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Blackmagic Design creates Pocket Cinema Camera with Raw 1080 shooting

By dpreview staff on Apr 8, 2013 at 18:52 GMT

Blackmagic Design has announced a pocket-sized 1080p movie camera capable of 422 ProRes capture with promises of lossless CinemaDNG to be added via firmware. 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 - a format for which high-speed sensors are available), and an 'active' Micro Four Thirds lens mount, giving full aperture control of native lenses. The camera can capture footage in Apple's 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes format Blackmagic promising to add the open, lossless CinemaDNG Raw standard later. The company has said this will cost just $995 and be available from July.

The camera captures ProRes footage at 220 Mbps, allowing it to fit 50 minutes of footage on a 64Gb SDXC card. It offers magnified focus and focus peaking, and can output an HDMI signal with or without overlays for external monitoring. It also includes a LANC connector for controlling record, stop, focus and iris settings, remotely. It also includes mic and headphone sockets, a 12V power input and standard tripod mounts top and bottom to allow flexible incorporation into a shooting rig.


Press Release:

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

NAB 2013, Las Vegas, USA - April 8, 2013 - Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, a beautifully designed, pocket sized digital cinema camera that includes powerful features such as Super 16mm sized 1080HD sensor, super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, built in SD card recorder for Apple ProRes, lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW capture and active Micro Four Thirds lens mount, all in an attractive compact design for only US$995.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2013 booth at #SL218.

Since the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera was launched at NAB 2012, it has been celebrated by industry professionals for its amazing film look and accurate and cinematic color. The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has most of the features of its bigger brother, including its feature film look, but has been redesigned with a dramatically smaller size that is less than an inch thick and can be held easily in your hand.

This compact design allows the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera to be used in more situations where a larger camera would not be practical. It’s so small that it can be used in situations in the field where a larger camera could be dangerous. The camera’s film look even allows personal video to be shot with the style and creativity of a motion picture film!

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera features an industry standard Super 16 sensor size, so it’s perfect when using Super 16 cine lenses via MFT adapters, as the shooting experience is the same as using the same lens on a Super 16 film camera. The 13 stops of dynamic range look of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is almost identical to shooting on a professional Super 16 film camera. The Micro Four Thirds lenses offer a wide range of low cost lenses with amazing image quality, and they are compatible with mount adapters such as PL mounts for large lens and professional motion picture film rigs.

One of the most important features of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is its super wide dynamic range of 13 stops, allowing feature film quality images. A common mistake in the television industry is the assumption that more resolution means higher quality. Most cameras, even ones with higher than HD resolution, can produce"video" looking images that suffer from highlight and black clipping that limits details. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera's wide dynamic range eliminates this problem and provides film quality with dramatically more detail retained in black and whites in the image. Once the shoot is complete, DaVinci Resolve Lite color correction software can be used to adjust images and take advantage of this extra range in the images.

To eliminate the damage that low bit depth and high compression video storage creates, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera includes a easy to use SD card recorder that allows the full sensor dynamic range to be recorded in professional ProRes 422 (HQ) format, as well as 12 bit Log RAW lossless compressed CinemaDNG format. These files can be read by high end video software as they are all open standard. In addition to the regular CinemaDNG RAW format, Blackmagic Design will also be implementing 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.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has been designed as the perfect companion to editing software such as Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer. Unlike other cameras, which require the use of custom video file formats, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera includes absolutely no custom video file formats, and every file type included is open standard.

The built in large LCD display makes focus easy, and allows playback of captured files. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera includes a built in microphone, as well as external jack based mic/line level balanced audio connections. When reviewing recorded clips, audio can be played through the built in speaker and routed through the headphone port or micro HDMI output. The HDMI output includes all camera data such as timecode, transport control, shutter angle, color temperature setting and ASA information overlaid in attractive anti aliased fonts.

"This is an extremely exciting camera and its been amazing to work on. Our original Blackmagic Cinema Camera was small, but this new model is so much smaller than the original, we almost cannot believe it features very similar image quality," said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. "We think customers are going to really enjoy this new model and use it both personally and professionally. It’s going to allow shooting in situations that could never have been achieved at this quality level previously. It’s also going to be the camera that thousands of new up and coming cinematographers use as their first camera for their independent films. It’s going to be exciting!"

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Key Features

  • High resolution 1080HD Super 16mm sized sensor with superior handing of image detail.
  • Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
  • Compatible with extremely high quality Micro Four Thirds lenses. Compatible with other mounts via common third party adapters such as PL mount and Super 16 cine lenses.
  • Built in SD card allows long duration recording with easy to use media.
  • Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as ProRes 422 (HQ) and lossless compressed CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW. No custom file formats.
  • Features all standard connections, including mini jack mic/line audio in, micro HDMI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay, headphone mini jack, LANC remote control and standard DC 12 power connection.
  • Built in LCD for camera settings via easy to use menus.
  • Supports 1080HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps.
  • Compatible with DaVinci Resolve Lite color grading software.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is available in July for US$995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Comments

Total comments: 187
12
Agnima
By Agnima (Apr 8, 2013)

I hear my NEX-7 whimpering in fear

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Apr 8, 2013)

This camera has sensor about the same size as RX100 (or smaller?) and it doesn't take still photos.

How is that competition to Nex-7, that is primarily a still camera?

1 upvote
Ausphoto2011
By Ausphoto2011 (Apr 8, 2013)

As a nex7 owner my initial thoughts were somewhat similar..
But I totally agree with ET2, the crop factor on this thing is ridiculous & in all honesty.. do you want everything you shoot on a pocketable camera to be 220mbps? sure the 422 is nice and appreciated. But it comes at a cost...

Sure the video on the nex7 isn't the best, But its a damn lot better than a lot of other cameras of it size, plus with decent 60p 1080 its hard to complain. That plus a powerhouse when it comes to stills...

1 upvote
wkay
By wkay (Apr 8, 2013)

overkill, seems kind of small and impractical for essentially a pro-am camera, how do you fit this on pan head, manipulate camera controls, etc?

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

You simply don't do it the way it is done before and you try something radically new, For instance hand holding the camera, maybe or at least using a really small stabilizer.

This camera will open up news doors for lightweight mobile film-making. They make GoPro footage work so they can make this camera work.

3 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Apr 8, 2013)

This will fit great on a pan head, as it's small and light, if using adapted lens', get an adapter with tripod mount build in. As for controls, if it's on a pan head, use the LANC port to have full remote control of focus, aperture, etc..

1 upvote
Deleted-pending
By Deleted-pending (Apr 8, 2013)

interesting, but I will wait for Global shutter - rolling shutter is very awful

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

Ok then. See you next decade while everyone else just stops shaking their camera from side to side.

4 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Apr 8, 2013)

Well just buy the $4k super-35 version then :)

Comment edited 8 seconds after posting
1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

The most important thing to remember here is that RAW footage is not going to help you at all if you don’t plan on editing the footage and doing color grading.

This camera is not intended to go up against cameras like the OMD and GF6. Instead it fits the very specific need of cinema photographers that shoot 24p and do heavy color grading and corrections.

The regular m4/3s cameras will shoot 1080p @ 60 FPS footage that is much better suited for average consumers than 24p is. They also shoot still images and have many more features related to making good videos and images straight out of the camera.

What the BM camera will do is virtually corner the market for those independent film makers that need something cheap and small to work with. This camera is geared specifically at taking over the market that the GH2 owned before.

I wouldn’t count out other formats being added with firmware down the road either.

2 upvotes
photo chris
By photo chris (Apr 8, 2013)

Grading is an essential part of the BMD magic, but unless you need 60p, the 10-bit 4:2:2 prores will outshine what the GH2/3 can produce. And 13-stop RAW is coming, though probably via an external recorder. But for $995...

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

The problem is that the average user probably will have trouble trying to edit or upload RAW footage. All of that extra information will just be wasted on anyone who isn't truly trying to shoot a "film".

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 8, 2013)

As photo chris just said, the BMD shoots ProRes. Why are you do fixated on RAW? You are not required to shoot RAW with this camera. If you shoot DSLR video, most of the time you are going to take the .MOV footage and convert it to ProRes before you import to your editor. But the ProRes with still only be 8-bit. The BMD does away with this step and give you 1-bit ProRes.

Lastly 1080p60 AVCHD is not better suited for most users than 1080p24 .MOV as the latter is much easier to work with and edit because it doesn't need to be transcoded like AVCHD does. But I'm not sure why you are talking about the "average user". This BMD is a high end camera not intending for vacation or casual videos.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 9, 2013)

Because the average user is going to buy this camera just because everyone is saying how great the dynamic range and RAW recording are.

Then they are going to be disappointed when they realize that 24p and RAW recording are not really going to help them at all if they never plan to really edit the footage.

It is the same thing as what happened with the Hack. It was meant to solve a very specific problem some people had with compression artifacts in extreme situations. It ended up being billed as the second coming for video. When in reality all it did for novice users is make their camera unstable.

2 upvotes
Trollshavethebestcandy
By Trollshavethebestcandy (Apr 8, 2013)

Pretty sweet.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Apr 8, 2013)

This would work great with the metabones speed booster.

7 upvotes
nelsonal
By nelsonal (Apr 8, 2013)

With a Super 16mm sensor, most easily adapted C mount lenses will come with their own speed booster designed for that lens. 6x or 10x f/2 zooms are fairly common on C mount many will cover a Super 16 or 1" sensor.

0 upvotes
photo chris
By photo chris (Apr 8, 2013)

13 stops, 10-bit, 422 prores in cam and a RAW update coming for $1000? Wow.

I just preordered mine, going to sell my Nex gear to fund the BMD-PCC. Hopefully the EF/M43 speedbooster drops soon. Keeping the Hero3 and 5d3 for action cam and FF stills. This thing will be fabulous on a steadicam smoothie.

2 upvotes
James Booba
By James Booba (Apr 8, 2013)

BM just killed the Digital Bolex, Pana and prob hurt Canon and Sony alot.

3 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (Apr 8, 2013)

It is incredible what a simpe anouncement can do. Killing of 4 brands...wow!

5 upvotes
Woodlink
By Woodlink (Apr 9, 2013)

ask RIM (Blackberry), and Palm if they were nervous when Jobs announced the iPhone.

0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Apr 8, 2013)

Tripod mount on top and botton. :-)

2 upvotes
Jon Ragnarsson
By Jon Ragnarsson (Apr 9, 2013)

For Australian markets, I guess... :Þ

0 upvotes
hammerheadfistpunch
By hammerheadfistpunch (Apr 9, 2013)

1/4 #20 accessories.

0 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Apr 8, 2013)

Wow

1 upvote
makofoto
By makofoto (Apr 8, 2013)

The ProGoPro we've been waiting for ?

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

This article does mention whether it can auto focus m4/3s lenses or not?

1 upvote
dgblackout
By dgblackout (Apr 8, 2013)

it's an active mount so it should.

1 upvote
ceving13
By ceving13 (Apr 8, 2013)

It has focus peeking. That's all. No AF.

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

I would have liked to see 1080p @ 60 FPS but I understand why they didn't include it since it is a "cinema" camera.

1 upvote
makofoto
By makofoto (Apr 8, 2013)

1080/60 is important with cameras like this in order to minimize the Jello effect

0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Apr 8, 2013)

Yep, unfortunately the 1080/60 frame rate is missing.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

Actually 60 FPS has nothing to do with the Jello effect. Sensor read-out speed is what is critical.

4 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

This is designed to be a "Cinema" camera so 24p(25p in Pal Land) is all that is needed. I am with you though. I need 60 FPS so this won't work for me.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
1 upvote
57even
By 57even (Apr 8, 2013)

Native resolution (no line skipping and much smaller data volume) will help with smoothness. This is really an interesting development!

1 upvote
jonte0
By jonte0 (Apr 8, 2013)

@mpgxsvcd

It'll be hard to have long readout times at high fps...

1 upvote
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

@jonte0

And that is probably why this camera doesn't do high frames per second.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 8, 2013)

Sensor size is not 4/3 though, it is between 1" and 2/3".

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

For cinema shoots you really don't need anything more than this unless you really want to deal with 4K or 8K.

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

And there will still be people that say a hacked GH2 is better than this.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 8, 2013)

Are they wrong?

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

Yes they would be wrong. Lossy will never equal or surpass lossless.

1 upvote
nologo
By nologo (Apr 8, 2013)

Technically this sensor is a fair bit smaller than a native micro four thirds sensor.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 8, 2013)

But will smaller ever equal larger sensor? It's a bit of give and take, isn't it? Larger sensor and 1080p60 in exchange for raw video.

Is a 5Dmk3 in JPEG better than a 60D in RAW? Probably.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 8, 2013)

If people say a hacked GH2 is better than this they have no idea what they are talking about. The GH2 does not shoot 1-bit 4:2:2 ProRes, or will it ever shoot RAW. I'm not sure your are understanding exactly what the BMCC cameras are.

0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Apr 8, 2013)

Big pixels! about 6.5 micron in size.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Apr 8, 2013)

What is the native res of the sensor?

0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Apr 8, 2013)

1920x1080
http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicpocketcinemacamera/techspecs

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Apr 8, 2013)

That is the effective resolution..not the same thing. The effective resolution for video on a D800 is also 1920x1080. Must be a typical 12-16mp sensor.

0 upvotes
Photato
By Photato (Apr 8, 2013)

I doubt this camera has a small pixel design as you suggest, it wouldn't make sense given the other options in the market.
Sony uses "effective" in their sensor spec sheets to describe amount of pixels. I'm sure this is a 2.1 pixel sensor as is customary in sensors made for video applications.

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (Apr 8, 2013)

@Mssimo, no the sensor is 1920x1080 native, according to a few previews I found on the net.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Apr 9, 2013)

It is a square 2048 x 2048 (4MP) sensor capable of 1080p raw. It can do a maximum of 180fps at full resolution, in 10bit colour. In 12bit it can do up to 37fps. Despite the small size of the sensor the lower 2K resolution means the photosites are as large as on the Super 35mm Production Camera sensor at 5.5 x 5.5 μm2.

http://www.eoshd.com/content/10091/more-details-on-global-shutter-and-possible-blackmagic-sensor-supplier-cmosis

0 upvotes
Kevin Purcell
By Kevin Purcell (Apr 10, 2013)

It's an oversampled 2.5K pixel line (i.e. about 5Mpx) sensor.

Each output RGB pixel is a Bayer 2x2 cell (RGGB) so it's 2x oversamples vertically and horizontally.

This is all in the tech specs ...

0 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (Apr 8, 2013)

move over NEX

0 upvotes
mapgraphs
By mapgraphs (Apr 8, 2013)

Blackmagic:
http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicpocketcinemacamera

0 upvotes
Juck
By Juck (Apr 8, 2013)

ooooh, fancy.

1 upvote
Total comments: 187
12