Blackmagic drops massive update for Video Assist monitors

Written by Simon Wyndham

Blackmagic Design / RedShark NewsBlackmagic Video Assist Update

Blackmagic brings new features to its Video Assist line and unifies much of the feature set for these devices.

Blackmagic loves to surprise us! In this case, it is owners of the Video Assist line of monitors who are in for an early Christmas. Software update 2.3 adds in some major new functionality, not just for the 7" 4K model, but the 5" version, too.

The BMD forums have been the subject of more than a few questions surrounding the 5" Video Assist model. Today, the company answered that question in a way that is sure to make existing owners very happy indeed.

Primarily, the update brings 3D LUT functionality to the monitors. This has been much requested, although I speculated on the likelihood of it in my reviews. The monitors can store up to six LUT files, which the user uploads using the Blackmagic Video Assist Utility on a desktop computer. Users no longer have to guess what their footage will look like or rely on the built-in Rec709 conversion in the BMD cameras.

The big news here, though, is that the 5" model now has all the capabilities of the 7" model, including DNxHD and HR codecs – a sure fire hit for Windows users. False colour exposure, focus peaking and highlighting and the ability to turn off the auto-rotate feature also make the jump to the 5" model.

Such features make the Video Assist a good alternative to offerings from SmallHD, not least because you get a recorder built-in and, in the case of the 7" model, exceptional audio circuitry with XLR inputs.

Full press release on Page Two.


Full Press Release

BLACKMAGIC DESIGN ANNOUNCES NEW VIDEO ASSIST 2.3 UPDATE

  Major update adds new 3D LUTs, focus assist features and improved DNxHD and DNxHR support!

InterBEE 2016, Tokyo, Japan - November 18, 2016 - Blackmagic Design today announced Video Assist 2.3, a major new update for Blackmagic Video Assist customers that adds 3D LUTs to both models. This update also adds features to the 5" Blackmagic Video Assist including improved DNxHD and DNxHR support, false color monitoring, expanded focus options and new screen rotation features. The Video Assist 2.3 update is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design website and is free of charge for all Blackmagic Video Assist customers.

Video Assist 2.3 Update is being demonstrated at InterBEE on the Blackmagic Design booth 8216.

Customers using the Video Assist 2.3 update can now load up to six 3D LUTs when monitoring video on set with their 5" or 7" Blackmagic Video Assist. 3D LUTs have become an important part of digital filmmaking because they transform the camera images into a look that closely approximates the final look the director wants. The benefit of monitoring with 3D LUTs is that the crew can see the footage as the director intends it, and it’s completely non destructive because the original camera footage remains untouched. The six x 3D LUTs can be stored and recalled at any time by the user and this new feature is available on both the 5" Blackmagic Video Assist model and the 7" Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model.

For customers using the 5" Blackmagic Video Assist model, this update adds new features that were previously released only on the 7" Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model.

These new features include the ability to record to DNxHD and DNxHR files in MXF format which improves compatibility with Avid systems running on Windows. In addition, customers can now choose between DNxHD 220, 145 and 45 bit rates, or between DNxHR HQ, SQ and LB formats when recording.

The Video Assist 2.3 update also adds false color monitoring exposure tools to the 5" Blackmagic Video Assist model. False color exposure tools make it easier to properly set exposure in different parts of the image by highlighting specific color ranges of luminance with a solid color overlay. For example, green indicates neutral grey, while pink tones are good references for skin, which is typically one stop over neutral grey. Using false color helps camera operators keep exposure consistent from shot to shot.

In addition, Video Assist 2.3 update also expands the options for focus assist so customers can now choose whether they want to see red, green, blue, black, white or traditional focus peaking indicators. This makes it easier for customers to accurately adjust focus in a wider range of scenes and under a variety of different lighting conditions. Customers will now also have the ability to manually control the screen orientation and turn off the auto rotate feature which makes it easier for customers to use the 5" Blackmagic Video Assist model with handheld gimbals and other equipment designed to move the camera and rig simultaneously.

“Blackmagic Video Assist is perfect for customers that need better monitoring and higher quality recording," said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “This new update adds incredible LUT monitoring to both models, and brings some of the same powerful high end features from the 7" Blackmagic Video Assist 4K model to customers that have the 5 inch Blackmagic Video Assist model. We think the massive number of features on the 5 inch Video Assist model is amazing when you consider it only costs $495! Thats why Blackmagic Video Assist has become an essential part of every filmmakers toolkit because they help customers shoot and capture higher quality video with everything from DSLRs to older tape based camcorders, and even the latest digital film cameras!"

AVAILABILITY AND PRICE

Blackmagic Video Assist 2.3 update is available now and is a free download from the Blackmagic Design website.

ABOUT BLACKMAGIC VIDEO ASSIST 4K

Introduced at NAB this year, the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K is a portable all in one monitor and video recorder that can be used to add professional recording and monitoring to any SDI or HDMI camera. It features a bright, high resolution 7 inch screen for checking focus and framing, two high speed UHS-II recorders that work with the latest high performance SD cards for non-stop HD and Ultra HD recording. Blackmagic Video Assist 4K has multi rate 6G-SDI BNC connectors for input and output, HDMI in and out, two extremely high quality XLR microphone inputs for professional audio recording, a built in speaker, DC power, dual slots for two LP-E6 batteries and more.

ABOUT BLACKMAGIC VIDEO ASSIST

Blackmagic Video Assist is a portable professional monitor and recorder that can be used with any SDI or HDMI camera. It features a 5" full resolution HD monitor that helps you get perfect focus and framing, along with a professional ProRes and DNxHD recorder that uses high speed SD cards and saves files compatible with all modern NLE software. Blackmagic Video Assist has multi rate 6G-SDI inputs and outputs via DIN 1.0/2.3 connections, as well as HDMI in and out. It features a single SD card slot for recording HD resolution video. The touchscreen allows settings, histogram, audio meters, timecode display and much more. Blackmagic Video Assist works with DC power and has dual slots for two LP-E6 batteries.

Tags: Production

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