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Blackmagic Video Assist Review


Andrew Reid
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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://***URL not allowed***/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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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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If you want me to test something, let me know, it will help me learn the camera!

if you could upload any short clips (5sec is enough) of a high contrast scene with shadow areas and some light fall off on wall, internal + BMVA so we could check the difference in macroblocking and banding in premiere would be awesome.

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Here's a test clip: NX1 UHD converted to 422 vs the VA recording in 422 (not converted). The video here is 1080p h.264, so it might be kinda hard to tell the difference, but it looks like the NX1 had less banding. If you can't tell what you needed from the clip, I can upload full-sized stills from each device.

LIghting test.mov

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Here's a test clip: NX1 UHD converted to 422 vs the VA recording in 422 (not converted). The video here is 1080p h.264, so it might be kinda hard to tell the difference, but it looks like the NX1 had less banding. If you can't tell what you needed from the clip, I can upload full-sized stills from each device.

LIghting test.mov

thanks for taking the time to do this and upload. could you have possibly mislabeled the video sections?

because the bottom one looks cleaner in the shadows to me and is labeled nx1 

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