January 31, 2013

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

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]

Your Comment

64 Comments

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

January 31, 2013

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Eddy

Right, using Canon EF lenses it was not possible before to see your aperture.

January 31, 2013

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

Cropped sensor, ha!

January 31, 2013

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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.

January 31, 2013

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Robert

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..)

January 31, 2013

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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.

January 31, 2013

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superphreak

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.

January 31, 2013

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marklondon

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.

January 31, 2013

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ryan

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.

February 4, 2013

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Tyrannosaur

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...

January 31, 2013

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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.

January 31, 2013

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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!

January 31, 2013

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p blue

To be fair, I think he just missed the extra S in typing.

January 31, 2013

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Swested

Uh, SSD card sorry. I'm a VFX Producer, not a DP. Give me a break.

January 31, 2013

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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.

January 31, 2013

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marklondon

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

January 31, 2013

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mikko löppönen

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.

January 31, 2013

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marklondon

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.

February 6, 2013

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Ted

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.

January 31, 2013

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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?

January 31, 2013

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No.

January 31, 2013

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marklondon

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!

January 31, 2013

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LA

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.

jb

February 3, 2013

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John Brawley

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.

January 31, 2013

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Eric Ravern

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.

January 31, 2013

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pat

Well said.

January 31, 2013

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marklondon

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.

January 31, 2013

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Newman

You talking the Zeiss Cp2s or something serious?

January 31, 2013

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marklondon

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.

January 31, 2013

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some guy

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

January 31, 2013

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Chris Lambert

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.

January 31, 2013

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Ant

That film jab was unnecessary.

January 31, 2013

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Soosan Khanoom

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

January 31, 2013

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ruben huizenga

trying too hard.

January 31, 2013

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john jeffreys

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

January 31, 2013

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Ronny

@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

January 31, 2013

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JayClout

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

January 31, 2013

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Sam

hahahaha

January 31, 2013

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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?

January 31, 2013

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Milton

Answering myself. This trailer seems to be from a feature film made on BMCC.
http://youtu.be/K0Q3TMysBSU
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.

January 31, 2013

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Milton

Then you're in the right place.

January 31, 2013

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marklondon

Yes indeed! :-)

January 31, 2013

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Milton

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.

January 31, 2013

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alex

do it yourself, bro

January 31, 2013

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Call and ask them to do it.

January 31, 2013

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Ant

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!

January 31, 2013

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Caleb

would it be 2.8 or 3.4 though?

January 31, 2013

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Chris Lambert

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.

January 31, 2013

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marklondon

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

January 31, 2013

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Tulio

Shooting raw is already a series of separate image files (DNG).

January 31, 2013

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Gabe

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