Hands-On Review: Atomos Ninja Inferno Vs. Video Devices PIX-E5

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external video recorders, Atomos Ninja Inferno, Video Devices PIX-E5

One fun thing about working on The Camera Store TV is it gives us the chance to help explain some of the tools and techniques that often intimidate shooters. External video recorders are a great example of this. It seems everyone knows that using one can give you better video quality, but I see so many videographers confused about when to use one, and how they can actually help you in the field. We’ve been using and loving the Video Devices PIX-E5 for a while, but the launch of the Atomos Ninja Inferno gave us a great opportunity to compare the design and capabilities of these recorders. Huge thanks also to Levi Holwell for shooting and editing this video for me!

This article, and the video, are provided by our friends at The Camera Store, and their excellent TheCameraStoreTV YouTube Channel, which we highly recommend you subscribe to. While on YouTube, also check out our channel.

Atomos Ninja Inferno Vs. Video Devices PIX-E5

This video is brought to you by our friends at TheCameraStoreTV

As you’ll see in the episode, I love the physical design of the Video Devices PIX-E series of recorders. Great balance, physical buttons, compact media and the option of a spectacular XLR adapter make this the best-designed recorder out there, in my opinion. The way we shoot, moving quickly and with little to no crew, our external recorders often take a beating, and the PIX-E5 has proven itself a durable little unit time and time again.

The Atomos line is by far the most frequently updated of any other external recorder series, so it often benefits from the latest tech. The Ninja Inferno is no exception, as it can record higher frame rate 4K than the PIX-E5 (60 fps vs. 30 fps), but it also has a more modern, brighter, HDR-compatible display. The latest Atomos recorders boast a beautiful, intuitive interface that makes the more utilitarian software from Video Devices and Convergent Design look extremely dated.

If you’re looking to squeeze every bit of video quality out of your camera, an external recorder is probably something you’ve looked at. But don’t just look at the spec list and make your decision; spend some time investigating the design, interface and future expandability before making a decision. From focus/exposure tools to LUT support and HDMI pass through, external recorders offer plenty to make your shoot easier, so make sure you do your research to find the right one for you!

Related Video

We tested these two recorders with the Panasonic GH5, our primary camera for shooting TCSTV. This is our full review of that camera after shooting our show with it for 6 months.

Panasonic GH5 Review

Required Reading

Check out HDVideoPro’s overveiw article “Capturing The Best Video Possible”