If you've ever struggled to see your camera's LCD screen on a sunny day or missed a crucial focus when shooting a video, then you know of all the perks an add-on monitor can offer.

In this review, take a closer look at the Atomos Ninja V - the latest external monitor and recorder from Atomos, a brand famous for producing some of the most feature-rich monitors on the market.

Wonder what other gear might help you step up your production? Explore our ultimate guide to camera equipment.

Atomos Ninja V review: Is it worth it?

Yes (If)

This is an excellent tool for most videographers searching for a more portable solution. If you want to take your video productions to the next level, then Atomos Ninja V is your best choice.

No (if)

If you want a packaged option with all the cables and accessories included, then it’s better to look for an alternative.

Atomos Ninja V review

Your mirrorless camera can become a far better video camera with the addition of an external camera monitor. The Atomos Ninja V is among the best because it extracts the greatest bit rate and bit depth from the video feed from your camera. If your camera supports it, you can also record a Raw signal that can be converted to ProRes Raw for the highest quality.

Thanks to an agreement between Atomos and Apple, it does this better than any other display of its size. It improves mirrorless cameras for shooting video for not a lot of money, albeit you must account for the cost of accessories and media to make it usable. It can facilitate precise framing and exposure when photographing stills, too.

Atomos Ninja V pros and cons

Pros

  • Pro-level monitoring
  • Bright screen
  • ProRes and ProRes Raw formats
  • Bright 5-inch touch display
  • HDMI input and output
  • Offers LUT preview when recording

Cons

  • Adds bulk to camera set-ups
  • Needs ancillaries to work
  • Battery and cables aren't included

Atomos Ninja V vs Atomos Shogun 7  

Display Size: 12.7 cm vs. 18.3 cm
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 vs. 1920 x 1200
Maximum Brightness: 1000 cd/m2 vs. 3000 cd/m2
Real-Time LUT Monitoring: SDR vs. SDR, HDR
Memory card slot: Single vs. Single
Maximum audio tracks: 12 vs. 8
Power consumption: 22W vs. 33W
Weight: 360g vs. 738g
Price: $499 vs. $999

Atomos Ninja V Review

Build and ergonomics

The Atomos Ninja V features a lot of inputs and outputs and seems sturdy and well-constructed. There includes an audio input, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a remote jack that you can use to connect an X-Rite i1Display Pro calibration device or a LANC remote controller in the Canon and Sony formats. You can connect it to another monitor if you'd like because it has full-size HDMI input and output connections.

The top and bottom of the unit have ARRI 2-pin 3/8′′ accessory mounts, allowing you to attach it to your camera or equipment by purchasing the proper connector to prevent the unit from twisting.

The panel itself is still quite bright at 1000 nits. The screen displays exquisitely detailed photos and is significantly superior to any typical camera screen at 1920 x 1080 pixels. For the brightest days, though, you might want to get an external sunshade.

Performance

A bright monitor recorder with a ton of pro-level monitoring options including waveforms, false colors, HDR monitoring, and LUT support is the Atomos Ninja V. In addition to being able to see the image you are recording in much more clarity, you can also use all the expert technical settings to achieve the ideal exposure and focus.

Numerous high-quality codecs, including Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD, are available for recording to the Ninja V. This is perfect for cameras that can output a 4:2:2 10-bit signal over HDMI, such as the Canon EOS R, Panasonic S1, and Fujifilm X-T4.

The Ninja V also functions well as an HDR monitor, enabling viewing of a wide dynamic range on the monitor itself. And because LUTs are supported, you may apply a look to the video and either bake it in or just utilize it to preview how the final video will appear.

You can also enjoy such features as a waveform monitor, vector scope, zebras, false color, and focus peaking. When you record in a flat log format, such as Panasonic V-log, Sony Slog, Canon C-log, or any of the other log formats it supports, it also allows you to put in LUTs, which is short for look-up tables, to assist you to monitor your footage.

Battery and charging

You will need an SSD card reader to connect the SSD to your computer, the proper HDMI cable for your camera, and a method of fastening the Ninja V to it. This can be an add-on that attaches to a camera setup or a cold shoe. You'll also need a charger, some Sony NP-F batteries, and possibly, even more, to use it on location.

Final verdict

A combined on-camera monitor and recorder unit like the Atomos Ninja V gives you not only a greater understanding of what's happening but also tools to assist you in precisely focusing and exposing your camera. And for many, the largest advantage is that the recorder frequently raises the actual video quality.

The actual footage from your camera improves when you record to the Atomos Ninja V directly, either by enhancing the color information or enabling it to output Raw video files. It also provides much more control and precision for HDR, Log shooting, and anamorphic than you could ever get from the camera itself.

A compact, lightweight monitor recorder like the Ninja V is ideal for vloggers who use cameras without flip-out screens since they can now turn the video monitor in their direction, which makes vlogging much simpler. The design was carefully considered, and it even allows for the addition of expansion modules in the future.

Atomos Ninja V alternatives

Atomos Shogun 7

This adaptable on-camera recording monitor includes HDMI and 12/6/3G-SDI inputs/outputs, as well as up to DCI 4K raw recording. The Shogun 7 now has program capture and ISO recording of up to four HD-SDI camera streams thanks to the AtomOS 10.4 firmware update.

Blackmagic Design Video Assist

For a video setup, the Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G HDR External Monitor is a great complement. It is durable, intelligent, and adaptable. It works just as well to record corporate videos, short films, and documentaries as it does to capture video lectures. It won't take you very long to learn how to utilize it, and it will advance your video production.

Convergent Design Odyssey7Q+

The Odyssey7Q+ by Convergent Design is a monitor/recorder that offers all of the capabilities of the Odyssey7Q while also adding support for 4K recording through HDMI. With a contrast ratio of 3400:1, it features genuine blacks, and professional monitoring capabilities including waveform, histogram, vectorscope, anamorphic de-squeeze, and 3D LUT support.

FAQ

Can I use Atomos Ninja V without SSD?

You will have to purchase an SSD additionally for the Atomos Ninja V to work correctly.

Can Ninja V record 4K 120fps?

Yes, the Ninja V records 4K videos at 120fps.

How long can you record on Atomos Ninja V?

You can record up to 150 minutes of footage on Atomos Ninja V.

What is Atomos Ninja V used for?

Atomos Ninja V is an add-on monitor/recorder that enhances the video features of a camera.

What is the difference between Ninja V and Ninja V +?

ProRes RAW recording over HDMI at 8K resolution at up to 30fps or DCI 4K at up to 120fps is supported by the NINJA V+. The NINJA V, on the other hand, is "restricted" to DCI 4K60p.

How much does the Atomos Ninja V cost?

Atomos Ninja V cost is available for $499.