Posted by Jason Jenkins on 22nd Mar 2016
A week and half ago Stephanie walked into the studio with a big smile on her face. "I've got somethin' that'll make you feel better!" she teased. In spite of my horrible sinus headache, I perked up. That was all she needed. She held out something that looked kinda like an Atomos Shogun––but different. "It's the Shogun Flaaaammmme" she whispered. I smiled!
Over the next few days I spent some time comparing the new Shogun Flame to the Original Shogun. What I've seen has made me smile again and again! Below is an overview of the Shogun versus the Shogun Flame. It should be noted that the Ninja Flame maintains the same relationship that the Ninja Assassin has with the Shogun––in short, the Ninja Flame doesn't have XLR audio, or SDI, or RAW recording capability. Other than those things, it has the same build and features of the Shogun Flame.
The first thing I noticed was that the Shogun Flame is a bit larger than the Original Shogun. The reason? Atomos has built a protective shell around the screen that integrates silicone rubber bumpers on the corners. It gives the whole thing a more durable, rugged feel. This thing definitely has a better chance of surviving a drop versus the Original Shogun.
The next difference I spotted was the cooling system. It looks like Atomos has moved to a copper heat sink for better heat dissipation.
As I looked over the rear panel of the new Shogun Flame, I noticed several design improvements:
The power port has been relocated to the back of the unit, which is more likely to keep it out of the way.
The drive caddy has not changed, but the drive bay has! There is now four nubs that hold the drive caddy in place, instead of just two. It is definitely a more secure fit and much less prone to wiggling.
I've been saving the best exterior feature for last... and that is the dual battery sleds! You can now hot-swap batteries all day long and keep this baby running. Atomos has also developed a battery charger that juices your batteries up three times faster. Sweet!
Now let's move along to the screen itself. Some major changes here––for the better.
The Shogun Flame screen is just much, much brighter than that of the Original Shogun. 1500nits of retina searing power, to be exact. Here's a screen shot from my review video that shows the two monitors playing the same LOG footage simultaneously. They look about the same as far as brightness, right? Well, the Shogun Flame is actually set to only 29% on the brightness slider!
Here's another scene where I've cranked the brightness on the Shogun Flame up to 100%. A lot of detail is blown out because it overexposed my overhead camera! This is in REC709 mode.
Speaking of modes, I need to tell you about AtomHDR mode! It's essentially a custom LUT that lets you see the full gamma of your LOG footage––and takes full advantage of the 10.5 stops of dynamic range that this monitor is capable of. Here is a simulation of what the two modes look like with LOG footage: REC709 on the left and AtomHDR on the right. Again, this is a simulation. It looks glorious on the actual Flame screen itself!
When questioned, Atomos was non-commital regarding the fate of the original Shogun and Assassin. After seeing the Shogun Flame with my own eyes, my guess is that after they run out of stock of the "old" versions, they will produce no more. Ultimately the market will decide––and I think the market's gonna love this 1500nit, 10-bit, AtomHDR goodness!
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