Advanced vs. Mini Colorist Control Surface – Should I Sell The Advanced Panel?

August 7, 2019

Team Mixing Light discusses the Resolve Advanced Panel, compares it to the less costly Mini, and asks if the larger panel is worth keeping?


From The MailBag Episode 72

I Feel More Efficient On The Mini Panel. Should I Consider Selling The Advanced Panel?

I remember like it was yesterday…

I looked down at the dusty, stained, food-in-every-crevice DaVinci 2k panel, and flashbacked to all the foam rollers I changed on this thing. When I looked up, the engineer at the facility I was working at entered the room with a smile on her face.

In tow behind her was a brand new DaVinci Resolve Control Surface.


The DaVinci Impresario was very similar to the now Blackmagic Advanced panel – the biggest difference was the small laptop-style mouse pad in the middle of the panel – which I actually miss even though it was a pretty bad trackpad. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Keep in mind this was actually pre -Blackmagic days and this was the Resolve Impresario panel – similar to today’s Resolve’s Advanced panel but with several different features including a small mouse pad in the center of the panel – not that many Impresarios were built. I remember the feeling of satisfaction, knowing I was going to be working on the biggest, impressive looking and most full-featured panel available for Resolve

When I started my own company I saught that same satisfaction, so I purchased a Resolve Advanced panel – and for years felt the pride of using the premiere panel for Resolve. Not only did it work really well, it looked really good in the suite.

However, my love affair with the Advanced panel started to change when I bought a Resolve Mini panel for my home suite. Why? Because I know that I’m faster on the Mini vs the Advanced panel – and it looks like I’m not the only one who’s been feeling this way!

To Sell Or Not To Sell?

Recently we got a question from Mixing Light member Scott A:

‘Hi guys, looking for an opinion on Resolve control surfaces.  A number of years ago I bought a Resolve Advanced panel for my studio and it’s been fantastic, but I couldn’t afford another one for my home suite.  So, I got a Mini panel for home and I have to say I’m blown away by how much faster I am on the layout of the Mini panel.  This has got me thinking maybe I should sell the Advanced panel at the office, buy a Mini and use the extra cash for some other post toys.  What do you think?  In the back of my head, I’m just worried that ultimately that might mean less functionality, but as I said I’m faster on the Mini – help!’

Yep, right there with you Scott!  In this installment of From The Mailbag we’re joined by Mixing Light contributor Joey D’Anna who’s filling in for Dan, as Dan has been sequestered on a big Netflix Dolby Vision job.

In the episode, we talk about the perceptual role of a large panel, how the advanced panel could be refreshed with some new key caps, how the mini alone can’t replace the Advanced panel functionality, and how it might be just a dream that BMD will come out with side panels for the current Mini panel.

Have A Question For Team Mixing Light?

Remember, if you have questions that you’d like to get an opinion on please use the contact form

Your questions can be aesthetic, technical or even client related. We’d love to hear from you, and your question might make future episodes of From The MailBag.

Enjoy the MailBag!


Member Content

Sorry... the rest of this content is for members only. You'll need to login or Join Now to continue (we hope you do!).

Need more information about our memberships? Click to learn more.

Membership options
Member Login

Are you using our app? For the best experience, please login using the app's launch screen


Homepage Forums Advanced vs. Mini Colorist Control Surface – Should I Sell The Advanced Panel?

  • R Neil Haugen

    From Patrick’s tutorials a while back on his adoption of the Razer Orbweaver Chroma, I acquired one for use both in Resolve and in Premiere. In Premiere, what I’ve mostly come to using it is for things that my Elements panel can’t be set to do, especially for things that can be ‘ganged’ together as they would normally require multiple mouse or button hits.

    It’s very useful in Premiere, but very *needed* in Resolve, as BlackMagic just tends to lock out half the panel, which ticks me off but oh well.

    Joey’s recent article on the Streamdecks, particularly with the printed custom stands for them … now, that is really looking like a big step up. And would add more capability for not much moolah.

    But it’s a kick to hear you talk about the cool factor of the Humongo Panel. Yea, Starship Control, beam me up …

  • Marc Wielage

    F that. I’m much faster on the Advanced Panels than I ever was on the Mini. For me, I’m convinced I work about 15-20% faster on the Advanced Panels, but I concede we all work differently. I also pound the buttons pretty hard and move fast, and I can’t abuse the Minis as effectively. I’m confident that we’ll get continued firmware upgrades that will keep the Advanced Panels going for years to come.

  • Jose S

    Regarding the side panels, they could simply still use same chassis as they use for the mini and just manufacture two corner angle “panels” so that the side panels are at 30/45º

  • Robbie Carman

    I agree. But we shall see.

  • Marc Wielage

    Note that a handful of new features have been added to the Advanced Panels with Resolve 16. This kind of came in under the radar.

  • Pat Inhofer

    Heh. Kind’a my point about the Advanced Panels… it’s ALL under the radar 🙂 I hope you Advanced Panel users finally get your keycaps. Ya’all are LONG overdue.

  • Jay S

    Throw a few programmable streamdeck type buttons and this would be a no brainer

Log in to reply.

1,000+ Tutorials to Explore

Get full access to our entire library of over 1,100+ color tutorials for an entire week!

Start Your Test Drive!