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New Blackmagic Video Assists 12G 7” and 5” Announced at IBC

2500 nit brightness is a vast improvement over the original Video Assists

At IBC, Blackmagic Design announced the Video Assist 12G in two sizes: 7” and 5”.  What is the big improvement in the Video Assist 12G? Screen brightness and Blackmagic raw support. The monitors have a screen brightness of 2,500 nits which is way brighter than the original. The new monitors have an all-metal design with touchscreen operating system and Blackmagic Raw support Video Assist

A brighter screen and Blackmagic Raw support are not the only improvements to the Video Assist monitor/recorders. Several new or improved features make these monitors a worthwhile upgrade.

Brighter Screen

2,500 nits of brightness are what the new Video Assist offers for screen brightness which is way brighter than the original Video Assist’s 350 nits of screen brightness. The monitor uses the P3 wide color gamut which should make the monitors easier to use in bright environments and better for HDR workflows. Video Assist

Exposure Tools

The Video Assist 12G features waveform, RGB parade, vector, and histogram tools. A picture-in-picture feature lets you preview what you’re shooting at the same time as viewing the tools onscreen.

LUTs can also be applied for either monitoring or to be burned into files as you shoot. There are several built into the new Video Assist 12G, and much like the original Video Assist you can also import your own custom 3D LUTs

Blackmagic RAW support / Recording 10-bit

The monitors’ record to either single (on the 5” version) or dual hot-swappable (on the 7” version) SD card slots up to 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes or DNx formats, at framerates of up to 2160p60. A great addition is adding Blackmagic’s own Blackmagic Raw, BRAW, codec support for raw external recording on the Panasonic EVA1 and Canon C300 MkII cameras. I wonder in Blackmagic Design will add other cameras to support BRAW like the Nikon Z6, not likely since Nikon has partnered with Atomos and uses ProRes RAW, but a man can dream.

Video Assist Media Options

Like the original Video Assist, one may record to SD cards, but the new 12G versions make it possible to record directly to a USB flash drive like the Samsung T5 over a USB-C connector.

Video Assist I/O

HDMI 2.0a in and out supports in both models. SDI in and out is also standard, and like the original 5″ the new 12G version 5” model connectors are micro-BNC. The 7” version sports full-sized SDI in/outs. The 7” model also features dual mini-XLRs for analog audio input and a lanc port. Both models have a 3.5mm socket for headphones and a new tally light on top.

Blackmagic Video Assist 12G includes a built-in professional audio recorder that’s much better quality than the audio quality 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 in real time. For connecting microphones the Video Assist 7″ model has two XLR analog audio inputs with phantom power that support the high definition audio sample rate of 192 kHz at uncompressed 16 and 24 bit per sample.

Video Assist Power

For a first time, the Video Assist 12G uses the Sony L-type batteries for longer runtimes over the Canon LP-E6 batteries used on the previous models. There are two hot-swappable slots and the monitor will drain the least-charged battery first to maximize runtime.

Price and Availability

The Video Assist 12G 7” will retail for $995.00 and the 5” model will sell for $795.00 US. Both will be available in October.

Blackmagic Video Assist 12G Features

  • Supports live production, digital signage and archive use.
  • Modern design with fast to use touch screen controls.
  • Upgrades cameras to better monitoring and better record codecs.
  • Large LCD screen for digital film style focus assist tools.
  • SD/USH-II card support for commonly available media.
  • Records direct to external USB-C media disks.
  • 12G-SDI and HDMI for recording in SD, HD and Ultra HD.
  • Advanced HDR support with bright 2500nits wide gamut LCD.
  • Built in scopes include waveform, vector, parade and histogram.
  • Latest Multi Rate 12G-SDI technology for SD, HD and Ultra HD.
  • 3D LUTs can be applied for both monitoring and recording.
  • Standard open file formats compatible with popular software.
  • Records Blackmagic RAW from supported third party cameras.
  • Professional multi channel digital and analog audio.
  • Localized for 11 popular international languages.
  • Works with popular NLE software such as DaVinci Resolve.

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Brian Hallett, is an award winning cameraman, editor, and producer. He has shot everything from Network broadcast news, promotional image campaigns, music videos, short films, and documentaries. Check out his reel at hallett-brian.com

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