The job of a film editor can be creative and satisfying, but it can also long and tedious. This is why any editor worth their salt is going to try to speed up their workflow to make their time in the chair more efficient.
One way of doing this is knowing the keyboard shortcuts of your NLE of choice, which is why a lot of editors use dedicated keyboards that have color-coded hotkeys to help them navigate.
We recently got the chance to spend some time editing with the DaVinci Resolve 16 Editor Keyboard and this is what we discovered.
- It’s large and sleek, and feels natural to start using immediately, not much of a learning curve
- It drastically speeds up your workflow in the Edit and Cut pages of Davinci Resolve 16
- The keyboard can help you learn Davinci Resolve native keyboard shortcuts, and puts your most frequently used shortcuts at your fingertips with the tap of one key
- It was developed in tandem with the Cut page to optimize fast editing where you utilize both hands that never leave the keyboard
- It’s incredibly durable and well designed – the metal casing is sturdy and the soft hand rest makes editing for hours easier on your hands and wrists
- It’s large – it takes up a lot of real estate on your desk
- It only works for Davinci Resolve, in other NLE’s it functions like a normal keyboard, making the cut page section and the search dial knob non-functional
- If you use your own keyboard settings in Davinci Resolve, the shortcuts iconized on the keycaps won’t be valid
Our first note on both the pros and cons list for the keyboard is its size. Depending on your setup, the size could be a negative or positive attribute. However, the keyboard is the size that is it for a reason – in fact, it’s clear that every design element of this keyboard was thoughtfully and intentionally planned to create the most comfortable and fluid experience for editors. However, not all of us have enough desk space to accommodate it, with the box measuring at 25.4" x 12" x 4.6".
The keyboard is designed to work on both the Edit and the Cut page – and yes, if you missed the last NAB’s update, DaVinci Resolve 16 now has two editing interfaces. The Cut page, created for super-fast turnarounds or content creators on-the-go, works seamlessly with the Editing Keyboard.
The shuttle knob, or as Blackmagic is calling it, the Search Dial Control, is perhaps the most enticing part of the keyboard. It has three different navigation settings, shuttle, jog, and scroll, which allow you to speed forwards or backward in a clip or timeline without touching a mouse or tablet. You can also efficiently switch between source and timeline with a single key, which might be interesting to Avid editors. DaVinci Resolve 16 allows you to toggle between source your source clip and your sequence in the timeline viewer.
The fast In and Out point keys aren’t particularly interesting to us, since using I and O will always be second nature as it is a native command in every NLE.
However, having fast edit functions in the upper left corner of the keyboard saves you from having to map those commands to keycaps, which clears up keyboard real estate for other tools. Though, it should be noted that the Resolve keyboard is labeled to match Resolve’s native settings. If you change the settings, the keycap legends will no longer be relevant.
In terms of actually using the keyboard, it’s incredibly comfortable and intelligently designed, as is all Blackmagic products. The metal design feels sturdy, and the rubber hand rest actually relieves wrist pain. It was incredibly easy to start using fluidly.
The major sell with this keyboard is time-saving. If you are a serious picture editor using DaVinci Resolve (which we think every editor should at least try – it’s free!), the Editor Keyboard will greatly speed up your workflow. If DaVinci Resolve is not the NLE you use most frequently, it may not be worth the price point for you, though if the keyboard can save you an hour of work or more a day, it’s only a matter of time before it pays for itself.
- Connection Type: Wired
- System Connection: USB Type-C
- Requires DaVinci Resolve 16
- No setup required
Price and Availability
The DaVinci Resolve 16 Editor Keyboard retails for $995 and is available now.
To learn more, head on over to Blackmagic Design.
Source: Blackmagic Design