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The exciting new Blackmagic Cinema Camera was a total show-stopper at NAB 2012. It fills a unique niche in the video market by supplying a 13-stop 2.5K image sensor, a built-in SSD recorder, the ability to shoot uncompressed RAW (and compressed formats), full compatibility with EF and ZE lenses, a built-in 5-inch (12.7 cm) touch screen LCD and Thunderbolt connectivity. If that isn’t compelling enough, Blackmagic Design is also including a copy of the Mac and Windows compatible DaVinci Resolve 9.0 color-correction software and UltraScope with the camera. The camera itself features an attractive industrial design that oozes with elegant simplicity, and the flexibility to be used as a stripped down, low-profile handheld, or as the heart of a full-blown rig with rails, matte box and the works. Most remarkably, all of this beauty is delivered for under $3,000.
All of the shortcomings of HDSLR filmmaking are eliminated with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Its built-in SSD recorder allows you to shoot 2.5K uncompressed 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW, Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD, all of which are recognized immediately by NLE video editing software. The days of slowly transcoding your footage to an NLE-friendly format are over.
The SSD can be removed and plugged directly into a computer. The footage can be edited immediately or color-graded in your software of choice. The camera features two balanced 1/4-inch TRS audio inputs (the next best thing to locking XLR inputs) that can accept line or mic-level signals and record uncompressed 48 kHz 24-bit sound, and a 3.5mm headphone output for confidence monitoring. You can even enter metadata through the touch screen as you shoot. Notate the shot and scene numbers, tags and timecode information as you go, dramatically speeding up your post-production workflow while you’re on set.
A 3 GB/s SDI output enables you to feed the camera’s footage to external professional monitors, capture devices and switchers. The Thunderbolt port enables you to connect the camera directly to a computer for RAW video and audio capture, and to utilize the free copy of UltraScope, which gives you six different live scope views, as well as audio levels and phase monitoring. An external power port enables you to use the included AC adapter, or power the camera with an external battery. The lens mount provides you with full electronic control of your favorite lenses. The camera features a beautiful machined aluminum chassis, with a rubberized face and rear panel for grip. Additional camera support can be added without disrupting the fluidity of the design with the separately available Blackmagic Cinema Camera Handles. Three 1/4"-20 threads are situated on the top of the camera for mounting options (there’s a single tripod thread at the base). A detachable sun shield for the LCD is included.
The past few years have been remarkably good for indie filmmakers, and exciting announcements like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera are making things even better. You won’t have to wait long for your cinematic life to improve, because this camera is expected to be available in July 2012, and it’s available for pre-order right now at B&H!
|Image Quality and Performance|
|Sensor Size||16.64 x 14.04mm - Active: 15.6 x 8.8mm|
|Sensor Resolution||2592 x 2192 (5.7MP)|
|RAW Resolution||12-bit RAW files recorded at 2432 x 1366|
|Shooting Resolutions||2.5K RAW at 2432 x 1366 - ProRes and DNxHD at 1920 x 1080|
|Frame Rates||23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p|
|Dynamic Range||13 stops|
|Focus||Focus button turns on peaking|
|Iris Control||Iris button automatically adjusts lens iris settings so no pixel is clipped|
|Lens Mount||EF and ZE mount compatible with electronic iris control|
|Screen Type||Integrated 5.0" (12.7 cm) LCD capacitive touch screen|
|Screen Resolution||800 x 480|
|Metadata Support||Automatic camera data and user data, e.g., shot number, file names, keywords|
|Controls||Onscreen touch menus and physical buttons for recording and transport control|
|Mounting Options||3 x 1/4" thread mounting points on top of camera, 1 x 1/4" thread tripod mount with locator pin|
|Type||Removable 2.5-inch (6.4 cm) SSD|
|Format||Mac OS Extended format - SSDs can be formatted on any Mac or use Mediafour MacDrive (not included) on Windows PC|
|Uncompressed Recording Formats||RAW 2.5K CinemaDNG|
|Compressed Recording Formats||Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD - 1920x1080 10-bit YUV with choice of Film or Video Dynamic Range|
|Data Rate||5.0 MB/frame in RAW 2.5K fits about 30 min. 24p video on 256 GB SSD, Compressed HD formats fit more than 150 min. video|
|SDI Video Output||1 x 10-bit HD-SDI 4:2:2 with choice of Film or Video Dynamic Range, 3.0 Gb/s speed|
|Analog Audio Input||2 x 1/4-inch jacks for professional balanced analog audio, switchable between mic and line levels|
|Analog Audio Output||1 x 3.5mm stereo headphone output|
|SDI Audio Output||4 x channels in HD-SDI|
|Remote Control||1 x 2.5mm LANC for Rec Start / Stop, Iris Control and Focus Control|
|Computer Interface||Thunderbolt port for RAW video and audio capture, USB 2.0 mini B port for software updates and configuration|
|Power Source||Integrated lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery|
|External Power||12-30 VDC port for external battery power or use included 12 VAC adapter|
|Battery Life||Approx. 90 min.|
|Battery Charge Time||Approx. 2.0 hr when not in use|
|SDI Compliance||SMPTE 292M|
|SDI Audio Sampling||48 kHz and 24-bit|
|Grading||DaVinci Resolve 9.0 including Resolve USB dongle for Mac OS X and Windows|
|Video capture||Media Express for capture from camera’s Thunderbolt port|
|Monitoring||Blackmagic UltraScope for waveform monitoring from camera’s Thunderbolt port|
|Dimensions||6.54 x 4.47 x 4.98" (16.62 x 11.35 x 12.65 cm), (excluding detachable sunshade and turret dust cap)|
|Weight||3.75 lb (1.7 kg)|
Thanks for checking out this B&H InDepth announcement. If you have any questions, we encourage you to submit a Comment below.