I had a chance to play with the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera - and it's definitely going to be a disruptive product. The touch screen on the back of the camera was very sensitive, and it took me only seconds to find exactly what I was looking for. The specific camera I was using had a Zeiss 18mm T3.6 while another had a Canon lens, so the versatility is not to be understated. I had a great conversation with Simon Westland, Director of Sales EMEA at Blackmagic. You can watch that video below, as well as some additional photos of the camera.

It's really inspiring when you can interact with a company that is not only excited about their products, but about everything else from other companies being released. The people at Blackmagic were extremely humble when other cameras were mentioned, and rather than positioning this camera as a direct competitor to anything out there, they have decided to make something that they believe shooters are asking for: a RAW camera at a reasonable price with a relatively large sensor.

The most exciting part of this camera is the flexibility, because if you don't want to record RAW, you can get DNxHD or ProRes - both highly professional and versatile formats in their own right. The touchscreen might turn some people off, but this is a camera with ease of access and usability in mind. Every single aspect was designed to be as intuitive as possible, and I can attest that I was changing settings as quickly as I have with any DSLR that has dedicated buttons.

From what I can see - the camera didn't look too noisy at 1600 on the LCD, but I'll have to wait for the final product to see how it handles noise. Speaking of the LCD, the 5" touchscreen LCD on the back of the device was certainly good enough to pull focus - as I was doing so with the Zeiss lens on the specific Cinema Camera I was using. Things have gotten very, very interesting in the camera market with the introduction of this professional solution. DSLRs certainly have their place, and the 5D Mark III and D800 cameras that I've been testing are still valid options, but if you don't need stills and you can deal with the slightly under 4/3s sensor (my initial calculations are over 2x crop factor), this is going to give you unmatched quality at this price point ($3,000).

Link: Blackmagic Cinema Camera

[Thanks to Nick Novotny for this use of his camera for this video]