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Blackmagic Releases Firmware 1.1 for Cinema Camera, Adds DNxHD and Image Stabilization

10.5.12 @ 6:17PM Tags : , , , ,

If you’re one of the three people who currently have a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, you’re in luck, because the company has just released the first firmware update which adds a few essential features to the EF mount version of the camera (since the MFT camera hasn’t been released yet). In addition to the updates mentioned above, additional shutter angle options were added for a more precise control with shutter speed. Michael Beck, who happens to be one of those three people with a camera, has been testing it quite a bit. In the video below, he shows us what the new image stabilization can do with your BMCC footage, and he also takes a look at his anamorphic lens setup with the camera.

This is his anamorphic setup with the first video:

The lens is a 1.3x (I think) Runco branded Rainier conversion lens made to sit in front of a Runco Home theater projector. I have my BMC with my Tamron 17-5mm 2.8 @ 24mm stopped down to around 4 (not sure because of the BMC’s lack of f-stop indicator).

His night setup:

Some more anamorphic testing. Some night shots this time. 800 ISO. Lens was stopped down to about 3.5 (I think). Shot in ProRes quickly graded with Colorista.

It will be interesting to see the anamorphic setups that people come up with, though if you want the correct 2.35 aspect ratio, you’ll have to use a 1.3x squeeze lens, or you’ll have to blow up the footage a significant amount to fill back to a standard aspect ratio (since the larger the squeeze, the less vertical height there will be when it’s corrected).

You can find the new firmware version from the link below at the Blackmagic Support site. The DNxHD file format will be helpful for those Avid users out there who would like to deal natively with the files coming straight from the camera. Ideally at some point Blackmagic would also include all shutter angles possible (since this is a digital camera and minor increments should be easy to implement), but for now we at least have more to choose from. We’ll be seeing a lot of firmware updates from the company, and it’s likely anything that can be done in software will probably be updated — from the missing audio meters to the inability to reformat on the camera itself.

Does the power of the image stabilization sway anyone who changed their order from the EF to the MFT mount Cinema Camera?



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  • I don’t have the cash to order, but the stabilization is cool, so I think I’d get the EOS mount. It seems easy to feed the power and stuff through the 4/3 to an adapter though. That would be best.

  • Won’t be exchaging my order back to EF because of IS I’m afraid. IS lenses are but one small part of those in existence and all of them photo lenses, not enough when in MFT I get access to pretty much anything except most S16 and smaller sensor lenses. Not to mention that I’m pretty sure something like Metabones will come along for MFT.

    • Raphael,

      How would any kind of MFT-to-EF adapter communicate with the camera if the camera only has a “dumb” mount lacking all electronic connections?

      • Whoever said anything about the lens communicating with the camera? There are Metabone models that allow you to control iris on the adapter, or something connected to the adapter, rather than the camera. Don’t put words in my mouth mate. Not to mention that that’s beside the point, the point is that there aren’t nearly enough lenses with IS to make me change back to EF for that reason alone.

  • such a shame this dude has a camera.

  • Dan lenney, vince laforet, philip bloom, one river media, frank glencairn, mike young, sebastian and this guy. So I’m counting 8 not sure where your getting your numbers from? Lol

  • Jeff Akwante on 10.5.12 @ 8:38PM

    Sweet, let me update my camera! Oh wait, I don’t have it yet…

  • “If you’re one of the three people who currently have a Blackmagic Cinema Camera”


  • Robert Anthony on 10.6.12 @ 2:43PM

    “Does the power of the image stabilization sway anyone who changed their order from the EF to the MFT mount Cinema Camera?”

    Yes, I had decided to get the MFT version, but the recent IS support update has swayed me back to the EF mount because having Stabilization is huge in so many situations from run-n-gun to events etc …

  • I’m going to have BMCC next week with Epic and NEX 5n on hand, anything any of you would like to see as comparison? I’m planing to do dynamic range, contrast, and skin tone and possibly low light.
    I’ll have CP.2s on hand and some FD glass for NEX 5n.
    I only have NEX 5n , because I’m currently experimenting with it as a ultra lowcost DSLR shotter. I will attempt to get as close with it to the big guys as possible.

  • No aperture display for Canon EOS lenses yet?

    2.35 is not actually the aspect ratio for standard anamorphic – it’s 2.39 for “scope”. In film, the exact number were not important but for DCP release it’s critical to get exact sizes right to avoid visual artifacts, scaling, cropping or black boxes in the image area.

    • Actually 2.35 was the standard till the 70s and from then onward 2.39, it had nothing to do with whether it was shot on film or digital. Besides “2.35″ is more of a familiar term rather than accurate term, we say “4K” all the time yet it’s not exactly 4000 lines of pixels, you catch my drift. It’s more of a nickname, it’s not like we don’t know the accurate information, we still just generalize. C-47 anyone?

      • There was no digital anamorphic films in theaters prior to 1970 when the projector gate aspect was adjusted from roughly 2.35 to roughly 2.39. However, it was not a true standard as all sorts of other sizes existed – literally dozens. Plus projectors, film stock, projector gates are mechanical and slight variances were normal.

        However, it in digital, which is all that is relevant here, 2.35 is wrong. It is precisely 2048 x 858 for 2K and 4096 x 1716 for 4K. I make DCPs for filmmakers and people get this wrong all the time because they use 2.35.

      • Yes, it’s just short hand, I understand the difference between the two, but many use 1.3x or so anamorphic adapters on 16:9 sensors, which actually give you closer to 2.35 than 2.39, like the Panasonic LA7200, which is a 1.33x squeeze.

    • Daniel Mimura on 10.13.12 @ 10:57PM

      Wow…you guys must be fun to be around at a party…


  • wow…that camera is picking up a LOT of noise from the IS motor!!

    Still nice to have though! ;)

    • Nathan Carr on 10.9.12 @ 2:44PM

      so? mic up your tallent, boom them, or capture with an H4n. Nobody spends 3k and another few grand on lenses to use “internal audio.”

  • I don’t know if you guys have seen one of the cameras. I live in Melbourne, Australia and Video Guys have one in a glass display case. It looks good. Surprisingly bigger than I thought. Quite substantial looking. Definitely brought a smile to my dial.

  • Daniel Mimura on 10.13.12 @ 11:05PM

    Lens based image stabilization is terrible…it’s for stills (and daddycams). The DSLR amateur world has made people think it’s okay and should be used for motion picture cameras.

    I can’t stand trying to keep a precise frame with the gyros (or electronic equivalent or whatever) trying to fight me as the frame creeps around. Use a good fluid head. Or…don’t try to handhold something that’s too telephoto.

  • Wait, so is this from the camera or the lens? will the mft have image stability when its available ?