April 16, 2014

Blackmagic Cinema Cameras Get Removable Batteries & HDMI with New Kinefinity Mod

Among the slew of surprising NAB announcements this year comes one from Kinefinity that draws a whole different kind of "wow, I didn't see that coming." It seems the camera company isn't satisfied merely offering 4K RAW (and soon enough, 6K RAW) capture at extremely aggressive prices. Kinefinity also wants to upgrade your Blackmagic Cinema Camera or Production Camera 4K into a bigger, more functional workhorse. The Kine+ program is a third-party modification on a different level, adding interchangeable batteries, HDMI, additional power ports, and even a bit more heftiness to the external dimensions. Check below for our NAB 2014 interview with Kinefinity.

At $1000 and $1500 for BMCC and BMPC 4K owners respectively, this upgrade may not be worth it to you unless you're a pretty hardcore user. With the removable battery option (Sony NP-F), there may be less external rigging and building involved in your BMC kit, though that may be outweighed (no pun intended) by the added weight and greater size and, as commenters have pointed out, even less hand-holdability.

XLR ports are still URSA-only, even though you might think that'd be near the top of the list for an upgrade of this magnitude. That said the modified Tascam would pick up a lot of that slack, and the simultaneous wireless rec triggering is an almost understated perk for how useful it could be in the field. Last but not least, there's the issue of shipping to China, which is seeming to be a deal-breaker for many.

Regardless of all that, though, I think Kinefinity deserves credit for this offering. This is one definite case of a camera company listening and responding to the requests and complaints of users. Except that here it's, well, another camera company listening, and responding with a fairly audacious retrofitting strategy -- both of which are pretty surprising to see. We'll update as we have more information about the program and how you can send your camera in if you'd like the mod.

Link: Kinefinity -- Homepage

...

NFS's coverage of NAB 2014 is brought to you by My RØDE Reel and Limelite. Subscribe to the No Film School YouTube channel for the latest video updates direct from NAB, as well as filmmaker interviews, tutorials, and behind-the-scenes features.

Your Comment

20 Comments

Seems strange that they omitted adding 2 xlr jacks with phantom power, especially considering how large this add on is (both in terms of price as well as physical size).

April 16, 2014 at 6:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

1
Reply
Nathan D

Why do people want HDMI so bad? it's a terrible connection for video because it's not secure and wobbles too much. It's not made to be on a moving camera. Use SDI. HDMI is for dvd players and consumer devices that sit on a shelf.

Also dont understand why people want XLR on a CINEMA camera that is designed to be synced to recorder sound

April 16, 2014 at 7:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

3
Reply
john jeffries

The word 'cinema' is thrown around these days. I guarantee 99% of BMCC users aren't using this camera for cinema. It's a general purpose camera, just like Canons EOS cinema line, which in the case of the lower c100, is being used mostly for run & gun or docs. The EOS cinema line and many other so called cinema cameras have xlr inputs. Why? Because although they may not be of use to you, they do however offer very practical use to many other scenarios, mainly quick turn around commercial work for smaller clients.

I hate this mentality of "if I don't need it, no one else should either". We all have different requirements, and based on the massive criticism towards BMD, clearly many users are also in need of proper functioning audio and professional audio connections. I am one such person. The same applies to your hdmi criticism. Like yourself, I prefer SDI, however for those countless operators who own existing hdmi monitors, I certainly see why they'd like a basic hdmi output port.

April 16, 2014 at 7:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

2
Reply
Nathan D

Completely disagree, the BMCC does not fit any scenario the C100 can do with its eyes closed. The complaints are pretty much from people that bought this camera because it was cheap but also want most of what you get from an AF100. At 240 gig for a mere 30 mins of raw this camera is not designed for any of the scenarios you list. I'm not saying people are not using it that way but as you pointed out, the C100 would be a better fit.

The BMCC is aimed directly at image capture at a low cost. It's not your interview camera, anyone who gets paid to shoot interviews would not use this camera

April 17, 2014 at 4:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply

Change my post from "it's a general purpose camera" to "its most commonly used as a general purpose camera", and maybe you'll better understand where I was coming from. The point of the post is that there's a need for XLR and pro audio (which is advertised in the product spec). Arguing over cost or limitations of shooting RAW is irrelevant to the need for this feature.

April 17, 2014 at 6:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

2
Reply
Nathan D

And LOL!! The BMCC is a general purpose camera? I own the 2.5k MFT and love it but it's in no way a general purpose camera! And the fully functioning C100 costs significant more than the BMCC.

It's a sensor in a box with a record button. Couldn't get any further away from general purpose and the over used term "run and gun"

April 17, 2014 at 4:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply

Because SDI accessories are by and large far more expensive than their HDMI counterparts.

And using an XLR mic on camera allows you to capture better internal audio which A: Makes syncing easier, and B: Can be used for better room tone. Not to mention XLR is a superior connection than 1/4" jack. Coming from Mr. Use-SDI you should be able to appreciate such a connection.

April 17, 2014 at 12:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

1
Reply
Bertzie

the little internal mic on the blackmagic cameras, from my experience, has sound that is more than adequate for syncing to "real" sound in post though

April 17, 2014 at 4:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
john jeffries

XLR v.TRS? TRS is very robust, so robust that it is used for all live musical performances, ditto XLR. Quality is the same; it's just a matter of taste and what's convenient.

April 17, 2014 at 10:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Jon

Where is the timecode port on the BMCC?

April 17, 2014 at 1:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply

Just make a battery grip for the pocket.

April 16, 2014 at 8:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
VinceGortho

April 16, 2014 at 8:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
ronn

I like it, but a bit over priced for what you get. If they added XLR, and dropped the price to $799, I think that would be pretty decent.

April 16, 2014 at 8:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
ZIM

WAYYY overpriced! cut the price in half and i'll think about it.

Make one for the pocket!

April 16, 2014 at 9:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

2
Reply
Brian

Looks better than the interface Panasonic's offering, maybe they got something for the gh4. With a recorder...heeeey.

April 17, 2014 at 12:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Anthony Marino

Tom Antos was playing with some rig on his YouTube channel recently. $2K but you get pretty much everything you get here plus flexibility with the add-on's and so forth. I know a lot of audio products get modded but this adds too much to the cost, IMO.

April 17, 2014 at 1:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
DLD

Very interesting to see where this is going. Personally, I dont really want to ship my BMCC to china to get this done and invest in a new power solution when I finally have my V-mount kit complete and working with all required batteries, but heck - mods for the BMCC - YEA! Maybe this will inspire other companies to create stuff like this as well. Very interested to see where this is going!

April 17, 2014 at 8:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply

XLRs?

April 17, 2014 at 9:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Tulio

Would really like the bit of tech that activates simultaneous recording of the tascam with the blackmagic.

April 17, 2014 at 5:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

7
Reply
Neill

For $1500 you could probably buy a v-mount battery connector and battery, an external monitor and external audio recorder with XLR inputs....and keep your camera while you're waiting for it to arrive. ( or even put 50% down on another BMPC 4k as a second camera) Plus you probably void any warranty to your Black Magic camera by having this installed. I don't see the incentive to buy this product at all.

April 25, 2014 at 2:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

6
Reply
Drew