Blackmagic Joins the Micro 4/3 Barbecue: is an Active MFT Mount Cinema Camera Cooking?
Just a few short months ago, it was announced that the Blackmagic Cinema Camera would be receiving a Micro 4/3 lens mount option alternative to its original Canon EF mount. Granted, for those of us still waiting on the BMCC to ship, a few short months is no stretch of time to merely shrug off -- particularly when the mount announced was to be a "passive" or "dumb" one, meaning electronic control would not be supported for smart MFT lenses. There's been speculation that this would change -- and given Blackmagic's recent addition to the consortium of companies aligned with the official Micro 4/3 standard, this speculation seems less outlandish than ever.
Olympus Imaging Corp. and Panasonic Corporation jointly announced the Micro Four Thirds System standard in 2008 and have since been working together to promote the standard. Now we are pleased to announce that five more companies have recently declared their support for the standard and will be introducing products compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard.
Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd., one of the world's leading innovators and manufacturers of creative video technology; JK Imaging Ltd., new representative for the world-famous "KODAK" branded cameras; PHOTRON LIMITED, the world's leading manufacturer of high speed digital imaging systems; SVS-VISTEK GmbH, an innovative company that develops professional machine vision components and systems and ViewPLUS Inc., a developer of advanced imaging-related equipment. With the addition of exciting new products from these companies, the Micro Four Thirds lineup will become much more diverse, further increasing the potential of this advanced digital imaging system.
As the company responsible for initiating both the Four Thirds System and Micro Four Thirds System standards, Olympus Imaging Corp. will continue to develop and enhance the product lineup for both standards to meet the diverse needs of our customers.
One could passively assume this is just a move for posterity or solidarity -- this type of support is common enough in the industry, and stands for something significant in itself (though perhaps not to the every-shooter). More likely though it's one giant step in the direction of an electronic MFT mount Blackmagic Cinema Camera, which would allow all sorts of electronic-only Micro 4/3 lenses to be used on the camera. It would also potentially allow for Canon EF lenses to be controlled electronically through an adapter. There are no guarantees, however -- or even a timeline -- but don't be surprised if we see it sometime this year.
Furthermore, there's a likelihood Blackmagic (who does listen, and closely) has taken heed of all the imaginings that high-profile shooter/reviewers have been doing about the BMCC since word of the Metabones Speed Booster hit the streets. The Speed Booster (MFT version to come) looks to adapt a lot of your gear to a level that basically breathes an entirely new life into it. Conversely, Metabones could stir added life-force into the viability of the small sensor BMCC system for those who have previously disregarded it for its high crop factor. Given, of course, that requisite smart Micro 4/3 mount.
Again, the Speed Booster could be good news for MFT shooters even without a smart mount, as long as your lenses can be controlled manually. That said, certain elements aligning (pun intended after the fact) could make the BMCC even more formidable in its niche -- assuming Blackmagic and Metabones jump on the respective opportunities that lay before them.
What do you guys have to say about this? Is it a likelihood, or even inevitability, that these technologies sync up? How else do you see BMD joining the MFT standards group fitting into the scheme of things?
[via Photo Rumors]