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COMBINING HIGH-END 4K HDR display with a modular recorder, the Atomos Neon is unlike any other production monitor on the market. It comes in two sizes: 17- and 24-inch, which cost £3349 and £6399, respectively. While this may seem a little steep, it’s competitively priced for either recorder/field production or grading monitors. Brett Danton – DOP, director and photographer – breaks it down: “If you’re in the market for true, 10-bit, full 4K, the prices can be intimidating. I’m talking tens of thousands of pounds for a monitor that offers the same image quality, even without the on-board recording.” This does make the Neon stand-alone. The question is, do you need it? Danton explains, “The ability to record is very important to me. During lockdown, I directed a bunch of TV commercials from Australia here in the UK, and could watch the footage back like I was there. This moved things quicker, which would be the same even if I had been there – relying on camera playback always takes more time.” The monitoring/recording combination is novel, especially if you are the do-it-all type that needs a field production monitor to double as a recorder and grading production monitor at the edit bay. This is the case for Danton, who uses the Neon in tandem with further screens while on-set and in post. “If you’re spending thousands, you want to calibrate it to sit inside the colour path you’re working in. I’ve got a great workflow, where I review digital files straight off the camera on the Neon, then grade in real time on my 32-inch HDR monitors.” The Neon provides native accurate colour with DCI-P3 coverage and wide colour gamuts, such as BT.2020. And built- in transforms allow for the conversion of Log to HDR EOTFs for display on the screen, or downstream to others. You can utilise 3D LUTs for SDR, to a monitor with a specified show look or exposure print down. STUNNING IMAGERY Other production monitors might have edged it in display quality, but the Neon delivers remarkable 10-bit, 4K HDR images. This is crucial for Danton now that virtual production has taken precedence on his shoots. He explains: “If I’m not monitoring back in 4K, I might not pick up aliasing or moire patterns, which are more common when working in LED volumes. The camera “The Neon provides access to essential monitoring tools and more via a mobile app”
SOLID ALL-ROUNDER The Atomos Neon boasts a high-quality image, as well as on-board recording that’s perfect for multitasking filmmakers who need to review footage either on-set or in the studio
picks up high-frequency interference patterns from the individual pixels of the LED screens. I need to be able to see and adjust those in real time – and the Neon gives stunning, clear images.” With field use in mind, the Neon is covered in Arri accessory mounts (three on the sides, seven on the top and bottom). The feet of the monitor attach to bottom mounting points, and there is also a standard VESA mount on the back. “It’s a very sturdy monitor, and the feet are heavy, giving it plenty of stability,” explains Danton. “I absolutely love the build quality – though it can be used as a computer monitor, it has the build of a set monitor. I get to use this properly and heavily.” The DOP confirms that, while powerful and robust, the Neon doesn’t have a noise issue, with two fans keeping it cool, alongside vents at the back. Danton’s favourite feature is the SDI connection. “I would just ban HDMI from society,” he laughs. “It’s fine if you haven’t got a moving connection, but as soon as you do, it becomes a nightmare because they’re not secure and often break.” The monitor features a modular concept, allowing for both HDMI 2.0 and SDI I/O. Support for HDMI 2.0 is built into the brain of the Neon, and a second level of connectivity comes via the Xpansion port using the AtomX SDI module. With social distancing a top priority for productions, flexible control options are key – and the Neon provides access to essential monitoring tools, LUTs, frame guides and more via a mobile app. For those that prefer tactile control, it can also be used with the Atomos Button Bar Remote. “It’s an incredibly affordable piece of kit that sits among the Sonys, Canons and SmallHDs of the monitoring world. It’s been my go-to monitor since it came out,” concludes Danton.
Specifications DISPLAY RESOLUTION 4096x2160
VIEWING ANGLE Super Wide Vision 178° >10%
BIT DEPTH True 10-bit
INPUT GAMMA Sony S-Log/S-Log2/S-Log3, Canon CLog/CLog2/CLog3, Arri LogCEI160/ LogCEI200/LogCEI250/LogCEI320/ LogCEI400/LogCEI500/LogCEI640/ LogCEI800/LogCEI1000/LogCEI1280/ LogCEI1600, Panasonic V-Log, JVC JLog1, Red Log3G10/LogFilm, Fujifilm F-Log, PQ10k, HLG BRIGHTNESS Up to 100 full screen and 1200 nits peak HDR
RECORDING RESOLUTION AND FRAME RATES 4096x2160 4K DCI at up to 60p
AVAILABLE SIZES 17in & 24in
45. OCTOBER 2021
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