Blackmagic Design Unveils Cinema CameraBy: Mike Fossum - April 17, 2012
Blackmagic Design, manufacturer of creative video technology, has changed things up a bit by unveiling its new Cinema Camera at the NAB show this week – which at first glance looks to be a competitor of the Bolex D16 that was recently funded on Kickstarter.
Key features of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera include a 2.5K image sensor with 13 stops of dynamic range, an on-board SSD recorder, open standard uncompressed RAW and compressed file formats, Canon EF and Zeiss lens mount compatibility with full electronic control, SDI and Thunderbolt ports, and an LCD monitor/touchscreen. The camera also includes Blackmagic’s own DaVinci Resolve software for both Mac and Windows, along with Ultrascopes, which would cost roughly $1600 – not bad at all against the Cinema Camera’s price of $2995.
The Cinema Camera sports a compact body made of aluminum, and oddly, the internal battery cannot be removed, and lasts for about 3 hours. Though, there’s a 12V-30V DC port for external battery power and an included 12V AC adapter. Also missing are XLR microphone inputs, and the hybrid camera has an integrated mono speaker and microphone. Standard connections include jack mic/line inputs for uncompressed audio, as well as 3 Gbs SDI and a jack for a LANC controller. Interestingly, users can use the touchscreen LCD to enter metadata via a QWERTY virtual keyboard:
Blackmagic, who has historically produced video production peripherals, has been conscious of the entire production workflow in the building of the Cinema Camera, which allows 2.5K uncompressed CinemaDNG RAW 12-bit capture as well as Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD compressed video formats, recorded to the integrated SSD.
Some might complain about the relatively small sensor size and lack of 4K recording capability, like the new Canon 1D C, which is set to sell at about five times as much. Still, for under $3K, the Cinema Camera will likely become a big draw when it hits the shelves sometime in July.