Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR Recording Monitor Review: A Perfect Portable Tool for Filmmakers

As one of the most advanced video monitoring tools on the market, Blackmagic Video Assist is a must-have for filmmakers who need to shoot HDR content. The monitor is perfect for both indie and major productions because it can be used as either an external recorder or a portable field monitor with the ability to playback recorded clips.

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blackmagic video assist 12g hdr recording monitor review

Our Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR Recording Monitor Review

Professional video recording on DSLRs is hard.

It takes a lot of time to get the shot right, and even if you do everything perfectly it still might not look good because your camera doesn’t have professional monitoring or audio capabilities.

Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR Recording Monitor can help fix this problem by adding professional monitoring and high-quality recording to virtually any camera with its 5″, 1920 x 1080 display with 2500 cd/m² brightness that helps you frame and focus your shots, 12G-SDI input for recording the video output from professional cameras, HDMI input for consumer cameras, 4K DCI resolution support up to 30 fps at 10-bit color depth, 6G-SDI up to 60p resolution support at a full bit depth of 12 bits per channel (4096 levels per RGB), native Thunderbolt 3 interface for daisy-chaining multiple monitors together using only one port on your computer (Mac OS X 10.12 and newer only), and compatibility with most popular video formats.

The Blackmagic Video Assist 12G-SDI HDR Recording Monitor can be used as an external recorder that allows you to record the highest possible quality content using professional codecs, or it can play back recorded clips via HDMI for client screenings on set. The device supports all standard international power systems, so you can charge it with your car’s DC adapter or a household power outlet.

The Blackmagic Video Assist 12G-SDI HDR Recording Monitor is the perfect tool for filmmakers who need to deliver high-quality content in both HD and UHD formats, while also being able to provide professional monitoring capabilities that are essential for video productions of all sizes.

As one of the most advanced video monitoring tools on the market, Blackmagic Video Assist is a must-have for filmmakers who need to shoot HDR content. The monitor is perfect for both indie and major productions because it can be used as either an external recorder or a portable field monitor with the ability to playback recorded clips.

What Is the Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR Recording Monitor?

The Blackmagic video assist recording monitor comes in two different sizes: a 5-inch monitor that sells for around $795, and a 7-inch monitor that sells for around $995. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll quickly learn to love it thanks to its many wonderful features. First of all, this recording monitor is a new and updated version of a monitor that users claimed didn’t have enough brightness to it. That is no longer a problem because this is a 10-bit color monitor/recorder that allows you to use it outside in bright sunlight without getting a headache or being inconvenienced in any way.

With this device, you can record from either an SDI or HDMI source to ProRes HQ in 10-bit color. Thanks to this monitor, you can try recording with confidence regardless of how bright the sun is. The 2,500 nits of screen brightness is much better than Blackmagic’s previous version, and it has more than enough screen brightness to accommodate numerous situations. Simply put, you may think it’s too bright and sunny outside to record, but this recording monitor will prove you wrong. It is a very reliable monitor that you are certain to love.

Yet another thing people love about this recording monitor is the user’s ability to use exposure meters/scopes in the 12G video assist. If you use these meters, it may seem like the screen is too bright, but that usually isn’t the case. In other words, be careful when using these exposure meters and go by the numbers and not how the screen looks. That being said, the 12G video assist is actually a very user-friendly recording monitor that is easy to use even for beginners, which is why it always produces professional-looking results in the end.

Top Benefits of the Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR Recording Monitor

As mentioned previously, this video assist comes in two sizes, and they are both lightweight, compact, and super easy to maneuver. Some of the monitor’s most-impressive features include a 1920x1080 touchscreen LCD display to make it convenient to view what’s going on at all times, both HDMI and 12G-SDI video inputs and outputs, and the ability to record up to DCI and UHD 4K HDR videos.

As far as the inputs and outputs are concerned, here is a closer look at what this recording monitor offers:

  • Video input/output: SDI micro BNC
  • Video input/output: HDMI 2.0a
  • Audio input/output: SDI – 16 channels embedded via 12G-SDI
  • Audio input/output: HDMI – 8 channels embedded via HDMI 2.0a

So if you need a versatile recording monitor that you can use for numerous scenarios, this is it. If you send 4K to the 12G video assist, it will automatically set the recording resolution to 4K, which means you cannot take a 4K input and record it in HD instead. Only when you send HD to the recorder will it automatically set the recording resolution to HD. Of course, this is what most people want to do, so it should be acceptable to at least most users.

The Blackmagic video assist comes with an NP-F770 lithium-ion battery pack, AC/DC charger, and ball head bundle. When the 12G video assist is set to 2,500 nits, the battery lasts approximately two hours. If you know anything about these monitors, you know this is a good amount of time. Most people, in fact, will be impressed by this number. Users can also load their own 3D LUTs, which means it is easy to match one camera to another.

Another feature of the 7-inch monitor is its video scopes that are there to improve both color and exposure. You can use waveform, parade, vectorscope, and histogram over a video image or it can be shown in white in a field of black. Also, the built-in scopes change to HDR scopes each time you work in HDR formats, which most people love. Even better, the monitor/recorder automatically recognizes the color space that you send it. This is a great feature for users who keep accidentally forgetting to select the right color space on this video assist, which isn’t difficult to do.

Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR Recording Monitor Review: Pros and Cons

The Blackmagic video assist 12G HDR recording monitor has a 4.4-star rating on Amazon, with 86% of all reviewers giving it either four or five stars. Here are some of the pros and cons of this monitor:

Pros:

  • Available in both 5-inch and 7-inch versions
  • Provides 2,500 nits of brightness
  • Comes with everything you need to use it right away
  • 1920x1080 touchscreen LCD
  • Very lightweight and compact

Cons:

  • Some say they wish the video scopes were in color
  • Some are wary of the USB-C connector breaking while on a shoot

Customer Comments

  • “It does just what it says it does.”
  • “I love that it can stream live events and record them to the SD card.”
  • “It works flawlessly.”
  • “This is by far the best recorder on the market.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Now, let’s take a look at some of the questions and answers regarding the Blackmagic video assist monitor:

Q: Does the video assist come with the Resolve Studio software?

A: It only comes with the free version, not the studio version.

Q: Do you need a cable for the SDI inputs on the side of the monitor?

A: These are micro BNC connectors. To make them work, you have to connect your camcorder to the monitor with a male micro BNC to another BNC connector – either male or female, depending on whether or not you’re using a coupler with another SDI.

Q: Are the files standard files or do I have to convert them?

A: When using this video assist, the files are standard files and therefore, no conversions are needed. This is a time-saving feature because you can begin editing your files right away.

Q: How old is this video assist monitor?

A: It came out in September of 2019.

Q: Can you control the BMPCC 4K from the monitor?

A: Unfortunately, you cannot.

Conclusion Of Our Blackmagic Video Assist 12G HDR Recording Monitor Review

Video Assist 7 12G HDR

With a 1920x1200 touchscreen LCD screen and the ability to record up to DCI or UHD 4K HDR video, this video assist is certainly worth your consideration. Great for both personal and professional use, both the 5-inch and the 7-inch monitor offer 10-bit, 4:2:2 ProRes & DNx HD encoding, and with both HDMI and 12G-SDI video inputs and outputs, there is a lot of versatility regardless of which size you choose. Since they are both under $1,000 – the 5-inch is under $800 – you can get the quality you want in a recording monitor without breaking the bank.

The monitor is also user-friendly and while it does have a lot of useful features, it won’t take you long to figure them all out. It comes with everything you need to start using it immediately, and it goes a long way in helping you do an even better job the more you use it.

Further Resources

Overview and Specs

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