DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel from Blackmagic Design - Reviewed


Rebecca Goodeve - new TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
i

Blackmagic's new, more affordable control surface for professionals is probably the most perfect panel I've ever used. By Rebecca Goodeve

I've been a colourist for a number of years now. I've worked on everything from Pan to the latest Lurpak commercial, and, in that time, I've also had the chance to work with a variety of grading solutions currently on the market, and the hardware panels created to complement them.

Today I can say I think I've found my ultimate favourite: Blackmagic's new DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel. Developed specifically for freelancers, the mini panel fills an obvious gap in the company's product portfolio: the only previous control surface Blackmagic offered, the Advanced Panel, was one of the best out there, but came with a hefty price tag of more than £24,000. The new mini panel costs a tenth of that.

Of course, when the panel came out, I was really excited - but also wary of what such a massive price drop might mean in terms of build quality. When I received the panel, however, I was blown away. It is one of the most beautiful panels I've ever seen, made out of a machine aluminum body that feels built to last with a great weight and feel to both the track balls and various control knobs.

Having used Blackmagic's large Advanced Panel made this mini even better. The big panel is amazing but the thing is, it is big. With this one, my mouse sits right next to it on the desk and my keyboard is under it, so it's very practical as I can use it without needing to physically go back and forth between a large control surface and my keyboard and screen. I also appreciate the fact that it's portable, though at around 10kgs it is still a little on the heavy side for me! (N.B. If you want a much more portable control surface, the smaller £805 Micro Panel that Blackmagic released at the same time is only about 5kgs according to the company's tech specs)

Once I began to play around with the Mini, I was also very impressed at how easy it was to use. With other panels, you'd have buttons without any labels on them, so I'd spend ages flicking through every one to try to figure out what each was. With the mini panel, pretty much everything is clearly labelled, so it's really self explanatory.

There are three weighted track balls, which provide RGB balance adjustments for lift gamma and gain changes, and twelve primary control dials which do things like increase the contrast or saturation, modify shadows and highlights, or give a colour boost to the overall film. Like with the Advanced Panel, you simply push down on these dials to reset the look you've created back to default, which is a really nice creative feature to experiment with different looks. There are also some pretty useful buttons on the panel for easy access to tools like curves, qualifiers, the tracker, blur, and sizing.

At the top of the panel are two LCD colour screens that clearly display menu options - these look great but don't currently show things like scopes, though their size means I have the suspicion that Blackmagic will include that functionality in a later software update. The Panel also doesn't come with its own IEC power cable. What is included, though, is the USB 3 to USB-C converter and USB-C cable, and it actually wasn't really an issue due to the fact that the Mini Panel has Ethernet PoE support so it can power itself via the network connection.

Overall the new DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel has really impressed me, it genuinely is the most perfect panel I've ever used. For me as a freelancer, using a hardware panel genuinely makes a world of difference when it comes to the speed and efficiency of my workflow, especially on tight deadlines. Every tool I'd use to grade is right beneath my fingertips, and if there's anything else I need the keyboard for it's easy to reach. I did a grade with it a few days ago and just flew through it! The fact that it's at a much cheaper price is just the icing on the cake.

PROS

  • Excellent quality build, looks great and durable
  • Clearly labelled controls that are easy to use, specifically for Resolve workflows
  • Plug and play functionality when it comes to setting up
  • Can be bolted down for extra security
  • Great price to quality ratio

CONS

  • Power cable not included, though the panel can also power itself via a network connection
  • User configured menus will only be available in future releases
  • LCD screens only currently show menus, changes to this may be in future releases

Tags: iss123 | blackmagic design | minipanel | davinci | grading | Rebecca Goodeve - new
Contributing Author Rebecca Goodeve - new

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    Davinci Resolve 14 with Fairlight from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

    Blackmagic Design: Products at NAB 2013

  • Blackmagic Design at NAB 2012

    Blackmagic Design at NAB 2012

  • Blackmagic Design at IBC 2019: New Atem Mini

    Blackmagic Design at IBC 2019: New Atem Mini

  • Blackmagic Design 2500NIT HDR Video Assist 126 with BRAW Blackmagic Design at IBC 2019

    Blackmagic Design 2500NIT HDR Video Assist 126 with BRAW Blackmagic Design at IBC 2019

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC 4K at IBC 2018

    Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera BMPCC 4K at IBC 2018

  • Blackmagic Design Ultimatte at IBC 2017

    Blackmagic Design Ultimatte at IBC 2017

  • Blackmagic Design Resolve 14, ATEM, URSA Mini PRo and more from IBC 2017

    Blackmagic Design Resolve 14, ATEM, URSA Mini PRo and more from IBC 2017

  • ATEM TV Studio Pro HD from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

    ATEM TV Studio Pro HD from Blackmagic Design at NAB 2017

  • Blackmagic Design at IBC 2016

    Blackmagic Design at IBC 2016

  • Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

    Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design with the new ATEM Production Suite at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 16 at NAB 2019

    Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 16 at NAB 2019

  • Blackmagic Davinci Resolve 15 at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic Davinci Resolve 15 at NAB 2018

  • Holdan and DaVinci at BVE North 2011

    Holdan and DaVinci at BVE North 2011

  • Blackmagic at IBC2011

    Blackmagic at IBC2011

  • ATEM Mini and more news from Blackmagic at ISE2020

    ATEM Mini and more news from Blackmagic at ISE2020

  • Creating Broadcast Quality Live Streams for Social Media

    Creating Broadcast Quality Live Streams for Social Media

  • YouTube and the myths, the business and the opportunities

    YouTube and the myths, the business and the opportunities

  • Blackmagic ATEM Constellation 8k at NAB 2019

    Blackmagic ATEM Constellation 8k at NAB 2019

  • Blackmagic introduces Blackmagic RAW (BRAW) at IBC 2018

    Blackmagic introduces Blackmagic RAW (BRAW) at IBC 2018

  • Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at NAB 2018

  • Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K at NAB 2018

  • Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

  • Autodesk at NAB 2013

    Autodesk at NAB 2013

  • AJA Video HDR Image Analyser 12G for the latest 4K/UltraHD HDR standards at ISE 2020

    AJA Video HDR Image Analyser 12G for the latest 4K/UltraHD HDR standards at ISE 2020

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cintel at IBC2011

    Cintel at IBC2011

  • Image Systems at IBC2011

    Image Systems at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Africans in London - live and on demand TV channels.

    Africans in London - live and on demand TV channels.


Articles
Sennheiser MKE 400 hands on review and test
KitPlus

Sennheiser have just released two products aimed at simplifying audio on the move, the MKE400 shotgun microphone and the XS Lav Mic, in this review we’re looking at the MKE400.

Tags: sennheiser mke400 | sennheiser mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 quality | best microphones for youtube | mic for youtube videos | sennheiser mke 400 hands on | microphone review | iphone videography | microphones | sound for video | camera microphone | microphone for iphone | microphone for youtube | video microphone | shotgun mics | smartphone microphone | vlogging mic | best microphone for video | shotgun microphone review | mke 400 | sennheiser mke 400 hands on review | sennheiser mke 400 test | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read
A Broadcasters Guide to Microservices
Roger Persson

The word “microservices” has been creeping into the conversation about software-centric systems recently. Is it really a different approach, what does it mean, and what are the advantages?

Tags: nxt edition | microservices | modular software | Roger Persson
Contributing Author Roger Persson Click to read
Streaming Technologies Explained
Bruce Devlin - new

The word streaming can relate to different technologies from different manufacturers in different scenarios and in this short article we are going to take a little tour of what it all means. 

Tags: mr mxf | streaming | hls | dash | cmaf | mpeg | Bruce Devlin - new
Contributing Author Bruce Devlin - new Click to read
REVIEW - Hollyland MARS 400S PRO Digital Wireless Transmission System
Phil Vinter

Built by Hollyland and costing around £600 the Mars 400S is an easy-to-use wireless video transmitter/receiver system – it will be right up the alley of anyone who, like me, considers an instruction manual to be nothing more than box padding.

Read Phils Full review here, and link to the video review.

Tags: HOLLYLAND | MARS 400 | wireless | tx | rx | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read
HOLLYLAND LARK 150 Review
Phil Vinter

The exponential growth of video supercharged a technological revolution that began in the early noughties with the advent of DSLR cameras.
The cinematic-style shallow depth of field image video quality from DSLRs was a revelation, but, back then audio was the big drawback. As demand has grown so the technology has improved and today’s one-man-band small rig set ups can capture pretty good sound into a DSLR style camera.

Phil Vinter reviews the latest release from HOLLYLAND and it's a thumbs up from us.

Tags: HOLLYLAND | radio mic | audio | LARK-150 | CVP | Phil Vinter
Contributing Author Phil Vinter Click to read