April 16, 2012

BlackMagic Design's Cinema Camera is a 2.5K RAW Shooter with Built-in Monitor and Recorder for $3K

Holy cow. What if I told you BlackMagic Design was introducing a 2.5K resolution, 13-stop dynamic range, RAW-shooting (with format-agnostic ProRes/CinemaDNG/DNxHD options), Thunderbolt-connected, built-in touchscreen LCD, SSD-recording camera that comes with the new version of Resolve 9 color correction software... all for $3,000? You'd say, "what's the catch?" Looks like the only catch is a 15.6 mm x 8.8 mm (active) sensor size, which makes it a S16 camera, not a S35. Still, for that price and with those options -- this is a seriously disruptive camera and one that targets the HDSLR space perfectly.

If you don't think S16 is a large enough sensor, keep in mind that it's been used to shoot a million features lately, including Darren Aronofsky's most recent (The Wrestler and Black Swan), as well as this year's Sundance-winning Beasts of the Southern Wild. Also, BlackMagic was wise to make this a Canon EF mount camera -- PL glass is so expensive that a lot more of their target customers will already have Canon lenses lying around than will have PL lenses. Finally, the fact that it has a built-in recorder and monitor means it has the ease of use that most shooters want -- spec sheets be damned. And it takes standard 2.5" SSDs -- you are not tied to one (overpriced) brand of media, as you are with RED or (quite often) Sony. The flipside is that many believe that standard SSD connectors were not designed for frequent insertion/removal; time will tell.

The fact that it's a S16 RAW camera makes it a competitor to the Digital Bolex camera we mentioned previously, though I would note the fact that BlackMagic is an established company -- and the fact that it comes with the full version of Resolve and Ultrascope -- makes this one more appealing in theory.

There are video samples here by cinematographer John Brawley. For the most part the images look very good -- the only area they seem to fall a bit short compared to the best cameras out there is in low-light, which is to be expected given the smaller sensor size. Also, in the Beach Dusk sample there are numerous stuck/dead pixels -- presumably BlackMagic will work these out by the time a final camera is shipping (slated for July). Note of course that I'm judging compressed Vimeo samples, and I'm judging them against cameras that cost a lot more.

Images of the $3K shooter are below, as is the full press release and link to BlackMagic's official product page. It looks like if you were thinking about getting one of the new $3k DSLRs, like the Nikon D800 or Canon 5D Mark III, now you've got something else to seriously consider. We will do our best to get our hands on one of these units ASAP!

Link: BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera

Press Release

LAS VEGAS, Apr 16, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic Cinema Camera, a revolutionary digital cinema camera design that includes powerful features such as super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, high resolution 2.5K sensor, built in high bandwidth SSD recorder, open file format support, color correction with full version of DaVinci Resolve and a built in LCD with metadata entry, all in an attractive compact design for only US$2,995.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2012 booth at #SL220.

Many current generation video cameras suffer from a "video look" due to a limited contrast range, a maximum HD resolution sensor, poor quality optics and lenses, the use of heavy video compression for file recording and poor integration with NLE software metadata management. With these limitations, they cannot be used for high end work or feature films.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera has been designed to eliminate these problems so customers get a true feature film look, and at an affordable cost can shoot high end television commercials, episodic television programming and feature films.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, large 2.5K sensor, a built in SSD recorder that has the bandwidth to capture open standard CinemaDNG RAW, ProRes and DNxHD files, a built in capacitive touch screen LCD for direct metadata entry, standard jack audio connections, built in high-speed Thunderbolt connection, 3 Gb/s SDI output, a refrigerated sensor for low noise, and is fully compatible with extremely high quality Canon EF and Zeiss ZF mount lenses.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera also includes a full copy of DaVinci Resolve for color correction and Blackmagic UltraScope software for waveform monitoring. UltraScope can be run on a laptop connected to the camera via a Thunderbolt connection.

One of the most important features of the camera is its super wide dynamic range of 13 stops, allowing feature film quality images. Commonly people focus on more pixels, however often this just creates a higher resolution, but still "video" looking images that suffer from highlight and black clipping that limits details. Blackmagic Cinema Camera's wide dynamic range eliminates this problem and provides film quality with dramatically more detail retained in black and whites in the image. Once the shoot is complete, the included DaVinci Resolve color correction software can be used to adjust images and take advantage of this extra range in the images. The high quality EF and ZF lens compatibility also helps create sharp and cinematic images that look incredible.

To eliminate the damage that low bit depth and high compression video storage creates, Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a fast SSD recorder. The built in SSD recorder can record on fast solid state disks the full sensor detail in 12 bit Log RAW files in the open standard CinemaDNG format. These files can be read by all high end video software. The full 2.5K sensor data is stored in the files completely uncompressed because the SSD has the speed to store video data at the required rate. Then this high quality file can be color corrected on DaVinci Resolve for the same high quality result currently only possible on cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera has been designed as the perfect companion to Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer NLE software. Unlike other cameras, which require the use of custom video file formats that are not compatible with popular NLE software, often making the post production process a nightmare, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes absolutely no custom video file formats, and every file type included is open standard. It records into Cinema DNG format for RAW files, ProRes and DNxHD for HD resolution files compatible with Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer.

The built in large LCD display makes focus easy, and allows playback of captured files. Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a built in microphone, as well as external jack based mic/line level balanced audio connections. When playing back recorded clips, a speaker is built in, and there is an included headphone socket, as well as embedded audio on the SDI output and Thunderbolt connection. The SDI output includes all camera data such as timecode, transport control, shutter angle, color temperature setting and ASA information overlaid in attractive antialiased fonts.

For easy metadata entry, the built in LCD features fast and responsive capacitive touch screen technology. When the user taps the display with a finger, a data entry window called the "slate" appears. This lets the user enter shot information just like typing on a smart phone. This data is then stored in the files so can be accessed by NLE software when editing content later. Metadata is compatible with popular software such as Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve. All camera settings can be changed on this touch LCD, such as frame rate, shutter angle, color temperature, dynamic range, focus assist settings and more.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes an innovative industrial design built from solid machined aluminum metal which results in an attractive but rugged design. All of the camera, recorder and display have been shrunk down into a lightweight design that's very portable.

"This is one of the most exciting products we have ever created and its been a work in progress for a very long time," said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. "Ever since I was a telecine engineer back in the 1990's I have wished that video cameras would include features that allowed them to perform creatively similar to film. However current digital cameras are too heavy, way too expensive and need costly accessories to work. We felt there was a need for a camera that delivered these features in a design that's optimized for professional video shoots, as well as being a compact, elegant design that's easily affordable. We think we have achieved that!"

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Key Features

  • High resolution 2.5K sensor allows improved anti aliasing and reframing shots.
  • Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
  • Built in SSD allows high bandwidth recording of RAW video and long duration compressed video.
  • Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD. No custom file formats.
  • Includes no custom connections. Standard jack mic/line audio in, BNC 3 Gb/s SDI out, headphone, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, LANC remote control and standard DC 12-30V power connection.
  • Capacitive touch screen LCD for camera settings and "slate" metadata entry.
  • Compatible with extremely high quality Canon EF and Zeiss ZF lenses.
  • Supports 2.5K and 1080HD resolution capture in 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps.
  • Thunderbolt connection allows direct camera capture via included Media Express software and supports live waveform monitoring via the included Blackmagic UltraScope software.
  • Includes a full copy of DaVinci Resolve 9.0 color grading software.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Cinema Camera will be available July 2012 for US$2,995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Your Comment

202 Comments

Sounds like a good deal to me.

April 16, 2012

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Natt

Just remember: SSD cards are REALLY expensive It takes about 650GB for the RAW files to record about half an hour. Also: internal battery only.

April 16, 2012

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I don't know. A standard 2.5" 120 GB SSD is $150. Meanwhile a 128GB REDMAG is $1,800. Still think that's expensive?

April 16, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

As someone who uses P2 cards, regular SSD's seems downright economical. Assuming that they work as reliably of course...

April 16, 2012

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Adrian Jans

Exactly, lol.

April 17, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

it records uncompressed 12-bit RAW, at 5MB/frame
so it's 7.2 GB/min, >80 minutes on a 600GB SSD drive that puts the total cost at $4K

April 16, 2012

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Or use Avid DNX - 5 hours on a 500gig SSD.

April 16, 2012

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Jordan Carr

According to BMD, recording time in RAW is as follows:

5 MB/frame in RAW 2.5K fits about 30 minutes of 24p video on a 256 GB solid state disk.
http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/techspecs/

You can also shoot directly to prores or Avid's format and get 5x that recording time...

April 16, 2012

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Right -- the codec options are huge for anyone shooting documentaries/weddings/events/etc. where there's not a AC/loader/DIT/wrangler person.

This camera costs less than one 256GB REDMAG. Let me repeat: this entire camera costs less than one 256GB media card from RED.

April 16, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

You nail it. Its insanely (realistically) priced.

April 16, 2012

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I find it funny how everyone complains about it, yet this is pretty much what everyone wanted, minus the design. 2.5k raw 12 bit are you serious this is amazing, and for the price! Maybe even better than red's 3k for 3k deal.

April 16, 2012

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Robert

Again exactly. People are bonkers.

April 17, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

How do you figure internal battery only? It has a DC adapter plug marked on one of the doors. 15V V-Mount battery like an IDX doesn't seem like a problem. The huge problem is the lack of 1/4" and 3/8" mounting holes, so there goes $500+ for a camera cage to do anything useful.

April 16, 2012

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Angelo

It has 1 1/4" on the bottom and 3 1/4 on the top

April 18, 2012

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Huh? Where have you been while SSD prices have plummeted in the past year?

April 16, 2012

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swested

So wait am I missing something here or will you not be able to use an HDMI monitor like smallHD DP6 on this?

April 16, 2012

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carlos

You would, but you would have to use an SDI to HDMI converter. Blackmagic's external recorder does it, but it's a few hundred dollars. Dunno if that'd be worth it. The 5" screen sounds like it has focus tools, but only time will tell how good it is...

April 16, 2012

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thanks man

April 17, 2012

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carlos

Their website is getting SLAMMED.

IMO this is BIG news for indi-film makers.

Bolex, Ikonoskop, Nikon D800, Canon MK3 are all somewhat pointless (for video) when this hits the market in July for $3,000.

I would preorder one, but their website isn't loading.

Great news!

April 16, 2012

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Jordan Carr

well, not pointless: this one has a 2.3x crop factor

but definitely a lot less relevant

BMD stole NAB2012

April 16, 2012

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a 10-22mm ef-s lens is a must for this cam... luck me I did not order a ikonoskop yet!! With import tax for my country this cam goes from U$3000 to U$6000 to U$7000, but better than a U$10K that goes up to U$20K!!!

I think i´ll not need to rent a cam for my first indie feature in the end of the year! :)

April 16, 2012

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guto novo

How do you get to 2.3? A standard 35mm frame is about 24mm wide, normalized for 16:9, versus 15.6 for this camera -- which yields a factor of under 1.4.

April 16, 2012

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jd

Crop factor is calculated on the diagonal.

April 16, 2012

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nobody

I think he must be comparing it to a full-frame sensor, like the 5D II or III. But full-frame is not a cinema standard.

April 16, 2012

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jd

I just called, you can't preorder one. I had my name and email added to a list that I demanded be created lol. Now I'm hounding B&H about one. Good luck to all...

April 16, 2012

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Chris

Thanks Chis! :) :)

April 16, 2012

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Jordan Carr

Crap, B&H gave me the coldshoulder and just told me to check back later this week for preorder. I don't know how many of you realize how big of a gamechanger this camera bundle is, Blackmagic Design is one of my favorite companies to work with, their customer support even for their free products is outstanding and the quality of their hardware released thus far is literally unparalleled. Good luck trying to buy this camera, I plan on buying them all. o_O

April 16, 2012

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Chris

Agree - I own a hyperdeck and it survived a nasty trip through Nevada's Valley of Fire. They build great products and using your own SSD devices in a video product like this is a godsend. SSD prices are dropping and speeds are getting insane with competition from Intel, Samsung, and Ocz.

Thanks again chris!

April 16, 2012

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Jordan Carr

Thanks Chris. Calling them now.

April 16, 2012

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I agree Chris. I think this will change the Indie world. The power of raw meets resolve is something many shooters have literally no idea about yet. Add to that that most people have been in love with images that weren't really even resolving 2k... For low end indies this is simply massive. A true game changer.

Well done BMD.

April 17, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

What a nice tight little camera. Seems like exactly what the little guy who is serious about craft has been waiting for. So many plusses including standerd audio inputs, RAW, 2.5K and the Black Magic Ultrascope and DaVinci Resolve software. Great response to the big boys for not aiming higher!

April 16, 2012

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It certainly looks like a very nice camera, only downsides being depth of field, sensitivity and resolution, since a 2.5K sensor yields a little bit less than 2K of effective resolution.

April 16, 2012

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Álex Montoya

True but if you compare this to everything else at the 3k price point - I would rather watch a movie made with this unit because of its better DR, lack or moire, and less rolling shutter.

Nothing at 3k really hits true 1080 (hacked GH2 gets close) anyway. At 5k the Sony FS100 (better slow mo and larger sensor) is this cameras only competition.

April 16, 2012

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Jordan Carr

Hard to tell about rolling shutter at this point, until we get more samples...

April 16, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Can't be worse than a Canon MK3.

April 16, 2012

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Jordan Carr

If you look at the DUSK clip at 4:55.... rolling shutter looks really bad there, much worser than with the MarkIII.

April 16, 2012

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Sure, I wasn't being ironic. This looks like a very nice camera indeed. Can you flip the LCD?

April 16, 2012

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Álex Montoya

I think deeper depth of field also has a lot of positives that are overlooked however. Especially for Indies.

April 17, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

This is too freaking cool!

April 16, 2012

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Now THIS is the camera I hoping for.

@carlos - Looks like you might have to upgrade to a standard SDI monitor

April 16, 2012

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MRH

Sensor size is the only con - 4/3" , but for that price (and explains the cheap price) with 12 bit uncompressed raw!

April 16, 2012

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Daniel

smaller than 4/3's, it is s16

April 16, 2012

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It's actually larger than S16 - in between S16 and 4/3" size. A few people have been posting size comparison graphs already (EOSHD and DVXUSER thread).

April 16, 2012

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Shenan

Where'd you see 4/3"? Try closer to 3/4".

April 16, 2012

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swested

SOLD!!

April 16, 2012

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Perry Wilson

WOW!!! Another 2k+ camera in a price range that isn't absolutely absurd? These are exciting times to be a filmmaker, that's for sure.

Not to mention that this announcement completely undermines the D800 and the 5D3 as professional video solutions. Unless people really "need" the larger sensors on the DSLR's, this thing looks like it will win the video battle 9 time out of 10.

April 16, 2012

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Robert

What would the effective crop factor on this be? What are the wide angle options given the EF mount?

April 16, 2012

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Dimitri

2.4 x

April 16, 2012

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Supposedly it's 2.3x crop factor.

I've been using my EF mount lenses with my GH2, and found that these lenses incredibly versatile no matter the camera (and cheap alternatives too).
- Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 -- you would get coverage from 25-35mm on a 2.3x crop.
- Samyang 24mm f1.4 -- about 55mm, so great for the eye perspective view
- Samyang 35mm f1.4 -- makes it an 80mm.

All three can cover full frame sensor as well. (The Tokina only at 16mm). So I'm pretty happy.

Tbh, there's an array of lenses to choose from, some of them are pretty fast, which should make up for the lack of DOF on this camera.

April 16, 2012

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Sazlin

It may be 2.3 crop compared to a full-frame sensor, but full-frame sensor is not a motion picture standard. The factor is much smaller, compared to a standard cinema film frame.

April 16, 2012

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jd

Yes, the sensor size doesn't bother me at all... gonna be some amazing indie features and shorts made with this thing. Some by me. Sign me up, too.

April 16, 2012

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You mean like all the amazing features and shorts which were shot on 16mm in the 80s and 90s? :)

April 16, 2012

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hepp

"If you don’t think S16 is a large enough sensor, keep in mind that it’s been used to shoot a million features lately, including Darren Aronofsky’s most recent (The Wrestler and Black Swan), as well as this year’s Sundance-winning Beasts of the Southern Wild."

perfect! :)

April 16, 2012

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guto novo

I think it's a fixed panel much like the RED cameras.

I imagine there will be a whole new breed of people learning and acquring color grading as a skill. It brings color grading to the masses with Da Vinci Resolve front and center. Smart.

Is the audio jack an XLR?

Stocked for this camera.

April 16, 2012

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Sazlin

And by stocked by I mean stoked.

April 16, 2012

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Sazlin

It's a jack connection, not XLR. The LCD should really be flippable.

April 16, 2012

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Álex Montoya

Ah, I see my H4N still have a place. They really should've put an XLR in there, at least one, and another for normal audio jack. I mean, what's the use for two normal jacks? Unless I'm mistaken.

A flippable screen would've been awesome and useful, but for this price and these features, I'll take it.

April 16, 2012

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Sazlin

1/4" audio inputs. I think cameras this small just don't have room for XLRs.

April 16, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

1/4" can be balanced too folks. But yes, this is a pure indie film camera. It isn't built for TV doco, its just going to do a ton of work there :-)

April 16, 2012

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Indeed -- the RED even uses 1/8" balanced inputs. As long as you have Tip-Ring-Sleeve you're working with balanced audio just like XLR, though you lose the robustness and locking feature.

April 16, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Black magics server is getting hammered lol.

April 16, 2012

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Snapshot

The DSLR killer is finally here. My big question is can you charge the internal battery or are you always tethered to ac power?

April 16, 2012

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Yep.

April 17, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

Complete shock. Wow. I'm even kinda digging the design. Bold move.

April 16, 2012

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Ajit

Thanks for putting this up Koo. I am eager to see tests from you guys in the coming months. Low light seems pretty good though even at 320 with fast lenses. The good thing is you can use super fast lenses and have more dof. I'm curious what a 200mm 2.8 would do for DOF.

I've been wanting to buy the pro version of Davinci, so for 2k more, I get Davinci plus a cinema camera that shoots RAW? This is very tempting.

April 16, 2012

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You know, I just completed a short for a 48 hour competition, dealing with actors and writing a script. Everything that I THOUGHT I liked about the 5dmkII (shallow DOF, full frame for huge wide shots) were NOT used this time around. We had to make a soap opera short, lol.

I was stopping down to f 5-5.6 most of the time because I had 2 or 3 actors in the frame and was using my 50mm some of the time but mostly my 70-200mm to compress the faces and get nice medium shots.

The only shot the davinci camera may have some issues in was a bar we were allowed to shoot in. I was 1.8 at 1250 iso and still need to push in post to lighten. The 5dmkII looked clean here.

April 16, 2012

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Kino Flo BarFly's would have solved that last shot.

That being said, you are 100% correct about people "thinking" they need a lot of what the MK3 offers.

April 16, 2012

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Jordan Carr

Ya we had one light source, but here was the thing: 03 minutes in and out (48 hour competition), just as 2 limo's of people come in, (we didn't rent the place, just called ahead. It is a popular place). People were tripping over the wires already.

It was a true indie experience, lol! We didn't get kicked out tho :)

April 16, 2012

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meant 30 minutes lol

April 16, 2012

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Blackmagic is officially down for the count, see screenshot below lmao.

http://tinypic.com/r/1429ehe/5

April 16, 2012

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Chris

ya, their web site goes down without huge announcements too. They need some better backend structure for sure.

April 16, 2012

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"Many current generation video cameras suffer from a “video look” due to a limited contrast range, a maximum HD resolution sensor, poor quality optics and lenses, the use of heavy video compression for file recording and poor integration with NLE software metadata management. With these limitations, they cannot be used for high end work or feature films."

No. I've seen the "video look" on the Red and Alexa cameras. It's not about a limited contrast range or HD sensor or poor optics. It's about the fact that these cameras are digital and the DP's that are controlling them. I've seen beautiful, cinematic (Don't say filmic, because they're not.) images shot on digital before (Never on the Canon DSLR's though, so maybe that statement does have some truth).

April 16, 2012

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James

Wait, are you saying you have never seen cinematic footage from a DSLR?

April 16, 2012

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David

I guess that depends on your interpretation of cinematic. I've seen beautiful footage, but not all too cinematic. Most likely because most people that use DSLR's are amateurs. Of course, there are professionals that have used it, like in an episode of House, most of Act of Valor, a shot in Black Swan, Like Crazy, Road to Coronation Street, etc etc. But even in those I don't think they look that great.

April 16, 2012

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James

2nd time I watched Act of Valor (both times up close to the screen and both times pixel peeping) I see what you mean. The most cinematic shot (DR, grading, lighting roll off, contrast) to me was when the marines land in the field by moon light. It looked really good.

For the most part, the movie was extremely soft. However, none of my movie going friends even noticed! But they did notice the acting.

This little powerhouse from Davinci solves so much of the mkII issues: line skipping, moire and codec compression. I'm excited. The DR looks great.

April 16, 2012

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oh boy here we go
You can make digital to have look of film (and better). Key points - lossless raw video, low noise level, wide native DR, I mean 15+ stops, highlight protection to play with in post; 16bit+ color range, no rolling shutter at all, it completely gives away the "video look", btw there are ways to solve that. Then you can apply correct grade and add a tad bit of film grain for taste. Good luck in trying to distinguish that footage from motion picture film reel next to it.

April 17, 2012

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Natt

So is this ccd or cmos? Might be similar to Ikonoskop sensor? Regarding battery, it can take an external battery pack.

April 16, 2012

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Either way it would be an improvement - I owned (sold last month) the a-cam DII and it was a 9 stop DR device. IMO 13 like they claim might be a stretch, but even if it is 11 stops it would be worth the cash.

April 16, 2012

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Jordan Carr

Man! I want this to be so good so badly, but the (apparent) lack of concern for in-camera audio is a major bummer for me. I'm curious to see what they have done on that front, but there is no XLR and no external input level knobs... which doesn't bode well for audio. It does seem to still be better than DSLRs, but that is a serious feature to lack (and a serious advantage of the FS100 for me).

At the same time, with the $3k price tag...... It is hard to complain. I'm looking forward to what sort of tech this inspires, and what comes out that is a more direct competitor for the FS100, near that $5k price tag.

April 16, 2012

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David

What do you need to be more competitive to an FS100? XLRs or its ability to be a doorstop? The FS100 is a budget TV doco/event cam. If you use it for other things, great. The BMD is a pure S16 indie movie cam. If you are recording to your camera that's cool, but even decent indie sound men prefer their own kit. It would be very simple to make this work audio wise, especially with that form factor.

April 16, 2012

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I agree with you. Almost anything I do, I'd be recording sound with a separate kit - much more control over audio that way. I understand recording directly to the camera for something like an interview / talking head shoot, but other than that, I like the audio recorded separately. So, for me, not having XLR plugs isn't a problem (but that's me) because I'm not using that feature anyway. So, I think I'm the kind of person this camera is really marketed toward, and I absolutely love what I've heard so far. I can't wait to see some of the tests done with it. I was very interested in the new FS700, but the price was just more than I wanted to pay at this time. But it looks like this camera will perfectly fit what I want to do, and at a terrific price point.

April 16, 2012

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Mike

Yes the FS700 almost had me too. :-)

April 16, 2012

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Completely agree with you. This is a movie cam, not a jack-of-all like the FS-100. I see the audio "limitations" as no issue at all.

April 17, 2012

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Brynn

"The BMD is a pure S16 indie movie cam." Absolutely. Though it will also find a huge amount of Run and gun application too you would think. This is the poor mans RED. And about as disruptive.

April 17, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

No one who takes themselves seriously as a filmmaker relies on in-camera audio, my friend.

April 16, 2012

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swested

Also, I have 3 months in the pool before they make a S16 PL mount version. Race you to ebay.

April 16, 2012

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Also, re the article above - I own a D800 (and an Af101) and this rounds out the set nicely (Until an hour ago I was a very likely FS700 customer). Stills, DSLR, pure video, and now 'filmic cool' that I used to have to hire a RED for. For anything where I can charge above that level for kit I'll rent.

April 16, 2012

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oh man thats a really nice camera :D
but 50p or even higher frame rate and a v-mount battery would be cool

April 16, 2012

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You can put it on a v-mount rig. And I'd say, based on a decade of BM user experience, there will be a faster framerate upgrade. But let me repeat - this is a S16 drama cam. This is back to the days when you used to have to use other cams for specific overcranked shots. If you shoot the majority of your stuff overcranked I suggest the AF101 or FS700 are your budget options.

April 16, 2012

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Actually the sensor of this camera is larger than S16, taking into account that a S16 sensor size is 12.52 x 7.41. I don't think this as a "catch", this is a great and (very important) affordable camera for us, the indie filmmakers.

April 16, 2012

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By my calculations, it's roughly a .8" sensor.

April 16, 2012

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swested

Yes and no... while S16mm glass will not cover 4/3" the choice of mounts is a little strange. I hope someone is busy cine-modding tokinas.

Surely the "everybody is a winner" mount would have been MFT?

April 16, 2012

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nobody

It definitely doesn't look like the strongest low light camera based on those tests, but the grain from it doesn't look nearly as bad as most digital grain/colour noise. I'm the kind of person who doesn't mind grain as long as it leans more to the organic film grain look, and this one seems to me like its not too bad. Especially for the price tag.

April 16, 2012

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Anton

I noticed that one early tester mentioned that the white balance is baked into the raw image. I hope this isn't true. Being able to change the white balance in post is a significant part of why I like shooting raw.

I can't think of a raw camera on the market that bakes in white balance, can you?

"The only thing that’s baked into this file is the white balance point."
http://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/blackmagic-cinema-camera-let...

April 16, 2012

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Andy

Andy, John Brawley, the guy that did the video tests, says that, "the only thing that’s baked into this file is the white balance point.  Everything else is up for grabs."

April 16, 2012

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Cory Ewing

So if I'm going to buy resolve 9 anyway, why not spend an extra 2 grand and get a sick 13 stop camera that records 2.5k 12-bit raw? Sign me up.

April 16, 2012

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chris larsen

Hope Canon is paying attention here. Their 4k DSLR / C500 for $15-30k leaves such a gap that, of all, a videohard- and software company has to come in to enter the void. The biggest lesson is that resolution is not the name of the game, it's bit depth first and foremost: 10-bit, 12-bit, just more to play with in post... More bits first, resolution can come later.

April 16, 2012

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Agree 100%. The resolution game gets all the attention, when it should be the bit depth and dynamic range we should be worried about. We've matched 35mm size, lets stop going crazy with that and now try to match the range of film better.

April 16, 2012

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Anton

Ok i have a 5d2 that was going to use as a B camera for a 5d3, this announcement just changed my intentions, this was the kind of products i was expecting as a response for de 4 year old 5d2

April 16, 2012

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Oneris

a horrible design. Clearly someone was trying to channel Steve Jobs and design a simplified cam and forgot to include an eye level viewfinder! If you use a loupe how do you use the touchscreen? Ok so use a external EVF fine but that's more rigging and expense. I'm short sighted this 'aint gonna work out the box for me.

April 16, 2012

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dan

Yes, it's a horrible design. So go buy the 5DM3 because that has everything a videocamera should have, wait what?

April 16, 2012

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Chris

you sir have made my day

April 16, 2012

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Oneris

mine too

April 16, 2012

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It's a 2 1/2 K iPhone. I have a Cineroid on my AF that should have been designed in the 1st place with a simple eye piece viewed from shoulder like an Arri or any other 16mm camera made over the last 40 years. The Ikonoscope filmmakers get it! Form factor is everything, just try shoot a doc with one these with an EVF 8 hours a day, you will curse that set up. Extra batteries, Israeli arms poking you in the face, bent HDMI cables snapped off midshoot. Other personal issues are lens crop again and FOV and or investing in more glass! I love S16 but this is a 16 digital camera, huge difference! You cannot compare S16 film stock just because this camera has same sensor size. The beauty of 16 is the texture of film, the light to silver, the lenses. Yes this might produce stunning images but so can a Gh2 on ETC mode with a CCTV lens and some CInegrain. 2 1/2 k Data will drive you nuts. RAW jesus, I can barely cope with 2 TB on my last doc shoot and that was AVCHD to prores. is 2 1/2 K the holy grail for low budget filmmakers? 1080 was 5 years ago. Now it's 4k. You've all gone mad. At least with a D800 I can shoot with my old Nikkors native and take 36mp pics for $3k and the camera will hold its value in several years because of still market. This camera will be on Ebay in 2 years for $1200.

April 16, 2012

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dan

doesn't matter chris fool you

April 16, 2012

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Oneris

I agree with you, Dan. Why don't any of these cameras come in a shape that's useful?

Nevermind mimicking the aesthetics of film cameras, how about learning something from their ergonomics - like the Aatons designed to "sit like a cat" on your shoulder. And those lovely wooden hand grips...

April 16, 2012

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Graham Kay

It is useful because the small form factor allows for the maximum amount of cofigurations and therefore usefullness. I don't know how people have trouble understanding this. If you want an Aaton style camera, buy a shoulder rig, put a nice pad on the shoulder then put your existing camera on. Done.

(Don't forget to tie on weights and a hefty price tag)

April 17, 2012

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Chris

The reason I have a problem understanding this, Chris, is the past couple of years' experience of trying to make a DSLR usable - with all those damnable Heath Robinson attachments, contraptions, wires, batteries, BMX hand grips, sore arms, lumbar pains, squinting, craning of the neck, and so on.

Why not start out with a camera that goes on the shoulder with everything built in. You know, you can still put this on a tripod if you want. (Clue: news cameramen have known this trick for decades)

I don't know why people have trouble understanding this.

April 17, 2012

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Graham Kay

I'm not seeing a HDMI out so no bent cables here - SDI all the way.

April 16, 2012

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thegregferris

People use cameras in different ways, but most want as many options as possible in as small a form factor as possible to allow for the maximum amount of creativity, and that's what you're missing. If I want to mount this camera to car, it's small size and shape would make that simple with existing inepensive mounts. I could mount it on a shoulder mount, or fly it on a merlin for event coverage. As you already acknowledged, an EVF is also not out of the question.

April 17, 2012

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Chris

You mean like the Red's eye level viewfinder? So you rig a zacuto eve... Whats the problem?

April 16, 2012

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Justin

Or the FS cams from Sony. Hmm. Seem we have a lot of cams with that issue Dan's not buying.

April 16, 2012

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This is very refreshing. Competition in this area is great for the consumer. The Zacuto camera test should be VERY interesting this year. Can't wait!!

April 16, 2012

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Does anyone know if the camera will have aperture control for EF lenses?

April 16, 2012

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Scalped Productions

Nevermind... I referenced the tech specs. EF and ZF mount compatible with electronic iris control.

April 16, 2012

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Scalped Productions

I hope not many people here bought the Digital Bolex.

April 16, 2012

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Horses for courses and this is the right horse for me. With all the green screen and vfx work I do I dont need full frame like depth of field. I will keep my T2i and T3i, this will be a sweet addition. Glad i held out on buying a Sony fs100.

April 16, 2012

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Lee

Cant wait to see what the Big Bothers and Sisters to this camera as the line hopefully continues

April 16, 2012

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Sardo

The test videos/samples for this camera isn't impressive AT ALL!!

April 16, 2012

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Then don't buy one. I'll have your place in the queue.

April 16, 2012

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agreed!

April 17, 2012

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Robert

I can voice my opinion if I want to dude. If I think something is impressive I'll say it, if it isn't, it isn't. No need to be snobby with a "then don't buy it" comment.

I for one am not going to jump on something just because it happens to be cheap. I rather see good samples, try it myself, etc. I'll wait until more samples come out in July before I made a final decision.

You can go jump at it as if it's the messiah, I'll play it smart. It seems the internet community is just focused on numbers in lieu of telling stories.

April 17, 2012

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Agreed!

July 20, 2012

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Felipe

Jesus-H-Rubber-Twat-Bomb!

This is awesome! I mean yeah, there are better camera out there but DUDE!? Check out that price tag! Even if you don't want to buy this puppy it must make you excited about how much this will affect the price tags of decent cameras!

So it saying it's compatible with Canon lenses does that mean it has an EF mount or you need to buy an add on or something?

Thanks for the news NFS, excellent post as always :D

April 16, 2012

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EF mount.

April 16, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

AND Nikon mount :-)

April 16, 2012

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your definition of decent its very high, this is more than decent beside its sensor size i see no bad issue, and in fact the size its not necessarily a bad thing, it all depend in your needs

April 16, 2012

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Oneris

Anyone remember the Silicon Imaging 2K cams?, Danny Boyle used them on Slum Dog, kinda might borrow some of the tech, Raw and all. a while back i remember a greek outfit working on something similar too. only surpeise here is the price tag. wicked, but please don't slam me for this, but i kinda go along with osborne, the footage isn't all that, but let's wait and see.
peace

April 16, 2012

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kuban

Yeah, it definitely needs a harder test, but I'm encouraged by the skintones.

April 16, 2012

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Also, bear in mind that the DOP is very 'naturalistic' in his style. So that's probably not helping in this particular case.

April 16, 2012

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This camera would be a killer if it had xlr inputs. Unfortunately it doesn't

April 16, 2012

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RJ

LOL

April 16, 2012

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Jordan Carr

It has 1/4" (rather than 1/8") inputs though, so it should be easier to connect professional mics, there are tons of XLR to 1/4" adapters. Of course, you don't get phantom power that way...but some pro mics can use disposable batteries, too.

April 17, 2012

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Looking at the night test footage again, I am slowly starting to fall in love with the camera. Black Magic has the film look dialed in!

April 16, 2012

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Robert

That's the point. Caught up messing with couple of flat log jpgs from raw images. It's filmic as hell.

April 17, 2012

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Natt

Got to see and touch at the BMD mega-booth today - weird but freakin' great. This is the direction Canon should have gone as far as pricing on the new Cinema line - 15 to 30 grand is just too much. I will say that the C500 demo footage is incredible, but this camera is exactly what I want for my next movie.

April 16, 2012

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Lance Bachelder

My gut says the same.

April 17, 2012

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Unbelievable - shame it cant do 2.5k at 48fps...maybe down the line with a firmware update. Still 30 down to 24 is often enough to knock the edge of many shots depending on what you need. One of the shows I LOVE the look of is The Walking Dead, shot on S16. This camera has an almost identical filmic quality and yes noise is a part of that look...in a good way. Cant believe its $3k...$2k considering you get Resolve valued at $999 which I was going to buy anyway.

This year is INSANE!!!

April 16, 2012

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This sensor doesn't seem too small to me, a 50mm on BMD would be equivalent to a 70mm on a 7D, if you wanna go wide and cheap you can buy a Tokina 11-16 2.8 and it would be an equivalent to a 16-23mm on a 7D, not bad at all.

April 17, 2012

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Marcus

This sensor is almost 30% bigger than a regular S16 sensor hence this could be misleading in a way.

April 17, 2012

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Marcus

Which explains why they didn't do a S16 PL version - those lenses won't cover the sensor.

April 17, 2012

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Funnily enough I used a set of S16 SuperSpeeds today and they were covered on a 3k crop from the Epic so I have a feeling they would cover this sensor too.

April 17, 2012

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Archie

16-23mm ain't bad, unless you spend a lot of your time shooting in small rooms, in real locations. Or car interiors. Like many of us do.

The problem with a small sensor camera with a 35mm FF mount, is there are no inexpensive 10mm or 12mm lenses available. 9.8 mm f/1.8 Kinoptic lenses are getting harder to find, and are not selling at bargain-basement prices when you find them ( http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300599460194 )

April 17, 2012

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c.d.embrey

To clarify. The OP converted the 11-16mm to 16-23 equivalent (I have no idea why, a 50mm lens is always a 50mm lens). Using his math, an 8mm becomes a 12mm equivalent and a 7mm is a 10mm equivalent. There are NO 7mm or 8mm non-fisheye lenses available in an EF mount.

April 17, 2012

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c.d.embrey

Boys!
How this beautiful thing would compare low-light-wise to let's say... A 7D?
(I've been using a 7D for the last year and half, I was saving my coins for a MK3, but now... Im reconsidering it)

Cheers!

April 17, 2012

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Emi

Can't compare the 2.

The 7D can't even out resolve the Panasonic GH2 and has lots of jello, poor dynamic range, tons of compression, horrible color (when compared to RAW cameras).

Remember that "low light" doesn't mean anything if you capture MUSHY video. These Canon DSLRs might "seem" ok in low light but they really blow pretty hard. Philip Bloom tested Canon DSLRs vs the Sony FS100 Cinema cam and the Sony blew it out of the water.

The bit-rates of these RAW type cameras make them far more suitable for special effects, color correction and green screen work vs what a Canon 7D is capable of.

Cheers!

April 17, 2012

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Jordan Carr

OMG I can't believe this doesn't have XLRs or 120 fps! What a JOKE! The video tests look like a Nokia phone from 2002! The from factor is awful! This is the worst thing to happen to me all day! I HATE EVERYTHING! Cameras are terrible!

But seriously, I'm buying 3 of these.

April 17, 2012

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LOL! It doesn't even have HDMI either. Waste of time. I already placed my order :)

April 17, 2012

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Diz

For the price, it's attractive! And the design is cool

April 17, 2012

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As for the dead/bad pixel problem and noise under low light, my free de-Bayer program that I have been using for the KineRAW-S8p (tm) tests on Vimeo has features to remove those when used with the DNG workflow.

You don't see any bad pixels in my KineRAW-S8p (tm) footage because my program can find those and then makes a list and interpolates over them when the RAW DNG file is loaded for processing.

Likewise for FPN masking, and I have temporal noise reduction, combined those can maybe give you a two stop gain for similar noise levels. I don't know if the applied NeatVideo (tm) to their sample footage or use some other temporal noise reduction methods.

I have EDR (Extended Dynamic Range) processing that lets the sensor be exposed a bit to high and still gives some highlight detail, that can be used to shoot high contrast subjects without underexposing too much so that you get noise in the shadow areas.

By combining EDR with temporal noise reduction and the other area de-noise filters in my de-Bayer processing the results should "improve", but those adjustments need to be done scene to scene rather than as some kind of automatic one pass processing because the grading should be optimized during the de-Bayer processing rather than after to help separate the noise from the image detail in the important tones.

Anyway, by de-Bayer program is a free download from my web site and reads DNG frames, if some special features show up in this camera it might be possible to add presets for its color balance and such as I have started to do for some other cameras.

April 17, 2012

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