Blackmagic Cinema Camera – An Update

Black Magic Cinema Camera on the beach

So a few things.

Just this weekend I received a more final version of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.  This version has a huge number of improvements.  For one thing, there’s now no more dead pixels !  They are getting close to finishing the sensor calibration process.  A lot of other features are starting to be enabled as well.

The other exciting thing is that ProRes is now active and I’ve started shooting some ProRes tests.  I have to say, it looks really great.  From a workflow point of view as well, it’s really nice to be able to play right of the SSD some beautiful ProRes 422HQ clips.  They look very nice even ungraded.

There’s also been some more optimisation of the DNG files.  I’m looking forward to trying those out as well.

I’m hopefully going to now be able to show some more footage as I shoot with this version of the camera so stay tuned !

About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
This entry was posted in Black Magic Cinema Camera, Equipment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

110 Responses to Blackmagic Cinema Camera – An Update

  1. ferbrooks says:

    Thanks for the work first!
    Second, waiting for this shoots!

  2. somegen says:

    Thanks for all the updates John. Really do appreciate all the work you’re putting into this😀

  3. I’m already sold. Just waiting to start kicking ass and taking frames with my own unit!

  4. Zsolt Sebők says:

    Thanks for the update John! Waiting for the new test shots.

  5. So excited about this camera! Thanks for keeping us updated. We eagerly await more. Do you think they’ll still manage an end of July ship date in the USA. I have a short film I would be interested in using it on…

  6. michaelbeckjr says:

    Sounds great! I can’t wait to see what you have to share. Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

  7. thegregferris says:

    What SSD did they give you John?

  8. Cheers, John! Thanks for keeping us up to date. Much appreciated!

  9. Mike Buffo says:

    Just curious. Could you tell us how many thousands of people have come to this exact page to read this in the first 24hours? I got here because I have “Blackmagic Cinema Camera” in my daily Google alerts. I’m wondering how many people got here the same way. Thanks for considering, John. And thanks for feeding the fans.

  10. Ron says:

    Not asking too much regarding BM video footage…
    1. Miss Australia in a bikini.
    2. Miss Australia runner ups in bikinis
    Just kidding. Look forward to any footage that you shoot and post. Thanks again for all your efforts. It is very much appreciated.

  11. DALVOMAIA says:

    I wait, in Brazil, the corruption Country, I will buy, this new camera!!

  12. Eric says:

    Good to know progress is being made by BMD. If possible, please upload a 10-second clip of DNG RAW (2432 x 1366) and/or ProRes 422 HQ (1920×1080). Shoot with a Zeiss Master Prime if you have one.
    Thanks!

  13. Sanjan says:

    Thanks alot John for wonderful news and the update. Do we have any clarity on crop factor ? What is acutal crop factor supported by this camera?

  14. Pingback: Blackmagic CInema Camera – An Update | Digital Cinema Tools | Scoop.it

  15. Thanks for the update! I am very excited about this camera, I think it has the potential to be great! I’m really looking forward to seeing some new footage from it!

  16. Brian Taylor says:

    It’s great to see Blackmagic really honing this camera in. I can’t wait to receive my pre-order and get to shooting.
    Looking forward to more test footage until then.

  17. @ sanjan

    To the best of my knowledge, the BMCC crop factor compared to a full-frame 35mm digital still camera is 2.3; for example, see:
    http://www.abelcine.com/fov/

    Cheers!

  18. Are there any Lens Flare issues? the first tests seemed to have that Micro-Thirds flare issue.

  19. I have a Lumix LX 3 which is a very different camera. However small pinpoints of light ( usually in a night shot will create very extreme flares usually with a vertical line of clipped pixels .In your test footage of the beach “John Brawley test Bondi” there was some large haloing around 4:12 there is a flare on top of the glow of the porch lights (not a big deal) I was just wondering if the sensor was creating a larger /thiner sort of lens flare. or maybe those things are more dependent on the lenses being used.

    P.S. Your footage is absolutely amazing, such a good eye. Your really helping convince a lot of people about buying these cameras.

    • Greg says:

      That vertical line sounds like the old smear you use to get with CCD camera sensors – I use to see it on DVCPro and Digibeta cameras…

      • johnbrawley says:

        Hi R.Scott.

        I think it’s more to do with the flare properties of the Leica lenses that I used to shoot that footage.

        Greg the smear you’re descibing is a property of CCD sensors, not present on CMOS sensors like thhe one the BMCC uses.

        jb

  20. I would love to see an option to record DNG and ProRes (Proxy) at the same time. Probably asking too much?

    • johnbrawley says:

      I think the plan is that you’ll be able ti record to RAW using a laptop as the recorder through Thunderbolt and you could then record internally on the camera to ProRes or DNx. This won’t be with the shipping camera, but is something for down the road.

      jb

  21. Ben Munro says:

    Hi John, thanks for all the updates you’ve given along the way about this camera, I had one question in regards to this post. Does the camera appear to maintain the same dynamic range in it’s prores codec? I figure that’s a hard question to answer if you haven’t done spec test to it yet, but how does it appear to your eyes.

    Thanks

  22. @Giogio Palazzi

    A relatively inexpensive option would be to connect a BMD Hyperdeck Shuttle 2 to the BMCC’s HD-SDI output port. The HdS-2 can record DNxHD, ProRes, or uncompressed.

  23. Tim says:

    Hi John,
    Do you know what the bitrate is when recording in ProResHQ?
    Thanks!

  24. Chris says:

    Great to see such a product coming out of Australia (gotta be proud of that). If you need primes to test with you can probably hit up VA Hire and let them know you are testing the new BMD camera – I’m sure they’d part with a lens or two for the afternoon. Can’t wait to see the new footage and get a raw file to test workflow with.

  25. Jermaine Migel says:

    Thanks for the update John.
    Have you heard any talks regarding higher frames. For example 50, 60 or even 120fps.

  26. LukeS says:

    48FPS in the future would be perfect! On the edge of my seat waiting for this test footage. My favorite of the first footage you released was the people walking downtown at dusk, very tranquil and incredibly film like.

  27. calen says:

    Does it have audio meters?

      • calen says:

        Well, I’ve already pre-ordered one. Mostly so I don’t have to use my H4N to record audio. I’m assuming there will be audio meters eventually. Thanks so much for putting so much effort into testing this out and giving us an insider scoop. I probably wouldn’t have pre-ordered if it weren’t for the info and experience you’ve provided.

    • alanbstardmp says:

      Good question Calen, It has no XLRs, however, we are told the equivalent give good audio. Meters would be of practical worth. Good audio is so important

      • johnbrawley says:

        The camera has balanced audio inputs (like XLR’s) but it uses different connectors. The 6.5mm style instead.
        jb

      • calen says:

        Yes. It has 1/4″ TRS balanced connectors which carry a balanced signal over 3 wires just like an XLR jack only in a form factor that fits on the side of the camera. 1/4″ TRS is a professional standard. You’ll just have to use 1/4″ TRS male to XLR female cables for your mics. I already have a few of them in my kit. I’m pretty sure it will have meters, but I want to check. What’s the point of having 48k 24bit uncompressed audio if you cant set a proper gain structure?

      • alanbstardmp says:

        yes indeed, also I wonder how many of us can use this uncompressed camera for it’s intended purpose, after all, we won’t see the benefits of uncompressed once it’s on TV and the net, where things are compressed as standard

      • johnbrawley says:

        Hi Alan.

        The good thing is the camera can be either uncompressed or compressed.

        But by your logic of not seeing a visual difference, 35mm wouldn’t be noticeably better on Television.

        Clearly that’s not the case either but I take your point.

        The ProRes is very very good I must say, and it’s only the most fussy of pixel peepers that will want and see the difference in RAW.

        jb

      • alanbstardmp says:

        thanks John

        I am just concerned that given TV stations and vimeo, youtube, etc, all compress everything, the true quality may be diminished somewhat, and the punters may not see a difference

        It also would be interesting, if it’s 2.5 uncompressed would have a superiority over FS700 potential 4k compressed?

        Interesting times

  28. jeneyakos says:

    Dear John! Really thank you for all of the updates what you give us here, i am really interested to hold this camera in my hands. My question is, is there any way to mount old FF M42 mount analog lens to this camera? I have an M42 to Canon adapter what i can perfectly use on any kind of Canon body, what do you think, will it be this easy if i want to use them on the BMD camera? Thanks for your help!

    • johnbrawley says:

      I should think it will work.

      If the lenses cover full frame and the adaptor works with EF mount canons, it should be fine.

      • jeneyakos says:

        Really thanks for your really fast answer!🙂 When could we expect new footages?🙂

      • johnbrawley says:

        I’m shooting all the time with it, but there are still some things to be resolved. I can’t say when exactly i’ll be able to show you footage, but it should be soon. It will be DNG and ProRes too.

  29. Eric says:

    Looking forward to the uploaded footage, John.
    May I suggest you upload to LimeLinx.com? It’s free, and supports download managers.
    Thanks for all your work.
    Oh, and I’m still waiting for a solution to attaching a Master Prime on this baby🙂

  30. jamestpowers says:

    Any chance the Black Magic camera can shoot at 60fps at 1080P?

  31. Hi jamestpowers: Concerning 60 fps, JB says “probably never”, and this topic was covered earlier on this page, too. It’s not going to be a capability of the BMCC.

    By all indications the camera described on the BMD website will prove very popular. The BMCC has many compelling features, and is unique in its including them at its price point.

    If BMD ever designs a 2nd cinema camera model, there’s no shortage of suggestions for what features it might include. But that’s a discussion for another day. Right now BMD has its hands full readying BMCC model #1. Cheers!

  32. Sean says:

    Can you mount the SSD via the Thunderbolt port? Can you transfer files using the Mac OS X Finder, rather than “capture” video using the Media Express software?

  33. lalou Pothintinho says:

    Im’ watting for your test… this camera look very great. When do you think put your footage here ? Thank for your job.

  34. Andreas says:

    If the battery wouldn’t be integrated and I could have backups with me I would start thinking about this cam. But like this it is not usable for me…

    • Zsolt Sebők says:

      What about buying external batteries? Like the Energizer XP18000?

    • johnbrawley says:

      Obviously it has to work for you.

      But, RED’s have external batteries. Alexa has external batteries. EPIC has an internal battery which is difficult to change in production mode. It’s not really that radical.

      • Andreas says:

        RED or Alexa are both cameras that are Way Out of my budget and needs. I am a one man independent documentary filmmaker who is traveling around a lot. The camera body looks kind of small, Canon 5D Mark II comparable. Maybe I am wrong. But overall this battery issue is for me the one thing that breaks the deal and simply makes it unusable.

      • johnbrawley says:

        I think documentary is not really what this camera is ideally suited to unless you’re prepared to spend some money and do it properly. You’d need extra storage for the filed and a system for downloading and storing your footage on the road. The camera’s form factor would need some augmentation for longer sustained handheld shooting. It’s not the camera for everyone.

        jb

  35. Brian Vining says:

    Hi John,
    Thanks for all of your updates and I’m looking forward to the uploaded footage,
    On the topic of batteries….on the blackmagic website is says that the camera has a 12V-30V DC port. Is this a standard type of port or does it need a specific plug? I’m ordering the camera and want to order external batteries as well. Thanks for your time.

    • johnbrawley says:

      It’s like a standard computer type power connector. It’s not a “film” industry standard connector though like XLR’s. Like what you find on consumer video cameras and dSLR’s for mains powering. I had some cables made up that go from XLR and from D-Tap plugs into the camera, so I can power it in a few ways.

  36. BMCC Baby says:

    Hi John
    Not trying to be a dick or anything…. but any chance of telling us why they chose you to test it over much more talented, experienced, knowledgeable, creative, artistic, good looking people?

  37. John says:

    When can we get footage?😉

  38. JohnH says:

    Hi John, thanks for all of you great info.

    Could you tell me if this camera would be suitable for live switching via HDSDI (ATEM switcher) or is the HDSDI output RAW only?

    Many thanks

  39. Lonnie Bell says:

    Hello John – Great stuff (love the Olympus images from your blog by the way)!
    A question sir: I have an investment in Nikon G glass, so is there any physical hindrance or other issue that wouldn’t allow me to put a Nikon to EOS adapter on this camera as long as the adapter had a manual aperture ring (Novoflex EOS/NIK-NT)? I realize camera data and auto features wouldn’t work – but I’m a WYSIWYG kind of guy usually via a 7″ on-camera monitor…
    Thanks for your time,
    Lonnie

  40. Ben says:

    Some Test Please !!

  41. Hi John…

    I see the masses can’t wait. I have to ask you a question in regards to your feelings towards the crop factor compared to full frame cams like the 5D etc.

    It’s all good that we get raw and amazing dynamic range for a small price, but how have you felt in regards to wide shots? Is this just a compromise one learns to live with and then toss in a B cam for the wides? 2.2 is quite significant in my personal view, and I can’t help think I might find myself stuck in a tight spot at some point where it would be nice that the 20mm in fact was a 20mm or at least a 30mm. Even the Tokina 11-16mm would turn into a 24 – 35mm.
    Or would the BMC more like become a B cam to Alexa / RED instead of an A cam for something else?

    If used as an A cam, what would you immediately say would make a great buddy for it? Can the 5D or FS100 match up? (even though you shun the 264 now😉 )

    Thank you for your time and looking forward to seeing more footage… I have to say that footage that was shown at release looked very interesting.

    • Hi Torbin: There’s also the Sigma 8-16mm zoom. Equivalent to a 18.5mm at the wide end on the BMCC:

      Not as fast as the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8, but the Sigma is significantly wider, percentage-wise.

  42. Rocky says:

    John, thanks for your tests. Did you experience any of the common DSLR issues like rolling shutter or moire which the C300 claims to solve?

    • johnbrawley says:

      The camera has a rolling shutter. I would say it’s no worse than any other similar priced DSLR. The C300 would perform better in this regard but I havne’t directly comapred them. Rolling shuuter is just a function of price. There’s nothing for free in this regard.

  43. Ben says:

    Hi John, can you please just post something ?… anything really!
    Is there any sort of problem ? your post was on the 24th of june… why do you make us suffer like this ?

  44. afamdman says:

    Hello john and the BMCC family, been reading about the BMCC all week, thanks for all your information, cant wait to have the camera and really test it and also would be happy to get some of the RAW footage so one can grade and see how it stands going through my own grading process. and yea am all the way from Nigeria and this would help in movie industry we cant all afford RED but would like to shoot something great.

  45. HI John,
    I’ve been following your BMCC exploits from the safety of the ‘Insular Peninsular’ north of the Spit Bridge, and man, I must thank you for all you’ve shared about the camera. I ordered one a couple of months ago, and am counting the days till it arrives! Anytime you want to do a multi-cam BMCC shoot, I’m there (if I’m around). Looks like my GH2 and EX1 are going to be gathering dust from September… anyone wanna buy a Letus Eltie😉 ?

  46. Stanley says:

    The only reason why nobody offered any RAW footage sample is that there is something, they do not want us to know before we buy the camera. And then, of course, is already tooooo late. So BlackMagic will earn the first money to solve the problems…. maybe, for the second relese of the camera. No serious test with some EF lens like 24-105 and 70-200. No candle test with f1,2/1,4/1,8 ??? Very strange tactic to sell the brand new product. Don´t you think? No at least ,,semi-pro,, trailer for the new camera. Only talk talk talking. So be very carefull, what you order. No word mentioned about compatibility of the RAW with cutting software and tutorials how to cut it natively in Adobe AfterEffects… as it shoots 2,5K in RAW it would be great for post production tricks, but? No serious information released!!! So, order people, order as soon as possible to make the first amateur test, if BlackMagic itself is hiding something🙂

    • johnbrawley says:

      Thanks for the scaremongering. You sound like a bit of a shrill who hasn’t done their research.

      No one HAS to buy this camera. Thanks for pointing that out to everyone.

      Pre-orders are with resellers. BMD don’t get the deposit anyone pays. That deposit is paid to a re-seller. Any reasonable re-seller would allow you to cancel your order and get your deposit back if the camera doesn’t work as advertised. This is not like RED where you are dealing with the company directly.

      BMD don’t need the deposit. They aren’t a startup. They are a very large and well established company that’s been running for 10 years. This is their first camera. They don’t have to release any footage until they ship if they wish. It’s up to you to decide if you buy and when you buy.

      Cinema DNG’s can be processed right now TODAY with Resolve, the software that they include with the camera. Resolve is a mature product. Right now you can download V9 as a lite version from the BMD website. It works exactly the same with BMCC DNG’s as it does with other DNG’s.

      jb

    • Lonnie Bell says:

      Stanley – you sound like a troll or at the very least – the angry uniformed. You should do a little research into Grant Petty and BM before making stupid comments.

      For most pros, a 3K investment is not too much to risk considering what this camera claims it will do. And if 3k is too much for you to “risk” on BM’s reputation (which you obviously know nothing about) without conclusive evidence – then wait for the reviews, tests, or generation 2. But inflammatory remarks are just that – and your comments serve to only make you sound ignorant.

      And to go even a step further, there are those that would gladly plunk down 3k now so BM can further their RnD – because generation 2 will not only be an advancement on version 1, but it will also still be leaps and bounds cheaper then the competition, again. It’s benn the business model of Black Magic – they take what use to be prohibitively expensive for everyone, except corporations – and make it affordable for all…

      Do your homework next time,
      Lonnie

      • Lonnie Bell says:

        Didn’t mean to step on your heels, JB – I was typing my reply as you were hitting the send button…

  47. Rod says:

    N
    Hi JB,
    Any chance you could elaborate on the use of Canon EF-s lens. I’ve noticed you have used them with this camera in another post. I have a set so being able to use them as a starter makes this all the more attractive.
    many thanks
    Rod

    • johnbrawley says:

      EF-S lenses work great. optically they are more a budget option than a HIGH END option, but if it gets you upa nd running sooner. I’ve used them and gotten reasonable results. Nice optics are always appreciated though.

      jb

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