Micro 4/3 Blackmagic Cinema Cameras May Be Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is still steadily shipping out, but so far they've only been sending out the EF mount cameras. The issue of infinity focus with those cameras was confirmed to not be affecting the shipping speed, so there is hope we have seen the last of the delays and shortages. If, however, you're one of those who switched your order to the Micro 4/3 BMCC (or ordered separately), it looks like shipment could be just around the corner.
Frank Glencairn posted this on Twitter (with the picture above):
He also later posted this:
@irieger It's a good sign, that us beta testers got the MFT now. So soon after that, they start shipping. Was the same with the EF mount.— Frank Glencairn (@FrankGlencairn) March 28, 2013
John Brawley, who has been using his pre-production BMCC for months, later commented that these would be shipping "soon," so it's likely this is one of the first out there since it seems like Frank is on a beta list. It's obviously frustrating for everyone involved that there aren't cameras readily available for everyone who wants them, but the company made it clear that they would not start shipping the MFT mount cameras until the EF mounts were being manufactured at a steadier pace. It would not be surprising for there to be some sort of announcement regarding shipping near/at NAB, or shortly after for both the EF and MFT cameras.
Just to clear up some confusion regarding the infinity focus issue on the EF mount BMCC, Kristian Lam posted this in the Blackmagic forum:
Not everyone will encounter this issue. Also, if the lenses you use are fine, then there's really no need to do anything.
It will also be counter productive to try and send the camera back to be adjusted if out of say 5 lenses, one is slightly soft as it may be an issue with the lens itself.
Brawley later added:
The "fix" is a deliberate shortening of the actual spec FFD.
This FIX also breaks some lenses because it means those that have accurate witness mark, and hard stops at infinity will no longer be accurate once the BMCC is "fixed". A lot of lenses that haven't worked ALSO have versions that do...
Here is a particularly enlightening exchange regarding collimated lenses not having correct marks even on Canon cameras (with Brawley's response below it):
Christian Schmeer wrote:
I didn't get how this can be the case with still lenses though, if Canon themselves seem to shorten the flange distance a little (see below)? So if I understood correctly, after the adjustment/fix the distance markings won't be accurate on the BMCC, but they aren't on the 5D, 7D, and C300 either anyway?
SOME lenses are, but because they are STILLS lenses designed to be autofocused quickly that have NOW started to be used for VIDEO, they tend to have a WIDER tolerance range.
In stills, no one ever cared if the witness marks lined up. A lot of cheaper and even medium range Canon lenses don't even HAVE witness marks.
Most 5D shooters get Follow Focus gears, but again, because a lot of the AF rings on these lenses are continuous, it's never mattered that they don't line up. Its not that they SHORTENED it. it's that the lenses have a wide tolerance in manufacturing from lens to lens.
The FFD is the most crucial in WIDE lenses and at LOWER apertures. So the Tokina is very critical, and it seems Tokina have even LESSER tolerances. There are many stories with this lens not hitting infinity on other cameras before the BMCC floating around.
Deliberately shortening the FFD on the body of a camera that doesn't have a user adjustable FFD is a way to allow these lenses to work.
It's clear that the issue is complicated, but all cameras shipped from now on should be adjusted to be able to focus to infinity with lenses like the Tokina. We'll update about any official word regarding volume shipping for those still waiting for cameras (which is still quite a few of you).