Blackmagic VideoAssist 12 G HDR external monitor with recording options
Of course, with the switch to the Lumix S5 came the desire to record video in RAW format as well.
After the latest firmware update, the Lumix S5 can output RAW data via HDMI, which can then be recorded by a recorder. In addition to the higher resolution of 5.9K, RAW naturally offers many more options in post-processing.
With this desire, I was faced with the choice of either recording ProRes RAW with the Atomos Ninja V or just BRaw with the Blackmagic Assist. Since I had turned my back on Adobe Premiere for video and ProRes RAW only works with Final Cut Pro and thus on a Mac, the choice fell on BlackmagicRAW.
I recorded a short video about it:
The Blackmagic VideoAssist is first of all a 5 inch monitor with a resolution of 1920x1080px, but with a brightness of 2,500 nits. And with that, the monitor is of course good to use in bright sunlight.
On the left side, there are also the HDMI IN and OUT ports, as well as Mini SDI ports as a special feature. The thickness is striking, which is partly due to the fact that a fan is installed here.
On the right side, there is a headphone jack and a connection for the power supply. The latter is part of Blackmagic’s scope of delivery.
An SD card slot is also found here, which can be used to save the recorded videos.
And practically as with all monitors, the batteries are found on the back.
Here, however, 2 batteries are connected, which are then automatically switched when one battery is empty.And the Blackmagic requires much more battery power than, for example, a regular external monitor.
Besides the usual monitor features like focus assisrt or false color, the option to record video is of course the interesting part of the device. And certainly this is the function that contributes significantly to the price of about 700,– € for the 5 inch version.
The Blackmagic Videoassist can record videos in ProRes as well as DNxHR, in addition to Blackmagic RAW. For all formats, different quality stugen, such as Prores HQ , are available. With Blackmagic RAW you have the option of different compression rates or quality levels.
You can save the video clips on SD cards of the UHS-II class. I have tried this once with UHS-I cards. There I manage then scarcely 2 minutes with BRaw however in the highest compression. However, UHS-II cards with corresponding capacities are quite expensive, so it is better to choose the 2nd option and save the video clips directly on an external SSD drive that is connected to the monitor via the USB-C 3.1 port.
The storage on SSD drives makes sense if you look at the file sizes that the Blackmagic Videoassist creates.
|Format||Size in bytes/minute|
Of course, you have to take into account that all BRAW formats are recorded in 5.9K, while the others are only recorded in 4K, which makes a difference in itself.
The Blackmagic VideoAssist is a good combination of monitor and recorder and expands the possibilities of the Lumix S5 immensely. Even though the prices for the Ninja V model have dropped, I don’t regret choosing the VideoAssist. At the moment, however, I can’t tell the difference between the 3:1 and 5:1 compression, so it will probably come down to the latter. I’m already starting to save up for the hard drives 🙂