Dubai-based post-production specialist Dan Mitre explores whether Blackmagic Design Editor Keyboard is a tempting addition to DaVinci Resolve 16.2 version.
The DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard is designed for professional editors who need to work faster and turn around work quickly. The DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard has been designed for DaVinci Resolve 16 to enable an editing experience that promises to be faster and efficient.
Once you start using this keyboard, you begin to appreciate its value. It’s bigger than most editing keyboards on the market and triple the price of Resolve Studio. Cheaper keyboards are available from Logitech and the like.
The Resolve Editor Keyboard connects via a USB C type connection, including two USB ports on the back. In the box, you have a Type-C to Type-C connector included. Obviously, it should be compatible with the latest connections, so you’ll need an adapter to plug it into older USB ports, but it works just fine when you do.
It comes with a hand rest, promising to reduce fatigue. The main components – key caps, hand rest, key switches – are available as spare parts, so the keyboard can be repaired over time. The jog/shuttle wheel is on the right and the trimming buttons are on the left, making this keyboard special for video editing.
The hard buttons are super convenient for typing. Some may argue this keyboard is old school, but it looks and feels robust. Some may also note there are no lights in the keys. This depends on the work environment. Most editors work in well-lit rooms, but there may be those who do colour work and prefer lights in the keys, to see them in a darker room.
That said, the Shift key on the right is small and rather challenging to see. The position of the arrow keys is tricky, next to the small Shift key on the right. You end up pressing the wrong arrows, moving the cursor a lot if not careful.
Overall, the keyboard is well mapped and the functions an editor needs are pretty much in the right place; the job/shuttle function is great to use. The editing functions are above the in and out keys, to allow a simple movement to activate the edit you require. You can select and add transitions instantly; the buttons are on the bottom left.
Normally, you would drag and drop to place a transition, or a keyboard shortcut for only one transition type. Pressing one button can help add or remove a transition. The Cut key removes any transition on an edit point and leaves it as a simple edit between two clips. Pressing Dissolve adds a one-second dissolve between the two clips, and Roll Duration sets the desired transition length. If there is a dissolve on the edit, the key will be ignored. There’s a Smooth Cut button to allow jump cuts to be removed at a press.
Resolve users may expect this keyboard to cover most of the functions in the whole interface. I’d say this is a subjective choice.
Can it be further improved? Most definitely, yes. Not everybody using DaVinci will benefit from this keyboard. It’s mainly for editors, not colourists.
But having used it for almost a month now, from an editor’s perspective, I can confirm that the BMD Editor Keyboard is a great piece of hardware. Once you start using it, it’s hard to do without it.