No Film School was thinking a new camera could have been introduced or a firmware update to its existing line that included ProRes RAW, but that wasn't the case. Instead, the event focused on the new ATEM Mini Pro and an update to BMPCC to allow the 4K and 6K models to be used as studio cameras.
Blackmagic kicked things off with ATEM Mini. Live production products have always been part of the Blackmagic lineup. The ATEM Mini is a solid interface that can accept up to 4 HMDI inputs, multiple mic inputs, and has both a HDMI program output and an USB output for webcams. It has picture-to-picture, can be controlled via software, and a ton of other great features.
It also has a program preview mode when using its software utility that allows you to see the program feed before cutting to the live program. A firmware update to the ATEM Mini adds tally lights the Pocket Cinema Cameras for the presenters to know which camera is on air or in preview. On the display, the camera operator will now see a "preview" and "on air" display.
So if you wanted to connect and switch 4 different cameras for a YouTube or Zoom stream, you can. Need it to record, too? The ATEM Mini HDMI output can connect to a Video Assist 12G monitor. An alternative is the Atomos Shogun 7, which can record and live switch on the same device. Review here.
ATEM Mini Pro
ATEM Mini Pro keeps everything good about the ATEM Mini, but adds new recording, streaming, and monitoring features. The biggest update is that the live streaming hardware is built directly into the device allowing it to directly stream via ethernet to YouTube Live, Facebook, and Twitch. This way the ATEM Mini Pro is doing all the streaming compression instead of your computer.
It also has a new multiview that shows the program, preview, and all the connected cameras via the ATEM software control. Recording status, audio levels, and more are now all displayed on a single monitor. Blackmagic added support to stream directly to USB flash disks in H.264 as well as support to record multiple disks for continuous recording.
ARTEM Mini Pro Features
- Supports connecting up to 4 cameras or computers
- Multiview allows monitoring of all cameras or computers
- USB output operates as a webcam and supports all video software
- Live streaming via Ethernet
- Recording to USB flash disks in H.264
- Two stereo audio inputs for connecting desktop or lapel microphones
- Automatically standards converts and re-syncs all HDMI inputs
- Internal media for 20 RGBA graphics for titles, opening plates and logos
- Includes ATEM Advanced Chroma Key for green/blue screen work
- Supports remote HDMI control with Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras
With the product release, all ATEM switchers received a firmware update to 8.2, which improves overall performance and stability issues and adds support to ATEM Mini Pro. The price of the ATEM Mini Pro is $595.
HyperDeck Studio Mini
Blackmagic updated the firmware to 7.1 on its HyperDeck Studio Mini. The device is a broadcast deck that records and plays back broadcast quality 10-bit video as ProRes files. It has 6G-SDI and supports UHD resolutions up to 30p. It also has a dual SD card slot for recording, and multiple decks can be synchronized together. It can also be combined with the ARTEM Mini Pro for added versatility.
- Longer file record times of 3 hours before starting a new clip
- Improved H.264 - higher quality at the same data rate
- Adds interlaced support to H.264
- Adds AAC codec to H.264
- FTP download/upload speeds bumped up to 110 Mb/s
- Supports QuickTime and MXF file wrappers
- Improves connectivity between HyperDeck Extreme Control and HyperDeck Studio Mini
The firmware update is free and available here.
Camera Update 6.9
With the introduction of the ATEM Mini Pro, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras received an update allowing them to be transformed into studio cameras via Camera Update 6.9. The BMPCC's can also be used as studio cameras with the original ATEM Mini, when the ATEM Mini is updated to software 8.2.
Video and control are managed through its HDMI connection. The record light becomes a tally light, so on-camera talent knows which camera is recording. The ATEM Software control can control the color tint to balance the camera as well as focus, gain, and shutter. The update also allows recording Blackmagic RAW to edit later.
- Adds studio camera features for Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and 6K
- Supports remote tally, lens and, color corrector with ATEM Mini
- Studio camera features include:
- Camera control via HDMI connection
- Remote lens control
- On air red tally indication
- Preview green tally indication
- DaVinci Resolve primary color corrector
- Remote camera settings
- Remote timecode sync
- Remote record trigger for Blackmagic RAW
- Preview and tally indicator on LCD
While Blackmagic Design didn't surprise us with a new camera, these updates are substantial and can add a lot of versatility to any production workflow. If you have been using Blackmagic for a or live production or streaming event, let us know in the comments below.