Nikon and Atomos.......

I thought I would post my findings here, in hopes to save any other possible users/ new users my grief!
After thorough testing at my Nikon reseller, it seems the Atomos product line is not compatible with Nikon DX series cameras, at 24p. 30 seems just fine, but no 24p external recording with Atomos. We tested the D3300, D5200, D5300, D5500, D7100, and D7200. The Atomos for some reason won't lock with the cameras. I hope Nikon takes a look at this, as that means no 24p recording on half of their cameras..The full frame Nikons seem OK though.


  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    I can confirm that the D810 works perfectly with the Atomos Ninja Blade.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited December 2016
    @oxenham1 You need to use a technique called 3:2 pulldown:

    "The majority of cameras (HD-SDI or HDMI) will output a 60i signal when set to Record/output 24P mode. This is perfectly normal, as not many cameras actually output 24P (Nikon and RED will). Most Sony, Panasonic and Canon cameras output a 60i signal which has the 24P signal embedded in it - this is known as 3:2 pulldown

    How to set the Atomos Recorder:

    The Atomos device will register this as a 59.97 input, but they can both record the 24P signal;

    Press the blue arrow next to the video format repeatedly until you see 1080p23.98 or 1080p24 displayed.
    You will notice that the Mon and REC buttons are dimmed.
    The device needs to analyse the video for about 1 second in order to detect the pulldown sequence and remove it.
    Wave your hand from side-to-side in front of the lens, or wave the camera from side-to-side.
    The input video format will show as 1080p24 and the Mon and REC button will show in full colour.
    You can now start your recording
    3:2 pulldown detection is difficult, if not impossible, to detect on completely still video. This is why you should wave your hand in front of the lens. If you lose the input detection – for example you unplug the SDI cable or go to Playback mode, you will need to wave your hand or the camera again, when the signal is restored to the device.

    For 1080p25, 1080p29.97 or 1080p30 modes, simply press the blue arrow repeatedly until the desired format is displayed. There is no need to wave your hand or the camera, as 2:2 pulldown removal (which is what this is) does not require moving video. Your device remembers whether you selected 3:2 or 2:2 pulldown removal, but if you change the format on your camera from 1080p24 to 1080i60 (just one example), you will need set to the input to match your camera setting again."
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    Didn't know that thanks for the information
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • oxenham1oxenham1 Posts: 5Member
    Thanks Ironheart for posting that! I am aware of the 3:2 pulldown thing. On all the nikons tested, this issue exists with just the dx line at 24p. The Ninja will read the 24p flag sent by the camera, thus allowing the user to be able to select 3:2 pulldown on the recorder, it just wont display an image on the ninja screen. Recording internally on the Nikon will bring an image up right away on the blade, with proper cadence, but the atomos just wont stay locked to the Nikon. signal drop outs, skipped frames, and truncated files on the blade. And not at any set intervals, Some times it will stay locked for 60 seconds, some times 3 seconds at a time. If the autofocus button is pressed on the Nikon, it will drop the signal instantly....Again, the FF models from Nikon DONT seem to exhibit this personality trait, The D610 and D810 connect instantly in 24p. But all the DX APS-C cameras tested above do not. The D7200 had the bizarre-est of all behavior, rapid firing a signal to the blade, resulting in a high speed on and off image display.
  • oxenham1oxenham1 Posts: 5Member
    So, sadly I have heard from Nikon about this issue:

    Thank you for your questions. Compatibility information with 3rd party products that have not been specifically identified by Nikon as suggested or approved for use, would need to be provided by the third party company, in this case Atomos.
    We have bundled the Atomos Ninja with one of our Professional DSLR cameras as a Filmmakers Kit option, but no such recommendation was provided for any model DSLR intended for entry level or enthusiast photographers. On the Atomos site, it reads the D5300 as compatible based on a clean output. It does not state it is "fully supported". and I do not see on our website where it is claimed the D5300 works great with Atomos.
    It may, but that doesn't mean there won't be some caveats or limitations. Again, this body is not designed for professional use.

    The D5300 is considered an entry level DSLR. The HDMI out will produce a RAW uncompressed 1080 signal as long as no memory card is present in the camera body. If that is the case the signal is compressed using the H.264 standard. You can still record in these formats to a memory card in camera:

    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 60 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 50 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 30 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 25 fps
    Full HD 1,920x1,080 / 24 fps
    HD 1,280x720 / 60 fps
    HD 1,280x720 / 50 fps

    Actual frame rates for 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively; options support both high and normal image quality.

    I have to recommend contacting Atomos for suggestions on using their recorder with our camera.

    Thank you,

    And my reply:

    1/12/2017 06:13 PM by Web
    I understand everything you have said, thank you. Not wanting to continue to be a PITA, but I am simply suggesting that someone at Nikon investigate why all of the DX series dslr's, not limited to only the d5300, exhibit the inability to communicate with an Atomos recorder at 24p(23.97). Clearly the HDMI output doesnt adhere to the same guidelines as the full frame Nikons.

    """The D5300 is considered an entry level DSLR. The HDMI out will produce a RAW uncompressed 1080 signal as long as no memory card is present in the camera body""""___as long as it is NOT 24p with an external recorder. This is available on an entry level Canon, and any other camera brand that has an HDMI output port.

    I can only believe that this is a small oversight on the HDMI protocol. So I am to understand that Nikon has purposefully crippled the HDMI at 24p on half of their camera lineup. (Fully tested through my Nikon reseller) That seems absurd at best to me. Especially when even bothering to offer clean HDMI out to begin with. I have spoken with Atomos, and their response is that Nikon doesnt seem to want to adhere to any form of standard protocol regarding HDMI output. I have become very vocal about steering people away from Nikon for film making now, especially if they want to move up to a better codec brought about by any atomos OR Blackmagic design product. It seems funny that all is well with 30p and Nikon. I also hope that product feedback can steer a company towards improving their products in the future.........
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @oxenham1 I'm glad you came back to this thread, because there are still some things I think are worth trying to get this to work, other than bitching to Nikon, which should also be done.

    Pulling the memory card is a good thing to try, I assume you have? Also, making sure that the HDMI output is clean, with no overlay from the live-view is important. Finally, I would make sure that both the camera and the recorder have latest/greatest firmware.

    Some folks have also had success with flipping live view on/off a few times and then doing the hand-wave thing to get the 3:2 pulldown to fire. Make sure the HDMI output is set to Auto, and your frame rate to 24.
  • oxenham1oxenham1 Posts: 5Member
    Hey Ironheart! I have had no difference with or without the card in the camera. Hand waving does bring up a short-lived signal with the 3:2 pulldown setting on the ninja. However, the cadence is severely flawed, and very juddery compared to proper 3:2 pulldown, or 24p recorded in camera. Almost comparable to 18-20fps. so there is definitely some framerate mismatch between the 2 units. But it's all for not, as it won't hold a signal long enough to shoot anything.
    Here's an actual video I submitted to Atomos about the problem.

    Again, this isnt limited to just the d5300, but all the DX line-up behave the same.
    No problems with the FX line of cameras.
  • oxenham1oxenham1 Posts: 5Member
    Also of note to the video, if recording in camera to get a signal on the blade, then stop recording in camera, the blade still has a lock on the Nikon signal, but the cadence changes to what feels like a slower framerate. Similar to the hand wave technique. Again, weird considering the FX line is fine. I just feel like this has to be an oversight, fixable with firmware from one company or another!
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