Blackmagic Video Assist 5 3G review: a small but not quite mighty video monitor

Blackmagic Video Assist 5 3G Blackmagic Video Assist 5 3G is also its worst enemy with some hard-to-swallow limitations

Blackmagic Video Assist 5 3G video monitor outside
(Image: © James Abbott / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Blackmagic Video Assist 5 3G on the one hand, makes focusing, composing, and setting exposure incredibly precise, alongside being able to capture Raw video, but with a low brightness screen and 1080p maximum resolution, its limitations could be its downfall.


  • +

    Records Raw formats

  • +

    Great build quality

  • +

    Can be used as a monitor only

  • +

    Uses common NP-F570 batteries


  • -

    Only captures up to 1080p resolution

  • -

    Not the brightest screen at 300nits

  • -

    No mounting device included

  • -

    No batteries included

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If you're anything like me, the idea of using a video monitor when your camera already has a perfectly serviceable LCD screen for shooting feels like an extravagance. That was until I used the Blackmagic Video Assist 5 3G, which is considered one of the best on-camera monitors currently available.

This is ultimately a small professional video monitor that despite only being 5 inches, provides much more screen real estate than a 3-inch camera LCD, alongside a much clearer on-screen image and additional functionality. This makes it an enticing option for enthusiasts looking for a smaller video monitor ideal for location shooting, rather than 7-inch models that are packed with higher-level features and functionality.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Screen1080p 5-inch touchscreen
Screen brightness300nits
SD interface1x UHS-I SD slot
HDMIInput and output
SDIInput and output
Analog audio inputsN/A
Analog audio outputs1x 3.5mm headphone jack
Dimensions148x90x37mm / 5.83x3.54x1.44 inches
Swipe to scroll horizontally
FeaturesThere are useful features on offer including scopes, LUTs and Raw capture.★★★★☆
DesignBuild quality and overall handling are great, but no mounting device is included.★★★★☆
PerformanceWith the 300nits screen and 1080p maximum capture resolution, it has limitations.★★★☆☆
ValueThe Video Assist 5 3G is inexpensive for a recorder, but the resolution limitation is a huge drawback. ★★★☆☆
Atomos Shinobi

Atomos Shinobi
The Atoms Shinobi is just a video monitor with no recorder and is a similar price to the Video Assist 5 3G, but it's lighter weight and has a much brighter 1000nits screen.

Blackmagic Video Assist 7 12G HDR

Blackmagic Video Assist 7 12G HDR
If you're set on a Blackmagic recorder, the Video Assist 7 12G HDR is more expensive but it captures 4K Raw footage, has a brighter screen, and more features.

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James Abbott

James Abbott is a landscape and portrait photographer based in Cambridge. He’s also an experienced photography journalist specializing in camera skills and Photoshop techniques. He is also a CAA-approved drone pilot and professional aerial photographer.