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New Blackmagic Cintel model on the way...


Dan Baxter
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I came across this press release from last month. In it Blackmagic announces they've designed a new light that is 6x brighter than the old one, but it doesn't seem to be designed to fit existing BMD scanners:

"We are excited to discuss this new technology with film customers at the NAB 2022 show," said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. "We plan on using this technology on a new model of Cintel film scanner and we are excited get customer feedback before committing to the new model’s release!"

So there we have it, the new model - the "Cintel 4"or whatever they're going to call it is on its way, with an entirely different light to the previous Cintels. It's not clear whether the new light will be compatible with existing BMD scanners, but it sounds unlikely that it would be.

I heard a rumour that the new model will use a Sony chip, but treat that as an unsubstantiated rumour unless someone here speaks to BMD and finds out what's going on. Surely though it must have a new camera though, the current BMDs all have exactly the same camera - six years, that's a long time to still be using the same camera!

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It's the same scanner, it just has a slightly different lamp source. If it had a new imager, one would think they'd market the living crap out of that considering it's the #1 issue with the old scanner. Also, since the scanner does not deliver a 4k image according to the updated tech specs, it's pretty clear the scanner is probably the same. By increasing the brightness of the lamp source, they're able to increase the shutter speed of the digital camera, thus taking 2 pictures back to back of each frame for HDR, vs having to scan the film twice like the older scanners. Where HDR scanning does remove much of the highlight FPN the imager has, the noise floor is still consistent sadly. It really does not affect the blacks much at all. Also, since the scanner is less than 1080p in 16mm mode, it is pretty useless for that format as well. 

All they need to do is put in the 6.5k imager, but they can't with TB3 connectivity because it's not fast enough to transfer that data at those speeds. So they're sacrificing quality over speed, which is unfortunate. I'd take a high res slower scanner any day of the week over a low res high speed scanner. BMD believes the market is in daily scanning, but that's just not true. The market is in final scan, nobody but the big guys shooting a million feet of film, are going back to the negative after it's been scanned. 

 

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