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Tim Tyler

Black-Magic Design Announces 2.5k Cinema Camera

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

 

jb

 

I know it's not, but writing the actual dimensions takes longer, and it's close enough to be a valid concern. It's smaller than m4/3 and a bit larger than s16. It is pretty far away from 35. I don't mind the sensor size, I shot a lot with the SI-2k and loved it, and I love shooting 16, I just think they've made a serious mistake with mount options. They should at least supply a m4/3 mount, as those lenses would give a better range of focal lengths, even though I'd hate to use them for filming. Whether 16mm lenses would cover it, I don't know, but I've tested quite a few 16mm lenses on a m4/3 sensor, which is larger, and found that you can get pretty wide before you get vignetting. Either way, having a sensor that is marginally larger than 16, with mount options for 35mm lenses, is just not a good idea. No matter how cool the camera is otherwise.

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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

 

 

I am pretty sure that the first thing a bunch of after market vendors will do is to cut the BMD mount off and make other mounts for it, I sent a suggestion to BMD to make an interchangeable mount I think it would be a mistake for them not to. It looks like a kind of decent cheap camera and with the Resolve thrown in I am sure they will sell a ton of these.

 

-Rob-

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I thought that this would be a cool camera to check out, but yeah, the lack of PL mount is a little of a turn off.

 

But then when I thought about it, and read (what I think Phil said) about it having a bad rolling shutter, probably not worth it. If I'm investing in PL glass, I'd rather be sticking it on a little bit better of a camera. I'll wait until the FS700 does the 4K at least.

 

It probably makes sense for DSLR people to move into something a little higher end, without having to fork over their first born for a cinema EOS camera. But from what it sounds like, definitely not something I'd be interested in.

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I know it's not, but writing the actual dimensions takes longer, and it's close enough to be a valid concern. It's smaller than m4/3 and a bit larger than s16. It is pretty far away from 35. I don't mind the sensor size, I shot a lot with the SI-2k and loved it, and I love shooting 16, I just think they've made a serious mistake with mount options. They should at least supply a m4/3 mount, as those lenses would give a better range of focal lengths, even though I'd hate to use them for filming. Whether 16mm lenses would cover it, I don't know, but I've tested quite a few 16mm lenses on a m4/3 sensor, which is larger, and found that you can get pretty wide before you get vignetting. Either way, having a sensor that is marginally larger than 16, with mount options for 35mm lenses, is just not a good idea. No matter how cool the camera is otherwise.

 

 

I think you've got to remember they have never made a camera before.

 

This is them dipping their toe in the water with a product and a market they haven't dealt with before. They might have turned up to NAB and had everyone laugh at them. (and some are) They wanted to do a single model for the lowest cost and see how that goes. If you had to choose one mount for the dSLR market, (both thinking of sensor size) then EF mount makes complete sense.

 

Imagine if they'd only done m4/3 mount....all the EF crowd would be saying the same thing. EF mount has a very large installed user base...

 

BMD aren't really going for professionals like the ones that inhabit these forums.....they're going for a more mass market.

 

If the camera is a success, and it's safe to say it's made a big impact, then they will look to explore and expand. They had to place orders for millions of $$ in components a few months ago before they even had a working camera. Risk mitigation meant they wanted to keep it simple, and appeal to what they thought would be their largest market.

 

They see this camera as a replacement / alternative to a 5Dmk2.(and 3). hat means EF mount.

 

They haven't been stupid. They know their are other options out there and they'll look at that now that see that they can do a camera and sell them in the numbers they need to.

 

jb

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I did ask about this.

 

I think it's a reasonably astute decision given, as John said, the amount of EF glass there is floating around. Perhaps micro 4/3 would have been even smarter, considering it can be readily adapted to almost anything.

 

The mount very visibly a separate chunk of metal bolted on the front of the camera; whether that means there's yet a fixed intention to do other mounts, I have no idea.

 

P

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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.

 

 

I think you are spot on with this. I spoke with a guy from BlackMagic at BVE and was talking to him about the shuttle and showing him my tiny handbag camera (you know what I'm like, I don't care!) anyway at first he was slightly stand-offish (perhaps understandably) but then as I explained what I liked about the tiny toy camera he seemed to warm to me, and then at the end of the conversation he suggested I should wait for NAB. I straight out asked him, "really, is there something big coming at nab from Blackmagic then?". He just replied something like "all the big companies make their really big announcements at NAB". I giggled and gave him a knowing look and left it at that but I've been wondering ever since what it was that was coming at nab. It seemed it had to be something bigger than just some firmware updates, as they didn't release the shuttle 2 at NAB. Gotta say tho, I wasn't expecting a whole camera bolted to the shuttle.

 

I think it's a really smart move the way they are leveraging all their technologies to make it work. It means they are further down the road already in ironing out the potential problems the camera might have and they can exploit further economies of scale in the parts they use.

 

This is a LOT of camera for little money.

 

love

 

Freya

Edited by Freya Black

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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

 

 

I think you will be wrong on this one. I think the best thing about this camera will be the workflow.

 

Firstly it records uncompressed quicktimes (great in some contexts!) but also DNXHD and Apple Pro Res, right off the bat. Those are all very established and widely used codecs. You can use them without transcoding. Nice.

 

Second Blackmagic own resolve. This is not insignificant, and blackmagic seem fantastic at exploiting synergies in their products. This camera is full of that. Resolve will fully support this camera, and the camera even comes with a free copy of resolve. One thing I've noticed RED users complain about a lot is the lack of support for RED RAW at established post houses. They have to transcode and lose the advantages of "RAW". I suspect this camera will never face that issue.

 

Having said that, you are right, the price point will be massively significant as it almost puts the camera in GoPro territory.

 

love

 

Freya

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I think you've got to remember they have never made a camera before.

 

This is them dipping their toe in the water with a product and a market they haven't dealt with before. They might have turned up to NAB and had everyone laugh at them. (and some are) They wanted to do a single model for the lowest cost and see how that goes. If you had to choose one mount for the dSLR market, (both thinking of sensor size) then EF mount makes complete sense.

 

Imagine if they'd only done m4/3 mount....all the EF crowd would be saying the same thing. EF mount has a very large installed user base...

 

BMD aren't really going for professionals like the ones that inhabit these forums.....they're going for a more mass market.

 

If the camera is a success, and it's safe to say it's made a big impact, then they will look to explore and expand. They had to place orders for millions of $ in components a few months ago before they even had a working camera. Risk mitigation meant they wanted to keep it simple, and appeal to what they thought would be their largest market.

 

They see this camera as a replacement / alternative to a 5Dmk2.(and 3). hat means EF mount.

 

They haven't been stupid. They know their are other options out there and they'll look at that now that see that they can do a camera and sell them in the numbers they need to.

 

jb

 

That makes sense. Although, as Phil points out, an m4/3 mount can easily be adapted to anything, including EF and PL :)

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That makes sense. Although, as Phil points out, an m4/3 mount can easily be adapted to anything, including EF and PL :)

 

not really for EF. Iris control is problematic with adaptors.

 

jb

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I think you will be wrong on this one. I think the best thing about this camera will be the workflow.

 

Firstly it records uncompressed quicktimes (great in some contexts!) but also DNXHD and Apple Pro Res, right off the bat.

 

 

Not quiet right Freya. it records uncompressed Cinema DNG files, not Quicktime's.

 

Cinema DNG is an open standard format based on DNG (basically Cinema DNG is DNG with Timecode and audio) created by Adobe.

 

Resolve, Speedgrade and all adobe products support DNG right now.

 

jb

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I am pretty sure that the first thing a bunch of after market vendors will do is to cut the BMD mount off and make other mounts for it, I sent a suggestion to BMD to make an interchangeable mount I think it would be a mistake for them not to. It looks like a kind of decent cheap camera and with the Resolve thrown in I am sure they will sell a ton of these.

 

-Rob-

 

They won't because of cost.

 

What they will do is separate models. You'll buy a PL mount version, or a m4/3 version, or an EF version.

 

jb

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Not quiet right Freya. it records uncompressed Cinema DNG files, not Quicktime's.

 

Cinema DNG is an open standard format based on DNG (basically Cinema DNG is DNG with Timecode and audio) created by Adobe.

 

Resolve, Speedgrade and all adobe products support DNG right now.

 

jb

 

Ah so maybe we are wrong to assume this is based on Hyperdeck shuttle technology!??

 

love

 

Freya

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Ah so maybe we are wrong to assume this is based on Hyperdeck shuttle technology!??

 

love

 

Freya

 

No. This is the right way to think of it. They took a Hyperdeck, and put a sensor and screen on it. They just wanted a way to do uncompressed RAW files. QT and DnX don't offer that. So they went for Cinema DNG as a format.

 

jb

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No. This is the right way to think of it. They took a Hyperdeck, and put a sensor and screen on it. They just wanted a way to do uncompressed RAW files. QT and DnX don't offer that. So they went for Cinema DNG as a format.

 

jb

 

Is that because quicktime imposes some kind of colour space on the files even if they are uncompressed quicktimes? I have to confess I don't understand that much about RAW etc as I've never really shot it, except that it produces that washed out low contrast video look that is easier to grade. It seems they are still video images, so they could surely still be stored as quicktimes but maybe there is extra data beyond the images themselves in some way, or something else.

 

I'm surprised at the overall lacklustre reaction to this camera here, as it seems kinda incredible to me but it may be because there are a lot of people here used to shooting on Alexa's and what have you and are thus feeling a bit "so what?".

 

From my point of view my biggest concerns would appear to be firstly the lens mount. Micro 4/3 would be better for me as I have nice lenses in c-mount and I have a c-mount to nikon adapter and a few nikon lenses. Also I know a lot of people have been waiting for a 2/3" stylee camera for various things so some kind of route to B4 might be good too. I'm not at all bothered about the deeper depth of field, in fact I like that aspect!

 

Secondly, the internal battery. I assume it can be used with a d-tap or something to add more power like the shuttle? I'm not sure I'm into the internal battery thing at all. It makes the camera seem disposable and it is probably a bit too expensive for that. What happens when the battery goes bad and starts leaking or something. I'd actually much rather it didn't ship with a battery at all and had a 4pin XLR instead, then we can work out our own thing.

 

Lastly the RAW thing. On the one hand it is obviously fabulous. On the other hand, when working at this kind of lower level there may well not be the budget to hire a colourist, in which case I'm guessing you would have to do it yourself which I think is what Black Magic have in mind with the free copy of resolve. However I'm not that comfortable with this. I actually really respect the work of colourists and If it was my own project I would be looking for the best colourist I could find because I think this aspect is really important. There does seem to be a push lately for low end colour correction and I've come across people who edit video, do VFX, and oh yes, they are a colourist too, and I find that kind of strange.

 

But overall I think this is the most exciting thing I have seen come out of nab. Yes the FS700 sounds really interesting too (not sure if that was a nab thing?) but it's this camera that seems really revolutionary to me.

 

I want to see and know more tho.

 

love

 

Freya

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Is that because quicktime imposes some kind of colour space on the files even if they are uncompressed quicktimes? I have to confess I don't understand that much about RAW etc as I've never really shot it, except that it produces that washed out low contrast video look that is easier to grade. It seems they are still video images, so they could surely still be stored as quicktimes but maybe there is extra data beyond the images themselves in some way, or something else.

 

 

The short answer is yes, there is extra info. It's not just LOG images (the washed out video you speak of)

 

I'm surprised at the overall lacklustre reaction to this camera here, as it seems kinda incredible to me but it may be because there are a lot of people here used to shooting on Alexa's and what have you and are thus feeling a bit "so what?".

 

From my point of view my biggest concerns would appear to be firstly the lens mount. Micro 4/3 would be better for me as I have nice lenses in c-mount and I have a c-mount to nikon adapter and a few nikon lenses. Also I know a lot of people have been waiting for a 2/3" stylee camera for various things so some kind of route to B4 might be good too. I'm not at all bothered about the deeper depth of field, in fact I like that aspect!

 

I think enough people complained to make them realise m4/3 would be a good idea.....It will happen down the road...

 

Secondly, the internal battery. I assume it can be used with a d-tap or something to add more power like the shuttle? I'm not sure I'm into the internal battery thing at all. It makes the camera seem disposable and it is probably a bit too expensive for that. What happens when the battery goes bad and starts leaking or something. I'd actually much rather it didn't ship with a battery at all and had a 4pin XLR instead, then we can work out our own thing.

 

The internal battery is just like on a hyper deck. It recharges when there's an external power source present.....otherwise you don't have to use it.

 

 

Lastly the RAW thing. On the one hand it is obviously fabulous. On the other hand, when working at this kind of lower level there may well not be the budget to hire a colourist, in which case I'm guessing you would have to do it yourself which I think is what Black Magic have in mind with the free copy of resolve. However I'm not that comfortable with this. I actually really respect the work of colourists and If it was my own project I would be looking for the best colourist I could find because I think this aspect is really important. There does seem to be a push lately for low end colour correction and I've come across people who edit video, do VFX, and oh yes, they are a colourist too, and I find that kind of strange.

 

But overall I think this is the most exciting thing I have seen come out of nab. Yes the FS700 sounds really interesting too (not sure if that was a nab thing?) but it's this camera that seems really revolutionary to me.

 

Freya

 

It's not just lately. Editors have been calling themselves colourists for a long time. I feel the same way you do. They do plan to have some easy setups in Resolve to give you a good result in a sort of AUTO mode. If you want to do more you can.

 

Or of course you can just shoot ProRes. That looks pretty nice right out of the camera.

 

jb

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I just pulled the trigger on pre-ordering a Blackmagic Cinema Camera @ $2,695 US which is a special group-buy discounted price from Texas Media Systems.

The list price is $2,995 US, so the $300 discount will help offset the cost of to insert in the cam. A 256GB SSD drive should store about 2 hours of footage recorded using the cam's ProRes 422 HQ mode (approx. 79GB/hr @ 24p, 100GB/hr 30p), which is awesome.

I own several old Nikkor F manual lens which should mount on the BMCC via an inexpensive adapter.

The cams don't start shipping until late July. I hope there won't be a long backlog, but that may be wishful thinking.

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I'm missing why so many people are excited about this camera.

 

Apart from RAW what advantages does does it have over say a 5Diii?

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A copy of Resolve and ultrascope... Raw.. ProRes422 and DNxHD... so yes, beats the pants off of a 5D in terms of what it actually records onto (codec wise). I think of it as Resolve and Ultrascope with a free camera! ;)

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... plus 2 pro, balanced analog/digital switchable audio inputs via durable 1/4" connectors instead of a 1/8" prosumer mic input.

 

... plus a larger built-in screen featuring exposure zebras & focus peaking.

 

... plus 10-bit 1080p ProRes 422 HQ & DNxHD codecs cleanly downscaled from 2.5K.

 

... plus HD-SDI, Thunderbolt, 12-30VDC uninterruptible power system, etc.

 

All this & more is described on Blackmagic's website.

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I'm missing why so many people are excited about this camera.

 

Apart from RAW what advantages does does it have over say a 5Diii?

 

 

The raw is the reason honestly, that and the sensor aside from it being a real camera with audio in and resolve (which is free for up to 1080p exports anyways and im sure basically everyone will be transcoding this footage from the black magic camera to 1080). 13 stops of latitude and a raw workflow....in picture quality the camera is in red/alexa/slog f3 territory even with the smaller sensor...which honestly if super 16 glass can cover the sensor is great! (which I am curious about)... Its very interesting I have to say its exciting to see a camera released in this price point and I think is very forward thinking.

Edited by Jake Zalutsky

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The raw is the reason honestly, that and the sensor aside from it being a real camera with audio in and resolve (which is free for up to 1080p exports anyways and im sure basically everyone will be transcoding this footage from the black magic camera to 1080). 13 stops of latitude and a raw workflow....in picture quality the camera is in red/alexa/slog f3 territory even with the smaller sensor...which honestly if super 16 glass can cover the sensor is great! (which I am curious about)... Its very interesting I have to say its exciting to see a camera released in this price point and I think is very forward thinking.

 

YES! Not so long ago, people were excited by the F3 S-log update which was just a $3000 software update.

 

This includes not just the software to do that but the camera too, and a copy of Resolve and a low cost workflow with off the shelf SSD's.

 

I'm really surprised at the lack of excited reaction to this. Seems to me it could make quite a nice b-camera to the Alexa, or even a crash camera if you are working at that kind of scale!

 

Doesn't it even have SDI?

 

Theres a lot to like I suspect! :)

 

love

 

Freya

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