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Micro 4/3 Blackmagic Cinema Cameras May Be Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You

03.28.13 @ 7:58AM Tags : , , , ,

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:

@ 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

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).



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Description image 31 COMMENTS

  • Mher Hakobyan on 03.28.13 @ 8:09AM

    when BMCC (EF mount) will be shiped to Dubai?

  • Yay! Now metabones needs to come out with the mft speed booster to ef mount, Nd rokinon to come out with the 50mm cine lens. Can’t wait to rock that set up BMCC with metabones and rokinon cine lenses.

    • Shot a music video with the BMCC a couple of weeks ago, I used my tokina 11-16, rokinon 35 and canon 50. Gave me perfect amount of coverage, but i would recomend using a mattebox or getting nd’s for your lenses, this thing is much better than im used to (7d) in low light, the amount of play you have even in prores is outstanding compared to a DSLR. The only problems were the 11-16 infinity focus and the focus rolloff on the other lenses when the subject was a bit further away. Other than that, workflow was amazingly simple and hassle free. In my opinion once haters get there hands on the thing and see what it can do they will be converted. Having said that, this camera is not for every job, it has it’s down sides, but that must be understood before criticizing

      • Counter balancing when shoulder mounting this camera is already tough (i own it), adding a matte box and counter balancing 5lbs must be painful.

        • Get stronger. Lift some weights.

        • I was using a fairly small jib on both days, had no issue… You should have a v-mount on the back of your rig, generally they are adjustable… So balancing was easy… I do agree that once the kit is fully set up it is fairly heavy, but I felt that made it more stable on my shoulder anyway.

  • THis is the BMCC that i’m getting for sure!

  • M43 BMCC with Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95. WANT. Even though I already have the EF mount version…

    • I’ve got the 17.95 f.95 on my GH3, it is a GLORIOUS lens, and perfect for this smaller sensor format.
      I’ve got a few other lenses, but when I come back to my Voigtlander, it’s like a sigh of relief to feel the focus ring, gosh it’s just such a wonderful tactile experience. I do run into chromatic aberration down at .95, but clicking out is really solid, so you can stay a hair away from it safely.

      I’m hoping to get a MFT BMC as long as nothing comes out at this NAB that will blow it away.
      The BMC produces images that are absolutely voluptuous! You just want to eat the damn screen!
      If NAB holds in store an ergonomic camera with 10-12 bit color space, 12+ stops of dynamic range, and better low light than the BMC, some phantom power XLRs, gosh I would drop $5k in a heart beat.

    • Yes, the image is incredible. In fact, I have been using it for stills/moving picture – the 3 megapixel stills are great for many applications. Also, I find that I always get a fantastic reaction from the people on the other side of the camera – it is a beautiful camera and still rather unusual, people are always fascinated by it.

  • I’m sure NAB had a lot to do with them wanting this to be news so it looks like progress is being made. Let’s see when we can actually walk into B&H on a whim and buy one off the shelf…

    I’m a little bitter that I changed my year-old preorder to m43 and had to switch it back to EF because they refuse to give a timeframe for m43.

  • Robert Thorpe on 03.28.13 @ 11:21AM

    EF or MFT > WHICH ONE?

    Which is better, what is the MFT good at versus the EF?

    • MFT lenses are designed for specifically for this smaller sensor format. You won’t find an EF lens that stops down to F.95.
      There’s also not an awkward flange distance protruding from the MFT.
      The sacrifice is that the MFT version of the BMC won’t allow you to automate lens controls, it’s all manual operation. I personally always manually operate my lenses anyways, so this isn’t an issue for me.

      MFT is the best format for the camera, but Black Magic decided to start out with an EF mount so Canon EOS folks can make the transition easier.

    • I think the biggest advantage of using the EF Mount is Image Stabilization. The Sigma 17-50mm O.S. Stabilized Lens works great and really makes a difference handheld or on a shoulder rig for run-n-gunning.

      • Great point Andy, also with the BMC’s crop factor, any instability will be more pronounced. Long lenses, even on a tripod can be effected by wind, background activities, etc. So stabilization would be very helpful.

  • If one gets a MFT version , is there any options- lens adapters that would enable the live functions of using an EF lens such as IS, focus etc?- so then one would have the best of both models……..

    Does the Redrock adapter enable these functions?

    Thank you

    • Yes the Redrock adapter should work well for adjusting iris, but you won’t get IS.

      • Thank you, Joe. Other than IS , are there any other significant capabilities one loses by using EF lenses on the MFT model with an adapter mount. Also has this camera been used on any feature or tv/cable shows in US?

        • Well the camera won’t automatically select an iris setting for you. The way it is currently, hitting the iris button automatically brings the lens to just below clipping. With an EF adapter on the MFT camera, you’d have to judge this yourself.

          That’s really all you lose though, IS and the ability for the camera to automatically set the iris.

          I don’t know if it’s been used on anything narrative thus far, but it was used in Australia on a show called Puberty Blues. John Brawley has been using it extensively professionally.

  • vinceGortho on 03.28.13 @ 8:40PM

    So if I order an EF mount, how long should I expect to wait to get it?

  • What, the camera STILL isn’t shipping yet? Yawn…

    • Sorry for the negativity, but I’ve been reading for almost a year about a camera mostly no one can get. Part of me is vindictively hoping Canon sinks BMCC asap for making us hold on, and read on and on in NFS, for something that just never comes…