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Blackmagic is Listening, Requested Feature Added to the Cinema Camera

06.25.12 @ 10:00AM Tags : , ,

While most companies listen to their consumers to a point, it’s not always clear which ones are actually hearing said consumers. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera has been featured on this site quite a bit — mostly because it’s a product many have been looking for: a low-cost option that records to quality codecs without bulky recorders and resolves a full 1080. Blackmagic has done two better, and is offering RAW recording in-camera as well as their professional DaVinci Resolve color corrector all for $3,000 (same price as the Nikon D800 – though the sensor on the Blackmagic camera is not full frame 35mm, it’s between MFT and Super 16mm).

We’ve now gotten word from John Brawley that the camera’s firmware is being finalized and it seems Blackmagic is actually listening to suggestions. The camera was originally only going to ship with three options for white balance in its ProRes and DNxHD modes, but now we’re going to get six: 3200K, 4500K, 5000K, 5600K, 6500K and 7500K. This picture appeared on John Brawley’s blog showing one of the new white balance settings:

The other problem that many had noticed were the dead/hot pixels in the only test footage that has been released so far. According to Brawley, they have been working hard on the sensor calibration, and those dead/hot pixels are nowhere to be found. From a conversation I had with him on Twitter, it seems like hot pixels shouldn’t be a problem as they have been on DSLRs. Also of note, there is no phantom power — at least not yet, but there is an on-board mic which should work well as reference audio for syncing sound if you are using dual-system.

The most interesting thing about this camera is that it seems both professionals and amateurs alike are excited by the possibilities. As you can see in these pictures from a French rental house, people are going to get professional lenses on this little guy in no time:

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Angenieux Optimo PL LensBlackmagic Cinema Camera Arri Master Zoom PL Lens

It looks to me like those lenses have been adapted to Canon mount, as most of the PL to Canon adapters I have seen are very large and tend to protrude from the sides — but it’s also possible that it’s an adapter I’ve never seen before. Just like with the Canon DSLRs, a PL mod or lens adapter should work with some lenses. It may only be a matter of time until we see people modding the lens mount to accomplish this task. I’ve got ideas about modding the entire front with a Micro 4/3s mount, but I’ll have to wait and get the camera before I can see if that’s feasible. As with any mods, they will certainly render your warranty useless — so everything should be done with that knowledge.

Too often we have to deal with a tremendous amount of compromises in independent film, and for once a manufacturer is delivering a relatively inexpensive option that resolves a true 1080 image, as well as all sorts of professional quality codecs in-camera without having to spend another penny. Of course, specs don’t always tell the whole story, and it will be interesting to see some uncompressed video straight from the camera to really see how it performs.

Link: Blackmagic Cinema Camera Test Footage – Vimeo

[via John Brawley Blog & PhotoCineRent]


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Description image 120 COMMENTS

  • Nice information, once again. This also solidifies that Blackmagic may be just as committed to it’s consumers as I am to getting one, or two, of these. Great job Joe, Keep ‘em coming.

  • Black Magic is setting themselves up for massive success if they can handle the quantity of feedback and support requests associated with selling these puppies out to both pros and amateurs alike. I’m really hopeful they can pull it off and this little nugget does a good job to say “we care and we listen”, which like the price, is ground few other companies are willing to tread.

    Anyhow, for a project coming in the next couple months I’m really torn between this camera and a D800. I already have a DSLR for sheer flexibility and lightweight recording, but if this produces amazing pictures with fast lenses then I’m sold. That dynamic range and full copy of Resolve are just too tempting.

    Oh and I had to laugh at those pics. It looks like a Sony NEX5N with a 35mm 2.8 lens, only with both the body and the lenses on steroids.

  • No any confirmations about Higher frame rates?

    • I think the hardware, not the sensor, might be limited to 30fps – at least from what Brawley says. They haven’t ruled out higher frame rates down the road in a firmware update, but 30fps was the priority for obvious reasons.

  • I still don’t get this camera for anything but low budget narrative work accompanied with a very discerning cinematographer. Doc’s nope, the post back end is to huge. I am really keen to hear from filmmakers WHAT THEY INTEND TO BUY THIS CAM FOR?

    • You wouldn’t want to shoot a doc in ProRes or DNxHD? I know I sure would. Having Log also means more room for accidental overexposure when running and gunning.

      • Yeah I’d love to shoot a doc straight into ProRes. In fact a doc is what I’m hoping to buy this camera for. It would certainly save me all the transcoding time that my workflow normally involves shooting DSLR.

        The alternative is to buy a $1000 Atomos Ninja, and a $3000 D800, to accomplish the same thing without hacking (hacks are great but I wouldn’t hang my livelihood on a hacked camera, sorry), so right there the Blackmagic camera is ahead. Even after adding the cost of a couple 200+GB SSD’s, I’m still looking at less money than a DSLR with all it’s associated DSLR-ish shortcomings. That said the aesthetic of a full frame versus this 16mm-ish camera is quite different, but again, for a doc I’m not terribly concerned with shallow DoF BEYOND what I could get here with f1.4-2.8-ish glass.

        I don’t see any huge pitfalls using this for a doc or narrative work. RAW? Maybe if I used it but I kind of doubt I will for most things.

        • I’m not entirely sure what people mean when they say S16 has a different aesthetic than S35. I don’t know film stocks so maybe there’s a difference in film grain size when blowing up from an actual negative? But adjusting for the crop factor and DOF with wider and faster lenses, wouldn’t the aesthetic be more or less the same? If I’m missing something please inform me!

          • Someone’s gonna make a killer feature with this thing that’ll win all sorts of awards and launch their career. We’ve gotten to where the camera’s not the limiting factor in filmmaking, finally. It’s us.

          • Achieving the same35mm DOF and field of view characteristics on a substantially smaller sensor is difficult — you can arrive at the 35mm equivalent on paper easily enough, but achieving that much in the field is another matter. Fast, wide lenses aren’t that easy to come by in low budget productoins, and add production difficulties.

            The other differences between S16 and 35mm — grain and, to some extent, dynamic range — may or may not be meaningful as analogies, with respect to this sensor. If it really delivers 13 stops and achieve full 1080p resolution, that part of the analogy wouldn’t seem relevant.

            On the other hand, DOF, like so many other technical preoccupations, has very little to do with whether anyone will care to watch your movie or not.

          • As others have pointed out, it’s down to things like grain, shallow depth of field, and dynamic range. Honestly I think the camera has all of these enough under control to yield a brilliant image. Joe Marine pointed out in the last post that mentioned the Blackmagic camera that with lenses around 1.4-2.0 you could have roughly equivalent DoF as a full frame at f4. I think a lot of people are starting to move away from the ultra-shallow DoF as they realize that shots with 90% of the image out of focus, and 100% out of focus if the subject moves, is a bit overrated. My personal take is that I shoot at f4 so I have a chance of actually holding focus. If it’s dark or for special circumstances I go more open, but I’m just now realizing that in the films I love, crazy-go-nuts shallow DoF isn’t really the look.

          • I appreciate the info guys, thanks.

          • Daniel Mimura on 06.30.12 @ 6:12AM

            One factor I haven’t heard people talk about much with s-16mm vs 35mm…sharpness…apparent sharpness…it’s more about factors of perception than technical resolving power…

            A smaller depth of field throws more of the frame out of focus…leaving the impression that the area of the frame that is in focus is sharper. Lighting things more contrasty that you typically would for 35mm helps drastically.

            I shot a 16mm feature several years ago, and in a couple scenes, the director & producer were really stoked…”this looks like a *real* movie!”… And years later, looking back on it…one of the specific shots they really liked was a shot with a macro…with the subject inches from the from the lens, the depth of field was as small as it can get…and…thank god they didn’t offer up any money for lights, so we just used a couple things I owned at the time…so that meant we were shooting wide open…

            …but when we were shooting outdoors in daylight (without ND, of course, because all that stuff costs money—we just had my Pola that we’d use whenever we could)…particularly with wide angle lenses (you know…handheld or in a wheelchair cuz dollies cost too much and draw too much attention and take too long to set up when you don’t have permits or time)…it looked awful. It takes a good DP with the right resources to make it look good, but it can be done. At least the BMC won’t have the sharpness problems 16mm can have.

            With 35mm, there were almost never the same problems Flying Radish Alec talks about b/c 1) film stocks were limited to 500ASA (Kodak makes an 800 now, but I’m talking about before the past couple years since digital took over)…so just to get an image, people would light it…and almost anyone shooting in 35mm was a professional that knows how to light or else they wouldn’t have the opportunity to shoot in that format! And les not forget that 35mm movie lenses rarely even opened up to more than f2.8 (or more) except zeiss superspeeds

          • Daniel Mimura on 06.30.12 @ 6:18AM

            …and similarly priced lenses…which were only in the hands of pros and not amateurs. The shallow depth thing where people shift their weight or tilt their heads and are out of focus didn’t really happen very often. DP’s would light to a usable stop.

            You combine fast ISO w/ people who spent all their money on cameras instead of lights…and combine them with non-professional AC’s (or no AC’s) and shoot handheld (where the focus distance is likely to move or not be as precise) and it’s gonna look soft half of the time. …like all this amateur stuff you see all the time.

      • The codec isn’t the reason not to shoot a doc on this. But unless you’re shooting something super controlled, you’d be insane to shoot with something that only has an internal battery…and no external buttons for on-the-fly settings tweaking.

        (Sure, you can connect some external battery pack, but that’s just more crap to carry…for me, the lack of switchable batteries is a total dealbreaker…and if having an internal battery becomes the norm for other companies in future cameras, I’m going to kill myself.)

        • some people are never happy. Maybe if they added a big battery compartment and then charged $7000 for it. Would you be happy then?

        • Daniel Mimura on 06.30.12 @ 6:37AM

          I’m stoked that modern cameras almost all can run off of A/B or V-mount…with film cameras, you have to have the god awful battery belts (picture a diver’s weight belt) if you’re shooting handheld, (or an AC is running after you hand carrying it). If it was on sticks, the battery was the size of an ammo box or larger (sometimes it was *in* an ammo box) and you would either have to disconnect it (and lose power), or synchronize your camera move with multiple operators/AC’s so someone could pick up the battery b/c it’s too heavy/bulky to be attached to the camera or tripod.

          I’m picturing Mr. Pink playing the world’s smallest violin…just for the consumer camera operators who can’t deal with a 1.72lb IDX battery (the IDXE-10) that will probably have enough juice to run that camera ALL DAY.

          Heh heh…

        • I can live with it, as you said you can attach external batteries, and because of the internal battery you can hot-swap you external ones. If you’re gonna need a counterweight on your rig, it might as well be a battery.

      • I will be doing a docu on this camera. But I will also be making features and shorts.

    • WOW did you actually think before you typed? this camera shoots in Pro Res and Also RAW, pro res is nice if you don’t want to deal with a large amount of data, you will still get some dynamic range but not as much as raw of course, this camera is for anyone who wanted an actual film quality camera and NOW you can have it, more range means more room for error and more resolution so say you did a shot at 15 ft and wanted to have a close up but forgot to actual shoot one, because it has that resolution you can do a digital zoom without losing quality of the footage. BEST CAMERA EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH the people who want it are people who want to produce a more professional image.

  • timeoutofmind on 06.25.12 @ 10:35AM

    the deal killer for me is the media ….. it’s another $3K for a bag of ssd’s. and the powering issues sound a bit onerous.

    • SSDs are about a dollar a gigabyte now, what in the world would you need 3 Terabytes of SSD drives for? That’s 7 hours of RAW footage (a lot more with ProRes and DNxHD) – wouldn’t you be offloading cards each day?

      As for the power – I don’t know how it’s that big of an issue – people are buying all sorts of Apple products with internal, non-removable batteries. At least here, you’ve got almost unlimited options for connecting external batteries or plugging the camera in, and not only powering the camera, but charging the internal battery. The above example with the Anton Bauer battery pack on the back is a good setup most filmmakers could emulate for film-style shooting.

      • Lliam Worthington on 06.25.12 @ 12:33PM

        Yeah I haven’t really understood all the “battery life is the downfall of this camera” Maybe a bit of a DSLR mindset hangover I guess? V mounts are easy to buy and not that expensive.

      • I can easily shoot 2 hours of footage a day. That would cost me $1500, using recommended SSDs. It is quite expensive, but the camera seems worthy of that investment.

      • …because carrying a bunch of extra batteries and cords around is a pain in the ass? If you’re shooting a narrative, sure, it’s whatever, just throw some extra batteries in the trunk. But not everyone shoots narrative! And I’d much rather carry around a few extra batteries than carry around a few extra batteries PLUS whatever unit they need to be inserted into PLUS the cord to connect that to the Blackmagic, and then on top of that have to figure out some way of carrying that while shooting, not getting anything caught in the wires, etc.

        Is it an insurmountable problem? No. But it’s baffling, because it could have been totally avoided by just letting the thing use replacable batteries. And guess what, if you wanted, you could STILL connect an external battery pack and charge the camera while charging that battery, too! Why NOT give people that option?

        Sure, people are buying Apple products with non-removable batteries…and then they’re bitching about it when those batteries die and Apple charges them $200 and a couple trips to the Apple Store to replace them. Just because “people are buying” something does not make it desirable, good, correct, or justified. There is NOTHING good about an internal, non-removable battery for anyone except the company selling the product. It provides zero advantage whatsoever to the consumer, and considerable DISADVANTAGES whenever it breaks or runs out of battery somewhere where you can’t charge it (or don’t have time to).

        Also I don’t understand why everyone is so excited about how an external battery powers the camera “while charging the internal battery.” That also drains the external battery; it’s not like that somehow magically adds extra time to the amount of time you can shoot before having to plug the thing in…

        • Apple say on their site that making the battery non-removable saves space that would be used for catches, screws, extra casing and more that would be needed with a removable battery. It also makes the case stronger because it’s all one part. Since Blackmagic have built this camera in a similar way (one piece of metal for the body) it likely makes the same strength difference for them.

          • Yes, and Blackmagic has said this on numerous occasions, that building it out of a solid piece of aluminum didn’t leave them much choice about the battery. It allowed the camera to be cheaper and smaller – so that was the trade-off. Making a removable battery would have increased the cost dramatically because they would have had to be completely redesigned the camera body.

          • To me, that sounds like a design error on their part in the first place, though. There are literally hundreds of cameras cheaper than theirs that have removable batteries, so if their design didn’t allow for one, whose fault is that? Using one piece of metal is a nice gimmick, but why should consumers care? Is it THAT much stronger than other cameras? Is extreme camera durability a more important issue than battery life?

            I shoot only docs, and for the past year I’ve been shooting a doc in rural China. Since I’m not rich, this involves dragging my camera onto trains and buses and into situations where it gets banged up and pushed around with some frequency. I’m shooting mostly with the 60D (cheaper than the blackmagic, and has replaceable batteries) and despite the fact that it ISN’T made out of one solid piece of metal, it’s totally fine. To me, the choice between a camera with an uber-hard body or a camera with replaceable batteries is REALLY easy — and I feel like I’m the sort of guy who camera durability is more important to than the average shooter.

            I really don’t think whatever extra strength it adds provides much value to consumers, especially since half the device is an easily-broken touchscreen that the single-piece aluminum body can’t really protect. Plus, I haven’t seen a single comment thread on this site where people were talking about how they wished cameras were stronger, or had internal batteries. Not saying the Blackmagic is a bad camera, but the internal battery is a bad idea and I wish people would stop pretending otherwise. For consumers. It’s great for Blackmagic though, because when your battery dies — and it will die, they always do — you’ve got to come to them to replace it. And since that’s a pain in the ass to do, they get to charge you a service charge on top of whatever inflated price they’re charging for first-party batteries.

            As far as what Apple says about internal batteries, believe it if you like. As an Apple user for more than ten years, it is abundantly clear to me that Apple hardware was much more solidly built ten years ago than it is now, unibody and internal battery or no. And when I recently switched from an iPhone to Android, I was a bit surprised to discover that it’s totally possible to have a phone that functions just as well as an iPhone and is just as compact, but still has an easily replaceable battery, SIM card, AND microSD card. Imagine that! If Apple’s designers are really so incredible, I’m pretty sure they could come up with an elegant way to give consumers the option of a replaceable battery. Why don’t they? Because they make buckets of money off battery replacement and repairs. Heck, across my Apple devices over the past three years, they’ve probably gotten around $700 off me they never would have if their batteries were easily replaceable (counting the cost of AppleCare, because the primary reason I buy that these days is my knowledge that Apple batteries are crap and often die within a year or two).

        • Daniel Mimura on 06.30.12 @ 6:59AM

          An external battery drastically helps make small camera balance like big cameras (small cameras as shaky…look at camera phones and GoPros that aren’t hard mounted to things). You build out rails to have some weight in the back…this makes it infinitely more ergonomic and comfortable when your handheld all day…to picture what I’m talking about, picture holding a 2×4 on your shoulder and you’re walking somewhere with it. Where are you gonna hold it? For an 8′ 2×4, you’d balance it in the middle of your shoulder (4′ in either direction)…you’re not gonna hold it with 2′ out one direction and 6′ out the other…

          That’s what operating a little baby camera all day is like…your arm is gonna get sore…and the extra weight just helps stabilize the camera…Newton’s 1st law…a body at rest tends to stay at rest… The heavier it is, the more inertia required to make it shake. (of course for this to work, the camera needs to be balanced well)

          As far as the time it takes building it up…that’s easy as pie…I keep my V-mount mounted to my rails (along with an arm for the monitor) and other things sometimes…it still fits in a much smaller pelican case that a professional video camera. If we’re shooting with D-SLR’s, the camera can go in the case as well, already built.

          Looking at it another way…with all the pro camera features built into this camera, there is no way they intend it’s targeted users to use this camera mostly with the internal battery (except to catch something quickly…etc…)…it’s probably there for the purpose of being able to hot swap batteries without powering down.

      • Simple, if your short on money, buy a 512GB Cruicial for $349! on Amazon and then record in ProRes, which gives you about 5 hours of footage, then offload it to cheaper 3TB hard drives at home.

      • I think that battery setup is a bit misleading. It’s powering the other devices on the rig not the BMD CC itself. I don’t think there has been a connector made to use it with any battery setup as of yet. I could be incorrect.

    • How onerous is a $100 battery plate and a few hundred bucks in v-lock batteries? If you’re running an EVF and even a couple of powered accessories it’s actually cheaper than buying (like I have done) 6-8 camera brand batteries to power everything, and chargers to keep it all powered on a shoot.

      I don’t get the bag of SSDs thing either. If you shoot ProRes you only need a couple drives. Hell even if you shoot RAW you probably only need maybe 3 256GB SSDs so you can shoot with one, pull it out, use an eSATA connection to a notebook to dump the footage, and then keep filming while that’s going on for a few minutes. Cycle. Rinse. Repeat. That said you should probably show up to said job with a 4-8TB RAID array also attached to the ingest notebook, or at least a couple 3TB external HD’s.

      • I’m with you, Alec – and honestly, how many of us would really need to shoot RAW most of the time anyway? I’d wager for a lot of projects the ProRes would be more than sufficient. And if we were shooting a feature for the screen, I’d hope the budget would have room in it for a couple hundred bucks’ worth of SSDs.

        • RAW is a whole massive file size thing I don’t care to go down just yet. I can understand why it gets expensive quickly, especially as you deal with big-ass drive arrays and keeping things in duplicate if not triplicate.

          But hey, first I’d have to be good enough for RAW to matter long after camera moves, writing, lighting, acting, sound, and everything else is as good as it can be. Frankly if something like 28 Days Later can be filmed on a XL1 and to this day still be a stupidly well made movie that I enjoy watching, I can get by with ProRes and a flat picture profile.

      • timeoutofmind on 06.25.12 @ 3:35PM

        when i’m in the field, or in a canvernous convention hall, or on a construction site, i have to be portable. i can’t book time to run back to my car every 90 minutes and download files off an ssd, OR a card.

        and as it is …. shooting on a 5d mkii, i’m schlepping batteries for an LED light or two, batteries for a juicedlink pre-amp, batteries for the 5d, and cables to loop it all together. it’s an process and a half i don’t need.

  • Year that´s probably true but that same problem you have with Red Cameras and they are MUCH more expensive. :)

    That´s just a problem with RAW because u can´t just record on a SD-Card.

    But im still suspicious with the camera as well, i mean do you remember how everyone was soo excited because of the new final cut…. :)

  • I want one… as soon as they stick a super 35 sensor in there.

    • I know how you feel, but I think actually a more legitimate reason to want to stay away would be the lack of Micro 4/3s mount. We’ve talked about this before, but you can get plenty shallow with a Micro 4/3s sensor, and shooting wide open will look more like how many television and movies shoot their films: f/2.8 or higher.

      Personally for me, there is a still a place for larger sensor cameras, simply for their look, but also there’s a slickness to shallower depth of field that you don’t get when a lot more of the frame is in focus. I think this will work great if you pick the right projects to shoot with it. For example, I’m not sure if this would be the best camera to shoot a slick, higher end science fiction film. From the images I have seen it feels like more of a smaller narrative and doc camera. But from the depth of field calculations I’ve shown you before, if you really want that shallowness you can shoot wide open.

      When it comes down to it – what’s the real advantage of a larger sensor? I mean lens choices, for one, but if everything else is equal, this image will far surpass any of the DSLRs that have much larger sensors.

      • I’m really excited to see footage from the camera once it starts shipping. And as a GH2 shooter, I agree completely with you Joe. I’d bet a kit with a Tokina 11-16mm and some old Nikon glass (28mm and 50mm primes) would be plenty to work with.

        • And I thought those Tokinas were popular now!

        • alan b'stard M P on 08.7.12 @ 9:13PM

          as a gh2 shooter, you may graduate to ag af100 with great success. World camera too, not stuck with regions, planty of features as standard

      • I hear you but, for me it’s a matter of lens choices. I don’t want to have to shoot wide open to get a shallow DOF. If BMD put a big chip in the thing and slapped a 6-8K price on it… goodbye Canon, Nikon, Sony and the rest of them (in their current structure, at least). BMD would clean up.
        I still do not understand why, if a company like BM can do this, they, or someone else, (Nikon?) can’t give us the camera we all really want.
        But, it’s great that somebody is, finally, poking the giants with sharp sticks.

        • The big advantage that Blackmagic has is that they have already built all of this hardware – they’ve done it, they just needed the imaging part of the pipeline. If Blackmagic could have done a large sensor camera for that money I believe they would have. I think at the moment the profit just isn’t there yet, the sensors are too expensive as well as the additional internal hardware in the imaging pipeline.

          • OK but, Sony’s got the FS100 and 700 in the ballpark of the $ I referred to previously… $6-8K. Is it because Sony can buy (or make) big sensors cheaper than BM can buy them? I think even if BM raised the price to 9K (for a S35), with all the other stuff going for it, they probably couldn’t make them fast enough. $3K for the little one and $8 or 9K for the big one.

            • Yes Sony makes their own sensors and they are a big company – they can spread the wealth around. Even though they just lost $6 billion dollars in the last year, they are still doing fine, which just shows you how much of a Goliath they are. They are now investing almost $1 billion in CMOS sensor technology (mostly of the cell phone camera variety), so they have a lot of money to play with. They can afford to sell something at a loss if they really want, but Blackmagic cannot. I don’t know the details of what the exact same camera with a bigger sensor would cost, but it’s not clear at the moment that they could find an off-the-shelf sensor that would have the same specs as this little one, and if the specs go down, that would make Sony’s offerings a lot more enticing. I think they will do it, but they are taking the right approach. Make a good camera that works for not a lot of money and use that demand to create a following for a larger sensor camera down the road.

          • Sorry… read some of the other posts and comments pertaining to this after I posted.

        • Bump the price up and a whole lot of shooters now can’t afford the damn camera again. That’s the big problem with these manufacturers. The cameras that shoot with filmic qualities are godamn expensive!

      • I’m not sure about this as a doc camera… perhaps for the controlled, studio type interview portions of docs.
        My concerns would be -
        - lens choice and support, you will need something wide and stabilised [for the 'running and gunning'].
        - compactness, the addition of battery packs.
        - media storage, shooting RAW will be a headache for small crew day long shoots [pro res nice]
        - robustness, hopefully someone can speak to the build of the camera.
        - no pro audio solution? I’ll take the audio work round trade off for large sensor DSLR but for S16? For docs you really, really need the ability to record decent nat sound [and occasional interview] straight into camera for sync.

        If docs are your thing you might be better off with the Canon XF105, it will be a lot easier then the Blackmagic with the sensor size being the trade off.

      • Maybe i’ll say something totally wrong…but don’t you think that the same close up will be very different with a 35mm on the BM and a 2,3x crop factor rather than an 85mm on a D800? ok, anche se non mi interessasse dof, come la mettiamo con lo schiacciamento prospettico. Leaving the shallow DOF apart, how about the flatting of the perspective? I love Telephoto lenses!

        Ps: sorry for some english mistakes

        • 35mm on a 2.3 crop is exactly equivalent to 80.5mm on a full frame, except for depth of field. Perspective is exactly the same. This is a common misconception.

          Perspective is only affected by distance from subject. The focal length only controls how much of the image we see. A crop factor ALSO determines how much of the image we see, just without the extra optical factor of field depth. Thus they are equivalent, and you can trade them off without changing anything but depth of field.

          • So are u saying that with a 35mm on a BM i will nave the same “Crushing Of the planes” ? Thanks

    • john jeffreys on 06.25.12 @ 11:43AM

      Exactly how I feel. Great concept for a camera, but the sensor is disgusting. its 2012, the audience is used to fat sensors. I’d gladly pay for a higher end model that has a super 35 sensor for 5k

      • When I saw THE RAID: REDEMPTION, I didn’t hear anyone in the theater audience complaining about the sensor size (or even the video noise in the image). That was shot with AF100s and external recorders.

        • I did. I could hear people all around me whispering, “Why didn’t they shoot this with a large sensor camera?”, “What’s up with the small sensor on this film”, “Dude, I wish they had shot this with a bigger sensor”. I tried to explain it to them after the show but, you know, they just wouldn’t listen. Like my grandpappy used to say. “All God’s chillun need a big sensor camera.” That was true then and it’s even truer today. ;)

          • Lliam Worthington on 06.25.12 @ 12:43PM


            How anyone could hear anything over the sound of people being shot dismembered and maimed is simply beyond me :) Great film. And couldn’t agree more. Sensor size is not going to hold this camera back overly if at all.

            I can’t wait to see how the Dynamic range holds up and how it rolls off highlights, performs in low light etc…
            It’s a really really exciting and disruptive release.

        • AD Stephens on 06.25.12 @ 5:35PM

          I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that The Raid had been shot with those cameras.

          It just goes to show that even a relatively inexpensive 4/3″ camcorder can look great! Fantastic film as well, I can’t remember the last time I was so entertained by an action film. Makes Ong-Bak look like Downton Abbey!

          I think the only image artifact I noticed as a result of being shot with such a camera was a bit of rolling shutter, but it was hardly like ‘hey, whoa, hey man, look, look!’

        • In all honesty, this is what friends, family and general movie going people with no technical background in film notice, according to my personal experience in talking after movies: pans that strobe, a soft image (OOF) – [sometimes it has been the actual projector] and light scene that looks green-screened.

          Just saw “Brave” yesterday with the family, awesome CGI from Pixar, again though, some pans at 24p were soft/blury and people talked about it, my family did too simply because he strains the eye sometimes.

          • Daniel Mimura on 06.30.12 @ 7:22AM

            I just saw Brave yesterday too (a different yesterday than you, though.). Did you see it in 3D? Pans suck in 3D. (And everything in 3D, but that’s my personal bias). I saw it in 2D (on film), and there were not any noticeable pan strobing problems. And I look for that sort of thing, and rolling shutter exaggerates that strobing, but obviously Pixar doesn’t have to worry about that problem.

        • Daniel Mimura on 06.30.12 @ 7:16AM

          AF-100′s have a 1.1x crop factor!!!

          It’s almost the same as film (movie film, not stills)! BMC is much smaller, being a little bigger than 16mm (and why I wouldn’t buy one.)

          I wish other people would buy them though, because noob lensers don’t know how to focus or have the lights to build it up to a real stop, so yeah, maybe Blackmagic is doing the world a huge favor.

      • Wouldn’t everyone – it’s just not possible at this moment in time to make a camera with a Super 35mm sensor for that money with the same specs as this camera has. You’d be looking at closer to $10,000 or more.

        • i don’t think it is the cost that is a problem with the size of the chip. The thing is that BM did not design the chip. It is an off the shelf chip, that was already designed for machine design and scientific imaging. So they saw the potential of the chip and designed to put it in a cine camera. I forgot the name, but with a little research you can find it. In fact it can have much faster frame rate and even global shutter ( unfortunately the DR is affected). That is why people have been pushing blackmagic for faster frame rate because the Sensor is capable of it.

          Now if blackmagic sells thousand of these they would have a bargaining power to have a larger sensor developed for a future version.

          • There’s no proof about what sensor they are using, honestly, because there isn’t a sensor I can find out there that has a full resolution of 2592 x 2192:

            It’s definitely an off the shelf sensor, no question. R&D explains why cameras cost what they do, and it also explains why Blackmagic wouldn’t develop their own, it’s very, very expensive. It’s much cheaper to buy one that’s already been made, and I know for a fact that larger sensors cost more money, and it’s likely that the other electronics in the camera would need to be upgraded to compensate for the larger sensor. But you’re right about the last part, they will undoubtedly make a larger sensor camera down the road if this one is successful, but it’s not going to be $3,000. At the moment I doubt they could have built one for any cheaper than $8K or $9K – and they didn’t want to compete at that level yet – because there are other cameras in that price range. They wanted to start where no competition existed – high resolution and great internal codecs for under $5,000.

  • i still have a question. Wasn´t there told once that the BMD has a burned in whitebalance when shooting RAW? Because John Brawleys wrote that the new WB settings are not that important when shooting raw… so it is in fact the real RAW and you can change the WB in post?

    • That’s what it feels like to me, but I think it’s too early to say until the firmware is 100% finalized what the deal is with the Cinema DNG files.

      • Definitley wouldt be cool. I´m really waiting for the “catch”. This camera looks way to perfect for me! :D

  • From Facebook
    “Ben Sampson: Is this some secret PL mount version or is there some kind of EF mount on it? Cannot WAIT to get this thing!
    June 7 at 7:49pm

    PhotoCineRent: no actually its a Angenieux Optimo 24-290 with EF mount (the mount is interchangable PL, EF & Nikon F)”

  • A lot of people complaining about DOF, this camera will actually help a lot of people to keep their shorts in focus :)

  • Ewan Thomas on 06.25.12 @ 1:00PM

    I think the Blackmagic looks interesting, but I do wonder who’ll actually buy it? I think a lot of people have already bought into camera systems (for me it’s Canon DSLRS) and I wonder with the new requirements for V-locks, SSD drives and various other bespoke bits and bobs, who this camera will actually appeal to. I don’t know how I’d get on with a camera without physical buttons on it! A touch screen for doc shooting would be a no-no. Then there’s the sensor size. I’m a bit fed up of crop sensors to be honest! There’s an awful lot to be said for having a lens that does what it says on the focal length.

    But it’s an interesting development and we’ll see what happens with it. I think the future proofing on it looks amazing, thunderbolt SSD etc but I can’t help feeling this camera will only come into it’s own in a year or two. What do you think?

    • mark london on 06.27.12 @ 1:32PM

      I own Canons and a Nikon D800. I’ll be buying this.
      There’s a lot of utter nonsense talked above about sensor size etc. S16 is a TERRIFIC format to shoot with, especially docs. Moonrise Kingdom was just shot S16 and is currently doing just fine in a cinema near you.
      For one camera run and gun, having the extra DOF will save your ass, but you can still do the drop focus pull if needed.
      As for the baked in battery – its for structural strength. Any decent product designer will tell you how annoying battery compartments get. The thing costs 3k. It’s unbelievable.

      I’d like higher frame rates, but that’s it.

      Also, re the lenses in the shots above – those are Angeniuexs with the nifty Nikon F mounts that they make, and that is CineRent in Paris who seem to be the world’s main source for them. You should see the Optimo Rouges on a D800….

  • This camera really sounds great, but I wish there were some more video samples. Are there any video samples that are actually in 1080p? The Vimeo videos look good but in a lot of shots, particularly the outdoor ones, the edges look kind of odd/soft, almost like a Canon HV20 or something. I can’t really describe it but it seems weird to me. The resolution seems fine (from what the 720p video shows) but the sharp edges themselves look weird relative to samples from other cameras. Maybe it’s the lens?

    • Of the four sample videos, Leah and Dusk are in 1080p, Bondi and Beach Dusk are in 720p. Turn scaling off in the top right corner of the screen to see a clear image.

  • Why did Black Magic decide to use a non-standard sensor size?

    Why did Black Magic decide to use the wildly inappropriate Canon lens mount? About the only useful Canon lens, for the small sensor size, is the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5/4.5. But it would be perfect for shooting Surfing movies.

    I DO NOT have a pre-order for this camera. YMMV.

    • Rhetorical questions? S16mm sensor with PL or an MFT mount paired with the sensor they have wouldn’t let hipsters with (now telephoto) Canon kit lenses use cheesy touch screen based rack focus.

      Yes there’s some bizarre technical trade-offs with this camera but let’s not pretend we don’t understand why BMD made them. If the image holds up (and we should assume it will), then this thing will be a game changer.

      • Do some research, the sensor was already designed and use in machine and scientific vision camera. The found a big enough, high resolution sensor with fantastic DR and put the back-end electronic as a cine cam. so for now they had to make do about the awkward size sensor.

      • I’ve been making movies for a long time. And for me, the trade offs make the BMC unusable.

        If you want to be the next Bruce Brown or Warren Miller, this will be a good camera. If you have enough money in the budget to build sets, with wild-walls in a studio, then it will be OK. On the other-hand the BMC won’t be the ideal camera for shooting inside a moving car or 10×12′ rooms in real locations.

        Putting a PL mount on a low cost camera would not have made sense. A M43 mount, and all the lenses that are available for it, would have made sense. Coders and colorists may not have been the right people to spec the camera.

        • I make snowboard films and occasionally shoot for Warren Miller. I think the camera is going to be awesome but no slow mo is a killer for me. I’ll probably go with the FS 700 if I do anything different for next season.

          • Oh, and I’m crossing my fingers for a 60p firmware upgrade

          • Shooting Snowboards Films sounds like fun. And if you’re good enough to shoot for Warren Miller you should go far. If you ever want to move up, Hollywood is always looking for people who can accurately puff focus for action shots.

          • It’s a pretty cool niche, I’ve gotten to travel all over the world from Alaska to Russia to Africa. It’s a whole extra level of stress though. You have the usual stresses of dealing with your talent, budget (an AK heli shoot costs about $3,000 per Hobs/heli hr), tech stuff, creativity, clients, etc. With snow filming you compound it with mt weather conditions (mostly needing ideal powder conditions), avalanches, your talent performing extreme stunts miles away from medical assistance, carrying a 50 lb pack while skiing much of the same terrain your talent is doing with a 5 lb pack, stuck snowmobiles, driving all night in horrible conditions, the challenges are endless…

            But when it all goes right… It has to be the most amazing job ever.

            I’m an amateur compared to this guy though, my idol:

            I’m not sure if I would want to be bigtime focus puller. I’m not about the glory but to me a focus puller is like the holder or long snapper on an NFL football team. Everyone expects perfection 100% of the time. How often do you hear the commentators say, “hey, that was a great snap!”

        • That was my point, it’s a game changer because of the price and the poor technical decisions are easily explained as marketing concerns. You knew this. And it’s hardly as if low budget film makers always had easy access to wide glass. The old tricks like shooting across a parking lot are still valid.

          A complete raw production kit (camera, ssds, zoom lens, lights, sound equipment and editing workstation) is now available for somewhere in the region of $10k. It may not meet your needs but the financial obstacle to making a film just took a further tumble and if productions done on this level of kit don’t hold up – it’s not going to be the equipment at fault.

        • mark london on 06.27.12 @ 1:40PM

          What kind of movies have you been making? If you can only shoot practical locations, then the size of the format has never limited me. That is honestly the most bizarre thing I have ever read on one of these forums.
          Worst case you need a cramped wide- buy a Rokinon 8 or 14, or rent the Zeiss alternatives. That 8mm is around 20mm on the BMDCC. If you need wider than that then its a special effects shot for a drama.
          Or you know, do what the pros do – block your action differently.

          I’d LOVE it to have a PL option, especially if old S16 glass will cover the sensor….Even if not, re your example above, there are plenty of VERY wide PL glass out there.

  • Now I’m convinced after seeing the comments, no camera will every satisfy the masses. It is a blessing that black magic has released features that no other manufacturer would and still there are complaints all over. 220 mb/s codec people on board!!!! 13 stops!!!! RAW, free waveform and confidence monitor solution, capture through thunderbolt, and Davinci, but its not enough, jesus. I’m buying one, I don’t even need it but its too good of a deal.

    If you get the camera, I would suggest shooting some raw, and going through that workflow, you’ll get an appreciation for the image processing technology that cameras have especially when you’re responsible for color matrix manipulation, sharpening filtration, customizing gamma compensation manually.

    RAW is the closest thing to film for digital, and all the old film cats I know complain that young digital kids don’t have an appreciation for what it takes to make an image, and I would agree based on some of the comments above.

    • Thank god there’s someone on here with a brain. It’s unbelievable how ungrateful and spoiled people have become in this industry. ISO complaints? You’re shooting LOG and or RAW. Media complaints? SSD’s are dropping in price dramatically. Sensor complaints? It was necessary to keep the price point, and your art shouldn’t be based on the size of a bloody sensor. M43? PL? Adapt if you want, or just use the gigantic multitude of options already available with the EF mount. Internal battery? It’s a good thing not a bad thing: adds extra weight, is a backup, can keep the camera running while switching AB batteries. Any more complaints? Christ, what a bunch of children on here.

  • What do you think the chances are that we’ll see an adapter that allows us to use m4/3 lenses on the Black Magic?

    Or should I say, how soon do you think that will be available?

    • Impossible, you would have to physically modify the camera. Basically, you’d have to tear the face of the camera off and build your own mount. You can always adapter lenses that are farther away from the film plane, but with M4/3s, it’s much closer to the lens, so without some sort of optical element (killing your image) it would be too far from the sensor to be of any use.

  • just came off Andrew Reids EOSHD site re: lenses

    EF mount is OK for adapting a variety of lenses (Nikon, PL, Contax Yashica Zeiss and Zeiss ZF are in) and preferable to a Nikon mount. But it rules out a lot of nice Micro Four Thirds glass which would have been perfectly suited to the BMDCC’s sensor – like the Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm and 25mm F0.95. Also vintage 16mm c-mount stuff is out like the beautiful Kern Switar 26mm F1.1. These super fast aperture lenses would be critical for giving a shallower DOF look on the smaller sensor. Also high quality but very affordable Canon FD lenses cannot be used. At the higher end Leica M mount lenses and the T0.95 cinema lens by SLR Magic cannot be mounted. It also rules out LOMO OCT18 anamorphic shooting. Fast wides are very limited by the EF mount and sensor size combination. Whilst the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 is a good option, anything faster like the Olympus 12mm F2 or SLR Magic 12mm F1.6 won’t fit.

    • This is an odd statement.
      Aren’t there C-Mount (16mm) and M43 to EF adapters out there? I’ve seen plenty of them on Ebay before, so why wouldn’t they be adaptable to this EF mount device?


      • Well, some 16mm lenses could “technically” work with a PL adapter, but they wouldn’t cover the sensor size, so there’s really no point. If you’ve seen M4/3s to EF mount adapters, they’ve got an optical element inside or they can only be used as macro lenses. M4/3s lenses are very close to the sensor, Canon lenses are not. it’s much, much easier to adapt the other way. Start with a lens mount that is close to the sensor and then extend out for the correct flange distance.

  • Aww Lawwwwd, let me say thank you for this camera, BMD will soon realize why Canon and Nikon don’t listen to their customers. Because they will never be satisfied even if you made a heavenly camera.

  • Even though I’m getting the FS700, I’m happy that the BMC is coming out. It’s taking on the big guys and I hope it kicks ass and leads to a super 35mm in the future, which I’m sure it will.

    Looking at those BMC pics, I’m sure going to miss the small form factor. The FS700 just seems so huge :( in this day and age, large cameras just seem so un-necessary.

  • 50fps or 60fps please god! still getting a BMC just to have in the camera bag!

  • ***Why isn’t anyone talking about the ISO on this camera?***

    I’m excited about the camera for sure and believe BMD has done something for all of us beyond the camera itself in being a trendsetter.

    But am I missing something here?

    For a camera to be delivering this kind of quality and image to only have 3 choices of ISO seems odd.

    Maybe there is something I’m not aware of, but it seems to me that the wonderful balance between Light, ISO, and FSTOP in acquiring the look and DoF you want is partly limited by the cameras ISO settings. Of course, your light source and lens is always a factor. But why only 3 choices of ISO?

    • All sensors have one native ISO, and they are derived by either gaining up the sensor or clamping down on the signal. It’s very hard to do that and maintain dynamic range, so I think they’ve limited it to the ISOs that maintain the dynamic range as best as possible.

      From 400 to 800 is one stop, and 800 to 1600 is one stop. You don’t really need most of these intermediate ISOs. They are there for convenience, but there are tradeoffs for many of the in-between ones – noise, loss of dynamic range, etc. So if you really need ISO 500 or 640, or any of the others, closing down slightly on the lens (1/3 or 2/3s of a stop for the intermediate ISOs) will not greatly affect your depth of field. As for the low ISOs, it would probably be a huge loss in dynamic range to go below ISO 400. They’ve talked about possibly going higher than 1600 ISO, but I think noise is a huge concern for them, and they’d rather not offer the option if the result is that poor – though honestly I’d prefer having it than not having it, I understand why they are doing it.

      • Thanks for explaining that a bit better. In my experience with dslr’s with fewer ISO options, I noticed a difference in how I used the camera because of the lack of ISO options. I guess what you are saying is that you just adjust. That isn’t at all bad if the ISO options have the type of effect on the dynamic range and noise as you describe. Adjusting in that case is really just getting comfortable with what will produce the best image.

        Thanks Joe.

        • Anytime – it’s similar to shooting with a RED or Alexa, where you try to light for the base ISO (since it has the least amount of noise and highest dynamic range), and you don’t stray too far from there. It’s going to be less of an available light camera than DSLRs, but that’s the tradeoff for getting better quality and keeping the cost down.

          • This is one of the reasons I’m so excited about this camera, its affordable, but it will force a lot of people to learn more advanced workflows then exposing off of a lcd screen. I think its gonna help filmmakers but more importantly filmmaking.

            • Yeah, DSLRs have created a lot of bad habits, which is why so many people complain about bad or boring work – it’s not necessarily that it’s bad or boring, but everything starts to look the same because people rely on the camera to do a lot of the work for them.

              Since I went to film school and was also a photography major, we were forced to learn on film where you didn’t know what you had until much later – I know some of the older readers might roll their eyes at that since that’s all they shot for years, but I loved film – still do – but it’s best days are behind it in terms of image quality (unless you shoot IMAX motion picture or large format photograhpy). Anyway – you had to get your lighting and your exposure right, and you pretty much had to light for the speed of the film. While RAW is not like shooting on film, it could be a useful exercise for filmmakers just starting out – especially as a lesson in not wasting footage – get only what you need and don’t just let the camera roll because you’ll pay for it on the back end with minutes or hours of useless footage. Light for the ISO and the F-stop, instead of relying on the camera to see in the dark or shooting wide open just because you don’t have enough light. For everyone who complains about DSLRs ruining filmmaking, I think you’re right, this will be good for filmmaking because it forces you to slow down a little and think about what you’re doing (but you can still run and gun if you have to without the penalty of wasted film).

          • mark london on 06.27.12 @ 1:46PM

            Joe, your comment below is dead on. C’mon people,learn how to use a light.

  • Love that second picture. Even more “All Glass No Ass” than in the case of Red EPIC.

    • mark london on 06.27.12 @ 1:42PM

      And that’s as it should be. That’s the bit that makes the most difference. God I love Aluras.

  • I hope they are REALLY listening. The camera is great, the only problem is the mount, why use Canon EOS with such a small sensor? They could make a version of the camera with a short flange mount like Sony’s E mount, so we could use PL mounts, C-Mounts, Canon FD, Contax G, Leica M lenses.. etc
    As it is you need to spend a lot more money in glass and still don’t have a decent wide angle.

    • Well the most obvious reason is that they were aiming this camera at Canon DSLR users who might already have plenty of Canon lenses, so they don’t have to go out and buy new lenses if they don’t want to. The other is that it’s possible that they hadn’t worked out the licensing for the Micro 4/3s mount or any other mount. I think MFT makes more sesne to me than the Sony E-mount because there are many more lenses being made for MFT than Sony’s E mount, so I’d rather have a native mount with more lens compatibility, plus, wider lenses are being made for MFT than for Sony’s mount because of the smaller sensor. Yes, they could be adapted, but if you really want maximum compatibility, you’d put something like a Fuji X-mount on it, which would theoretically allow just about any lens in existence to be adapted.

  • I know the main purpose of this camera is to shoot cinema but do you know if will it possible to take pictures with it? I am planning to sell my DSLR to get the money i need for this :)

    • I don’t believe it will take single frames, but in RAW mode each frame is a still image – so you could probably roll for a couple seconds and get the frames you need. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to be a great camera for still images because the resolution is only 2432 x 1366 at the highest. That’s not very high considering even the lowliest of DSLRs can do well over 4000 pixels. So while it’s possible, I think your best option would be to have a cheap DSLR as a companion to the video of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

  • Hey C. Custer , Amen Brother! that’s how i feel about the internal batteries and unibodies “magic” lately. Design? I don’t think so. More money their way – yes! Uni-body with a huge screen at the back !?? well this is sturdy, shock resistant and safe : )

  • Clayton Arnall on 06.30.12 @ 12:19AM

    The thing that worries me the most about this camera is the facial feature compression by the lens that would be required. Right now, I dont’ like shooting interviews or portait type shots on anything less than 50mm, because anything less and I think it gets somewhat unflattering with an enlarged nose etc on most people. On this BMC camera, shooting at 50mm is gonna be super cropped, and since I don’t like facial features at anything less than 50mm, I’m kinda stuck with being really telephoto all the time right? The minimum I’m gonna be able to shoot at is the equivalent of over 100mm? If you throw on the Canon 14mm 2.8 to get a big of a wider shot (although still not that wide on this level of crop), facial features are gonna be all tweaked out correct? I’m under the impression that it’s the lens that determines how a person looks, not the sensor, so that means facial feature compression levels will stay consistent from camera to camera on a 50mm lens regardless of the crop. Correct me if I’m wrong though.

    • It depends what kind of distortion the lens has, but for the most part, the better wide lenses will have more of their distortion as you extend out from the center, so you’ll be cropping into the less distorted part of the glass. Distortion is a combination of lens, sensor size, and distance to subject. Distance to subject is one of the big ones, and it’s the biggest reason you typically notice distortion.

      A 24mm lens will be a 55mm lens on the Blackmagic camera, so I would get a good 24mm lens and I don’t think you’ll notice too much of a difference. The Tokina is another example of a lens that performs very well, and you’ll be cropping into the better performing part of the lens.

  • alan b'stard M P on 08.7.12 @ 8:42PM

    by the time aftermarket nonsense is added to this camera to make it practical, it will be 6K at least, which makes me wonder if we are better of with the ag af100/101/102, or FS100/FS700, given the features they have a standard

    Who knows?

    • REALLY DUDE??? DYNAMIC range ?? and most people that they are targeting already own DSLR cameras who’s rigs would NOT go to waste because of the form factor, I think BM did the most intelligent thing they could, they made it so you don’t have to go out and spend more money on rigs because you already have it.