Atomos Intros Ninja Phone to Allow DSLRs to Record on iPhones and Use as Camera Display


Atomos announced Ninja Phone, a 10-bit video co-processor for smartphones and tablets that lets consumers record from professional HDMI cameras. The company says the first release of Ninja Phone is designed for iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max and its OLED display.

Atomos says the  Ninja Phone encodes the camera’s HDMI signal to ProRes or H.265, both formats at 10-bit HDR. The encoded video is sent via Ninja Phone’s USB-C output to the iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max’s USB-C port. The iPhone’s A17 system-on-a-chip decodes the pristine camera sensor image to display on the high-resolution iPhone screen.

According to Atomos, the display is an improvement over typical built-in screens that come with most cameras, with a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio and supporting Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG. It can display 11 stops of dynamic range with a peak brightness of 1600 nits, which the company says is perfect for HDR and outdoor viewing.

The Ninja Phone iPhone app, downloadable from the App Store, controls and coordinates the operation of both the Ninja Phone and the iPhone, making them feel like a “single, responsive device.” For social media creators who need to shoot in 9:16 portrait mode, the Ninja Phone app adjusts to horizontal or vertical video modes. The Ninja Phone app will run on iOS and iPadOS, and will be downloadable at the time of shipping, according to the company.

The camera’s output appears on the iPhone screen with zero latency thanks to Atomos’ ProRes pipeline —- encoding on the Ninja Phone and decoding via Apple’s iPhone.

Atomos says the ProRes-encoded video can be stored on the phone as a .mov file and/or simultaneously transcoded by the iPhone to 10-bit H.265 for workflows like camera to cloud, or livestreaming via the iPhone’s built-in 5G and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity.


The Ninja Phone accommodates external iPhone accessories by integrating a separate USB-C hub to allow necessary professional add-ons like wireless USB-C microphones for synchronizing video and audio. The company says third-party accessories are supported via the Ninja Phone with more added over time.

Powered by standard NP series batteries, a battery eliminator, or a USB-C 5V/3A input, the company says the Ninja Phone charges the iPhone while in use with any of these power sources, ensuring long phone operation can match professional shoots.

Atomos says it has developed a “unique and rugged” locking ecosystem to maintain a secure grip on connected HDMI and USB-C cables. With Atomos locking cables, it is “the most robust capture cable system available today,” and the company says it is fully compatible with standard, non-locking cables.

Atomos says the iPhone 15 Pro’s enhanced connectivity opens a door for Ninja Phone users to make full use of Atomos’ Cloud Services (ACS). These include Camera to Cloud workflows, remote live production and cloud editing. With ACS, content creators can publish video to social media within minutes, and filmmakers can send their footage to their postproduction team via the cloud for faster production workflows.