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Blackmagic Design announces Super-35 4K camera with global shutter

By dpreview staff on Apr 8, 2013 at 19:55 GMT

Blackmagic Design has announced the Production Camera 4K, a Super-35 format, 4K-capable camera with global shutter for smooth panning and image motion. The company says it will cost $3995. It can capture footage in Apple ProRes 422 HQ or losslessly compressed CinemaDNG Raw - promising 12-stops of dynamic range. The camera is built around a Canon EF mount and an internal SSD recorder to cope with the data rates. Blackmagic says it will be available from July 2013.

The camera features the latest 6G-SDI connector that allows single-cable transfer. It also includes a Thunderbolt connector and the same degree of remote control, via LANC, as the Blackmagic Compact Cinema Camera also announced today.

The global shutter means it captures the entire frame at the same moment, rather than reading the sensor one line at a time - avoiding the distorted verticals that can occur with fast moving subjects or whip pans.

Press Release:

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

NAB 2013, Las Vegas, USA - April 8, 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!"

Blackmagic Production Camera 4K Key Features

  • Large high resolution 4K Super 35 mm sized sensor with superior handing of image detail. 
  • Professional global shutter for smooth pans and image motion. 
  • Wide 12 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look. Compatible with extremely high quality EF mount lenses.
  • Built in SSD recorder allows long duration recording onto solid state disks. 
  • Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software, such as Apple ProRes and compressed CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW. 
  • No custom file formats. Features all standard connections, including jack mic/line audio in, 6G-SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay, headphone mini jack, Thunderbolt, LANC remote control and standard DC 12 power connection. 
  • Built in touch screen LCD for camera settings and metadata entry compatible with popular video editing software including Final Cut Pro X. 
  • Supports Ultra HD and 1080HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps. 
  • Includes UltraScope software for live scopes via the built in Thunderbolt connection. 
  • Includes DaVinci Resolve color grading software.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Production Camera 4K will be available in July for US$3,995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.


Total comments: 44
By Photato (2 months ago)

There you go, video done the professional way.
This is clearly not a toy. Unlike the rest of still cameras...
Wish this thing could take still pictures too.

By Superka (Apr 11, 2013)

I am happy now!

By Nick49 (Apr 10, 2013)

I saw the first Black Magic camera demonstrated with a pretty standard EFS lens, and I just thought it looked lovely. Most impressed by the picture control in Da Vinci. I didn't get out my (metaphorical) cheque book then and I am glad I waited. For me, the larger sensor, the global shutter and the pedigree of the first model are enough for me to invest here. Have you actually thought that for an extremely reasonable sum of money, we are all film makers now. Canon 1dc is in serious trouble at over twice the price.

By oselimg (Apr 9, 2013)

If people bothered to to be informed of cinema quality cameras they wouldn't make absurd comments like "why not micro 4/3 mount. It's almost like saying I want a Ferrari with a 1.6 Lada engine-sorry Lada-. Cinematic cameras need cinematic quality lenses to exploit it's potential. EF mount doesn't exist only for EF stills cameras and lenses. There are Canon cine-lenses with EF mount or PL mount. How many cinema-optimized micro 4/3 lenses exist? You don't want someone invest in manufacturing a high performing piece of equipment then watch it abandoned by the market do you?

1 upvote
By nathanleebush (Apr 9, 2013)

Yeah, but with adaptors you can also use adaptors for EF or PL mount, as well as numerous other mounts that EF can't support, so why would you want EF natively?

1 upvote
By oselimg (Apr 9, 2013)

Ok you stick with Micro 4/3 there may be a 0.0000001% chance in the future. Because it's not only about megapixels. Perhaps you'll have to wait for laws of physics to change.

1 upvote
By RemixAngel (Apr 9, 2013)

A couple of years ago when Panasonic and Olympus first released their first Micro 3/4's in 2008, I would have agreed with you on that.
Almost 5 years later, they're still around, and people are starting to purchase them more and more each year. People want something smaller than an SLR, but better quality then an Extended point and shoot.
With the mirror-less camera line-ups increasing, each year. Well.. I think the sales can more or less speak for themselves with that.
The second obvious point would be Canon joining the mirror-less race, with their: "EOS M" this year.

Source: I work selling cameras for a living.

By hammerheadfistpunch (Apr 9, 2013)

"How many cinema-optimized micro 4/3 lenses exist?" did you forget about the entire Ziess CP.2 line? or the Rokinons, or ANY PL mount lens including the canons? the MFT mount is ideal for cinema cameras because of the short flange distance, which means you can use the excellent (some of them just are, deal with it) MFT lenses or lieca, or PL, or EF, or F, or 4/3rds, or...etc, etc. With an EF flange distance you are limited by using only stills optimized lenses. Not to mention that most cine lenses are PL mount and sized for academy 35 (super 35) and NOT for 35 mm still. super 35 is actually closer to MFT than stills 35. The EF mount is a LIMITER, not an ENABLER...though it does give you electronic iris, for what its worth..not that a cine shooter would prefer that over properly calibrated manual lenses, but...there you have it.

By LennyMangini (Apr 12, 2013)

Oselimg's been pwned, as they say.

Oselimg, it's time to relearn what you thought you knew about M4/3.

By mosc (Apr 15, 2013)

"Super 35" is a 1.45 crop factor. How the hell is m4/3rds 2.0x crop factor supposed to cover that? I mean it's close to APS-C (NOT canon's), but m4/3rds?

By jonny1976 (Apr 9, 2013)

superb camera for sure and superb price but...but...why ef mount and not micro four third? i mean micro four third has small lenses natively and most of all thousand of cheap a pentax user and micro 43...i could have used all my 40 lenses and buy also canon nikon cinematic if i want this camera i must invest in a completely new arsenal of lenses...i think ill buy the normal camera

By Heywoodphoto (Apr 9, 2013)

My guess is that will likely come out with MFT mount version later on. The EF version is probably just way more popular.

By hammerheadfistpunch (Apr 9, 2013)

Sadly, The MFT image circle is smaller than the Super 35 area, so it would vignette some, you could crop to 2.5k, but then why not get the 2.5k camera with MFT mount. I still think they should offer it because of the short flange, but it would need to be able to crop internally to be useful with MFT lenses.

1 upvote
By PhotoKhan (Apr 9, 2013)

US$3,995 ?!?!?
If this delivers, Canon Cinema EOS cameras are dead.

1 upvote
By Photomonkey (Apr 9, 2013)

BMCC has delivered a few cameras amid many hiccups in their launch but Canon is still selling more in a day than they have in their history.

George Veltchev
By George Veltchev (Apr 9, 2013)

dead ...really ...then you may try a Chery J1 with 1.3l engine as well !!

1 upvote
By GodSpeaks (Apr 9, 2013)

Give it to me in an active micro43 mount and I will buy it.

By mosc (Apr 15, 2013)

You're asking for smaller pixels, just so you know. This thing's got a 1.45x crop ("super 35").

But probably just a matter of time. First you have to get it within the FF image circle, then the quarter circle of 4/3rds can come later.

By Photomonkey (Apr 9, 2013)

We all love specs but the real proof will be in delivering cameras AND overcoming a number of compromises that the (few) users of the first BMCC noted. Real world useability to make the specs actually measure up to their promise is what matters.

Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Apr 9, 2013)

Whoa, this is really great!

By CameraLabTester (Apr 9, 2013)

This will significantly pry away the buyers of DSLRs with movie functions.

Canon has foreseen these things and is fist off the blocks.

A $3.995 pro movie camera.

Others will surely follow in this category... (this is where Sony might just well overtake Nikon)


By Deleted-pending (Apr 9, 2013)


By garyknrd (Apr 9, 2013)

Man these guys are one a roll. If I were to buy a video camera this would be it.

steve ohlhaber
By steve ohlhaber (Apr 8, 2013)

Now I just need a 4k display that I can afford. Hopefully, with gopro and others making releases, we will see that happen soon.

By Ausphoto2011 (Apr 8, 2013)

Sucks to be anyone who bought the EF mount 2.5k first version...
This is what they should have started with in the first place.

By Menneisyys (Apr 8, 2013)

"This is what they should have started with in the first place."

The (comparatively cheap) technology just wasn't available back then. 4K capture at 30p requires very expensive chipsets - no wonder consumer-priced products (the GoPro 3 Black Edition) only captures at 12/15 fps.

By Ausphoto2011 (Apr 9, 2013)

understandable.. by "back then" you make it sound like it was decades ago, we're talking a mere 12-18 months.

All i', saying what its a massive slap in the face to anyone who purchased the ef version 2.5k, gotta love that 2.3 crop factor...

1 upvote
By mgrum (Apr 9, 2013)

I agree it's quite soon after BlackMagic Cinema camera was released, but presumably they needed the sales from that product to fund development or demonstrate the market for this product. Due to the low cost of the whole BlackMagic line this is hardly a slap in the face, owners of the existing camera can sell up and acquire a 4K device for a cost that was unthinkable 2 years ago.

'tis a massive slap in the face for anyone who shelled out 3x the price for the non-RAW recording Canon 1DC though ;)

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By PowerG9atBlackForest (Apr 9, 2013)

"Massive slap in the face ...": Compare it to what Leica did to their guinea-pig-M8 owners when presenting the M9.

By Revenant (Apr 9, 2013)

It doesn't matter what device you buy, there's always going to be something better on the market within 12-18 months. If that bothers you, you should hold off all buying decisions until technological progress comes to a halt.

1 upvote
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Apr 8, 2013)

There is just no competition. Sony 4K Global Shutter camera is 25000 USD and this is just 4000 USD? Wondering how other manufacturers are going to respond to this. The market for sure is going to see benefits of this competitive and radical pricing!

1 upvote
By Mssimo (Apr 8, 2013)

Global shutter is a big deal. I hope we see them in DSLRS soon. They will be silent, and able to sync any shutter speed. Shutter speeds of 1/20,000 plus will also be possible.

By LeonTheremin (Apr 8, 2013)

Not likely to happen. The sensors on DSLRs are designed for shooting still photos upwards to 40,000 pixels. This one is designed to shoot 4,000 pixels of video (oversimplification, I know.) To get a global shutter on a DSLR sensor they'd still have to skip lines and would need tons of bandwidth if they didn't. I'm glad they're doing this. It draws a more distinct line between still and motion cameras.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
Ken Phillips
By Ken Phillips (Apr 9, 2013)

Heck, Canon's first pro DSLR, the EOS-1Dinosaur, had a CCD chip, which allows for global shuttering. All high shutter speeds were electronic. It had 1/16,000 as the fastest! There was no real flash sync limit, either ... except that you'd "clip" your flash pulse, albeit with the frame illuminated corner to corner!

By plevyadophy (Apr 9, 2013)

@Ken Phillips,
Re Canon EOS-1Dinasaur (I love that!! Too funny!! :o)
It does have a flash sync limit.
It's limited to 1/500 secs with a Canon flash, and will do 1/2500 with a standard ISO foot flash.
I still have the cam, and love it's light AA sensor filter, it's very fast flash sync, and fastest shutter speed of a whopping 1/16000 which means there's hardly ever any need for an ND filter; just a shame about the low 4Mpix resolution, at least 6Mpix would have been cool.

Comment edited 58 seconds after posting
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

This is a very cool camera with pretty much no competition in this price range right now.

By AshMills (Apr 8, 2013)

Assuming they can actually deliver any before the competition designs and delivers something to compete.

By mpgxsvcd (Apr 8, 2013)

July is not that far away. They are already taking pre-orders. Seems like this is the real deal to me.

1 upvote
By ET2 (Apr 8, 2013)

Yes, but they were not able to deliver previous black magic camera even an year after the supposed delivery date.

BH still doesn't have it

Perhaps they resolved that issue this time.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
James Booba
By James Booba (Apr 8, 2013)

guys keep in mind some peeps are still waiting for their preordered old BM cam .... from april 2012th

By Ausphoto2011 (Apr 8, 2013)

Proof of why camera manufacturers should focus on getting their products into customers hands instead of spending all their time boasting about how good something only to make it obsolete 6 months later.

Marvin Bartley
By Marvin Bartley (Apr 9, 2013)

Love this statement. im sick and tired of the bigger camera manufacturers bragging about specs and over pricing their products out of the hands of the the majority consumer.
Lets see if their price will still stay in the $15,000 high.
A wise man once said to me, 'It is better to have 1% ao everyones effort than 100% of mine alone'. Translation, GREEDY market leaders! We are the 1% you have neglected thats worth more than all you've had!
Way to go BlackMagic for seeing to otherwise.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
By Axilrod (Apr 14, 2013)

It will ship in July, I guarantee it. None of the issues with shipping the current camera were Blackmagic's fault, it was the sensor company sending out bad batches and then taking forever to fix the issue. This camera has a sensor from a completely different company, and the camera is identical to the BMCC (aside from the sensor and 4K sticker on the front). And plus I doubt they would risk being late on shipping again after all the issues with the original. It's smart on their part, they know it's going to be hard to sell the BMCC with this available, so they are taking the BMCC bodies, adding the new sensor, and taking the old sensors and putting them in the new Pocket Cinema camera. Really a genius move on their part. Only people getting kinda screwed are the people that actually had their preorders fulfilled. I'm so glad I passed on mine, I preordered both the BMPC and the Pocket Cam and am confident they will be here at the end of July as promised.

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
By geogan (1 month ago)

"It will ship in July, I guarantee it" - ha ha.

Have they shipped it yet? (11 months later)

Only a few reviewers have them right now from what I can tell.

Total comments: 44