Blackmagic Video Assist is the best monitor/recorder of NAB Week 2020

Editor's Choice Award

Update: The Blackmagic Video Assist 12G 7″ is a recipient of our Editors’ Choice award, which recognizes exceptional video production equipment, software and services. Click here to see a complete list of current Editors’ Choice award winners in the audio and video recorders category.

Congratulations to Blackmagic Design! The Video Assist 12G is Videomaker’s best monitor/recorder pick for NAB Week 2020.

The monitors will have a brighter 2,500 nit screen than other Video Assist models. Both 7” and 5” models feature touchscreens and Blackmagic’s BMD OS. Additionally, the new monitor/recorders will add a few new things to the Video Assist line to improve the line for the better. It comes in two sizes, 7” and 5”, and could be brighter than previous Video Assist models. This is why it’s our pick for the best monitor/recorder of NAB Week 2020.

Brighter screen

As we said above, the Video Assist 12G screen will sport 2,500 nits of brightness. At the same time, it will use the P3 wide color gamut. This goes without saying that the new models will be easier to see. In the field, the 12G monitor-recorder will be easier to see in daylight. It will also be better for HDR monitoring with its P3 wide color gamut.

Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G
Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G

Added features

The Video Assist 12G has waveform, RGB parade, vectorscope, and histogram tools. These will be great for mirrorless cameras that don’t have these integrated. Additionally, the monitor/recorder uses a picture-in-picture feature that allows you to preview your shot.

Also, LUTs are supported. They can be applied either temporarily for monitoring or they can be burned into files.

Recording formats

The monitors can record single or dual hot-swappable SD card slots in a variety of 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes or DNx formats. The 5” records to a single SD card slot and the 7” records dual hot-swappable SD card slots. The framerates run up to 2160p60. It’s also possible to record directly to a USB flash drive like the Samsung T5 over a USB-C connector. With a USB splitter, it’s possible to lay off two recordings simultaneously through the USB port

Blackmagic’s BRAW codec is also supported when recording from the Panasonic EVA1 and Canon C300 MkII cameras.

Assist 12G side
The Assist 12G can record to a single or dual hot-swappable SD card slots depending on the modle

Battery power

The Video Assist 12G uses Sony’s L-type batteries. This should extend the battery life over past models. There are two hot-swappable slots. The monitor will drain the least-charged battery first.


Every monitor has three 1/4”-20 sockets on top and bottom for mounting.

Pricing and availability

The Video Assist 12G will be out in October. The 7” and 5” models will sell for $955 and $795.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's Managing Editor.

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