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

04.8.13 @ 12:48PM Tags : , , ,

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!

Links:

Related Posts

  1. Blackmagic Goes 4K with S35 Global Shutter Sensor for $4K, and a Pocket Cinema Camera for $1K!
  2. No Rig? No Problem. Handheld Footage with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera
  3. Micro 4/3 Blackmagic Cinema Cameras May Be Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You

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  • Is odd the Pocket Cinema Camera has a second tripod mount on the top instead of a standard hot shoe mount?? Very odd it seems to me.

    • john jeffreys on 04.8.13 @ 9:43PM

      it’s not a stills camera, so the screw hole is more suited for video accessories like monitors, noga arms, etc. and you can get an adapter anyway if you really like hotshoes

      • But if the pocket camera is aimed at the HDSLR shooter then having a hotshoe would make sense as that is what they’d be used to and already have? Anyway, like you pointed out, isn’t a terrible big deal. Just seemed “odd” to me.

    • What’s odd is that you want a photo accessory on a dedicated video camera. But I guess some always have to find something to complain about.

      If you must have a cold shoe, just add it. But if another user wanted to add a Noga arm, they’d be out of luck. So a tripod socket is much more versatile than a hot-shoe.

    • It has both up now.

    • Tyrannosaur on 04.9.13 @ 12:41AM

      I pitty the fool who pre-orders these!

      • Yes since b&h STILL doesn’t even have the bmcc available yet 8 months after me asking them when availability would be and they said Dec 31, 2012.

        I don’t think we will get these cameras for 1.5 years more.

  • Can someone please verify that the crop factor for the BMC Pocket Camera is 2.88x since it’s using a Super 16 sensor..

    Also does anyone know what the clean HDMI specs are? 10 bit 4:2:2 ?

    • Sensor size is 12.48mm x 7.02mm, diagonal is 14.32mm, therefore if I’m right crop should be 3.03 Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Chris Lambert on 04.9.13 @ 5:09AM

      Don’t think there is an HDMI we have SDI out.

      I personally Intend to use the the SDI to go to a Hyperdeck Shuttle as a backup emergency and eliminate any potential dropped frames (I don’t trust SSD’s!! even before the dropped frames) and then run the HDMI out of the Shuttle into a monitor.

      • The pocket cam has mini-HDMI, it’s the bigger cams that have HD-SDI.

      • Doesn’t the Hyperdeck Shuttle take…….. SSD’s

        • Chris Lambert on 04.9.13 @ 4:45PM

          yeah but the chances of two drives simultaneously dying and loosing an entire days shoot is significantly smaller than 1 going which from what I have seen of SSD’s will happen a LOT more than sd /cf cards

      • john jeffreys on 04.9.13 @ 1:08PM

        you can always run the micro-hdmi to a converter and have sdi. but you’d have to rig it because the adapters are huge

    • according to the spoke person from BMD at the NAB video I saw, he said the pocket cinema camera has a crop of 1.3-1.4

    • Sorry if this is a newbie question about the crop factor: I get it that a crop factor of 2 means that a 25mm lens is effectively 50mm in terms of field of view, but does that mean the *depth perception* is also the same when compared with an actual 50mm lens on a full sized sensor?

      I heard that 50mm lenses are most similar to the human eye in terms of depth perception… is that true for both cases above or will one appear ‘flatter’ than the other?

      Links to aid understanding particularly useful. I tried google but was perhaps unlucky in my results :-)

      PS nice prequal, Ryan!

  • I can hear the Digital Bolex’s death rattle. It’s really too bad, because I loved the concept of the camera and the spirit of entrepreneurship and love for the camera the founders have shown. But how can it compete with a camera that’s just $700 more that the Digital Bolex and offers a 4K S35mm sensor compared to it’s 2K S16mm sensor? (Global shutter, RAW DNG and 12 stop DR they both share) To the independent filmmaker (with little money) $700 is not to be spent unwisely, but for a sensor that is twice the size with double the resolution? In my opinion, it’s worth finding the extra money. Unless of course your already have a lot of 16mm glass, then maybe it makes sense to go for the Digital Bolex, but then there’s the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera for $995. BMD has the Digital Bolex surrounded!

    • Honestly, the whole Digital Bolex project reeked of vaporware from the very beginning. I still don’t see what was exciting about it, apart from the whole “we’re entrepreneurs!” angle and hipster appeal.

      • Someone who was considering the 4k BMD would be stupid to consider the digital bolex and vice versa. Someone who was considering the digital bolex would be far more stupid to consider the pocket cam. Their capabilities outside of imaging specifications are completely different. Also the realities of shooting 4k raw and even just using a super 35 sensor are for a different level of film. Read the post on this very blog about what it was like using a S16 BMD on a feature! He couldn’t afford to shoot it in raw, and if you’re talking 4k then it’s exponentially worse.

        Also people are rushing into this 4k thing… Only projected films take advantage of this resolution, and that’s like what? 5% of films made? Less?

        The digital bolex team do not intend to sell their cameras in large numbers by the way. They’re fullfilling their kickstarter pre-orders and then moving onto the next production run. You’re not going to see them at B&H or Adorama. Plus compitition in this market place is actually a good thing, so negative comments like “hipster,” are a pretty stupid attitude to have about a couple of film makers who are only offering an alternative to the marketplace.

        • People are only making hipster comments due to the wasted time/effort on making the Digital Bolex look like an actual Bolex. The image looks very old and dated so far coming out of that camera. I wish they would have just made it a damn s16mm box and spend more R&D on the color science. It’ll always have that “hipster” stigma to it, due to the insane amount of emphasis on nostalgia and appearance…

          • Corruptframe on 04.12.13 @ 10:00PM

            The footage looks old because of the way it was lit and color corrected. It’s also supposed to take place in the 1960′s so it’s appropriate that it looks “dated”…

            I don’t care much for Hipsters, but I care even less for people who bash small American independent start up companies with big ideas, and the balls to commit to a dream and take a risk in putting out a product that is better than the trash companies like Canon have been drip-feeding us…

            Odds are that the people who hate on and trash digital Bolex are just one of a million shallow DOF obsessing, camera-testing, Vimeo-screen-saver producing Philip Bloom wannabe nobodies anyway. No real filmmaker with any talent and heart would be so insecure and weak minded to get a thrill out of trashing someones hard work and creativity.

        • 2 things:

          1. 4K is good for other things than 4K projection – oversampling for example. 4K footage downsampled to 2K will look better than 2K original footage (all else being equal). Processing and storage are another matter.

          2. “Someone who was considering the digital bolex would be far more stupid to consider the pocket cam.” > People consider cameras for different reasons. People who are looking for fantastic image quality, raw recording capability, small size, reasonable price, can totally prefer BMPCC to DBolex. Global shutter and CCD look is not everyone’s reason for considering DBolex.

    • Don’t forget that the DigiBolex is a CCD sensor. That has a different feel some will like (see the Aaton Penelope & Ikonoskope). I don’t think they will sell as many as hoped, but given the tidal wave of 4K cameras coming, that was always going to be tough.

  • I like what Digital Bolex are doing, I worry for them that the delays are going to hurt them. That said, no one has been as open as they have with their customers and incorporating direct feedback into the D16. They deserve major cred for that. They’ve spoken about a 4K D35 in the future, hopefully that happens. The CCD image is lovely.

  • Tyrannosaur on 04.9.13 @ 12:56AM

    Am I the only one curioous about shooting RAW video to SD cards? 1440 files per minute 86,400 files per hour = around 400GB per hour assuming the files are only 5MB each? Or would they be smaller?

    • marklondon on 04.9.13 @ 1:03AM

      Its compressed RAW.

    • If fastest SanDisk is 95BM/s, then at 24fps one frame must be smaller than 3.96MB. No idea how much is 1080p raw image. Someone in the comments said the compression ration will be 1.2-1.5.

    • On BM forum I read that one 2.4K frame is 5MB. That should be uncompressed. So 1080p compressed frame (even if only at 1.2 ratio) should be safely under 3.96MB. With good hardware this rate should be possible to record to top SD cards.

      • Tyrannosaur on 04.9.13 @ 3:27AM

        Thanks for that Peter!

        95MB fastest Sandisk, is that actual write speeds though? I’m pretty sure when manufacturers claim their speeds they go by which ever is faster out of read and write. Obviously BM would have tested and will release recommended cards listings.

        I just sincerely hope this thing is good, I was just about to jump on a GH2, but not with this thing on the horizon!

        • Not sure about real speed of 95MB SanDisk. But that 64GB version is probably the highest regarded card around. (Also it is necessary for clip spanning on hacked GH2 with very high bitrate settings, due to not only high perforamnce but also different file strecture allowing large files.)

          • Oohhh, I’m really close to getting a GH2. Do you mind if I ask which card it is? The Extreme 64gb, or the Extreme Pro 64gb. I read somewhere for the hacked GH2 you need some ultra fast and expensive Toshiba (I think it was) card. I would like to experiment with the highest bitrates possible (up to 270 I think?)

          • Well I am not an expert (I shoot GH2 but not interested in super-high bitrates), but on personal-view forums people recommend SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s 64GB http://goo.gl/7CfOi. Main point is 95MB/s and 64GB. Smaller capacity cards have problems with clip spanning. No idea about Toshiba card..

          • Also my understanding is that +200Mb/s data rates were explored mainly in the early stages of hacking. Nowadays people seemed to have settled on certain advanced optimized settings with much lower bitrates. Also stability seems to differ model by model of GH2 camera (probably due to slight manufacturing differences – just like in desktop CPU overclocking realm).

    • Earnest reply on 04.10.13 @ 1:38AM

      What about shooting prores? I looked up a chart and Pro Res HQ is about 1.6gb per minute or 100gb per hour. Does that sound right?

  • Got to love UK tax. US: $995… UK: £800

    Liking the pocket…but 3X crop factor means it will be a must to get
    the metabones speed booster, making it just over X2 (compared with full frame). Shame metabones can’t make a 4/3 to 4/3 booster.

    • ohhhhh!!! Now there is a potential future product for them :-D

      We can only hope.

    • john jeffreys on 04.9.13 @ 1:14PM

      there is an entire universe of super 16 lenses for you to choose from

      • I see you can pick up a few S16 10mm but isn’t that still x3? so equivalent of 30mm viewing angle?

        I’m not sure if DX lenses work for the metabones or if they produce a black ring, but lets just say they work ok on a 4/3, if you got a Nikon Mount of the Tokina 11-16 and used it with metabones that would be around 24-34mm (compared with full frame) so my point being its going to better for wide angles.

        That said, you can pick up those S16 lenses pretty cheap and they go down to more than F1.6.

        The ultimate question would be if you can mount a C-Mount lens on a Nikon adapter then use it on a metabones??

  • Only one problem: July 2013… What happened with BMCC? Well, it’s still in bavk order… So according to what I see, BMPC will be in the market by the end of 2014. I hope to be wrong.

  • The weird thing about this announcement is that BMC are completely undercutting the people who have stood in line for a year for their previous camera.

    Maybe that is on purpose though! What if they know that the company shipping the sensors to the original BMCC will not be able to increase volume? Or what if they found this new 4k sensor from a much cheaper supplier? It would make sense then to go this route, announce early and flood the market with the better successors to your beta camera that will never stop being preordered and hope people just change their orders.

    Its that, or they are lying about the shipping times again and these will be on shelves first in ’15.

    • If anybody is upset that they bought a 2.5k S16 camera becasue a 4K S35 camera came out then they clearly didn’t understand what they were buying in the first place.

      I don’t understand why people keep commenting like it’s exactly the same to go from 2.5k to 4k and from S16 to S35…like you should obviously shoot 4k S35. It’s a totally different work load! You shoot a S16 camera becasue you understand the format, the same for S35. And you shoot 4k if you’re…wait for it…PROJECTING in theaters!!!

  • about blackmagic pocket cinema camera : With that sensor size, will it be possible to use old c-mount super16 lenses without vignetting ? We can still find some old angenieux lenses like the 10mm f.1.8 that will fit perfectly for that kind of camera I suppose.

  • earnest reply on 04.9.13 @ 4:04PM

    Could the Pocket Cinema Cam be used with a Atomos Ninja or the new Samurai Blade? Will it have clean HDMI out? I think Philip Bloom is right. Companies need to stop putting out new cameras and refine the ones they’ve debuted. These new cameras are cool but riduculous. An embarrassment of riches.

    • Internal ProRes & raw recording not enough?

    • Why would you want an external recorder to record the very same thing the internal recording does. In fact, possibly less considering it also records in RAW. That’s just nonsensical. Are you just asking for bullet point features you see everyone else was asking for on other cameras now?

      • its about storage capacity, I already have an atomos field recorder and ide love to know if I could use it with the bmpcc, + the atomos gives you a lot of other tools the BM doesnt give you, check it out.

  • spending 6.5k on canon c100 may seem ridiculous at this point I guess

  • First impression – HOLY SHIT…. I want both
    but then again you have a 4K camera with a global shutter but no slow motion ….

  • Can’t stop celebrating being broke for once. It helped me knot buy the 5D MK 3, and now I’m over the moon Woohoo!

  • I think native iso is less than on the 2.5K vesion. In the other way, bm would aware us.

  • Does anyone know if the active m4/3 mount supports image stabilization? If so, imagine the possibilities….

    http://www.dji-innovations.com/products/zenmuse-z15/overview/

  • The BMPC 4K Super 35 sensor looks very likely to be the CMV 12000 from CMOSIS. http://www.eoshd.com/content/10086/is-this-the-blackmagic-4k-sensor-same-supplier-as-leica-m-cmos

  • Does anyone have any info on Canadian pre-orders? I could pre-order from BH but they are going to charge me $650 or something ridiculous for duties and brokerage fees on top of shipping.

    • check out on BM website and list canadian resellers…most of them can pre order directly from there website or via email

      • I’ve checked out both retailers listed and so far neither have had any idea there was even a new camera!

  • Checked out the 4k BMC at NAB. Had such high expectations but was completely disappointed. Still no way to monitor media usage, format drive in camera, accurately monitor battery level, no audio meters. It’s pretty retarded actually and who knows how long it will be until it gets implemented. Could not use this on a professional job. The image quality is excellent but the functionally is not there.

  • where is 60 fps common guys

  • Not true 4k, for 16:9 only
    4K Ultra high definition television 3840 × 2160 1.78:1 8,294,400
    Digital Cinema Initiatives 4k (native resolution) 4096 × 2160 1.90:1 8,847,360
    DCI 4K (CinemaScope cropped) 4096 × 1714 2.39:1 7,020,544
    DCI 4K (flat cropped) 3996 × 2160 1.85:1 8,631,360
    Academy 4K (storage format) 3656 × 2664 1.37:1 9,739,584
    Full aperture 4K (storage format) 4096 × 3112 1.32:1 12,746,752
    Its not true Super 35 format. Effective Sensor Size is
    21.12mm x 11.88mm
    S 35 size is 24,89mm x 18,66 or minimum 22mm x 9,47

  • Is it normal for a company to not have any demo footage available for a camera they have already presented to the public? I understand not having any footage available for a camera that has not been officially presented publicly (such as when info is only leaked or rumored), but it’s strange that at this stage they still don’t have any sample footage, especially since they are already out on pre-sale

  • roraigh price on 07.20.13 @ 8:08AM

    so the main thing i have been troubling to work out is the Super 35mm, the old BMCC had a 4/3 so normal lenses had a crop. therefore had to get an adapter like a metabone to use normal lenses.

    Cinema cameras traditionally shot at 35mm (35mm and 4/3 being the same) therefore 4/3 is full frame for a film camera
    yet lenses have been built for full frame DSLR’s. as i understand it super 35 is bigger than 4/3 with i think something similar to 28 by 31.

    if i were to buy this camera what if any is the crop. the old had a 4/3 with a 1.6

    50×1.6= 80
    To get as close to 50mm as possible on a 1.6x crop frame sensor I want to buy a 30mm lens.
    30×1.6=48

    if i were to buy this camera i would get a set of lenses, i would not want my lenses to be weird sizes or to have to buy weird lenses for it just to get the right size.

    what lenses do you get a super 35 the EF mount would be redundant if you had to get specialist lenses anyway. what lenses do you get to get the most out of a BLCC4K

  • roraigh price on 07.20.13 @ 9:18AM

    i would like to see how the BLCC stacks up against the Sony Fs100/700 and the Cannon C100/300
    in theory this camera the BMCC4K has everything you want out of a 5d that you don’t get
    except 60 and 90 frames, XLR Inputs, Nd Filters and maybe a removable battery

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