March 19, 2015

Blackmagic 2.1 Firmware Update Gives 2.5K Cinema Camera Lossless Compressed RAW

Blackmagic Cinema Camera PL with Lens
Blackmagic has finally added compressed RAW to the original 2.5K Cinema Camera in the newest 2.1 update.

While all of the other cameras had gotten some form of compressed RAW up until now, the oldest of the bunch finally joins the club. Just like the other cameras that have it, the lossless should look identical to the uncompressed RAW, but will save card space and let you shoot longer (since it's basically compressing like a ZIP file instead of removing information). They've also added some new functionality with both the BMCC and the BMPCC by letting you bypass the dashboard and go straight into the settings. Something else that annoyed many people was the fact that the camera wouldn't remember that you'd turned on peaking when you shut it down, but that's now been fixed, and they've also added more frame guide options.

Here are the changes in 2.1:

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

  • New Blackmagic Camera Setup software
  • Adds support for more frame guide options
  • Adds Japanese and Chinese language menu support
  • Holding down MENU will bypass Dashboard and go straight into settings
  • Peaking state is remembered after power cycle

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

  • New Blackmagic Camera Setup software
  • Adds lossless compressed RAW support
  • Adds support for more frame guide options
  • Holding down MENU will bypass the Dashboard
  • Peaking state is remembered after power cycle

Blackmagic URSA

  • New Blackmagic Camera Setup software
  • Improved media formatting performance

Here are all of the recording formats now possible with the Pocket through 4K:

Blackmagic Camera BMCC BMPCC 4K Recording Formats

I think these updates are a pretty good sign that even though the Cinema Camera was announced almost 3 years ago, they are still committed to supporting it with new updates. That likely goes for any of their other cameras for some time to come. You can find the firmware update over on the Blackmagic support page    

Your Comment

31 Comments

very nice! I would imagine what would set this camera apart from the pocket further, is upgrading the proress to 2.5k as well.

March 19, 2015 at 6:36AM

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Vincent Gortho
none
656

If they add 2.5k ProRes I feel this camera is complete. I really hope they do. I love the prores that comes out of this beast. The raw was just too big, maybe this makes it more manageble, but it's probably gonna be a bit much for most projects. 2.5k prores would be absolutely ideal for me!

March 19, 2015 at 7:47AM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
824

Yes it'd be nice if they added it, but in the mean time, it's fairly easy to shoot in RAW and then convert to 2.5K ProRes on ingest through Resolve. I do this quite a bit lately. You also get the added benefit of tweaking white balance before conversion.

March 19, 2015 at 11:16AM

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Clayton Arnall
Camera Pointer
200

Clayton,

This sounds like a great workflow, would you mind detailing how you go about converting the 2.5k raw to 2.5k pro res on ingest through Resolve? Thanks so much!

March 19, 2015 at 1:16PM

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Moses Flores
Writer and Director
74

I'm new with the BMCC. Does this mean the file that's recorded now is one "video" file like shooting in prores or is it shot like individual frames like in raw format?

March 19, 2015 at 7:22AM

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When shooting raw, you get folders containing individual frames for the duration of each shot

March 19, 2015 at 8:21AM

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Vincent Gortho
none
656

In camera Frame Guide is awesome and there are lots of them! I noticed that I could get 26 minutes of RAW at 24 fps on a 128GB card now I am getting 36 minutes on BMPCC!! Did the compress the RAW which is already compressed!!

March 19, 2015 at 9:47AM

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Rayhanur kabir
Director, DP
74

It's great that they finally added more framing guides to the Pocket. I've really needed these.

March 19, 2015 at 11:50AM

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Caleb E. Carrow
Director of Photography,
176

Also I'm pretty psyched about getting more raw recording time. With the update I went from 12min to 18min on the pocket using a 64 GB card.

March 19, 2015 at 11:55AM, Edited March 19, 11:55AM

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Caleb E. Carrow
Director of Photography,
176

This update didn't add any new format recording options on the BMPCC, we already had lossless compressed RAW on the pocket. What you are describing is recording length being effected by fps settings.

March 19, 2015 at 2:26PM

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Actually they have increased the compression ratio from 2:1 to 3:1
Try yours, you will get the same result.

March 20, 2015 at 1:26AM

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Rayhanur kabir
Director, DP
74

Is there a big difference in quality between raw on the pocket vs 2.5k. Is it worth the extra money. I own the pocket.

March 20, 2015 at 1:51AM

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Vincent Gortho
none
656

If you ask me I would say BMCC is more filmic to me! Moreover you have 2.5K RAW which is perfect for delivering 2K! Crop factor is a non-issue if you use a speed booster for BMCC (crop factor will be 1.53x whereas in BMPCC it will be 1.75x). Though rolling shutter is worse in BMCC.

You have to decide for yourself, I would definitely choose BMCC over BMPCC if money is not a factor.

March 20, 2015 at 3:24AM

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Rayhanur kabir
Director, DP
74

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 19, 2015 at 1:08PM

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----
291

uhmm.. Guys.. Please help me.

I just installed update 2.1 and i'm getting all the guides and the "Holding the menu" update.. but i can't find the lossless compressed RAW recordning option.

Is this just me? Or anybody else having problems?

March 19, 2015 at 2:44PM, Edited March 19, 2:44PM

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Yeah same, just updated and do not have compressed raw on the BMCC 2.5k MFT.

March 19, 2015 at 3:02PM

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Zak Fenning
Photographer/Film maker
88

Just found the answer to our problems

"...we've switched over and uncompressed RAW is no longer available. Why did we do it? Because there is no different in quality. It's a lossless compression so you end up with a smaller file size but no change the quality of the files. There is no disadvantage." Krisitan Lam, BMD

http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33575

March 19, 2015 at 3:19PM

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Zak Fenning
Photographer/Film maker
88

Bad news though, DaVinci Resolve 9 doesn't play with compressed raw, so the update effectively removes raw (unless you upgrade Resolve = Money).

It's rollback time :(

March 19, 2015 at 3:50PM

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Zak Fenning
Photographer/Film maker
88

Upgrading Resolve from 9 to 11 is free.

March 19, 2015 at 5:53PM

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Doug
88

If you bought the BMCC, you get the full version of Resolve for free. Even if you didn't, you can still use the lite versions for free. Just go download 11.

March 20, 2015 at 1:28PM

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Kyle Sanders
Editor
200

Does anyone know if uncompressed raw is supported natively by Premiere? I had an edit recently where I had to use URSA compressed raw and had to create proxies so I assumed it simply wasn't supported (whereas uncompressed DNG is). Thanks!

March 19, 2015 at 4:41PM

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In fact I just updated and even though I have the frame guides etc, the raw clip I just recorded is still a DNG sequence (a series of stills) rather than a contained video. How strange.

March 19, 2015 at 4:44PM

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Fully realise I'm having a conversation with myself now but I at least wanted to share that it seems to work just as before. I guess unlike the URSA it still remains as a DNG workflow (probably should have realised that with it being called "Lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW). Awesome :)

March 19, 2015 at 4:51PM

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Totally killing it - looks like URSA is an image sequence too, don't ask why I thought it was a contained video - must be all the hookers and crack... No idea why the URSA footage is unsupported and not the BMCC though. Anyway - ignore the shit out of me - taking it to the BM forums.

March 19, 2015 at 6:31PM, Edited March 19, 6:31PM

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Hi Kraig, the compressed RAW in BMCC, BMPCC, BMPC, and URSA are supported by the latest versions of Adobe. URSA has an additional 3:1 Compression option, which is currently only supported by Resolve. Hope that clears it up.

March 20, 2015 at 12:41AM

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CaptainHook
Frequency Wrangler
147

Hey Captain! Cheers for that - that makes a lot of sense.

March 21, 2015 at 5:19PM

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Your thread genuinely made me laugh. Thanks for the conversations, even if only with yourself. :)

March 20, 2015 at 5:54AM

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Matthew Swanson
Actor/Writer/Director
167

Ha! Anytime Matthew - at least my rambling personal commentary was good for something :D

March 21, 2015 at 5:19PM

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If only they would update the color science in raw to not be so yellow, green and blue. I would love for it to be as neutral as prores. When dropping a lut on top of raw/bmd film (I'm using visioncolors bmdfilm in ACR) it creates some really dingy funky results.

March 19, 2015 at 6:26PM

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Vincent Gortho
none
656

maybe check your tint setting in the raw tab in resolve, sounds like that could fix it

March 21, 2015 at 8:31AM

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Ben Saffer
Maker
22

If they would just bring 48 FPS to the BMPC 4K, we could call it a day.

The 3:1 compressed raw would be nice too, but 48 FPS would be a huge win for the customers.

March 19, 2015 at 7:55PM

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David Gurney
DP
1528

My thought's exactly!

March 20, 2015 at 3:48AM

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Rayhanur kabir
Director, DP
74