GH2 HDMI output recorded with Atomos NINJA

Ninja Graffiti by Martin Beek / http://www.marvelsfilm.com

Recorded at the annual Graffiti event in downtown Eindhoven (The Netherlands) using the Panasonic GH2 and Atomos Ninja digital recorder. The Ninja is a GREAT sub-1000 euro ProRes422(HQ) HDMI recorder from http://www.atomos.com .

I’ve used the GH2’s Smooth picture profile (all settings on -2 except for color saturation at -1) and Voigtlander Nokton 25mm/f0.95 lens with Fader ND filter. Aperture fixed at f2.8. Mixed 160 and 320 ISO.

Quality of the footage is stunning; it’s a pity that i had to convert it to H.264 to upload to YouTube, plus the extra compression crap that is added during YouTube’s conversion.

You can download the original hires/hi-Q input file (H.264, not the FCP ProRes444) from the Vimeo page at : http://vimeo.com/user6312268/gh2cleanhdmininja

Music: “Yeah Yeah” by “Bodyrox featuring Luciana”. Buy the music here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yeah-yeah/id211458233

HDMI Ninja-recorder footage was deinterlaced, decrippled and converted to uncompressed 4:2:2 “fcp-ready” footage by using the free AviSynth and FFMpeg tools as described here: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?237584-HDMI-Capture-Problem-SOLVED-AviSynth-RULES! and here: https://marvelsfilm.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/gh2-hdmi-recording-avisynth-script-update/



20 Responses to “GH2 HDMI output recorded with Atomos NINJA”

  1. 1 Ariel
    July 16, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I think this is one of the most impressive clips (if not THE most) I have EVER seen on my 24′ screen (and I have seen hundreds of them… DSLR, RED or Alexa included)

    I can swear I could almost touch my screen and feel the roughness of the walls.

    It makes one wander, though, what constitute “too much detail”. I must admit that it is so overwhelming in this clip that at times you loose – at least I lost – interest at what’s actually going on in the clip…

    Nevertheless, I think this clip is a benchmark. for me a least.

    Stunning is an understatement…

  2. 2 marvelsfilm
    July 16, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Thanks Ariël.
    There is a LOT of detail and resolution (lines) indeed, and that is with sharpening turned down completely in the picture profile. The HDMI signal reveals a lot of extra detail in the shadows too.
    Great stuff, and affordable!


  3. July 16, 2011 at 11:32 am

    nice work Martin. Could you upload the uncompressed vers. to vimeo?
    (your link to Atomos is spelled wrong).
    I’m in Amsterdam, where did you get your Ninja?

  4. 4 Ariel
    July 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    What is the size of the “RAW” file(s) ?

  5. 5 marvelsfilm
    July 16, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Hello Phil.

    My current GH2 is a brand new April 2011 production model that i traded with Panasonic for my pre-production model. It was provided by Panasonic Benelux in the Netherlands.
    Thanks for pointing out the URL error. Fixed that!


  6. 6 marvelsfilm
    July 16, 2011 at 6:56 pm


    If you mean the Ninja input files; they are HUGE because i convert those to uncompressed 4:2:2 to swap them over to the Mac (as an intermediate).
    About a gigabyte per minute! Once on the mac, i convert them to ProRes422(HQ) and throw away the uncompressed files.
    So, Ninja Prores (HQ) -> Avisynth on PC uncompressed 4:2:2 -> Prores HQ on the mac. This is the only way to get a 100% identical file on the mac, compared to the original Ninja footage. Choosing Prores444 somewhere along the line messes up the gamma and chroma.

    If you mean the resulting H.264 (fcp->compressor) file – the one i used for Youtube/Vimeo – that one is around 350 megabytes.


  7. July 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    …but where did you get your Atomos Ninja?

  8. 8 marvelsfilm
    July 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I got the Ninja from Videobewerken.nl


  9. 9 Ariel
    July 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm


    Yea, that’s what I meant. according to my calcs, those files files should be 1.6 gb per minute 😮 (220Mbps)

    After you convert, how much do they weigh ?

    I am waiting for the original file of this stunning clip…

  10. 10 Brian
    July 22, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Is the GH2 with Ninja recording from HDMI a legitimate 4.2.2 video? Or is it merely in a 4.2.2 wrapper? I mean , as an example, you can convert an HDV video that’s in 4.2.0 to Cineform which is 4.2.2 but you’re still just using the same information from the native 4.2.0. Cineform can’t magically create more color information than was there in the first place. Is that the situation with GH2+Ninja? Or are you really getting true 422?

  11. 11 marvelsfilm
    July 22, 2011 at 7:10 pm


    The GH2 outputs 4:2:2 to the Ninja, which records it as-is. But… in the process of processing the files with AviSynth (as a workaround for the Panasonic HDMI hack), the signal is converted to 4:2:0.


  12. 12 Stephane
    July 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Hi Martin,

    I don’t understand when you say that in the signal is converted to 4:2:0 when going through Avisynth. I thought you could choose to reprocess to Prores 422 as you said in an earlier comment? If the signal is converted to 4:2:0, what is the use of the atomos ninja?

  13. 13 lino cervar
    August 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    …the signal is converted to 4:2:0 ? so, no use of a workaround?

  14. 14 marvelsfilm
    August 8, 2011 at 8:24 am


    The resulting image is still superior over the AVCHD in many way. Also, the HDMI signal is less pre-processed than the AVCHD processor input.
    More detail in blacks, still better chroma. The Avisynth script takes care of careful downsampling to 4:2:0; you can’t spot the 4:2:2->4:2:0 difference by eye.


  15. 15 marvelsfilm
    August 8, 2011 at 8:39 am


    Also see my previous reply to another reader: “The resulting image is still superior over the AVCHD in many way. Also, the HDMI signal is less pre-processed than the AVCHD processor input.
    More detail in blacks, still better chroma. The Avisynth script takes care of careful downsampling to 4:2:0; you can’t spot the 4:2:2->4:2:0 difference by eye.”

    The problem is, that the script’s duplicate/dropped field function only works in 4:2:0 mode. Nevertheless the resulting file, in my case, is an uncompressed 4:4:4 file. This means, when you could visualise this file, that the 6 remaining unused bits are filled with zeroes. That for the technical part. As said before, perceptually (and even visually when pixel peeping), it would be miraculous if you could spot the 4:2:0->4:4:4 difference by eye. Talking about GH2 footage that is.
    And…. nobody can tell us exactly if the GH2’s HDMI output is 4:2:0, 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 0r 4:?:?
    Have you seen this clip? GH2 HDMI output recorded with Atomos NINJA This is GH2 and Ninja at their best. Unparalleled by any other DSLR or even the AF101 & FS100 when it comes to resolution and colour rendition. To be honest, the AVCHD footage looked nothing like it. I recorded it for backup, but it’s muddy and undefined in many parts of the picture.


  16. August 27, 2011 at 1:22 am

    hi martin,

    is is possible to use described process to come up with a PAL output 25/50 p or i from the ninja? in a multicam setup i would want to avoid mixing 24p, 50i and the like.


  17. February 3, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    How long was the original pro-res clip and how long did it take AviSync take in processing it?

  18. 18 marvelsfilm
    February 8, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Hello Doug. The avisynth processing runs approx. on 5 frames of processing per second on a consumer grade 2011 intel PC.
    On a hexacore gamer PC with 8gig memory it ran approx. 15 frames per second.


  19. 19 Joshua
    November 25, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Hello, I know I’m late to the thread but I’m trying to find out if going the Avisynth road is still necessary with the release of the Ninja-2 which does 3:2 pulldown while recording.

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