Blackmagic Adds Functions to Cinema Camera, Finally Shipping Within Two Weeks (For Real This Time)
Just as we finally got the first downloadable RAW footage and the first real low-light test, we're now getting a real shipping time-frame for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera straight from the company itself. Dan Chung over at DSLR News Shooter is at BIRTV in China right now and he sat down with Richard Lim to discuss the camera, the concerns people have had, and the final shipping design. Richard also details a few new nifty functions that they've added in software, like the ability to shoot at ISO 200 (which may or may not affect dynamic range). Check out the video below.
Lim suggests that there are cameras floating around -- both review units as well as shipping units. It seems, however, that the actual shipping has not yet begun, but will start within two weeks. Of course, as Richard admits, there are far more pre-orders than they will have cameras to ship in the first round, so it's possible that only those who pre-ordered during NAB will get the Cinema Camera within the first few weeks. As I've said before, the roll-out is going to be long, and they will probably still be fulfilling pre-orders well into October/November.
As far as the new features, a double-tap for focus check is a huge addition in my opinion, and it looks fast and responsive. Adding ISO 200 is going to be helpful for when NDs aren't available. While there will be plenty of daylight scenes where you will be pushing F11-F16 without NDs (which could cause serious diffraction), at least with ISO 200 you've got a better chance of getting an exposure. It's clear that the shipping version of the camera will not feature improvements regarding the camera mount or internal battery situation, but it seems like Blackmagic has definitely considered these criticisms, and I would really not be surprised if they release an updated version sometime in the future with both of those issues addressed.
There is no question that Blackmagic is dedicated to the consumer -- and as Richard says they will be improving the software frequently. I'm sure we can expect plenty of new features and additions in the near future, at least as far as software/firmware is concerned, but now we have confirmation that the design is basically unchanged from what was introduced at NAB 2012.