A new BMD camera is here. What is it, why does it have an "iPad" on the back, and why do you need it?
When we think of broadcast, I think a majority of folks still imagine a news studio or someone standing on a street corner with a mic reporting on current events.
But this is 2023. Broadcast isn’t what it used to be. Between streamers doing live shows, indie news channels finding a home on YouTube, or traditional news stations searching for more budget-friendly solutions, it’s a whole new world out there.
And there’s no one better at tackling broadcast than Blackmagic Design.
Today, BMD announced the Blackmagic Studio Camera 6K Pro. It looks weird and won’t be a perfect camera for everyone, but has a unique set of features that make it a standout for both digital content creators and new stations.
Broadcast in 6K
The new addition to the Studio Camera lineup packs a punch as it jumps off the heels of the BMPCC 6K Pro release only two years ago. No longer are you bound to a Four Thirds sensor.
The Blackmagic Studio Camera 6K Pro packs a Super 35 sensor at 23.10mm x 12.99mm with an active EF mount to use Canon's massive lens line. Iris, focus, and zoom is supported on compatible lenses, and internal IR ND filters have you covered in 2‑stop, 4‑stop, and 6‑stop. Another unique feature is how the Studio Camera handles ISO, as it uses gain ranges instead of the traditional ISO/ASA found in cinema cameras.
On the rear, creatives will find a 7-inch LCD touchscreen at 2000 nits and a resolution of 1920 x 1200. There are also three rotary dials to control peaking, contrast, and brightness. On the opposite side of the screen, you get a program button and three assignable function buttons.
There are also USB-C expansion ports, XLR Audio inputs with Phantom Power, a Talkback Headset connector, and Mic In and a headphone output of 3.5mm. For video, creatives get SDI and HMDI out, SDI in, Ethernet, and two types of 12V DC power inputs. There's also a customizable tally light if you're working with multiple cameras.
Creatives can utilize direct streaming using the Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) over ethernet or a shared mobile internet connection over USB‑C. There’s also an option to record BRAW via USB-C for backup or for that extra oomph in post. Or you can color grade in-camera with the built-in color grading tools. Yes, it seems DaVinci Resolve comes right in the camera.
Barring the bananas form factor, this is a robust broadcast tool that relies on affordable third-party lenses to give everyone a chance a creating a live production studio environment.
Not Just for News Studios
So, is this release a big deal?
Yeah, it kind of is. Especially if you’re a digital content creator. YouTubers, streamers, and other content creators may already live in the Canon ecosystem, so having a pair of these in your toolkit when tackling live production can really save your bacon. While you may not need 6K for your needs, having that extra headroom (along with BRAW) for post can really open a lot of new opportunities.
Heck, you could even shoot a multi-cam sitcom with this setup for a fraction of the cost. Even schools and churches can expand their live production needs with this new camera, giving them a better outlet for connecting with their communities or student bodies.
Affordability is Accessibility
The one thing Blackmagic Design has done more than any other manufacturer provides access to affordability. Even though some sacrifices are made to keep costs down, BMD tools produce excellent images and are hearty enough to withstand a nice dose of abuse from stressful production environments. Just ask David Harp.
If you’re heading into live production at any budget level, having the Blackmagic Studio Camera 6K Pro on your shortlist is a must. Not only can it save you money, but also offer up image quality that rivals cameras 10x its cost. But if you already have a studio set up, transitioning may require a bit of restructuring, and if that's not in the cards, maybe skip this release.
But what do you think? Do you see these cameras in your live-production workflow? Let us know in the comments!
Crappy EF mount.
Crappy form factor.
Was really hoping for updated cinema cameras geared towards narrative indie film makers.
Clearly not a priority anymore for Blackmagic.
Hopefully the RAW patent issue will get sorted out and other manufacturers will be able to shoot raw internally
February 23, 2023 at 6:54PM
This article states, referring to the BMP6K Pro, "No longer are you bound to a Four Thirds sensor."
But, correct me if I'm wrong, The BM 6K cameras do NOT have micro 4/3 sensors. They too are Super 35. If this is a mistake it's pretty big one to have in a camera review.
February 23, 2023 at 7:42PM
I read it as them referring to the studio cameras, specifically.
February 27, 2023 at 7:49AM
waste of resources. BM is obviously not caring what their customers want. Hope no one purchases their inventory on this thing.
February 24, 2023 at 9:09AM