July 24, 2014

Blackmagic 4K Firmware 1.9 Addresses Fixed Noise & Adds Histogram, Audio Meters, Time Remaining

It's been a huge issue for many users, and while the severity has been inconsistent camera to camera, the new 1.9 firmware update released today for the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K should address fixed pattern noise on all cameras. Though it may not be completely removed in all situations, this was a much-needed fix for those who've gotten some models that have suffered from excessive noise. They've also added some really essential features, like a histogram, audio meters, and a time remaining indicator so you can see how much recording time you've got left depending on your shooting format.

Here is a video showing off the new features:

And the description of what's new in this firmware update:

1) Histogram, audio meters and media time remaining indicators to the Production Camera 4K.

You can reveal the display by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and dismiss it by swiping down. If you're using a manual lens, the IRIS button will also toggle the display on or off. 

2) Improved sensor calibration processing to Production Camera 4K.

It was mentioned almost immediately that a version of this update will be coming to the other cameras, so the Pocket and Cinema Camera will both get a histogram, audio meters, and media time remaining.

Obviously, again, making sure that these cameras aren't showing excessive fixed noise is a big deal, but unfortunately a number of people before this update have had to deal with models that were not up to where they should have been. While I didn't really experience any issues with the camera I shot with, some cameras have been significantly worse than others, due to differences in the production of the sensor (which is not made by Blackmagic).

The histogram is really helpful, especially in RAW, so you can try to capture as much as possible in camera and not limit yourself in post. It would be nice to have some sort of underexposed zebra or false color mode, but the histogram is a quick way to see what your scene looks like. Without audio meters, getting audio into the camera was a bit of a guessing game, but that should be over now, and the time remaining indicator was an essential feature that should have been with the camera from the beginning -- but we've got it now.

So what's next? Blackmagic has been very good about releasing updates over the past few months as they said they would, and we should see these features added to the other two cameras very soon. Besides the upcoming release of the URSA, it would be great to finally be able to format cards inside the camera. I was told this would come eventually and wasn't a huge deal to implement, but from a workflow point of view, not being able to format on location in your camera is a problem.

You can find links to the firmware update below.

What other features would you like to see implemented in these cameras? If you've got a 4K camera, let us know how the firmware is dealing with FPN on your camera.

Links:

Your Comment

63 Comments

Great Going Black Magic! Now i can confidently say i will get my 4K cam

July 24, 2014 at 2:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Z-Axis

OH man yeah. PUTTING It into the camera now.

July 24, 2014 at 2:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Broderick

Thank you Grant and Blackmagic team

July 24, 2014 at 2:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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mark fry

Would love to see the sunspot removed from the 4K camera like they did on the pocket.

July 24, 2014 at 2:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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+1

The jury is still out , but The black hole orb thing still needs to be resolved but bravo to black magic ,

July 24, 2014 at 8:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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cjay

Waveform is a MUST!

July 24, 2014 at 2:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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LucasAxel

Waveform!

July 24, 2014 at 4:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Harris

WAVE-FOOORM!

July 24, 2014 at 5:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Edgar

FOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORM!

July 24, 2014 at 8:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Doug

wAvE fOrM - Please

July 24, 2014 at 8:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Emmanuel

For what? That's needed more in post.

July 29, 2014 at 10:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Fabio

wow these updates are great!

I would like to see the following:

1)Option for shutter speed display (not angle)
2)naming camera and time to go away after you set it once. the most used controls should be the first to pop up after all.
3)ability to delete clips (although in an interview i saw they said this will never happen).

unlikely updates:
1)higher frame rates, even if it limited clip length to 20 seconds or something (unlikely due to heat)
2)option for compressed raw, like red code.
3)small wifi dongle that plugs into the usb port which lets you control the camera from your phone wirelessly. making adding the metta data and changing settings much easier.

on another note, does anyone know of any forums or sites specific to learning resolve and the black magic cameras?

July 24, 2014 at 3:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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kevin

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

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alex

thanks alex!

ive gone through Denver riddle's tutorials from color grading central and they were great. I was hoping a site like video colpilot but for coloring and also audio, that would be awesome :D

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

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kevin

Much more in depth tutorials are available from Ripple Training. I recently bought and watched the "Power Bundle" which covers Resolve 9, and then a bit of an update for 10. They don't have anything specific for 11 yet, but all of the info is still applicable.

Info here: http://www.rippletraining.com/categories/avid-adobe-davinci-courses/davi...

July 24, 2014 at 9:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Will Vincent

Nope. Shutter speed is a photography thing. I was so glad when a camera came out that used shutter angle instead. Kinda like a real film camera! You don't see Alexas using shutter speed.

And deleting clips on camera has been covered a million times. It's a bad thing. It causes fragmentation which slows down your media. Would you rather have dropped frames?

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

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jimbo

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

July 25, 2014 at 12:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Andie Reid

Finally someone that really know what he's talking about!

July 29, 2014 at 10:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Fabio

This is really great news. Audio levels, time remaining and a histogram have got to be three of the most needed and requested features since the first Blackmagic Cinema Camera hit the market. Blackmagic Designs: please give us these features on the Pocket Camera soon!

July 24, 2014 at 4:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Myke

As an early adopter of the Blackmagic Camera line I'm so glad they've finally started to focused on the existing camera issues and not the next product to be released. I purchased the BMDCC and BMDPC 4k and while I've been happy with both the cameras I've always felt a lack of responsiveness to the customer from the company. Firmware updates 1.7-1.9 coming out this close together goes a long way to addressing my concerns. Thank you Grant.

July 24, 2014 at 4:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Jeremie Barineau

In your mind, can I ask what you see as the main outstanding issues to be resolved? (as opposed 'to nice to haves')

July 24, 2014 at 5:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Alton Firth

I for one would love to have the black sun dealt with.

July 24, 2014 at 6:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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A tic is a sudden, repetitive, nonrhythmic motor movement or vocalization involving discrete muscle groups.

July 24, 2014 at 5:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Stevie

Exciting! Just sucks I sold my 2.5 off after getting 3 back from support that each had excessive noise in the green channel. Hung onto the pocket though:).

July 24, 2014 at 5:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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XML

That is mad! - The green channel you say? Three of them? Interesting! - I recently put my BMCC through greenscreen tests. This is after getting it 'repaired' (ha) back in January for the 'Rolling noise' issue.

The green channel was clean. The red channel had lots of noise, but the blue channel was absolutely diabolical. My Vfx supervisor says that it is the worst noise that he has ever seen from any digital camera system and that the camera is useless for keying. He had a colleague who also has a BMCC to run similar tests and he found the same kind of thing - green channel: clean, red channel: the worst, blue channel: pretty damn bad! The following is my blue channel. Take a look;

http://www.mediafire.com/watch/abh0vrb358rtg80/BMCC_Green_Screen_Channel...

The quality control of BMD cameras is so shoddy it's not funny (This is after going through eight Pocket cameras, all with hundreds of hot and stuck pixels AND FPN) and their support is a joke. I just can't trust BMD cameras for any kind of work, serious, or otherwise.

July 25, 2014 at 6:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Awesone news. I hope it comes to the pocket soon.

Is it just me that really wants ability to change white balance and ISO without going into the menu? Say the up/down arrows and left/right arrows. (I have a pocket so not sure if this is needed on the other cameras)

July 24, 2014 at 5:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Reggie

+1

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

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Kent

Well, that's it for me...I think I can commit to the 4K Production Cam now..!

July 24, 2014 at 5:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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mike

1- Better battery life
2- Formatting card in camera

1.9 FW and these 2 details would be enough for me.

July 24, 2014 at 6:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Don't hold your breath on the battery life issue... but in camera formatting should be coming at some point -- not specific clip deletion though, that would introduce fragmentation, and that would be bad.

July 24, 2014 at 9:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Will Vincent

Really is that the reason you can not delete a clip in black magic world? As that is one of the major drawbacks that withhelds me buying one. If I go hiking for 3 weeks and want to bring a long a camera to record it all, at night I want to delete the crappy stuff also to not have 15TB of data.

July 25, 2014 at 1:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Just dumb and format the card each time, there is portable hard drive solutions which do this which you could bring along.

July 25, 2014 at 4:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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As a hiker, I can't imagine a worse camera for that purpose. No weather sealing, terrible battery life, massive files, awful in low light, poor LCD, and terrible handheld. In my opinion, look elsewhere. I certainly am.

July 25, 2014 at 8:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Well, then why are you even here, considering this camera and complaining about its features? It'd be like me going to a Honda forum and complaining that their cars don't off-road like Jeeps, since I go off-roading all the time and I want a Honda that has the off-road capabilities of a Jeep. Go buy a Jeep!

July 25, 2014 at 3:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tyler

Not at you David, sorry, at Ana Lmous..

July 25, 2014 at 3:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tyler

That's not true, unless Black Magic are doing something truly weird - Magnetic hard drives suffer from fragmentation because they are divided into blocks and sectors - if black magic do that with cards, then the mind boggles. The usual way of writing data to a card is the controller writes data in a scattershot fashion to multiple NAND chips and locations using an algorithm only the controller understands. It reports back tot he camera/computer as a conventional hard drive because it is designed to work on operating systems that predate solid media.

July 25, 2014 at 3:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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William Jones

It's so great to have all of these new updates lately! The BMPC4K is a great piece of hardware that was limited by it's firmware but it is so much better now than it was upon release. These are the top 7 features I long for:
1) Ability to record at 60fps. The sensor is rated for up to 60fps and with the new Prores codecs the camera is definitely capable of achieving 60fps. From my calculations from a data write speed standpoint, it should be able to achieve 60fps at 4K ProRes 422 or lower (such as LT and Proxy). Hell, I'd be happy even if they only allowed 60p at 4K ProRes Proxy.
2) When you double tap on the screen to view critical focus, the location of your double tap is what should be expanded. It's annoying how it only shows a center crop because often you want to see other areas of the sensor (for example the upper third left or right where an actor's face typically would be). Where you double tap should make a difference.
3) Fix the black sun. This is so annoying.
4) When playing back clips, it would be nice to see a thumbnail view along with other data like clip name, exposure, and other metadata.
5. Format SSD in camera.
6. Allow slower shutter speeds for timelapse (in order to get motion blur).
7. Allow 1600ASA.

Keep up the great work. Thanks!!

July 24, 2014 at 6:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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+1 to all of that

July 24, 2014 at 6:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Lower framerates are my number one most wanted feature among all digital cameras. Give me 6fps so I can step-print like a wannabe Chris Doyle!

July 24, 2014 at 7:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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jon

For lower frame rates, why not use Timelapse? You can set the interval to record one frame every 2-10 "real" frames. Set the fps to 30 and record at 5 frame intervals, then you'll have 6fps.

July 28, 2014 at 10:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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+1

July 25, 2014 at 8:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Sebastián

I ran some tests of the FPN before and after the update. See my results here: http://www.ecgprod.com/bmpc4kfirmware1-9/

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

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I have the BMPC and had some annoying FPN at 800 ISO. After seeing this video I'm not sure exactly how this firmware takes care of the FPN, but I will certainly install it.

July 24, 2014 at 6:55PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Erwin

Mine is still having it, but it's less worse and finer...

July 24, 2014 at 8:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Niki

Mine is gone in comparison to before the firmware update, but I'm still not totally sure it's fixed.

July 29, 2014 at 10:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Fabio

These should have been in the first place, when is the BMPCC going to release?

July 24, 2014 at 10:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Tim

downing now :DD great day.

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

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nate

They had to do this because otherwise URSA would have had the same problems. But if these updates work on BM4KPC, then their future sales won't be as damaged by these problems.

July 25, 2014 at 12:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

Exactly

July 26, 2014 at 7:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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laserlands

Black magic cinema camera, should all of this.
but also:
- better play back.
- Deleting clips
- formatting
- black sun
- higher frames per second 60.

Honestly those 5 things would really set apart black magic design from their competitors. They're losing their business to A7s and gh4 because they can't give us those simple 5 things. Hell I wouldnt care if they invented a new version of already made cameras to incorporate these features.

Like Black magic cinema camera Pro or something.
I'm literally now giving you ideas.

July 25, 2014 at 2:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Andreyiscool

Woohoo! Nice to see them making some positive changes :)

July 25, 2014 at 8:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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FPN is improved but not gone.

July 25, 2014 at 10:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Abe

4K and 50p please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

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Andie Reid

I understand the ire consumers have for Black Magic Design, but since the camera was inexpensive for what it offered, the lack of features and design flaws were part of the deal. I noticed that BMD is slowly fixing these issues (while being publicly dismissive of legitimate customer complaints) before releasing the URSA. That is a good idea.

People will be paying quite a bit more for something being sold as a near-complete camera without the inherent limitations of their previous releases, and professional users will be far-less forgiving of a product like that than they were for a sensor in a box that shoots hi-res RAW for cheap. It will be expected to perform right out of the box, and any firmware updates should be improvements, not bug fixes, for this market segment.

July 25, 2014 at 1:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marc B

These features are essential and should have implemented on V1.

July 25, 2014 at 3:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Rich

the FPN still there .. C'MON blackmagic ?!! .... What are you doing ?!!

July 25, 2014 at 8:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Luther

1.9 works fine.
next: 22,5 degree angle, formatting, black sun ???

July 26, 2014 at 4:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Wolf

what/...cool now I can start building my bmd rigs… look like they are commited after all..

July 27, 2014 at 9:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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lee Arthur

Why did they not add the audio metering and histogram on the BMCC? Its frustrating that the early adapters are still suffering for supporting BMD with early purchases. I love the camera image, but its pathetic that I have to use a tascam field recorder for the audio because I just cannot trust what is going into the camera.
Fixing it for the 4k camera, but not the BMCC feels like a thumb in the eye... but I am still hopeful they address this soon.

July 29, 2014 at 6:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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I don't understand those who compare BMPC 4k to GH4 or a7s. Those are video cameras, they don't have RAW or Prores at least you pay another 1500 bucks for problematic external recorders. They don't have Global shutter and to record 4k cost a fortune. They don't have Davinci Resolve included nor the capability to use Canon lenses. BMPC 4k has its faults but BMD is finally honouring their promises. Step by step folks, next time it (firmware update) will be even better!

July 29, 2014 at 11:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Fabio

I just got mine yesterday, so I never had any other firmware than 1.9 on it. Can somebody please quick try if image stabilization (eg 24-105 or 70-300) is working on your 4K with 1.9FW? Because mine's definitely not.

July 30, 2014 at 8:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Luke

Heres all I want blackmagic, I'm not going to get greedy like some of the previous gentlemen and make a list.

There is but one thing that my little filmmaking heart desires, no, needs from you:

FIX THE F*#@ING FPN!!!

I seriously hope this v1.9 "fix" isn't the end of your efforts. It's still there, and its still ruining perfectly exposed shots.

*Tip to anyone that is experiencing this as well*

Neat Vid actually works quite nicely at removing FPN, although I do not consider this to be a solution to blackmagic's problem.

How dare they release the URSA while they spit in our mouths.

Regards,

Dr. Cloud

August 11, 2014 at 1:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Dr.Cloud

the black hole sun please, right now!

August 20, 2014 at 10:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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OMAR