I got a chance to review the Atomos Shogun Flame before (spoiler alert) returning it because the monitor simply didn’t fit our production needs.
Here are my thoughts carefully constructed in emojis: ???
And a haiku:
The Shogun Flame from
Atomos is too big for me.
That is what she said.
Not clear enough? A review video might work.
This monitor comes with a lot of accessories. Case, SSD holders, SSD reader, cables, two batteries, a hood, and nearly every cable you need to run it. There is no complaints about the number of accessories you get. It is much more than I expected.
Here’s my problem: the Atomos Shogun Flame is big and it is heavy. The size of it reminds me of a 1990s IBM Thinkpad. Compared to other monitors, it’s an absolute monster. If you’re expecting to put this on a camera, forget about it. It looks ridiculous on an FS7. It looks huge on an a7s II. And forget about putting it on a Movi. I tried that and it is nuts. So you don’t have the ability to record from your camera if you’re going to use this. It’s more like a reference monitor for a Director or something similar. Yes, it’s fully featured and yes, the image is beautiful but if you need it on your camera, good luck.
When you compare it to something like the Odyssey 7Q+, the Shogun Flame doesn’t come close. Yes, the Shogun Flame has a few more features. It’s much much brighter. With the Odyssey 7Q+, if you’re outside and you really want to see a nice clear image, you simply cannot. At 500 nits, it is really dim. But I love this monitor and it is one of my favorite pieces of gear. It has a great image and to me, it rivals the HDR technology that you have with the Atomos Shogun Flame.
At 9/8 Central, we have a beautiful LUT that gets the FS7 dialed in exactly where we want. To my eye, it looked the same as the Odyssey 7Q+ with the LUT. I’m just a guy that does this for a living so take my opinion for what it’s worth.
The size of the Atomos Shogun Flame compared side by side with the Odyssey 7Q+ or even the SmallHD 702 shows just how large this monitor is. The Shogun Flame is twice the thickness of the Odyssey. It’s wider and taller than the Odyssey. And it is much heavier. The weight and size cancels out the advantages like the brightness and accessories.
The other problem I have with this monitor is the Atomos user interface (UI). With their interface, it takes three touches to do what the Odyssey can do in one. For instance, if you need to turn on false color, you have to hit a button on the screen to pull up a certain menu, then you have to hit the false color button to turn it on, and then you have to hit another button to close the menu down. If you want to turn off the false color, you have to do the same thing in reverse. With the Odyssey it’s just one tap on, one tap off. SmallHD’s 702 & 502 has their new UI which allows you to customize pages that can be toggled with a joystick. My SmallHD is setup where false color is a click away. When you’re shooting, seconds count. I can’t be tapping the screen every time I need to toggle false color, waveforms, histograms, etc.
So does the Atomos Shogun Flame have a pretty image? Yes. Is it huge? Oh yeah. Now I know it’s not the same thing, but if you need an on-camera monitor to see in daylight, check out the SmallHD 702. It is smaller, thinner, and much lighter than the Atomos Shogun Flame and even the Odyssey 7Q+. I love the SmallHD 702 and the 502. They’re both great monitors that do their jobs well in demanding environments. I am especially fond of the 702 because you can see it outdoors. Aaaand the 7″ monitor feels like a movie theater compared to smaller monitors.
To summarize: the Shogun Flame has no place in our setup because it is simply too big. I’m sure there are many people who love it and are passionate about the Atomos UI and that is fantastic. Not all gear is for everyone. For me, Atomos Shogun Flame is a dud.