Blackmagic Cinema Camera – Let’s take it from the top

If you’re keen to look at the clips directly in vimeo, then click HERE

It’s a once in a lifetime chance to be involved with something as big as this.  I was approached in late 2011 to be a part of something that every cinematographer dreams of…building a new camera.

I’ve known the guys and owners of Blackmagic since they started the company (and also the company before that)

BMD Engineering Test Shoot. Camera has a Zacuto Rails setup, Arri FF and Mattebox.

BMD have always been a post company.  And they’ve been incredibly successful, literally revolutionising and enabling a whole new generation of filmmakers and producers of media.  Their model of really high quality and incredible low cost meant they quickly became leaders in the field.  They have alway gone for uncompressed and high end for ridiculously low cost.  I’d hate to be in competition with them !

I was actually at the service of my great mentor John Bowring when I bumped into them.  They’d recently acquired DaVinci and adapted their model to it.  As a cinematographer, it was great to see a tool I’m so familiar with, the awesome colour correction tool that DaVinci is, get a new life, thanks to BMD.

I joked with the guys that they should look at doing a camera, now that they had all the post pathways to do a RAW based camera.  Just before Xmas I was summoned to the BMD offices for a special presentation.  I’d have to sign the usual NDA’s.  At the time, I’d actually been pestering them to do an Arri RAW recorder for the Alexa.  I assumed that’s what they were going to show me.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.  What they showed me totally blew me away….

BMD aren’t just a company that does post production gear anymore.  They are very firmly in the business of doing production gear.

Starting with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, BMD are now a camera company.

I was handed a prototype of the camera and I saw a powerpoint presentation detailing it’s very impressive specs. The real jaw dropper was the price.  It was kind of ludicrous.  I didn’t know where to start.  The body shape of the camera took me a while to come at.  It was fairly unconventional and radical.

BMD Engineering Shoot

After a while, I started to think of it as being ultra cool, something between modernist and retro.  It felt pretty good in my hands.  It was certainly solid and hefty.  I wondered about it’s ergonomics, but in a way, it’s simple shape and elegance are it’s strength.  It could easily be pimped up if you want extra handles, mounting brackets shoulder rigs etc.

In fact, it really was a simple as a camera could be.  A box, with a screen, a sensor and a lens mount.  It doesn’t get more basic than that does it ?

Everything else can be added…if you want…or you can go simple and naked.

It’s worth mentioning who I think will love this camera.  In a way, this is not a camera for DOP’s and working cinematographers like me.  This is a camera for the masses.  This is a camera for everyone that’s bought a canon 5Dmk2 or a GH2 and wanted more than what a “consumer” camera can do.  This is a camera for those that can’t afford a scarlet or EPIC or a C300.

The main sticking point for these dSLR consumer cameras is their data-rate limiting bottleneck of compression.

Compression and bit depth is the natural enemy of awesomely grade-able pictures.  As anyone who’s tried to grade .264 originated material knows…it’s great if you’re happy with what comes out of the camera, but as soon as you want to “do” anything with it, then you’re really screwed.

“do” anything could mean, simple or complex grading.  Pulling a secondary, doing a key, or any kind of layered VFX work.  It’s a compromise….big time.

So now there’s even a big market for data based external recorders that can record either the HDMI or SDI if it has it out of the camera and to try and have less compression.  In fact, even BMD do one of these recorders, the Hyperdeck Shuttle.

BMD Engineering Test Shoot.

The camera itself has a 2.5K sensor.  Now I can feel a bunch of you rolling your eyes at the camera being a “mere” 2.5K.    The truth is, and this has been borne out by some recent tests I did in preproduction for a film I just shot, resolution counts, but dynamic range and compression count more.

I’d done a shootout between an EPIC @ 5K and an Arri Alexa, in both RAW@2.6K and ProRes (1.9K), and none in the cinema could pick the graded ProRes from the EPIC on the first viewing.  After multiple viewings, you could start to see very small differences in resolution.

Let’s not forget that the benchmark drama camera right now is the Arri Alexa.  A camera which has a sensor resolution that’s about the same as this camera.

And most of the work it’s doing in my part of the work is lowly HD 1920×1080.  The truth is, Alexa is a camera with a slightly oversized sensor size gives you a really nice downscale to 1920.  And that’s just what this the Blackmagic camera does.  It’s an oversampled 1920 and this gives still puts a lot of resolution in your hands.  Just take a look at the “Bondi” clip below.  Notice, even when replaying from vimeo, there’s a lot of fine detail in the sand and in the buildings in the background.

Having shot extensively with the EPIC and RED in drama and episodic TV, the 4K files are nice if you want to blow or crop a frame, but usually they don’t really make very much difference to the end result.  Dynamic range counts for more than pixels for most of the work I do.

BMD Engineering Shoot.

The same thing happened with the megapixel race in photographic cameras. Marketers chase numbers because consumers think it’s an easy way to compare.  Just let your eyes be the judge.  Yes 4K and beyond will sometimes make a difference, but rarely for a TV, broadcast or computer screen.  The only time it makes a difference is on the really big screen, and even then, it’s only a slight improvement.

WORKFLOW – What is RAW ?

OK, so there are two ways to shoot with this camera.  RAW, or ProRes.

Now before we go on, I want you to realise how significant this is.  We’re talking about a camera that does RAW and uncompressed.  For just $3000 bucks.  Insane.

Having an uncompressed and RAW workflow is really amazing because it gives you back the power to finesse your images with a lot more control.  You have so much more working range because a RAW workflow basically captures the images from the sensor and doesn’t really “do” anything to them.  You can choose how they look.  You as the user get to decide how far to push the look along.

Cameras like the 5Dmk2 or the C300 can be loaded with “logish” picture profiles, but you’re still limited by how much data there is for each frame. This camera doesn’t throw any of that information away to try and compress it into a smaller file size.  It’s all there for you to use if you want it.

DaVinci Frame Grab

If you don’t want that extra step of grading and transcoding your RAW images, that’s fine too.  You can “shoot to edit” by simply shooting ProRes.  You can even choose a LOG or 709 version of prores.  If you really want to be able to take the files straight from the camera and use them straight away, you can !

The camera produces really nice ProRes files that look pretty damn good straight out of the camera (and I promise I’ll show some soon!), without grading.  In this way, the camera is definitely faster to use than a h.264 style camera, because you’re shooting native ProRes and the files can be used right away without the messy transcoding steps.

Not only that, but you can enter metadata right from the camera interface that flows though to FCPX.  You can basically log in the field, and they are embedded in the camera’s files and available to FCP.

If you want really fast to work with ProRes files that retain the extra dynamic range of the camera, then you can choose to shoot LOG ProRes.  You’ll get mild compression and a lot more files saved on your SSD’s.  You get to still “shoot to grade” with the ProRes advantage of smaller files.

Then of course, you can choose RAW.  RAW simply means you get everything the camera produces.  The only thing that’s baked into this file is the white balance point.  Everything else is up for grabs.  There is no reducing image resolution or colour compression.  You get all that information and you can choose how you want it to look with the greatest range and flexibility.

It’s a wonderful new workflow that’s actually been around for a while…it’s just few used it !

DNG.  A standard developed by ADOBE for stills, and then broadened to encompass moving images as well, DNG, or CinemaDNG for the cinema version of this, is an open standard for using, storing and accessing images. Initially owned by Adobe, it’s now a freely available image standard.

When you’re shooting RAW, every frame is a DNG image file.  That means you can open them in Photoshop, and presumably everything else ADOBE like After Effects.

Graded DaVinci Resolve Frame Grab

Ungraded RAW

Resolve also supports the CinemaDNG standard as well, and can easily play the DNG files from the camera. Not only that but you get the awesome power of Resolve tightly integrated with the camera.  Resolve has been totally reworked to make it much simpler to use, in anticipation of less experienced users (like me !) wanting to use it to grade their new Blackmagic pictures.

So to recap, you can shoot RAW and get everything, or you can shoot Pro Res and get either a LOG image that gets you almost everything, or a REC709 that gets you pretty great looking pictures that can be used right out of the camera.

DaVinci Resolve Frame

Ungraded RAW


First thing you’ll notice is that it’s quite heavy for it’s size.  I think that’s a good thing.  More mass means it easier to hand hold as it won’t jiggle around so much.  Yes more weight means it’s more tiring to hold, but it certainly feels solid in the hand.

There’s no viewfinder, and instead you have a touchscreen on the back and a few buttons for accessing menus and the import functions like record.

I guess there are pro’s and cons for the touchscreen.  Having used another heavily reliant touchscreen camera, the RED EPIC, it can sometimes be annoying to have to dive down through menu after menu to change a setting that you wished there was a button for.  The counter of this of course is that you get a camera like the Sony FS700 that has a bazillion little buttons all over it.

I’m hoping that BMD have got the mix just right.  I’ve put in my wish list to make the buttons customisable so that the user can then assign the buttons to functions they like.  At the moment the “focus” button operates a peaking function on the screen, but in the future, that will probably activate auto focus.  I’d like to be able to assign that button to do other things and I’m hoping the BMD guys will allow for that.

Initially it wasn’t going to have HDSDI output but thankfully that was added pretty quickly. BMD were I think, one of the first companies to release a Thunderbolt based product and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera sports one as well.  Down the track you’ll be able to use the Thunderbolt connection to allow for external recording or to connect other devices like the Ultrascope.

BMD Internal Shoot

I personally prefer a viewfinder to the LCD screen style of operating (like on the C300 where you get both) but I’m hoping it won’t be difficult to simply add a viewfinder to the camera., something that takes the SDI output or maybe even the thunderbolt connection ?  Zacuto ! Hello ?  Are you listening ?

Yes, I bet you can record the HD SDI output, but I can’t see why you would want to as the cameras internal RAW recording will be better than anything that the HDSDI output would have.  I guess if you wanted dual recording functionality ?  I’ve discussed with the BMD engineers making the colourspace of the SDI output user selectable, so you could choose a LOG or 709 image.  That seems to make the most sense to me.  The quick debayer that the camera does is pretty impressive, but I’m not so sure it would be worthy of recording when you look at the still frames themselves.

DaVinci Frame Grab

The camera uses bog standard SSD drives as media.  The kinds of drive that are powering the latest notebook and ultra book computers.   SSD’s are reliable, relatively cheap for the performance they offer and they are very readily available.  As a consumer item, their costs are on a constant downward trajectory too.

All you have to do is format them using a desktop computer and you’re good to go.  SSD’s might seem like expensive media, but you only have to look at the performance spec required by uncompressed RAW and you’ll realise that even the most ultrafast CF card is never going to cut it. Even the mighty Arri Alexa’s choice of Sony’s SxS cards start to offer similar specs, but they are a more proprietary format and insanely expensive per gig.

A 64GB SXS card is about US $680, and records about 27 mins in 4:4:4 pro res.  A 240GB SSD drive gets you about the same recording time when recording RAW and is about half the price.  Of course the record times are far greater if you’re recording to pro res as well.

Once you pop a formatted SSD drive into the camera, it reads it and you’re ready to go within 3 seconds of inserting it.  In fact powering the camera up from off and being able to record, seems to be about 10 seconds.  Pretty fast !

There are two ways to make the camera start recording.  There’s the giant record button on the front and another second record button on the deck controls on the back below the screen.  There’s a menu button for accessing all the most important camera setup info, and here you can also change camera functions like ISO, white balance and shutter angle.

You can also turn on and set functions like Zebra and the recording formats.  I’m really hoping they will add timecode input and I’ve suggested that they could detect timecode on the audio input as a way of jamming the camera.  Let’s hope they do that, but at the moment you can approximately set the timecode to TOD code by setting the date and time clock.

So I can talk about the camera for a long time…but how are the pictures ???


Now all of these clips are my own little tests.  I have been shooting other internal engineering tests for BMD but I’m not allowed to show these yet.  What I can show you are my home movies.

So while they aren’t exactly drama, they do give you a sense of what the camera can do.  As soon as I’m allowed to show some more drama based scenes I will !


I was pretty keen to see how she would go in low light.  I wondered out onto the main street near where I live at dusk and started shooting.   I did some iris pulls as I rolled, as I was still trying to work out how to exposure the camera.  Most of these clips are 320 and they look pretty nice.  Again I was shooting with the Leica “R” 35 prime, mostly at F2 when it gets dark towards the end.

The camera performs really nicely in low light as you can see, even at my conservative low ISO choice.  There’s plenty of dynamic range, you can see the highlights still in the sky.  It also handles the mix of colour temperatures very nicely and also, some very promising lower light scenarios towards the end.

It’s not A C300 or even a 5Dmk2 in terms of low light, but I’d argue that mostly iso1600 is enough with fast lenses.  In production, I’ve only gone to 3200 a couple of times that I can think of.  All of this was shot using the 35mm “R”


This was another little test shoot I took the camera on.  I was actually shooting some material and scouting locations for another shoot and we also had the C300 with us. I was with Director Glendyn Ivin as we tested the new canon for a series were shooting. (check out his awesome blog) We had a beautiful sunset and the waves were looking great.  This was pretty high contrast material.  I was loving the sun kicking off the water.  Quite a few shots were done with a 45 deg shutter to get the exposure level down enough.  I still didn’t have any exposure tools in the camera so I was still kind of guessing. The colours were changing pretty quickly as the sun went down.  Lovely orange, then pinks and blues.  The night stuff is pretty amazing.  The only illumination on the subject is the glow of the C300 screen and the tally light !  There was no street lighting around.


Using the nifty and very cheap Canon 15-85 (not even L series) I got some stunning images overlooking Bondi.  What amazes me about this clip is the amount of fine detail, even playing as a 264 on Vimeo.  The RAW files are simply fantastic to look at, even from a very cheap consumer grade Canon lens.

So that’s all I’m allowed to show for now.  There will be some more polished material soon I promise.

I think these are astounding pictures to have from a camera that’s only going to cost 3k.  Not only that, but the guys at BMD are only just getting started.  Already I’ve seen the camera come a very long way in a matter of months.  They also have some very cool extra features in the works which basically put the fun back into filmmaking.  I’m really excited by having a peak at what’s to come.

Sure it’s not an Alexa, but they are really trying to make something that’s complimentary to those larger cinema camera systems.  They aren’t saying you should not be using those cameras where appropriate, but they really wanted to try and offer something that was better than the consumer level dSLR cameras that are currently out there.

I think they’ve easily given us a better alternative to the dSLR cameras out there for most shooting situations.  The RAW workflow and the uncompressed recording means you’re not loosing anything.

Really, what Blackmagic have done is amazing.  They’ve given us an ultra compact sexy-as-hell 2.5K RAW uncompressed camera, with world leading colour correction software for three thousand bucks.

About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
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377 Responses to Blackmagic Cinema Camera – Let’s take it from the top

  1. Pingback: NAB 2: Another day, another camera! Blackmagic Cinema camera announced | Philip Bloom

  2. Hi, extremely interesting development, but what’s the sensor size in area and not pixels?

  3. chris says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I’ll buy it right now!

  4. This new camera is exactly what I have been waiting for! Do you know what the sensor size is?

  5. Pingback: Blackmagic Design Announces Impressive Cinema Camera |

  6. Lliam Worthington says:

    WOW. That has absolutely blown my mind. Thanks for your excellent blog John and huge kudos to BMD for this amazing release – this should set the Indie world on fire!

  7. fantastic review, thanks… do you know the real dimentions of the sensor? is a Super 35mm or 2/3 or 1/2 size??? thanks again

  8. Adam Rainer says:

    How does the image compare to other 2k cameras such as the si-2k mini?

  9. Ade says:

    Thanks for a really interesting rundown. It almost seems too good to be true, as in the camera that keeps being asked for, but never appears.
    I like the design. The casing reminds me of a Nizo S8 in style. I’m sure this is going to be a major talking point! All the best

  10. Pingback: BlackMagic Teases Cinema Camera: Whopping 2.5K Resolution for Under $3000 [Cameras] ← ← TechsyndTechsynd

  11. Russ Johnson says:

    Gods be praised. Thanks for sharing this and the great sample footage. It’s just amazing that BMD has given us a tool so simple that finally fulfills a cinematographer’s basic needs with none of the regular nonsense. Neither Canon, nor Nikon, could figure this out. I just hope this has some provision for a balanced audio input, something more than an unblanced consummer grade 1/8″ jack.

    • Emille says:

      I have a Nikon (800E) and I collect the clean feed from the HDMI, so Nikon have thought of this, but I also have the BMCC and it is a different product with a significantly better quality of image as well as even more latitude.

    • johnbrawley says:

      EF mount with hopefully PL and m4/3 to come

      • what would I need to be able to use my Nikon Lenses?
        I preordered the camera already and will leave on september for
        a production. Just wondering if i could be up and running soon
        or I will have to wait for later-released adaptors.
        Thank you

      • shashibhushan says:

        plese veryfy that lot of stuck pixels are their when in lowlight tel me about that.

      • johnbrawley says:

        If you read the other comments and my notes, I’ve mentioned before, that this is a PROTOTYPE camera. it has uncorrected DEAD pixels, and they haven’t done the sensor calibration for it yet. Don’t judge these clips for noise int he blacks of dead pixels.

  12. Filmrage says:

    Hi John,
    this looks incredible! What I’m dying to know is, what’s the sensory size? (I’m guessing around 2/3″?)

  13. I couldn’t believe it when I heard the crucial spec/price on twitter. I went through disbelief, then elation, but when I saw the cam itself my heart sank.

    It’s a motion camera, so why is it boxed like a toy stills cam? As you say, a sensor in a box is all we need, but this isn’t a box. The I/O is on the side that’ll tangle in your ear, the thing has round edges – there’s no potential for modularity here. Touch screen fixed to the back means we’ll have the handheld rig ergonomic pains of DSLR all over again, only more so because, even with a monitor/EVF, no top/side hardware buttons, let alone configurable, there isn’t a hope of confidently reaching controls while the rig’s on your shoulder.

    Casual users of DSLR for video don’t understand latitude, care about RAW workflow or pine for a C300 or a Scarlet. People who do? They know the limits of DSLR. The news of this combination of spec/price point is what these indies have been looking for since the 5D 24p firmware, so it’s tragic that the BM machine doesn’t seem to address any of the physical design flaws from the hybrid world, only add some.

    Are we in for more years of awkward limited run, expensive accessory work-arounds, fighting the design to make it work as any practising operator needs it to?

    I really, really hope I’m missing something here…

    • johnbrawley says:

      The good thing is that there’s plenty of camera options in this price point. I think they’re going to struggle to keep up with demand.

      • adrianssen says:

        john, was that all you could say???!

      • johnbrawley says:

        What would you like me to say. You either like the features and form or you don’t. I’m not the designer of this camera. I was asked for feedback and I gave it, but ti war already largely designed and built by that stage. If you don’t like it or it doesn’t do what you need, then you don’t have to buy it. There are so many camera choices out there.

    • Walter Lewis says:

      Shut your negative mouth if you don’t like the cam go spend $16gs for the canon it have all you need

  14. Russ Johnson says:

    Well, my earlier elation is now tempered. I just noticed the sensor size: 15.6 mm x 8.8 mm. I was expecting S-35 size, so a bit of a let down. Still an interesting camera.

    What do they have in mind for optics by giving it an EF or ZF mount? No one cares about wide angle field of view any more?

    • johnbrawley says:

      I don’t see the sensor size as a letdown. EF mount gives a low cost lens option choice. They plan to do PL mount and possible m4/3 down the road. There are some lovely wide m4/3 lenses.

      • Marien Brethouwer says:

        Hi John, thanks a lot for this blogpost and your awesome videos. This looks like the cam I always hoped the RED Scarlet would be.

        Do you know if the mount is interchangable? Or will they release different versions of the entire cam. A 4/3 mount would be great for wide angle shots.

        I am right that your the 15mm on your 15-85mm will have the field of view of a little more then 30mm on the BMD cam? So there is really now way of recording below 30mm right now?

      • johnbrawley says:

        The mount is not and won’t be interchangeable. They are looking at PL and m4/3 in the future….

    • Andy says:

      I’m interested in wide angle coverage. From what I’ve read I estimate that the sigma 8-16mm ef-s mount rectilinear lens will give you about 18-37mm (35mm equivalent coverage) This is based on a 2.3x crop factor I’ve read elsewhere. Not sure if that’s accurate.

      You’ll also be using the center of any ef or ef-s lens which is almost always the sweetest point.

      Does anyone know of a wider rectilinear lens that will cover the sensor? 20mm-ish wide is great for many situations, but ultra-wide is usually my preference for my style of shooting.

      • randywalters says:

        Andy, I’m not sure about rectilinear, but the Canon 10-22 EF-S zoom translates to 15mm-33mm on the BMD. It’s a nice lens, and as you said, you’re going through the sweet spot.

  15. neokeitaro says:

    Seems like a really cool camera! However, one question still haunts me: is it CMOS or CCD? Dynamic range is great, but if the picture is still plagued with rolling shutter, it will heavily reduce the appeal of the camera…

  16. The imagery looks very nice and filmic with nice shoulders. Very curious, what are the lensing options for this camera?

    • johnbrawley says:

      It’s EF mount for now. The BMD guys have talked about looking at PL mount and m4/3 down the track.

      • Jussi says:

        Really hoping for the m4/3 option!
        It would open up a world of lenses… practically almost any lens ever made could be adapted to m4/3 with already existing cheap adapters.

      • powerglovevr says:

        Do you know when? because I just preorder the camera, and i’m not shure about the mount. I have a 24-70 canon lens, and nikon primes, but I’m not shure if its not a good idea to wait for the micro4/3 version, who match all lens type… Shame you can’t change lens mount….
        Do you if they plan to release an other camera with S35 sensor soon?

  17. Sam says:

    VERY EXCITED.. Now I can afford to show you guys how much better I am than you!!

  18. Pingback: Blackmagic Design anuncia su nueva cámara Full HD RAW

  19. Pingback: BlackMagic Cinema Camera: Whopping 2.5K Resolution for Under $3000

  20. Diana G. Pop says:

    I read specs for this on a different website, and it says nothing about shooting 60 fps. Can you please confirm what frame rates this camera is capable of? So far, DSLR’s have disappointed in that department – even with the new releases (Mark 3, and Nikon D800)

  21. lukeneumann says:

    Can you tell us what sort of frame rates we are looking at?

  22. lukeneumann says:

    Looks awesome man. Great work. What are the frame rate options?

  23. amosrafaeli says:

    Ask them to Add a version with Micro 4/3 mount.

  24. Geoff says:

    Thanks for the info – how is it with judder and panning? Following the bird across the ocean looks a bit jerky but can’t tell if that’s playback…? Any other moving frame tests?

  25. Andy says:

    Hi, Great article for a very promising camera! Thank you. I have a question about something you mentioned.

    “The only thing that’s baked into this file is the white balance point”

    With raw workflows that I’m familiar with the white balance is not baked into the image. It can be changed in post as if you shot at that white balance. Is the white balance really baked into the raw image?

    This camera looks awesome, and I’m sure will sell very well at it’s position in the market. If the white balance is really baked into the raw though, then I will be more hesitant. Otherwise, its likely I’ll purchase as soon as it’s available.


    • johnbrawley says:

      I don’t think you should be worried. There is so much room to move in the DNG files, I think even if you made an error with the white point, it’s pretty easy to change in the grade.

      • Andy says:

        Thanks for your reply and I agree that shifting white balance in post with this camera over one shooting h.264 should be much much better. I’m still just surprised that the white balance is baked into the raw. I can’t think of another camera, still or motion, that shoots raw with baked white balance.

        What about iso? Shooting raw photos with DSLRs the iso is baked, but with RED’s raw the iso is just metadata. I think I prefer choosing iso when shooting and sticking with it, but I’m curious how this camera handles it.

  26. Ralph says:

    With no viewfinder, how does one shoot with a bright sun shining on the LCD from behind the camera user? I have yet to see a camera LCD that did not look like a mirror under those conditions.

    • johnbrawley says:

      It’a works OK in the sun, and the BMD shade helps. I found it no less annoying to use than a 5D’s screen, which is also problematic. The great thing is that it has a HD-SDI output. I’ll be looking to put a EVF on it for just these reasons.

  27. Amin Oussar says:

    thx for testing;
    can`t wait for testing it myself 😀

    you find magnificently words:

    “A lot of people think you need super high ISO for low light, and to some degree that’s true, but you still also want high dynamic Rrange. At night time, you still want things to actually feel like it’s dark, and you also often have lights on in shot. This means you have very high contrast.”

    i will print your words and hang it over my screen 😀

  28. This is a great camera, but I won’t be selling my 5dm2 anytime soon. The lens crop factor on this camera is just unacceptable to me. my 28mm ze will have a crop factor of what, a 65mm lens?

  29. Great piece thanks. I hope the BMD boys have that factory on standby. They are going to sell a container load of these. In fact where do I go to pre-order one? Great to see with this and Atomos the great tech heritage of Australia coming back to life. (And I’m not Australian).

  30. John,

    Thanks for the very well articulated description of the New Camera
    I look forward to seeing more of your work. If you get a chance I would love to see a shot of the Bottom to see where the Mounting hole is centered and if it is 1/4-20 or 3/8-16.
    The other question is that of Live HDSDI Out for Monitoring is it on the Left or right Side. Can you Shoot a Pic of what is behind the door as well.
    No Mention of the shutter Global or Rolling and if you have any footage of it panning and tilting quickly how it performes. As for Adding features that make it very useful A Genlock is also very nice and a 1/4 20 mounting hole on Top is great to have as well.

    Keep up the Good work I really look forward to seeing more from this Camera.

    B. Sean Fairburn
    3D DP/Stereographer
    818 621 3912

    • johnbrawley says:

      Hi Sean.

      Nice to hear from you. The bottom screw is 1/4″ with a locating pin. There are three 1/4 holes on the top. The HDSDI monitor output is on the left hand side when looking from the rear. Behind the door is only a slot for the SSD and a USB port for updating firmware.

      It does have a rolling shutter, and it’s there if you look for it, but I’d say that it’s no worse than on any other camera at this print.

      • Honestly the smaller sensor is preferred when Shooting 3D so I get more DOF without more light. Also what frame rates can it shoot?
        I really appreciate the time you are taking in answering questions.
        Lets Talk when you have a moment.

  31. Andrew Banks says:

    Who made the sensor? Is it a CCD or CMOS? Any tests of skew and other rolling-shutter effects?

  32. Brad Clark says:

    Wow John, this looks truly incredible for the price! Where does the line start for one!


  33. So are you saying that if your image is overexposed, if you shoot in RAW, your exposure issues can be corrected?

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  36. ldtowers says:

    This is what the Red Scarlet should have been. I had been constantly posting on the RedUser forums that a simple 4/3s camera would be a great problem solver. The only thing that would make this better is alternative storage options for shooting prores/ DNX hd. Also it is always a good idea to offload media and not shoot for a whole day without doing so. It would be nice to pop in 16, 32 or 64 gb cards for compressed format shooting.

  37. brainburst says:

    There seems to be some fixed pattern noise evident. Is that just a compression artifact?

  38. Nicholas says:

    How will you be able to transfer footage if your computer doesnt have thunderbolt? is there a another way of doing it?

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  40. aagius says:

    I’m throwing money at the screen, but nothing is happening!
    Look forward to hearing more about this camera soon 🙂

  41. Nigel Thompson says:

    Hey John:

    Seems the sensor is quite small, how did your wide lenses perform ? but it seems to get a proper wide angle will be difficult. even an 8mm lens on a sensor this small will end up being approx 20mm. taking into consideration the active area. Correct me if im wrong…..
    the sensor size in my ONLY peeve this far but it seems im getting one of these as it ships.

    No moire etc etc from what ive seen thus far is quite a feat…..

  42. Gerald says:

    This is awesome! Too good to be true even. This isnt a late April Fools right? I love every aspect of thedescription so far but I have two question. Whats the mount? And what are the available framerates at full reso?

  43. Spenser Gabin says:

    So there’s a 2.3x crop on every EF lens? i.e. 14mm would be approximately 32mm for 35mm equivalent?

  44. I vote for 4/3rds mount as well. And a removable battery! 90 minutes is tooooo short.

  45. MK says:

    Do they have any plans for Full-frame camera S35mm down the road?

  46. Travis Jones says:

    What is the data rate looking like? MB/s… GB/h

  47. Craig says:

    Hi John

    Very much appreciate your accessibility with this release. Three questions I have for which answers I suspect may be helpful to others . . .
    First, it has already been asked what frame rates are available. Is there any information on what rates higher than 30 may be available and at what resolution. Is it possible given the 2.5K sensor, that up to 60 may be available at 1080? (Now/Later?)
    Second, with the above question in mind, and given the number of discussed future enhancements, is it likely that the hardware design will accommodate all/most if these changes through firmware upgrades OR will the ‘early birds’ on purchase be forced to upgrade the whole camera to benefit?
    Third it does seem really strange there is no removable battery. A day of location shooting instantly becomes problematic? I did read that a ‘hack’ was likely available. . . What information can you share on this.

    Again very much appreciate your time.

    • johnbrawley says:

      I’ve already spoken about frame rates above. I believe they are intending for 30FPS (same resolution) on release and faster speeds will come with upgrades in software builds from there. You should look at other BMD products though. They tend to work on shooter product cycles. They are more likely to release a new (and cheaper) version of a product in 12 months rather than keep trying to improve the *old* ones. At this prove point, it kind of make sense as well.

      The non removable bnattery is a pain, and maybe my number one beef, but in reality, it’s not as bad you think. I have an external battery plugged into it a lot of the time. It’s not that difficult to accommodate in your production methodology


      • Greg says:

        The internal battery presumably also allows for continuous shooting – your external goes flat, swap it out and the camera could keep rolling (though rolling might not be the correct term these days). Atomos are doing a similar thing with HDMI/SDI converters, which we’ll need with this anyway if anyone has the Zacuto EVF.

  48. Eric says:

    John can you talk about how bad the rolling shutter is on BMD, 2.5k/raw are awesome but world wobble is not regardless of price, it could cost a hundred bucks but if I have to hold it like its a sleeping baby to avoid my image looking like a bowl of jelly then what is the point. If a sensor can not handle a moving object or someone actually touching the camera during operation then how does it pass development?, It looked like you were shooting with no rig so I was seeing a fair amount of shake so its hard to judge but thats what we do in internet land, as someone who shoots as a hobby I cringe when I see that ghastly effect in any of my work, having to edit around it or use plugins to fix it are not the answer, I went to a info night of the F65 last year and they said they were going to release two versions of the camera, one with the wobbly issue corrected for an additional charge and one with a lifetime supply of all you can eat aeroplane jelly, I suggested to the Sony crew that maybe not releasing a camera with that issue was the way to go, his response was “yes all orders thus far have been for the model with the rotary shutter” , well of course they are. How does the rolling shutter issue on BMD compare to what we see on Red as a point of reference, and is a mechanical shutter the only way around this?, and if so why is there such a difference between the issue on a red and the issue on a dslr, is it just the speed of the scan? I know 3k is very cheap and you get what you pay for and even with the issue its still an amazing concept, I just believe that the gear should not get in the way of the work, if it heavily restricts what you can do then its a problem, for all the great images I have been able to achieve on my dslr and being able to shoot 35mm depth of field I kind of wish they never existed, or the problem was fixed. Oh and thanks for the great blog its great to have a place to hear about new stuff and get a operators view on things in world full of tech heads its nice to know how the stuff works in the wild. And congrats on the ever expanding career and I do not mean to sound like a hater, I was incredible excited this morning when I saw this news, 2.5k, raw, ef mount for 3k in July by a great company, hoping you can bring that smile back to my face by giving me your feedback on the the shutter and the problem overall with digital cameras, am I just being a snob and need to accept the world know moves a little? That is possible.

    • johnbrawley says:

      Well you have to be realistic. Do you know how much an F65 costs ? You can’t seriously compare on things like rolling shutter. The F65 solves this with a mechanical shutter.

      The camera has a rolling shutter. it’s there when you look for it. Show me another camera that doesn’t have it for this price point. There’s no magic bullet here. You can’t just magic up a solution here because it’s a fundamental sensor issue at this price point.

      Learn to live with it !

      • Matt says:

        Well, rolling shutter is fundamental to CMOS BUT companies are increasing scan line readouts all the time. Canon has done this, RED has done this even more. I’m all for BMD, but let’s be real: they have a significantly smaller sensor, so asking them to have a slightly faster readout from Canon’s FF behemoth should be a “no problem sir!” response. It should not be the same, it should be slightly faster. But from what I see, it is indeed slower!

        The company expecting us to buy their product should learn to live with our gentle demand for a decent scan line readout from a very small sensor. I have faith BMD will do so.

      • johnbrawley says:

        Maybe you know more about sensor technology than the BMD engineers. When I talk to them, my eyes glaze over very quickly. If it really was so simple, I’m sure they’ll do it. Of course they will optimise the sensor as much as they can, but it’s a $3000 camera. You mention the canons but the C300 is 5 times the price….

      • Matt says:

        Hey John,
        no I was not mentioning Canon’s C class, just the DSLR’s. 5dmkII has a 25ms scanline time readout but for a FF still sensor. The smaller the sensor, the faster the scanline readout can be. RED is said to be 8-12ms. My point is, that with a sensor slightly larger than S16 but less than 4/3, BMD should have an easier time getting a scanline readout of less than 25ms. That should be the goal. I believe they can do it.

  49. Lenry says:

    When, where can I order one¿?

  50. Frank43 says:

    Exciting news. Thanks for the write up. Unfortunately I can’t get any of the clips to play. Will try on another device later and see if that works.

  51. esaltau says:

    Hi there,
    Does the camera shoot 50 or 60 fps? even in a reduced resolution like 1280 x 720? if it does that I’m in.

  52. Andrius says:

    I bet that today this is the most popular blog in the world. Indeed great product and thats why it generates so much interest.

  53. syd thomas says:

    does it have autofocus?

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  55. Tim says:

    Hi John, do you know if the sensor is CCD or CMOS?

    Also, when can we start placing orders?!

  56. Arief B says:

    I’m curious with frame rate option this camera offers.
    Does it offer above 60fps for slo-mo work?

    • johnbrawley says:

      They really can’t troll yet exactly what the frame rate options will be. It’s more to do with the processing in the camera rather than the sensor. I believe the sensor is certainly capable of doing much higher frame rates.

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  58. Ian says:

    John this is all very exciting cant wait to see more that you shoot with this. Curious if you know when it says EF lens compatible is that also includes EF-S lens in particular lens like the 17-55 EF-S f2.8 also is it capable in powering the IS on lens from Canon?

    • johnbrawley says:

      The lens is powered but the current build I have doesn’t seem to activate IS. It does do IRIS at the moment. I think IS is coming….it should ship with it working i think.

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  63. Mike Guest says:

    Love to see it .. What sort of lens mount does it work with?

  64. Grey says:

    Please ask for higher fps options in your wishlist to BM 🙂
    That would be really nice to have 😀

  65. david says:

    there is a evf from cinevate with sdi in option i think

  66. John,
    what was the mount adapter you’ve used for the Leica glass? I’m really curious about what kind of non-Canon non-Zeiss glass (Voigtlander? Leica? Pentax?) could be used with this camera to get around its sensor size limitation (i.e. crop).

    • Shenan says:

      Just look up EF mount compatibility with other mounts. Here, I pulled some links from my archives:

      • Shenan, thanks for those details. The EF mount compatibility chart looks very sad — I’d say that the camera would be close to unusable without some very expensive wide angle glass. However, if BMD would opt for a removable mount or for a much more compatible MFT mount (which could be converted to lots of other mounts) it would be a killer. If someone from BMD is reading this, please please please consider something more compatible than the EF.

      • powerglovevr says:

        Its not that bad, most of the lens will fit… Of course micro4/3 is better, but its ok, and also, if you have some canon lens as me, you should have autofocus in the futur.
        Your list miss that you can mount pl lens on EF quite easily, not perfect but ok. I think this table is larger, and almost everything that have more than 44mm of flange focal distance, will feet.
        So the best match is 4/3 micro lens but you can find a lot of very fast exotic lens who will feet and wo are very wide.
        The question is when for the 4/3 mount?

      • powerglovevr says:

        This not as dramatic….
        Everything with more than 44mm of flange focal distance. Most of pl lens will feet….
        Of course 4/3 is better…
        When BMD will released the 4/3 version ?

  67. david says:

    there is at least one sdi evf out right now

    • johnbrawley says:

      Cool. That’s what I’ll be needing !

      • david says:

        you could also go with the new blackmagic sdi to hdmi battery converter and use usual hdmi evfs. thinking of the internal battery this camera makes no sense to me without a rig and an external power. so putting extra stuff to it won’t matter that much

    • SmallHD DP6 SDI model – very good piece of gear

      • Greg says:

        Ideally a thunderbolt to HDMI adapter would work as well – there’s an opportunity for someone, as the current ones are really only Display port to HDMI ( and probably not compatible) and the AJA T-Tap only works with a Mac as it needs a driver.

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  69. BrokxMedia says:

    Great article! Very interesting to read.
    I think you should point BMD the ‘usability-issues’ I’m seeing:
    – internal battery: you can’t change batteries, so you need to add external batteries to your rig.
    – SSD formatting has to be done on a computer? In camera formatting would be much more convenient in some situations.

    Btw, what is the weight of the camera?
    The dynamic range and 2.5K make it an interesting camera for remote helicopters. (Less worry about highlights in reflections when you can’t adjust exposure and more ‘pixelroom’ to smooth out vibrations.)

    Can’t wait to see rolling shutter tests comparing it with DSLRs. It surely must beat them?

    Kind regards from The Netherlands,
    Walter –

    • johnbrawley says:

      I hear you on the internal batteries. I thought it would be a bigger problem than what it’s turned out to be so far. The internal battery lasts a good two hours. And it’s not really an issue to have an external battery running into the power input connection.

      When I asked about a replaceable battery, they tell me the cost would have rocketed. The camera is made form a single piece of aluminium and to do a removable battery, would have made the manufacturing a lot more complex. It’s on the *to do* list for down the road.

      I don’t know the weight of the top of my head, but hefty for it’s size. Certainly heavier than a 5D.

      i want to be realistic with rolling shutter. it’s about the same as other cameras in the same price range. No better and no worse that I can see.

      The SSD formatting is deliberate, as a way of making sure you can’t erase anything accidentally.


      • BrokxMedia says:

        Thanks for the quick reply!
        I figured the battery had to do with manufacturing.
        The formatting proces is indeed much more foolproof now; didn’t think about it that way. I was more thinking of clients who bring SSDs with them to take them with them again right after shooting.

      • Matt says:

        So if the battery dies or malfunctions, the camera is dead. I’m guessing BMD is building up infrastructure to not only take orders but repair and service these cameras?

      • johnbrawley says:

        I’m not really sure what you’re asking….

        Lot’s of professional cameras don’t have batteries (alexa , RED)

        This camera is easily powered by an external battery or you can use the internal one for 90 mins (i actually get 2 hours out of mine)

      • Matt says:

        Basically, I plan on buying this camera because I want Davinci 9 as well. Being a potential buyer and a tech guy who owns a 5dmkII, I may be a little stern in my comments but it is just to try and understand where things are and where the company is.

        I understand that an internal battery means less production cost. But like Apple products that have internal fixed batteries, if the battery dies or malfunctions (which they do – read up about the various battery issues Apple has had – overheating, exploding batteries, ect), the product has to be shipped to back to Apple as it it unusable.

        What I am asking/stating is: I hope BMD is building infrastructure and repair houses to deal with such an event where the internal battery dies and the camera now cannot be used until it is fixed. Canon has repair services all over the US and does fast work and fast shipping. I’m hoping this will be the case with BMD too.

        From a company standpoint, a fixed battery now means mandatory company repair/replacement strategies where a non fixed internally battery means the customer is in charge (no pun intended). I believe it would save the company money in the long run. Just ask Apple.

  70. David Harry says:

    I think this is a bold and great move by BM. I personally am not going to nit pick on the short comings, as every camera has them. If its low light performance is good then the sensor size is not going to be an issue. Maybe they go PL later maybe they don’t, right now the two mount options open up a massive choice of lenses, and cheap ones. The lack of dedicated buttons etc. will be something to get used to, without being in a much bigger and more expensive traditional camera body, this is inevitable. But just look at the price, this is insane. This camera is, I think, the very first one with built in SSD recording. Just look at how much a dedicated SSD unit costs for some of the bigger cameras. This feature alone should now start a revolution in on board camera data storage. Add to this the RAW workflow for cinema type projects, and then 709 codec based shooting for more ENG type scenarios. Again, the price is unbelievable. This camera for me, is what Red should really have been aiming at. Scarlet was something that I was waiting for, 4K for 4K, but this changed a lot over 3 years and building up from the body to a full rig, is well more expensive than what it should have been. For 1080 final output, I can’t image that the BM camera is going to be that much different than most of the more expensive cameras, let alone Scarlet. I hope BM have now entered the camera market for good. If so, as a first step, this unbelievable piece of technology is a sign of more to come.

    John, thanks for the review and clips. Would really appreciate your findings on the comparison with Alexa.

    Cheers mate.


  71. Luke says:

    I have the AF100 at the moment, and this is attractive to me for the extra resolution but mainly that it can kick out Log. I work in VFX in Soho and I know the value of Raw images for post.

    Having said that, I shoot on primes, the AF100’s sensor is more similar to a s35 sensor, and I love the shallow DOF it gets me. At f5.6 on a 50mm, you’re barely going to notice the DOF and lovely bokeh that we all know and love so much on a sensor this size, surely?

    • johnbrawley says:

      The sensor size is very nearly the same as m4/3. The same as your AF100.

      The AF100 probably performs a little better in terms of rolling shutter (as an Af100 owner) but it’s a small improvement. I only mention it because I know that it matters most in VFX….

      • Luke says:

        You’re right, they are virtually same. Sorry for being daft.

        In that case maybe I’m sold… comparing the two on paper – the Af100 is nicer to use, but in theory the BMD camera would be better quality overall – dynamic range, resolution, bit rate (being raw) etc. The biggest downside to me is losing the ability to shoot variable frame rates – what are your thoughts on this – do you see this camera being sold primarilly as a B camera? I think I could live with the rolling shutter.

        Ultimately, would you trade in your panny for one of these?

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  74. Casey Sattler says:

    While I applaud BMD for entering the “DSLR” field — is it SO difficult to have an ergonomic movie type camera — A viewfinder, a shoulder rest, a handle? Look at the great super 8mm cameras or the Belieu S series from days gone by — there is a reason that those camera worked great. These “STILL photographer” design cameras do not work as a MOTION camera design — they’re shakey, the user gets tired holding them, no access to on the fly controls — If BMD wanted to make a MOTION camera for the pro-sumer — they why not use the tried and true video camera design. The trouble I have with all these DSLR type cameras is that they don’t really work for a documentary “on the fly” type of shoot — they’re all made to have the extra gear added on and tied to a tripod, or dolly — defeating the purpose of a small camera. Why can’t anyone simply make a high resolution, large sensor, RAW camera, that works like a video camera? Do we really need to lug around 8 Billion PRIME lenses? what about a great zoom lens weighted toward the wider end of the scale? or how about this revolutionary design — a turret? like the old 70dr from Bell and Howell?

    • johnbrawley says:

      I look at it this way. They’ve made the simplest design they can because that’s also the lowest cost of manufacture as well. It’s really a box, with a screen and sensor. You can then pimp it up or rig it the way you like. Isn’t that more flexible ?

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  76. David Harry says:

    Hi John.

    Do you notice any artefacts when the camera downscales the 2.5k image for doing 1080, or does it have an option to crop the sensor for 1080? Also, does it have an option for doing RAW at 1080, either downscaled or cropped. Sorry for all the questions, but I only found out about this camera today, your site has the most info and you obviously have great experience with it . I am looking to replace an EX3, and am seriously interested in this camera. While I usually use ENG type cameras for their ease of use and ability to shoot quickly on the fly and fast set up changes etc. I would easily be prepared to move to the slightly unorthodox soft button approach of the BM. My main concern for my next camera is strictly picture quality, above ease of use and everything else. As I said in an earlier comment, I just can’t believe the SSD recording option at this price. This and the RAW feature alone would justify jumping in with both feet first, in my opinion. For the price, it would hardly seem like a gamble.



  77. Tom says:

    Looks like a great camera!

    How is the audio on this camera? Does it have AGC that cannot be disabled? If one could get really good quality sound by using a xlr adapter to feed in, that would be very interesting.

    As others have voiced, 60 fps at least would be neat, and if they go for a 4/3 mount that would also be good. It seems that one could generally get wider lenses then. A version with built in ND filters would be really nice.

  78. Luke Holley says:

    great write up, does the focus peaking work like Sony or more like the Magic Latern?

  79. Soufian says:

    What is the quantization ? It says 12 bits in RAW mode ..but is it linear or log ?

  80. Berkenntnis says:

    Just needs a Micro 4/3 Mount because this allows to put all those MFT and FT Lenses which provide good wide angle (speaking SLR Magic and Olympus 😉 ) and are Fast. In Addition you could mount all the FD and Minolta MD lenses with an adapter.
    Then it is the perfect camera 😉

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  83. Berkenntnis says:

    John, do you know if BM is going to sell the camera without the software bundle for a lower price?

  84. Brian says:

    is there audio metering while filming? audio limiter? i guess no phantom power…

  85. Innocent says:

    Hi John,

    Super images! The clips remind me of the Thomson Viper footage in Cloverfield. I have a few questions on the camera. I was wondering about the 2.5 crop factor. What lens would be required to get a 50mm look in camera? I also wanted to find out whether the jacks for audio would be able to supply phantom power. Do Compact primes go directly onto the mount without an extra adaptor? Also, would you ad rolling shutter correction before or after grading? I would also like to see how you made your “hacked” battery setup. I hope it’s not too many questions.



    • johnbrawley says:

      I’ve used EF mount compact primes on the camera.

      I’ve not added any rolling shutter correction to the footage.

      I’m not sure about the audio mic powering.

      The battery “hack” is a simple cable. Dtap to ring tip and sleeve power.


    • Dr says:

      22-24mm lens would be a 50mm equivalent based on the reports of a 2.3x to 2.5x crop factor.

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  87. Innocent says:

    Hi Again,

    Some more questions. What was your color grading workflow in daVinci. Which cost effective lenses would you suggest for a music video shoot. How many minutes of Raw 2.5k footage can you record in the internal SSD recorder. How easy is it to judge focus on the LCD? How soon will the pro test shots come out.



  88. Maybe a good accessory would be something like a dslr grip, to add external battery, phantom power, and who knows what else! Even a few extra buttons ; )

  89. Hi, John!
    At first, thank you for your review and of course videos. Yes, a lot of people are waiting now for more shootouts, this camera looks really interesting and the price is amazing , but your post looks like only one ray of sunlight on that camera this days! They made a big boom but there is exist the same big lack of information now. Camera looks really amazing and for people who can’t afford to buy and even rent RED/Arri it’s really great news, yes, it looks a bit unprofessional on some points, maybe rolling shutter can be a problem some times, but the most important thing is how does it looks. Of course everybody wanna have the beauty picture like Alexa (for example) but not for that price, that is the most important thing for the cinema camera I think! Unfortunately, there is too little footage now, I hope despite the “consumer” design and options it can give us a professional look.
    PS: Thanks!
    PPS: Sorry for my bad English!)

  90. Brian T says:

    Thanks for the time you put into this camera John. From what I’ve seen and heard this is an amazing piece of tech and for the price no one can beat it.
    Shooting the equivalent of a 16mm sensor is a non-issue really. Just take into account the 2x crop and you’re set.
    It’s rated at 800 ISO right? Honestly I’ll be lighting my scenes the proper way and don’t need night vision (+20,000 ISO)
    I can’t wait to shoot with this thing!

  91. Will says:

    Noticed one of the guys in the “Beach Dusk” video is shooting with a c300, any chance you can do a comparison of the two. My guess is the c300 may have better low light performance, but will the extra performance be worth the price difference?

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  93. Soufian says:

    The camera is hot…However, I would still want to shoot with the D800.

    BLACKMAGIC CAMERA: 10 bits=That’s great ! 1024 levels of grayscale is only usefull if you have a monitor that can display it. And those are at least 2000 bucks.
    2.5K=Again, Only useful if you have a 4K monitor (they dont make 2.5 or 3K monitor). So you would need to invest at least 10 000 bucks. Also, that type of resolution is useless for most of use who dont produce for the big screen….and very very few do Pan and Tilt.
    RAW= Why not, as long as you have an expensive computer that can handle that workflow. Also, you got to handle some LUTs in production and in post. So not very helpful for the novice.

    Nikon D800: Only 8 bits= I can live with that since most display are 8 bits (256 levels of grayscale)
    ProRes (if attached to an external recorder) at 4.2.2= Excellent workflow. Very little loss (impossible to detect to the naked eye).
    FULL HD= That meets my need. I dont shoot for the theater ..and if i did, chances are I would do it on either Alexa, F3 or F65. Period.
    Full Frame sensor= Excellent angle of view, nice DoF and my lenses focal lengh dont change.
    DSLR= On top of that, i get on top notch still camera !

    My conclusions are, I would certainly prefer to shoot with the D800. But at the same time, i must confess, the match is very tight. I hope this will help.

    • Blackmagic is 12 bit while recording on SSD, but 10 bit on SD out, I think everybody would use 12 bit SSD recording, not 10!)

      • Soufian says:

        I seriously doubt the camera is actually able to record 12 bits log. A lot of confusion here. Reminds me when people thought the F65 could record 16 bits but it actually doesnt…you can only get 12 bits at most (witch is a lot of color depth anyway). On the BlackMagic, I think it can output 10 bits and can only do 12 bits internally. But maybe John could tell us more.

      • johnbrawley says:

        12 bit internal. 10bit HDSDI. The SDI is only a quick debayer as well. Designed for monitoring. Not recording. That’s what Thunderbolt is for

    • Andrius says:

      I am a complete amateur but I just don’t see how what you are saying makes any sense. You need 1024 levels not to watch them on the monitor, you need these levels to make a final 8 bit image better by selecting the levels you want to keep.

  94. powerglovevr says:

    As a Canon 5D user, i’m not convinced with the 5d MK3 or the Nikon D800 view. I thought I would wait for the GH3, but, I don’t want the hdmi or H264 codec….
    So I already pre-order the camera, but I have a little worry, and I have some questions.
    I want the camera, but the lens mounting option is my problem. I’m fine with EF mount because i already have a 24-70mm canon lens and a lot of nikon lens with Canon adapter for my 5D, but the Micro 4/3 Mount give me the ability to drive any lens on the market and they seems to match very well the sensor size… My problem, is as there is no interchangeable mount on this product and thats very sad…. So I can’t put a Micro 4/3 Mount lens or pl lens on this camera…
    So do you think is better for me to cancel and wait for other version with other mounting option? Do you think, they will make an other camera with S35 sensor soon?
    Thanks for advices, because its a big amount of money for me….

  95. clairstyler says:

    I have bin searching but i cant figure it out.. Witch flavor of prores will it record? Do you know if its prores 4:4:4:4 or prores 4:2:2 or maybe LT, I know that it is 10bit and 1920×1080 px but not more.

  96. malik says:

    Do you have more info on the sensor?? What kind of sensor is it?

  97. johnnym says:

    Can you ask the engineers if the camera will eventually be able to shoot 2592×2160 (for use with 2x anamorphics)? Will it have global shutter, too (at lower frame rates) ?

  98. Christopher S. Johnson says:

    John, we’d really like to do a download @ 1080 of these, even if its just h.264. We really want to check it out. Canon waited for 1080 downloads on the Mark III because it was so soft. We’d like to get that confidence now if we could. Thanks for your efforts.

  99. Steven Rood says:

    Great camera. But it needs a Nikon F Mount. That’s a lot of quality glass and a large market segment BMD is ignoring by not doing so. Cheers.

  100. Jim Nicholls says:

    Great achievement and innovation BDM and thanks John for documenting it! As a sometime stereographer I too would love to see a genlock capability. I read a comment where someone suggested using the USB connector somehow!

    Like anything you can add any number of features if you pay for them but I hope the product designers see value in this particular feature!

  101. David Smith says:

    I’m in! A truly refined image I can finally afford. Rich low contrast. Imagine that? Pretty much decides me on which board solution for my Mac, as well. BMD from capture to release! It’s my birthday in a few days, too. An off topic q: what’s that dynamite song under the Beach Dusk shoot and who does it? Do they have an album?

    Best of good fortune to you and the creative geniuses at BMD,


    • David Smith says:

      Oops. Sorry for “pending” in Website text. My bad. Please remove! And thanks for your reporting and testing!


  102. Soufian says:

    I must say the 10 bits is very very attracting on a camera that cost that little money. I guess there will be a trade off; 10 bits vs a mediocre size chip. As far as I am concerned, I will wait to see more footage to get a better idea on how the average lens handle it all based on the small CMOS. But so far, I think only BlackMagic camera can output 10 bits at that price range…and although I may go with the D800, a little voice in my head is telling me to not. Ahhhh, choices choices, you make my life difficult.

    • johnbrawley says:

      It’s 10 bit ont he SDI, but 12 bit internal recording. Raw. Uncompressed. That’s a whole lot better than a D800

      • Soufian says:

        I agree…but like i said earlier, not many of us can afford a 4K 10 bits monitor. Not to mention a powerful CPU that can handle RAW material in real time for that matter. At the end of day, if all you do is delivering to the web or HDTV, then all of what is mentioned here is an overkill. That’s my humble opinion. That’s why I would certainly care more for a better sensor with the option of recording uncompressed 4.2.2 ..even at 8 bits.

    • I think calling a sensor mediocre because of its size is mislead. A bigger sensor does not mean better, just different. Many, very well shot films, have been done so on 16mm film and look fantastic. Benjamin Button was nominated for and Academy award for cinematography. It was shot on the Thompson Viper, which has even smaller sensors than this camera.
      Also, the advantage to 10bit or 12bit hasn’t anything to do with what monitor you will be viewing it on. Its an advantage because it gives you a lot more control in color correction.

      • Soufian says:

        A large sensor is a way much better than a smaller one. A 2/3 inch sensor (found on a viper) will give you a better picture than a 1/4″. Just like a 35mm frame does vs a 16mm. Let’s face it, that’s reality. But you are right, at the same time, there are other factor so the choice of a camera should be based ONLY on the sensor size.

        A higher quantization will only help if you can display the information. A DI will only be able to perform his task if he’s got the proper monitor to dispay all the 10 bits color information. I hope you understand my point since English is not my first

      • Soufian says:

        Oops, there is a typo. I meant “…should NOT be based only on sensor size…”

      • Again, “better” is a matter of opinion. You cant say a larger sensor is better in “reality”. If you compare resolution, latitude, signal to noise ratio, there are plenty of examples of smaller sensors that out preform larger sensors. And the aesthetic is entirely a matter of taste.
        The reason why I used Benjamin button as an examples, is because it had “better” cinematography than the majority of films shot with larger sensors or even film that year. Its not just because of the sensor of course, but of the many formats they could have used on that film, they chose that one. Apparently the Academy approved.

        As for the colour information. You are incorrect. I am a DIT and an on set colorist. Im not speculating. When you are doing adjustments to the image, you have the ability to push it further or correct more accurately with more colour information. Even if you dont see it in the original image on your screen, if the information is there, you have the option of exposing it. For example, if a shot is balanced for tungsten and it was shot in daylight, the image will appear on your monitor very blue. If there is enough colour information in the file though, you will be able to bring up the warmth to balance it. Because the colour is hidden in that image, it will still hold together and look natural. Do you understand?

      • soufian says:

        It’s your point of view, and I wont get into a debate here. I am a DIT as well (you can visit my site), and I totally disagree with you (impossible to perform color grading or proper primary color correction on set if shooting at 10 bits and displaying on an 8 bits monitor, Bigger sensor is much better than smaler one (altough too many pixels IS NOT the way to go). However, I respect your opinion and there is no reason to get involved into an ugly fight…lol

      • Certainly no need for ugliness. Just discussion. I think its important that people are given proper information.
        Can you explain why a larger sensor is better?
        Are you saying that if your colouring on an 8bit monitor, then you can push 8bit as far as 10bit?

      • johnbrawley says:

        With the right monitoring tools, the bit depth of the monitoring isn’t as relevant (waveform etc). This is how grading has been done for years and this is a pretty pedantic and petty point to make.

  103. Pingback: Blackmagic’s New Cinema Camera « Matt Roberts HQ

  104. malik says:

    will there be a run and gun video test – any time soon? to see how the camera handle fast movement?

  105. theres any control of aperture for ef lens directcly on body?

    • Well, that’s the problem with this camera — sensor’s too small, everybody’s mum about the availability of inexpensive and great EF mount wide angle glass (there isn’t), and I don’t want to offend Canon, but its crappy and dark zooming glass just won’t cut it. I never tried the aforementioned 8-15/4 (4 still sounds dark, right?) but 16-35/2.8 is an expensive plasticky piece of nonsense.

      I shoot on Zeiss ZE almost exclusively — it’s very sharp, very fast, great imaging, not *that* expensive if you consider fast Canon L lenses. And as someone mentioned before, the 15mm Zeiss ZE costs just the same as the BMD camera, whereas the *gorgeous* MFT mount 25mm Nokton 0.95 (!) is just over $1100.

      I think Blackmagic would do a lot of good for the marketing of the camera by clearly outlining what will and what won’t ship in July (as fast as possible). I believe that many of us here are sitting on a bunch of great (and probably expensive) DSLR glass, but the lenses we own aren’t suited for the tiny 4/3 sensor and its crop multiplication factor (2.3x times, really?). Buying several super-expensive wide angle primes to film in tiny apartments, close quarters and other situations that require wide angle lenses might be a deal breaker for many of us. MFT mount (with EF adapter) or a replaceable mount might be a good way to go (even at an extra $500–$1000 — personally, I’m willing to pay that difference for a bunch of mounts for BMD camera, say, ZE / MFT / PL).

      • johnbrawley says:

        Hi Anton. I don’t think BMD have had any trouble with marketing the camera. They have been very clear about only doing EF at this stage. This is their first camera and they want to appeal to a wide base of users. I peronslaly think EF glass is niece for this camera. If you love Zeiss there’s also the compact primes which I’ve used on it as well. They’ve said to me they’ll look at m4/3 and PL later, which means AFTER they start shipping this camera.

      • SnarlingBeast says:

        Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 Canon EF mount is a great lens, and not too expensive…But I agree that those other mounts would be great (I believe ZE is already an option, but I could be wrong).

  106. barant says:

    I cant wait to shoot my feature on this. Hopefully there wont be any delays! Where the hell can I pre-order?

  107. Pingback: New cameras announced at NAB « Matt Read

  108. David Slater says:

    What an amazing camera! Almost a Red or Arri for only $3k! BMD jumps ahead of Panasonic, Sony, Red, and Arri, with this low cost camera that has a large sensor and decent on-board recording codecs including Raw and Pro Res. I am praying that it will also have XLR sound inputs. Do we know anything about how it will record sound?

  109. Ron says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for your postings. Would it be possible to have a 5 to 10 second ungraded video clip for download (such as a medium shot of a human)? Again, thanks for your efforts.

  110. John Lord says:

    Based purely on the dimensions of the sensor, the camera would really benefit from a MFT mount. Many C-mount wide angles would cover this sensor. A Zeiss CP.2 15mm in EF mount is the price of this camera. There are OK 12mm C-mt lenses floating around on eBay for a couple of hundred bucks. And maybe the old Zeiss 8mm Distagon in Arri mt (a beautiful lens) would cover this format, don’t know.

  111. Jeffrey French says:

    Does anyone know if this thing can be Genlocked?

  112. hope says:

    hi. WE are hoping that you and BMD would release downloadable video straight off the camera in RAW and prores, that will allow us to load it up in Resolve and see the full performance of the camera. most importantly how the 4/3 sensor holds up detail. certainly 12 bit will and 13 stops of DR will be a joy in Resolve. Any schedule yet or plans to share straight of the camera footages? this will really put all the concerns to rest. and will surely shoot up the preorder queue. Thanks so much for answer all of our excited questions!

  113. Edin Gacic says:

    how would the Zeiss Jena lenses in m42 mount work with EF to M42 adapter on this baby? I am asking because I have 20mm, 35mm, 50mm, 135mm Zeiss in M42 mount 🙂

  114. Pingback: First BMCC Footage |

  115. for those who asking about jelly effect, just look at “dusk”. he shot Hand-held and it shake a lot, but yet the rolling shutter in not (very ?) noticeable, seems more or less on par with GH2, and anyway far better than my D3100, and better than my 5D ?! (would need some panning to be sure though, but what I can recall if that when I hand-held D3100 even with wide angle I see massive jelly, with 5D it’s only if I use something around 50mm or longer (say 135mm, forget about using it hand held – not only the shake is annoying but the jelly will still be there even after stabilization in post).

  116. Scepticist says:

    Thanks John, for your interesting report of an interesting cam !
    I have a question about the sensor:

    When shooting raw the whole active sensor range of 15.6 x 8.8 mm = 2432 x 1366 Pixel is used (2.5K), causing a crop factor of 2.3 (=36/15.6) compared to full format.
    Now, if you decide to shoot compressed with either Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD the recording format is 1920 x 1080 (‘2K’).
    I wonder if the camera uses a ratio of 1 pixel on chip = 1 pixel HD output for this, equaling a similar 1920 x 1080 pixel section on the chip (12.32 x 6.96 mm) ?
    Because this would cause the crop factor of full format lenses grow up to 2.9 (=36/12.32).
    Or is it rather true that in any case (raw or compressed) the full active 2.5K sensor area is used for video acquisition and then internally scaled down for 2K output ?

  117. Terry says:

    Hey John,

    In your opinion, having used the camera, would you say it is capable of shooting in extreme low light situations like a nightclub? I predominantly make nightclub videos and the 5D mark iii seems to have the best low light capabilities on the market at this price point.

    However, like loads of aspiring filmmakers on the internet, I’m not really sure about spending £3000 GBP on what is seemingly a minor incremental upgrade from the Mk ii / 7D. The BlackMagic Cinema Camera obviously outshoots all DSLRs in daylight and most low light situations with its dynamic range and RAW capabilities, but the one thing the Mark iii does have is an impressive ISO range (3200 ISO is apparently usable).

  118. Donald F. says:

    Hello John,

    I been known for doing low light video testing for NEX VG20 on
    Everybody knows what is GAIN and ISO. Basically the same thing, the more GAIN/ISO increase, the noise will appear. My solution for this would be using fast lens like around f/0.95 to f/1,8

    I am wondering if are you going to make another video test using prime lens at fixed aperture anywhere around f/0.95 to f/1.8? This might helps for low noise shooting without getting (a lot of noise) using high ISO/GAIN.

  119. Donald F. says:

    No I meant to say, avoid using high ISO/GAIN whie using bigger aperture like f/0.95 to 1.8, it might be the trick for low noise for low light shooting using the BMD. Would you mind see how well performs with faster lens?

    • Donald, say I’d like to shoot a moderately tight scene with a moderately wide and at the same time rather fast 35mm lens. On this camera that would be 15…17mm, right? Have you heard of a very fast (f/0.95….f/1.2) and very wide (15…17mm) lenses that are compatible with the EF mount (even through an adapter) and aren’t as expensive as a small airliner?

  120. john says:

    Will the Raw files from BlackMagic new camera work well in FCP7


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  122. Sam says:

    Hey John thanks for all the testing it looks great! I was just wondering if you could share the specs of the computer you are doing the post on? Cheers

  123. Pingback: Blackmagic Cinema Camera?! | Sleeping Sun Films

  124. Dahvey Siealle says:

    I was excited about this camera until I noticed the flaws like, at least four hot-pixels in the low light footage, a dark spot in some high key shots (I hope that’s the lens) etc.

  125. charly says:

    What about a slowmotion? In a future update?

  126. perrymulder says:

    Hi there, love your explanation, but I still have a question. Since it’s a 4:3 sensor, do you think it will be able to shoot the full resoluton 2592×2160 for use with 2x anamorphics? Or will 16:9 be the only option? Maybe something to ask the engineers?

  127. perrymulder says:

    Wow Love the Camera and love you taking the time to explain!
    I still have one question left:

    Since it’s a 4:3 sensor camera, do you think it will be able to shoot at 4:3 as well? So I can use it for 2x anamorphic. Maybe something to tip the engineers about, since now it “only” records 16:9 right?

    Keep up the good work!


  128. Tim says:

    Great blog and very helpfull. Question… are bmd planning an external battery pack? This cam is near perfect but will cause problems out in the field where electricity is unavailable. Also, is there a portable battery powered backup device you can recommend for ssd cards… price of the larger cards is still very high. Would like to reuse cards in the field. Many thanks.

    • Greg says:

      Hi Tim, I’d look at the Switronix Powertap BlackMagic Converter Cable (24″) to start with, and base your external battery system around that. I think it’ll work with the BMDCC. There are battery powered HDD backup systems that don’t require a computer – they normally clone so I’m not yet sure if the could be used to backup a number of SSDs to say a larger HDD.

  129. When autofocus is implemented, does anyone know if the EF lenses are capable of autofocusing while taking video? On the 5D, you cannot autofocus while video is rolling…

  130. randywalters says:

    Hi, John – Thanks for sharing your work, and for (repeatedly) answering our questions.
    Seems to be an awful lot of Grumpy Gusses out there… well, no good deed goes unpunished. 🙂

  131. clairstyler says:

    Yes thanks for all the help, and answers!

  132. Adrian says:

    Hi John – Thanks for all the info! I was watching the sample clip “Leah” and noticed that when she turns her head (about 7 sec into the clip) some weird aliasing/moire thing happens with her eyelashes. Did you notice this? Do you know what it might be?

  133. Jason says:

    Hey John,
    First ,thanks for taking the time to do this. Second, I have a few questions. What mount and frame rates… kidding, you have the patience of a monk, regarding the onboard monitor, do you have the ability to use a LUT while shooting raw? The BMD HDLink has this functionality and it would be very useful as raw is not ideal for monitoring. Also, is the HDSDI output the same when recording the three different formats? Is a gamma curve baked in to the HDSDI out when recording to ProRes but not to raw? I ask because I shoot events live and it would be nice to record to raw in camera and have a usable image coming out of the HDSDI to the switcher at the same time.
    This camera is very exciting, it’s a professional camera at an unprecedented price point. HDSDI and raw on a 3000 dollar camera is until now unheard of. The EF mount while not ideal for the chip size leverages the largest DSLR segment which is undeniably Canon based, it’s why the Scarlet has an EF mount. Iris control on those lenses, priceless.

    Thanks Again.

  134. shijan says:

    hi! i made some grading of log jpeg file in camera raw and after applying some sharpening it looks like even more attractive! i’m impressed! look here

    • E. Carter says:

      I really was hoping that this camera would be rolling shutter “free” . But I clearly see it in some tests on vimeo and youtube. It’s a turning point for me. I’m not getting this camera because of that. It gives the footage that cheap DSLR feel that I’m sick of and a lot of people are sick of that. Fix it and I will buy this camera in a heart beat.

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  136. Berkenntnis says:

    Thank you for all the answers here, John!
    Now I also have one more question 😉
    Is it possible to cut or trim the clips on camera? If I look at the data rate it seems to make sense to be able to get rid of unusable stuff…

  137. hey, john, what’s the awesome name of the song playing beneath “dusk”?

    • David Smith says:

      that song is dynamite. i went looking to see if i could find it. i listened a couple of times and heard the phrase, “wake my body” and reckoned that for a good song title, so Is did a search in iTunes. lo and behold, that’s the name of the song by Alexander Ebert, bandleader or Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, from his one-man-band album, ‘alexander’.


  138. jojo says:

    if you won’t have rolling shutter at this priceclass you should buy the Bolex D16 digital….has a super 16mm CCD sensor…that means no rolling shutter….the BMC is that true, the recording of uncompressed Raw res. of 2432 x 1366 is an automic output of only 1920×1080 ?
    in post do I work on 2432 X1366 Raw or 1920×1080 Raw when I open the cinema dng?

  139. Franky says:

    It looks promising, nice size sensor , RAW and ProRes, 4.4.4 , what can we wish more. But there is only one thing that worries me. The performance in low light is a big issue to me, it’s sensor seems to suffer the same problem as the RED, what I mean is that it doesn’t quit seems a king in low light and thats a shame course it would be perfect then. For indie film making it’s a huge advantage having a camera who performs super in low light conditions course it’s saves you time and cost to drag around lights all the time. However it is a giant leap forward for this price range. Black Magic has released what RED promised 3 years ago announcing the scarlet. At least Black Magic doesn’t make falls promises like RED did 🙂

    • johnbrawley says:

      It’s very useable in low light. Right now the sensor goes to iso1600. Hopefully it should go a little higher than that. It’s not the same as 26000 but realistically, how often do you shoot at that speed ???


  140. Bobby says:

    Keep up the good works John. Must be very frustrating answering repeated questions when all one could do is read the entire blog. What people are failing to realize is the marketing side of this great product. It’s a first release. And most of these requests will go into a second release at a much higher price point. Pretty much like the Atem1 & 2 switchers. Yes, there will be a few firmware updates, like increasing the ISO threshold, but things like mounts and rolling shutters will NOT be fixed in this camera. I’m not a BMD insider; just a film/video enthusiast who just happens to know how these things work. MHO to all lovers of this cam is that you can make it work for you, judging from its specs. Just as the 7D/5D took the industry by storm, even with all its quirks, I am proud to announce ‘there is a new kid on the block.’

  141. David Slater says:

    Wow. So much interest and talk about this amazing new video camera. But still no information about how the camera records sound.

  142. David Slater says:

    I just saw on the Black Magic Design website how the camera records sound: 2 x 1/4” jacks for professional balanced analog audio, switchable between mic and line levels.

  143. Sico van der Plas says:

    He John,

    Thanks for the review!
    Love the concept, and i’m a indie shooter with a dSLR, and am a enthousiast colorist and dop. (shooting with dSLR now)

    Is it possible to use oldskool adapters, such as M42-> EOS or Contax Yashica -> EOS to mount analogue lenses to this beast? And if so, will they work? – Since there is a broad range of used lenses (such as Old arriflex Angenieux 9-105mm etc) and adapters avaible. even for PL -> EOS.

    I myself am a fan of the old manual focus lenses of Carl zeiss (contax) and i own a few of these, and they did cost me some money but they are SUPER sharp on my 60D, and build quality is not far off the Compact Primes.

    PS: We need new samples!

    Let me know please!

  144. Great synopsis John. I wonder if BM will head toward a RED/Alexa type of Professional unit in the coming 12 – 18 months? Super 35mm Sensor, and off speed to 150 FPS to me is all that is really currently missing. Mixed with a strong build, and ergonomic design that hugs the shoulder. Like an Aaton.

  145. Gilbert BRUN says:

    For me, right now, and after reading all matter points of this great camera, the most important thing is the mount… and it’s THE only point they failed. Why choising EF mount ? it is ridiculous ! The natural mount of this camera IS the M4/3 mount, that’s evident !!! most of the potential clients with the EFmount haven’t the right lenses to work… with the m4/3 mount, at first, all the AF100 and GH2 owners (i’m) would have alwready pre ordered the camera and the others (canon nikon… ) too !!
    Really i do not understand this first EF mount way…
    Gilbert (from France)

    • johnbrawley says:

      Really ? There are lot’s of people that have ordered the camera so it’s a bit strong to call it a failure. EF mount has the widest posisble installed user base and is exactly where this camera is aimed…..for those that have 5Dmk2’s or 7D’s and are thinking of an upgrade about now. That market is EF mount and means those users can buy just the camera.

      If you use m4/3 adaptor you also loose the electronic rid control and AF (with EF mount adaptors)….

      They are looking at m4/3. Keep calm. You don’t have to buy the camera if it doesn’t suit you…..

      I don’t speak for BMD and they have their own reasons for making their decisions. One of the first things I told them when I learned of the camera was to look at m4/3. Don’t tell me here on this forum, go and give this kind of feedback to BMD direct. It has more weight if you all go and ask for it independently.

      • Gilbert BRUN says:

        oh yes John, you’re right !! Before buying the camera, i’ll stay for the m4/3 version, and if the decide to not make it, i’ll buy this EF version. Because i think it’s the best choise regarding all others, specialy specifications AND the price. But you know, it would better to be able to use voigtlander lenses, with a m4/3 version, and may be if the electronic rid control is present, all the m4/3 and 4/3 lenses which are excellent… wait and see. But first of all, i thank you for this blog. 😉

  146. F Mount for Nikon Lenses PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😦

    • Greg says:

      There’s lots of options for Nikon to Canon lens adaptors, including the Novaflex for G lenses…

      • John Lord says:

        I have used F lens to EF body adapters, and though of course it’s useful to be able to use the lens at all, there are problems. For example, the aperture of a 55m f2.8 micro Nikkor won’t open all the way.

  147. Bobby says:

    Hi John, you may be able to shed some light on this. We will be doing live production where the output goes to air. We are currently trying out with the BMD Atem 1 M/E production switcher with multiple cameras.
    One of the advantages this camera will have for us is the HD-SDI output straight to the switcher, as against using down-converters. We can survive with 10-bits RAW DNG.
    But the beef here is the RAW image quality. Judging from the RAW footage you provided, it looks kinda flat and therefore the need to grade. But in Live situations, you don’t have that luxury. How do you manage getting true saturated images out to the switcher. Does it handle color profiles as HDSLRs do?
    Also, do you think recording Pro-Res out will produce more saturation? Thanx.

  148. Pat Choy says:

    Do you think there would be a solution to Nikon Lens, my lens are all Nikon F Mount, include some Carl Zeiss!!! Any insite?

  149. Ron says:

    Hi John,

    I’d like to thank-you for all your efforts. You cinematography is awesome (very nice “text book” shots which takes skill). I contacted BM and they got back very quickly – great organization. I anxiously await for a few ungraded raw video clips (or ungraded prores, etc.). Exciting times.

  150. Pingback: First BlackMagic Cinema Camera Footage – Raw Cinema

  151. Vladi says:

    Why not make a version called M(Manual) without the autofocus and have a mount that permit lenses more adapted to the actual sensor?
    Also, the Alexa has an CMOS sensor with rolling shutter but in some way they have solved the jello issues. Maybe with software?

  152. Kendall O. says:

    This is another vote for an F or 4/3 mount! I will pre-order as soon as it is announced!

  153. Pingback: Black Magic Cinema Camera « Lars Steenhoff

  154. Vladi says:

    When I first read about the BM camera I wanted to buy it because I have several EF Canon lenses. But finding out about the crop factor it is very disappointing. Even if I have EF lenses they will become almost useless because the crop factor changes the focal length. It would be much better having the M 4/3 mount because by using a EF adapter the canon lenses will maintain their right focal length. Sooooo Pleaseeeeeeee!!!! Talk to the people at Black Magic about this! Then I will surely buy the camera without blinking! Im sure many will do it to!

    • johnbrawley says:

      Obviously EF mount isn’t useless because many have repurchased the camera. There’s no point telling me about m4/3. They have already heard it from me. You should tell them yourself.


  155. Greg says:

    Sounds fantastic – do you think they will include 50/60p?

  156. Shiva Reddy reddy says:

    Hi john,

    I preordered 8 – 15mm canon L f4 lens along with the BMD cine cam
    and now i had few doubts over the Fish eye len, at first i calculated the 8mm would give 20mm eqivalent focal length comparatively on FF body. its wide enough for me.

    now i am worried that does the 8mm would give 20mm regular distortion or it would more distorted image, becos of fish-eye optics in the lens???

    thank u for ur time.

  157. Sico says:

    Hè John

    Will The BM camera accept manual lens adapters ?
    Such als m43, m42 or other manual lenses?


  158. Great write up John,
    I’ve seen some pictures, cannot wait to grade some??


  159. Mr happy says:

    panasonic just got leap-frogged big time…GH3 is now going to look ????..Its too bad….. panasonic had there chance hackers showed them the way ..but I guess they just had too much to lose with there other cameras…And like all the big players its much better to spoon feed us h264 detuned cameras every year and make those bucks…..I still cant believe people have to take a brand new 5DMK3 and rip it apart to get detail out of it ,and of course now hacking it …crazy…
    Well I appreciate this raw camera and hope they make a bundle of money from it …Oh and Ted these guys made this look tough ! I guess you could have made another division of red and called it orange (LOL) for young film makers and film schools to cut there teeth on in film BIZ -land so no-one would expect it to be perfect …but naaaa .

  160. Bobby says:

    It looks as if any footage that comes out of this camera must be graded. BMD knows that, and that’s why they threw in the Resolve Software, which of course can be the medium through which to transcode your files. I guess for those who want to source their footage, as is, untouched, ungraded – hard luck. Still, the price and certain particular features can’t be beat. Will be a hard choice between this and the 5D MkIII. Let’s face it, if all you do is not meant for the silver screen, then you could live with the MkIII, though a little pricier.

    • johnbrawley says:

      This is a RAW camera. Yes. You have to grade footage that goes through RAW. That is the whole point. It’s not “hard luck”…that is just the point of RAW. You also have the option to record ProRes in a 709 like style. Then you can use that footage straight away. You get the best of both worlds…. What is it exactly that is “hard luck” about this ?

      • JB says:

        Resolve has the ability to transcode files with a LUT, which essentially gives you contrasty files to work with in your editing software. This also gives you the ability to go back and grade your edit at a later stage linking back to the original RAW media.

        Alternatively shoot in REC709 not LOG if you want footage with more contrast without having to do anything.


  161. Roi says:

    I wish you’ll be able to control the zoom remotely via LANC – the BM website only mentions
    Rec Start/Stop, Iris Control and Focus Control.

  162. Jim says:

    Great post here. I just pre-ordered the camera since I already owned a trove of Canon lenses for my 5D package. Was leaning towards the C300 until this release was announced, but was hearing about audio issues with that camera sounding thin and lacking headroom (16bit/48k). On the other hand, the BMD is listing the audio specs as 24bit/48k which is a real improvement. The 1/4 TRS connectors are not too much of an issue for me since it is easy to purchase L-connectors (1/4 TRS – XLR) that would be pretty streamlined coming out of the BMD’s connector terminal. Using a 9 volt powered 48v power supply would not be the end of the world for me. The lack of in-camera ND adjustment is a bummer, but that will probably be upgraded in future models. I have not been able to find anywhere the exact specs that the BMD records to in 1080/30p (Avid or FCP codecs) in terms of mbps. Hopefully that info will be available soon. I’m sure BM will offer small SDI-HDMI converters for users who already own monitors such as the Small-HD DP4 & DP6 that come with only HDMI or RGB inputs. Hopefully, there will be external battery adapters offered when the July release date comes along.

  163. Justyn Rowe says:

    Why so much consternation about the sensor size. Seems like a perfect compliment to what it’s offering. I will but my GH2 footage up against any 5D or other Super 35 sensor. I too am hoping for a micro 4/3 mount. People just seem to like to bitch about everything, so if this isn’t for you… Don’t buy it.

  164. richard latham says:

    These tests are utter twat. From a professional point of view this is nothing more than point and shoot. This is a great disservice to the camera Nothing of contrast ratio, idea what the highlights or the shadow is reading. i,m appalled that this camera manufacturer has allowed a bunch of videographers near this piece of equipment. All of this crap could predjudice the sales of this gear.There is more to cameras than just spec.Does this supposed ‘DOP’ know about contrast ratios. Do some proper tests or stay away. This rubbish tells us NOTHING,Why do some camera manufactures give there gear to wannabee ‘DOP’S SHAME ON YOU

    • johnbrawley says:

      Hi Richard.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and evaluate the situation.

      There will be other footage. We’ve shot a lot more material that what you’re seeing here. The camera is a very early, hand built prototype and the footage still has a lot of faults that won’t be in the finished version.

      The problem is, that people don’t tend to read all of the accompanying information and draw simplistic and naive conclusions without taking into account that a lot of the so called faults are only present because the camera’s still not finished.

      You’ll see a lot more test footage over the coming two months as cameras start to make their way out into the wild.

    • Dan says:

      Wow! Richard is a real dick. 🙂

    • Micael says:

      You are a moron. John has clearly stated that the release of images from this camera is at the behest of Blackmagic. Moreover, this is a pre-production camera and so the real ’disservice’ would be running ’tests’ that will provide inaccurate results to the production model. This footage provides a glimpse behind the curtain and does not claim to be or aim to be anything more. I for one appreciate John’s work with the camera, demonstrating to the eye that this camera is something to be excited about.

      If you want the raw tests and evidence of them then contact Blackmagic or, like everyone else, wait for the final production model.

  165. John Lord says:

    This is certainly a mean-spirited misinterpretion of what Brawley has done for us. He hasn’t offered the footage as a rigorous test of the camera’s capabilities, but as a peek under the tent at a prototype, for which I for one am grateful. When it comes time to plunk down the 3 grand, I and everyone else can test the dynamic range and jello effect for myself. The sweet thing about this camera is the RAW output, which Brawley’s clips demonstrate. It reminds me of 7252.

    • Jim says:

      Yes, I agree. Also BM seems to be very interested in working with what cameramen are wanting similar to when the first models of the RED were to be released. Fingers crossed.

      • richard latham says:

        I,m still standing by what i,ve said. After 27 years in the industry i ve seen so much of this type of footage. The footage still tells us nothing at all about how this camera delivers the lattitude. Lattitude is all fine and well , but its the quality of the lattitude ie when the highlights become unusable, ie loose all detail. The camera would of been better served if there had of been an explanation of the zones ie highlight 5 stops hotter tha midtone. This wasnt even measured with a meter etc
        As it stands now we dont know how far is the detailess black from midtone or detailess white from mid tone. Whats the spread 6 under or 6
        over for instance This footage3 gives us no clue what soever.
        Lets look at it from anothjer position here. A new car brakes well at 90km at 200km it doesnt brake The manufacturer says we are still working on it. Whats the point of even releasing this info.With the RED we are still waiting for these cameras to deliver there advertised spec. ie is 2k really 2 k or is it 1k
        Its really a grave misjustice to allow suspicion on the delivery of the spec. JUST DO THE TESTS CORRECTLY SO WE HAVE SOMETHING TO JUDGE IT ON …………NOT ONLY THE PRICE. HAVE YOU EVER HEARD ABOUT CHEAP AND NASTY…………OR IF YOU PAY PEANUTS YOU GET MONKEYS. Dont do this manufacturer such an injustice that the cost already starts arousing SUSPICION
        Of course its mean spirited but my observations are real and justified i need to sell this camera to producers

      • johnbrawley says:

        Richard. You’re not getting it. The sensor calibration isn’t done. There’s no point in testing it. The results would be completely meaningless. You don’t have to buy now. Wait till the final sensor is done and tests are released. Then you can complain all you like.

  166. Andy says:

    What means “The sensor calibration isn’t done”?
    it will ship in one month and we have no real footage.

    • johnbrawley says:

      Sensor calibration is basically where they map out how to get the most from the RAW sensor data, but also optimise it to reduce the noise and the make the colour reproduction as accurate as they can.

      I’m not making the camera, nor in charge of what footage is allowed to be released.

  167. jeff says:

    I was about to Order a 5D Mark 3. (And when I say I was about, i was writing my VISA number on an online store, when I’ve seen an article talkin’ about you…)

    I live In France. If I buy this camera, who will take care of the baby if there is a problem ?
    Do I have to send it to USA for a month…?

    May I buy it in a local “Black MAgic” Reseller here ?

    Thanks & Congrats

  168. john stewart says:

    My concern is the ISO. I just hope BM works on that because what I read was 800 ISO is it’s native iso, and I prefer to use a lower iso on a bright sunny day outside just because I wouldn’t need to stack ND in front of the lens.


  169. Donald F. says:

    I really don’t get how it been edit using RAW files only (photos). I am thinking it is best to use Photoshop CS6 since it can edit image sequences. Since it is RAW, maybe make 3 copies each image sequences. Each three group will have different exposures, yep I’m gonna use Photomatix to do some crazy HDR clip.

    For those who worries about low light situation, you can use Noise reduction lol.

    • JB says:

      Davinci resolve (included with camera) can transcode the material to other formats if required. You could even edit within davinci if you really wanted to. Most of the big name editing software packages have supported images sequences for a while, so it would not be difficult to add support for cinema dng (well maybe except for apple).

      By the way, you would not get any more detail using photomatrix (which is a form of tone mapping, not HDR), just as you dont with RAW stills from DSLRs. You could get better results just using davinci resolve to grade the footage, providing you know what you are doing of course.

  170. Chis Murray says:

    A bit tragic the tone of some of these posts. As John keeps explaining it’s a peek at some rough footage from a hand assembled prototype. No one is being forced to buy this camera. Accurate technical information and testing will be published in due course when the camera is ready for release. Perhaps some people imagine their indignant posts make them sound knowledgeable & important.

  171. Sam Fox says:

    Hi John just wondering in terms of an external battery set up: what did you use? and what you would recomend for the camera? Cheers Sam

    • johnbrawley says:

      HI Sam. I’ve been using a very simple system. A V-Lock battery with a D-TAP plug built into the battery. I then have a long cable that I run between the D-TAP output of the battery and the connector not he camera. It’s long enough that I can put it in a separate little bag or just loose but on the ground under the tripod. I wouldn’t really call it production ready.

      • Sam Fox says:

        Thank you 🙂

      • Berkenntnis says:

        If I look at my GH2 where you have to buy totally overpriced batteries I must say that I really, really, really like the open powering solution of the black magic. One of the best Ideas behind the camera.

  172. Pablo says:

    Hi John,

    Do you think it would be possible to use a c-mount adapter and use 16mm glass? I have a bunch of lenses from my old bolex.

  173. John Lord says:

    Well, of course it depends on the lens. A 40mm or 90mm Macro-Kilar would certainly cover this sensor. It’s the shorter focal lengths that probably won’t.

  174. Aaron Lewis says:

    Thanks John for the hard work and great tests. I’ve long been a fan of your work. One question – has anyone suggested making sure the thunderbolt port on the BMCC is HDMI-out enabled to allow the thousands of Zacuto EVF users to continue to use their current rigs? It would be such a huge help. What EVF have you been using? (I read that you prefer an EVF to LCD style shooting – as most of us do). Thanks again -Aaron

  175. Mickael says:

    So John, after reading this novel on the camera specifications, I’d much appreciate if you clear up just one thing for me. What’s the widest angle I can use with this camera? Please, in 35mm equivalent. Thanks.

  176. Keith Stark says:

    Thanks so much for all of this. One typical DSLR issue that I didn’t see asked about was overheating. I assume that this will be a non-issue with this camera. Has BMD commented either way if this will shoot continuous and to a reasonable ambient temp? Any limit on clip running time?

    • johnbrawley says:

      No limits on clip running time. And I’ve had the camera on contiounusly and it never overheats !

      • Keith Stark says:

        Thanks John, Great to hear.
        Luckily, this hasn’t been that much of an issue for me with the 7, but I’m sure those in warmer climates will be very happy. It goes without saying that everything has an operating limit, but if this is more on par with a traditional video cam, that’s wonderful.

        On last question, do you know if they use an OLPF or not (like the Red)?

        Not that any of these minor issues are deterring me, just good to know 😉

        Thanks again,

      • johnbrawley says:

        I think it will have some form of OLPF. They were thinking of making it user removable though.


  177. Nick Layton says:

    Thank you for taking the time to make all this information available. Can I just ask for clarification of the lens mount. I understand it is EF, so I also understand it would take EF-S on the same mount? If that point has been covered, I apologise. Thanks

  178. Sunil Sanjan says:

    Hello John,

    Great Analysis and explanation. I have one simple question. How will you rate this camera for shooting Hollywood calibar movie ?

    Thanks for your input.

    Best regards,
    Sunil K

  179. Sunil says:

    Hello John,

    Great Analysis and explanation. I have one simple question. How will you rate this camera for shooting Hollywood calibar movie ? Appreciate your efforts.

    Thanks in advance for your valuable inputs.

    Best regards,
    Sunil K

  180. Sunil says:

    Hello John,

    Great Analysis and explanation. I have one simple question. How will you rate this camera for shooting Hollywood calibar movie ? Appreciate your efforts.

    Thanks in advance for your valuable inputs.

    Best regards,
    Sunil K.

  181. Tom sefton says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks so much for a fantastic review and first call resource for what could be a revolutionary camera!

    We have just ordered one and are trying to prep some of our suites for editing. Do you know what the bitrate of the files are direct from camera-both pro res 4:2:2 and raw 4:4:4? I ask so we can get some suitable storage and editing drives. Is a data figure for raw files of around 150mb/s accurate?

    • Brian T says:

      It looks like a data rate of about 120 MB/s or 960 Mbit/s recording in CinemaDNG (RAW). That’s with a 5 MB CinemaDNG per frame figure.

  182. Jeremy woods says:

    Man! I’ve scrolled through so much negativity in this blog it’s unreal. I remember refreshing my computer via some random guy’s twitter account because the Scarlet release was unavailable. Somebody had hacked the site. So there i am refreshing every ten seconds like an @sshole until the awesome specs were followed with a resounding, $15,000.00… I owe that on my vehicle. What a camera, but….what a let down.

    Come on people. This is a RAW workflow with 13 friggin stops of dynamic range. For 3 grand… I bet by next Christmas, there will be an S35 version for a thousand more or so… This is a high end company. I don’t care if the shutter rolls so bad it flies out of the camera on a hard pan…. I have a GH2. Try to expose someone indoors and get any kind of detail outside the window behind them…
    I’m not a crack head, so i’m not panning that fast.

    Thanks for the Blog post John, your videos are all we have besides spec sheets and they are pretty awesome reference points. I’m saving up for one:). My only concern might be depth of field. In your videos you say you had your Leica set at F2… I didn’t get a lot of seperation from subject to background in some shots.

    But what the hell, it’s RAW.

  183. Sunil says:

    Hello John,

    Great Analysis and explanation. I have one simple question. How will you rate this camera for shooting Hollywood calibar movie ? Appreciate your efforts out of your busy schedule..

    Thanks in advance for your valuable inputs and suggestions..

    Best regards,
    Sunil K.

  184. AhSing says:

    In your opinion is this cam is good for action vfx?

    • johnbrawley says:

      VFX and action is going to be difficult for any camera with a rolling shutter. THE BMD camera has a rolling shutter, and while it’s not worse than other DSLR cameras, it is there. If your workflow for VFX can accommodate rolling shutter issues if they arise, then this would be a great camera for VFX, especially keying, because of the uncompressed DNGs.

    • Keith Stark says:

      For what it’s worth, the rolling shutter plug in made by the foundry is a widely used application for improving rolling shutter issues.……..note, I used the word ‘improve’…everything has it’s limits.

  185. Joe Gonzalez says:

    Thanks for the review. Im an aspiring cinematographer, amateur photographer and a film student. When i heard about this camera , i rejoiced in that it could be my solution for better grading and a better filmic look over my canon’s. I noticed in all the footage , that the over look was more of a video look. Am i not seeing 24fps? Lens to blame? CMOS sensor to blame? Do you feel that the highlights are washed out? Im really trying hard to see a difference from all my Canon DSLR footage of being more filmic with more color punch. I do see the resolution but i don’t see the footage punch. Why didn’t you shoot a scene, with dialogue and standard coverage? Thanks.

  186. Three quick questions, whats your take on the low light on this camera? Do you see them offering more ISO’s? Will the camera have a 1080p 60p mode?

  187. Alexx Paul Sherman says:

    Thanks for the awesome insight to the camera.
    I usual shoot with an fs100 or on very rare and desperate occasions a 5D mk2.
    I am almost sold on this camera and will almost defiantly buy one.
    The one thing that will make or break it for me is how bad or good is the rolling shutter or jelly effect like on the camera?
    If its noticeable then I will just not get it.
    Thanks again on the info.

  188. Sanjan says:

    Hello John,

    Thanks a lot for your wonderful analysis and comments.

    I read some where that to capture the video on the system you will require an Apple Computer System (MAC) with thunderbolt port on it only ? Is this true ?

    Also I have one more curiosity to know about the camera capability. How will you rate this camera for shooting Hollywood calibar movie ?

    Thanks in advance for your valuable inputs.

    Best Regards,

    • johnbrawley says:

      The camera has a Thunderbolt port but this is NOT for transferring or copying files. It’s intended that you will remove the SSD drive and mount hat using a USB, Firewire or thunderbolt adaptor to your PC or laptop.

      You don’t “capture” fron the camera. Like any dSLR, you copy the media from a card with a card reader. It’s the same with SSD’s.

      The thunderbolt port on the camera is ONLY for using the included Ultrascope software, and perhaps in the future for doing longer record times to external drives via a computer.


      • Sanjan says:

        Hello John,
        Thank you so much for the clarification and clearing my doubt. I am planning to buy this camera specially for Independent movie making. So I wanted to know if this is good choice for shooting commercial movies ? Kindly do suggest me over this. It will be of great help for me to make a final decision.

        Thanks again for your valuable inputs.

        Best Regards,

      • Andreas says:

        Hi John,

        The BMD-Site says on the spec’s page:
        Computer Interface Thunderbolt port for capture of RAW video and audio.
        USB 2.0 mini B port for software updates and configuration.

        Sounds to me like you can record directly from camera to laptop.

        Are you sure?


      • johnbrawley says:

        The plan is to allow for recording from the camera via thunderbolt. What you won’t me able to do is mount the SSD within the camera and simply copy what’s already recorded.

      • Andreas says:

        watch this 5:55min here the BMD guy says that you can record from thunderbolt

  189. Patrick Sullivan says:

    John can recommend a good external battery for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.
    I just pre-order one and thanks for all your info on the camera.

  190. KAan says:

    Heard you’ve been shotting with BMD again but aren’t allowed to show it? Where you satisfied with the newer model? Has anything changed?

  191. Sanjan says:

    Thanks John for all your inputs. I was just going through the lens. As per specifications we can use EF and ZE lenses for BMD Cinema camera ? What about Canon canon EF-S Lenses ? Are EF-S lens also compatible with BMD cinema camera. Also read that Full Frame cameras can only use EF lenses. APS-H sensors can only use EF lenses,EF-S lenses won’t work. APS-H are sensors with crop factor 1.3x. This means that they are 1.3x smaller than Full Frame sensors and therefore, crop some of your image.


    Best Regards,
    Sunil Sanjan

  192. Samuel Phibbs says:

    John has said EF-S lenses are compatible with the Blackmagic.

  193. Trevor says:

    Many thanks John for input into getting some of the details out to us impatient gadget nuts – My question is about the auto focus function of the canon lens. Is that disabled? And secondly – ultra scope – Mac only??

    • johnbrawley says:

      AF is not currently working but it on the to do list. Ultra scope is Mac only for the moment because it’s thunderbolt based. A PC version shouldnt be to far behind.

  194. Let me first complement you on a very interesting read about a very compelling product.

    Here’s a speculative question not to do with image so much, but could there be a possibility of attaching ie an iPhone to the camera that has a BMD app installed that allows shooters to navigate through settings and free up the viewfinder so to speak, especially for those of us who might be on such very low budget and won’t initially buy an external monitor with / without rig? And of course this then leads me to ask / bring up if there’s a possibility of iPad connectivity to also control camera settings and / or even integrate the Ultrascope functionality? Lol, don’t worry as I’ve not forgot it’s already only a $3K camera [“brain”] that records RAW, Pro Res Rec 709 or Log flavours, to competitively priced media, with a kick but colour grading / finessing tool included in the package at no extra cost! [personally I’m starting to sound like a fan boy, but I’ve gotta say I really dig this bit of gear and the vibe I’ve got from watching reviews and BMD comms that BMD don’t rule out releasing firmware updates in the future that for one, don’t brick people’s cameras if implemented incorrectly, and two, perhaps offer additional frame rates options as well – ha].

    On another unrelated query, I also noticed in a shot of you holding the camera hand held that you were obscuring the lcd screen, was this an issue that you found annoying without a rig, and / or a bit of a challenge erganomically?

    • johnbrawley says:

      Not sure what you mean re seeing the screen. Sometimes when the camera is high on legs the screen becomes difficult to see.

      In direct sun it can also be difficult.


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  196. Phil says:

    Hi John,
    I’m contemplating purchasing the blackmagic cinema camera but thought i’d ask your advice if it fits my needs. I am working in a remote indigenous community in the Top End of Australia and have been given a brief and budget from the local mine to film several short films with our students. I’ve had experience with filming short films for comps but mostly amateur stuff. Is the blackmagic cinema camera easy to use or is it more of a professionals camera? Also, i’m assuming more than just the camera is needed to produce relatively professional looking films (lenses, handles, matte box, tripod, etc), does blackmagic provide a starter kit? Any info would be great.


    • johnbrawley says:

      The camera itself is REMARKABLY simple to use.

      And in some ways, one od the advantages of a RAW workflow is that you can defer a lot of decisions until post.

      You can get very good results using the least expensive lenses and accessories. I’ve been using a very cheap 15-85 Canon EF-S lens which has done a reasonable job. WHilst you will see an improvement with better lenses like the CP’s or L series Canons, we’re talking smaller and smaller degrees.

      The main reason you want to go for these more expensive lenses is usually because they offer the chance to shoot at lower F stops.

      So for students, the biggest learning curve wil be in post, not in using the camera. Resolve isn’t really the kind of software you can just start using and get instantly good results from.

      The other option though, is to shoot ProRes in FILM mode. This gives you nearly all the advantages of a RAW workflow with a lot less demand on post. What are you using to edit with ? FCP will natively edit with ProRes files and it’s very fast to work with. You can easily get a pretty good job grading within FCP itself without having to leave the application and go to Resolve.

      Again, it’s probably going to be “good enough” especially for someone that’s learning.

      So a camera, a lens package that suits what you need to shoot, and if you aren’t backing up on set, a few SSD’s. A tripod and either screw in ND filters. PLus if I was doing corporate work, I’d look for a good tripod, simple dolly system and some basic lighting to help lift the production value.

      There’s plenty of indie filmmaking forums around to that can help with this kind of thing. DVXUSER and BMCUSER being just two options.


      • Oscar Avalos says:

        I’ve read ALL the comments so far and is very clear to me that you sir are a very patient gentleman… In my opinion the secret to a successful cinematographer… Lol. Thank you very much for all the info and patience, best wishes.

  197. If it wasn’t for the limited frame rates, I would be so in.. But great RAW camera for that price. Definitely bombs the 5D II. Thanks for this article!

  198. Saint-Oblas says:

    This seems a very promising camera. For me mains advantages are:
    – price
    – small form factor
    – removable standard lenses (I agree a micro four thirds version would be really intersesting; and why not a ES-M version?)
    – assumed performances (difficult to check for the moments). Resolution should be good but I am affrid referinf as 2k is a bit confusing. As it is a CMOS Bayer captor, resolution should not be much better than a real 3xFull HD captor. To me, the real point should be the 12 bit RAW format. But recording in a 12 bit format is only relevant if the captor offers the same (or superior, of course) range of values. This has to be checked on final product.

  199. Desmond Jay Tocchini says:

    Hi great camera this is the camera I been wanting for I will bay it.

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  202. PiDicus Rex says:

    G’day John,.

    Looking to shoot a couple of projects in Outback Oz next year,. Have you had any issues with the BMD overheating or dust getting inside it?

    Pass on kudos to the BMD crew for the way they’re handling the issues with the Sensor Glass.

    And have you stood the BMD camera next to a TV studio camera viewfinder?
    (The full size camera’s, like at Coventry St, or out at the Football and V8 Supercars)
    I reckon the design might have been ‘inspired’ by the look of them,.. which will make two-handed tripod operation seem very easy for Camera Op’s familiar with broadcast gear.

    • johnbrawley says:


      Look I haven’t yet had it in SUPER hot weather, but It’s certainly been in mid 30’s without a problem. i’ve also had it on the beach, which is probably as cruel and harsh as outback dust. The camera is basically sealed aside from the fan intake on the bottom. Of course if that clogs up with dust and you’re in a hot environment, then I’m sure you’d probably start to see issues. The cool thing is the one user serviceable part is the fan itself. You can undo 2 screws on the bottom and get in there to blow it out, so a bit of regular maintenance there will probably keep the camera ticking along.


      • PiDicus Rex says:

        Outback dust is a lot finer then sand from the beach, IIRC it’s something like between 100 and 1000 times smaller per grain. Fan sounds like the same arrangement as a PC or Laptop – blow the vanes on the heatsink clean regularly to keep things cool on the inside.
        Mid 30’s is a good guide, I plan of keeping myself and whichever camera I use in the shade!

  203. Tom David says:

    Hi John, thanks for your posts. I’m trying to locate info on zoom factors for mounting PL lens to the BMCC. Would it be correct to say this would be approx 2x? I would test this, but I can’t get my hands on a unit just yet.


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  205. Hi John. Terrific camera, compares more to the ARRI Alexa and Epic than to DSLR’s. Thanks for all your helpful posts and pdf book. Just wondering about a couple of things.
    1. I have a few S-8U62 Swit batteries knocking about and wonder if there was any battery mount which would take this for the Blackmagic cinema cam. Alternatively is the D tap wire you used in one of your videos safe to use over a long period of time on those batteries?
    2. Secondarily the camera has three holes on the top and I wanted to fix a small Audio Technica microphone holder onto this. The 3/8 inch spigot is a bit high above the camera, wonder if there is some other screw which I could fit which would fit flush with the top of the camera?

    • johnbrawley says:

      Hello Manish.

      There are plenty of after market battery mounts now, including from SWIT themselves for the BMCC. I’m sure google will help you there.

      Not sure what you’re asking with the screw holes. They are actually 1/4″ not 3/8″ though.


      • mmpandit says:

        Thanks for the prompt reply.
        I will look into the various battery solutions again. Just wondered if some solution used the Swit batteries since they were knocking around.
        WRT point 2, actually, I’ve realised what the problem was now. I think a 1/4 inch male both sides will probably hold my microphone holder.

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