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Blackmagic Releases Cinema Camera Firmware 1.2, Includes Aperture Display, exFAT, and More

01.31.13 @ 12:00AM Tags : , , , , ,

While we got a sort of non-update a few weeks ago about shipping improving but not quite in full volume yet, it’s clear that more and more people are getting their cameras every day, especially those who pre-ordered very early. We knew this firmware update was coming, but now version 1.2 for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera has arrived without much fanfare — though anyone that has used the camera knows some of these features are incredibly important. Click through for more on the update.

Here are the new features in this firmware version:

  • New option for time-lapse recording in the Recorder settings
  • exFAT file system support
  • F-stop values are displayed when using compatible EF lenses
  • SDI output now supports RP-188 timecode
  • Support for Thunderbolt on Windows

These are currently the time-lapse options in the camera (thanks to Randy in the Blackmagic forum):

  • Frames: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Seconds: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60
  • Minutes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

I’ve talked about most of my issues with the camera as is, and this does fix a few of the major ones. Seeing your aperture on the display was absolutely essential for the EF mount version of the camera, as it is next to impossible to shoot quickly and efficiently when you have no idea what your iris is actually set to. Windows users will be especially happy about this new firmware update, as they now have Thunderbolt support with the camera. The BMCC has been very Mac-friendly so far, and it’s good to see the camera become a bit more universal, especially with exFAT, which will allow read/write for the SSD drive on both Windows and OSX without any special software.

There are still many more firmware additions needed to make this camera really complete — like audio meters, SSD formatting, and a storage calculator on-board to let you know how much space is left on your drive — but this is certainly a huge step in the right direction. The only thing that’s left now is for these to get into the hands of everyone who wants one.

To get the update, head on over to the Blackmagic support page using the link below, and choose your operating system to download.

Link: Blackmagic Support Center Downloads

[via Blackmagic Forum]


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Description image 66 COMMENTS

  • Wait, so you couldn’t tell what your aperture was before this update?

  • Now with some sort of in-camera file management and reviewing system, the firmware on this camera will be just about as functional as it needs to be for working professionals.

  • All this is good stuff. Too bad I’m a PC User who’s already paid for a MacDrive license.. now, if Black Magic would simply *ship* the camera I ordered on August 29, 2012.. (yeah, over 6 months back..)

    • superphreak on 01.31.13 @ 12:27AM

      Wow, six months! I talked with BMCC Wednesday at Supermeet San Francisco and he said some EFs are being distributed, but MFTs are not even shipping, not even thinking about shipping, not even on the radar, probably don’t exist. DVXusers are selling EFs at inflated rates, makin’ a killing, but the moderator puts a limit on how much the vultures can price them at. Apparently some perps advertise $6k, moderator says $4400 tops.

      Gee, these firmware upgrades is like making bullets for a gun that barely exists, if you’re into the violence analogy.

      • The MFT version exists and has been shot with. It isn’t shipping yet. It seems to be very much on the radar. I get the impression they have been totally overwhelmed by demand. As the person above points out, there is a flourishing secondary market. All of this happened with the initial RED ONE. Starting to show up at all the rental houses now at between 150/200 a day.
        If you’re interested I strongly suggest renting one first. It has a lot of quirks but its a hell of a camera.

        • I would totally think about buying one for 4400, right now renting that camera out would pay for itself real quick if you have the network, but EF is not worth it on that small sensor, You really need MFT, If the prices are the same when that camera ships on ebay, hell yea.

          • Tyrannosaur on 02.4.13 @ 7:16PM

            No offence at all intended but I think the whole sensor size argument getting a bit blown out of proportion, it’s bigger than S16 right? They could have made it bigger, which would have made the price bigger!

            That said, IMO, EF is still very worth it on the small sensor! For EG you have:

            Samyang manual lenses:

            14mm 2.8
            24mm 1.4
            35 1.5

            And of course the Tokina 11 – 16mm 2.8

            And not to mention the new Metabones speedbooster adapter which will be – assuming it works as advertised – a necessary piece of equipment to have with the BMCC.

    • Yeah I’m tired of reading about the BMCC. I want to USE one. I ordered mine in June. I don’t think they really exist… frustrated…

  • Got to play with one of these at work. No file management system and an internal battery structure left us stranded in the field with no way to charge the camera efficiently and no way to create space on the SD card by removing files through the camera’s OS. This is not to mention that the display is impossible to read in sunny situations. I was really excited about this camera until I actually got hold of one.

    • That’s obv a blatant lie considering 1) it doesn’t use SD cards and 2) you wouldn’t be a working professional if you didn’t know the limitations of this camera!

    • Seems weird you didn’t take an external battery with you. An Alexa is just a fancy paperweight without one.
      As for the file issues, yes that’s a problem. It will be fixed.
      Really it not being a ‘professional’s’ camera I think you’re right. A jobbing camera guy would be better off with a C100 of above.
      But if you have patience and you’re making drama or feature docos, this camera is amazing.

      • mikko löppönen on 01.31.13 @ 7:08AM

        Really patient as offloading 30mins of raw to raid-0 with esata takes about 2 hours…

        • That’s not the patience I was talking about, but honestly, again that’s no problem on a drama shoot if you plan for it.

        • 2 hours? Doesn’t sound right to me. I shot with this camera over the weekend and had 3 256gb cards. Shooting raw, each card is about 30 minutes of footage. I found over esata it took about 24 minutes to transfer a full card to a stand alone Non raid drive. If it is taking you 2 hours, might want to check your system out.

    • If you have a V-mount battery and the right cable, that’s a simple power solution right there. The quickest solution for deleting and review in the field is to take a laptop and a Seagate GoFlex/Backup Plus drive with you. The back of the drive detaches to reveal a SATA connection that goes straight into the SSD. Review and delete away. If you shoot ProRes you’re far less likely to run out of space, though.

      The new update is great, and the timelapse options are very flexible.

  • does anyone else think that the delays surrounding digital bolex and the bmc will make it hard for manufacturers of new products to try to sell pre orders at NAB this year?

  • It seems to me, there is no option for file management in this camera. Probably it’s a hardware limitation, because they are improving the firmware with timecode and timelapse, but still missing a CLIP DELETE or FORMAT function!

    • John Brawley on 02.3.13 @ 7:21AM

      Actually it’s a choice BMCC have made…

      Alexa’s dont allow you to delete clips, nor do RED.

      It would be nice if you could format the drive though.


  • Eric Ravern on 01.31.13 @ 4:07AM

    I do not recall a file management option on any of the film cameras I shot on back in the day, treat it like a film camera at the moment, in time they will have a file based system on the camera for deleting and if they do not then adapt, , tiresome to hear the limitations of this camera, especially when there is so few of them around, also to keep constantly hearing about people saying “this is not professional, that is not professional”, never been able to buy a professional moving image camera for anywhere near this price, and any professional would understand how much of a jump up in image quality this is from the dslr market its aimed at. Although I tire myself of people constantly pointing out the price of this camera as an excuse for its missing feature, no f stop on the ef camera was a massive problem, good to hear they finally fixed that I saw one at a blackmagic night back in august and oddly did not think they fully understood how much a problem that was, they responded by saying you can hit the auto button or some crap and that will make sure you do not overexpose, that seemed crazy to me as a response. But as much as I love hearing about this camera, and I do, I would also love to see “BMC shipping in huge numbers, in stores in weeks” as the next update on here, until its readily available it feels like a waste of energy to think to much about it.
    I am surprised at how little Mlackmagic seemed to learn from other manufactures mistakes, just take the video options from a 5d at the very least, and do not even mention something until you know its doable, I mean does anyone have any idea what volume they can put out of these? will the be out of back order this year? That is what annoys me, not the lack of missing things on the camera, we all have adjusted to massive limitations to take on dslr so we are a accepting bunch, but end this misery and tell me when this camera will be more than a story on nofilmschool.
    One last thing to rant about, I was reading on the forums about people wanting to wait to see what happens at NAB before buying one of these, I heard one dude say it may already be obsolete, made me sad to hear people talking like this, if this camera can produce beautiful filmic like images, shoot pro res out of the box, raw for bigger projects, its life span is not a few months, it could very well be a awesome tool for those of us who do not have budget to go epic or alexa, and for the amateur who takes it seriously but can not afford a scarlet, for the dude who understands how terrible h.264 is, if only someone could tell me if it will be in my local store this year. Part of me fear all this bashing of it will see them exit the camera world and discontinue once back orders are done, so please just leave them be, leave Grant to update you when he wants and if he wants, and when it is in your hands be thankful someone made such a thing.

    • This is an awesome rant. I’ve only been out of school a year, but I am already tired of people expecting a camera to do literally everything and be available a week after it is announced. Having done DIT work on a few productions, file management is super easy as long as there’s someone with a decently organized head on their shoulders around.

    • Well said.

  • Just did a commercial shoot with two of these today… mainly used cine primes but would have been nice to have seen the aperture on the Canon macro glass.

  • I just shot a rap music video in Antarctica for Master P with the BMCC. The camera constantly made passes at both the male and female crew members and refused to tip a waiter when we all went out to eat. I would say that this was very unprofessional.

    The BMCC is also not lava proof. The screen fogged up while filming the 2100F lava at a distance of 3M. The BMCC screen was also difficult to use under water. I also couldn’t even see the screen while I was inside a sensory deprivation chamber; too much glare.

    $3,000 is too much. Especially the cost of the expensive SSDs that the BMCC uses. I prefer having to pay $450 per 30min for film, developing and transfer.

    • Chris Lambert on 01.31.13 @ 6:02AM

      I also find the lack of a built in fusion reactor and solar panels incredibly flawed lol

    • This camera is such a 1.0 release from an unknown manufacture that it can’t even DP my film for me.

      Means I have to buy an expensive DP.

    • Soosan Khanoom on 01.31.13 @ 1:20PM

      That film jab was unnecessary.

    • ruben huizenga on 01.31.13 @ 1:32PM

      damn it! not lava proof?! do they take us for fools?!!
      next they’ll tell us shatner is left handed! :)

    • john jeffreys on 01.31.13 @ 1:43PM

      trying too hard.

    • Yeah I just hit mine with a hammer and it smashed to bits… I was hoping the firmware update would include shock resistance.

    • @Some Guy’s LAUGHING OUT LOUD comment HAHAAAAAAAAAAA #Classic Post, might have been one of the most funniest ones ive read on here.

      The Master P reference/ Lava / AND camera not tipping, just blatantly disrespectful and funny

  • Whilst filming in space there wasa lot of ozone reflection / screen glare – I feel that the bmcc could really benefit from a flip screen or at least wifi options for remote trigger so whilst in orbit I could trigger filming modes whilst avoiding those tricky asteroids whilst keeping a heathy distance .
    Whilst I was filming our earth in all it’s glory Alan the alien popped over from Uranus and informed me that a trillion k camera is on its way in 2020 – however , the guys at Roswell aka Area 51 have had the technology for years but refuse to utilise the technology as the Uranus Camera committee (-distant cousins of jabba the hut and his motley crew) have signed a secret clause that sanctions any such release due to copy right issues.
    Come on BMCC- flip screen at least ffs

  • Great with an update but where the heck is the mft version? That’s what I want!
    Are there any shorts or feature films shot with it yet?

    • Answering myself. This trailer seems to be from a feature film made on BMCC.
      Looks kinda weird and interesting. Can we get a Nofilmschool interview with those behind that film?
      When I get my BMCC I will mainly use it for shorts and hopefully a feature I’m also writing so looking for all information I can about BMCC and fiction filmmaking.

  • Shooting with the BMCC next week, hopefully the rental house will up it to this firmware. I was really kinda concerned about the no aperture thing. Slowly but surely this camera is getting better and better.

  • Yay! I’m still waiting for metabones to release the mft mount adapter to ef before purchasing one. It fixes both problems I have with the camera sensor size and low light but low light isn’t as much a big deal but making my 24-105 f4 a 2.8 would be amazing!

    • Chris Lambert on 01.31.13 @ 9:41AM

      would it be 2.8 or 3.4 though?

      • Let me just say, that while there are 1 or 2 very interesting new cams coming to NAB, the only ones near this price range with this capability likely to be there are this and the Digi Bolex, which is a strong rumour to appear.

  • Shooting RAW on a SSD using Ex-FAT? How many seconds do you get before fragmenting the file?

  • on 01.31.13 @ 10:05AM

    I haven’t been watching this camera because it’s out of my price range at the moment, but considering all the complaints from buyers and prospective buyers, this camera seems like the FCPX of cinematography. Thankfully BM is correcting some of these issues sooner rather than later.

    • This is a fairly poor analogy. It’s true in the sense that it’s a product that’s being released with the promise of more features to come, but false in the sense that it is a stand-alone product with no previous version, and also false in the sense that it is geared towards professional cinematography use. FCPX was created to be more accessible to everyone, as opposed to the professional editing market.

      • Chris Lambert on 02.1.13 @ 4:36AM

        it’s also become a very decent tool in itself once you get over the initial learning curve, i cut a lot faster on this than I ever did before and for the price that immediately puts it into the hands of a lot of small production houses and sole shooters who can’t afford / don’t want to steal software.

  • Bout time this camera arrives in “everybody’s” hands we’ll be talking about something else…these guys can’t even fulfill all of the preorders and we are talking about updates….smh

    • Good luck on that… I think we’re going to see that camera in stock by the end of the year the way things are going.

      Probably a BMCC V2 more mature will be the way to go. Perhaps NAB 2014?.

  • Digital Bolex anyone ? Looking real hot !
    Just been updated 4xlr usb 3 ect ect …hmmmm

  • Does anyone have a solution/suggestion for audio monitoring?

    • Chris Lambert on 02.1.13 @ 4:37AM

      headphones… i think it would be a similar process as per the dslr’s at the moment with the external audio box fed into the mic socket

  • Christian Anderson on 01.31.13 @ 3:21PM

    Hmm should I set the timelapse setting to every 60 seconds or every 1 minute. Decisions…

  • I got my camera in earlier this week, used it a few time and showed it off a couple times to a couple groups and I think the image is probably the best image you could get at this price point right now.

    The camera isn’t a handheld rig, it needs support, it needs a rig, monitor, battery solution, drives, but the image it captures is great. They are shipping out fairly steady now so hopefully pre-orders are filled within a month or two and everyone can stop complaining about it.

    Their is a lot of things that need to fixed with the camera however 90% of them are firmware based and the other 10% we all knew about before buying the camera so there is no point in bitching about it now.

    • Chase, do you mind me asking when and where you ordered your Blackmagic camera? Mine was ordered 8/8/2012.

  • Excited about this camera, but will probably go with the Digital Bolex.

    -2.5 K RAW DNG
    -Changeable Lens Mount
    -Removable Pistol grip (you can actually hold it!)
    -4 XLRs
    -24-bit 96 Khz audio
    -Analog audio control
    -12V battery output (for lights, recorders, etc)
    -HD-SDI output
    -USB 3.0

  • zerocool22 on 02.2.13 @ 6:29AM

    Now with the new firmware update you can do timelapses. Does this mean you can use the BCC for stills as well know? At what filetype does he save the timelapses? raw, jpg,…

    + Can you manually control the shutter speed? Or is it always auto 50? and you can only change aperture and iso manually?