August 29, 2014

Blackmagic 4K Camera Now Just $2,500 for a Limited Time

Blackmagic Production Camera 4K with Schneider 18mm
The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K has seen its share of issues, some of which the company is finally starting to address

What has never been a question is the tremendous image quality when the camera is working correctly, and how inexpensive it is considering it has a global shutter Super 35mm sensor, and can shoot both 12-bit 4K RAW and 4K/1080p 10-bit ProRes files. Now it's even more inexpensive.

For a limited time (possibly as early as September 5th according to some resellers), the Blackmagic 4K is going for just $2,500, which is $500 off its normal price. Just to put that into perspective, when the camera was first announced, it was listed at $4,000, so this deal makes it nearly half that price. Just like with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera sale we saw ending this month, this may not be a permanent price drop, so if you've been in the market for one, there might not be a better time, especially since firmware updates have really made it usable in more situations:

And if you're unsure of the quality it can produce, here's a great video shot with it from James Miller:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E-laP_XJ6g

Again, this deal may not last long, so if you've been on the fence, this may be the only chance for a while to get it at this price.

Your Comment

41 Comments

BM be crazy with the deals lately!

August 29, 2014 at 7:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

8
Reply
matt

They are eliminating the inventory -- probably overestimated the demand. The 4K segment must have been hit by the GH4. So they got all this cash locked up sitting in the storage, aging.

August 29, 2014 at 7:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Firef1y

You mean hit by the GH4's crappy H.264 codec with 4:2:0 / 8 bit compression? Ha ha... yeah, don't think so.

September 1, 2014 at 10:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

15
Reply
Razor

Razor, I agree with your comment!

September 2, 2014 at 5:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
FilmSaints

I'd like to agree with you .. But what is that you plan to shoot with BM that you cant with GH4?... Are you entering into Foundary Nuke's territory or want to tell a story with a zero to no budget ?

I m passionate about BM but instruggle a little to justify the purpose and expense.

September 2, 2014 at 8:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

4
Reply
Alan

Doing VFX with Softimage and green screen work.

September 2, 2014 at 9:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

14
Reply
Razor

Razor,

Those people who needed a working 4K already had the BMPC4K, those who were the future buyers of the BMPC4K were looking into GH4 + to be released Shogun.

http://nofilmschool.com/2014/07/ins-outs-getting-10-bit-output-gh4-atomo...

http://nofilmschool.com/2014/07/atomos-shogun-4k-recorder-now-available-...

Once the Shogun comes out it might make people ask questions whether they need:

i) great camera or

ii) so-so camera and a great recorder

And I submit to you that BMPC4K sales were taking a dive ahead of the Shogun announcement. So, it only makes sense to get behind the 8 ball and lower the price to clear out the inventory.

Hence the move. The kids at BM do market research and know better than to keep the money in inventory that will turn sour. At the end of the day -- lenses hold their values, lights hold their values, but cameras drop like a brick.

Adios.

September 3, 2014 at 9:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

5
Reply
Firef1y

oooh sooo cynical.
maybe just that they know people are 'on the fence'.
I was.
So not only did I buy the sony A7s, but the BM pocket cam as well, when it was on sale!
Once they have you as a client, they gain a new 'partner' for life.
Which is why, for instance, I never bought a Nikon in my life: my first was a Canon, and my last probably will also be.
They adopted me as a son, and now I will never be alone again.

August 29, 2014 at 8:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
ivan noel

Two things:
1- Perhaps a counter attack to GH4. (despite being another type of consumer)
or...
2- URSA is really coming!

August 29, 2014 at 8:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

1
Reply
Theuer

Their deals don't necessarily mean anything I've come to learn. For example, the $1,000 price drop for the original Cinema Camera didn't signal the release of any new products and was unlikely a response to other products in the market:

http://nofilmschool.com/2013/08/blackmagic-cinema-camera-ef-mft-price-co...

August 29, 2014 at 8:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

7
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Camera Department

Joe,

The BM is a corporation -- suits. You can'd just work for it and stand up one day and be like -- let's cut the prices 30%! And everyone is like -- great idea, Joe! Oh, and come the end of the year review you are getting "exceeding expectation", great raise, and a bonus!

Seriously...

We might not know the reasons for the reductions, but in the manufacturing world a reduction means only one thing -- the money are locked in the stock, and that stock is expected to drop. Same as shares of a stock. You do not sell at 30% discount.

Imagine a GE CEO walking out saying -- damn, kids, you've been good sports, y'all and I want to give back to the community. Hence all stock purchases are 30% off.

Soooooooooo.............. personally, when I see a 30% drop I go into buying freeze for 6 month cause the deals that gonna come out at the end of those 6 month are gonna be ahm-mmm--mmm-aizzz-innnhhhh ^_^

Adios.

September 3, 2014 at 9:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Firef1y

Usually when a manufacturer cuts a deal its because they just broke even and is now eyeing a profit. Just a guess, but agree with Joe, it's not any signal to a new release. Anybody see anything on the cion?

August 29, 2014 at 9:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

1
Reply
Anthony Marino

It's a sign that there'll be some announcements at the IBC and Photokina and BMD knows what they are.
.
BTW, one retailer is also throwing in a carrying case as well (~ $200 value), so it sounds like they are indeed clearing out some inventory. If you look at the B&H sales charts, the BMP4K camera is nowhere as popular as it could have been, given its specs. And, since its original "4K for $4K" announcement at the 2013 NAB, other manufacturers have come up with a competitively priced product (GH4 and A7s), with better quality rep to boot. Now, even Samsung is coming out with a prosumer 4K camera (NX1) and Panasonic is unveiling a 4K compact (LX100).

August 29, 2014 at 9:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
DLD

Again though, there will ALWAYS be announcements near camera shows, but that may have nothing to do with how a manufacturer operates. As I said, Blackmagic dropped the Cinema Camera price for no clear external reasons. Listen to my interview with Grant Petty again, the company does a lot of things because they want to, not necessarily because of what other manufacturers are doing. Now, certainly they are paying attention in some capacity, but talking to him face-to-face, Grant does not seem to be someone who is always looking over his shoulder at other companies.

August 29, 2014 at 10:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

4
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Camera Department

Sorry, Joe, but I am not taking Petty at face value. If the inventory piles up, they have to do something about it. In the case of BMP4K, its relatively slow sales were due to the perceived lack of quality and/or quality control. Now that most its teething problems have been corrected, the problem is competition. And there's likely a lot more of that competition down the road. Sure, BMD isn't going to be greatly effected by a $60,000 Varicam or a 6K Alexa II but now the entry level 4K market is becoming a lot more competitive in the sub-$3K category as well. Grant could naturally ignore these new models but his potential customers won't. I've said this a year ago - these smaller firms have to acquire a huge market share when there's no one else vying for the same market niche. When the big boys decide to throw their hats into the ring, the little guy has a tough sledding ahead ... or something like that.

August 29, 2014 at 10:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

2
Reply
DLD

Face it Joe....you're wrong

August 30, 2014 at 8:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

8
Reply
Kendrick

Haha, I very well could be wrong, but none of us know what's really going on since we don't work for Blackmagic and aren't making these decisions. All I'm saying is there was no suave marketing way about him and what he was saying, and he didn't take any time to answer my questions. A different answer might be that Grant isn't paying much attention, but that doesn't necessarily mean the rest of his company isn't.

August 30, 2014 at 11:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

12
Reply
avatar
Joe Marine
Camera Department

Would you mind sharing that retailer? thanks!

August 30, 2014 at 3:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Brody

Texas Media Systems.
.
As to the inventory question - some of them aren't that difficult to ascertain. You look at your sales chart on a month by month basis, then at the inventory on hand and trends. Then, most people will use some sort of a statistical analysis to predict the next 4-6 months (and, they're often wrong anyway but, at least, it gives a ballpark figure). I'll also note that, as been posted here by the NFS own contributors and the various posters, almost every single manufacturer is discounting some of their products at this point. Sony has dropped prices on A7/R, RX100 and FS700 + CD O7 + SSD's + mount combo; Olympus has OMD1 and lens price breaks, Canon has deals on C100 and the discontinued 7D (and some gray market 5DIII); Panasonic is offering GH3 for $800 (half off its 2012 original MSRP), et cetera, et cetera.

August 31, 2014 at 1:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

19
Reply
DLD

Canon is dropping prices on a whole bunch of their lenses starting tomorrow. The biggest decline is on the 24-70mm F/4, from $1,499 to $999. Still, the bulk of their line seems overpriced for what they do.

August 31, 2014 at 2:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
DLD

Thank you !

September 2, 2014 at 7:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Brody

My read is BM is shaking in their boots, they didn't sell enough of these things. And their constant delays in the release caused a lot of cancelled orders etc. Now everybody else has 4k for cheap and they gotta get these things off the shelf. Not least because they want to devote all their resources to the Ursa. Tough spot for them. Good price for us.

August 29, 2014 at 10:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
SJ

Also there AJA CION should be available any time before summer ends on September 22nd. They must be desperate to get their cameras on people before we think of another option.

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

1
Reply

Funny how many people here believe they know precisely what's going on in other people's brains. Calm the %$#*# down and climb off of your ego.

August 29, 2014 at 11:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply

Where's the like button!!!???

August 31, 2014 at 9:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

11
Reply
Bill Gilbride

Just be happy a deal comes around every once in a while. If I wanted the BMPC now I would be thrilled to save $500.

August 30, 2014 at 12:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

3
Reply

That $500 savings will buy a 1 TB SSD. A pretty good marketing move, in my opinion.

September 2, 2014 at 6:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Kenneth P.

Hope people actually get their orders on time.

August 30, 2014 at 1:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

11
Reply
Mahdi

I'm taking mine back tomorrow. I literally just bought one on Tuesday. SMH...

August 30, 2014 at 1:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

5
Reply

Why?

August 30, 2014 at 4:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

1
Reply
vincegortho

I was taking it back so that I can get $500 back but what they did was sent and RMA and are gonna give me the $500+tax credit to get some more equipment.

August 30, 2014 at 2:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply

I was convinced by the 4k, but Vimeo compression hides so many sins! The FPN issue isn't really fixed, it's just hidden a bit more.

Also, being poor in low light is one thing - noisy shadows is another. It's considerably more noisy than the 2.5k.

https://vimeo.com/m/90530653

Happy to be wrong tho - anyone?

August 30, 2014 at 4:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

8
Reply
Toby Cook

Is the FPN really not fixed yet? With 1.9.x firmware update I was about to buy one, but I'm afraid of this issue, so I won't buy until it has been fixed for sure.

August 30, 2014 at 7:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

6
Reply

The consensus is that it isn't possible to fix the FPN issue - but it can be hidden a little with software.

The other problem is, there is noise in the camera at relatively low ISOs and therefore, in dark bits of shots (ie. shadows). So FPN appears in subtle ways in many shots.

Search FPN on Vimeo and even post firmware 1.9 it's an issue.

Anyone got a link to a definitive big article about current FPN status, with pics? :)

August 30, 2014 at 8:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

8
Reply
Toby Cook

All I can say is that I have no more FPN in my BMPC than in my BMPCC. The 4K just needs a bit more light to get a good exposure.

August 30, 2014 at 10:54AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
MrL

Wait... So it has FPN but it's just as bad as the pocket? Is that what you mean?

Isn't any FPN a pretty terrible thing?

August 30, 2014 at 8:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

9
Reply
Toby Cook

Im not aware of any camera thats 100% free from FPN.

August 31, 2014 at 1:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

4
Reply
MrL

Ha ha...until it drops below $2000 soon...

August 30, 2014 at 3:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

11
Reply
Skeptikal

Are we going to see the BMCC discounted at $1500 in September? That's what I would get

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

0
Reply

..but what I don't understand is why everything I see which has been shot on a BM' is at max T1.2 other apertures are available...

September 2, 2014 at 6:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Simon J

The inimitable Richard Burton reciting Thomas Hardy's poem "Wessex Heights". My God, what a voice... I didn't even see the footage at first. Just in case anyone's interested!

September 2, 2014 at 6:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

0
Reply
Ned B

How much should a used Miller Compass 2-stage Spreader for Blackmagic URSA 4K be priced ?

March 24, 2015 at 2:17PM

0
Reply