« on: May 17, 2013, 03:06:40 AM »
The Ninja 2 is the way to go if you want to use the Clean HDMI out of the 5D3. And there's a lot of good reasons you would want to even if you are interested in the ML RAW hack. For one, you get hours of shooting time, and for two, you get a decent external monitor. You can also get internal proxy recording on the 5D3's own cards simultaneously. And you have the stability of factory firmware rather than a hack.
The quality improvement is a lot better than Andrew (who has a legendary axe to grind with Canon) insists. It's real uncompressed 422 at 8 bit, which can handle the ~11 stops of the 5D3 video when using Cinestyle. It is a bit noisy, you will want to run Neat Video to clean it up at higher ISO's. It's not as good a picture as the C100 recorded to the Ninja, but it's just as easy to work the Ninja on the 5D3. The C100 is a much better video camera in general, but it will never have a full frame sensor or the RAW hack (you will need the C500 for official RAW video on a current Canon).
Right now it may be best to wait a couple months if you can before buying into either option. The cost of the Ninja 2 and a couple laptop drives (you don't need SSDs, rotational ones are fine, unless you want to move around a lot in which case SSDs won't have a gyroscopic effect) is about similar to a stack of the fastest CF cards for the RAW option. The RAW hack right now has a recording time limit of 49 seconds and only 15 minutes or so can fit on a 64GB card. The Ninja can record for hours at ProRes 422 HQ quality (not quite RAW but awesome codec, most of the people using RAW transcode to it anyway, though they can do a primary grade beforehand in something like ACR) without having to change drives or batteries. Also Atomos just came out with the Samurai Blade that has a much better screen (the Ninja 2 screen isn't so pretty, just usable) so a Ninja Blade may be coming out soon.
So I'm waiting to see what happens. The RAW is going to be the best absolute IQ, but at a fair amount of hassle. I may rent a Ninja 2 if a shoot comes up where I need it in the meantime. I don't recommend the Blackmagic Hyperdeck, it's cheaper but you get what you pay for. It's bigger, it needs some external battery solution, it doesn't do the 3:2 pulldown meaning you have to deinterlace manually in post (which sucks), and it has no monitor, and requires a $100 add-on plate just to mount it to something. Blackmagic sure knows how to work the internets for maximum hype, but their products (other than Resolve, which they bought from another company) are frankly half-baked cwap.