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 at IBC 2019: New Video Assist 126 with BRAW

    Blackmagic Design at IBC 2019: New Video Assist 126 with BRAW

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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
  • BroadcastShow Christmas Special

    BroadcastShow Christmas Special


Articles
The Making of Zero
Keith and David Lynch

The Brothers Lynch explain how they created the sinister atmospheric world for their new sci-fi short

In a post-apocalyptic world where humankind has emerged victorious in a war against artificial intelligent machines, a young girl dares to venture into the unknown. This is Zero, the new sci-fi short film from acclaimed British writer-director duo The Brothers Lynch which has premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Tags: iss139 | blackmagic design | davinci resolve | editing | grading | grade | mk2 zeiss | superspeeds | cinema 4d | molinaire | Keith and David Lynch
Contributing Author Keith and David Lynch Click to read or download PDF
Covering Ironman Australia
KitPlus KitPlus recently chatted with Stephen Kane, production manager of IRONMAN Oceania in Australia and New Zealand. IRONMAN is one of the leading mass sports brands in the world, consisting of over 260 events across 44 countries including long (IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3) and short (Sprint and Olympic) distance triathlons, mountain bike stage racing, road cycling and running, both marathon and trail. One of those events is IRONMAN Australia, which takes place yearly on the Australian east coast.
Tags: iss139 | ironman | dejero | streaming | cellsat | 5g | engo | mobile transmitter | facebook live | wi-fi | cellular | satellite | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Original KVM or KVM over IP
Jochen Bauer Will the technology used in broadcasting solely consist of IP devices? For years, IP has been entering all areas of life. Especially control room applications as they are typically deployed in broadcasting benefit from the IP revolution in many ways. But an “IP-only broadcast world” is not yet here. Nevertheless, the trend clearly moves towards IP transmission, even though a large part of content production still uses traditional transmission paths. And therefore we continue to live in a hybrid world, using both original and IP-based technology. KVM experts Guntermann und Drunck still rely on both original KVM and KVM-over-IP™ to be able to offer their customers the best of both worlds.
Tags: iss139 | kvm | gdsys | guntermann and drunck | kvm-over-ip | Jochen Bauer
Contributing Author Jochen Bauer Click to read or download PDF
The Future of Broadcast Connectivity
Jamie Adkin The use of KVM equipment has been essential to meet the evolving needs of the broadcast industry for many years. Over that time, many in the industry have recognised the importance of using IP-enabled KVM to break down technological barriers and enable real-time access to visuals wherever and whenever they’re needed. These components are vital parts in live production environments in particular.
Tags: iss139 | adder | kvm | ip kvm | Jamie Adkin
Contributing Author Jamie Adkin Click to read or download PDF
Keeping Pace with the Content Revolution
Kevin Fitzgerald These are uniquely challenging times for broadcasters and their technical teams. Not only are they having to negotiate the move to IP-based infrastructures and the introduction of new formats and techniques such as 4K and HDR, they are also having to generate more content than ever before to support OTT and web services as well as traditional linear broadcast.
Tags: iss139 | streamstar | streaming | case 800 | ipx | ipx-3g | Kevin Fitzgerald
Contributing Author Kevin Fitzgerald Click to read or download PDF