April 8, 2013

It's Official: Introducing Blackmagic 4K & Pocket Cinema Cameras for $4K and $1K

Official word has just dropped from last night's exciting announcement leak of two new cameras from Blackmagic Design: The 4k Production Camera and the Pocket Cinema Camera. Any skepticism on its legitimacy is now put to rest -- it's real alright. Read on for the full details and more info about the cameras from John Brawley.

Updating this post regularly. Thanks to John Brawley for the heads up.

Blackmagic Production Camera 4k

  • Super 35 size sensor with a global shutter
  • Native 3840 x 2160 resolution, optional 1920 x 1080 (via downsampling)
  • 12 Stops Of Dynamic Range
  • Shoots 23.98/24/25fps, 29.97/30fps, 50i and 59.94i in 1920 x 1080
  • EF Mount
  • Visually lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes 422 (HQ)
  • 21.12 x 11.88mm active sensor area
  • 2.5" SSD
  • Thunderbolt and 6G-SDI output
  • Built-in touchscreen
  • Available in July for $3,995
  • LANC

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

  • Super 16 1080 HD Sensor
  • 13 Stops of Dynamic Range
  • Shoots 23.98/24 and 29.97/30 fps
  • Active m4/3 mount
  • Visually lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes 422 (HQ) to SD cards
  • 12.48 x 7.02mm active sensor area
  • Shipping in July for $995
  • 3.5" LCD touchscreen
  • Removable Battery
  • Built in Stereo Mics
  • LANC, micro HDMI with overlays

John Brawley speaks to the sensor size of the 4K model:

In the same form factor as the BMCC, they now put a near super 35 4K sensor. Not only that but the global shutter, eliminates rolling shutter, something many found irritating to work with. The active image area is 21.12mm x 11.88mm. Super 35 @ 1.78 is 24.89 mm × 14mm. By way of comparison the Sony F5 is 22.6 x 12.7mm and they get to call theirs Super 35.

On global shutter and dynamic range of the 4K camera:

Because of the global shutter and different sensor technology, the 4K one doesn’t quite have the same DR, but it’s still going to be very good and certainly better than most of the dSLR’s from what I can see. It’s still early days and right now they’re trying to squeeze as much DR as they can, but the global shutter mode and slightly different sensor technology means it won’t match the BMCC. I’ve shot some early engineering tests and it actually already looks very good. When you directly compare it for DR, you see the difference, but by itself, the images are still great.

On the Pocket Cinema's recording capabilities:

Currently the prototype camera I have records only in ProRes 422 @ 10 bit, just like the BMCC. The plan is to add a NEW compressed RAW implementation of DNG. The spec allows for this be lossless (not lossy) and at 1.5:1 – 1.2-:1.

As I mentioned the Pocket cinema camera also has an interchangeable battery and records to regular SD cards. Though you can’t get away with any old SD card. I’ve been using only the SanDisk Extreme Pro 64Gb. Like we’ve discovered with the SSD’s, they aren’t all created equal, even when the specs say they are. BMD are doing the research right now on this so expect to see a list of SD cards that will be recommended.

Well, what a pleasant surprise from Blackmagic. It's already proving to be an exciting NAB! Share your thoughts about these announcements in the comments!

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278 Comments

BY THE BEARD OF ZEUS!

April 8, 2013

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Chris Lambert

+1 i laughed

April 8, 2013

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Eric

Same

April 8, 2013

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Casey Orion

Hahaha +3

April 8, 2013

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Cris

Amazing! I can't wait for the frame rate info! Any chance we will see 60/120fps?

April 8, 2013

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Serhan

23.98, 24, 29.97, 30 only :(

April 8, 2013

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Ryan O'Rourke

The way John is talking about how Black Magic is still trying to optimize the sensor really makes me think there is no way they will be shipping in 3 months.

April 8, 2013

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Ryan O'Rourke

My guess is BMD will ship a couple of units in July and gradually ship globally in double digits by 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

April 8, 2013

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Marvin

lolol

April 8, 2013

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+1

April 8, 2013

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JayClout

+2 -- at this point, anyone who takes their word for shipping deserves to be disappointed. B&H Photo told me last week they have "no idea" when they will have enough cameras to even cover their own back orders. And another major L.A. reseller told me the same thing, saying "Good luck if you buy a BMCC..." On paper, the concept was brilliant and the early tests looked great. BUT...

April 8, 2013

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John B.

-2

You both have no idea what the production chain is like for either of these two models.

April 8, 2013

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Hummer

Hummer: I think it's you who have no idea. I am a journalist who covers the film production industry for a living. I just got off the phone with the head of pro video at B&H. He said they now have NO IDEA when they will even get enough BMCC's to fill their BACK ORDERS. He said they can no longer even guarantee that they will be able to catch up on back orders by END OF THE SUMMER. "We just have no idea at this point," he said. "BM has told us so many different stories and come up short on so many promises that we've decided not to give any assurances at all." A major reseller in L.A. told me the same thing last week. Do you dispute that they know what the['re talking about? As I said earlier, let the buyer beware...

April 8, 2013

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John B.

You're just talking to customer service reps who are trained to be ambiguous when it comes to hot items. Unless you have insider information or actually work for Blackmagic, shut up.

April 8, 2013

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john jeffreys

I got on blackmagic's site earlier but got booted off when I hit the refresh... couldn't find a pre-order option for the pocket camera. If anyone finds a pre-order option for the pocket cam please post a link.

April 8, 2013

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Booby Hill

You can pre-order at CVP out of the UK with a small deposit.

April 8, 2013

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marklondon

You git!

I just got my order in 30 mins ago at CVP, and thought I'd be one of the first.
Your comment right at the top of this article probably just cost me 300 places in line!
Haha

April 8, 2013

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Fresno Bob

Let me preface this by saying I love this and am probably in for at least the pocket camera.

Is there a distinct difference to making the larger sensor an EF mount and the smaller sensor an m4/3 mount? I know the specifications of it all but I guess it wasn't worth making them both EF mounts or trying to engineer the larger sensor to be compatible with the m4/3 lenses?

April 8, 2013

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Eric

The S16 sensor size makes it compatible with a ton of current and vintage glass, but the EF mount would put too much distance between the lenses and the sensor to be usable. That's why the original BMCC also had an m4/3 mount version announced late last year.

April 8, 2013

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I've been bouncing around their site with updated content for both cameras - they list the usual places for preordering but I haven't seen sites offering a preorder yet (aside from CVP in the UK).

April 8, 2013

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I just got my 2.5K RAW BMCC this week. Sitting here wondering if I should return it and wait.. probably going to keep it and work with it, it's taken me almost a year to get it in my hands.

If promised me I could get a new 4K camera in July, I might change my thinking, but it's likely to be another long wait.

April 8, 2013

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ebay it. Someone will buy since nothing is out there like it...until there is.

April 8, 2013

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agree Ebay it not only will it sell but you could easily make a $1000 profit, a week ago i was searching for black magic cameras and was willing to pay 4k just to have one, but now this news, the pocket cam seems like a new nice toy , it will be the NEW GOPRO of cinema since it does not rely on the faulty ssd problems of its bigger brother or sister , 10 bit 422 in daylight makes it a nice attractive camera real world camera.

My question is what type of current micro 4/3's glass would be available with the pocket cam or better yet how about nikon glass with meta bone speed booster, would that work, can somebody help or chime in on lens option/solutions.

April 8, 2013

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JayClout

The auto Lumix lenses are great, as well as the Olympus, Rokinon, and Voigtlander glass. All affordable, some electronic.

April 8, 2013

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I've got quite a few vintage M42 lenses that I absolutely love. Tons of them available on ebay, V cheap and the adapter to M 4/3's is about 4 quid.

April 8, 2013

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Neill

Neill, whats the link to your ebay store. Would love to take a look at the lenses.

April 8, 2013

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Here's a still frame from a Nikkor 28-85 f/3.5 (older) lens, used with adapter.. staring into the sunrise, all the way at 85mm http://www.flickr.com/photos/danieldragonfilms/8629678329/

April 8, 2013

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I think using larger glass with the metabones on a smaller sensor (for more shallow DOF and faster glass) is a capital idea. +1 for suggesting that.

April 8, 2013

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Just use it? Make a ton of great stuff? Get more work? Buy the 4K later?

April 8, 2013

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marklondon

Well... With the original BMCC you get an extra stop of DR... So go shoot. It's a great cam!

April 8, 2013

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Alex Mand

Looks to me that they weren't making good of delivery times due to having other plans - of which I am most happy with !
Get in x

April 8, 2013

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Mitch

Now this is a mini red, not alexa cause the less dynamic range and upper output resolution canvas

April 8, 2013

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daniel

I'm a canon fan, and this is great news for me. Hopefully Canon will react to this by dropping the price of the C100 and C300 at NAB.

April 8, 2013

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Creep

Don't think so.
They seem to live in an alternate universe.

April 8, 2013

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Mr.Floppy

There are still Canon fans out there? Remarkable.

April 8, 2013

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Hummer

Canon NEEDS to get in the compressed RAW game. (Sony should, too) Even professional productions usually prefer ProRes over uncompressed RAW just because it's usually not worth the immense space it needs. With reasonably compressed files like the r3d codec it is affordable for most indie filmers to shoot RAW. Up until now that was the number one reason to go with RED, but with the 4k BMCC on the way I don't see any reason to go with RED, Canon or Sony in the near future until they catch up and drop prices. I really hope the BMCC will be a huge success so other companies will be forced to react.

April 8, 2013

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Heiko

They were resurrected from DNA found trapped in amber.

April 8, 2013

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Curtis

You're still holding on to Canon?
F them.

April 8, 2013

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VINCEGORTHO

MOTHER OF GOD!

April 8, 2013

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Luis Fernando Soní

GOD, i'm so excited! I hope this means they'll release more of the 2.5K camera and get it off of back-order. I want one of them so bad. I feel like we are getting a peak at an ever-lasting gobstopper.

April 8, 2013

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Daniel Austin

Tremendous. This is just straight indie/amateur-filmmaker fantasty fulfilment - It's what everyone's been dreaming of.

The only bitter tinge in all this sweetness, is the DR of the new sensor, with even the modest, reported 12 stop rating being a bit generous it seems (reading between the lines in John Brawley's report). I sure do hope that 4K is not the only good thing about the sensor that might turn out to be too much of a bargain.

April 8, 2013

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Einar

35mm also helps too, correct me if i'm wrong but the original BMCC doesn't have that.

April 8, 2013

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Daniel Austin

s35 is the #1 selling point imho. I wouldn't mind if it just was HD I'd still be ready to pay 1k more than for the original one with MFT-sensor. Global Shutter is a good thing to, I have mixed feelings about wether it's worth sacraficing one stop of DR though (probably more than that after all, I guess)

April 8, 2013

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Heiko

Yes, indeed the (almost) s35 size of the sensor is the biggest selling point, and I too would trade the 4K resolution for a S35 chip in a heartbeat. And that is precisely what I meant to impart: I hope the droning marketing buzz around 4K hasn't made Black Magic sacrifice color rendition, freedom from moiré and other image faults, Dynamic Range and the feel/look of the image on the altar of resolution. A S35 size sensor at 2.5K with a 13+ (actual) stop DR would have been even better than what they have announced, in my mind.

But I'm exited to see their 4K image for sure.

April 8, 2013

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Einar

I gotta say the timing could not have been more perfect, just as the shortcomings of the BMC started to surface, they will surely be drowned out by the new product release, hopefully then can fix some of the significant problems so everybody will be happy.

April 8, 2013

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ryan

I guess I can live with 12 stops. Hopefully BM will add some of the missing crucial features into the firmware. 4K with BM color science should be jaw dropping.

April 8, 2013

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Mark

Just awesome.
I still have my jaw on the floor since this morning (a few hours ago here).

I hope this time they won't have delivery problems.

April 8, 2013

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Mr.Floppy

I need an edit button.

The Pocket is amazing. I would have preferred another design for the body (more akin to the older brother), but that's nothing.

And talking about design, I love they sticked to the BMCC design for the new 4K.
That's personality, and I like it.

April 8, 2013

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Mr.Floppy

There should be fewer delivery issues - please note the 'different sensor family' part of the statement. That's crucial. My info out of Oz is that the 4K does look a bit different to the 2.5k, but still very very good.
To the guy with the 2.5k cam above: your camera is uncompressed, has max dynamic range and is field tested. I'd use the hell out of it for a year, and then see how the 4K is sitting.
Plus, there's a few interesting firmware things on the board for it.

Personally, can't wait to get my hands on the Pocket Cinema Cam. S16? 13 stops? I need to see this!

April 8, 2013

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marklondon

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