We dropped in on indie/pro video camera and grading software maker, Blackmagic Design and were impressed by their Video Assist monitor/recorders.

Alongside demos of various cameras (which now range from Micro Four Thirds mount drone-ready cameras up to the PL-mount, 4.6K Super 35 URSA) and the latest version of its DaVinci Resolve grading software, Blackmagic Design has a display of its Video Assist models.

The Video Assist and Video Assist 4K are external monitors (HD and 4K respectively) that can be mounted on DSLR and mirrorless cameras to boost their video features and make them easier to work with.

The touchscreen panels are connected via HDMI or SDI connectors (with the option to then output the signal over either connection) and add zebra warnings and focus peaking, regardless of whether that feature is offered by the host camera. With the recently-announced firmware, they also add false color overlays for an alternative means of judging expose.

The units also act as external recorders, meaning you can capture your camera's HDMI output to SD cards (UHS-II in the case of the 4K model) in more sophisticated codecs than most cameras can, including Apple ProRes 422 HQ or LT, or Avid DNxHD and DNxHR.

At a cost of €549/$495 and €979/$895 respectively, we think they make an interesting option for the videographer looking to expand beyond their camera's immediate limitations. We're hoping to get hold of a sample to see the results, as soon as we can.