I remember buying my first and last Power Mac Pro many years ago. It looked gorgeous, it was blazingly fast and I used it for about eight years. Keep in mind that last figure as I take you on a city trip to the price level of the new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.
You can buy any HDMI cable for video recording to an external monitor/recorder equipped with an HDMI-port and it will do just fine, provided it can handle the HDMI specification you’re shooting with. That is undoubtedly true, but the influence of the quality of assembly and an issue with cable management could make you buy an expensive coiled cable. There’s an alternative that works just as good, though, and it’s much cheaper.
German manufacturer Delock makes cables, switches, splitters and adapters for all kinds of usages, including video and audio. I was intrigued by their inexpensive ultra-slim HDMI cable that has the same specifications as Atomos’ coiled HDMI 2.0a cables. A month of a lot of trying out this cable with different monitors and recorders later I’m pretty certain this Delock cable is a great cable if you want to record in 4K/60fps.
Atomos’ latest Ninja and Shogun monitor/recorders are pretty awesome, but if there’s one thing the company should work on it’s the way you have to remove your master caddies from the recorder. I can relate to the need for the caddy to sit really tight when recording, but they should be made in such a way that you don’t have to press so hard you risk damaging the top surface when trying to pry them from the unit.
When do you need an external monitor/recorder? I analysed the NLE support for different formats, the difference between various subsampling methods and between 8-bit and 10-bit colour depth, and compared the internal recordings of different cameras with the footage shot with the newest Shogun Flame. My verdict is that it is always better to shoot to a production codec. It saves a lot of post-production time when you edit with Final Cut Pro X or Da Vinci Resolve. The new Atomos Shogun (and Ninja) Flame support all the ProRes and DNxHD output types, are HDR-capable and come with a number of extras not found anywhere else.