April 17, 2012

Hands-On With the 2.5K Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera

I had a chance to play with the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera - and it's definitely going to be a disruptive product. The touch screen on the back of the camera was very sensitive, and it took me only seconds to find exactly what I was looking for. The specific camera I was using had a Zeiss 18mm T3.6 while another had a Canon lens, so the versatility is not to be understated. I had a great conversation with Simon Westland, Director of Sales EMEA at Blackmagic. You can watch that video below, as well as some additional photos of the camera.

It's really inspiring when you can interact with a company that is not only excited about their products, but about everything else from other companies being released. The people at Blackmagic were extremely humble when other cameras were mentioned, and rather than positioning this camera as a direct competitor to anything out there, they have decided to make something that they believe shooters are asking for: a RAW camera at a reasonable price with a relatively large sensor.

The most exciting part of this camera is the flexibility, because if you don't want to record RAW, you can get DNxHD or ProRes - both highly professional and versatile formats in their own right. The touchscreen might turn some people off, but this is a camera with ease of access and usability in mind. Every single aspect was designed to be as intuitive as possible, and I can attest that I was changing settings as quickly as I have with any DSLR that has dedicated buttons.

From what I can see - the camera didn't look too noisy at 1600 on the LCD, but I'll have to wait for the final product to see how it handles noise. Speaking of the LCD, the 5" touchscreen LCD on the back of the device was certainly good enough to pull focus - as I was doing so with the Zeiss lens on the specific Cinema Camera I was using. Things have gotten very, very interesting in the camera market with the introduction of this professional solution. DSLRs certainly have their place, and the 5D Mark III and D800 cameras that I've been testing are still valid options, but if you don't need stills and you can deal with the slightly under 4/3s sensor (my initial calculations are over 2x crop factor), this is going to give you unmatched quality at this price point ($3,000).

Link: Blackmagic Cinema Camera

[Thanks to Nick Novotny for this use of his camera for this video]

Your Comment

120 Comments

Poor Joe Focuspulling seemed to be hard with him ;)

April 17, 2012

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It's a really nice cam.

April 17, 2012

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Álex Montoya

If this camera performs well, the DSLR revolution is dead as far as I'm concerned. Thank god

April 17, 2012

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Ryan

Looks like it would be great for HD nature documentaries.. With the crop factor you don't need massive telephotos. It really looks like it might be a great option for almost any movie-length project. I think this is the sort of set-up that a company like Panasonic should look long and hard at. Take the GH2/GH3 framework and go in this direction.

April 17, 2012

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jchilds

my only concerns will be:

IS/AF support from the EF mount
Rolling shutter severity
built in Battery...as opposed to removable battery
No USB 3.

So depending on the final product and samples of it's output...I might very well be standing in line for 2 of these cameras.

One things for sure, Black Magic is going to have trouble keeping up with demand!!

April 17, 2012

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seanmcr6

Sensitivity and rolling shutter are my biggest concerns right now.

I hope we get to play with some native footage anytime soon.

April 17, 2012

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Álex Montoya

Like everyone else I'm also really excited about this camera, but yeah some of John's test footage is pretty shaky, as is most handheld dslr footage without IS. I'm a little concerned about stabilization since it's designed to be a handheld camera, as per the interview. EF lenses with IS are few and far between and some people just prefer not to use lens IS at all. Looks like we may need a shoulder rig after all. Have to wait till more footage comes out I guess. Still, camera looks like it has huge potential.

April 17, 2012

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Scott

April 17, 2012

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Jordan Carr

Internal battery?! It's insane! How could be done a full Day shooting outside If i can't replace batteries?! Should we use external heavy lead batteries like the nineties? It's crazy! Impossibile in fast handheld shooting!

April 17, 2012

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Luigi

You can power it with almost anything. Watch the video.

April 17, 2012

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Álex Montoya

Who said anything about lead batteries? Power it with your canon batteries if you want with a simple adapter.

April 17, 2012

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Roger Freeman

Large studio productions often have a large Anton Bauer tethered to the camera. I think V-mount batteries will end up being the best option unfortunately.

April 17, 2012

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I've been watching the sample videos, and rolling shutter in the few places where I could actually see fast camera movement, the camera didn't seem to handle it too well. Maybe I'm just imagining things, but I just can't deal with another camera with a heavy rolling shutter issue.

April 17, 2012

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Chris

So what camera would you suggest then? Seems like every camera has this problem unless you're willing to spend the big bucks. You can't have Ferrari for the price of a Ford. I for one could almost care less about rolling shutter - put your camera on a proper stabilization device!

April 17, 2012

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Roger Freeman

Jesus F*%%ng Christ, if I hear one more person complain about rolling shutter on here...

Sorry. Just had to vent.

April 17, 2012

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Hummer

Who needs usb3. It has thunderbolt and ssd media.

April 17, 2012

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Paul

USB is a much more widely adopted standard than thunderbolt, and is really all this camera needs. It can't send out video data or anything via the port, so what's the need? USB 3.0 would be really nice for those of us who work on PCs.

May 2, 2012

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Joey

And this is only a first generation product. This may be a kick in the pants these companies need to show they can provide professional options at affordable prices.

April 17, 2012

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moebius22

I think Canon missed the lesson from their amazing accidental success with the 5D, it was never, "wow look at that image" it was "wow look at that image for that PRICE". The new $15,000 HDSLR trend is an insult really. You want to compete in image quality, you are still up against true Cinema cameras that even Hollywood rents and doesn't own, if I'm playing in that league, forget Canon, I don't see Ridley Scott on these forums. But for the thousands and thousands of us who make up the emerging indie film and advertising market, we want the cheapest possible equipment that will give us the highest quality output.
BMD GETS it, they released DaVinci Resolve "lite" with almost no restrictions, and I'm coloring my first feature on it, if you get to play with the toys that the big shots do, it makes you want to buy some of that stuff too. If I can get my budget rangled together, I plan on picking up this camera and upgrading (FOR FREE) to the full DaVinci Resolve. This company understands what our market is. We are the 99% in the film world today. We will be the ones who buy from them in quantity, and we will be the ones who make them rich for doing it.

April 17, 2012

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James Neuendorf

Ah James, I don't think Canon missed a trick at all, why change what you're doing when it clearly works. DSLRs are not just about video, they're first and foremost stills cameras. Blackmagic don't have that constraint and could design a camera without all the other distractions. If you consider it an insult that they've created a 4k camera for $15k that can record 4k directly to CF cards then you really don't understand the market very well. The 5D mk2 is going to plummet in price and it's still a great camera, it's just even better value now. I don't think Canon never got it, nor Sony nor Panasonic, they're just bound by financial imperatives and market necessity in a way that Blackmagic aren't. Plus, the camera is essentially a hyperdeck shuttle with a sensor attached. They already had most of the parts required to build the back end, from many years of dealing with exactly those kinds of specs and sensors, Canon have had to build it from scratch. It just feels like everyone's getting all pissy at manufacturers when we've never ever had it so good. From someone whose first films were shot on a PD150 up against the big boys shooting S35, I think it's hilarious when indie filmmakers are complaining about the cheapest tools we've ever known.

Let's be thankful that we have such a brutal arms race going on, because we're the ones who benefit.

April 17, 2012

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No, I think Canon really did miss the mark on this one. Pardon the pun.

April 17, 2012

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swested

Canon most certainly missed the mark (pun intended!).
1. The 5d line has never been $3599 until now. 5dmkII which has same MP, and is sharper was $2699 remember? Ok, so we get better AF and cleaner ISO's but softer video and headphone jack for, wait, $1,000 more?? Not cool.
2. Canon jumps ship outside of the DSLR movement with the cinema cameras and launches them into the stratosphere of 16 and 30k prices!!
3. Canon comes back into the DSLR sphere with the 4k but has no RAW and launches this into the stratosphere of $15k. What DSLR (non medium format) is $15k? What motion jpeg cinema camera is $15k? So in one swoop, Canon came out with the most expensive DSLR and the most expensive prosumer camera (not near a digital cinema camera!).

Wow, thanks Canon. You have lost my business! Hello BMD! (I need Resolve 9 anyway. PS: design us a $3k or less interface controller for the indie masses. We'd appreciate it :) )

April 17, 2012

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I'm certainly not complaining, I am just saying that Canon, who arguably started the HDSLR revolution with a happy accident, didn't learn from their success. I was a professional photographer long before I got into doing video, and so I fully understand the challenge of mixing a stills camera with a video camera. But they don't seem to have realized what made the 5Dmk2 such a big hit with film-makers, the same thing you just said, that this is an incredible time to be an indie production because of that cost/quality ratio. I'm not whining about the revolution here, I'm remarking that Canon just lost it's spot on top of the revolution because of missing the lesson from their success. Other companies are going to fill that role and get our business. The new 4k HDSLR from Canon is an "insult" because this is the same company that democratized film making, heck, I was a Nikon photographer 100% but the Canon 5dmk2 made me become a Canon loyalist, (it's not an easy thing for a photographer to switch brands). I had the highest hopes for what the mk3 would be, and instead Black Magic Design seems to have met them instead. my 2 cents.

April 17, 2012

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James Neuendorf

I agree absolutely, I'm not whining either because we know that companies like Bolex and Black Magic are filling the gap that Canon jumped. But every film maker I've talked to is disappointed with the Mark III, and that's Canon's deal. Even if jumping the gap wasn't an accident and indie filmmakers aren't Canon's target it doesn't change the fact that they're alienating those of us who don't have a butt load of money just lying around, and that's a fact.

April 17, 2012

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Aaron

For what you pay with an increase in price and what you get in new features, the 5DMIII is a disappointment. I am glad to see other companies move into this sector of the market bringing new form factors and new ideas. I hope BM does well with this. Maybe they will come out with a version 2 with a bigger sensor and removable battery.

But we need to see more footage that challenges the sensor to see if this is a true contender.

April 19, 2012

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Mickey Jones

Canon's constraints have nothing to do with also having to be a stills camera. Their constraints are they have a motion division that got completely side swiped by their arms race (in the stills world) with Nikon. When Nikon added video, they realized, hey, we gotta do it too...and in the process, they outperformed their (overpriced) motion division.

And now with their off the mark pricing we're seeing a company trying (and failing) to come to terms with the two sides of it's business.

It reminds me of Sony (although not their motion picture cameras)...they had a similar corporate quandry...this is the company that invented the Walkman... and they a record label (a big one!)...yet...they could never reconcile the two halves, and that's the iPod revolutionized music, not a digital Walkman.

BMD "gets it", as someone said. For it's price range, you want usable color and having it encoded well (with a choice of formats)...and you want SDI, but not having to pay $15k plus for it. You know, basically a D-SLR with a couple of small tweaks. I think the tiny sensor size is unfortunate, and I have little doubt they'll make a normal sized sensor in the future. This is what people want out of a camera in this price range (excluding the tiny sensor size), and actually more in line of what people wanted out of Canon in that price range.

April 21, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

looks like the rolling shutter is quitte severe, 3:43 when he touches the camera on the tripod. The image on the lcd goes all wiggly.. :(

April 17, 2012

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Ardon

I guess if rolling shutter proves to still be an issue, it will come down to how it compares to the rolling shutter from your average dslr from similar price range, mkIII, D800, etc. If it's roughly the same, it'll definitely be a disappointment, but the other features would still likely push it out front for me. If it's worse, then maybe not.

April 17, 2012

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Scott

In fact, the rolling shutter with the Mark III is very minimized. My bet is that this camera has more of it, though I hope I'm mistaken.

April 17, 2012

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Álex Montoya

NOT true - rolling shutter on the 5DMK3 is crap. Here is a video my friend made proving it. There is virtually NO difference between the MK2 and MK3 in rolling shutter.

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/QKzLeFOqYsI/

Take care.

April 17, 2012

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Jordan Carr

I guess the rolling shutter mentioned in the video is actually the lens elements shaking. A problem with non cinema lenses. Espessially with telephoto lenses.

April 18, 2012

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it's a pretty long zoom it looks like, so it might also just be any vibration multiplied by the zoom factor. You know what even breathing can do at 300 mm, even more so with that crop factor. It was a bit jiggly though.

April 17, 2012

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James Neuendorf

True, it's a shot with the canon zoom lens, didn't see that. Let's hope it's worsened due to the zoom lens and it's still a prototype, so let's hope for the best

April 17, 2012

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Ardon

...that isn't what rolling shutter even looks like. That's lens vibration.

April 17, 2012

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swested

I love how none of these idiots noticed that, or you pointing it out. And honestly, RS is their main issue? What are you shooting? Paul Greengrass can rent Alexas, or you know, shoot film. I cannot think of a shoot I've done or cut in the last 3 years where the RS of a DSLR prevented a shot. This is just trolling.

April 17, 2012

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I'm more concerned with Moiré patterning than RS.

April 19, 2012

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Mickey Jones

rolling shutter, while probably present, shouldn't be THAT much of an issue, given the smaller sensor size. with a 2x crop factor, as well as a what looks like the 70-200mm L lens, this looks like a lens vibration.

rolling shutter comes from the time it takes to read the sensor top to bottom, and the image in the frame changing during that time. at this price point this camera probably doesn't have the fastest processor around, so i'm sure some rolling shutter is present, but at a S16 size sensor, it should be less of an issue than that of a larger sensor camera (like 5dii).

April 17, 2012

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Kevin

Lens vibration creates rolling shutter.

April 21, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

Oops...sorry...that was for swested.

April 21, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

I wonder if it'll accept spinning hard drives such as a 7200rpm notebook drive, and have enough throughput to capture ProRes. Sure I know it wouldn't work with RAW, but it would be pretty sweet if you could slap a 750GB 7200rpm drive in there and get a massive amount of ProRes onto $120 worth of drive.

I can't wait to see some side by side comparisons on the DoF. While I know everyone wants to shoot wide open it's a tough gig to pull focus at that point, not to mention many times it's actually distracting to the story you're trying to tell, so I'm not slavishly attached to the 2" depth of focus look. My only real concern is sourcing lenses for situations where you need to go wide. Interiors might be pretty hard when your widest option is a 22mm equivalent (assuming roughly 2x) out of an 11-16mm Tokina.

Color space is a HUGE deal for me. I'm not even that seasoned of an eye and the 8bit colorspace leaves a lot to be desired. This camera shooting in 12bit, for only $3k, is remarkable. Combined with all the perfect assortment of I/O ports and man, I would be EXTREMELY hard pressed to buy an FS100 for my inventory when they're 66% more expensive (at $5k). That said, if I get to doing more of what I'd prefer to be doing (music videos and sports) I'd probably stick to my guns about getting an FS700.

Slow-mo is the new time-lapse.

Then again maybe RAW is the new slow-mo?

April 17, 2012

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"Slow-mo is the new time-lapse.

Then again maybe RAW is the new slow-mo?"

Actually, RED is the new black! ;-)

+ 1! Lack of wide angle lenses in EF mount is their big problem.

April 17, 2012

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c.d.embrey

The other thing to worry about with all that crop is the distortion properties of the wider lenses versus how close to your subject you need to be in order to frame up things like medium tight shots. At some point your lens is pushing the subject's ears (assuming human) so far behind their ever-warping face, that people start looking funky. A lot of people think "oh well, the crop just makes a 25mm act like a 50mm but the two have totally different looks with the same framing. Oh and now that I think of it, if you were to use the 2k image as a way to have reframing options you're REALLY starting to crop things. So I dunno.... I'll have to see what people think of the crop factor on this bad boy but it looks really promising.

April 17, 2012

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Good points, but it gets back to: what have filmmakers done with s16 (more crop than this) for the past 100 years? Seems like they have mastered their craft. Is it because of the s16 lenses?

April 17, 2012

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25mm is considered as the standard lens for 16mm, so the long end of a 10-22mm will be fine. I've shot close with a lot shorter than 22mm (5.7mm, 10mm, 15mm) back in film school days.

April 17, 2012

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c.d.embrey

The chip is slightly larger than S16 and slightly smaller than 4/3. Therefore only two useable lenses for "intimate story films" are the EF 14mm f/2.82.8L prime and the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom. And maybe the EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye zoom, if you like that sort of thing .

This camera will be great for shooting BIF and Surfing. A $1,350.00 EF 400mm f/5.6L will give you a lot of reach for not much money. On the other hand, shooting in 10x12 apartment bedrooms and compact car interiors, like many low budget features do, may be difficult.

BTW, much better interview than the typical 90 seconds that most sites do.

April 17, 2012

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c.d.embrey

Wouldn't the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 be an option as well? Best price anyway, though the Canon 10-22 isn't much more.

April 17, 2012

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Scott

I just mentioned the OEM lenses. I have no idea what the 3rd party makers are doing for wide lenses. Does Tamron make a wide zoom ?

April 17, 2012

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c.d.embrey

Tamron makes a 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5.

April 17, 2012

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Scott

The Tokina is great on the 7D but only usable at 16mm on the 5D so I would guess it would be fine through the full range on this smaller sensor.

April 19, 2012

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Mickey Jones

I would get this camera EXCEPT:

It seems to be very badly ergonomically designed for handheld

built in battery

RAW = lots of money on storage.

April 17, 2012

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You can power from whatever you'd like with an adapter and it shoots ProRes and DNxHD if you don't want to shoot RAW DNG.

April 17, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Oh, please. Boo-hoo. After 4 years of DSLRs, this looks like a relief.

And the price of SSDs is plummeting as we speak. Brilliant move, IMO.

April 17, 2012

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swested

SSDs are getting cheap for dailies and HHDs are extremely cheap for editing projects. Storage doesn't seem to be an issue given the format you are getting.

April 19, 2012

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Mickey Jones

if you look at the DUSK video at around 2:00, you'll see that rolling shutter is still pretty bad. Check the cars passing by. I'm wondering, what are the options to power this camera on the go? I haven't heard any definite solution. Other than that, it looks FANTASTIC. I'm so excited things are going this way for the camera industry.

April 17, 2012

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Eugenio Fernánd...

With all of these RAW cameras coming out, get ready to buy more hard drives than ever before. Files are gigantic.

April 17, 2012

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True, though ProRes and DNxHD are very nice, editable compressed formats.

April 17, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

With HDDs still at 80% higher prices than last year (due to the floods in Thailand), storage is indeed a factor to consider...

April 17, 2012

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I imagine with a c-mount adapter you could use some 16mm lenses with reasonable success.

April 17, 2012

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Kevin

The C-mount has a Flange Focal Distance of 17.52 mm, way too short to be adapted to an EF mount whose FFD is 44.00 mm.

April 17, 2012

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c.d.embrey

Perhaps I missed it, what frame rates does it offer? I heard 24 and 30 but was there any mention of 60 or 120?

April 17, 2012

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Mcblakewich

Max of 30. Not a camera for slow-mo projects.

April 17, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Can someone help solve an arguement? Doe the $3000 price tag in the states include tax?

April 17, 2012

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Neill Jones

Base price, before sales tax.

April 17, 2012

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Scott

Buy through an out of state retailer, problem solved.

April 17, 2012

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john jeffreys

thats what you think...

Usually because of the sales difference they just convert the price 1:1 to €

April 18, 2012

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Oh yeah, if you are from Europe and are trying to buy it, that sucks because 3000 euros is way more than 3000 dollars haha.

April 20, 2012

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john jeffreys

I´m really excited about that brick.. probably it won´t have phantom power over the 1/4" Audiojacks.. :-(

April 17, 2012

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That's a really good point. I was surprised there was no XLR input. Although i could see phantom power draining the battery very quickly.

April 17, 2012

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Matt

Ah! I'm so excited that it doesn't have XLR!

I come from film and not video, and I can't stand people trying to tether that audio crap on me! Ha ha. They ever try to do it to me on steadicam sometimes (and that's where I draw the line--I won't let them).

It's just coming from different places... video guys want it, and with D-SLR, I was so excited to get back to how it always was. I do like that it has a little internal mic for quick playback reference. They're going with this (standard) shooting production model (by having a 4:2:2 color and a good encoding, good wide latitude, but crap sound options.)

April 21, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

I really hope for the sake of competitive prices that this thing really takes off. It's a lot more easier transition (price wise) for DSLR videographers to make that next step up. Canon DSLR users would have the glass to use for it already, and gh2 users would be used to the crop factor. Plus the touchscreen interface seems to be very user friendly. The fact you can use any SSD or 12 volt power source are great budgetary wise (when compared to RED's accessories cost). All in all, looks like the most bang for your buck on a cinema camera level.

April 17, 2012

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I can't believe these comments. That's lens vibration as pointed out above. If you want Canon or Sony to build you one of these with NDs, XLRs and a 4K upgrade path for $3k, take a seat, it'll be a while. It looks good, especially at the price, and it ships in JULY. You can be shooting a feature on it this summer. A better camera may arrive by Xmas (hello Panasonic), but you'll already have had your money's worth and more. It's a disruptive product, that isn't vapourware from a company with a long professional history and no baggage in this sector. How is that not a purely good thing?

April 17, 2012

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The real problem with this camera is that it will be on "back-order" for forty-four years.

April 17, 2012

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Hey, it's not RED we're talking about here.

April 17, 2012

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Hummer

I did some google-ing and found several SDI viewfinders.

The Cineroid EVF4MSS Metal (HD-SDI Loop out) http://cineroidstore.com/shop/step1.php?number=17 sells for $1,100.00, plus you need an arm to mount it. BMD thoughtfully provided three 1/4" mounting holes on the camera top for mounting accessories.

BTW the Cineroid finder has Zebra and Focus Peaking, something that is missing from the BMD camera specs sheet.

April 17, 2012

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c.d.embrey

I just saw another demo, and although Zebra and Focus isn't mentioned in the spec sheet they are part of the camera.

April 17, 2012

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c.d.embrey

Awesome! I was just going to look into if it had that.

April 21, 2012

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Daniel Mimura

I had the Cineroid EVF and it is really bad! If you want a good viewfinder, go for the Alphatron EVF-035W-3G. I just beta tested one and it is by far the best!!

June 7, 2012

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Anyone know if a good V-Lock DSLR rig that could be compatible?

April 17, 2012

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shaun wilson

This camera looks like it can really kick some as* for a good price! And Being able to record in Raw, or Pro res is no shortcoming! I Cant wait to get my hands on this, and create something nice with it. That's all we want to do at the end of the day!

April 17, 2012

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Yes the MAIN point to consider is the bang for buck in this - especially considering the amazing software they are giving you for the price. Also don't forget what a powerhouse BM are when it comes to product updates. How long was it between the Hyperdeck and the newer much improved model? If this product is a big success Id say we can expect an even better model within a year or at least a 'big brother' that has higher framerates etc for maybe $5k. Basically we need to send a message to Canon and to a lesser extent Sony that their efforts thus far are piss poor. BM have given us the perfect vehicle to send that message. THIS is what we want (or very close to it) and THIS is the price we want it at.

April 17, 2012

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500 people like this

April 17, 2012

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Canon

Pardon my ignorance, but does anyone know how resolution/color space will be affected when switching from RAW to Prores? Will those files be 1080p Prores 444? Or will you still be able to shoot around 2k minus the log format/grading flexibility?

April 17, 2012

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George

Joe, does Digital Bolex have their gear there? I thought someone the other day on here mentioned Zacuto might have their hands on a demo version. If you can, would you mind doing a preliminary review?

Also, I'm assuming that if you're just using the 5D Mark III for video, the major benefits over the BMD camera are:

-higher ISO/low noise
-60p/720 (not a terribly great benefit, but does the job)
-reduced rolling shutter
-removable battery
-crop factor is 0

Are these all, or am I missing any? Would love to open up a (speculative) comparison, since BMD and DB aren't out yet.

April 17, 2012

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I've never met the people at Digital Bolex but I have heard they are here, if I get a chance I'll try to get my hands on the camera - but at the least I would enjoy having a conversation with them and taking a look at it.

April 17, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I checked the NAB exhibitors list http://expo.nabshow.com/mynabshow2012/public/nz_ALExhibitorSearch.aspx and Digital Bolex isn't listed. But they are there and have been interviewed by many film/video blogs. Now it's your turn ;-)

If you get a chance, please interview Ikonoskop They are at C12416 (in hall C). S16 sensor and uncompressed Cine DNG RAW http://www.ikonoskop.com/

April 18, 2012

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c.d.embrey

Hey Joe,

I found someone's rough comparison of the two cameras here:

http://nikitapavlov.com/blog/digital-bolex-d16-vs-blackmagic-cinema-came...

April 18, 2012

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Id imagine the guys at Digital Bolex are busy tying knots in carefully measured lengths of rope. Like everyone else they would have had NO idea BM had this up their sleeve...ready to ship in a matter of months....offering so much more...for so much less!

Its a shame but in this game slow and steady simply makes you road kill on the busy highway of life.

April 17, 2012

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All great.

Why did they over look the battery though... makes it really impractical for a huge chunk (my guess would be the majority) of the target market.

"Battery low, hang on we just have to change... cameras."

April 18, 2012

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Tim

It is strange but not nearly as problematic as people make out. This thing has a 12V-30V DC port - DSLR's have these things called battery grips so if you want portable renewable power, give it a few months and I bet there will be numerous elegant solutions.

Mostly though this beast will be part of a rig with cables and monitors etc so adding on a battery for power wont make a difference. Honestly it s a very small price to pay for true raw cinema DNG at under $3k.

April 18, 2012

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You're right, I'm sure there will be plenty of third party bit for this thing. It would be nice if one comoany made something that didn't mean that it was unusable unless you got extra stuff. I just sold all my red gear and cameras because I was sick of pissing about with it. This camera says "grab me and go shoot" in its design, workflow, formats etc etc. This is why the battery thing confuses me. My last film was shot on Red which was alright but Its a bit like a hot rod car needing contast new bits and tuning etc. The smaller sensor is forgivable but when combined with no battery or the need for a belt or a shoulder mount... I mean I guess it depends what you're after. I've always worked with large scale film cameras and more recently red. I just want something smaller for fast jobs, something to dash about with. This seems like the answer to that... Almost.

Having said all this I'm not the camera op or dp... I'm a director that just wants shit done fast and I want to be able to get the camera where I want it instead of having to cut holes in everything and have sets with removable walls etc etc...

Wow made way to much of a big deal of this.... It not that important. Its amazing for the price - ill get one regardless.

April 18, 2012

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Tim

I DOES have a battery in in. You CAN pick it up and shoot something quick. If you plan to shoot longer, put some rails in a battery pack on it. It's not a handycam FFS. Personally I love that the internal "emergency battery" charges up whilst external power is attached. It just makes sens. This approach with the battery is very well thought out and pertinent to the target market.

April 28, 2012

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This camera looks insane and I want it... I haven't seen anywhere on the site or in the interview any info about an on board mic, or recording sound directly onto the card. Any ideas here?

April 18, 2012

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No onboard mic. Two 1/4" audio inputs.

April 18, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Strange, on the BMD website, the technical specifications say it has a integrated mono microphone...
Link here - http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/techspecs/

April 18, 2012

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Wolf

I stand corrected! That should read:

Mono onboard mic. Two 1/4" audio inputs.

April 18, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

I guess you just have to keep your h4n

April 27, 2012

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No you don't. It has two balanced audio inputs.

April 28, 2012

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Brilliant! What a great time to be making low-budget films! I don't care about the problems and limitations that come with some of these bits of kit - they're there because we're getting the stuff cheap, and they're there to be worked around. There's no excuse now for not making quality stuff (and there hasn't been for a while). Christ - have you ever used an old 16mm camera? - They've not exactly got a 10 inch screen on the back of them, and the films available to (for example) French New Wave filmmakers weren't exactly ISO 1600! For the money, I can't think of much that sounds more exciting than this camera - and good luck to Blackmagic for having a crack at something so ambitious.

April 18, 2012

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By the way, if anyone from Blackmagic wants to give me a loan camera to shoot a feature, I'd really appreciate it... ahem... hint hint...

No? Jeez, I'll bloody well end up buying one at this rate...

April 18, 2012

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Game over for Canon at this price point

http://player.vimeo.com/video/40584879

wow!!!!!

April 19, 2012

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Jordan Carr

I don't know about anyone else, but this footage lacks sharpness.... kind of muddy, blurry to me.
Why can't they use a cinema lens as they show on their website?

April 19, 2012

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Tang

Are we looking at the same video?? Notice the dynamic range, that window is not blown out!

April 20, 2012

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Definitely gets rid of issues facing most DSLR H.264 footage. That is, moiré, compression artefacts and limited dynamic range (often only 10 stops worth).

April 23, 2012

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The 5D with it's line skipping is softer. I ran the 1080p VIMEO COMPRESSED file up on the HDTV (played back by my blu-ray player) and it looks way sharper than anything my 5Dii has produced with L glass.

April 28, 2012

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I'm personally quite excited about this camera! I cancelled my pre-orders on two 5dMKIII bodies due to the poor quality, resolution and issues with the camera. The 4K Canon camera was also outrageously priced, this seems like the perfect solution, although it may not be full-frame (unfortunately) it seems like the quality is there.

Going to wait until tests come out to see whether it can actually live up to the hype. This and the FS700 very great news indeed!

April 19, 2012

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Yeah I reckon the FS700 kills the canon offerings 1D-C et al.

I reckon the BMD will kick the 5Diii's arse for pure video when it's released.

April 28, 2012

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It's nice to see a reasonably priced camera come to market by a company that understands the needs of its intended users. I shoot with a 5D and have invested a lot in canon glass, so this is a nice fit for me. While I'm intrigued by all the new cameras that have been released, I must agree that the prices are a bit too high for my budget. The built-in battery on this unit was my only concern but I'm sure there will be a quick solution in the near future. Let this be a wake up call to all the other companies that lower priced, quality cameras are coming and that they no longer control the market or it's price points. I was going to upgrade the the 5Dm3 but feel the cost increase didn't justify the product. I was also looking at the Digital Bolex but I think I will be ordering the Blackmagic now because for the price it's got most everything I need and add in the bundled software... It's a no- brainier.

April 19, 2012

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Bryon Cole

The video stops just before 4minutes and then it's just green!

April 20, 2012

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Stefano

What I find disappointing is the sensor size. If this was APS-C, this camera would be perfect.
"Slightly smaller than four thirds" is not necessarily too small, but the weird 2.x crop factor will be a problem because you won't be able to get the right focal lengths.

April 20, 2012

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Heiko

Why im not going to get this camera..

first.. no HDMI out.. why? i really would like the option to hook up my smallHD screen
second.. no XLR audio inputs.. who dosnt use XLR mics ?
third.. no super35-isch sensor.. just something i really like to have.
fourth.. everything is controlled by tuchscreen... yuck!

Otherwise the specs on the camera looks really good
/D

April 22, 2012

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@David Nilson "no XLR audio inputs.. who dosnt use XLR mics ?"
Only every DSLR camera. For the price, this camera is toe to toe with the Nikon D800...
the Black Magic camera may only have 2 1/4 inch inputs, but that is far superior to the D800 internal mic and its 1 stereo 3.5mm audio input. Besides, you can always use a h4n for the audio if 48kHz/24 bit isn't good enough for you, which you would have to do anyway if using a DSLR. At $3,000 show me a camera that can record RAW at 2.5k with better audio.

July 18, 2012

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Eric

BECAUSE it was a very early test, BESIDES I'd rather have this kinda test instead of one done with expensive gear that most of us will never acquire! and well how many people have that kinda glass(ZEISS CP2) that would be considering a camera at this price point, I mean, the price, people the PRICE/SPECS remember the promise of the scarlet? look now you have to fork out almost 3 times more than what we thought they were going to charge, i like what BMD did look at the market see what the other manufacturers have neglected and deliver! I mean seriously DSLR shooters have opened a whole new market that is worth millions (depending on your currency :)) but what do we get for the last 3+ years? good cameras with loads of potential, if, you fork out even more money for the accessories and even then you have loads of limitations, as a Canon sponsored DoP, I will tell you that i will be using this instead from now on for the relevant projects and still use my 7D for 50fps work etc but

April 23, 2012

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HARRISON

"...so when it comes to RESPONSE, we've responded to customer demand, as opposed to responding to what any other camera does."

Love it. I'll buy into that line. A lot of evidence to prove the truth in that statement.

April 28, 2012

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Looks awesome! I've put down for 2!

May 24, 2012

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Stu Z

It's a pity about the design faults. The specs look good.
But why a Canon mount on a MFT sensor camera??? What were they thinking. A MFT mount would have been perfect and giving the option for a great amount of manual focus Voightlander lenses and also the Olympus lenses etc etc.....

June 7, 2012

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You can't have it all people. The specs on this cam are very good. Just like any other pro cam out there we'll need to get accessories to make it work the way we want. Price point is good and you can live with the sensor size. I hope once the camera is out we'll see some more options for the lens mounts. That said, the majority of potential users buying a cam at this price own canon glass anyway. Would like to see how this baby performs in the real world, but so far I'm almost sold.

July 2, 2012

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@Sik33la

There's a poster who has the camera that insists ProRes is encoded LOG data. He can't/won't say whether this is only in the "filmic" mode or another mode entirely beyond Filmic and REC709.

I was told specifically that the ProRes was a codec that had 2 non-linear (Filmic and REC709) modes optimally pulled from the log RAW data converted from the sensor. Filmic I assumed was either for conversion to film or to make video look more like film. (Forgot to ask.)

I think this person is seeing a flat Filmic gamma and assuming he is seeing LOG.

Or, he's correct -- and "filimic" is the name for 10-/12-bit log data. In this case it may need to be de-loged (LUT) during import.

However, were ProRes 12-bit RGB 4444 log data -- it would have more than the full 16-bit sensor's linear DR. A killer feature!

Even 10-bit log RGB 4444 would carry the full 16-bit linear sensor's DR.

The free version software could handle either of these.

Does anyone know?

July 17, 2012

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Steve

Or..... it doesn't matter.

September 12, 2012

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steve

Awesome. I was interested in the Digital Bolex, mainly because I am a huge Bolex fan, but this looks and sounds superior.

July 18, 2012

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Eric

Interview with the president of Black Magic Design. https://vimeo.com/46000873 Sheds some light on some design features (choice of sensor). Basically, they were shopping for a sensor while trying not to tip their hand about their move into the camera business.

July 19, 2012

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taylor