The BlackMagic Video Assist is here to solve one of the common frustrations of shooting film on digital cameras; focusing and viewing footage on the tiny LCD screens on the back of the cameras.
Occasionally, it’s easy to forget how much our modern cameras are capable of. There are many consumer-level digital cameras that are capable of shooting 4K video that far surpasses the best pro rigs from even three or four years ago.
BlackMagic’s Video Assist acts as an external recorder and monitor for your camera to make it easier to actually see what’s being filmed and how the camera is focusing.
Our Video Review of the BlackMagic Video Assist
The device can be connected to your camera through the HDMI port, along with the HDMI In and Out ports, it also has an SDI connection.
While connected, videographers can either record directly on to the Video Assist thanks to the built-in SD card slot. Video Assist natively records in Apple’s ProRes video format, which means that you can directly upload into a high-end video editing program like Final Cut Pro. It removes the hassle of having to convert from whatever format the camera records in.
The device is very portable. It can either be used plugged into a power source or out in the field with a battery pack that will outlast the batteries in your camera. It features several 1/4″ ports enabling it to be mounted on tripods, rails, or attach gear like audio equipment to it.
The BlackMagic Video Assist comes in two sizes, a 5-inch version and a 7-inch one. The 5-inch version only records in HD, which is good for those who only occasionally shoot video or only work in HD, but we’d recommend the 7-inch which is capable of native 4K video recording and display.
The 5-inch Video Assist retails for $495, and the 7-inch version goes for $895. Whichever one you choose, they’re both great deals and indispensable tools for a videographer or photographer shooting some video.
Check out our video review to hear more of what this device is capable of and why we think its a must have tool.