September 5, 2014

Blackmagic 4K Gets In-Camera SSD Formatting As $500 Off Sale is Ending

While the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K $500 off sale is coming to an end today, the company has released firmware 1.9.5, a much-needed update for this model that adds in-camera formatting.

Here's exactly what's in this update, with the general performance improvements including new white balance and shutter options seen here:

This software update adds in camera HFS+ and exFAT disk formatting to the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K as well as general performance improvements.

Kristian Lam has said in the Blackmagic forum that this update will be coming to their other cameras. This is the update I've been looking for Blackmagic to add for quite a long time in any of their cameras, because not being able to format cards in-camera has meant making sure you've either got a full supply of drives/cards that have already been formatted, or that you are carrying a laptop with you (which may not always be the case). A common workflow is to wait to format media until you're ready to shoot with those cards, but that's been impossible up until now. It's unlikely that we will see clip deletion, as there can be negative consequences to the media when clips are deleted (a number of higher-end cameras also do not have this).

As Lam says in the forum, this is coming to their other cameras (probably relatively soon), so it's going to be one more major feature that makes these cameras more usable in production environments.

You can download the Mac version here, and the Windows version here    

Your Comment

24 Comments

nice

September 5, 2014 at 7:47AM

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Yusuf Amin
Director, Writer, Editor.
154

Was that $500 or $2500 sale?

September 5, 2014 at 7:50AM

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Shaun Wilson
DP, Producer, Director
173

$500 "Off" is what I meant. $3,000 normal, $2,500 during the sale.

September 5, 2014 at 8:03AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

OK thanks.

September 5, 2014 at 8:20AM

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Shaun Wilson
DP, Producer, Director
173

Really good to see them addressing nearly every single issue customers have complained about.

September 5, 2014 at 7:52AM

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David S.
2958

Yes! just updated mine and we not have white balance options from 2500K-8000K in 200 increments! Now if only we could get 1080 RAW...

September 6, 2014 at 1:36PM, Edited September 6, 1:36PM

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I know that people literally disregarded the use of the internal battery in this camera, but has there been some improvement in the power consumption with the updates? With a, I don't know, 'stand by' mode or dim the light in the screen when you attach an external monitor or something else?

September 5, 2014 at 8:02AM, Edited September 5, 8:02AM

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We used the camera back in July for a week and didn't rent an external battery solution and kicked ourselves the whole time. We basically had to find power EVERYWHERE - the camera could charge over night and not reliably have power for more than 5 minutes the next day. Not good!!

September 5, 2014 at 11:46AM

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Scott Selman
Content Creator | Filmmaker | Producer
962

Try the camera out again using rented batteries. You'll find that with a good external battery source that the camera performs really well. I get through a whole day using only 3 external batteries.

September 5, 2014 at 2:06PM, Edited September 5, 2:06PM

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Tim Buttner
Multi-Media Expert (writer, director, producer, D.O.P., etc)
371

You can dim the brightness of the display in the menu options. However, I've never tested whether this has any positive effect on the internal battery since I always use external batteries.

September 5, 2014 at 2:04PM, Edited September 5, 2:04PM

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Tim Buttner
Multi-Media Expert (writer, director, producer, D.O.P., etc)
371

But at least there is an internal battery. Many other camera's don't. Such as RED, Sony and Alexa. At least once you unplug the external battery the whole thing doesn't switch off.

September 8, 2014 at 5:41PM

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Rex Warner
Digital Storyteller at The Arbinger Institute
252

This is a great addition to the firmware. Next up let's give us 60fps, black sun fix, slower shutter speeds for time-lapse, and double tap for critical focus to expand the view depending on where you double tap.

We all know that it should be possible to record 60fps in every codec except ProRes HQ and RAW because the damn camera shoots on SSDs for Chrissake which is five times faster than a 1000x CF card! The 60fps ability should have been unlocked once the new ProRes codecs were added.

September 5, 2014 at 8:11AM

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I've been told that it's not the card speed, but actually a heat issue for trying to get more than 30fps. URSA has some pretty insane cooling for higher frame rates.

September 5, 2014 at 8:27AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

We've got faster shutterspeeds with this update — like the other 11.25deg.
Faster FPS is a hardwarelimitation not the medium, its a great update.

September 5, 2014 at 11:51AM

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Manuel Eder
cinematographer, vfx-artist, compositor
74

There are also still major major major problems with the RAW recording - maybe the internal formatting will help, but there isn't an approved list for drives to shoot RAW on and we used the high speed drives that were recommended for normal shooting and had terrible times trying to shoot RAW if we didn't format the drive to 360gb instead of 480gb. I hope they get this resolved because at $2500 the camera would have been a steal but after my week of power issue and inconsistent RAW recording we decided not to buy it.

September 5, 2014 at 11:48AM

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Scott Selman
Content Creator | Filmmaker | Producer
962

There is an approved list for the Raw in 4K, its just very short. The Sandisk Extreme Pro 240, 480 and 960gb are approved by BMD.
I have it and its flawless.

September 5, 2014 at 2:29PM

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Another reason to love Blackmagic. They may be slow but at least they listen to their customers. As a heavy BMCC user as a B-Cam all these little updates makes my job even easier.

September 5, 2014 at 11:49AM

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Rex Warner
Digital Storyteller at The Arbinger Institute
252

Good news! Saw it earlier today because one of the first things I do is always check BMD homepage, support page, and forum page to see if there's anything new. I'm super excited to get this for the BMCC 2.5K, and from what I've read on the forums it actually improves the recording of the 4K by increasing the amount of time you get by just a little bit.

September 5, 2014 at 2:01PM

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Tim Buttner
Multi-Media Expert (writer, director, producer, D.O.P., etc)
371

At the current rate that new cameras are being introduced on the market, I'm thinking by the time Blackmagic roles out the updates that most people wish for, this camera might be replaced by some other company's cam. I guess they can always keep dropping the price though.

September 5, 2014 at 4:32PM

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Dantly Wyatt
Musical Comedy & Content Creator.
821

Yes, but buy a camera from another brand and you receive zero updates and have to buy a new camera earlier :)

September 6, 2014 at 3:15AM

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It's about time. i wish the BMPCC had this available for the shoot this weekend.

September 5, 2014 at 10:09PM

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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
1337

Did everybody notice that the picture on the website also has the icon for a Frame Guides menu? Yet another feature I have been waiting for clearly coming soon!

September 6, 2014 at 12:30AM

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Awesome - They sure are one a roll now, after that looong period of silence. Can't wait for this update to come to my BMCC!

September 6, 2014 at 4:08AM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
977

Lets do this Black Magic! Every other week is an update.. i can dig this :-)

September 9, 2014 at 4:49PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2344