Last month, Blackmagic Design released a firmware update for their Production Camera 4K, which included the ability to format SSDs internally. It was only a matter of time before that oft-requested feature was added to the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Pocket Cinema Camera. Today Blackmagic Design announced firmware version 1.9.7, which adds the ability to internally format media in both cameras, as well as a spiffy new menu system, which makes it easier to reach the most needed menu functions.
Here's an excerpt from the press release that explains how the internal formatting works, and elaborates on which media formats the cameras now support:
This new disk formatting feature is unique because unlike computers that format disks for general storage use, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Pocket Cinema Camera can format disks optimized for high performance video use. When formatting the camera confirms the brand of disk and other disks parameters and then formats for highest speed video data recording and playback for that specific type of disk. This also means that as new disks are released in the future, new software can be released to take advantage of unique features of disks for maximum performance when recording high data rate RAW 4K images.
Customers also get the opportunity to choose between two disk formats, ExFAT and HFS+. The ExFAT is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X so is a good choice when customers are working on Windows or working between Windows and Mac OS X platforms as both platforms natively will read the disk. When customers are working on Mac OS X exclusively, the HFS+ format is the native Mac OS format and this allows higher performance for Mac users as well as better error protection because HFS+ supports journaling.
The updated firmware also includes an updated user interface, including what Blackmagic is calling the dashboard menu (which can be seen in the photo above). The dashboard menu provides easy access to the most used camera settings, such as enabling focus peaking, turning on frame guides, and formatting media.