April 7, 2014

Blackmagic Breaks into the Broadcast Industry with a Brand New 4K Studio Camera for $3K

We've already seen one major announcement from Blackmagic today, and boy was it a doozy. Blackmagic was far from finished, however, as they had another brand-spanking new camera ready to reveal to the world. Now that it looks like the low-budget cinema market is clearly in their grasp, Blackmagic is headed for the broadcast industry with a uniquely-designed studio production camera with a 10" display and built-in fiber-optic connectivity. Check below for all of the details!

The Blackmagic Studio Camera comes in two models, a full HD version for $1995 and a full 4K version for $2995. It's aimed directly at various applications within broadcast industry such as live news production, sports production, sitcom/talk-show production, etc. As such, it has just about every industry-standard connection that a  production would need in order to get live video feed from the camera to the switcher and to keep the camera operator in contact with the production. Most importantly, it's natively wired for high-speed fiber-optic connectivity, which means that it's essentially future-proof considering that most broadcast technology is headed in that direction.

Beyond the native connectivity is an array of features that are completely unique to the Studio Camera. The built-in 10" monitor on the back of the camera looks to be an operator's dream, as it will not only allow for very easy framing and focusing, but it's also home to all of the buttons and settings that an operator would need to access quickly in a live production environment. Also unique to the Studio Camera is a massive internal battery that will last for over 4 hours with constant use. The Studio Camera is also equipped with an active M4/3 mount that allows perfect adaptability with any lens system, making this one of the most versatile production cameras available.

Here are the specs for the camera:

  • Effective Sensor Size: 12.48mm x 7.02mm
  • Resolution and Frame Rates: 1920 x 1080p23.98, 1920 x 1080p24, 1920 x 1080p25, 1920 x 1080p29.97, 1920 x 1080p30, 1920 x 1080p50, 1920 x 1080p59.94, 1920 x 1080p60, 1920 x 1080i50, 1920 x 1080i59.9 and 1920 x 1080i60
  • Focus: Auto focus. Peaking mode.
  • Iris Control: Iris button automatically adjusts the lens iris settings so no pixel is clipped in film mode. Scene average auto exposure in video mode.
  • Lens Mount:Active MFT Mount
  • Screen Dimensions: 1 x 10.1” - 1920 x 1200
  • Screen Type: 10.1” - TFT-LCD
  • Controls: Push button controls for navigating menus.
  • Microphone: Integrated stereo microphone
  • Mounting Options: 2 x 3/8” tripod mount. 4 x 1/4"-20 UNC thread mounting points on top of camera, 3 x 1/3”-20 UNC thread mounting points left on right of camera.

And the specs on the camera's connectivity:

  • SDI Video Output: 1 x 3G-SDI 10-bit 4:2:2
  • SDI Video Input: 1 x 3G-SDI
  • Ref Input: 1 x Reference Input
  • Optical Fiber Input/Output: 3G Optical Fiber Input and Output
  • Analog Audio Input: 2 x XLR analog switchable between mic and line levels. Phantom power support.
  • Analog Audio Output: Aviation headphone (Fixed Wing Plugs) output for talkback and audio monitoring
  • SDI Audio Output: 2 channels in 3G-SDI 48Khz and 24 bit. 2 channels for talkback on channel 15-16.
  • Remote Control: 1 x 2.5mm LANC for Iris Control and Focus. SDI CCU control from ATEM.
  • Computer Interface: USB 2.0 Mini-B port for software updates.

And what new camera post would be complete without some sexy pictures:

For the broadcast industry, these cameras are without a doubt going to be a serious contender due to their price. The only caveat that might prevent the Studio Camera from being immediately adopted is that it isn't natively wired for triaxial connectivity, which is still the standard in many, if not most, broadcast facilities since high-speed fiber is an incredibly expensive upgrade. With that said, facilities that are already wired with fiber-optic connectivity will likely spring for these cameras because, in traditional Blackmagic fashion, they offer tremendous value at an incredible price.

The HD Studio Camera and the 4K studio camera are scheduled to begin shipping in June.

What do you guys think of Blackmagic Studio Cameras? Will they be widely adopted in the broadcast industry? Let us know down in the comments!

Link: Blackmagic Studio Camera -- Blackmagic Design

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Your Comment

59 Comments

Same sensor as the BMPC 4K..?

Party of 3....Fixed ...Pattern... Noise?....

Major problems with the dumping of their first BMPC4K camera.

I wonder if the 4K version here suffers from that....hmm

April 7, 2014 at 3:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Alex

I believe they are different sensor sizes. studio is closer to super 16, bmpc is super 35

April 7, 2014 at 3:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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themok

April 7, 2014 at 3:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mr.Floppy

They wanted to call it the "Glorified iPad Video", but that was already taken.

April 7, 2014 at 3:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pat

delivered in 2018.

April 7, 2014 at 3:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Vict

Bottom of the page.
http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicstudiocamera
One of them is "buying now".

April 7, 2014 at 3:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mr.Floppy

Blackmagic, I like you, man - but you're crazy.

April 7, 2014 at 3:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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alex

This camera is not for anyone who reads this site.
It will sell like CRAZY as a package with their (awesome) 4K switcher. This is a camera for the church/small insert studio/EMEA broadcast market. Might end up being their biggest seller.

April 7, 2014 at 3:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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marklondon

That's the exact use that came to mind - small, for-the-web studio setups. I already forwarded the press release to friends and colleagues who are in that arena and waiting for this camera.

April 7, 2014 at 3:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I'd go easy on that 'for the web' stuff. :-)
In a lot of over-air broadcast TV markets this will be a HUGE step up from what they're currently using.
Have done the same and forwarded it all over the place.

April 7, 2014 at 4:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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marklondon

Why would you need a 4K camera for web production? I hardly ever see a 1080p video in good quality on the web, and 98% of computers and devices wouldn't even be able to play 4K content.

In five years maybe, when h.265 is around, but now? 4K would be a total waste of pixels for any kind of web production!

April 10, 2014 at 3:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Heiko

Google/YouTube's VP9 codec has been included in Chrome since last September and promises to deliver 4K streaming in under 10 Mbps. Simultaneously, Time Warner, Comcast and other ISP's began to offer ~ 30 Mbps broadband for ~ $40/mo. Combine these two developments and suddenly 4K becomes accessible to virtually anyone.
.
PS. HEVC is also available for free to "free" streamers like YouTube or Vimeo. The pay sites may have to pay certain royalties.

April 10, 2014 at 3:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

And here I was thinking they might take care f their existing users by fixing the problems with those cameras!:(

April 7, 2014 at 3:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Doggy

As someone who's worked for 6 TV stations around the country in 30 years I can say they LOVE cheap. Especially when the Chief Engineer is only looking at specs, and never bothers to ask any of the crew what they think. The funny thing is the picture of the $3,000 camera on a head and pedestal costing 10 times that*. But they already have that stuff so I guess it'll be a hit.

*http://www.filmtools.com/sachtler-system-25-studo-2594.html

April 7, 2014 at 3:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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ronn

I was thinking that too....that Sachler head costs 5 figures! lol

April 7, 2014 at 3:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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sean

You nailed it :-)

April 7, 2014 at 4:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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marklondon

Broadcast's recent issues are what's in front of the camera, though.

April 7, 2014 at 4:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pat

$31,743.00 for a tripod. Dear flippin all that is good!

I think I'll go buy a gh4 and a MeFoto tripod--and build a house with that $31 thou.

April 8, 2014 at 10:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

To be fair, that is not just a tripod, it's more like an advanced dolly if you will (and a rather small and cheap one by the way)

These things move very smoothly in every direction and you can push the heaviest cameras up and down with your index finger in perfectly smooth movements. There's a lot of high-end mechanics in such a studio tripod!

April 10, 2014 at 3:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Heiko

I knew that. It's just that $31,000.00 is sticker shock!!

April 10, 2014 at 11:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

This is a studio camera but people are overlooking it as a great indie film camera. , close to a super 16 size sensor , Not to mention that this thing does 1080p 60fps 10bit pro res ( not one camera close to these specs) .

It also can shoot 4k with a full hd attacted monitor, this is amazing

April 7, 2014 at 4:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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JAYE

As I understand it, this camera doesn't record ANYTHING on board, right? It it a camera head and display, with no recorder attached. So it's perfect for the studio, but not for run & gun at all.

April 7, 2014 at 5:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bingo. Not even close to run 'n gun with that giant monitor on the back. It's designed to operate a few feet in front of you.

They show a Hyper Deck hanging off it. You could record to that.

April 7, 2014 at 6:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Charlie

Does it even record video in-camera? It looks you have to use an external recorder

April 7, 2014 at 6:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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With that price, a multi-cam indoor set shoot now becomes very practical. Add a couple of BMPC 4K's on a Movi type stabilizer. Place a couple of these on a dolly - wheeled, tracked or even cabled - or a jib and there's your inexpensive studio for the independent masses.

April 7, 2014 at 5:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

2 on basic peds, one on a cheap crane, LED DMX controlled studio lighting, all into their ATEM 4K switcher, a couple of 4K VTRs - how does a complete 4k TV studio in a box for US$25K sound? Maybe another 5k for audio?
You could put it in a van with a 4k uplink for $50-60k.
That's very basic but a factor of 10 less than what it costs now. Given the explosion in live streaming events you could do a host booth at almost any event, anywhere for well under $100k in kit.

April 7, 2014 at 6:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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marklondon

I agree about the live streaming potential. This is huge news for churches. Churches may be the fastest growing market for live streaming. Though I could bet most churches have never even heard of BlackMagic. Unfortunately some churches may be uncomfortable with the product name.

April 8, 2014 at 4:32AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Maybe they could exorcise it?

April 8, 2014 at 4:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Maybe they could quit being superstitious.

April 8, 2014 at 6:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Funny but that is why i read this site. We have adopted almost exclusively BMD products because they are relatively inexpensive for what they provide and have great user friendly interface. Make training volunteers much easier.

April 10, 2014 at 1:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Rod Kesselring ...

I'm thinking of helping a church get a Sony a7s because of its phenomenal low light ability. Churches could save a huge amount of money if they didn't have to buy lighting for video work, and have a camera that makes a good image with the available lighting the church already has. The only issue is I don't have an answer on yet is does it have that deal breaking (for my purposes) 30 minute limit?

April 11, 2014 at 12:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

I recently bought a BM Hyperdeck studio pro for the local church and when I was about to print a label for the case I thought "well, maybe I rather not put the name 'Blackmagic' on there..." :)

April 10, 2014 at 3:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Heiko

Ya, I think you were right.

April 10, 2014 at 11:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

To think that something for in-studio setups that hardly even rivals this unit's capabilities cost upwards of $50k just a few years ago, I'd say this is pretty f'in amazing.

April 7, 2014 at 6:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Swissted

Apparently you can hook up a Hyperdeck Shuttle to the side as a recorder. If the screen is good (and it's 1920x1200!) then why not buy this and a Hyperdeck rather than rigging up a Pocket with an inferior monitor?

At the bottom of this page they say you can playback the shuttle through the monitor as well:
http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicstudiocamera/accessories

April 7, 2014 at 7:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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The BMD Cinema forum is not happy and with good reason. BMD is hell bent on delivering something to out do themselves each year. The problem is they haven't fixed the first gen cameras, the second gen cameras, lowered pricing on cameras that haven't been fixed, causing original owners to be dismayed, then releasing ANOTHER camera, then ANOTHER. Which leaves you wondering, can the Black Magic Cinema Forum defect to the Sony F5/55 forum?

April 7, 2014 at 8:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bill Gilbride

I have a tricaster, and have a hodgepodge of cameras connected to it in our humble little studio. I can buy four bkackmagic matching cameras with sdi out (wow) and have a nice studio set up. We don't need 4k. We do a lot of live web streaming and some other studio shows. I'm not going to rush out and buy these but if they turn out to be good. I'm pulling the trigger this year. I can see these easily filling college and high school studios, churches concert halls etc. everywhere. That is a great price. For what you get. I didn't see genlock?

April 7, 2014 at 8:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Steve

Steve,

I hope you lurk or join the BMD forum and see what BMD owners are saying about BMD products before you believe what the sales brochures portray. I'm just saying....

April 7, 2014 at 8:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bill Gilbride

Bill, but aren't these de facto second generation BMPC4K cams, albeit in a different body with a few extra features? If basically true, one would think that the teething problems have been eliminated to a large degree.
.
Not that I blame the original owners for being upset with defective units.

April 7, 2014 at 9:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

These so called defective units were promised firmware updates to fix: no audio meters on the cameras, black hole sun, lack of ability to format a card in the camera... it's the little things. The "new" camera uses the same sensor. So have these things been fixed? Nope. So this new camera either is fixed before taking care of existing customers OR it's as broken as the three previous model cameras that BMD has released in the last three years??? I was a serious contender for a BMD camera. Just got tired of waiting on product releases that never met release dates AND how previous products seemed to always have a fix that would be here, "Soon" which seems to be a favorite quote from BMD board moderators to current owners on when will paying customers be taken care of.

April 7, 2014 at 9:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bill Gilbride

No, the teething problems have not been eliminated, and you definitely get a sense of that from the BMD forum. I'm in the process of sending back a Cinema Camera that the sales literature over promises on. After looking over the forum threads and talking to BMD technical support, that camera cannot function in the way the literature suggests, nor will it soon. I was told that a firmware update was in process to improve the functionality (more white balance control without relying on post fixes). But these are the promises we have been hearing about for the last year.

So on the new studio camera. Did you know that as of a few days ago when I spoke to BMD technical support, the remote color control software has not even been released yet? That's right. I was told this doesn't work yet and will not function until the firmware update comes out. Which should be anytime, right?

I would love to buy the new camera that the sales literature lays out for $1995. It sounds like a dream. And right now that's exactly what it is, a dream. So buy one and hold your breath for the firmware update to make it work. And if you're wondering when that's coming, ask some of the buyers of the Cinema camera. Caveat Emptor!

Now I completely know better, and I'm going to be sorry, but I'm still going to get in line to buy some of these cameras, just in case I'm wrong, because these really sound great, don't they?

April 18, 2014 at 12:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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JohnF

I have a pocket cinema camera. I am pretty happy with it. I have followed the good and bad about the other blackmagic cameras. Even the in studio explosions ;) I don't own the others but have some experience with them. I've liked them. I like the company and what they are doing and where they are going.

I personally would never buy a camera "expecting" a firmware update unless it is to correct a flaw (like the black hole sun). Maybe I have been conditioned by Apple products (they rarely allow new features to be added to their previous generation products though they are powerful enough to run them). Would I like those features? Sure, but I think they are pretty good cameras as is (but notice I don't own the cinema or production cameras).

April 8, 2014 at 12:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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steve

But Bill, thanks for your comments and looking out for other readers (sincerely).

April 8, 2014 at 12:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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steve

I'm with Steve on this one, I was almost a BMCC purchaser decided to hold off and now I am the happy owner of a Pocket for my C camera (c100, GH2). I have little to no complaints about Black Magic design. I am about to build a small studio later this summer for a web media site in August and I will definitely look into the Black Magic studio ecosystem. Its crazy to think that for about 15K all in you can build a passable 4K studio setup.

April 8, 2014 at 1:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mobile99

same here. i got a pocket camera right when it came out and i love it and have done amazing projects with it.

shooting 12 bit raw to SD cards and using PL lenses on something the size of an iPhone for just 1k is literally unreal and a true gift to filmmakers, i really dont understand why there is so much hate for the company, those people on those forums just sit around and whine they dont actually make anything

April 8, 2014 at 1:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

Yes, the pocket camera has made many people happy. I totally agree the BMD hit that one out of the park. I guess I'm astonished by the non reporting of events where sites are pasting the brochure and no true one on one with anyone from BMD. I took a second look at the AJA camera via posted video, at first I was meh, now I'm like hmm. And there are REAL interviews with other product releases with Q&A. Tons of tech sites and broadcast savy sites are just posting the brochure and crowning BMD for "Stealing the Show". Hmmm, stealing the show. I hope BMD can make current 2.5k and 4k owners happy. They are not asking for anything beyond a functional product, just that the waiting is killing the owners. I don't have a dog in this show. But I was on the waiting lists, so I feel their pain and wish BMD success in dealing with support on the issues no one is talking about.

April 8, 2014 at 1:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Bill Gilbride

"live news production, sports production, sitcom/talk-show production"

You could add churches to the list. The low price will be attractive to churches since most that would like to move up to higher resolution don't want to pay a high price since they use the camera, on average, for only about 6 hours a week.

April 8, 2014 at 4:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

I'm in that situation, but the lens situation is something that really concerns me. I don't have a clue what I could put on the front of this thing with a servo zoom.

April 8, 2014 at 3:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Sam

You could adapt B4 mount broadcast lenses to the MFT mount, or you could run just about any reasonable zooms adapted to MFT with a motor driven zoom gear. Would take a little extra effort. There is a lot of reasonable quality b4 glass floating around inexpensively.

April 8, 2014 at 6:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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John Case

I am pretty sure that reasonably priced, and/or used broadcast lenses will not be able to deliver on a 4K sensor. I'd rather stick with a proven HD camera in that case, because the only pro for the Blackmagic is its 4K resolution - and if you can't see that 4K resolution because your lens can't deliver, well, there is no more pro for this camera!

April 10, 2014 at 4:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Heiko

Sam,

you can call BlackMagic and talk to them about it. I called them once and the guy I talked to was amazingly nice. He seemed like a regular guy, not a techy nerd. Just call very early, in the first moments of business hours, to get though. I called later in the day once and was on hold so long I couldn't wait anymore.

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

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Gene

What about lenses? do approproate studio zoom lenses even exist for MFT? at what cost? this is not a film/production camera, you need to be flexible in a studio or EFP scenario.
Love what they did with the 'CCU' on the ATEM software control though. Best solution I have seen in many years (supports multiuser, open SDK - to bring hardware panels; automatic AUX switching)

April 8, 2014 at 1:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jno

Doesn't the lens in those promo shots cost £36k in its own right?

Also, I'm not convinced by having the display so closely integrated to the camera.

April 8, 2014 at 5:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Trev Lloyd

broadcast lenses fo 2/3" are also expensive. If you want a 6mm wide angle zoom lens, the cheapest you can get is Canon for 12K Euros. The better ones with 4.xmm wide angle and less vignetting cost 30K Euros here too.
High quality lenses with zoom factors of 14x-20x and an f-stop of 1.7 are just horribly expensive, you can't do anything about it. The 85x and 100x boxed lenses they use for sport events even cost half a million and more. Blackmagic won't be able to change that!

April 10, 2014 at 3:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Heiko

Director: "ped up"................"FOCUS"

Operator: "Is that in focus?"

Director : "what do you mean is that in focus? Use your eyes!"

Operator: "but I can't see the screen properly!"

A Studio camera needs a screen that can tilt up and down.

April 9, 2014 at 4:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tone13

... then buy one?

April 10, 2014 at 3:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Heiko

honestly I don't undestand some of this whining. Doesn't it make sense that the software/electronics part would be substantialy lower cost than the optics and even the mechanical (pedestals) part?

I think that this camera changes the financial model of studio cam. a low-end simple sony CCU-controlled 2/3 HD cam would go for around 30k/chain (before glass). here you can have the same for 2k.
* hardware CCU control panel? like in the ATEM, the SDK is open and people create hardware platform for it all the time.
* tilt on the monitor?? its $2k! use the remaining $28k and buy a tilting viewfinder.

The only serious obstable to this camera's success is if it does not perform (which in BMDs history this has happened).

Can't wait for a hands-on review.

April 10, 2014 at 5:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jno

The question is: will it work like a Sony studio camera? I mean like: switch it on, and it works. And after 12 hours, it still works. Repeat procedure for 5 years, and it still works like on the first day.

People often forget when they complain about prices of high-end cameras like Alexa or Sony or Panasonic broadcast cameras, that these things are basically unbreakable. I have seen Sony broadcast camcorders that had been abused 24/7 by a regional tv station for 10 years, and they were still working fine. Every button was still functional, only the tape units starting acting up a little - after more than 10 years!
This is the kind of camera you need for tv production, and I am not sure if Blackmagic can deliver that kind of quality

April 10, 2014 at 3:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Heiko

I'm curious as to the general tone of comments on this site. Now, I'm a cyncial as the next gen x-er, but it seems the default here is to sneer or moan about nearly every article. Is this just a culture thng - NFS is where I come to be sniffy or complain, when I'm feeling bright-eyed or positive I go elsewhere? Just wondering.
By the way, being easy to get along with, perhaps even be a little over-positive, is a very important characteristic for anyone working in my industry (advertisting). There are a lot of talented people out there, if I'm going to employ crew for a shoot I'll go for the 'talented and nice' over 'talented and whiney' any day.
Don't get me wrong, it's important to call BS on marketing but the level of complaining here seems unusually high.

August 24, 2014 at 10:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Simon Shepherd