Blackmagic Design’s Video Assist is part monitor, part recorder and, better yet, is compatible with pretty much everything—from tape-based camcorders to the latest digital video and DSLR cameras.
In addition to the 5-inch, high resolution 1920 x 1080 touchscreen monitor—with a wide, 135-degree viewing angle so multiple people can have a clear view simultaneously—the Video Assist is equipped with a built-in SD recorder and is powered by rechargeable, hot swappable batteries. Video, audio and power connections are available (it comes with a 12V universal power supply, too), so you can shoot and monitor audio with its 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. There’s even a 6G-SDI connection to monitor Ultra HD capture as well.
Video is recorded directly to high speed SD cards in multiple formats, including several Apple ProRes codes such as 422 HQ and DNxHD. Recording can be triggered with the camera’s start/stop button for added convenience.
The monitor can be mounted on top of a camera or set up off-camera with its built-in kick stand. At $495, it’s a convenient and affordable device that, as the name implies, provides a helping hand at any video shoot.