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Best Recording Monitor under $1000: Atomos reacts to the BM Video Assist?


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Ninja 2

Cost: USD$395 (reduced from $695)

Input: HDMI

Display: 4.3” 800x480

Records: 1080p30 10-bit 4:2:2

Full list of technical specifications.



Video Assist

Cost: USD$495

Input: HDMI and SDI

Display: 5.0” 1920x1080

Records: 1080p60 10-bit 4:2:2

Full list of technical specifications.



Samurai/Ninja Blade

Cost: USD$795 (reduced from $995)

Input: HDMI or SDI (not both)

Display: 5.0” 1280x720

Records: 1080p30 10-bit 4:2:2

Samurai technical specifications.

Ninja technical specifications.


Price Drop Source: News Shooter

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

So on paper BlackMagic beats Atomos hands down. Has anyone seen the Video Assist in real life? The specifications says it has a viewing angle of 135 degrees, which would suggest it uses a TN panel. That would be a mayor disadvantage for monitoring if true.

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Yeah, I was unable to determine screen technologies. If anyone has a link to that, please share.


I also added storage media. Forgot about it and it makes a huge difference. I actually would've preferred a SSD/HDD slot but I imagine most of you like the memory cards.


Edit: Also added battery mount types.

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Yea I think Atomos has a bit of a target on their back in this space. The Video Assist looks to really spank everything from Atomos up to the Shogun. And in the Shogun space the new Video Devices recorders and the new Oddyssey are arguably better choices.

The screen is probably an off-the-shelf smartphone panel, so I would think IPS. Do they make TN phones at this res?

If we get 1080p60/10-bit/4:2:2 to SD cards and a 1080p screen for $500, what would a big brother to this look like (hopefully only bigger in capabilities, not size)? 4K at 60p to cFast or SSD at... $1200? $1500?

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In a video at nofilmshool the Atomos guy said, it automaticly downscales 4k to 1080p!

Does this mean you can use the 4k of the a7s ? just looking for the 4k detail, not the crop.

the blackmagic one does that too, downscales 4k

​Sorry i meant blackmagic not atomos

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The Blackmagic video assist wins hands down for its 50/60p capability.  I shoot 50p often and the atomos recorders just can't handle it.  

I'm really hoping the BM uses an IPS.  I can't go back to TN. 


​Blackmagic say it's the same screen as the one on the ursa mini.  Surely they would use a decent screen on that camera?

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​That's genuinely impressive. Let's see how it performs in the real-world but looks good. How DO Blackmagic do the prices they do!?

Until now they have done it by releasing products that were not finished and with tons of bugs.  Let's hope this changes.

There is no mention in the specs of the video assist having any monitoring features such as peaking,  histogram,  scopes etc and for the price it wouldn't surprise me if it doesn't but on their website there is a mock up of the video assist connected to a Canon Dslr and on screen histogram,  audio levels and other info being overlaid.  So,  anyone know if the Video assist has a histogram or peaking functions? 

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Let's do some math.

Black Magic video assist.

5" 1080p TN screen - 20-50 $
electronics (icludes arm cpu) -40-60$
connectors + case 10-20 $
licences 10-30$
manufacturing / assembly - 10$

top cost 170$
low cost ~100$

(does not take into account the financial cost of coding the software for the device)

 I'm probably not off by much. How can they do it?.. it's all there. I bet the margins on Atomos products are even higher.

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Black magic makes a ton of money on their high-end products, the ones they have been producing since before they started making cameras. They can likely afford to have lower profit margins on the more consumer/prosumer level products. Companies like Atomos don't have that high-end line to rely on so they need to raise the margins to stay profitable. That's my guess at least.

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