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Blackmagic ships Pocket Cinema Camera and drops price on original model

By dpreview staff on Aug 2, 2013 at 19:22 GMT

Blackmagic Designs has announced it is shipping its Raw-video-shooting Pocket Cinema Camera and is reducing the price of its original, larger Cinema Camera. The Pocket Cinema Camera is built around a 'Super 16mm' sized sensor (12.5 x 7mm) and can shoot Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) or lossless compressed CinemaDNG 1080 footage at 23.99, 24, 25, 29.97 or 30p. Meanwhile the company has knocked $1,000 off the price of its original, 2.5K resolution Raw-shooting Cinema Camera model.

The original Blackmagic Cinema Camera is available in both Canon EF and passive (non-autofocus) Micro Four Thirds mounts. Both will now cost $1,995. The Pocket Cinema Camera, which uses a smaller sensor but still promises 13-stops of dynamic range, uses a full Micro Four Thirds mount, allowing autofocus in addition to peaking-assisted manual focus. The Pocket Cinema Camera sells for $995.

The company says the 4K-capable Production Camera, announced alongside the Pocket Cinema Camera should begin shipping in 3-4 weeks.


Press Release:

Camera Update

The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is now shipping and there is a software update for it posted on our web site.

There are some new features in the software for the Pocket Cinema Camera. You can now focus by pushing the focus button when using an active MFT lens. This makes it very easy to accurately focus. The focus peaking feature is still there and you enable it by double pressing the focus button. The focus zoom feature is enabled by double pressing the OK button.

There will be an update for the 2.5K Blackmagic Cinema Camera soon that will also add these features, plus new de-bayer processing that will improve the cameras sharpness when shooting non RAW files.

The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K is not yet shipping as we need some more time. Our first batch of sensors was delivered only this week, so we have not been able to complete the software for the camera. We expect to start shipping in about 3 to 4 weeks once the final software work and testing is completed.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Price Reduction

We have worked very hard over the last year to be able to build the Blackmagic Cinema Camera at a lower cost so we can reduce the price and allow access to digital filming to a wide range of cinematographers and photographers.

We have done it and from today the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and MFT models will be reduced in price to US$1,995. This is very exciting and is one of the proudest moments of my life to be able to do this!

I think people will be able to use the savings to invest in some exciting lenses and rigs to really boost the creative possibilities. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a fantastic design that's now well proven. The advantage of the 2.5K sensor is it has enough resolution to eliminate the bayer resolution loss of a HD sensor, but when shooting RAW it produces files that are too not to big to store and work with easily. It's a fantastic solution.

All orders placed that have not yet been filled, can be reduced to the new lower price.

Comments

Total comments: 56
Dan Tong
By Dan Tong (7 months ago)

I need a clear answer to the question:

Can the BMagic Pocket Cinema Camera EF autofocus with Canon lenses that autofocus with Canon 60D, 5DMkII, MkIII etc. ?

The blurbs make it sound like they will, but it is not 100% clear. Please don't speculate but speak from hands on experience.

Thanks

0 upvotes
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (8 months ago)

The 4K Production Camera will be available soon. Great but ... it will be $4000 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/964119-REG/blackmagic_design_blackmagic_production_camera_4k.html

AND What do we do with 4K video? You can buy a computer monitor for 4K video (Asus PQ321Q 4K) but it's $3500 .... Sony will have a consumer-grade 4K TV soon (KD-65X9000A) but it will be over $5000.

Someone mentioned a 4K TV for $700. There is a Review of it at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2421100,00.asp Perhaps this will make 4K video more practical for the consumer.

I guess the name (Production Camera) implies that it's for professional applications

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (8 months ago)

Folks at Blackmagic Design of Australia have been lying to themselves and making up ridiculous stuff about their various and sundry cameras and their "delivery dates" for so long, I am sure they would have difficulty grasping the truth just once.

1 upvote
Gesture
By Gesture (8 months ago)

Good to see new things done seriously. Look forward to professional user's reports.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (8 months ago)

I always thought 4K was a long way off, but just yesterday I saw a lower end TV manufacturer (Seiki SE39UY04) offering a $700 40" 4K (@30Hz) TV. 30Hz is low, but it matches the 30fps max of the Black Magic 4K camera.

When lower end manufacturers start offering $700 4K TVs, you think maybe the higher end brands won't be out of reach for long.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

I saw this too. For games, 30Hz is low.

However, most movies are still 24fps, so 30Hz is actually more than you need, and it will be under that for watching films.

The HFR version of the Hobbit strongly illustrates that 48fps video is not most people's cup of tea. Resolution, however, will dazzle the eye without giving you a headache.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Deano255
By Deano255 (8 months ago)

Couple thoughts:

1) BlackMagic is kicking butt because they think and act like a startup computer company, and not a stodgy old camera company. They believe in giving value for your money, not eliminating features so they can charge you more for "higher-end" cameras.

2) I have been skeptical about 4K as well. Only argument I have seen so far that makes sense is that you can crop a 4K clip and still get a high rez shot - same argument works for the Nikon D800 on the still side. The other-argument is "future-proofing" your footage, so that when the world goes to 4K (which means people will ditch their 1080p Hi-Def flat panels and upgrade to 4K) their content will be able to handle that. But 4K is a resource-hog on the editing side, and the leap from 1080p to 4K is nowhere near as great as the leap from standard def to HD, in the U.S. at least we are in a 1080p 24fps Hi Def world for a long time to come.

3 upvotes
Nukunukoo
By Nukunukoo (8 months ago)

Being able to crop and recompose with very little rez loss is primarily the advantage of 4K and is a godsend for post-editors. But I do agree on your second statement.

1 upvote
RRJackson
By RRJackson (8 months ago)

If you crop more than about 10% in post you'll have trouble intercutting shots without a noticeable change in quality. That's probably more a factor of the lens than the camera, but it seems to hold up in practice. Personally, I'll crop slightly to correct a minor camera tilt more often than any other reason.

The most interesting features about the 4K Production Camera are the global shutter and the compressed RAW. And of course the larger sensor. The original camera has kind of an awkward sensor size. Hard to put together a lens package for it. Of course, the pocket camera and the non-4K cinema camera are both supposed to have greater dynamic range than the 4K.

The pocket camera seems insanely nice for the size and price, IMO. It also has compressed RAW.

0 upvotes
iAPX
By iAPX (8 months ago)

BlackMagic products are exciting, cheap (in the sense of really affordable), high technology, with a focus on quality and efficiency.

Probably exactly the opposite of latest announcements from Leica or Hasseblad.

8 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (8 months ago)

Blackmagic makes the best announcement in the digital camera business today, no doubt. Now, if they could only make and sell some cameras as well.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (8 months ago)

Hmmp, great dynamic range in a MFT sensor. APSC or FF formats should have this by one or two years ago if not for the obsession with the MP count.

2 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (8 months ago)

What you mean? APS-C had this like two years ago- in fact 14 stops, not 13.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

It's a "Super 16mm" sensor (12.5 x 7mm) with a m43 mount.

There are plenty of APS-C and FF sensor cameras that get more than 13 EV DR, just so you know.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (8 months ago)

It is video DR, don't even try to approximate video DR of large sensor cameras from their still DR, they skip lines, reduce bits and increase readout speed (comes with increase in red noise) for video.

4 upvotes
Nukunukoo
By Nukunukoo (8 months ago)

DSLR Video DR is not quite as comparable as Stills DR. The A/D bit depth is lower (usually at 10-bits) and the current on the sensor is also slightly lower (to reduce sensor overheating). In theory, this Super 16 sensor is one to three stops better than the best FF and APS-C. Let's see what the hands-on review says...

2 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (8 months ago)

A great achievement that will truly set the cat among the pigeons in higher end video. The biggest barrier to entry is the post processing workflow for the neophyte.

2 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

And with powerful multi-core chips and prices of GFX cards, the hardware for post is cheap/available too! You can build a great video editing rig for cheap, and even some of today's laptops are good enough for post.

We live in exciting times! At least for the creative types...

0 upvotes
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (8 months ago)

Don't need any of that pricey stuff just to post what you shoot on You Tube and Vimeo for nothing, though.

0 upvotes
budi0251
By budi0251 (8 months ago)

Today this is cutting edge tech : 4K, 2.5K, 13-stops DR, 60p, etc.
Within a decade (or less), it will be a norm and accessible to average joe, just like DSLR about a decade ago (more or less).

Just hold your G.A.S. long enough.

ps.
Well, just imagine other supporting tech, try to download 36MP D800 jpg through 56k modem (Y2K) vs T1 (today)
Today we have multi gigabyte memory card where they used to be counted as megabytes, let's imagine the future possibilities :D

Nevertheless, what happened today would be a history known to no one in the future should you never record it audio-visually (digitally or analogously).
The value of an image (or video) that counts, I remember an original pic of Billy the Kid that sells so well even though technically it's not the best image quality.

2 upvotes
draschan
By draschan (8 months ago)

either rent or buy what's best for your current project and then sell or return it. with the bmpcc there's almost no need for that. .I used to spend lots on 16mm film, camera service, repairs, etc. each step costing more than buying one of those little machines.

0 upvotes
focuspulling
By focuspulling (8 months ago)

dpreview digested the news incorrectly on multiple fronts. For instance, the sensor size of the BMPCC is not smaller than the BMCC models. They are all, however, smaller than the BM4K.

Also, there is no software update for the BMPCC "available on the Web site." It's just shipping with the "update."

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (8 months ago)

The press release is written by the manufacturer, and it says: "The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is now shipping and there is a software update for it posted on our web site."
It clearly states that the update is available separately from the camera. And if the text had been written by DPR, instead of being a press release published as received, then it wouldn't have said "our web site".

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (8 months ago)

The press release is written by the manufacturer, and it says: "The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is now shipping and there is a software update for it posted on our web site."
It clearly states that the update is available separately from the camera. And if the text had been written by DPR, instead of being a press release published as received, then it wouldn't have said "our web site".

0 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (8 months ago)

And yes the sensor of the BMPCC IS smaller than the one in the BMCC. They are built on the same fab, so the 2.5k version is essentially 25-ish% wider than the 1080p BMPCC. If you crop a 1080p frame out of the 2.5k then the sensor area used is the same.

For those who insist on using 135 format as the benchmark, the BMCC has a 2.3x crop factor and the BMPCC has a near 3x crop factor.

1 upvote
NeilJones
By NeilJones (8 months ago)

4k is so silly. Just no market for it. 720p still the way to go for now.

1 upvote
Shishkejo
By Shishkejo (8 months ago)

That what you think, but not the true fact, 4k with such a price it will have more demand than the 2.5k model.

7 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (8 months ago)

NeilJones the camera is designed for pro film makers and the demand for them is huge. This camera and cameras like it will change the face of low budget film making.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

Except few if any filmmakers are still shooting in 720p. The BMCC is not a camera for casual home movies and YouTube clips. It is a serious cinema camera and like it or not 4K is the future.

4 upvotes
Joe Ogiba
By Joe Ogiba (8 months ago)

720p ? Really ? Most smartphones shoot 1080p.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-tmxrAeJjg

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33153_7-57589595-10391733/get-a-50-inch-seiki-4k-hdtv-for-$965.99-shipped/

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (8 months ago)

640k should be enough for anybody

6 upvotes
draschan
By draschan (8 months ago)

LOL

0 upvotes
guamy
By guamy (8 months ago)

4k is huge to me..

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

To the OP: Go ahead and keep driving your diesel Rabbit. Let the rest of us appreciate the last 20 years of innovations in technology, mmkay?

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (8 months ago)

"The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera uses a Super 16 imaging area (around 12.5 x 7.4mm - essentially a 16:9 crop of a 1" sensor....."
So what's the multiplication factor on m4/3 lens I have to take into account when mounting on Pocket Cinema?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (8 months ago)

the factor is 3.05 to 35mm format.
so three times focal length and f-number of whatever lens
as long as the image circle > 13.3mm (diagonal).

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
utihomes
By utihomes (8 months ago)

So,does this price reduction come about due to the 5D Mark iii now being able to shoot RAW?

0 upvotes
nelsonal
By nelsonal (8 months ago)

I suspect it's because their S35 (35mm film but the frame goes the short way) sensor camera was only going to be priced at $3999 (so the BMCC was overpriced).

0 upvotes
nathanleebush
By nathanleebush (8 months ago)

That's no doubt partly it. I've noticed a palpable drop in enthusiasm for the BMCC since the Magic Lantern RAW hack for the 5D Mark III. Why not have a pro photo solution while you're dropping three grand? The frustrating thing is that Canon has shown little interest in actual innovation, but hackers working for free are making their products irresistible for filmmakers. At least Blackmagic has the balls to give us pro image quality at reasonable prices, rather than crippling their own gear to protect their high end line's price gouging.

1 upvote
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

The BM products still have the advantage the m43 products have: lens options! Especially when you factor in something like the Speed Booster. The mirror isn't doing any favors for video.

Also, that shallow DOF that everyone is talking about isn't the greatest thing for every production. Tracking focus can be a challenge and it can be distracting. No, there is absolutely a market for these smaller sensors on the video front.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (8 months ago)

The latest footage from this camera really does look good. The more I see from it, the more I am thinking of picking one up. Also $1995 for the BMCC is an incredible deal if you don't need 4K.

Black Magic Pocket Camera Footage

http://vimeo.com/70676876#

6 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (8 months ago)

I predict that a few people that really know how to work "magic" with this camera will love it. Everyone else who buys it expecting it to work like a Panasonic or Olympus m4/3s camera will be VERY disappointed

This camera is for die hard video fans only. The autofocus is not what you would call speedy and the controls are not what you would call intuitive. However, the Dynamic Range is to die for and the RAW format is the Holy Grail.

9 upvotes
nathanleebush
By nathanleebush (8 months ago)

I agree. This is a pro cinema camera first and foremost and is designed to be rigged out on a movie set.

2 upvotes
Toccata47
By Toccata47 (8 months ago)

Let's get real. At 1k + lens no one will mistake this for an olympus dad-cam-corder. If you are interested enough in a pcc to actually know what it is and where to buy it, you already know why this camera is special.

As far as qualifications are concerned, this camera is simple to use and even a novice can get to business with just a few minutes of hands on time.

It's really an excellent camera if you can figure out what it does best.

3 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (8 months ago)

You must not remember the original "home" video cameras. They were even more expensive in yesterday or even today's dollars and they were absolutely dad cams.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (8 months ago)

They shipped one camera to a few stores and yet it sounds like they are already mass producing this thing.

5 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (8 months ago)

Is the camera shipping with the RAW format or do you have to wait for a firmware update?

2 upvotes
Shishkejo
By Shishkejo (8 months ago)

It mention only have pro ress and DNG?

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (8 months ago)

All of the other manufactures are thinking "How did they do that?".

5 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (8 months ago)

Hmm, Canon are probably thinking- "maybe we should have enabled RAW mode for video after all"

5 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (8 months ago)

Canon's probably thinking, "I don't think we need to worry about cameras that will sell in the hundreds of units".

3 upvotes
AshMills
By AshMills (8 months ago)

There are thousands of pre-orders for this little beauty.

9 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (8 months ago)

tkbslc I know of one single shop where the orders run into 100's and they all have deposits paid.

4 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (8 months ago)

Well, if you have little to no support for stills then that probably leaves plenty of room for better video hardware :) I mean, there's no shutter, no flash etc.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Nathaniel George Weir
By Nathaniel George Weir (8 months ago)

Blackmagic Design: The new Apple of the cinema industry. Minus the hefty Apple price tags!

6 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (8 months ago)

And Apple sales figures and mass appeal.

4 upvotes
Total comments: 56