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Black-Magic Design Announces 2.5k Cinema Camera


Tim Tyler
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http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/techspecs/

 

Blackmagic Cinema Camera features an amazing 2.5K image sensor with a wide 13 stops of dynamic range for a true digital film camera. You get a built-in SSD recorder, popular open standard uncompressed RAW and compressed file formats, compatibility with quality EF and ZF mount lenses, LCD touchscreen monitoring plus metadata entry, all packed into an exciting hand held design!

 

Sensor Resolution 2592 x 2192

Raw Resolution 12-bit RAW files recorded at 2432 x 1366

Shooting Resolutions 2.5K RAW at 2432 x 1366, compressed at 1920 x 1080

Frame Rates 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p

Sensor Size 16.64 mm x 14.04 mm

Sensor Size - Active 15.6 mm x 8.8 mm

Dynamic Range 13 stops

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Beat me to it!

 

It's rather nice. They showed a demo here at NAB which showed it against what I suspect was a 5D; it has 13 stops of dynamic range, which is (based on my own characterisation of the 5D) 2 stops more than a 5D in stills mode and 3 more than a 5D in video mode. The extra visible highlight detail in the demo was consistent with this claim.

 

I think they may also have mentioned that it includes a copy of the Ultrascope software. The idea here is that you can plug it into a thunderbolt-equipped laptop (which right now means a macbook, but presumably cheaper options will arise) and get waveform, vectorscop, etc. This is very nice.

 

Otherwise it seems to use quite a lot of the same system software as the Hyperdeck Shuttle stuff, which makes a certain amount of sense as it's work that Blackmagic have already done.

 

They're not talking about who made the sensor, but there's only three or four places that could do it and it clearly isn't Canon.

 

The only thing about it I didn't like is the form factor. Grant Petty, the CEO, president, boss, whatever of Blackmagic seemed enthusiastic about the DSLR form factor, whereas in fact it's widely criticised as a way to handle a camera. They've made a twin handgrip for it which is barely an improvement. I suspect it'll spawn a booming "rig" market.

 

Three thousand dollars? Yes, please.

 

P

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Hmm,

 

the price point is the best part about this camera. Though, I wonder about it's native ISO. The grades done for the "Beach Dusk" video shot on it weren't particularly impressive. The night exterior shot also appears very noisy and looks pretty ungraded with it's dull colors and seemingly logarithmic-look.

 

I have a concern with the sensor size. At 15.6 mm x 8.8 mm, it's close to the size of Super 16mm (12.52 by 7.41 mm), just a little bit bigger. This means that the 35mm lenses you put on it approximately double in focal length, right?

 

This would be a great camera used for video applications like sports, weddings, events, corporate, etc - but even so, I think even in those situations I wouldn't really need to shoot RAW or would probably like the option of 60p, which the BlackMagic doesn't offer, even at compressed 1080p. But, it's on the right track with RAW and if I were ever to seek the aesthetic of 16mm I think this is a sound choice.

 

I'd probably rent though, and refrain from buying.

 

Could anybody at NAB ask about it's native ISO?

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Hmm,

 

the price point is the best part about this camera. Though, I wonder about it's native ISO. The grades done for the "Beach Dusk" video shot on it weren't particularly impressive. The night exterior shot also appears very noisy and looks pretty ungraded with it's dull colors and seemingly logarithmic-look.

 

 

They are still working a lot of that stuff out. I'm guessing it's something like 640-800 but as I say, they are still tinkering. I'd also say, the footage has been shot with a hand made prototype and they are still working on the sensor calibration to get the noise down. They expect it to perform a lot better as they head towards shipping.

 

I apologise for the grade. I'm literally in the middle of a shoot right now, and I only had a few hours in the middle of the night to do something with this footage, using an application I'd never used before. Believe me though, there's a lot of range in the images. Someone who knows what they are doing will be able to make this camera sing.

 

We have had a colourist looking at some of the internal engineering shots and they are really nice.

 

jb

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I wonder why they put in a sensor with a 1.18 aspect ratio. Would they eventually include a mode to shoot 2.36 with 2x anamorphic lenses?

 

Also the footage doesn't look particularly sharp on Vimeo. This may be the compression, but it would be nice to see some full screengrabs of the RAW files.

Edited by Willem Van den Broeck
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I wonder why they put in a sensor with a 1.18 aspect ratio. Would they eventually include a mode to shoot 2.36 with 2x anamorphic lenses?

 

Also the footage doesn't look particularly sharp on Vimeo. This may be the compression, but it would be nice to see some full screengrabs of the RAW files.

 

The active sensor aspect ratio is 1.77

 

 

I apologise for the grade. I'm literally in the middle of a shoot right now, and I only had a few hours in the middle of the night to do something with this footage, using an application I'd never used before. Believe me though, there's a lot of range in the images. Someone who knows what they are doing will be able to make this camera sing.

 

 

I intend no offense, if there was any taken! Thanks for the reply John!

Edited by Kevin Pham
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Which is beside my point. I'm not talking about the active sensor area, but asking why they put in a sensor with a 1.18 aspect ratio. I'd love to know why.

 

 

Probably found an off the shelf sensor that worked and had enough resolution to make a 2.5k raw image from.

 

-Rob-

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There is a limited number of companies (Like Kodak's sensor division) that make CCD and CMOS imagers and it is very expensive to have a custom chip made. I am guessing that this is a off the shelf CCD or CMOS chip that BMD selected to use. One way to try to figure this out is to look through the catalogs of sensor manufacturers like Kodak, Dalsa, etc.

 

-Rob-

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Guest Ryan Fleet

I was under the impression that Ultrascope and Resolve were both included in the purchase price...

 

"Blackmagic Cinema Camera also includes a full copy of DaVinci Resolve for color correction and Blackmagic UltraScope software for waveform monitoring."

 

Yes, I believe it is.

 

Where is this vimeo video of the black magic test footage?

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interesting write up on it: http://johnbrawley.w...t-from-the-top/

 

Right there.

It looks pretty good though I was on too crappy a connection to watch it in HD. The 320ISO twilight stuff really piqued my interest, though.

Hell; this camera is just a tax refund away says me! (well for next year...)

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The unexpected success of DSLR's revealed that there's a substantial market for a motion camera at this price point. It looks like Blackmagic decided to shoot for that segment. With Red and Canon hitting substantially higher price points, I'd expect them to do very well indeed.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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I think the forst thing that will happen with this camera is that aftermarket lens mounts will become common, I think BMD should make a removeable lens mount board for the shipping camera otherwise there will be people cutting the original one off.

 

-Rob-

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Yeah, because why oh why is there no PL mount so we can use 16mm-lenses on it? 35mm EF-mount is completely bullocks on an as-good-as 16mm sensor... I mean, how often can you go out on a job and make do with only normal and long focal lengths? "Director: Hmm, can we go a bit wider on this one? DoP: Eeeh, the thing is..."

 

I'm not saying the camera won't have it's uses, and at that price it looks like an incredible piece of image capturing goodness, but geez, such a simple thing that would open up even more gates...

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Yeah, because why oh why is there no PL mount so we can use 16mm-lenses on it? 35mm EF-mount is completely bullocks on an as-good-as 16mm sensor... I mean, how often can you go out on a job and make do with only normal and long focal lengths? "Director: Hmm, can we go a bit wider on this one? DoP: Eeeh, the thing is..."

 

I'm not saying the camera won't have it's uses, and at that price it looks like an incredible piece of image capturing goodness, but geez, such a simple thing that would open up even more gates...

 

Guys, it' snot a 16mm sensor. It's not Super 35 either, but it's not 16mm.....

 

jb

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I think the forst thing that will happen with this camera is that aftermarket lens mounts will become common, I think BMD should make a removeable lens mount board for the shipping camera otherwise there will be people cutting the original one off.

 

-Rob-

 

Would have added a lot to the cost of the camera. Like a removable battery.

 

They will be doing other mounts down the track.

 

jb

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