June 24, 2014

Blackmagic Firmware 1.8 Adds 4K RAW, Better 1080p for BMCC, & New Menu Interface

There was quite a bit of confusion yesterday when a private download link for the newest firmware 1.8 was made live before an official release. That situation was corrected soon after it was made available, and users were told that this was not an official release. Now the company has announced the official firmware 1.8 update, and they are showing off a video with their CEO that goes through all of the new features and also hints at many more firmware updates coming very soon.

And here is what's new, if you didn't already catch it yesterday:

Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

  • Updated user interface
  • Losslessly compressed RAW DNG recording support
  • Addresses an issue where pixel artefacts are seen in edges with strong highlights while shooting in 1080 mode
  • Adds autofocus support for compatible EF lenses

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

  • Updated user interface
  • Adds autofocus support for compatible EF lenses
  • Improved debayering when shooting to ProRes or DNxHD
  • Improved focus peaking display
  • Improved ISO handling when shooting at ISO 1600
  • Improved general audio performance
  • Iris setting is retained when switching between camera recording and clip playback

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

  • Updated user interface
  • Improved performance when recording using internal microphones
  • Improved instances where a grid-like pattern may occur in some flare highlights
  • General improvements in autofocus with active MFT lenses
  • Adds supports for stabilization in MFT lenses without physical O.I.S switches
  • Improved support for Sigma MFT lenses
  • Improved support for Lumix 12-42mm PZ lens
  • Improved support for Olympus 60mm f/2.8 MFT lens
  • Iris setting is retained when switching between camera and clip playback

Blackmagic Studio Camera

  • Improved phantom power compatibility
  • Addresses an issue with interlace video being output as progressive video

Nothing in this list is actually different from the list that was included in the unofficial update yesterday, and the sizes of the zip files look to be the same. Obviously without knowing more under the hood it's difficult to conclude if anything has changed, but you may be fine if you grabbed the download while it was live for a brief time yesterday.

Many people commented about wanting audio meters and file formatting, and Grant Petty and others at Blackmagic have said these things are coming sooner rather than later. Essentially they had to rework a lot of the code in the firmware in order to unify it across all of their cameras, and also make it easier for them to add new features. With that work finished, their update cycle should be much quicker than it has been in the past, with smaller updates for specific features coming at a faster pace.

The first DaVinci Resolve 11 beta was also released today, and we'll be talking more about what's new in that program in another post.

Check out the links below to download the update for Windows or Mac.

Links:

Your Comment

61 Comments

Fantastic updates from black magic.

Step in the right direction. Bravo

June 24, 2014 at 2:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene Wolfe

+1. Keep it coming, the company has products with fantastic features for the price, but they need polishing. Now they're doing it, hopefully it keeps its speed.

June 24, 2014 at 2:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kent

I wonder if the moire issues have been improved with the different debayering process for ProRes HQ...

June 24, 2014 at 2:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ben Corwin

I love this company.
If they squeezed the exact same hardware and everything into the body of a C300, I would finally get to hear the end of clients asking me to shoot on the C300. I would SO much rather shoot on the BMCC 4K. The C300 was, in my opinion, obsolete before it even hit the market.

June 24, 2014 at 2:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Harry Pray IV

I shoot on both and you either have no idea what your doing or don't know what your talking about.

June 25, 2014 at 5:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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PayDro

So true PayDro.

June 26, 2014 at 9:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I'm cutting a project right now shot on Alexa (main camera) with Blackmagic 4k and C300 for the B-Cams... and let me tell you, the C300 doesn't really hold a candle to the Alexa and Blackmagic. The image from the C300 looks "fake" for lack of a better word. Could be the 8-Bit color space? Don't really know. The Alexa and BMPC looks like feature-film, C300 looks like television. Plus, when viewing on a higher 2.5k res Apple monitor, the Blackmagic even looks a bit better than Alexa. I'd suggest everyone step back and have more of an open mind about camera technology these days. Every manufacturer has their own pricing targets. The saying "you get what you pay for" really doesn't hold much truth anymore.

June 27, 2014 at 8:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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bwhitz

I don't mean to come off ungrateful, because these updates are fantastic, but do you think they will eventually come out with compressed Raw for the 2.5k version? My fingers are crossed

June 24, 2014 at 2:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Derick

Have you seen the prices of the mx100 ssd?

Amazing value and works perfectly in the bmcc and with computers getting faster and faster there is less and less need for compression. I get what you are asking for - but in six months with the forthcoming ssd price war and release of haswel e - your request won't be that important.

Peace.

June 24, 2014 at 4:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene Wolfe

Except even with fast SSD's coming down the pipeline, uncompressed raw will still need tons of storage space compared to compressed raw formats.

June 25, 2014 at 11:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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David

Was the audio out of sync for his address? These guys just cannot catch a break!!!

June 24, 2014 at 3:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Chris Lambert

Seems sync'd up to me...

June 24, 2014 at 3:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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CoolHandLuque

yes, audio is out of synch

June 24, 2014 at 4:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jorge

Good god I cannot watch this video! It's insane how bad it's off.

June 25, 2014 at 1:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Im getting weird patterns on my Blackmagic pocket with 14-42mm OIS(no switch). Anyone else seeing this as well with lenses that dont have the OIS switch? Looks very similar to interlaced footage. Download original footage.
https://vimeo.com/99066099

June 24, 2014 at 3:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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That was indeed interlaced but not and original camera file. I hit "download original file" and got an H.264 file instead of Prores.
I suspect you mishandled the original file in your NLE or compressor.

June 24, 2014 at 4:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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RebelPhoton

May need to update the firmware on the lens. If you have a Panasonic camera its easy to do.

June 24, 2014 at 7:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Anthony Marino

Love The Dudes Shoulder action ;)

June 24, 2014 at 4:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ali

Btw Production Camera records now 4000x2160 Pixel in RAW Mode, so 160 more horizontal Pixel, Highlightrecover extends the DR.
DaVinci Resolve 11 Beta works also great.

June 24, 2014 at 4:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Manuel

If they did 4096 I'd be giving them money. It's the one thing stopping me from buying one.

June 24, 2014 at 5:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Are you joking? You must be. 49 pixels are your deal breaker?

I'm sad our names are so similar!

June 24, 2014 at 6:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ant

No need to get insulting about it. I think it's weird that it maxes out at 4000 when the standard is 4096. Some people hate having to upscale. Granted, it's an almost negligible number of pixels but I can see where it's a deal breaker for some.

June 24, 2014 at 7:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Coty

The DCI standard for 4K acquisition is 4096, hence his comment

June 24, 2014 at 8:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

But the DCI standard for 1.85:1 delivery is 3996x2160 so it's perfect for that. Only 2.35:1 uses 4096 pixels.

June 25, 2014 at 12:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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dauid

Because its RAW a upscale debayer in DaVinci to full 4K (4096x2160) is no problem, because 4000px is 97.6% of 4096px. 3840px is 93.75% of 4096px.

June 25, 2014 at 2:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Manuel

4096 x 2160 = 1.89:1 Standard 4K movie theater projector per Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) or 17:9 aspect ratio.

June 26, 2014 at 10:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Razor

I really would love to have atleast 48fps for 1080p on the production camera, if it's possible.

June 24, 2014 at 5:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel

So it's unified? Shouldn't the pocket cam get the better iso performance as well? I'm asking because at ASA 1600 on my pocket I get these faint vertical lines, in the noise. I'm shooting a short film on it this weekend with a few scenese that will need to be at ASA 1600 so I'm really hoping that this issue is fixed in this update.

Fingers crossed will update tonight when I get home.

June 24, 2014 at 5:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Reggie

They are unified meaning you download one update that works across all of the cameras. There are no separate downloads. Not every feature is available for every camera since they all use different sensors and may have different internal hardware.

June 24, 2014 at 5:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

Ah ok thanks

June 24, 2014 at 6:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Reggie

Not before time but cool news nonetheless. I'm really looking forward to seeing a couple of night owls shoot something in raw on the 4k. And also the 60fps from the URSA pretty soon. BM are really shaping up.

June 24, 2014 at 5:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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ADC

Audio monitoring.............................................................

End.

June 24, 2014 at 6:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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edgar

I would take a histogram before audio meters.

June 24, 2014 at 8:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Seriously. Honestly there isn't really even a point in having audio ports for a CINEMA CAMERA. What cinema production would ever record sound into the camera?

June 24, 2014 at 10:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Eric

This is completly insane: If you really are a cinema shooter, you don't buy Blackmagic 2.5K, BUT If you can buy it because it's affordable, you will record sound on it. Because you do low budget jobs NOT BIG PRODUCTIONS. Conclusion: Audio meters on this camera are huge important, and saying something else is criticising URSA for the VUmeter! Don't hide yourself, we use blackmagic because we cant afford to buy RED or F55! Got it?

July 8, 2014 at 7:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pedro

Histogram is sorely needed. we always end up renting light meters on blackmagic shoots ://

June 25, 2014 at 8:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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john jeffries

found this footage of 4K RAW on bmcuser.com, from a guy who posts here quite frequently - Kholi.

https://vimeo.com/98917033

he's also provided links to the original footage for people to sample for grading, just go to the original post below for them.

original post: http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?9826-Last-LUT-and-4K-RAW-Stuff&p=1...

let's all give it up for Kholi!

June 24, 2014 at 6:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ben Howling

by original footage, i meant some of the DNGs, not entire clips. whoops.

June 24, 2014 at 6:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ben Howling

Hmmm, camera manufacturer releases camera update video presumably shot on their camera, but has over exposed background, unnecessarily narrow shutter and out of sync audio. Not to mention a presenter who looks like he's never been on camera before.

Doesn't show a lot of promise as a camera or a camera manufacturer. I'll keep my Canon (C300, 5D3, 6D), thank you.

June 24, 2014 at 7:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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David

Lol. And the box it comes in is trash. Send it back!

My guess is they rushed that video out once the update was leaked (since they didn't have a plan on releasing it so early).

To hold that one video up as the best sample of the capabilities of that camera is pathetically superficial.

June 24, 2014 at 9:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ben Howling

Sorry for you, canon is already out of the market of independent-on-a-budget filmmakers, even if they have been so good for years their future is not promising right now. I've following Blackmagic design and their products from the beginning of the BMCC and now I own a production camera 4k and I love it. I own a canon t3i too that is fantastic even if it isn't a new one or a 5D. I always think that Fellini was quite right... "the visionary is the only realist". Blackmagic has stated it, canon prefers maintain the status quo... Everybody makes choices. Just a last advise if you don't like Blackmagic cameras take a look on Panasonic GH4 or Sony's alpha 7s which a little bit closer to known standards. The video you're talking about was pushed to be release by PR department for sure because of an internal leak yesterday. Or maybe is a marketing strategy.

June 24, 2014 at 9:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Fabio

I believe it's a marketing strategy, the GH4 is selling fast and i was thinking of getting one for my feature film project instead of the BMPC 4K but then they release the new firmware yesterday and now there is 4K RAW with BMPC 4K. So i hesitate, i'll wait a few more days before making a decision.

June 24, 2014 at 10:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nas

To take in count, BMPC 4k comes with Davinci resolve 10 that you can update to 11 right now. GH4 is a wonderful camera, maybe better for run and gun projects (documentary for exemple) but for planned drama films, TV shows and advertising spots which have controlled environments could be more interesting to get the BMPC. Everything depends on your workflow and the kind of projects you are running.

June 24, 2014 at 10:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Fabio

You're right Fabio about the 'run and gun' factor for GH4. The only thing bothering me with BMPC 4K are those FPN horror stories in low light. Maybe i'll get both cameras in the end and use GH4 as B Camera for low light scenes if i have FPN on BMPC 4K.

June 24, 2014 at 10:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nas

I've tested GH4... Amazing! specially on slow motion! No buffering! Way better than BMCC!

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

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Pedro

It may be true that BM has an eye on the GH4. It seems they lowered the price of the BM4K at the same time the GH4 came out at $1700.00. BM's 4K for $4K lost it's punch after 4K for $1.7K came out.

Still shaking my head at how fast things are changing in the video world.

June 24, 2014 at 11:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Actually 4k for 4k, the BMPC 4K seems to be the cheaper option for recording real 4K at 10 bits, 4:2:2. I just found out that to get similar result from the Gh4 at the moment i'll need to get the external interface plus the external recorder (5000 dollars extra) to get the same result that the BMPC 4K does in-camera!

June 25, 2014 at 8:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Nas

Well, I'm still pretty sure the GH4 is causing the BM changes.

June 25, 2014 at 9:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gene

Hi Nas, you'd make a right choice by having the two of them and having the BMPC as a main camera because you can't really have that film look that everybody are looking for on the GH4. For me, despite great capabilities of GH4, it's a video camera, good but video. Instead, BMPC is RAW 12 bit DNG (cinema camera) and prores HQ 10 bit 4:2:2 internally recorded by an SSD for 180 bucks at B&H. I own a BMPC 4k and I love it. It's not perfect and it's not a low light camera but you can do a great work with.

June 25, 2014 at 9:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Fabio

I own both cameras. (GH4 and BMPC). They are different beasts. The GH4 works for hours on a small battery, stores on a small SD card, is light and easy to carry around. It has 8 bit video files, so less dynamic range, but still a great looking image in 4K. Low light is OK.

The BMPC is heavy, needs an external battery, needs a tripod, needs a SSD, where 480 GB will just give you a bit over 1 hour of video. but it has 10 bit dynamic range, and now also raw. So a large dynamic range. Low light on the BMPC is a bit less than on the GH4. You may see some fixed pattern noise when using 400 ISO or higher.

Essentially you will not carry around the BMPC much, its too bulky. So that's a nice studio camera, but it is power hungry and storage hungry. If you want to carry your camera around and do lots of run and gun shots, the GH4 is a better choice. My two cents.

June 26, 2014 at 6:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Erwin

I still remember the day red said we going to make a 4k camera for $4k and after 3-4 years they cam out with a brain only for $10k.. BM came up with what is it 4-5 cameras now in the past year.. they have earned my respect more than anybody else on the market including canon that makes 4k dslrs for 10k's now.

June 25, 2014 at 3:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Why they first put AF on a "cinema" camera in their update,
instead resolving that black sun issue, or that vertical noise pattern?

On the set, my 1st AC don't need any AF... he pulls focus manually. And he is an excellent puller.

June 25, 2014 at 4:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tom DoP

So, what's a current consensus on FPN? Is it a manufacturing defect or a design flaw?
.
Some BMPC4K footage looks very lovely but the camera has a ghastly customer rating overall.

June 25, 2014 at 11:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

think that Canon has the best offer in order to allow magic lantern to Release the 14bit dng file from the 5dmark3 .. and This is a giant step in my opinion ... Not Sony nor Panasonic offers such an offer at this price .. Not even Black Magic .. If Canon offered 14 bit dng file in 4k resolution .. i will ensure my loyalty to them forever

June 25, 2014 at 9:10AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Arthur

I did a quick DR test with the new 1.8 Firmware how well DNG performs over ProResHQ.
There is definitly a imporve of Dynamic Range if Highlight Recovery is activated:

https://vimeo.com/99126896

June 25, 2014 at 9:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Manuel

Hmmm now I have to double tap on the Focus button to get focus peaking. Boooo!

June 25, 2014 at 12:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Abe

I appreciate what Blackmagic is trying to do with (I own a pocket camera) but am pretty disappointed that they keep putting so much time into releasing new products when their original products are so flawed.

Not knowing how much card space you have left almost makes the camera completely unusable in any situation other than shooting casual B roll. Sure you can use a stop watch or swap half used cards every few shots but come on! My Bolex with a design that dates back almost a hundred years had a footage counter!

Having to click through the date setting every time you want to change a basic setting like ISO is completely idiotic (which appears unchanged in the above video).

As a company I would have been embarrassed to release a product with such giant flaws let alone an entire product line over several years without addressing even the most basic issues.

I hope Blackmagic get's their show together.

June 25, 2014 at 12:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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You know you can just click the up arrow in any of the menus to move up from the bottom, meaning you don't have to move through the date etc to get to the ISO...

June 26, 2014 at 4:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Can I please delete files in camera, maybe format????

June 25, 2014 at 5:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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PayDro

No word about the fixed pattern noise on the BMPC? I see it quite clearly at 800 ISO, in the shadow area's.... I wonder what they will do (or can do) about this....

CineVideo-NL

June 26, 2014 at 6:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Erwin

User interface should be improved in terms of power/functionality. For the focus-assist, allow user to specify color and also sensitivity, as these are so subjective and scene-dependent.

June 27, 2014 at 4:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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David Esp