This morning Blackmagic announced an update to their Video Assist monitor, Video Assist 1.1, which is now available and includes focus peaking and a zebra exposure control tool as well as two other updates.

The new update adds:
  • Adds Focus Peaking indication
  • Adds Zebra indication for setting iris
  • Adds central Zoom to aid focus
  • Adds timecode over HDMI
  • Improved battery information
  • Performance and stability updates
Minimum system requirements for Mac OS X
  • Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later
  • Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or later
  • USB 2.0 port for software updates
Minimum system requirements for Windows
  • Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit
  • Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit
  • USB 2.0 port for software updates

Though at this time the Video Assist is unable to record 4K, it does record 10-bit 4:2:2, which is an ideal bit depth and file format. Files are recorded to SD cards and saved as standard ProRes HQ or DNxHD. Recording is automatically triggered on your Blackmagic Video Assist using your video camera’s start/stop button.

Focus peaking is huge, and I’m happy to see it added. I honestly can’t go back to the days I was shooting without it (and constantly missing focus).

You can download the update, and get instructions on installation, from Blackmagic’s website.