Blackmagic Design Announces Major New Video Assist 2.2 Update

Blackmagic Design Announces Major New Video Assist 2.2 Update

Major new update adds improved DNxHD and DNxHR support, as well as new monitoring options!

Blackmagic Design today announced Video Assist 2.2, a major new update for Blackmagic Video Assist 4K customers that dramatically improves DNxHD and DNxHR support, adds false color monitoring, expanded focus options and new screen rotation features. The Video Assist 2.2 update will be available for download from the Blackmagic Design website next week, free of charge for all Blackmagic Video Assist 4K customers.

The new Video Assist 2.2 update lets customers save DNxHD and DNxHR files in MXF containers which improves compatibility with Avid systems running on Windows and removes dependencies on the .mov file format. In addition, customers can now choose between DNxHD 220, 145 and 45 bit rates, or between DNxHR HQ, SQ and LB formats when recording.

The Video Assist 2.2 update also adds false color monitoring exposure tools to the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K. False color exposure tools make it easier to properly set exposure in different parts of the image by highlighting specific color ranges of luminance with a solid color overlay. For example, green indicates neutral grey, while pink tones are good references for skin, which is typically one stop over neutral grey. Using false color helps camera operators keep exposure consistent from shot to shot.

In addition, Video Assist 2.2 update also expands the options for focus assist so customers can now choose whether they want to see red, green, blue, black, white or traditional focus peaking indicators. This makes it easier for customers to accurately adjust focus in a wider range of scenes and under a variety of different lighting conditions. Customers will now also have the ability to manually control the screen orientation and turn off the auto rotate feature which makes it easier for customers to use Blackmagic Video Assist 4K with handheld gimbals and other equipment designed to move the camera and rig simultaneously.

“Customers love the new Blackmagic Video Assist 4K and it has become an indispensable part of every filmmakers toolkit,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “This new update is exciting because it gives customers more recording and file compatibility options than ever before, along with some incredible new monitoring tools that will help filmmakers properly expose their shots and focus them more quickly than ever before so they can shoot with confidence!”

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Video Assist 2.2 update will be available soon as a free download from the Blackmagic Design website.

Click here to visit the Blackmagic Support Center

About Blackmagic Video Assist 4K

Introduced at NAB this year, the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K is a portable all in one monitor and video recorder that can be used to add professional recording and monitoring to any SDI or HDMI camera. It features a bright, high resolution 7 inch screen for checking focus and framing, two high speed UHS-II recorders that work with the latest high performance SD cards for non-stop HD and Ultra HD recording, two extremely high quality XLR microphone inputs for professional audio recording, a built in speaker and more.

Blackmagic Video Assist 4K 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 4K solves this problem because it works with every type of camera from DSLRs to older tape based camcorders, and even the latest digital film cameras.

Orange Is The New Black – Season 4 Shot On VariCam

Season 4 of Netflix’s top rating series ‘Orange is the New Black’ is airing in Australia on Netflix and Foxtel. Season 4 was shot using Varicam cameras in beautiful 4K imagery, supplied by Panavision.

The series is also close to many Australian’s hearts because one of its stars is fellow Australian actress and DJ Ruby Rose, who plays the role of Stella Carlin. Stella has quite a fan base in Australia and there is one giant question around whether Stella will return for Season 4.

Netflix and chill

A photo posted by Ruby Rose (@rubyrose) on

American Cinematographer recently published a great article  – Behind the Bars – with Cinematographer Ludovic Littee. This article emphasizes the planning, communication and efficiency of the crew while filming.

Read ‘Behind the Bars’ by Patricia Thompson for American Cinematographer

To see the latest goings on at Litchfield Penitentiary check out the trailer:

Panasonic Announces Compact 4K Super 35 Varicam LT Cinema Camcorder

Panasonic today unveiled the VariCam LT, representing the next generation of 4K cinema cameras. The VariCam LT camcorder  inherits the same super 35mm sensor and superb imaging capabilities that distinguish the award-winning VariCam 35, but with significant reductions in size, weight and price. Continue reading “Panasonic Announces Compact 4K Super 35 Varicam LT Cinema Camcorder”

SHAPE – Supporting Black Magic Cinema Cameras!

After completing my first blog about the Blackmagic Cinema Camera used on the “Deep Seeded” shoot, I went in search of a solution so  I did not have to combine parts from multiple manufacturers to rig out the BMCC.

I came across a few brands that looked good but were mainly cage only options and very expensive. I wanted something that had the ability to go shoulder mounted quickly and had a few different options like offset or straight.

My next criteria was that the complete setup needed to be light weight and made from quality parts. Was I asking too much considering every quality product I have tried weighed a tonne?

The next requirement was a top handle that was easily moved from front to back depending on the configuration to balance out the rig.

A brand was mentioned on a Phillip Bloom Video and the word “lightweight” caught my attention. Shape was the company, so I went to their website and saw they had a lifetime warranty. The gear is made in Quebec Canada.

Below is a YouTube video of the product.

John Barry Sales now has stock and product on display in the Melbourne showroom of this magnificent product. Come in and check it out!

Joshua Papp


Film Lighting Masterclass by Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis from John Barry Sales gave a great Masterclass in Film Lighting fundamentals, the audience comprised of eager camera students from JMC Academy.

They were treated to a great lesson in film lighting equipment, the uses of specific gels and diffusers and how that effects the contrast and level of light on the subject. Richard demonstrated on Film Gear lighting equipment  and displayed a vast range of lights from the little 300w’ers to the 2k fresnel.

Richard explained the benefits of distancing the diffuser from the light source and how that interacts with the shadows and contrast of the subject, he also explained the importance of handling professional lighting equipment and grip basics.

With over 25 years of experience, Richard Curtis has a wealth of knowledge and experience, not just in lighting but in the film television industry and the transformation of Australia’s motion picture landscape, from celluloid to digital. He is the right man to talk to about anything lighting and he’s especially excited about John Barry Sales’ range of FilmGear lighting products. For any FilmGear, Kino Flo or any other lighting enquiries, please contact Richard Curtis from John Barry Sales.



Awesome Panasonic Cameras!

John Barry are offering some great deals on the Panasonic range of AVCAM Cameras. The range of Panasonic cameras start with the very affordable AG-AC90EN AVCCAM Camera.

 The AC90 debuts a premium professional AVCCAM HD recording mode, the PS mode (28 Mbps, 60p only), and also records video in the PH mode (average 21 Mbps/Max 24Mbps), the HA mode (approx.17 Mbps), and the extended recording HE mode (approx. 6 Mbps) as well as SD (at 9 Mbps.) Shooters will find invaluable its wide 29.8mm to 357.6 mm (35mm equivalent)12X optical zoom lens with three independent adjustable rings for zoom, focus and iris for a wide viewing angle, the AC90 can record in 1920×1080/50p,50i or 25p for premium versatility in a production environment. We have slashed more than a hundred dollars off the AG-AC90!

To purchase the Panasonic AG-AC90 click here.

 This latest AVCCAM camcorder AG-AC130 & AG-AC160 are among the first to enjoy the benefits of advanced SDXC media card compatibility in addition to existing SDHC card support. The AG-AC130 & AG-AC160, which incorporate a high-sensitivity 1/3 type, full-HD 2.2 megapixel 3MOS imagers to capture native 1920 x 1080 resolution images, with a new, wider 22x HD zoom lens. SDXC is the newest SD memory card specification that supports memory capacities above 32GB and up to 2TB.

Newly added to the Panasonic AVCCAM lineup, the AG-AC160 and AG-AC130 Memory Card Camera Recorders offer a host of advanced functions. The lens, camera section and recorder section of these models have been significantly revamped by incorporating cutting-edge technologies. The AG-AC130 can record in 1080/50i/25p and 720/50p or 25p while the bigger brother AG-AC160 can switch between PAL and NTSC formats allowing it to also record in 1080/59.94i/29.97p/23.98pN or 720/59.94p/29.97p or 23.98pN the AG-AC160, also include the professional industry HD/SDI signal and variable frame recording.

To purchase the Panasonic AG-AC130 click here.

To purchase the Panasonic AG-AC160 click here.

When you purchase these great Panasonic AVCCAM Products at John Barry Sales you are eligible to get three years worth of warranty from Panasonic, now that’s piece of mind!

“Deep Seeded” shoot using the Black Magic Cinema Camera


“Deep Seeded” shoot using the Black Magic Cinema Camera

I recently had the pleasure of shooting with a talented crew for a short film called “Deep Seeded” staring  Rain Fuller and Tim Ross and directed by Nick Bufallo.

For the shoot we got our hands on the Red MX, a full set of Zeiss primes and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.  Aaron Farrugia  (DOP) and Kitty May shot  A camera using the Red MX and Sarah Turner and myself shot on the Blackmagic Cinema camera.

Over the last month of using the BMCC I have tried many configurations that would overcome some of the cameras limitations. I came up with my own configuration using multiple manufacturers’ accessories for handheld and tripod for this particular shoot.

Due to the form factor of the camera – similar to a HDSLR – it has no room for built in ND’s so the options are a Matte Box or an ND fader.  

The Matte Box is from Wondlan and has 4×4 and 4x 5.65 filter trays which can have two in at one time and are rotatable. This was very handy as at times we had extreme light fluctuations so we stacked ND 1.6 and 1.3 Schneider filters together. The ND fader we used was an INCA pro and covers 2-8 stops. We found this great for the run and gun shots.

For the hand held rig I used a pair of carbon fibre 15mm rails 45cm long with Manfrotto Sympla handles and shoulder pad. This fit perfectly in the Petrol carry bag PDRB-3 and packed down quickly without having to pull everything apart. Even though I had this handheld rig I still found it easy enough to remove from the rig to shoot without it when necessary.

A limitation to the BMCC that potential customers brought up on forums was the lack of a  removable battery which limited  running time to 1.5 hours.  Personally I have always used a V Lock system on my Canon 5d MK 111 and used the same one on the BMCC and found this a good way to get over this hurdle. The Wondlan battery base plate and rail mount is a great power solution with two 12v ports… one to power the camera via D-Tap and the other to power the SDI to HDMI converter. It also has a 5v to power a 5 inch monitor like the Marshall and 7.2v if you want to use a Canon DSLR instead of the BMCC. Off a standard size V-Lock and the camera running most of the time I got around 4+ hrs powering camera, SDI-HDMI converter and monitor. For run and gun shots without the rig I knew I had at least one hour of shooting before I needed to return it to the rig.

The BMCC has HD-SDI out and this is a professional standard for broadcast monitors.  So to use a HDMI monitor like the 5 inch Marshall, I used the Black Magic SDI to HDMI battery converter. It also has a SDI split to go out to a director’s monitor.

The Marshall 5 inch monitor was a god send in the bright conditions as the touch screen on the BMCC is very reflective and is hard to see. I also put a Hoodman  7” hood over the BMCC hood to further reduce the glare. The 5 inch Marshall was used by the 1st AC for pulling focus and has focus assist and peaking. Under normal conditions the BMCC monitor is perfectly fine.

After getting over the BMCC limitations and finding the right kit for the camera I found it enjoyable and very easy to use. The final 2.5k raw files looked amazing and once graded will be incredibly pleasing.  Having 13 stops of dynamic range, 2.5 K raw, 1080 Pro Res (HQ) and Da Vinci Resolve (full version) shipping free with the camera (RRP $1085) is amazing. I would recommend this camera to anyone wanting to shoot high quality film but to be aware that you need more than just the camera to get underway. Also look out for a new range of BMCC specific rigs coming soon to John Barry.

Joshua Papp

Great Online Deal for the RØDE NTG2 Mic!

John Barry Sales are running a red hot WEB SALE ONLY deal on the popular RØDE NTG2 Shotgun Microphone. The RØDE NTG2 has a RRP of $500.00, the John Barry Web Only Price is $299.99 saving over $200! To purchase the RØDE NTG2, click here.

You can read more about the RØDE NTG-2 below.
The RØDE NTG2 is a lightweight condenser shotgun microphone, designed for professional applications within the film, video, television and production industries.

Its full frequency response, low noise and audio transparency make it an ideal film, video, and voice over microphone, while its low weight (161gm/5.7oz without battery) makes it an ideal boom microphone.

In addition to the NTG2 native 20Hz-20kHz response a selectable high-pass filter at 80Hz is available, which will prevent low end noise such as air conditioners and traffic from being recorded.

The NTG2 operates either from a AA (1.5V) battery or P48 phantom power which can be supplied by professional cameras, audio recorders and power supplies.

The WSVM windshield is supplied to minimise light wind noise and plosives during recording. The optional ‘DeadCat’ furry is recommended for outdoor applications.

The RØDE NTG2 shotgun microphone is covered by RØDE Microphones’ industry leading 10 year warranty.

The Professional's Radio Mic kit – Lectrosonics Radio Mic Kit Block 26

John Barry Sales are excited to announce a ‘Online Special’ special Lectrosonics/Sanken Wireless package.
This awesome piece of pro audio gear is headlined by the UM400AAU Transmitter and the UCR411A Receiver combo and includes the Sanken COS11D Lapel Mic. The package has a special price of $3060.00 Inc GST which offers a massive saving. It also includes a CC MINI carry case, plastic rain cover for the receiver and XLR receiver cable.

For more information about the LECTROSONICS RADIO MIC BLOCK 26 KIT, click here.

Sennheiser MKH 416-A Workhorse Mic

The ever popular Sennheiser MKH 416P is a compact pressure-gradient shotgun microphone with short interference tube, highly immune to humidity due to its RF condensor design. It’s got very good feedback rejection, low proximity effect, 130 dB/SPL. Very sturdy and rugged, ideal for boom, fishpole and camera production audio needs.
Some of its headlining features are:

  • Pressure gradient receiver with short interference tube
  • Hypercardioid at low and medium frequency above 2kHz approaches lobar pattern
  • RF-Technology to control residual micrphone noise resulting in a further improvement in low noise performance.
  • Very low inherent self-noise
  • High sensitivity
  • Transformerless and fully floating balanced output
  • Matt black all-metal body

To order the Sennheiser MKH 416, click here or contact one of our friendly John Barry staff.