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Thread: Canon C100 w/ Atmos Ninja Blade Recorder (Gear List Opinions?)

  1. #1

    Question Canon C100 w/ Atmos Ninja Blade Recorder (Gear List Opinions?)

    Hey,

    So I recently got a job that will be paying much much better than my old one, so I'm looking into getting some new gear. Here is what I'm looking at (I'll provide links to all) and I'd love to know what you think/ suggestions or changes you may have to this list. I also have a few questions about some of the items, but I'll post the questions below the list so you can know what I'll be working with. I've dabbled back and forth between multiple camera's (including the BlackMagic Production Camera or URSA, Panasonic GH4, even the Sony a7s), but for what I need out of a camera, some needed too many expensive accessories (BlackMagic), and others either didn't add up to it's hype for the price to get your full 4K 10Bit 4:2:2 (GH4 and Sony). Ultimately I like the idea of having 4K available to use, but in the end it isn't really necessary for me. Here is my list and my questions are below:




    • I currently own a Canon 18mm-200mm f/3.5-5.6, Canon 50mm f/1.8, and Canon 70mm-300mm F/4-5.6. Also 2 Sennheiser Me2's with transmitters and receivers, a Canon 60D with extra batteries, a Sony XR500v camera with a wide angle lens, Bluetooth wireless mic, a stereo mic + extra batteries, and a GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition with multiple accessories and mounts.


    So aside from the obvious SSD for the Atmos Recorder, and the XLR cables, plus probably an extra battery for the C100 and Atmos, and a blimp for the Rode NTG-2; what do you think of this setup? Could you think of any cheaper or easier solutions that could replace what I have above? The total of them all combined will be roughly $10,600 (7686 EUR). Eventually I would like this to be my set up within the years end. So for my questions:


    1. Again, what do you think of the set up/ do you have any reliable, but cheaper solutions for any of the items listed?
    2. If I am running the XLR from the Mic directly into the C100, does anyone know if the Atmos will automatically use the NTG-2 audio while it records during a shoot, or will I have to use my in-camera footage on the SD cards, extract the audio from those, then re-sync with the Atmos footage?
    3. Lastly, If I do have to re-sync the audio in post, do you recommend I just use the on-camera XLR inputs, or should I look into an external audio recorder like the Zoom H4N or Tascam D60? Has anyone used the C100? How are the preamps/ noise levels?


    I realize it's a lot to take in, but I would be extremely grateful for your input as I would not like to spend all this money only to find I've made some stupid mistakes due to my inexperience/ lack of knowledge with some of these products.

    Brock

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrockT View Post
    Hey,

    1. If I am running the XLR from the Mic directly into the C100, does anyone know if the Atmos will automatically use the NTG-2 audio while it records during a shoot, or will I have to use my in-camera footage on the SD cards, extract the audio from those, then re-sync with the Atmos footage?
    2. Lastly, If I do have to re-sync the audio in post, do you recommend I just use the on-camera XLR inputs, or should I look into an external audio recorder like the Zoom H4N or Tascam D60? Has anyone used the C100? How are the preamps/ noise levels?

    Brock
    Hopefully it's OK just answering this one for now, since I'm a little short of time but have experience with C100 + Ninja.

    The C100 sends the audio out with the video over HDMI and your Ninja will record both video and audio in to ProRes (or DNxHD if you enable it). There is no re-sync required in post. It also has the advantage of giving you true progressive footage instead of Canon's stupid PSF encoding which most NLEs interpret as interlaced and you need to manually change to progressive.

    I've not noticed any problems with the pre-amps on the C100 and use audio directly from it from both the NTG2 and also Sennheiser wireless. I rarely use the built in mics, but when I have they have been perfectly acceptable for ambient sounds.

    Now, having said all this, there are times when the Ninja is useful and times when it plain gets in the way. When I'm shooting green screen I'll absolutely use the Ninja to get 4:2:2, but honestly, the rest of the time the footage from the built in codec looks awesome and grades extremely well too. I have no problems 'not' using the Ninja when I need to be mobile and travel light.

  3. #3

    Default

    A couple of suggestions:

    1. Why buy a new tripod? I bought a Manfrotto 90s video tripod and it's built like a tank. It was the Bogen / Manfrotto tripod they originally used in their adverts showing a grown man hanging off it and it is ridiculously stable and was incredibly cheap on ebay. Tripods don't really age and as long as they have the right head / screws, you'll be fine. This will save you a couple of hundred dollars at the very least.

    2. For the cine lenses, I use the Bower 35mm and it is outstanding - these are absolute must-haves at the moment. It makes a real difference and also want to get the 85mm as I have been seriously impressed with the 35mm. Can't tell the difference between a $4k USD Canon Cine lens and a Bower on a less than full frame camera

    3. For sound gear, I don't know about the C100's pre-amps but if you are going for a recorder, why not go used and better? I would suggest the pre-amps on a Fostex FR2-le are pretty damn good and way better than my Tascam DR-100. I also have a prosumer mixer between the mic and the recorder but fundamentally, the Fostex FR2-le gives my sound so much more of a kick. Also, the NTG-2 is a little quieter than the NTG-1 (I used to have an NTG-2 but prefer an ECM674) so I'd suggest you'd need pre-amps stronger than the Canon to get pick up decent sound.

    3a. Mics: As a note, I personally prefer the Sony ECM-674 to the NTG-2: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Condenser.html - Just read the reviews and make your own mind up. The quietness of the NTG-2 put me off. However, it is a 'rare' mic and residuals will not be as good as the NTG-2. But for sound, under any circumstances. I prefer the ECM-674 to the NTG-2.

    4. Outdoor recording: There is a blimp and softie solution all in one which I use which is a Rycote S300. As this is $250 USD, you don't need to buy a shock mount. It has a 3/8th female attachment meaning you can pop it right onto a boom and away you go. For outdoor recording, it has been independently tested and is almost the same as $1,500 USD products for a fifth of the price. It is a real boon and an essential part of my film-making.

    5. Canon C100 with obligatory Atmos Ninja. Funnily enough, I was at a film fest and talking with a pro DoPs about this. He prefers this to the other options you mentioned as well, probably for the same reasons you want it! I also want it but being a Sony guy, will probably end up with a used FS100 depending on how much my ex-wife takes me for in the divorce settlement.

    Let me know how you go with the rest of the kit and I'd love to pick your brains on something else.

    As always, I suggest checking out the guy who makes the recommendations so here is my last music vid and my last short. The music vid was a BMCC and the short was shot well before the music vid. I would change about a million elements on the short but that's learning for ya:

    Short: 'Finding Angels' - was accepted by the London Independent Film Fest on the 10th April. www.liff.org: https://vimeo.com/paulrwalker/review...591/040e0a533b
    Music vid: https://vimeo.com/paulrwalker/review...935/ccf932163f
    Last edited by gorillaonabike; 04-21-2014 at 11:12 PM.
    "80% of success is turning up" - Woody Allen

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrockT View Post


    Sorry, forgot to add these in my post. Yes these are great lenses, though they are labelled 'Samyang' in the UK where I am. I absolutely love them (and I also have the 14mm too). Of course they don't do AF so I tend to put a Canon lens on when ever I need the Dual Pixel stuff to work. For times when I have more control over things, e.g. interviews etc, then the Samyang lenses are my go to lens of choice. Being able to smoothly adjust the aperture/iris is very welcome and I no longer need to worry about stops/half stops/third stops.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    Hopefully it's OK just answering this one for now, since I'm a little short of time but have experience with C100 + Ninja.

    The C100 sends the audio out with the video over HDMI and your Ninja will record both video and audio in to ProRes (or DNxHD if you enable it). There is no re-sync required in post. It also has the advantage of giving you true progressive footage instead of Canon's stupid PSF encoding which most NLEs interpret as interlaced and you need to manually change to progressive.

    I've not noticed any problems with the pre-amps on the C100 and use audio directly from it from both the NTG2 and also Sennheiser wireless. I rarely use the built in mics, but when I have they have been perfectly acceptable for ambient sounds.

    Now, having said all this, there are times when the Ninja is useful and times when it plain gets in the way. When I'm shooting green screen I'll absolutely use the Ninja to get 4:2:2, but honestly, the rest of the time the footage from the built in codec looks awesome and grades extremely well too. I have no problems 'not' using the Ninja when I need to be mobile and travel light.
    Thanks for the great answers, I'll probably do the same and use the Atmos Ninja on and off depending on the project. Good to know the pre-amps are clean enough to use without external recording. I know gorillaonabike recommended using an external recorder due to the NTG-2's lower volume, but I guess I'll have to test for myself and decide if I need that external recorder. Thanks again!

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gorillaonabike View Post
    A couple of suggestions:

    1. Why buy a new tripod? I bought a Manfrotto 90s video tripod and it's built like a tank. It was the Bogen / Manfrotto tripod they originally used in their adverts showing a grown man hanging off it and it is ridiculously stable and was incredibly cheap on ebay. Tripods don't really age and as long as they have the right head / screws, you'll be fine. This will save you a couple of hundred dollars at the very least.

    2. For the cine lenses, I use the Bower 35mm and it is outstanding - these are absolute must-haves at the moment. It makes a real difference and also want to get the 85mm as I have been seriously impressed with the 35mm. Can't tell the difference between a $4k USD Canon Cine lens and a Bower on a less than full frame camera

    3. For sound gear, I don't know about the C100's pre-amps but if you are going for a recorder, why not go used and better? I would suggest the pre-amps on a Fostex FR2-le are pretty damn good and way better than my Tascam DR-100. I also have a prosumer mixer between the mic and the recorder but fundamentally, the Fostex FR2-le gives my sound so much more of a kick. Also, the NTG-2 is a little quieter than the NTG-1 (I used to have an NTG-2 but prefer an ECM674) so I'd suggest you'd need pre-amps stronger than the Canon to get pick up decent sound.

    3a. Mics: As a note, I personally prefer the Sony ECM-674 to the NTG-2: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Condenser.html - Just read the reviews and make your own mind up. The quietness of the NTG-2 put me off. However, it is a 'rare' mic and residuals will not be as good as the NTG-2. But for sound, under any circumstances. I prefer the ECM-674 to the NTG-2.

    4. Outdoor recording: There is a blimp and softie solution all in one which I use which is a Rycote S300. As this is $250 USD, you don't need to buy a shock mount. It has a 3/8th female attachment meaning you can pop it right onto a boom and away you go. For outdoor recording, it has been independently tested and is almost the same as $1,500 USD products for a fifth of the price. It is a real boon and an essential part of my film-making.

    5. Canon C100 with obligatory Atmos Ninja. Funnily enough, I was at a film fest and talking with a pro DoPs about this. He prefers this to the other options you mentioned as well, probably for the same reasons you want it! I also want it but being a Sony guy, will probably end up with a used FS100 depending on how much my ex-wife takes me for in the divorce settlement.

    Let me know how you go with the rest of the kit and I'd love to pick your brains on something else.

    As always, I suggest checking out the guy who makes the recommendations so here is my last music vid and my last short. The music vid was a BMCC and the short was shot well before the music vid. I would change about a million elements on the short but that's learning for ya:

    Short: 'Finding Angels' - was accepted by the London Independent Film Fest on the 10th April. www.liff.org: https://vimeo.com/paulrwalker/review...591/040e0a533b
    Music vid: https://vimeo.com/paulrwalker/review...935/ccf932163f
    Answers to your questions/ replies:

    1. I am currently using a InspironPhoto heavy-duty tripod that worked great for the first year and a half of using it. One of the legs is no longer grabbing like it used to and it's now slowly retracting under any weight (usually my Canon 60D). Needless to say my warranty has run out and it really isn't usable anymore. The components are riveted together, so I can't even take it apart and try to fix it. The Libec Allex System contains a base, a smooth pan head, and slider all in one at a great price. They displayed it at NAB this year and it's a great price from what I can tell.
    2. Cannot wait to get my hands on the Bower lenses (Samyang or Rokinon depending on where you live). I love what I've seen and heard about them. The smoother focus pulls and manual aperture will be more than worth the very very affordable price.
    3. Where David said he uses both the C100 and Atmos recorder and has no issues with them, I'll give them a try for now and if I find that the C100 isn't up to par then I'll probably do exactly what you said and look for a used audio external recorder unit for the same price. I'll also check out the Sony ECM-674 as well. I never really considered Sony in my search for a shotgun mic (Mostly looked into Audio Technica, Rode, and Sennheiser) and I had used the NTG-2 with Tascam D60 recorder recently on a short series and loved the quality I got from it. I'm not however partial to it so I'll definitely look into the Sony ECM-674.
    4. When I'm looking into getting a Blimp, I'll look into the Rycote as well. Currently I didn't like the reviews on the shockmount that comes with the NTG-2 (apparently it's built quite cheap and breaks easily) and that's why I was looking into the Rycote InVision. I'm going to add the blimp you mention though to my "Purchase List" for future reference. Thanks for the recommendation.
    5. I was actually looking into the Sony FS100 as well, but with the reviews and films I see sporting the C100, I'm overly impressed with how much of a seamless workflow it can produce and the visual quality is very nice as well. I think the tag of $5000 is a little steep for the specs shown, but almost everybody who has used the C100 has said the specs don't really compare to the quality the camera puts out. So that's why I decided to go with the C100.


    Now that I'm done replying I want to thank you for putting in the time to leave a comment and now I'm going to check out your videos. I'll edit this comment with my thoughts!

    Looking for Angels (I realize my con. crit. list is longer than my liked list, but all in all I did enjoy it and thought it was well done):
    Liked -
    • The concept was well executed and I enjoyed it through and through
    • Looks like you had access to some great props/ locations. Was there a budget for this?
    • I liked how you didn't need to convey what was happened through voice-overs or even the dialogue itself. I understood what was happening through the visuals
    • Sound was great. Both the music chosen and the folly were well placed and fit perfectly in each scene.

    Constructive Criticism -
    • Watch your mirrors. During the boxing ring scene I could see you in the mirror
    • There were a few focus issues that sometimes took me out of what was happening (examples being at 4:35, which I think you could have eliminated all together, 5:50, etc.) Don't be afraid to retake any shots, the extra time it'll take will be worth it in the end.
    • There was an awkward pan done in post at 3:16 that didn't seem to fit very well and almost came off amateur-ish. I think the only time I do a pan in post is if I do a still timelapse and want a bit of extra motion, but even then it's very subtle and not really evident that it was done in post
    • Blackmagic is notorious for needed some sort of stabilizer when using their camera's hand-held. Maybe invest into a shoulder rig or gimbal if you have the money, if not there is a DIY shoulder rig that Film Riot walks you through creating that is cheap and works great (speaking from experience). Some shots came off a little too hand-held crossing the barrier from Professional hand-held and back to amateur hand-held look.
    • Watch your exposure. Sometimes your highlights were washed out, remember that a shot that's a little dark can be brightened in post, but an over-exposed shot is not so forgiving.


    Music Video:
    I thought it was really well done. Cool colours and concept, and I really didn't see anything wrong with it. Well done. There was one moment though at 1:38 that her mouth didn't match the words (the note ended and her mouth was still open). I would've cut to another scene before the note ended to hide that. Maybe she did end that note with her mouth open while you were shooting, but since we don't hear the original audio, the only way we can tell is by her mouth movements. So if visually it doesn't match up, then you'll need to fix it in post. That was literally the only thing in the entire video that I saw. Keep up the great work.
    Last edited by BrockT; 04-22-2014 at 12:53 AM.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrockT View Post
    Answers to your questions/ replies:

    1. I am currently using a InspironPhoto heavy-duty tripod that worked great for the first year and a half of using it. One of the legs is no longer grabbing like it used to and it's now slowly retracting under any weight (usually my Canon 60D). Needless to say my warranty has run out and it really isn't usable anymore. The components are riveted together, so I can't even take it apart and try to fix it. The Libec Allex System contains a base, a smooth pan head, and slider all in one at a great price. They displayed it at NAB this year and it's a great price from what I can tell.
    2. Cannot wait to get my hands on the Bower lenses (Samyang or Rokinon depending on where you live). I love what I've seen and heard about them. The smoother focus pulls and manual aperture will be more than worth the very very affordable price.
    3. Where David said he uses both the C100 and Atmos recorder and has no issues with them, I'll give them a try for now and if I find that the C100 isn't up to par then I'll probably do exactly what you said and look for a used audio external recorder unit for the same price. I'll also check out the Sony ECM-674 as well. I never really considered Sony in my search for a shotgun mic (Mostly looked into Audio Technica, Rode, and Sennheiser) and I had used the NTG-2 with Tascam D60 recorder recently on a short series and loved the quality I got from it. I'm not however partial to it so I'll definitely look into the Sony ECM-674.
    4. When I'm looking into getting a Blimp, I'll look into the Rycote as well. Currently I didn't like the reviews on the shockmount that comes with the NTG-2 (apparently it's built quite cheap and breaks easily) and that's why I was looking into the Rycote InVision. I'm going to add the blimp you mention though to my "Purchase List" for future reference. Thanks for the recommendation.
    5. I was actually looking into the Sony FS100 as well, but with the reviews and films I see sporting the C100, I'm overly impressed with how much of a seamless workflow it can produce and the visual quality is very nice as well. I think the tag of $5000 is a little steep for the specs shown, but almost everybody who has used the C100 has said the specs don't really compare to the quality the camera puts out. So that's why I decided to go with the C100.


    Now that I'm done replying I want to thank you for putting in the time to leave a comment and now I'm going to check out your videos. I'll edit this comment with my thoughts!

    Looking for Angels (I realize my con. crit. list is longer than my liked list, but all in all I did enjoy it and thought it was well done):
    Liked -
    • The concept was well executed and I enjoyed it through and through
    • Looks like you had access to some great props/ locations. Was there a budget for this?
    • I liked how you didn't need to convey what was happened through voice-overs or even the dialogue itself. I understood what was happening through the visuals
    • Sound was great. Both the music chosen and the folly were well placed and fit perfectly in each scene.

    Constructive Criticism -
    • Watch your mirrors. During the boxing ring scene I could see you in the mirror
    • There were a few focus issues that sometimes took me out of what was happening (examples being at 4:35, which I think you could have eliminated all together, 5:50, etc.) Don't be afraid to retake any shots, the extra time it'll take will be worth it in the end.
    • There was an awkward pan done in post at 3:16 that didn't seem to fit very well and almost came off amateur-ish. I think the only time I do a pan in post is if I do a still timelapse and want a bit of extra motion, but even then it's very subtle and not really evident that it was done in post
    • Blackmagic is notorious for needed some sort of stabilizer when using their camera's hand-held. Maybe invest into a shoulder rig or gimbal if you have the money, if not there is a DIY shoulder rig that Film Riot walks you through creating that is cheap and works great (speaking from experience). Some shots came off a little too hand-held crossing the barrier from Professional hand-held and back to amateur hand-held look.
    • Watch your exposure. Sometimes your highlights were washed out, remember that a shot that's a little dark can be brightened in post, but an over-exposed shot is not so forgiving.


    Music Video:
    I thought it was really well done. Cool colours and concept, and I really didn't see anything wrong with it. Well done. There was one moment though at 1:38 that her mouth didn't match the words (the note ended and her mouth was still open). I would've cut to another scene before the note ended to hide that. Maybe she did end that note with her mouth open while you were shooting, but since we don't hear the original audio, the only way we can tell is by her mouth movements. So if visually it doesn't match up, then you'll need to fix it in post. That was literally the only thing in the entire video that I saw. Keep up the great work.
    Thanks Brock. 'Finding Angels' was more of a learning experience and the next will hopefully be better. It got into London Indie so it's OK but next time around will be better. The next learning experience will be around multiple dialogue scenes and maybe more of a fight scene if I'm up to it.

    Budget for locations / props including the big horsey thingy was 250 and we didn't have 'stuff' such as variable NDs (lesson learned). Also, managed to get a shot of the camera in every, single reflective surface. Every window, mirrored surface, - everything!!!!! Spent hours compositing it all out but must've missed one in the gym. At least my DoP was consistent.

    It's all a learning experience and I'm learning from my mistakes. Just wish there weren't so many of them!

    But in terms of the tripod - I would go with a used Manfrotto or Gitzo video tripod. Those things last forever, can get run over by a knight on horseback without any issues and used battle scars make you look more experienced! As a note - I have the Rycote shock mount and it's fine. I broke one (there was a horse involved) but they're so cheap I just bought another.

    Would you let us know about the C100 with Atmos. Would love to know how that goes.
    "80% of success is turning up" - Woody Allen

  8. #8

    Default

    The windows sounded like a huge pain! I'm in the same boat Where everything I do is a big learning curve. I enjoyed it none-the-less and I'll definitely let you know how everything goes once I have the money to get the C100.

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