NAB UPDATE: Blackmagic announce Video Assist & Ursa Viewfinder

Video Assist

Press Release - NAB 2015, Las Vegas, USA - April 13, 2015 

Blackmagic Design today announced the Blackmagic Video Assist, a portable, all in one professional monitor and video recorder that can be used with any SDI or HDMI camera. Blackmagic Video Assist adds professional recording and monitoring to any camera and features a bright, high resolution 5 inch monitor for checking focus, framing, and reviewing shots, along with a broadcast quality HD recorder for saving quality video files.

The Blackmagic Video Assist is perfect for customers that need better monitoring and higher quality recording. Older cameras often feature custom and hard to use file or tape formats, while lower cost consumer cameras often have poor quality file formats and small screens, limiting their professional use.

Blackmagic Video Assist solves this problem because it works with every type of camera, from DSLR’s to older tape based camcorders, and even the latest digital film cameras. Blackmagic Video Assist can be mounted on cameras as a large monitor for the entire crew to see, it can be handed to the cinematographer or DOP for setting up shots, or set on a table in front of the director to review each take. The Blackmagic Video Assist lets customers see every detail on its larger screen, check composition and make sure the camera is perfectly focused while also recording the highest quality files.

Durable and lightweight, the Blackmagic Video Assist features a bright, 5 inch high resolution 1920 x 1080 HD monitor and touchscreen with a wide 135º viewing angle. Customers can record broadcast quality 10-bit 4:2:2 video onto fast, inexpensive and widely available SD cards in Apple ProRes and DNxHD file formats. The SD cards can be mounted directly on a computer for cloning and backup using the included DaVinci Resolve Lite and, because the files don’t have to be converted or transcoded, editing and color correction can begin immediately. The Blackmagic Video Assist includes 2 standard LP-E6 battery slots allowing hot swapping of batteries while in use, and it can be powered using the 12V DC input.

The built in touchscreen lets customers use simple swipe gestures to display camera information, change settings and evaluate audio and video levels. Blackmagic Video Assist features an elegant, semi-transparent heads up display overlay that let’s customers keep their eyes on the shoot while changing formats, viewing the current input frame rate, histogram, audio meters, timecode and more.

“The Blackmagic Video Assist has been designed as the perfect solution to help customers shoot better video on any type of camera. It combines the best of our monitoring and recording technologies for on set monitoring and professional recording into one easy to use very compact product,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “Customers can use it to improve the quality of their DSLR shoots, to breathe new life into older camcorders that use expensive proprietary media. Blackmagic Video Assist is perfect for use on digital film projects to allow recording to HD files while the camera simultaneously records RAW. It’s an amazingly versatile product that customers can use with any camera and on any project!”

Blackmagic Video Assist Key Features

  • 5 inch LCD touch screen with1080p high resolution monitor.
  • Professional 10-bit 4:2:2 HD ProRes and DNxHD recording.
  • Includes slots for 2 hot pluggable batteries as well as 12V DC power input.
  • Full compatibility with editing software such as DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro X, Avid and Premier Pro.
  • All in one design, mount to cameras, hold in your hand or set up on a table with the included kickstand.
  • Includes 6G-SDI input allowing its use as an Ultra HD monitor.
  • Idea for use as a monitor for the new Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K.

Ursa Viewfinder

Press Release - NAB 2015, Las Vegas, USA - April 13, 2015

Blackmagic Design today announced the new Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder, a high resolution electronic viewfinder specifically designed for the Blackmagic URSA and Blackmagic URSA Mini digital film cameras.

The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder has been designed to meet the needs of high end cinematographers and features a high resolution 1920 x 1080 color OLED display. The display has been matched with precision glass optics, has an adjustable diopter and built in digital focus chart to help cinematographers get perfect focus every time.

The high resolution screen of the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder packs an incredible number of pixels in a very small amount of space, making it so sharp that it’s impossible to see any individual pixels. Unlike traditional electronic viewfinders, the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is so clear that it’s like using an optical viewfinder on a traditional film camera.

The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is an essential accessory for anybody doing handheld shooting, whether it’s for film, television, commercial, or news production. When a project calls for a lot of over the shoulder or handheld shooting, or when locations are too tight to open the fold out screens built into URSA and URSA Mini, the electronic viewfinder makes it possible to accurately frame shots and get perfect focus every time.

The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder connects to the camera using standard SDI and power connections, it features a built in record indicator light, and is adjustable so it can be used with either the left or the right eye. There’s even a built in sensor that helps preserve the life of the OLED screen by only turning the viewfinder on when needed.

When used with Blackmagic URSA cameras, the electronic viewfinder can also display overlays for things like recording status, camera settings, battery life and more so customers can instantly see the critical information they need while shooting. The data for the overlays is sent to the viewfinder over SDI using Blackmagic’s unique SDI camera control protocol so no additional cables are needed.

“Professional cinematographers love the quality of our URSA digital film cameras with their large built in screens, but they’ve been asking for an EVF that they can use in a wider range of shooting situations,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “We think they’re going to love the URSA Viewfinder because its incredible optics and super high resolution screen set it apart from other, often more expensive, third party viewfinders. It’s just like using a true optical viewfinder, and best of all its been designed to perfectly match the industrial design of our URSA range of digital film cameras! Its all very exciting!”

Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder Features

  • High resolution 1920 x 1080 color OLED display with precision glass optics.
  • Adjustable diopter and built in digital focus chart for perfect focus setup for the users eye.
  • Built in sensor to preserve OLED screen life, activates display when the viewfinder is being used.
  • Adjustable for left or right eye and for above or below camera shooting positions.
  • Built in record “tally” indicator for allowing talent to know when recording has started.