November 30, 2013

Should Blackmagic Wait & Use This 300FPS Sensor in Their 4K Camera Instead?

It's been a few months since we got official word on the shipping status of the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, with the last update mentioning that it might be 3-4 weeks before they would be shipping. I wrote then that I didn't really expect them to be in anyone's hands in that amount of time, and while that has been the case, we may not see anything until 2014. There has been some speculation that they may be using the CMOSIS 4K sensor, and if that's true, the company is introducing an upgraded version with significant frame rate improvements that would make for a truly powerful camera.

Here is CMOSIS on the new 4K sensor (thanks to Cinescopophilia for the heads up):

Outstanding in CMOSIS' portfolio is the newly upgraded version of the proven CMV 12000, which was first announced in 2010.. The current version of the CMV12000 offering 150 fps is in full volume production. The new  version operates at an unparalleled frame rate of 300 fps. Volume production will ramp up towards the end of second quarter of 2014. Engineering samples will be available for purchase in February of the same year.
 
CMOSIS' CMV12000 targets a broad range of demanding applications in the areas of process automation and motion control, the rapidly developing 4K HD TV broadcasting environment, as well as vision-supported traffic management systems. These applications require high frame rates and a broad dynamic range to capture fast moving events, often under unfavourable lighting conditions. The 12-Megapixel image sensor CMV12000, featuring a high dynamic range coupled with its global shutter operation, is excellently suited for such demanding situations. CMV12000 offers 8, 10 and 12 bit resolution. The 300 full frames of 4,096 x 3,072 pixels per second  is offered in 10 bit mode.

We already know the current sensor in the Blackmagic Product Camera 4K is limited to 30fps (as is the Cinema Camera and Pocket Cinema Camera), but if it is indeed using the previous version of this CMV12000 sensor, it is capable of much, much more. With how many relatively inexpensive 4K cameras are likely going to be out over the next 12 months, the Production camera is going to have a lot more company very soon -- even if none of those new cameras can do RAW or ProRes. There will also not likely be any global shutter CMOS sensors among the new lower-cost cameras. That means Blackmagic will still have an edge in many areas compared to what comes out, but at what cost?

Something Blackmagic has been able to do that has surprised the industry is introduce high-performing cameras very inexpensively. Unfortunately, none of these products have been released on-time, and I'm sure at least some part of that is due to trying to keep costs so low. When the 4K camera is released, it will probably still have the bare minimum of features just as the others have had upon release. Firmware upgrades are fine, but I actually think higher frame rates would put this camera in another league entirely, something that literally no one would be able to match for the price.

So I pose the question to you guys. If Blackmagic were able to work out the hardware and make it work, would you prefer a 300fps camera for a similar price released next summer, instead of the current 4K 30fps camera released in the next 2-3 months? I'm sure this is something Blackmagic will look at in a future version of the camera, but I'm curious to know what everyone would be looking for in a camera. Since the Apertus 4K camera project is using the current CMV12000, it will be interesting if they eventually switch to the upgraded model and have even higher frame rates.

Either way, the Blackmagic site lists Q4 as the shipping date for the 4K camera, so we should be getting some official word soon from the company on the status.

Link: CMOSIS Shows Upgraded CMV12000 Offering 300 fps at Full Resolution

[via Cinescopophilia]

Your Comment

74 Comments

I think that this would be the best way to go. Tell everyone to wait 6-8 months for this camera and charge around 5500-6000 That would be amazing. I think many people would wait.

November 30, 2013 at 11:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Blackmagic has already said controlling heat is the main problem with higher frame rates. They would likely need to re-design the whole camera body. Although I would be fine with an option of 60 fps at 10-bit as a compromise.

December 4, 2013 at 10:21AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Razor

Or maybe just make a Black Magic High Speed Production Camera? BMHSPC.

November 30, 2013 at 11:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Alex

When they introduce more models the acronyms are going to start getting out of hand.

December 1, 2013 at 12:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

They already have. For example, I like to call the new 4K camera "BMPCC" but that can either be the BlackMagic Production Cinema Camera or the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera. I love these cameras but the names don't exactly roll off the tongue like the Alexa, the Amira, the Epic, the dragon, and the Scarlet.

December 1, 2013 at 12:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Harry Pray IV

Since they don't actually refer to the 4K camera as a cinema camera though (Blackmagic Production Camera 4K), it's going to be worse when they do have a 4K Cinema Camera. I like BM4K, BMCC, and BMPCC, but I know there are many variations which don't make it easy when people want to use shorthand.

December 1, 2013 at 12:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

If you just take the core abbreviations, they're not too hard to distinguish, though they're definitely not the easiest either.

BPCC for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
BCC for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera
BPC4K or BPC for the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

As long as writers (and readers) remain cognizant of the right number of "C"s in the abbreviations, it shouldn't be too much to handle. Also, adding in the number to the BPC4K abbreviation makes it a lot easier to distinguish from the BPCC.

December 1, 2013 at 1:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mr Blah

BM4K

December 4, 2013 at 10:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Razor

Joe youve been on your Agame with these articles, lots of new news

However seriously doubt that Black magic will switch up the game in light of new sensor, especially considering that no one really in sight ( the big manufaturers and small) are rushing to bring new cinema quality cameras like black magic has done in past year.

New sensors is indeed exciting news, but it also takes R&D , ENGINEERS etc to develop a functioning camera with the components capable of handling those frames rates.

We wont even get into overheating issues that the pocket camera already causes or the heating issues that took Red years to address.

From a business standpoint it would make more sense for them to release the 4k camera and in new technology fashion, slash the price by 1000k dollars and introduce a higher frame rate camera in 6 months.

December 1, 2013 at 1:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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JAYE

Yeap, heat and its design challenges is the main problem, and almost nobody understands that.

December 1, 2013 at 7:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Michael

@jaye

What are the overheating issues that happen with the pocket camera ?

JB

December 1, 2013 at 10:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John Brawley

There is nothing high speed about Blackmagic.

December 2, 2013 at 9:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony

Nice bit of forsight here … and yes, blackmagic should output their 4k camera with this chip. That's a no brainer.

December 1, 2013 at 12:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I think they'd have to significantly increase the price of the 4K camera if they added this sensor; not just for the (I'm sure) pricier sensor in the CMOSIS but the souped up electronics needed to process 300 fps in 12-bit RAW in real time.

December 1, 2013 at 12:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Harry Pray IV

If they did release a second generation 4K camera next summer that can do 300fps that would suck for those who got their 4K 30fps just months before.

December 1, 2013 at 12:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

I will definitely buy this camera if it is capable of 150fps, 300fps would be incredible, 60fps would be nice... 30fps just doesn't cut it for most people these days.

December 1, 2013 at 12:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Lawrance Simpson

It's Moore's Law folks, get used to it. There will always be an even more awesome product just 6-12 months around the corner. Camera manufacturers need to accept what the computer industry learned long ago that they need to get stuff out NOW, and not wait for the next generation before even releasing the current one. And customers too. Blackmagic's habit of becoming the greatest manufacturers of cameras that doesn't exist is becoming silly.

December 1, 2013 at 1:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Frankhy

I'm pretty sure there are a lot of other factors, especially price as to why the BMPC only does 30fps. Increasing that to 300fps is going to come with a probable significant increase in price. The closest thing (as of right now) that can do 4k at 280fps is the FS700, and that's with a expensive external recorder. So you're looking at about $10 grand to do up to 300fps right now.

The good thing is that I can only assume some kickstarter project is going to use this new sensor somehow.

December 1, 2013 at 1:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Neil

The question in the topic is utterly pointless because it just doesn't work that way, if it did, the current cam would probably already do 150p (if it is already CMOSIS' current gen sensor). This is bit like hoping that cramming a quadro K6000 to old pentium PC would work. Even if you got it to run there's just not enough kick in those old components to get much anything out of that card. You'd need to replace everything with top of the line parts. We can be sure that components used in Production Camera are chosen with price and performance in mind. They have the cheapest reliable components that can deliver quality at 30p. Having anything than that would be extremely bad business, because if your hardware can do more as it is, you will have better product for the same production costs and you could ask higher price to begin with. This keeps the camera cheap. When we start adding requirements to our components, the price also grows exponentially as we get closer to the technological limits (or more like the limits that mass produced components can do).

Recording 150p or 300p is not just about the sensor readout. You would effectively add 5x or 10x to the amount of the data that camera has to process compared to 30p. This needs better and faster components than now, more them, more space not just for those components but also for avoiding overheating and you need an actual cooling solution. The whole camera would need to be redesigned from the scratch. Then program wise you need new algorithms to compress the data and even then 300p is going to be a LOT of data to handle and then you still need to save it somewhere. You will need industrial grade hard drives… probably handpicked and tested by blackmagic, customised to their camera in some special housing to avoid people complaining about constant dropped frames. They will cost lot more than current consumer grade drives which already are dropping frames in 2.5K cam (yes I know the 4K will be compressed RAW but until the camera is out we won't know for sure how picky it will be on SSDs). You can forget the affordability as it is now.

Yes it is probably possible to built that 300p CMOSIS 4K cam but it is going to cost a lot at this very moment… and it will take long time as not even the engineering samples are available yet. Given that blackmagic can't even deliver 4K 30p camera with sensors already being available, you can drop your hopes of that camera conveniently getting upgraded to 300p with bit of an extra wait.

December 1, 2013 at 1:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ts

It's definitely not going to happen, I'm just curious what people thought. And yes, that's what I'm saying, redesign the camera. RED did the same thing and it worked fine, and people were better off for it. Concentrate on making the BMCC and Pocket the best they can be right now, and then introduce a newer 4K with faster frame rates that is their flagship.

December 1, 2013 at 3:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

Agree 100%. Why not? If they have sensor issues its nobody's fault but the maker, that could be their scapegoat. Faster cards are on their way, once H265 gets the kinks out we'll have high quality imagining online. I say they should go for it. Release it this summer (but don't announce until they're packed and ready to go) ha

December 1, 2013 at 2:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

The hardware is available to process the images fast without the overheating or major power issues... Code just needs to be pipes into parallelism:
http://www.parallella.org/board/

December 1, 2013 at 8:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Stuoogle

I'm not confident, even if they were to use this sensor, that Blackmagic would produce a camera capable of 300 FPS capture.
In the press release from Cmosis it's established that the prior generation of the sensor, the one presumed to be in the BPC4K, is capable of up to 150 FPS as it stands now. However, since the current specifications for the BPC4K establish only a maximum of 30 FPS, if that's the sensor they're using, I think it's safe to assume that Blackmagick wasn't planning to use its full capability, perhaps as a cost-cutting measure. Thus, I'd venture a safer guess of Blackmagic going for 60 FPS (or perhaps a full 4:3 sensor readout) instead of pushing to three hundred. Also, keep in mind that the sensor is limited to 10-bit color when shooting at 4:3 and 300 FPS; I'm not sure if Blackmagic would be willing to sacrifice their raw files' 12-bit color for higher frame rates.

So, to answer your question, if they could actually release a 300 FPS camera over the summer, I'd wait until then to buy one. But, if they would be producing a camera with a 60 FPS maximum, I wouldn't wait.

December 1, 2013 at 2:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mr Blah

Or they could have two separate cameras with the staggered release times, sort of like AX 1 and Z 100. By now, many folks just want something.

December 2, 2013 at 9:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

BM announced the 4K camera would ship in 30 days about a week ago.

December 1, 2013 at 3:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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VinceGortho

There was a fake click bait article that stated such. There is no official word from BM unless you can cite proof.

December 1, 2013 at 3:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Stewe

Unless of course we want to shoot only avalanches in slow mo. I would not really care for a 300FPS. What I would really care for is global kick ass shutter, the last, well almost last, feature that will bridge the digital and celluloid film gap. Black magic camera should not be worried about 300 frames shit. Global shutter will put indie movies that much closer to the real hollywood stuff as far as effects goes. Rolling shutter is like the plague. Avoid it as much as possible. Forget about higher frames. It will only make movies look like amateur shit. Sick and tired of seeing slo-mo stuff.

December 1, 2013 at 3:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rajneesh

But is there an easy way today to record 300fps RAW with a digital cam? I'd love that for sure one day...

December 1, 2013 at 4:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Not speaking with any authority, but it would be great if Joe & co (hey that rhymes) could seize on this for Digital Bolex 2: The Sequel !

December 1, 2013 at 4:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Saied

Yeah but isn't Digital Bolex's thing that they use ccd over cmos ?

December 1, 2013 at 10:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Grant

Doh, you caught me daydreaming. Of course, you're right.

December 1, 2013 at 3:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Saied

The first-generation sensor does 150fps, but the Blackmagic camera won't go beyond 30p because the processor is not fast enough.

Given that, it makes absolutely no sense to wait for a 300fps sensor. The camera wouldn't go beyond 30p either.

December 1, 2013 at 5:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Also the sensor in the original BMC 2.5k does much higher frame rates too, it's been out for a year, and the processor can't cope with anything above 30p.

December 1, 2013 at 10:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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You sure it's the processor? I thought it was a heating issue. If the camera can grab RAW 2.5K RAW data and then convert it to ProRes 1080p on the fly, I'd say there's no lack of processing power. Same with the new 4K camera - converting 4K RAW to proces on the fly - that's pretty good. I bet, recording 2.5K RAW 60p would be less taxing than 30p prores from a processing point of view. But then sampling the sensor that often generates extra heat they didn't plan for.

December 1, 2013 at 12:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Clayton Arnall

Yes, it's the heat... generated by the processor when you try to run it faster (this sensor generates very little heat, if I'm reading the documentation correctly)

December 1, 2013 at 3:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Steal a traffic camera and us all a favor.

December 1, 2013 at 8:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Larry Vaughn

,,,do us all a favor...

The next flavor of the Panasonic GH3 may have a global shutter and more friendly filmmaking features.

December 1, 2013 at 8:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Larry Vaughn

Then that's the way to go. Global shutter, prores 422 1920x1080, professional audio connector, a nice script. What more can one ask for ? I was shocked when I read that the movie "The Counterfeiters" was made on 16mm film and then blown up to 35mm. It won a f..... oscar. Who the f.... cares if a movie was made on a multi-million dollar camera or with a hacked camera aka "Monsters" by gareth edwards as long as it is enjoyable. However, I think its time the camera guys put more energy in sound acquisition on camera. That was my 1 cent worth of advice.

December 1, 2013 at 8:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rajneesh

For added inspiration please google "tichy photographer" who made his own f.... stills camera from plywood and trash. Man he is a real inspiration indeed. That was another 1 cent worth of advice. Thanks guys/girls.

December 1, 2013 at 9:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rajneesh

They need to release the camera. Forget this and deliver on what you presented earlier.

December 1, 2013 at 8:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I think a lot of people are still forgetting that the biggest limitation to high speed video is the camera's processing power and the data controller for the storage medium. It is absolutely not the sensor.

Getting these data sizes to work on consumer SSDs has been a significant hurdle. It's already been a pain for the 2.5k Camera. That's why the BM4k is shipping with 4k ProRES and visually lossless compression at another date. This isn't a linear increase in demand for data processing.

hey could, of course, start using processors in their cameras to be able to process this as well, but that means more intricate R&D would be needed, not only for the extra processing, but also cooling and overall camera stability. This would take the camera straight out of its price range and would alienate the target audience that BMD is aiming for.

December 1, 2013 at 10:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Steve

The BMD 4K camera is nothing more than vaporware... it's designed simply to keep you from buying other, cameras that are available now... too good to be true.

They did the exact same thing with the BMCC which was released almost a year late!

It was promised in July, and every month for three months thereafter Grant Petty, CEO of BMD said it would be released in 30 days... now of the past two or three months they haven't said anything. I wouldn't expect it any time before NAB 2014.

When you think about it, BMD really is not that impressive of a company. Sure DaVinci Resolve is amazing, but Resolve is basically a separate division that was bought out a few years ago from another company which left all it's engineering in place. So that is why Resolve is so awesome, but the hardware component of BMD leaves so much to be desired. Poor management and poor quality control.

People buy BMD products for their price, not quality.

December 1, 2013 at 10:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jordicus

I don't know about that, IMO the BM cameras have the best color science after Arri out there.

December 1, 2013 at 11:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Grant

I think you're misty right... I am not impressed with their broken promises on delivery and low quality build. I think they would rather sell massive amounts of cheap cameras with pro features than a handful of higher priced pro cameras that truly perform.

December 1, 2013 at 11:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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James

The Internet Hysteria Club said the same thing about the first two cameras and now they are taking over the low end market. Check b&h's top selling video cameras list. Go shoot one or two worthwhile projects while you wait for the 4k and it will be here before you know it. The crowd around here treats these devices like toys our parents won't let us have.

December 1, 2013 at 12:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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YES!!!!!! PLEASE

December 1, 2013 at 11:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Emil

150 fps would be amazing. And would definitely beat a majority of the competition out there right now. I'd buy it.

December 1, 2013 at 12:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Lucas

heyya
i have the pocket camera and the cinema camera. i also have the 4k production camera on preorder.

i need the 4k production camera ASAP, due to the sensor size. for me, i would rather have this 4k 30fps shipped out. that way i could actually make all the art im tihnking about making.
300fps or 150 fps at 4k or 1080p are both totally amazing. i would happily buy another camera with this sensor - which would hopefully be full frame or super 35.
or it would be nice if the sensor could be upgraded - at a fee - at a later time.

but just to say it again - i want the camera i ordered ages ago. specs dont make movies - a camera in my bloody hands makes movies.

thanks for your post.

December 1, 2013 at 12:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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"i need the 4k production camera ASAP, due to the sensor size. for me, i would rather have this 4k 30fps shipped out. that way i could actually make all the art im tihnking about making"

i dont get how the 4k version would somehow enable you to make "all the art" you are thinking about...why not just use your Bmcc with a fast wide open lens? that would give you shallow dof, would it not?

December 1, 2013 at 3:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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darnel ba

also, with less DR, the image itself may not provide what you are hoping for. just speculation of course

December 1, 2013 at 3:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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darnel ba

I don't see them doing this with the current models. The processing power behind sshooting 10 bit 300 fps footage is pretty intense so I don't think we will see that camera for a while. I could safely say buying the production camera now you will make your money back before the new one comes out anyway.

December 1, 2013 at 1:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Caleb

CMOSIS sensor specs sounds like lotta fun

December 1, 2013 at 2:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Natt

I believe releasing the Production Camera with its current sensor and specs as soon as it is viable would be best. That would afford BMD the opportunity to work on the next generation Production Camera with this new sensor and allow them to learn from problems that may/will arise with the current camera.

The extra time taken would also mean BMD would have time to make the next generation camera worthy of being such. And not just a slightly improved camera, that's Next Generation in name only.

Even if BMD took their time with the next generation camera, it will be a while before any of us see a camera with 4k 300 fps because of the technical issues many have already mentioned here and more.

But, the fact there already are sensors capable of such frame rates does bode well for the capabilities of future cameras. And for us.

December 1, 2013 at 3:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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finducinema

BMD is basically the Wal-Mart of the film industry... except without the experienced managerial talent to actually release the products in a timely manner.

December 1, 2013 at 3:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jordicus

What's the alternative in that price range? Enjoy your 8 bit h264.

December 1, 2013 at 4:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Doesn't make sense Joe...the original sensor (that everyone believes the camera is based on) was capable of 150fps...but BM was only providing 30fps.

Regardless, that much data would require other hardware changes to the platform. You would no longer have any parity with the BMCC 2.5K. Which could be views as fine by many, but that wasn't the goal /plan for BM from the start. (according to an interview from Grant)

So if they did change their mind, they would be building an entirely new camera system. Again, not saying there is anything wrong with that...but I would think to do that correctly, you would need much more than 6 months!

December 1, 2013 at 6:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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sean

Yeah it definitely would. I probably should have elaborated more on that, but I think that while people are excited about the possibilities, they are essentially bolting the sensor on the current camera which was designed for the 2.5K camera. I think a sensor like this would be better off with interchangeable mounts, something that's impossible with the current design.

December 1, 2013 at 8:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

Yeah, BM should have their own lens mounting system instead of fixed EF for example. Could be just electronic adapters where the mount allows and RED style switchable mounts where flange distance would be too short for adapter. Would be nice to have option to change between EF and PL mounts which could be just a change of adapter if they make their own mounting point's flange distance short… or they could just put sony E-mount on the 4K cause that would allow it to be adapted to pretty much anything, but I guess that boat sailed when they joined Panasonic in MFT camp. While "making" this camera better, I'd like to see them to change the form factor to something bit longer, move the controllers from the behind to the left side and cabling to the right. Yes it is cool to have DSLR like camera to make it more undercover as it is now, but when you start rigging it up if you use it in proper productions, then you have lots of stuff to pile on the rig behind the monitor and camera controls.

December 1, 2013 at 9:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ts

Just because a sensor is capable of 300fps, doesn't mean the camera is/will be.

December 1, 2013 at 8:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tim

The CMV12000 upgrade restores the maximum frame rates that were announced in November 2010 but subsequently halved. I would much prefer the addition of dual sensor readout (à la the Alexa) to extend the dynamic range to 14-16 stops, but that would likely necessitate a substantial redesign.

December 2, 2013 at 12:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tzedekh

At the BlackMagic conference a couple months back in NY they had the 4K cameras to demo. When I asked a representative, the reason behind the 30fps limit was cooling issues.

December 2, 2013 at 8:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Christopher

I would not mind waiting one bit if they really put 300FPS into it.

December 2, 2013 at 11:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The sensor isn't the only factor that determines the maximum frame rate for the camera. It may not be possible to sustain the required data rates for higher frame rates with current SSDs and recorders, and in fact it's likely that a significantly higher frame rate would require a significant resolution compromise in order to support it on current hardware. It will probably happen in future cameras since the industry standard hardware will only continue to improve, plus the only way for BMD to convince people with Black Magic cameras to upgrade is to introduce significant new features in new cameras.

December 2, 2013 at 12:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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The issue of maximum overall system data rate can be addressed by better compression. CineForm RAW supportsa number of compression ratios. If the BM4K can do 30 fps with 2:1 mathematically lossless compression, 10:1 compression could yield 150 fps. And supposedly CineForm RAW is less processor-intensive than ProRes.

December 2, 2013 at 1:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tzedekh

Yeah, but can it compress 150fps at 10:1 in real time while writing to SSD ?

December 2, 2013 at 4:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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FabDex

Probably not. My point wasn't that BMD's 4K camera could process frame rates of 150 fps (it obviously can't) but that the burden levied by high frame rates on internal data rates could be offset by using high-quality compression.

December 3, 2013 at 12:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tzedekh

So this whole article is a "What if"? No one really confirmed that Blackmagic is considering this sensor ? How about this then "Would you buy a full-frame Sony 4K raw camera with interchangeable mounts that does 300fps and records on cheap media for $3000 ?".

I like that game ! That's what I call a real timewaster...

December 2, 2013 at 4:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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FabDex

Actually, I wouldn't. I have no interest full-frame for video. What would be much cooler would be something like the RX10 at 5K and up to 300 fps, with raw (preferably CineForm RAW), a global shutter, an OLPF, and a 16-stop dynamic range. And the 8.8- to 73.3-mm zoom is removable. All for $1,298. And there's a Speed Booster for it.

December 3, 2013 at 4:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tzedekh

Ungortunately we were going to give Blackmagic the benefit of the doubt and buy two for Italian division. Because the company hasn't given any updates we will not be considering the camera. We will likely go with Sony f55 and maybe wait to see if BM 4k comes with PL mount .

December 3, 2013 at 8:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I wouldn't mind waiting, iv had my money down on this camera for months, but the wait has been so long i no longer am holding out any hope.

I have a pocket camera and have been getting great training on this, so when i get my 4K camera, i would be ready to take things to the next level by summer and i would not have to upgrade for a while. TBH with the frame rate upgrade you have an entry level red cam with the dynamic range, frame rates, raw recording plus you have black magics very own grading system with resolve! would i wait? Hell Yes!!!

December 5, 2013 at 5:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brendon

I know the CMOSIS guys for a loooong time and I knew since two years that they are working on this sensor. There is also the 5K sensor (CMV20000) which is another beast worth looking at.

However, the MAIN obstacle to produce a 300fps 4K camera is processing and storing the data. A camera build to handle 30fps will unlikely handle 10 times the data. More important, codecs like ProRes are very slow and their data rate is comparably inefficient. RAW in the way Blackmagicdesign provides it by now is simply WAY to large, so the I/O to storage becomes a real bottleneck.

What would make a lot of sense, and in this regard I already tried to convince Kristian Lam and other guys at Blackmagicdesign, is to look at Intopix JPEG2000 RAW codec, actually being almost identical to what RED does with R3D (again, JPEG2000 RAW). The codec is there, so you need to start making use of it...

However, this requires a processing "Beast" inside the camera, as this is VERY computing intense task. This would catapult the price of the camera into a completely different league.

Personally I expect Blackmagicdesign to keep their promise to deliver this 30 fps 4K camera very soon. They do not even need to jump onto the 300 fps sensor at all for now, because the old one does already 150 to 200 fps (depending on your shooting window) in 10 bit or 90..120 fps in 90dB HDR mode. Double those values for the new sensor. Doing true 60fps UHD is IMHO the next logical goal. Maybe that would be possible with the current hardware - who knows?

Making a next generation 4K camera with more options is surely a logical step to follow.

Cheers,

Axel Mertes

December 5, 2013 at 6:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Btw, some math:

The "old" CMV12000 is 4096x3072y@150fps in 10bit and 4096x3072y@90fps in 12bit.
For true 4K/UHD we need only 2160 lines, so that would mean:

3072*150/2160=213,3 fps in 10Bit in 4096x2160 or 3840x2160y
and
3072*90/2160=128 fps in 12Bit in 4096x2160 or 3840x2160y

The new model will be like this:

3072*300/2160=426,6 fps in 10Bit in 4096x2160 or 3840x2160y
and
3072*180/2160=256 fps in 12Bit in 4096x2160 or 3840x2160y

Lets think what you can do in 2K then...

3072*300/1080=853,3 fps in 10Bit in 4096x1080 or 3840x1080y or 2048x1080y or 1920x1080y
and
3072*180/1080=512 fps in 12Bit in 4096x1080 or 3840x1080y or 2048x1080y or 1920x1080y

Hehe...

Cheers,
Axel Mertes
CTO, Magna Mana Production

December 6, 2013 at 1:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I would take higher dynamic range vs. framerates.

December 6, 2013 at 3:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Yes, I agree - in most cases higher dynamic range is so much more important.

However, this sensor has HARDWARE HDR modes (and not only one, but four modes). It increases dynamic range to ~90dB (instead of 60 or 66). And you might even do more by multi-exposure bracketing etc.

Cheers,
Axel

December 6, 2013 at 5:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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