I wanted to post this in case anyone else is running into the same issue and can’t find a solution.
Okay – so I don’t know if I’m the only one who has run into issues filming with a Canon 1DC and an Atomos Ninja Blade.
I actually have two Ninja Blade recorders – one that I primarily use with a Canon C100 Mark II and the other with a Canon 1DC. My Canon C100 MkII runs flawlessly with the Ninja Blade – no issues. Both Ninja Blades are at the most current firmwares as of today (v5.12) and my Canon 1DC also has the most current firmware to date. On the last few shoots I’ve been on, after purchasing the external video recorders, I noticed that any time the recording runs past approximately 12 minutes of filming (anywhere between 12 – 20 minutes), the Ninja Blade would begin to flicker to black with “No Input” then it would slowly fade to black. My only solution would be force powering off the Ninja Blade then power back on. Afterwards, my next error message was that I had corrupt or broken video files and if I wanted to repair them. If you are experiencing the same thing, you can understand my frustration. Luckily, I always film in-camera as backup so my shoot was still fine.
The benefit of filming with an external recorder allows you to capture uncompressed clean HD video at 4:2:2 and in ProRes. This not only gives you better footage to edit with, it also allows you to go straight to editing with ProRes without having to spend more time transcoding.
At first, I thought it was either my HDMI cable coming loose or just a bad cable. I ended up swapping out cables a number of times and the same problem kept occurring. I thought “maybe I need new cables” – even though the ones I had were less than a year old. I ordered new cables and it happened again! I then assumed it was the Ninja Blade that must be defective. When I got home and had some time to figure it out, I connected my other Ninja Blade (the one I normally use on the C100 which has been working fine) to see if it did the same thing. My settings were as follows: Canon 1DC: S35 24 ALL-I (although I tried it at 4k and it did the same thing), and typically a shutter speed of 50 (no less). Ninja Blade: 1080p 23.98 ProRes 422. Both of my Ninja Blades had the same identical settings as each other and same firmware. I was ready to order a replacement Blade until I connected the 2nd Ninja Blade, hit record and let it run for about 14 minutes and the exact same issue happened – started flickering from the video screen to black screen with “No Input” and repeatedly video to black for a few seconds then faded completely to black. Now I’m thinking there must be something wrong with my Canon 1DC! My next thought was to connect my iKan D7 external monitor and try that to see if it loses connection (no external recorder, just an external monitor). I hit record, let it run and 30-40 minutes later, it was fine – video signal was coming through flawlessly. My camera was still recording and the external monitor was working great. As you can imagine, I was pretty frustrated at this point. If you are running into the same issue, I finally found a solution that worked for me and here it is:
For my next and final step to finding a solution, I decided to try different settings on the Ninja Blade itself. I kept it at 1080p at 23.98 (I knew I had to keep that setting as is) and changed the setting from ProRes 422 to ProRes HQ. Bingo!! I ran the recorder again, left it running and 1 hour later, it was still running!! FINALLY!!! I couldn’t believe it was working. I ended up connecting the other Ninja and did the same thing and that worked as well! I came to the conclusion that I don’t know what it is about the Canon 1DC and Atomos Ninja Blade set to ProRes 422, but for some reason it wasn’t liking this setting (on both Ninja Blades!). Suffice it to say, I now have my external recorders set to ProRes HQ and they work great!
I don’t know if anyone else is running into the same issues but I wanted to post what I found worked for me in anyone else is having the same frustration – hope this helps.