QUICK REVIEW : Blackmagic Design Micro Studio 4K and Video Assist 4K

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Hey gentle readers!  I recently hosted a set of pro video seminars on behalf of the Henry's camera store in Barrie Ontario.  Blackmagic Design loaned me some gear to help with the demos in the seminars.  Other companies including Canon, Sigma and Fujifilm also supported the event and this support helped make it a great success.  

i am a Blackmagic Design customer.  I own switchers, recorders, the Web Presenter and have moved my editing platform to DaVinci Resolve so I have a reasonable level of experience with the company's offerings.

Building Your Own 4K Studio

Following some conversations after the seminar, I thought I would put together a short video on how by starting out with a Micro Studio Camera 4K, a Video Assist 4K, a simple micro four thirds lens, some basic LED panels, a microphone and a tripod that anyone could get a good foundation in place for a simple 4K capable studio for either recorded content and if needed web broadcast.

The video focuses in on (pun intended) the camera and the video assist.  My lighting for the shot were my existing studio panels, the microphone was a Sennheiser wireless and the tripod was an old Manfrotto refitted with their 701 video head.  Nothing particularly sophisticated.  I borrowed an Olympus kit 14-42 zoom and used it.  Nice thing about using an AF capable lens is that the Micro Studio Camera 4K leverages its autofocus.  I used adapter cables to input the microphone to the Video Assist 4K and mini SDI to SDI cables to connect the camera to the Video Assist 4K which was attached to the top of the camera with one of those small angle arms.

I only had the one camera, so did not use my switcher, but the cost of the camera is so affordable that I would like to get three of them and then using the switcher have an inexpensive 3 cam 4K studio.  

The video was recorded to the Video Assist 4K in the UHD format (3840x2160) at 30fps using the ProRes codec.  I did have to get a faster card than I had in stock to take advantage of the 300Mb/s bandwidth push from the camera.  I opened it in DaVinci Resolve, added titles, a price card and a credits roll.  I used the Resolve Colour engine for minor tweaks and the Fairlight audio engine in Resolve to convert the audio to a panned mono track and apply some basic compression and dynamics processing.  Total edit time was under 25 minutes.


The video pretty much says it all.  This is terrific kit and while you may need the adapter for XLR mics for the Video Assist 4K and at least a single mini SDI to SDI for the connection, although I could have gone HDMI just as easily, the setup is easy and it's pretty darn foolproof.  The quality is excellent and a big step up from DSLR, mirrorless or handheld camcorder quality.

Have an idea for an article or tutorial?  Do you have a question photo or video unrelated to this article?  Send me an email directly at ross@thephotovideoguy.ca or post in the comments.

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I'm Ross Chevalier, thanks for reading, and until next time, peace.

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