The Atomos AtomX SYNC is finally about to start shipping. It has been a long road getting this product to market. It was originally announced way back at IBC 2018.
The AtomX SYNC module brings wireless timecode, sync, and control technology to the Ninja V. It allows you to connect multiple Ninja Vs, cameras, and audio recorders using long-range RF wireless technology patented by Timecode Systems. Ninja V users can connect multiple AtomX SYNC-enabled units to form a single network over distances of up to 150m+
It also allows you to use iPhone and iPad apps like Apogee’s MetaRecorder, Mavis Pro, and MovieSlate8, and have them all timecode synchronized with your Ninja V.
It is also compatible with professional audio recorders like the Zoom F6 and F8n.
How does it work?
The AtomX Sync module clips in between the Ninja V and the battery using the AtomX expansion system. You can use the AtomX SYNC to bring your HDMI camera, into a professional multi-camera production. By doing that you can have all footage instantly synchronized from multiple cameras when you go to edit.
The AtomX SYNC can be used as either a timecode master or a timecode slave device.
You can have frame-accurate control of start/stop and timecode, all touch-controlled from a master Ninja V. Not only will each file recorded be perfectly synced, but they will all be exactly the same length too. The Master Ninja V is also able to synchronize with any number of existing Timecode Systems sync devices, which allow connection to other cameras, sound mixers, and sources.
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
In addition to using RF technology, each Ninja V on the network can also guarantee accurate sync via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to additional devices. This has a shorter range of between 10-15m line of sight and is designed so users can add up to 6 iOS devices to each AtomX SYNC module. Compatible applications include the popular iOS Mavis Pro video camera app, the Apogee MetaRecorder iOS-based pro audio recorder app, MovieSlate8 Pro advanced timecode slate, and content logging app, and free iOS timecode slate app UltraSync Blue Slate.
The AtomX SYNC has a small battery inside so it also acts as a hot-swap continuous power battery extender, allowing you to keep a Ninja V running for approximately 5 minutes while the main battery is changed.
What about HDMI delay?
With the AtomX SYNC, Atomos has made it far easier to combine HDMI video with audio from an external source running directly into the recorder’s mic input. Until now, users have needed to set up an audio off-set delay in their Ninja V menu. This was a case of trial and error to get perfect lipsync between the two sources.
Now, the AtomX SYNC can calibrate this for you automatically. It works out the difference between the HDMI embedded audio and the external audio input for your specific camera setup. The process takes less than 2 seconds and once done there is no more guessing or lipsync error.
The AtomX SYNC is certainly a very capable device, but in some ways, it is a very niche device, because not a ton of people using mirrorless or small cameras are actually going to need to sync up multiple cameras and other recording devices. In saying that, it is still good to see a product that makes using more affordable HDMI cameras in a larger scale production an easier process.
Most professional productions will be using SDI cameras that have proper timecode in and that makes syncing up timecode super easy. Yes, being able to add an HDMI only camera into a large production and sync timecode easily is a good aspect, but even cameras like the Panasonic S1H now have the ability to be used with timecode sync devices without the need for a Ninja V and AtomX SYNC.
The Atomos AtomX SYNC module will be available in early May 2020 for $149/€149 from authorized Atomos dealers.
What do you think about the AtomX SYNC? Is it something you would buy and use? Let us know in the comments section below.