 44s
    4. Mounting your POV camera
      3m 20s
    5. Tracking and shooting your surfer from the shore
      6m 56s
    6. Interview with Tony Cruz
      6m 4s
  21. 8m 37s
    1. Introduction to lens mounts
      1m 24s
    2. Canon mounts
      2m 0s
    3. PL mounts
      1m 59s
    4. Nikon mounts
      1m 24s
    5. Micro 4/3 mounts
      1m 50s
  22. 7m 30s
    1. Introduction to lighting ratios
      1m 19s
    2. Comparing ratios
      2m 52s
    3. Measuring light ratios
      3m 19s
  23. 10m 25s
    1. Ten Looks in Ten Minutes
      10m 25s
  24. 5m 36s
    1. Using camera height and POV to better tell your story
      5m 36s
  25. 9m 49s
    1. Tips for lighting an interview subject
      9m 49s
  26. 15m 5s
    1. Taking 10 pounds off your subject
      4m 1s
    2. Dealing with nose shadows
      3m 3s
    3. Lighting different skin tones
      2m 55s
    4. Putting makeup on your subject
      5m 6s
  27. 10m 4s
    1. Types of cookies
      4m 6s
    2. Making your own custom cookies
      2m 47s
    3. Controlling the look of a cookie
      3m 11s
  28. 18m 11s
    1. Introduction to shooting sports footage
      1m 15s
    2. Getting good coverage for your sport shoot
      5m 55s
    3. Camerawork for shooting sports videos
      5m 4s
    4. Gear to bring on your sports shoot
      4m 52s
    5. Wrapping up
      1m 5s
  29. 8m 34s
    1. Tips for using bounce light
      8m 34s
  30. 21m 43s
    1. Video portrait intro
      1m 51s
    2. Video portrait camera work
      13m 32s
    3. Considerations for a video portrait interview
      4m 11s
    4. Bonus: Finished video portrait
      2m 9s
  31. 9m 48s
    1. Shooting at 24p
      3m 2s
    2. Using depth of field
      1m 37s
    3. Lighting for a film look
      1m 18s
    4. Using filters
      2m 31s
    5. Getting a film look with software
      1m 20s
  32. 38m 57s
    1. Introduction to professional car rigs
      7m 41s
    2. Attaching a side mount rig
      12m 58s
    3. Mounting a speed rail rig
      10m 54s
    4. Hood suction mount
      4m 27s
    5. Car rig safety tips
      2m 57s
  33. 14m 3s
    1. Manipulating the size of people
      6m 12s
    2. Manipulating the size of buildings
      2m 59s
    3. Making crowds look more crowded
      4m 52s
  34. 12m 32s
    1. Introduction to lighting cars
      5m 13s
    2. Lighting the car from outside
      3m 10s
    3. Lighting the car from inside
      4m 9s
  35. 13m 46s
    1. Packing your gear for air travel
      6m 8s
    2. What to do at the airport
      4m 39s
    3. Getting on the plane
      2m 59s
  36. 15m 53s
    1. Why you should hire an editor
      1m 29s
    2. Working with editors during pre-production
      3m 33s
    3. Working with editors during shooting
      4m 3s
    4. Working with editors after your shoot
      4m 18s
    5. Final tips on working with editors
      2m 30s
  37. 7m 46s
    1. Tips on avoiding scam film festivals
      7m 46s
  38. 5m 22s
    1. 36. Four common budgeting mistakes
      5m 22s
  39. 12m 13s
    1. 10 Filmmaking Lessons...I Learned the Hard Way
      12m 13s
  40. 9m 38s
    1. Why you get moire and aliasing
      2m 52s
    2. Avoiding moire
      6m 46s
  41. 18m 56s
    1. Tips on boosting your production value
      1m 46s
    2. Shooting with a shallow depth of field
      1m 36s
    3. Great audio and sound design
      2m 44s
    4. Keep your shots steady
      2m 32s
    5. Keep your camera moving
      2m 29s
    6. Location, location, location
      2m 15s
    7. Adding appropriate titles and FX
      1m 56s
    8. Hiring a colorist
      3m 38s
  42. 11m 19s
    1. Positioning yourself for the interview
      2m 29s
    2. Settings for camera and audio
      5m 57s
    3. Using a second camera
      2m 53s
  43. 8m 5s
    1. Tips on shooting an interview with one camera
      4m 25s
    2. Faking reverse shots and cutaways
      3m 40s
  44. 8m 58s
    1. The trouble with shooting windows
      1m 6s
    2. Dealing with exposure issues
      2m 55s
    3. Managing mixed color temperatures
      2m 16s
    4. Tips and tricks for shooting window scenes
      2m 41s
  45. 4m 35s
    1. Adjusting SMPTE color bars
      4m 35s
  46. 11m 32s
    1. Introduction to shooting discreetly
      1m 1s
    2. Scouting locations for a stealth shoot
      1m 47s
    3. Traveling and shooting low profile
      1m 25s
    4. Recording audio discreetly
      1m 25s
    5. Using discreet cameras and camerawork
      2m 22s
    6. Running interference
      1m 24s
    7. Adding production value with local resources
      1m 13s
    8. Always have a plan B
      55s

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Watch the Online Video Course Pro Video Tips
9h 53m Appropriate for all Apr 15, 2014 Updated Feb 24, 2015

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Pro Video Tips is designed for busy videographers like you. This series brings you a new tip every week, on everything from controlling reflections to hiding mics. Host Anthony Q. Artis covers shooting techniques for particular video challenges like portraits, tools to help you control light and judge exposure, and advice for the traveling videographer, such as putting together a great lens kit or packing a truck. Come back every Tuesday for a new round of tips.

Subject:
Video
Author:
Anthony Q. Artis

Looking at the Atomos Ninja

Now I want to show you how we can couple the C100 with the Atomos Ninja 2 video recorder. And the reason we're going to do that again, is because this camera has a really good super 35 millimeter chip, same chip that's in a C300. However, this camera natively records to these little SD cards and it records in the AVCHD codec. Really not good for color grading. A lot of compression, a lot of problems you can have with that codec, however we can bypass all of that AVCHD nonsense, and go straight from the sensor into this recorder and get pretty much the same quality that you can get with a Canon C300.

So this camera normally records at 420 color space 25 megabits per second, well if I turn this on the highest quality ,which is ProRes HQ, it comes out at 422, 220 megabits per second. So, big big difference in the recording quality that you can get in the Ninja 2 recorder. So before we can set these two up I just want to tell you guys what it comes with. So when you first get the Atomos Ninja 2, and this is good by the way not just for the Cannon C 100, any camera that has a HDMI out you could use this external recorder with.

So what it comes with is, two small batteries, right away first thing I did was, before I even got it home, was I went ahead and got two extended life batteries. Again we don't want to mess around with that battery power on set. This is now my main recorder, I gotta have some good batteries with it, so I got the extended life batteries. It does come with a charger so I didn't need to get that. You will need to also pick up your own HDMI cable, about a three foot one right here is perfect, so not too long, not too short. And then the only other thing that doesn't come in the kit that you'll need to pick up is a way to mount it, which I'll show you guys later on, and it did come with fortunately, a Solid State Drive card reader.

That's what this records to, if I didn't make that clear, it records to SSD drives, or Solid State Drives, which are very stable. More so stable than other recorders you might use, simply because there's no moving parts, so, that's great if you gotta travel, you're on a lot of airplanes or anything like that. So you have to buy your own SSD, your own HDMI cable, and your own mount, everything else that you need comes in the box. So, first thing we gotta do if we want to hook this bad boy up, is get into the menu of our camera. So, I'm going to turn this around so you guys can all see what I'm doing here.

And I'm going to scroll into the menu of this. Now this is, one big gotcha right here that could possibly happen. I want to tell you guys about is, don't plug in the HDMI cable before you do this. So make sure the HDMI is not connected to the camera. Otherwise, you won't be able to change the setting that I'm about to show you right now. It'll just be grayed out. So, I'm going to go all the way down to the others menu. Little monkey wrench there. And go all the way down to the bottom of that until I see HDMI, which I should see momentarily. There it is right there.

HDMI. And I'm turning on two things. I'm going to turn on the Time Code. So I'm going into the Menu and telling it hey, camera, I'd like you to send, Time Code out through the HDMI, and, another cool feature is this right here. Record Cmd. So not only is the camera going to be sending Time Code out, but when I hit the record button on the camera, not on the recorder. When I hit the record button on the camera, it's going to automatically trigger the recorder to start and stop every time I hit the record button. So, I only have to control that recorder from one point and I have those settings in there.

I can turn that off. Now, I'm ready to hook-up the HDMI cable. Again, about a three foot length is about right. So I'm going to put that into the HDMI port right here, and a big caveat right here. I want to show you guys something. There's a little screw right here. That is for a locking HDMI cable. It's not the kind that I have right here. And it's definitely one you want to pick up, especially if you're planning on doing any hand held or running gun type work using this recorder. You're going to want to locking HDMI cable, because as any shooter will tell you, the biggest danger to working with an external recorder like this, is that you could possibly bump this HDMI cable and when you bump that it will interrupt your recording, could end up with a corrupted clip, you might end up not getting any of the footage that you shot, a bad bad things will happen.

So, you want to get a secure HDMI. If you don't have a locking HDMI cable, maybe you want to take some gaffer's tape, it might not look pretty but I assure you, you want to protect the integrity of that cable connection. So HDMI on the other end goes into right here on the top, notice it has HDMI in, as well as HDMI out. So if you're working with an external monitor, or maybe you want to send it through to a second recorder, doesn't matter. You can send the signal into the Ninja and back out of the Ninja. And most common application would probably be for a larger, external recorder.

So I'm going to go ahead and plug that in. And now we gotta set up our Ninja. We're still not quite ready yet. So let's go head into the menu of the Ninja, and just to show you, that's the front page there. We're going to go into Time Code. So I'm going to go into Time Code, and I had to change, two things here. So now I have to tell the Ninja to be ready to talk to the camera. So right now it's set up, on camera. Trigger is Airy or this is in Airy. We got a couple of choices there so we don't want Panasonic or Airy or Red Epic, Sony but we want Canon. So now I've told it to look for a signal from a Canon camera, and then below the source for Time Code, I wanted to take from the HDMI.

So I told the camera to send out Time Code, now I have to tell the recorder to receive the Time Code. So that's set to HDMI, and the trigger's set so we're all set. So notice there on the Time Code it says 2 28 12 and know that that's correct cause if I look on my camera I will also see 2 28 12 so I know it's sending Time Code out with no problem. So I'm going to come out of here, and I want to show you where we actually set up the type of files right here. So on this front page, you'll notice that it says 1080P 23.98 that's cause I had this set up to 24P so this is going to conform with that, and then this is where I can chose my quality, so I have ProRes 422H2.

ProRes 422H2 to be clear, is really high quality. We're talking broadcast quality. We're talking more than you need, this is going to be fine for color grading but really you could probably drop down to ProRes 422 and be just fine or ProRes 422 LT. Either one of those will serve you for most of your work. If you're really, you know, one of though people that's into getting the absolute best quality even those it's more than you need or can recognize with your naked eye, then, we could keep it on that. So, we'll leave it on there for now, just to max things out. And, now, we're pretty much ready to record, but you'll notice right here, that we still don't have options right here available to us.

That's because, with the 24P voodoo that's going on over here in the camera, it doesn't recognize it unless there's some motion. I actually have to do this. This is one of the little annoying things about this recorder. You have to wave your hand or show it some motion. So make sure you open the iris on the camera, point it at something where there is some light, wave your hand, or move the camera around for a second or two and it's going to give you those options. So that will drive you crazy in the beginning when you first start using this, recorder. But right now, we're pretty much ready to record, and, I'm going to go ahead and hit monitor.

And now that turns this into a monitor. So another advantage of using the Ninja 2, is that this acts as a second monitor for this camera, which is great because it's got a pretty poor monitor. Only problem is that, this monitor isn't any better, as far as resolution. The only advantage, of having a second monitor for me is the versatility of the positions. So this monitor doesn't turn sideways or forward, this I can turn forwards so I can always look at my image if I'm in front of the camera, recording myself, or if I'm just adjusting lights, things like that it does come in handy for.

But it's still pretty low res, so I don't find it super useful for that reason. But let's go ahead and hit the record button, and look at what happens. So now we're hitting record, notice that it gives you red bars on the top and bottom. That's letting me know that hey, the Ninja is recording, and I can go ahead and stop it. And it just stopped recording, so that's pretty much it. It's pretty plug and play, it's pretty simple. A few caveats and a few other things that I do want to show you on here. It's got a few more features on the Ninja, not you know super useful, but they could come in handy for some of you.

I use them sometimes. So right here we hit the little camera symbol, and we have four cool little extra features on here. This has it's own peeking, so you can see when I turn that on and off, gives me a little red outline, showing me what's in focus right there. So I've got focus peeking. I've also got zebra stripes, if anything is overexposed. Will show me that on this monitor. I've still got it here on the camera monitor, but it's going to show me here as well. We've got false color, we've also got blue only so. You know, all kinds of little extra semi pro and pro features built into this.

Couple of caveats I want to tell you about this as well. Does not have a playback speaker. So if you want to playback your clips, we're going to go in here to playback. Shows you our clips. So, if I want to listen to my clips when I play them back, I'm going to have to have a set of headphones. Headphones get plugged in to the headphone jack right here. Got audio in and out right there. The clips one thing I don't like about this Ninja recorder and again, you're not going to get everything. This is about you know, 700 $600 recorder by itself. It doesn't have thumbnail, so I don't get picture thumbnail images.

I find that a little inconvenient, so you gotta kind of remember what the number was of your last clip. Beyond that, another big caveat I will tell you is be very careful in the camera menu. Lemme show you this because this was almost a disaster the first time that I used this camera. So we want to go into the menu and turn off two key settings, or make sure they're not on to begin with. And that is right here under the video set up. We're going to go to character display, and make sure that that says viewfinder and not external out.

If you put it on external out, it means that everything you're seeing here on the screen including the menu, is being sent out through the HDMI cable and recorded. Very very bad, unless you're doing a demo like this, and that's what you're trying to do. So, we're going to turn that off and then the other thing I want you to check. This is the one that almost got me that was really obscure, and that is under zebra stripes down here. And this is under the LCD view finder menu. Make sure that Zebra HD output is turned to off. I don't want my zebra stripes going out through the HDMI cable, and that's what almost happened to me, at least for a first couple of shots.

So, fortunately it was just a little B roll, and I could go right back out and get it again. So, make sure those two things are turned off. Obviously, you want to check your recording carefully the first time you record it. You know, do a few test recordings, put it up on a big screen, make sure everything looks the way that you thought it looked. But those are really the two big things that I would tell you to check for. In general, this is a pretty simple plug and play. I'm going to show you guys how we mount it on here. Two popular ways to mount it on. If I'm running and gunning, I like to use just this simple little ball mount kind of goes here on the front.

Makes the camera a little bit front heavy. So I do have to keep it on the tripod when I use it with that. This is also, has mounts on the top and the bottom, so if you want to mount it upside down or sideways, whatever you've got, it's pretty versatile, for that. So you can hit a button inside of there and turn the display and flip it if you do have it upside down. But the Israeli arm right here is what we commonly use a lot of times to hook it on. And that goes into the back of the handle. So I'm not going to hook the whole thing up but you guys can get the gist of it. It goes on there, hangs to the side, I like to use this Israeli arm because it keeps it in nice and tight.

It keeps the body like that, doesn't swing around too much. You've gotta make sure you got one that's at least this big by the way, this is a little bit weighty, so make sure you get a sturdy one, don't get cheap with your mouthing equipment there. And other than that, that is pretty much it. So that's the Atomos Ninja 2 Recorder coupled with the C100. Again any camera that has HDMI out will work with this, but you can get beautiful broadcast quality video that's suitable for any needs and it's going to hold up great in those color correction programs like Da Vinci or Color, or whatever you're using.

You can do anything with this footage, much more so than you can with these little AVCHD SD cards out there so that Atomos Ninja 2 Recorder and the C100.

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