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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.
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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