Last year I found a sensor which seemed a perfect match for future 4K Blackmagic Cinema Cameras. I contacted the supplier CMOSIS who quoted me a rough price point which made 4K for $4K within reach. CMOSIS are a European company who are mass producing the full frame CMOS sensor in the new Leica M so they are an extremely reliable and high regarded supplier with experience of mass production for the photographic market.
Their Super 35mm 4K sensor is the “CMOSIS CMV 12000″ and the specification is a close to the Blackmagic Production Camera. Also the pin layout as shown above looks identical despite the low resolution shot of the sensor in Blackmagic’s promotional material.
Dynamic range quoted by CMOSIS is 60db which is around 11 stops. It has a high dynamic range mode which does 90db at over 15 stops but this isn’t enabled in-camera. The sensor can also do high frame rates, outputting 4K at 150fps in 10bit and up to 90fps in 12bit but these frame rates won’t be enabled on the Production Camera as the recording side / ASIC cannot handle such high data rates for $4000, and I am sure there are heat management issues with that too.
The other obvious giveaway is that the Blackmagic Super 35mm sensor has the same aspect ratio as the CMV 12000, as you can see from the shot above both are 4:3. The sensor can provide an anamorphic lens friendly 4:3 aspect ratio but again Blackmagic have chosen to go with a 16:9 window on it and not record the full active pixel area of 4,096 x 3,072.