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.

Panasonic Releases 2 New 4K Professional Camcorders

Two new Panasonic models are currently scheduled for release in the Spring of 2016: the UX Premium Model AG-UX180, with a 1-inch (effective size) MOS sensor, optical 20x zoom and UHD 60p recording capability; and the UX Standard Model AG-UX90, featuring a 1-inch (effective size) MOS sensor, optical 15x zoom and UHD 30p recording.

“With an increasing demand for 4K video content, Panasonic is introducing the UX series to make 4K acquisition even more accessible to video professionals,” said Steven Cooperman, Senior Product Manager, Panasonic System Communication Company. “UX camcorders will provide high-mobility shooting and workflow equivalent to our existing professional integrated-lens handhelds.”

ag-ux180_ux90

The UX series will support recording up to 4K (4096×2160, 24p only) and UHD (3840×2160). (The AVCCAM series allowed recording up to FHD/1920×1080.) UX camcorders will use the SD Memory Card1 as recording media. The UX Premium Model AG-UX180 supports, in addition to 4K and UHD, dual codec recording (UHD *2/FHD), IR recording in low light, and 3G SDI/HDMI2.0 output. The UX camcorders’ 1-inch (effective size) MOS sensor ensures sensitivity equivalent to that of conventional handheld cameras. Variable frame rate (VFR) recording functionality (2-60 fps) is planned in FHD mode.

The availability of these new UX models later this year will bring the company’s line-up of professional 4K cameras to five, including the flagship VariCam 35 and VariCam LT cinema cameras for HDR production in 4K resolution, and the AG-DVX200 4K, 4/3″ large-sensor camcorder.

new-panasonic-4k-camcorders

Australian pricing for both models has yet to be announced, availability is expected late October.

Download the PDF for full specification & product details here.

*1: Video-shooting at 100Mbps or higher requires an SD Card compatible with UHS Speed Class 3 (U3).
*2: Excludes UHD 60p, 4K

 

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”