Blackmagic Design unveils pocket-sized 1080p video camera

It could be argued that Blackmagic Design stole the show’s headlines with a new pocket-sized 1080p movie camera capable of 422 ProRes acquisition that costs less than $1000. Indeed, diverting the spotlight from the major camera manufacturers further, Blackmagic also promised that lossless CinemaDNG would be added to the new pocket camera via a firmware update later this year. The camera, to be available in July, captures footage in Apple’s 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes format and will cost $995.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera uses a Super 16 crop (around 12.5 x 7.4mm) of the sensor used in its existing cinema camera, and an “active” Micro Four Thirds lens mount, giving full aperture control of native lenses. The ultra-compact design allows the HD camera to be used in more situations where a larger camera would not be practical.

The camera captures ProRes footage at 220Mb/s, allowing it to fit 50 minutes of footage on a 64GB SDXC card. It offers magnified focus and focus peaking, and can output an HDMI signal with or without overlays for external monitoring.

It also includes a LANC connector for remotely controlling record, stop, focus and iris settings. It has external microphone and headphone jacks, a 12V power input and standard tripod mounts top and bottom to allow flexible incorporation into a shooting rig.

The 13 stops of dynamic range look of the Blackmagic camera is almost identical to shooting on a professional Super 16 film camera. The Micro Four Thirds lenses offer a wide range of low-cost lenses, and they are compatible with mount adapters such as PL mounts for large lens and professional motion picture film rigs.

Blackmagic also showed its 4K production camera, a new high-resolution digital film camera with a large Super 35 size sensor with global shutter, combined with precision EF mount optics and Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) file recording. It will cost $3995.

The 4K camera shoots to compressed CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes 422 (HQ) files in 4K, giving customers a complete solution to shoot high-resolution music videos, episodic television production, television commercials, sports, documentaries, news stories, interviews and feature films.

The wide dynamic range of the Super 35 sized sensor can be mapped into the quantizing range of the file so users can color grade shots to allow greater detail in highlights and shadows. When working fast, the customer can also record to regular Rec. 709 video files.

The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K uses standard connections. The camera features 6G-SDI output that can be down-converted to HD or used for Ultra HD video. In addition, the device includes a built-in Thunderbolt port and UltraScope software for real time waveform monitoring.

For audio, the camera features ¼-inch mic/line input jacks plus a 12V to 30V DC input, a 3.5mm headphone socket and LANC remote control. And with a built-in uncompressed audio recorder, users can eliminate post audio synching altogether.