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Andrew Reid

Blackmagic Video Assist Review

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Can you tell if the NX1 is outputting 24 but the VA is recording 60? Or does the camera switch itself to 60 to match the VA?

Also, can you record in the camera and to the VA simultaneously, like recording 4k internally and 1080 on the VA?

Can you see a big difference between the internal 1080 vs the VA 1080?

I know that's a lot of questions, but us NX1 people have to help each other out!

I've also got an NX1 and was thinking of getting the VA. I asked Black Magic and they didn't have any answers because they don't have access to an NX1.

1. I can't tell what the NX1 is outputting, I've emailed BMD support and they said the VA cannot affect the frame rate, so it has to be what the camera is outputting. I'm still waiting to hear from Samsung support.

2. They can record simultaneously!

3. I'm not a professional by any means, but to me the 1080p on the VA looks remarkably clearer than the internal 1080p on the NX1.

I don't mind the questions since I'm trying to figure everything out as well; if you need me to test something, just let me know!

 

The 1080p output of the NX1 is not a clean HDMI out but has the GUI overlayed so it wouldn't make sense to output 1080p and record that. Does the VA downscale 4k or UHD when receiving via HDMI?

The NX1 does not have a 1080p "clean out" option, but you can set the display to clear the overlays (see attached image recorded on VA). The VA won't downscale video to 1080p via HDMI, but I've heard rumor that the NX1 can downscale internally and output as 1080p. I'm going to ask Samsung support if I ever hear from them...

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 6.02.13 PM.png

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1. I can't tell what the NX1 is outputting, I've emailed BMD support and they said the VA cannot affect the frame rate, so it has to be what the camera is outputting. I'm still waiting to hear from Samsung support.

That may be an eternal wait.

2. They can record simultaneously!

3. I'm not a professional by any means, but to me the 1080p on the VA looks remarkably clearer than the internal 1080p on the NX1.

I don't mind the questions since I'm trying to figure everything out as well; if you need me to test something, just let me know!

 

The NX1 does not have a 1080p "clean out" option, but you can set the display to clear the overlays (see attached image recorded on VA). The VA won't downscale video to 1080p via HDMI, but I've heard rumor that the NX1 can downscale internally and output as 1080p. I'm going to ask Samsung support if I ever hear from them...

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 6.02.13 PM.png

Good to know it can record internal and external simultaneously.

Earlier in this thread, Andrew said the NX1 downscales. He made it sound like you set the HDMI output to 1080 and the Movie mode to 4K. Is it as easy as that?

One more question: How accurate is the focus peaking on the VA? On lesser resolution monitors I found that the difference between the monitors and the 4k made the focus peaking on the monitor inaccurate. And just eye-balling it wasn't much better. These were both older 800x600 monitors.

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That may be an eternal wait.

Good to know it can record internal and external simultaneously.

Earlier in this thread, Andrew said the NX1 downscales. He made it sound like you set the HDMI output to 1080 and the Movie mode to 4K. Is it as easy as that?

One more question: How accurate is the focus peaking on the VA? On lesser resolution monitors I found that the difference between the monitors and the 4k made the focus peaking on the monitor inaccurate. And just eye-balling it wasn't much better. These were both older 800x600 monitors.

I'm not too sure how the downscaling works. I tried setting the output to 1080p, then recording to the VA with the NX1 internal setting at 1080p then UHD; I can't really see a difference. (See attached photos)

The focus peaking is sick. To see how well it would show up and test accuracy, I filmed the shots below using the green dot focus peaking.

1.jpg

2.jpg

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The NX1 does not have a 1080p "clean out" option, but you can set the display to clear the overlays (see attached image recorded on VA). The VA won't downscale video to 1080p via HDMI, but I've heard rumor that the NX1 can downscale internally and output as 1080p. I'm going to ask Samsung support if I ever hear from them...

 

A little off topic but I have a few notes on 1080p NX1 capture. I was just experimenting with a 1080p capture card today and its sort of a goofy workaround to getting overlays to turn off completely for a clean 1080p out. Unless I'm missing something... First you have to go to user display menu and turn off date, buttons and icons. Also you have to turn off audio recording to get the mic level to disappear and make sure to press UP on the d-pad while in video mode to turn off histogram/level and put yourself into the half shutter capture mode which the title will disappear after a little. Also if you touch the screen to focus the white square will appear and stay there. So in other words... it sort of sucks haha.

Maybe I missed something though. Raney is there a more simple way to get rid of all the overlays?

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Hi,

Just want advice on the forum. I need a monitor prinicpaly for gimbal shoot with a7sII. Would you go for the video assist or for the 501 small hd. Right now i can buy the videoassist but not the small hd looks great too, especially lut option. But expect the lut option, is there some other essential features which lack in the video assist.

One question : do the a7sII in log mode export the view assist function on a monitor ?

Please let me know your advice.

Thanks

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Even with the firmware upgrade the monitoring functions of the Video Assist are pretty minimal. It's very basic. You'd mainly get it for recording from your camera's video output. Can't say how it would work together with a Sony myself.

Did you consider the Video Devices PIX-E5(H)? To me this is the most interesting monitor/recorder on the market out there. But I would say it's kinda pricey. Though compared to stuff like the SmallHD 502 monitor or Shogun and Odyssey monitor/recorders, in all reality it isn't really.

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Hi,

Ok i know it's not really complete but maybe it's enough to see what i film, i'm just have a doubt concern the lut. Also i have the fs5, so i suppose that the videoassist could get the hd 42:2:2 10 bits in prores ?

Do someone have test the video assist with the fs5 ?

The pixe look cool but i think for the price i will go for the 7q and have the raw option, slowmo... for high end job

 

Thanks

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Here's what I did:

1. Plug the NX1 into the VA and set output to 1080p

2. Hit the d-pad right once to get to video preview

3. Hit the d-pad up four times to clear the overlays from the monitor. 

Give it a shot!

 

Would you mind shooting a white wall next to a window, with the wall being slightly underexposed?

Once internal and once with the blackmagic video assist.

Just to see if the external recorder format makes a difference with banding or macroblocking. I assume it won't but would be interesting to compare in premiere.

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Even with the firmware upgrade the monitoring functions of the Video Assist are pretty minimal. It's very basic. You'd mainly get it for recording from your camera's video output. Can't say how it would work together with a Sony myself.

Did you consider the Video Devices PIX-E5(H)? To me this is the most interesting monitor/recorder on the market out there. But I would say it's kinda pricey. Though compared to stuff like the SmallHD 502 monitor or Shogun and Odyssey monitor/recorders, in all reality it isn't really.

Cinegrain, do you how the pix5e take some rax signal from the fs700/fs5 futur upgrade, it don't find response about that.

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Cinegrain, do you how the pix5e take some rax signal from the fs700/fs5 futur upgrade, it don't find response about that.

Probably takes the signal just fine*, it supports HDMI, 3G-SDI and 6G-SDI, but it peaks only recording ProRes 4444 XQ whereas Atomos and Convergent Design do actually offer to record Cinema DNG in addition to RAW output to ProRes recording. Have a look over here: http://www.videodevices.com/products/portable-video-recorders/pix-e5 and look for 'Best Practices for Camera Integration'. There's some reference material for use with the FS7, of which the set-up is probably quite similar.

- *actually, after a 2nd look, I do notice some articles saying the PIX-E5 cannot handle RAW streams as input e.g. -

the Video Devices PIX-E5 unfortunately cannot handle the 12-bit (RAW) streams coming from the Sony FS700 and Sony FS7 (with the extension unit).

All this might change with future firmware updates.

~ https://www.cinema5d.com/video-devices-pix-e5-review/

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Would you mind shooting a white wall next to a window, with the wall being slightly underexposed?

Once internal and once with the blackmagic video assist.

Just to see if the external recorder format makes a difference with banding or macroblocking. I assume it won't but would be interesting to compare in premiere.

We don't have any white walls at home, but I think you can see what you are asking in the trim. The first is the NX1 shot in UHD transcoded to 422, the second is the VA recorded in 422. If you're looking for the blocks in the shadow areas, I've seen alot less with the VA so far. 

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 6.44.56 AM.png

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 6.45.06 AM.png

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We don't have any white walls at home, but I think you can see what you are asking in the trim. The first is the NX1 shot in UHD transcoded to 422, the second is the VA recorded in 422. If you're looking for the blocks in the shadow areas, I've seen alot less with the VA so far. 

thanks for taking the time to do this, much appreciated. And what a difference in the example you posted! very cool. If you have the time to post some more I would be very interested. I'm seriously considering the VA even strictly for monitoring and the added cleaner 1080p out of the nx1 is quite an interesting plus.

I asked for a white wall next to a window because it would have been easy to spot differences in banding in the light gradient. I would assume there would be none, since the nx1 output is 8bit, but you never know. However your test does seem to demonstrate that the VA internal compression is significantly better than the one of the NX1 regarding macro blocking. It is easy to test as well, anything you record in the shadows with no detail and flat colors should introduce some. 

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Difference in focus makes it hard to draw any conclusions. Artefacts in the shadows (inside house) look much less in lower image but that could be the soft focus?

I recorded simultaneously so it's the same focus, but I was shooting on an old Canon FD lens, so the image does end up kinda soft.

thanks for taking the time to do this, much appreciated. And what a difference in the example you posted! very cool. If you have the time to post some more I would be very interested. I'm seriously considering the VA even strictly for monitoring and the added cleaner 1080p out of the nx1 is quite an interesting plus.

I asked for a white wall next to a window because it would have been easy to spot differences in banding in the light gradient. I would assume there would be none, since the nx1 output is 8bit, but you never know. However your test does seem to demonstrate that the VA internal compression is significantly better than the one of the NX1 regarding macro blocking. It is easy to test as well, anything you record in the shadows with no detail and flat colors should introduce some. 

No problem! I see what you mean with the banding, when I get the chance I'll post more tests here.

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I recorded simultaneously so it's the same focus, but I was shooting on an old Canon FD lens, so the image does end up kinda soft.

So the moire in the net curtains is completely eradicated by the VA (or caused by the UHD transcoding)?

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So the moire in the net curtains is completely eradicated by the VA (or caused by the UHD transcoding)?

The moire in camera on the NX1 is not as bad as it looks there, but there is definitely less in the VA. But hmcindie is right, it's really hard to tell from those pictures since they are cruddy stills. If you want me to test something, let me know, it will help me learn the camera!

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