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Last week we were lucky enough to get our hands on a Canon 5D Markiii. Speaking as someone who was using the 5D Markii within a month of its US release, I was extremely excited to see Canon’s next installment in this line. One major reason: clean HDMI out.

In order to put this to the test, I went out to a friend’s local business in Marysville, WA called Trusty Threads. I shot a quick interview with Trish, the owner, and did some standard B-roll shots in the store using a couple of different lenses, including a 24-70 and a Tokina wide angle. For the interview, I had the 5D Markiii mounted on a Diva Ringlight by Stellar Lighting, attached to a Manfrotto tripod. For audio, I mic’d Trish up with a Sennheiser EW112 PG3-A wireless kit, with a Countryman B6 lavalier which ran into a Juicedlink XLR adapter. (This way I could bring the audio into the Ninja-2 via 1/8″ mini in the analog audio in port)

The thing I really like about going direct to the Atomos Ninja 2: it doubles as a field monitor. I had to position my camera in such a way that the glare from outside (uncontrollable circumstances) made it difficult to use the viewfinder or screen too effectively. So I set up, and had my Ninja 2 a couple feet away monitoring the HDMI feed (which is CLEAN on the Markiii!) and allowed me to double-check focus and exposure. I used the Ninja’s audio out for my headphones, and you just press record and stop on the Ninja itself, no fiddling with your camera. Best of all: when you’re done, you connect the drive you just recorded to straight to your computer (via included Atomos drive reader) and drag/drop your files. You’re ready to go. Amazing.

The video itself isn’t completely polished: I shot the footage in about a half hour, and spent about that long again in editing, and it was a free shoot anyway. The idea was to help a friend, as well as gain some experience in the workflow and features of shooting 5D Markiii – Atomos Ninja 2 – Direct to edit. Considering the time and relatively low level of effort required to achieve these results, I’m extremely thrilled about a new generation of video producers having the tools to make awesome video without a Hollywood budget!

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