For filmmakers who still work in FullHD resolution, Blackmagic Design releases cheaper versions of Video Assist. The two monitor recorders -- again offered as 5" and 7" versions -- feature multi-rate capable 3G-SDI and HDMI connections for recording in SD and HD up to 1080p/60 (i.e. not 4K). Recording is possible in 10bit Apple ProRes or Avid DNx (no Blackmagic RAW), the display is 300 nit bright and not HDR-capable -- only the color spaces REC 601 and REC 709 are supported. Compared to the 12G models, the possibility to record externally via USB is also missing.
Video Assist 3G
The further equipment of the Video Assist 3G models is, however, as usual lavish. The touch screen displays important information such as time code, transport control, audio level meter and a histogram for exposure during shooting. 3D luts are supported. A digital slate and metadata feature is provided.
The Waveform Display uses luminance values to display the brightness of input or playback signals in a familiar way. The Vectorscope indicates color saturation at 100 percent of the SDI reference levels. You can also display an RGB parade. The histogram display shows the distribution of black and white tones and truncated levels in shadows and highlights. The integrated scopes can also be displayed as an overlay on the live video or as a small picture-in-picture display at the top right of the scope.
Both models have a tally light on the back, a front speaker for clip playback and a headphone jack. The seven-inch model also features two phantom-powered mini-XLR inputs for incoming sound from microphones and external audio mixers.
The Video Assist records to standard SD cards, and the 7" model has two SD card slots. The monitor recorder uses Sony L-series batteries. Thanks to two battery slots, users can even replace the batteries without interrupting recording.
The Blackmagic Video Assist 3G models are available immediately, the 5" model for 529 Euros, the 7" model for 739 Euros. They obviously replace the older 5" and 7" Video Assist models from 2015/2016.
Video Assist 3G back