NAB 2019 saw the somewhat surprising introduction of the Blackmagic Design Editor Keyboard. A $995.00 keyboard for video editing, containing specialized keys and a multi-mode jog wheel, with functions that are hard to even imagine, much less assign to keyboard shortcuts, a mouse, or any combination of third-party control panels. We took a closer look at this keyboard and put it through its paces. Here’s our take.
DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard. Image credit: cinema5D
Blackmagic has been offering their full-sized Advanced Panel for grading in DaVinci Resolve for years now and these have become standard inventory at grading houses all over the industry. But it was only a few years ago that Blackmagic started taking into account the needs of smaller production houses and individual filmmakers or colorists which couldn’t afford the $30,000 Advanced Panel, as well as the rather large grading suite to put it in, by offering the Mini and Micro Panels. However most major versions of Resolve since version 14, seemingly building on the software’s almost unchallenged dominance in the color grading realm, have been trying to improve on DaVinci Resolve’s usefulness to editors, VFX artists and sound editors alike, brushing up on the editing side of things by adding loads of features already present in other NLEs and integrating Fairlight and Fusion into Resolve without any additional cost upgrading. Consequently, versions 15 and 16 have, at least across Youtube and the Blogospheres, seen people announcing their switch to Resolve in troves, either from Adobe Premiere or Final Cut (arguably not as much from Avid though).
So is this new keyboard part of the same strategic push by Blackmagic Design to further differentiate and distinguish DaVinci Resolve as a full-featured editing suite for editors or teams without the dreaded, time-wasting round trips? And who would actually seriously buy a keyboard for a thousand dollars? We will try and return to these questions a bit later on.