Camera Test: Canon 5D Mark III with the Atomos Ninja 2

5DNinjaCleanHDMIGraphic

Earlier this month, Canon released a firmware update enabling clean HDMI out on the 5D Mark III. This means you can record less compressed footage to an external recorder. Everyone seemed very excited, so we decided to do a test comparing the internally recorded H.264 footage to the externally recorded ProRes footage with an Atomos Ninja 2. Watch the video and read our thoughts about the test below.



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For the test we shot H.264 internally to the 5D Mark III and simultaneously shot Apple ProRes to the Atomos Ninja 2.

Here are a few stills from the ungraded footage.

5D Mark III Ungraded Still

H.264 5D Mark III Ungraded Still

5D Mark III Ungraded Beach Magnified 800 percent.

H.264 5D Mark III Ungraded Still Magnified at 800%

Atomos Ninja Ungraded Beach Still

ProRes Atomos Ninja Ungraded Still

Atomos Ninja Ungraded Beach at 800 percent magnification.

ProRes Atomos Ninja Ungraded Still Magnified at 800%

5D Mark III Ungraded Coaster Still

H.264 5D Mark III Ungraded Still

5D Mark III Ungraded Coaster Still magnified at 800 percent.

H.264 5D Mark III Ungraded Still Magnified at 800%

Ninja Coaster Still Ungraded

ProRes Atomos Ninja Ungraded Still

Ninja Coaster Still Ungraded at 800 percent magnification.

ProRes Atomos Ninja Ungraded Still at 800 percent5D Mark III Ungraded Sunset Still

H.264 5D Mark III Ungraded Still5D Mark III Ungraded Sunset at 800 percent magnification.

H.264 5D Mark III Ungraded Still Magnified at 800%

NinjaUngradedSunset

ProRes Atomos Ninja Ungraded Still

NinjaUngradedSunset800

 

ProRes Atomos Ninja Ungraded Still Magnified at 800%.

We saw a lot of people online who said you might not be able to tell a difference in the footage unless you put a grade on it. I put both copies of the footage in to Color and put the exact same grade on them. (Please note that this isn’t a beauty, we just wanted to test the footage.)

Here are a few stills from the graded footage.

5D Mark III Graded Beach Still

 

H.264 5D Mark III Graded Still

5D Mark III Graded Beach Still magnified at 800 percent.

H.264 5D Mark III Graded Still Magnified at 800 percent

Ninja Graded Beach Still

 

ProRes Atomos Ninja Graded Still

Ninja Graded Beach Still magnified at 800 percent.

ProRes Atomos Ninja Ungraded Still Magnified at 800%

5D Mark III Graded Coast Still

 

H.264 5D Mark III Graded Still

5D Mark III Graded Roller Coaster Still magnified at 800 percent.

 

H.264 5D Mark III Graded Still Magnified at 800 percent

NinjaGradedCoaster

 

ProRes Atomos Ninja Graded Still

Ninja Graded Coaster Still magnified at 800 percent.

 

ProRes Atomos Ninja Ungraded Still Magnified at 800%

5D Mark III Graded Sunset Still

 

H.264 5D Mark III Graded Still

5D Mark III Graded Sunset Still Magnified at 800 percent.

 

H.264 5D Mark III Graded Still Magnified at 800 percent

Ninja Graded Sunset Still

 

ProRes Atomos Ninja Ungraded Still

Ninja Graded Sunset Still magnified at 800 percent

 

ProRes Atomos Ninja Ungraded Still Magnified at 800%

As you can see from the stills, the Ninja does seem to do better about not breaking apart, especially when a grade is added. But if you look at the stills of the roller coaster you can see that the Ninja seems to be having some difficulty with edges.

Overall, I would say that if you are going to be shooting with a 5D and adding a heavy grade in post, you will probably want to record ProRes to an external recorder. That being said, I don’t think that this clean HDMI out is the “game changer” everyone thought it would be.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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