Surprises abound when you’re dealing with Blackmagic Design. It seems they’ve developed a new role for themselves, that of the secret keeper. For the second year in a row, Blackmagic has released not just one new camera, but two, providing a very interesting start to NAB 2013.
In speaking with the good people at Blackmagic, they seemed stunned at the surprise. They thought that due to their introduction of the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera last year, people would be expecting them to release another camera this year. However, I was totally taken back, and judging from the collective gasp at the press conference on Monday, I couldn’t have been the only surprised person.
As we talked about last week, the two new cameras are the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. We talked to Kendall Eckman about each surprise package, starting with the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K.
Equipped with a large Super 35 sensor, professional global shutter, EF mount, and ProRes 422 recording, the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K is able to shoot “Ultra HD”. This endows the BPC with the ability to shoot in beyond high resolution, and is in line with the new wave of 4K mania that’s become so prevalent over the past year. Besides Ultra HD, the BPC can shoot in 1080HD in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30 frames per second. Blackmagic says that the camera will allow for the highest resolution “…music videos, episodic television production, television commercials, sports, documentaries, news stories, interviews and feature films.”
Along those lines, the BPC possesses a 6G-SDI connection (along with its other standard connection ports), enabling it to produce live video. The Super 35 sensor helps retain image quality regardless of lens, zoom level, etc., keeping the shooter’s lens options wide open, and has 12 stops of dynamic range for increased detail capture. Lastly, the BPC shoots in open file formats (Apple ProRes and CinemaDNG RAW) that make it easily usable with the variety of editing softwares available. With a wide variety of features, ports, and options, it’s clear Blackmagic is trying to make this camera an all in one Ultra Hi Res solution for whatever video project you may be shooting.
Finally, the Camera itself is made of high grade aluminum, which Blackmagic promises will “…easily handle the rigors of location work.” It also features another little surprise, a touchscreen, which is a departure from the original. It allows for an easily navigated menu and settings, as well as the entry of meta data right there in camera. The body also possesses a built in SSD recorder for recording onto solid state disks. Lastly, the camera comes with copies of UltraScope and DaVinchi Resolve for live scoping and color grading respectively.
The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K will retail for the price of $3,995 USD, and will be available for purchase this coming July.
Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Production Camera 4K
Professional 4K production camera features large Super 35 size sensor with professional global shutter, EF mount optics and high quality ProRes 422 (HQ) file recording
NAB 2013, Las Vegas, USA – April 11, 2013 – Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, a new high resolution 4K digital film camera with an innovative large Super 35 size sensor with professional global shutter, combined with precision EF mount optics and high quality Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) file recording for only US$3,995.
Blackmagic Production Camera 4K will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2013 booth at #SL218.
The latest high end televisions and video projectors support Ultra HD, which is four times the resolution of regular HD video. The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K shoots to high quality compressed CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes 422 (HQ) files in 4K, giving customers a complete solution to shoot the most amazing high resolution music videos, episodic television production, television commercials, sports, documentaries, news stories, interviews and feature films.
The new Blackmagic Production Camera 4K also supports the new 6G-SDI video connection out so it can be used on live video production.
Blackmagic Production Camera 4K has been designed with portability and durability in mind. With standard connections and an internal battery packed inside a beautiful machined aluminum design, the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K will easily handle the rigors of location work. A high resolution LCD display shows settings such as shutter speed, color temperature, aperture and timecode in an easy to read status strip. The built in capacitive touchscreen offers direct access to menus with a touch of the finger and allows changing settings such as recording format, shutter angle and more. The touchscreen also allows users to enter important metadata that is compatible with popular video editing software including Final Cut Pro X.
With a large Super 35 size sensor, cinematographers get familiar framing and behavior from the lenses they already own. This camera sensor features a global shutter and its large size allows minimal crop factor so cinematographers get nice wide angle shots from their wide angle lenses. When working in HD customers can use the high resolution images to reframe and zoom into shots without any quality loss.
With the built in EF compatible lens mount there is a wide choice of optics to take advantage of the large Super 35 size sensor without cropping. Cinematographers get the choice of the world’s most amazing optics from leading lens crafters like Canon, Zeiss and more, with full electronic control. The EF compatible lens mount means customers are not locked into a specific lens and even professional cinema lenses with EF mount with professional rails and follow focus accessories can be used.
The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K easily captures 4K in compressed CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes 422 (HQ) using the built in high speed SSD recorder. Once the shoot has wrapped, the disk can be connected to a computer for editing or color correction of the shots straight from the disk, which can be formatted in either HFS+ or ExFAT for Mac and Windows compatibility. In addition to the regular CinemaDNG RAW format, Blackmagic Design will also implement a QuickTime wrapper for the open standard CinemaDNG and companion codec, allowing the camera to record in a format that allows RAW editing in popular editing software.
The wide dynamic range of the Super 35 sized sensor can be mapped into the quantizing range of the file so you can color grade shots to allow greater detail in highlights and shadows. When working fast, the customer can also record to regular Rec. 709 video files.
Blackmagic Production Camera 4K uses standard connections, so customers do not need to worry about sourcing custom cables. The camera features 6G-SDI output that can be down-converted to HD or used for amazing quality Ultra HD video. In addition, the device includes a built-in Thunderbolt port and UltraScope software for real time waveform monitoring. For audio you get 1/4″ jack mic/line inputs plus 12V to 30V DC input, a 3.5mm headphone socket and LANC remote control. And with a built-in uncompressed audio recorder you can eliminate post audio synching altogether.
“Customers have been asking us to design a camera with global shutter and a large sensor. With the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K we have delivered that, plus the high resolution needed for the latest Ultra HD production work,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “This is a very exciting camera and it produces amazing looking pictures that we are sure everyone will love. It’s going to allow Ultra HD programming to be simple and easy!”
Availability and Price
Blackmagic Production Camera 4K will be available in July for US$3,995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.
About Black Magic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and film restoration software for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including stereoscopic 3D and 4K workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. For more information, please check www.blackmagicdesign.com.