There have been some big changes to the Atomos Ninja family recently, with Ninja 2 and Ninja Star going end of life (we have the last stock of the Star over on our official eBay page) and the price of the Ninja Blade getting slashed. So which of the surviving models, the Ninja Flame and the Ninja Inferno, is right for you?
Ninja Flame: basic vs bling versions
A 4K 30p-capable monitor and recorder, the Flame comes in two flavours: the original kit, complete with accessories that include an HPRC case, cables, batteries and charger, a docking station, five Master Caddy IIs, two AC adaptors and HDR sun hood, which will set you back £970 ex VAT; and a no frills Basic Kit for £695 which just includes a Master Caddy, power supply and travel case.
If you’re new to the Ninja range, or the Atomos lineup generally, it’s a good idea to go for the full kit, as the interchangeable cables, storage etc will serve you well as your Atomos lineup inevitably grows (we’re yet to meet anyone who’s managed to stop at one Atomos device). If you’ve already got a full complement of accessories, obviously feel free to save yourself a few quid and opt for the Basic Kit.
Ninja Flame vs Ninja Inferno
The Ninja Flame and Inferno share many similar specs: they’re both HDMI-only, they both sport HDR-ready monitors supported by Atomos’s AtomHDR technology, they can both be linked to larger HDR-ready monitors, both have 10-bit processing and 1500 nits of brightness, and both support ProRes and DNxHR.
They also boast all the features that made us fall hard for the original Ninja monitor, such as start/stop trigger recording, metadata tagging and the ability to record to spacious SSDs rather than SDXC cards.
So what’s the difference between a Flame and a full-blown Inferno? Well, while the Ninja Flame tops out at 4K 30p, the £875 Inferno can keep going all the way up to 4K 60p. Because of this, it’s done particularly well as a partner to the Panasonic DC-GH5, the first compact camera to ever hit the 4K 60p milestone, but we also like it with the Sony FS7 (on which you can now get £346 cashback) or the Panasonic DVX200.
The Inferno is also the only model that’s able to record 4K DCI – aka ‘cinema 4K’ rather than the kind used for television, so if you’re shooting for the big screen, opt for an Inferno over a Flame.
And let’s not forget G-Tech
Whether you opt for the Flame or the Inferno, we’d recommend investing in a G-Tech Atomos Master Caddy, too. It may sound like a piece of futuristic golfing equipment, but it’s actually an Atomos-endorsed line of storage made of G-Technology SSDs (which can achieve transfer rates of 500 MBps +). The Atomos Master Caddy (pictured above) inserts directly into any Atomos recorder. The caddy then slides into the ev Series Reader Atomos Master Caddy Edition, which slips into any G-DOCK ev or ev Series Bay Adapter, so footage is part of your established G-Technology storage workflow as soon as you’ve finished shooting.