Shipping is still very slow for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and now we've got more bad news coming our way straight from the CEO. While the company was hoping to get the Production Camera 4K out sometime in August, we are now in September and obviously have missed that shipping window. Grant Petty just recently posted a message to update us on the progress of the 4K camera, and things don't look too promising if you were hoping to shoot with it sometime in September.
Here is Grant in the Blackmagic forum:
I just want to give you an update on the 4K camera.
As we mentioned a few weeks ago, we received the production sensors much later than we expected. When we built cameras from them we saw some big differences in the images between these production sensors vs the pre production samples we originally received. What this means is that we have been working over the last few weeks to replace a bunch of the software in the camera that handles the sensor calibration and image processing.
It's taking a bit longer than we expected to do this and we think its going to take about 3 to 4 weeks more to get those changes done and to get the QA process completed before we can start shipping.
We apologize for the delays from the original promised date. Ultimately, image calibration is a very important step so we want to make sure this is done properly before shipping.
Basically, the camera is not done, and it's not going to be done for probably another month. I would take whatever numbers are being suggested above (3-4 weeks), and at least double those for when regular people might realistically see them in their hands. At this point it's pretty clear that anything they ship camera-wise is going to start out very slow, and take at least 2-3 months before really ramping up (potentially more).
Even though it doesn't make much sense to plan a shoot around a camera you're not already holding in your hands or couldn't easily get, many people do it anyway. With this camera, it's probably not a good idea. Any estimates given are likely best case scenario, so this camera rollout is going to take quite some time. I would not be surprised if all pre-orders took until well into 2014 to be fulfilled.
I guess the only good news at the moment is that you can go buy the original 2.5K BMCC for only $2,000. If you want to shoot RAW with Blackmagic, that's still going to be your only choice for quite some time, as the Pocket does not have it yet, and the 4K likely won't ship with it either.