Blackmagic Design announced Blackmagic Video Assist 3.3 update which adds webcam support from the USB‑C connection for Blackmagic Video Assist 3G and Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR models. Now customers can connect to computers and stream live video using any major streaming software or platform in full HD resolution 1080p quality. The software is tricked into thinking video assist is a common webcam which works with Open Broadcaster, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Skype, Zoom, Twitch and more. Blackmagic Video Assist 3.3 update also adds audio monitoring channel selection for Blackmagic Video Assist 3G models and XLR audio mapping for Blackmagic Video Assist 7″ 3G.
Blackmagic Video Assist Webcam Update is available for download now from the Blackmagic Design web site.
Blackmagic Video Assist is a portable monitor, a professional recorder, a portable scope and a fantastic camera viewfinder solution. Customers can also add better quality record codecs and a larger monitor to any SDI or HDMI camera. The new design has innovations such as 4 built in scopes, enhanced focus assist features, a tally indicator and built in 3D LUTs. The 3G models support formats up to 1080p60 and the 12G HDR models up to 2160p60. The 12G HDR models have a brighter touch screen for shooting HDR digital film and for outdoor shooting in sunlight. Plus the 12G HDR models support Blackmagic RAW recording from supported cameras. Blackmagic Video Assist really is 5 products in one.
Blackmagic Video Assist is so versatile it can be used for hundreds of tasks. It’s possible to add it onto their camera rig to get a large screen viewfinder with modern record codecs, focus assist features and 3D LUTS. Video Assist is also an ultra portable scope that lets customers test equipment in broadcast and live production to ensure their video levels are correct and all their gear is working correctly. If users are doing live production then Video Assist is just like a large screen HyperDeck so it can be used as a mastering recorder, or as a clip player for inserting ads or promos into live programs. Customers can even use it as an ISO recorder with each camera having a dedicated monitor and recorder.
All Video Assist models are dominated by a large touchscreen with all controls for recording, playback of clips, viewing scopes and setting focus assist features. Both 7″ models are large enough to include analog inputs for audio and two SD card slots so customers get continuous recording, with automatic recording to the second card. All models include a rear tally light, a front panel speaker for clip playback and a headphone jack. Video Assist uses Sony L-Series batteries, and with 2 battery slots, customers can change batteries without interrupting recording.
With large and bright 5″ and 7″ touchscreens, Video Assist makes it incredibly easy to frame shots and accurately focus. The touchscreen displays critical information while users are shooting including the timecode, transport control, audio meters and a histogram for exposure. Customers can also customize the LCD to add or remove overlays such as current filename, focus peaking, zebra, false color, frame guides, 3D LUTs and more. 3D LUTs support allows monitoring shots with the desired color and look, plus customers can even “bake in” the LUT if customers want to record it into the file.
Video Assist uses commonly available SD card media, so customers can record to flash memory cards that are easy to obtain. The files are small enough to allow long recordings on standard SD cards or the faster UHS-II cards. The larger Video Assist 7″ models include 2 SD card slots so customers can swap out any full cards even during recording, allowing infinite length recording. Standard SD cards or the faster UHS-II cards are perfect for broadcast because they are small, high speed and affordable.
Blackmagic Video Assist is an ideal upgrade for cameras, as its bright display is bigger than the tiny displays found on consumer cameras, plus users are also adding professional focus assist features and better quality file formats. Video Assist is also a great solution for professional cameras because customers can use it to upgrade older broadcast cameras to modern file formats used on the latest editing software. Customers get support for all editing software as customers can record in Apple ProRes and Avid DNx. With both HDMI and SDI inputs customers can connect it to any consumer camera, broadcast camera or even DSLR cameras.
Video Assist records using standard open file formats so customers don’t have to waste time transcoding media. Files are compatible with all post production software so customers can work with the software of their choice, including DaVinci Resolve Studio. Recording works in industry standard 10-bit ProRes or DNx files in all formats and from all HDMI or SDI cameras, as well as 12-bit Blackmagic RAW on the 12G-SDI HDR models when connected to supported cameras. Blackmagic RAW is the fastest growing RAW format and developers can download and use the free Blackmagic RAW SDK to add support to their applications. Best of all media files work on all operating systems.
The Blackmagic Video Assist 12G models even include a USB-C expansion port so customers can plug in an external flash disk for recording. USB-C flash disks have massive capacity as they don’t suffer from any size constraint. Plus, it’s possible to record to the same disk customers are using or editing, so customers don’t need to waste time copying files before starting post production. Flash disks are so fast, they can record high data rate formats such as high frame rate Ultra HD. Imagine adding a Blackmagic MultiDock 10G for easy SSD compatibility so customers can record across multiple disks as each disk fills. Customers even get on screen menus for managing external disks using the touch screen.
Now customers can live stream using both Blackmagic Video Assist 3G and 12G HDR models with new webcam support added to the USB connection. That means customers can plug into a computer and get live video into any video software. The software is tricked into thinking video assist is a common webcam. Plus customers get full HD resolution 1080p quality. Choose any software customers like, such as Open Broadcaster for live broadcast streaming, or customers can Skype call their client with live video of their shoot. Blackmagic Video Assist works with all major software and platforms such as Open Broadcaster, XSplit Broadcaster, YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Skype, Zoom, Twitch, Periscope, Livestream, Wirecast and more.
Video Assist features scopes for accurate exposure on cameras and compliance to broadcast standards. That means it’s also a great portable waveform monitoring solution. The waveform display provides a traditional luminance (brightness) level view of the video inputs or the playback signal. The vectorscope allows customers to see the intensity of color at 100% SDI reference levels. Customers also get a RGB parade display which is ideal for color correction. Histogram shows the distribution of white to black detail in their images and highlights or shadows clipping. The built in scopes can even be overlaid on live video, or as a small picture in picture view at the top right of the scope.
Some cameras can output logarithmic colorspace to preserve the dynamic range, which is great for later post production, however when these files are viewed on a monitor they can look flat and washed out. 3D LUTs solve this problem because they allow customers to apply a “look” to the monitor so customers get an idea of what the finished images will look like when editing. LUTs can be applied temporarily for monitoring only, or they can be burned into files for use in editing when capturing Blackmagic RAW. Video Assist works with industry standard 17 and 33 point 3D LUT files, or customers can work with the built in LUTs such as Extended Video, Film to Video and more.
Blackmagic Video Assist includes a built in professional audio recorder that’s much better quality than the audio found in most cameras, eliminating the need to carry around extra audio equipment. When working in SDI formats, customers can record 2, 4, 8 or 16 channels of audio. For connecting microphones the 7″ models have 2 XLR analog audio inputs with phantom power and high definition audio sample rates of 192 kHz at 16 and 24 bit per sample. The audio meters can even be changed between VU or PPM ballistics.
“Adding webcam support to the USB connection on Blackmagic Video Assist is an extremely powerful update because now you can live stream your shoot to your clients! Imagine using Skype or Zoom to live stream to your clients from a remote location, anywhere in the world!” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “Plus, Blackmagic Video Assist is now a powerful streaming interface for connecting SDI and HDMI equipment to computers, as well as built in video monitoring and waveform monitoring! It’s an amazing update and it’s free of charge.”
Blackmagic Video Assist Webcam Update Features
- Supports live production, digital signage and archive use.
- Modern design with fast to use touchscreen controls.
- LCD features can be customized by the user.
- SD/USH-II card support for commonly available media.
- Upgrades cameras to better monitoring and better record codecs.
- Standard open file formats compatible with popular software.
- Records direct to external USB-C media disks.
- USB output operates as a webcam and supports all video software.
- Built in scopes include waveform, vector, parade and histogram.
- 3D LUTs can be applied for both monitoring and recording.
- Professional multi channel digital and analog audio.
Availability and Price
Blackmagic Video Assist Webcam Update is available now for download from the Blackmagic Design web site.