As anticipated, Blackmagic Design has just released a firmware update (v1.2) for their very affordable Video Assist monitor that adds a couple of welcome, albeit, overdue features.
This isn't exactly the "WOW!" kind of firmware update that Video Assist owners were looking for, but the closer the devices gets to actually being able to do what it says it can do on the box, the better.
The update includes a couple features, as well as bug fixes. For example, before this 1.2 firmware, the monitor couldn't even retain the date entered by the user, and would revert back to the default date, as if it was reset. Really?
Sure, I can absolutely understand that this is an incredible value for the price ($495), and the fact that the monitor doesn't have false color, LUTs, etc (yet?) is fairly reasonable, but to not be able to effectively input the correct date? It just seems a bit absurd that it even shipped to customers like that, and then took months to get a firmware update out to "fix" it.
But I digress...the new features include:
- Adds DNxHD codec
- Adds extended Zebra range
- Adds SD card record time remaining on status overlays
- Adds clip playback information panel
- Adds HDMI record trigger
While this isn't the most exciting update, its certainly welcome. I'm fairly confident this monitor will end up with features added in with future firmware updates that were never even promised, just as Blackmagic has done before with other products - but how long it takes to get to that point is anyones guess. Hopefully Blackmagic Design can ramp up the speed with which they release firmware, to both add more features and squash more bugs, and can shake the stigma of slow response and poor communication with customers. If they can achieve that, this monitor is well on its way to being the best monitor value on the market, if it's not already.
This new 1.2 firmware update is available from Blackmagic Design on their product support page.
Update: This update also covertly added support for the Lexar 1000 SDXC cards, that are great speed/value for the money, but for whatever reason, didn't work in the BMPCC or Video Assist.