December 19, 2016 at 8:12AM

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Blackmagic Video Assist vs. Atomos Ninja Blade

I'm planning to get a relative cheap external Monitor but don't know which one to get. The best two I found are the Blackmagic Video Assist and the Atomos Ninja Blade. Which one is better in color accuracy? Which one has the better features? Which one is brighter in the sun (can't find nits from the video assist)? Any suggestions?

FYI: I would use it with my a7r II.

8 Comments

I would be interested too in knowing more about this.

December 19, 2016 at 8:55AM, Edited December 19, 8:55AM

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Ulises Bravo
Filmmaker, DP
366

The BM Video Assist has LUT support since the newest firmware updat which is really good and will be very usefull with your A7r when recording slog. Mine just arrived, havent had the chance to use it a lot. But I like it. Its also very compact. In my opinion the best value monitor outthere feature vise. Also has false color which I think is essential

December 19, 2016 at 9:08AM, Edited December 19, 9:08AM

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Which model do you have? 5" or 7" 4K?

December 19, 2016 at 9:41AM

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I currently use the a7r ii and the blackmagic 7" 4k. There are a few answers to this question. But first, you should be looking at only the BlackMagic 7' or Atomos Flame since you have a a7r ii you are getting 4k @ 4:2:2 8-bit into the unit more then the camera supports internally and "unlimited recored times" if you just want a field recored go get one for $150 on ebay/amazon. But if you want to get more out of the a7r ii, then read on. The blackmagic is great on size and the case protects the screen. I had a shogun and one little bang and I needed to replace the screen $800. Atomos make a great product and they are ahead as features. So why am I using the BlackMagic Video Assist (BMVA) size dual sd cards and dual battery. when I am shooting interview i can run for as long as I have power and ability to dump sd cards. Atomos uses hard drives and single battery that goes fast! I had to get a V-mount and run from that = larger unit, heavy batter, bigger drives SSD's and cable. Also I find the BMVA to have a bit better audio, but I am still in evaluation with it. The big question image = the same! If you asked me this a few weeks ago before the update I was about put my BMVA on ebay... but now I am keeping it and just hope blackmagic makes one update that I really miss on the atomos. 4x zoom and ability to move image around on screen. this is very helpful since the BMVA only zooms 2x and center of screen. Oh and your going to spend the same $ since the BMVA only supports very expense 64g SDXC cards... hopefully they will add a few tweaks to the firmware for larger cards.

December 20, 2016 at 2:07AM

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Victor Nappe
Director & Techie
1

What would yo think would be better for a C100 (original) user?

December 20, 2016 at 9:11AM

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Ulises Bravo
Filmmaker, DP
366

In my experience, the BM Video assist does not work properly with the C100 Mk1. I own the BMVA and tried to use it with the C100 about a month ago, and it would only recognize the 24fps signal from the C100 as 59.96 fps. I recently had the same issue with the the Canon XC15. I tried to adjust every setting I could, but nothing fixed it.
It would still function as a monitor, but not as a recorder.
The BMVA is a very useful monitor, especially now that it has the false colour tool, but if you need an external recorder I don't think it will work for you.

December 23, 2016 at 6:45PM

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Angus McLellan
Film and Video Creator
8

5" Video Assist owner here. If colour accuracy is important to you I would not recommend the Video Assist. The VA has a known green tint issue. Blackmagic recently released a firmware update which claimed to have improved this, but I haven't seen any major improvements in the colour accuracy of my VA. Other than that it's a pretty good monitor/recorder with some great features, but the green tint is really quite annoying.

December 23, 2016 at 1:53AM, Edited December 23, 1:56AM

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I can't speak to the Blade specifically, but I own the BMVA (5"), and it's a great monitor and recorder for my BMCC. It is very well-built and reliable, and it definitely improves my workflow and footage. It's also nice to have a backup recording.
I have worked with other Atomos monitors, and I definitely prefer the BMVA.
It isn't without it's downsides, though. The on-screen image has a slight green colour cast (not recorded, though), which means you're not sure of the colour. It is a battery pig, too. I can easily burn through two batteries in an hour and a half, and have essentially given up on using Canon LP batteries in favor of a tap from a larger battery.
If you're going to pair it with the Sony, you should probably be looking at 7" 4K model, though. I'd also check if the model you are looking at is compatible with the a7r. As I mentioned to another poster in this thread, I have had compatibility issues with some Canon cameras.

December 23, 2016 at 6:52PM

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Angus McLellan
Film and Video Creator
8

Hello, what's about Canon 5DIII? Will it be good with either Ninja or BMVA?

March 1, 2017 at 6:23AM

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Andrew Revell
Video Editor and VFX
4

Hello, what's about Canon 5DIII? Will it be good with either Ninja or BMVA?

Regards Andy

March 1, 2017 at 6:25AM

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Andrew Revell
Video Editor and VFX
4

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