Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Daniel Osakwe
Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro Review
Table of Contents
- Professional features
- Studio-level transitions and edits
- Stream directly to popular platforms
Price and availability
The ATEM Mini Pro costs $595 (£495, AED 2,337, AU$911.71), which could seem expensive for such a piece of equipment. The Pro edition, on the other hand, is specifically designed for high-profile streams that require the extra features it offers, such PC-free streaming, multiview, and direct output to disk.
The ATEM Mini is another option for those on a tighter budget, and it costs $295 (£245, AED 1,156.05, AU$421.76). For those who have a multi-cam setup but still stream using third-party software, this still gives you a lot of what the ATEM Mini Pro can provide.
Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro: Features and Design
- Easy to setup
- Lots of input ports
With its sea of waiting buttons, the Mini Pro may appear a little scary at first. But with just a brief check at the instruction booklet, which covers every detail of this equipment, it’s fairly simple to figure things out.
The entire build quality is excellent, and the buttons have a wonderful rubbery feel to them. This is something that can easily be transported in a backpack or laptop bag and set up in a matter of minutes.
All of the connecting options that power the Mini Pro are located at the back. There are two 3.5mm audio inputs, one Ethernet port, four HDMI inputs, one HDMI output, a USB-C out, and four HDMI inputs.
If you want to directly connect compatible microphones (like lavalier mics) or an audio source to play music, etc., the 3.5mm audio inputs come in useful. It is simple to mix in during a recording or stream because each audio source may be managed separately from the Mini Pro.
The Mini Pro’s multiview function works wonders, but the HDMI out accomplishes exactly what it claims it will. This enables you to simultaneously monitor the status of recording, audio levels, and all four HDMI inputs. We strongly advise attaching an external display or portable monitor to the Mini Pro in order to view what is happening because it is by far the best method to get most of the Mini Pro.
On the Mini Pro, there are two uses for the USB-C port. The Mini Pro may be added to virtually any software right away because it appears as a regular webcam interface when linked directly to a computer through a USB cable. This includes tools for live streaming like OBS or even tools for video conferencing like Microsoft Teams or Zoom. After being included, you can use the Mini Pro to quickly adjust the audio levels and various HDMI sources, allowing you to fully utilize the Mini Pro’s capabilities.
Additionally, you can attach an external hard drive to the USB Out and write data directly to the disk. This is helpful if you want a straight copy of the broadcast without any quality loss or if you want to tweak a video later before publishing it. Naturally, you can’t use the Mini Pro with your PC if a hard drive is connected to the USB-C connector. Fortunately, you can still operate it over Ethernet, but without a direct connection, you won’t be able to add it to OBS or any other software.
Ethernet is another technology that serves two purposes. The Mini Pro can still be managed via software on your laptop when connected via Ethernet, and it can combine with other cutting-edge Blackmagic consoles for even more precise control. Second, you can stream directly to the Internet using the Ethernet port without first connecting to a PC. Of course, there are benefits and drawbacks to this, but if you just want to broadcast directly without any additional equipment, you may connect it and push the “On Air” button to begin live. By setting them up immediately through the control program, you can stream directly to Twitch, Facebook, or YouTube.
It’s a little more complex for people who use a personal RTMP server. Only one specific XML file can be altered to configure this, and restarting the software causes the changes to take effect. It’s clear that this function is intended for experienced users, so let’s hope that in the future there will be a more intuitive approach to add a custom source within the software.
Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro: Effectiveness
- Can only display 1920×1080 resolution
- Compatible with most camera
- Easy to use
It takes some work to set up the Mini Pro, but it will be worthwhile in the end. Install the control program on your PC, connect your HDMI inputs, and that’s all there is to it. You can use the Mini Pro with almost any camera that can output an HDMI signal, but you can also connect game consoles or another laptop to any of the HDMI ports. It’s crucial to understand that the Mini Pro can only display 1920×1080 resolution, meaning that any 4K content you input through an HDMI port will be downscaled to Full HD.
The fact that the Mini Pro can directly manage functions like iris, gain, focus, detail, and zoom through the attached HDMI cable is a major benefit if you already work with Blackmagic cameras. This makes things simpler, especially during a busy live stream, as you can quickly move the camera without even getting up.
Once all of your sources are connected, you can really begin to experiment with the stream’s appearance and behavior. You can apply simple transitions at the touch of a button; from wipes to fades, it only takes a few buttons pushes to pull it off. There is also a picture-in-picture option that may be used to stream video games with the streamer prominently shown in one of the corners. Be aware that there is sadly no option to change the windowed source’s size.
You can also add lower-thirds or additional material, like a waiting screen, on the fly using the control program. Simply add your content to the media library, then use the Mini Pro to switch to it. Make sure to verify that all of your assets are compatible before going live because the Mini Pro only supports a specific range of file formats.
All in all, the Mini Pro performed admirably in our test environment. It worked well for us to quickly record a multicamera podcast while also recording to a linked hard drive using the USB-C connector. Because transitions, background music, and nameplates were simple to load and use, the recorded video clip needed very little modification before being made public.
The ATEM Mini Pro is a need for multicam setups and for professional streamers. It offers several functions that would normally require costly software or other add-ons and makes it quite simple to move between different camera perspectives.
A great feature to have is Multiview, which gives you the impression that you are operating a sophisticated TV set. Another two fantastic capabilities that are worthwhile investigating are direct HDD recording and streaming without the need for a computer.
The ATEM Mini is an excellent option as well if you’re just getting started with streaming and don’t want to spend as much money. It is just as capable. The ATEM Mini Pro totally crushes it for anyone else who wants a more professional appearance for their gaming broadcast, video podcast, or conferencing setup.