Atomos Ninja V review

An external monitor recorder like the Atomos Ninja V helps you unlock even higher video quality from your camera

5 Star Rating
Atomos Ninja V
(Image: © Adam Duckworth/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

An external monitor/ recorder can turn your mirrorless camera into a far more capable video camera. Not only does it make it easier to get the exposure, focus and framing perfectly, if you pick the right unit it can actually significantly improve the actual quality of the footage. The $600 Atomos Ninja V is one of the best as it unlocks the maximum bit rate and bit depth from your camera’s video signal. But if your camera offers it, it also allows recording of a Raw signal that can be recorded as the ProRes Raw format for the ultimate in quality. It’s the only monitor of its size to do this, thanks to a deal between Atomos and Apple. For not a huge amount of money – although you must factor in the cost of accessories and media to make it useable – it makes mirrorless cameras far better for shooting video. Or as just a monitor, it can help accurate framing and exposure for shooting stills, too.


  • +

    Professional-level monitoring

  • +

    Bright screen

  • +

    ProRes and ProRes Raw formats


  • -

    Fan is not silent

  • -

    Adds bulk to your camera set-ups

  • -

    Needs ancillaries to work

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The Atomos Ninja V could be one of the best video accessories you buy. If you use your mirrorless camera to shoot video then you’ll soon realize the standard screen is small and often difficult to see, especially if it isn’t fully articulated. And the majority lack professional-style monitoring tools like waveforms, vectorscopes or false color. Almost all mirrorless cameras have limits on how long you can record for and the footage is often heavily compressed to squeeze onto memory cards.

By using a combined on-camera monitor and recorder unit like the Atomos Ninja V, not only do you get a better view of what’s going on but tools to help you set your camera accurately in terms of focusing and exposure. And for many, the biggest benefit is the recorder often improves the actual quality of the footage. This often allows cameras limited to 8-bit 4:2:0 internal capture to be recorded in far better 10-bit or 4:2:2 quality, or both. And in many cases, this can be recorded as industry-standard, edit-ready Pro Res files. 

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Adam Duckworth

Adam Duckworth is an award-winning professional photographer and videographer based in the UK. He has worked for many top magazines, newspapers and corporate clients for more than 25 years. He was named SWPP UK Commercial Photographer of the Year, and is an Associate of the British Institute of Professional Photography. He has also worked for international publications like Motor Cycle News, Racer X, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, ZOO, Golf World, Today's Golfer, and Mountain Bike Action, among others.