All images on this page were pulled from Blackmagic Design’s website.
So while everyone is pining over the new Blackmagic URSA Mini cameras, and rightfully so, I am way more excited for the Blackmagic Video Assist that has so far quietly snuck by. I only discovered it by accident scrolling through blackmagic’s site.
Why am I excited? First off it’s a 5″ Touchscreen monitor with both SDI and HMDI in/outs with 1920×1080 resolution. Well sweet! I was already in the market for a new monitor anyways. Now here comes the really awesome part. This monitor is also can act as an external recorder.
This Monitor/Recorder can record your signal into a ProRes or DNxHD in 10bit 4:2:2. This means that if your camera has an uncompressed output you can give your files a little more juice. For example, my c100 only outputs 8bit via HDMI, however the extra bitrate from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 comes in handy when doing heavier grades or green screen work.
It looks like this would also be a decent if paired with their new Micro Cinema Cameras. Even if your camera does great bit-rates internally this monitor seems to be a great solution to record back-up or proxy media (depending on what your shooting on already) My only gripe upon first view is it records SD cards. WHY?! Yes they’re cheap, but there are far more reliable options like Compact Flash or the new C.Fast cards.
I know there are several monitor/recorders out there, like the Atomos Ninja (I own the Ninja Star which is the recorder without monitor) but I think blackmagic really has build quality down. I’m curious to see how quickly they can deliver and how well the screen will work in bright environments. While the SD cards is a major turn off for me personal I am 90% sure I will at least give this monitor a try.
To find out more information on the Video Assist check out Blackmagic’s product page: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicvideoassist
——–Update Aug 3 2015——–
Blackmagic has given some real weight to their video assist. They have made this device that when paired with their new micro cameras, it will control the functionality of said cameras. That blows my mind in this price point and I think since I already plan on ordering the video assist, I might as well order a micro-camera to go with it. I mean, why not?