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It's August 1st, Do You Know Where Your Blackmagic Cameras Are?

Blackmagic_Pocket_Camera_Arri_PL_Zoom_LensWe have word straight from the company that a number of Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras have left the factory and are apparently on their way to distributors around the world. What does this mean exactly? For one thing, you’re not getting your cameras by July (for obvious reasons). It also means we’re probably still a few days away from the first few getting in the hands of those who pre-ordered minutes after Blackmagic announced them. Read on for when we might actually see both the Pocket and the 4K camera in greater numbers.


Here’s Christine from Blackmagic on shipping:

Units already started shipping out from the factory, I believe. But it can take several days for them to travel to the distributors, to the resellers, and finally to the end customers. Longer in some regions than others due to different paperwork and processes that vary from country to country.

The promise of shipping in July is completely out the window for the 4K camera, as that one won’t actually be finished until sometime in August. The Pocket is only shipping in the strictest technical sense of the word, but I don’t believe I am alone in previously thinking that shipping meant “shipping to actual customers.”

Here is a little bit from an interview with the website Two Nerds Flip Out:

TNFO: Can you give us a progress report on the development of the cameras and Resolve 10?

BM: Yeah, so last week we had said the pocket cameras are shipping from the factory, we needed a few more days to get the last bits tightened up, and get a few more clearances before we let them go. We just got that yesterday afternoon so the first few cameras that we’ve kind of already been receiving actually left Blackmagic U.S. yesterday (Tuesday, July 30th), and I think the rest of the world will start shipping their cameras today (to retail outlets). So the pocket cameras are now shipping. We’re obviously running a limited run from the factory, but we’re getting new cameras everyday, so those will continue to ramp through the next couple weeks.

 Not much progress on the 4k from last week. There’s still probably still 2 to 3 weeks more work to be done before those units start leaving from Blackmagic so we’re hoping to see those leaving in the 3rd week of August and shipping out from there. Again , that’ll be a limited production run, when we start doing the production on those. But we’ll continue to ramp those out as time goes on.

 And Resolve 10 should be good. We’ve got some seeds out there that people have been playing with. We’ve kind of always said Q3, it’ll probably be on the back half of Q3. But we’re feeling really good about the product that’s being made on there.

If you’re starting to feel like this is last year all over again, you’re not alone. While technical issues kept the original BMCC from shipping in greater numbers at the beginning, it doesn’t seem like either the 4K or Pocket Cameras have hit any technical snags. The big question that everyone keeps asking is how many they are shipping and when we can expect serious volume. We’ve heard volume could happen in August for the Pocket, but this might be optimistic on BM’s part.

I think it’s worth noting here that it’s rare for there not to be delays or shortages for a new camera. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, DSLRs and other cameras usually see some shortages (intentional or not) within their first few weeks or months of being on the market. If you’ve really been looking forward to having a Pocket camera sometime in August, and you didn’t pre-order, it’s unlikely there will be any on the shelves until at least September. For the 4K camera, that’s probably going to be October.

Here’s what Illya Friedman of Hot Rod Cameras has been saying to customers (this is from BMCUser):

As for the 4K Production Camera, the news isn’t as quite as “positive”. Based on what we were told, production is likely to begin in four to six weeks, with a final production model likely to be unveiled around the time of IBC in mid-September. Rumors swirling around the Internet about the 4K Production Camera shipping without true RAW capability look to be proving true, with ProRes 4K being the only option at launch. Blackmagic reps claim that 4K RAW recording will be available shortly after launch and likely come via a user firmware update.

What all this information means for you is rather straightforward. If you had your heart set on one of Blackmagic’s new Pocket Cinema Cameras your wait, while maybe slightly prolonged, is going to be coming to an end sooner than later -hopefully.

If you’ve been holding out for a 4K Production Camera, well, signs point to maybe a September (or later) release date.

It doesn’t seem like RAW will be working with either camera right away. We’ll have to wait and see how quickly this is resolved, but I’d talked to some people a few months back who didn’t think BM would be able to ship with RAW immediately (and that looks to be the case).

This info on shipping is what I’d heard previously before we were told that Pockets were shipping in July and 4Ks by August. While this may be technically true, it’s not very accurate for people looking to shoot with their shiny new cameras right now. If you pre-ordered the Pocket right away or shortly after, I’d expect you to see your camera in a month or two. The same should go for the 4K camera (except that timeline starts at the end of August). It’s unlikely we’d ever get an official word on how many units are shipping, but if it was in the thousands for either camera, you’d hear a lot more enthusiasm coming out of Blackmagic.

So while this isn’t good news, it certainly could have been worse. Before everyone loses it, let’s just point out once more that these are cameras — which are just a small part of any production. I think some people take these things as life and death, but if you’re already shooting with something, it probably makes sense to stick with that for at least another few months, and not expect any miracles. I wouldn’t be planning any shoots around having a Production Camera 4K or Pocket Cinema Camera, as we just don’t know at this point, and even if we are given an answer, going by past experience, I would expect it later than any official word we’re given. I should mention once more, that if you want the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera, you can buy one right now from many places.

Links:

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  • They are coming! Here’s photographic proof

    http://cinemacamera.net/2013/08/pocket-cinema-cameras-coming/

    Seems legit.

  • What kind of company is BlackMagic anyway? They make promises after promises, but they NEVER actually finish a camera within by their own giving deadline. I do understand that they had a delay with the first BMC because of sensor issues. But with the 4K they said everything was allright and it will be SURE it will be done in July! Also they yelled everywhere that it will have a RAW codec with 13 stops, and now they say that raw will be ‘soon’ possible with an update after launch. What is ‘soon’? Half a year? Nahh, this way they lose a lot of customers. The Canon 5d III is already fully capable to shoot Raw at full HD. If this delayed bullcrap with the 4K continues (for whatever reason), I dare to bet that the camera will be released aprox. on February 2014. Who knows what kind of competitors will arrive till that moment. And ofcourse, no company would do this on purpose. But then again, don’t promise something if you already have a crappy reputation with deadlines. How can customers take such a company serious? I’m real curious too about their customer support. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love the concept of the camera, but this is just too frustrating for people who are waiting for a really long time!

    • What’re you on about. It will come eventually… Just wait it out. I’m absolutely in love with my BMCC and I love the company for making such great tools.

    • That’s not true actually.

      From the start they said it probably wouldn’t ship with RAW, but it would “most likely” be added post release.

      Rodrigo is right, it has always been 12 stops since the day of the announcement.

      Technically speaking, they have shipped the PC in July. It’s not on your doorstep yet, but it has shipped.

      Lastly, no…the 5D cannot shoot raw. A hacked 5D can shoot raw, but not for any reasonable amount of time. The hardware cannot handle the data. It was never built to. It never will.

      • LiveView on a 5D is a RAW feed. The camera has to work harder to record to its H264/Linear PCM format from this.

      • Personally I shot a short on June 3rd-13th and never had a problem recording for a reasonable amount of time, meaning up to 10min/shot (yeah, like a film roll). What do you consider reasonable, 30min or 1hr?? get a video camera…Fanboys should relax, both cameras can perform, stop turning this into a mine vs yours issue..
        p.s. The images coming from the 5D3 are f***g amazing, if you haven’t handled footage coming from it, then I would strongly advise you to do so before speaking. Personally I prefer them to the BMD, and that’s why I sold mine. I’ll get a Pocket though, had the chance to play with it at NAB, and it packs ridiculous quality for the price. A warning though, it heats up easily (which is normal considering the size), even more than Canons, and although it doesn’t shut down, it is really uncomfortable to hold, but you’ll need some kind of rig anyway.

      • yeah i meant 12 (like that’s going to be a big difference from 13). Still, that’s not the important issue what I meant.

        • Well, as each stop up moves exponentially, I’d say the difference between 12 and 13 is going to be a big difference.

      • You’re absolutely incorrect about the 5D raw being incapable for long periods of time. It shoots continuously until your card runs out. The software isn’t PERFECT (as it isn’t finalized), but it is perfectly usable for projects, including paid ones. I personally use the 50D Raw software myself so I can attest to this.

  • lolll guys come on BM was not doing cameras 2 years ago!
    Hate on canon, sony or whatever

    • Canon is an easy target for being overpriced. I don’t see rotten tomatoes flying over that. The golden rule: Love other camera companies as you love Canon. ;-)

      • Really? The usual comments on Canon: (1) nice camera, (2) bad codec (8-bit, really?), and (3) it’s way overpriced.

  • Ewan Thomas on 08.1.13 @ 7:47AM

    Thanks for the update. I think it’s a real shame for Blackmagic design to have made such promises earlier this year. For most people it’ll ship in late 2013 would have been enough, to promise July and then miss it just makes you look incompetent. I cancelled my pre-order for the 4K 6 weeks ago thanks to ML on the 5Dmk3 being available. It goes to show that in order to create a truly disruptive product you have to do more than promise the world. You have to actually deliver it.

  • These new cameras are cool and all…but am I alone in just wishing for their attention to go slightly more to the current firmware upgrades of the camera that exists now? Audio meters and compressed raw..these will win them more friends than overdue hardware!

    • Agreed. I think I’m focused on the firmware because I own the BMDCC and would love to hear news on that front.

  • My dealer in South Africa seems pretty confident his order will be here by mid August based on his email correspondence with BM. Who knows? If it takes till mid September for that order to arrive I’m still very happy.

  • Fresno Bob on 08.1.13 @ 8:50AM

    From what I read on BMCuser, BM’s idea of ‘shipping’, means sending out ONE camera to each of their preferred resellers – who will no doubt gobble that as up as their test cam.
    Not what I’d call shipping – and not a reason to put “Available now” or “pre order now” on their site.

  • Meanwhile, tick, tick, tick, Digital Bolex imminent !
    http://www.digitalbolex.com/getting_ready/

    • Matt Stevens on 08.1.13 @ 11:33AM

      Come on now… I would love for the Digital Bolex to be almost ready. But they have yet to release ANY video. Just still frames. I am starting to think the DB is not going to hit until NEXT YEAR.

  • Let’s not be overly sensitive to the shipping dates. As I look at various footages out there, BMCC is still probably the best bang for the buck with its 2.3K’ish resolution, Pro-res/Raw capabilities and the Resolve (though, I’ve seen folks go “Stalingrad” with their color grading far too often). BMD product, while not perfect, also provides a tremendous downward price pressure on the competing brands. When the new 4K cams begin to pop up at below $10K, don’t forget the thank the blokes Down Under.

  • It’s August 1st, let the BMD meme’s begin :)

  • Michael Hawk on 08.1.13 @ 10:16AM

    A better question would be, “It’s August 1st and the 5D RAW hack still looks like video”

    Long live “filmic” bmcc footage!

    • Michael Hawk on 08.1.13 @ 10:16AM

      *comment*

      • Yeah, it is odd how no one complains that 5Diii video doesn’t look ‘filmic’.

        And why must all video quality of all new cameras continue to have the look of film? No on insists new cars look like Model T’s. What’s up with that anyway? I watched a clip from Transformers for the first time a couple of days ago. It looked incredible. (BTW, for those of you that don’t know Transformers was not shot on film. Jus incase u dint kno)

        Digital is better. I’m still looking for breakthroughs in 16K. :-) :-) :-)

    • It’s funny how you claim the RAW 5D3 doesn’t look filmic, yet stood NECK and NECK with the Red Scarlet in a test looking virtually identical. Filmic is a matter of shooter’s skill, color grading, etc. Stop lying to yourself. I’ve owned the BMCC. The 5D3 shooting RAW can be just as cinematic and at certain times even more so (ie; such as in low available light).

        • Philip Lipetz on 08.1.13 @ 6:15PM

          That could also be a commentary on the video quality of the RED image, as graded by that person. Most RED images are not graded to reveal its full potential.

          • It really is true, and odd, that few grade Red footage in post to show it’s true colors! Yeah, that was an intended pun. :-)

      • Yeah, we observe Hollywood running to buy 5Diii’s in bulk, with ML RAW, for making movies. Didn’t Peter Jackson buy like 50 of them for making The Hobbit? ;-)

  • Great news! A big applaud to BlackMagic for making the Pocket Camera a reality! I have been waiting for something like this for a few years so a couple of weeks don’t really mean nothing to me at this point.

  • Why waste energy flipping out. They’re making their mistakes and taking their lumps for it. This is no where near the first time a company gave a release date and was late for it. Apple did it all the time. People still use Apple. When the 4K comes out video will probably look so great almost people will forget the delays and just be glad they can get beautiful 4K for $4K.

    (Ohhhh, but someone will burst a capillary over some moire they saw)

  • Wild Biker Bill on 08.1.13 @ 10:33AM

    So they’re late compared to previous forecast. If they are really pushing the envelope of what is possible at a high quality level, that shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Compared to RED they are still golden, delivering the PocketCC a month or so late and the 4KCC @ $4K a month or two later than original forecast.

  • Sorry to say but this post is so unprofessional.

  • Anthony Marino on 08.1.13 @ 12:15PM

    Don’t know how reliable the source is from an article I read, but the new BM cams will be hitting large dealers 12 at a time. Not more or less as of right now. Of course it’s hearsay (who really knows) but in the mean time I just scored a wollensak cine raptar 1″ 25mm f1.9 lens, looking to grab a 10mm and 16mm kern paillard too. It’s gonna be a fun little camera, I have no issues waiting it out (in a reasonable time of course) I know it’ll definitely be worth it. Thanks

  • People buying and not buying gear on emotion is really pretty funny. If you were a carpenter and a new nailgun was shipping a month late do you think there would be a similar uproar? I wonder if carpenters do pre orders?

    That said, BMD has a monopoly on a niche they created out of thin air. As far as people comparing 5d3′s to BMD cameras, does anybody really shoot entire full length projects in RAW on either camera? A camera test is not an entire project. It seems to me other than a specific tough shot here and there uncompressed raw is for pixel peepers and camera testers. I love RAW, most of the projects I’ve shot in the last year have been on RED Epics but at 5:1 to 10:1 compression but uncompressed raw just seems unrealistic for the market both of these cameras fall into. It seems to me the pro res option is really the only option that makes sense in this price range. If you have the budget to shoot an entire project with uncompressed raw wouldn’t you go with an Alexa instead of a BMD camera or a real camera instead of a 5d3. Also, do people that shoot professionally with the 5diii in RAW (do people?) hand over their RAW data to the DIT on set and move on to the next setup? Or are they stuck dealing with a non conventional workflow themselves? I just can’t imagine getting hired for a job and either having to deal with the workflow myself or pawning it off to a DIT. Also, how long and what kind of system does it take to transcode an hour of footage into something that can be dropped into a NLE or to get some kind of daily? I applaud the ML guys for doing what they are doing, but going out and buying a 5d3 because it shoots RAW seems a bit shortsighted.

    • Anthony Marino on 08.1.13 @ 1:10PM

      Have you tried cineform? It does a great job, all do respect the conversion isn’t that bad. Most shoots (I’ve worked on) always have enough media on hand for the day so waitings usually never an issue.

      • I haven’t used cineform. So you are shooting raw on a 5diii and then transcoding to Cineform? The DP of the last project I worked on (I was an operator) suggested they add an unsharpen filter to our RED footage. The producers had to check with the post/cc house to see if it was within the budget. They crunched the numbers and came back with an extra $1,000-$2,000 for extra render time etc. 2g’s wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it just goes to show how each and every step needs to be accounted and paid for. I can’t imagine the extra bill for all of the converting/transcoding/storage for shooting with a 5diii in raw.

        • Anthony Marino on 08.1.13 @ 5:37PM

          Oh I agree 100%…time is money and for the moment I agree again RAW for certain applications, maybe a promo, when you need some extra latitude, but professionally I don’t see any RAW hacked cameras on any sets. A powerful system will always help and of course mega drive space but for personal projects a shot or two for a commercial, doc or promo it could find a place and with that respect transcoding isn’t all that bad. Thats kinda where I was going. But yes cineform has been great for me so far, before the latest premiere release it helped me big time with some AVCHD files that wouldn’t play nice in premiere 6. For 300 bucks it’s proven to be a good tool so far. Thanks

    • Brandon Osterman on 08.1.13 @ 1:18PM

      Thank you Jeff for dropping a little wisdom into this conversation. I have a client I’ve spent the last week explaining this to because she just hears “Raw is better”, shoots most of her shows on three mark IIIs and assumes that we should switch over to shooting in raw. The main selling point of the pocket cam for me is the DNG Raw. I love the idea of having 13 stops to work with, but having to debayer camera data for days just isn’t a practical workflow for anything I or anyone I know shoots. Tests look great and if your just shooting plates, a few shots for a commercial or music vid maybe. Even enough to cut together a short I guess it could be worth wrestling with workflow, but for long format work film & TV it just isn’t practical. Unless of course you just hate your DIT, then Raw is definitely the way to stick it to that bast@%}!

  • John Wilton on 08.1.13 @ 3:17PM

    Wow another article to stir up the BMD hate. All the crying really makes people seem real amateur . I mean, no one has anything else to shoot on or rent for “real” productions? It always puzzled me hearing from onliners , I need a this specific 4k camera or a pocket cam to shoot a production. As a company, i would hate to have impatient whiners represent my company. I hope they do what RED did and does and cater to the filmmaker not the wannabes.

  • Anthony Marino on 08.1.13 @ 5:40PM

    Oh I agree 100%…time is money and for the moment I agree again RAW for certain applications, maybe a promo, when you need some extra latitude, but professionally I don’t see any RAW hacked cameras on any sets. A powerful system will always help and of course mega drive space but for personal projects a shot or two for a commercial, doc or promo it could find a place and with that respect transcoding isn’t all that bad. Thats kinda where I was going. But yes cineform has been great for me so far, before the latest premiere release it helped me big time with some AVCHD files that wouldn’t play nice in premiere 6. For 300 bucks it’s proven to be a good tool so far. Thanks

  • I have never owned any typw cinema camera, before I placed my preorder
    with BM, I did alot of research. for the price and cinematic footage
    this camera will surpase Red and Canon. ooh the price for BM 4k will
    increase to around $6000

    • It will pass Canon. The BM 2.5K is better than Canon. The 4K will make the difference more glaring.

      But Red? No. Red has a lot of capability that the BM4K will not have. For example, BM cameras can only go up to 30fps. And that’s just for starters. And now with the 6K Red Dragon there’s no way any other 4K camera company will be able to compete with Red. I think that’s the way Red (Jim Jannard) wants it. And good on him for it. Why just exist? Go for something great!

      Red’s lead in the 4K movie making world will increase, and increase dramatically. And I think they will also hurt ARRI business. 6K will look so good even ARRI color science won’t win against it. ARRI, and all other camera companies, are now FORCED to go to 6k.

  • Just got this in: ( still time to change my order )
    Blackmagic Cinema Camera Price Reduction

    We have worked very hard over the last year to be able to build the Blackmagic Cinema Camera at a lower cost so we can reduce the price and allow access to digital filming to a wide range of cinematographers and photographers.

    We have done it and from today the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and MFT models will be reduced in price to US$1,995. This is very exciting and is one of the proudest moments of my life to be able to do this!

    I think people will be able to use the savings to invest in some exciting lenses and rigs to really boost the creative possibilities. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a fantastic design that’s now well proven. The advantage of the 2.5K sensor is it has enough resolution to eliminate the bayer resolution loss of a HD sensor, but when shooting RAW it produces files that are too not to big to store and work with easily. It’s a fantastic solution.

    All orders placed that have not yet been filled, can be reduced to the new lower price.

  • Guys,
    Give them some time. They are not on top of their supply chain and facing the challenges that a new entrant faces in electronic manufacturing. They have dreamt big. Full marks to them for that. Not many can dream big.

    Execution is another challenge that they need to master. Give them time and keep on shooting with your existing cameras. When the cameras are available, buy if you want. Else, pass on. Ridiculing someone who is down is not nice. As artists we too have our ups and downs. We too make mistakes. Do we expect to be ridiculed?

    Give them the credit for helping push the boundaries in this industry. I was to buy the BMC version 1.0 but didn’t buy because of the moire. Will pick up one for some specific needs when they get everything right. Till then, enjoying my C300.