Production Hardware, User Stories and Reviews

Review: Atomos Shogun Flame – Streaming Media Producer

Shoot what you see with the Atomos Shogun Glame a 7″ 10-bit AtomHDR 1500nit Field Monitor with 4K/HD 10-bit ProRes/DNxHR recording, Sony & Canon Raw to ProRes/DNxHR recording, professional HDMI, SDI and XLR connections along with LTC/Genlock & bidirectional SDI/HDMI conversion needed on set and in broadcast.  Check out Anthony Burokas’ review on the Atomos Shogun Flame.

 

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Usability
Adding an external recorder to a video device (DSLR or whatever) gives you a lot. First of all, the larger screen makes it easy to better assess the image, and the use of scopes, false color, and other features make it easier to ensure you’re getting what you want to get. Numbers don’t lie, and what you think might be a flat background might indeed not be. You can fix it in post, but you can fix it better while you’re on set.

Using an external recorder enables you to use very lightweight codecs. This means you can avoid the heavy H.264 compression used in most DSLRs and mid-level camcorders. Whether it be DNxHD, DNxHR, ProRes, etc., these “production” codecs work easier on older edit machines, laptops, etc. They are also designed to preserve the image, and not to squeeze the image as much as possible.

External screens/recorders also enable metadata tagging and other features that small/mid-level recorders do not offer. This speeds post workflow if there are seven takes of a particular shot but one is marked good. Start with that one! Plus, it enables the camera ops to focus on their job and let someone else work on metadata on the recorder.

Some cameras can’t record 10-bit internally, but can send the sensor data out to an external recorder, meaning your externally recorded image has a lot more data in it for color grading in post. You can load a LUT into the external recorder/screen to enable viewing of a more “final-ish” image while the camcorder, or the external recorder, records a flatter image for leveraging the most dynamic range.

You can use external audio inputs into the external recorder which avoid the sometimes less than quality microphone preamps in DSLRs. They may be great for capturing a “full frame,” super-shallow depth of field, but high-quality audio recording is not high among their feature set. Moreover, metering and assessment are often better externally.

Conclusion
The Atomos Shogun Flame has a great feature set for my DSLR-based videography, giving me many features and capabilities that my DSLR simply does not have, but which make shooting, viewing, assessing, recording, and editing, easier and better. It’s a polished package of gear that seems to always find its way into my production kit, even if it’s not directly required.

If you’re thinking of upgrading from a smaller Atomos recorder, or considering this as a new recorder, it has my recommendation.

 

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By Courtney Wach, September 5, 2017