Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro review

The Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro adds a great set of high-end features to an already brilliant bit of live streaming kit

5 Star Rating
Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro review
(Image: © Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

We loved the Blackmagic ATEM Mini - and the new ATEM Mini Pro is just as likable. The additional features are not needed by many vloggers, so this more expensive model is probably an unnecessary added expense. However, the addition of a hardware streaming engine that cuts out the need for streaming software – and the ability to archive your production as you broadcast it – more than justify the extra cost (if you are going to use them). For those using more than two cameras for serious production work, then the improved display options turn this version into a properly professional bit of kit.

Pros

  • +

    Great design

  • +

    Easy-to-use plug-and-play operation

  • +

    Direct Stream via ethernet

  • +

    Save direct to hard-disk via USB-C out.

  • +

    Multi window monitor display.

Cons

  • -

    Still no 4K (does it really matter though)

  • -

    No XLR audio inputs

  • -

    Double the cost of the ATEM Mini

  • -

    It gets pretty hot

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The Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro, like it’s predecessor (the ATEM Mini (opens in new tab))  is a multi-channel video switcher (opens in new tab) (or mixer). It’s aimed at videomakers, vloggers and online reviewers across many levels of live video creation. Whether you’re doing a simple computer game or makeup tutorial, right through to productions working on multi-camera shoots, or music venues projecting a live feed to the audience - this little unit covers it all. 

Pro features

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
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The ATEM Mini Pro builds on the feature set of the incredibly-popular Mini Pro - which was launched last year. The new advanced model is a step-up option for those wanting even more professional features.

The main additions to this beautiful, and simply designed panel are the ability to now stream directly to Facebook Live, You Tube, Zoom amongst many others. Also added is the ability to record directly to a hard-disk. 

Finally you can now view all your cameras in four separate and easy to view windows alongside the main output all on a single monitor, so you’ll never accidentally cut to a camera before you’re ready.

Handling

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
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The Blackmagic ATEM Mini Pro for the majority of users is the ultimate way to pimp up your webcam for sending out content to your audience. Streaming direct to all social media platforms works! With up to 4 HDMI inputs you can set up multiple camera angles such as wide shots and close-ups along with independent shots of a product you are reviewing or even a direct feed from a computer game you are currently testing. Businesses may also want to use the ATEM for more dynamic presentations or incorporate video clips.

Everything is extremely easy to set-up and use. Spending a bit of time within Blackmagic’s Software Control system will allow you to customize many of the controls. This is the key to true speed and efficiency, and that appears to be what the ATEM system is all about. 

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)
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It took me about 30 minutes from opening the box to seeing my live cameras on my monitor, including setting up 2 cameras, tripods and mics. Not bad considering in the past I’ve had to spend more than a couple of hours doing this exact set-up in the past with broadcast HDV cameras and BNC cables passing through multiple systems to get the exact same end result.

More than one person in your live stream? - No problem. The ATEM Mini Pro also allows the use of audio switching via the 4 HDMI inputs and another 2 X 3.5mm mini jack inputs. You can choose to switch the audio along with picture, or stick with 1 dedicated mic source for the duration of your broadcast. You could easily have 4 people each with a separate microphone and the audio would pass through clearly and seamlessly into your final output.

Verdict

Although many people will have no need for them and stick with hard cuts, creative transitions are still an option in the ATEM Mini Pro with a variety of directional wipes, fades or dissolves.

All in all I can’t think of many reasons not to buy this if my main focus was on creating fast, efficient, high quality multi-camera productions on almost any level. However, do think carefully whether the original, cheaper ATEM Mini is capable of meeting your needs – as that may well have everything that most vloggers using just two cameras will actually need. 

Read more:

• Blackmagic ATEM Mini review (opens in new tab)
• Best cameras for vlogging (opens in new tab)
• 
The best camera for streaming on Twitch, Mixer and Facebook Live (opens in new tab)
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The best 4K camera for serious filmmaking (opens in new tab)
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The best webcams for home working (opens in new tab)
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The best microphone for vlogging (opens in new tab)
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Best paid-for video editing software for vloggers and filmmakers (opens in new tab)
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The best laptop for video editing (opens in new tab)

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Alistair is the Features Editor of Digital Camera magazine, and has worked as a professional photographer and video producer.