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Blackmagic Cinema Camera production issues resolved

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#1
Andrew Reid

Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:20 PM

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Blackmagic Design's CEO and founder Grant Petty has some better news today regarding the cinema camera (my review here).

The sensor supplier issues are resolved and the factory may begin to ramp up as early as next week.

#2
markm

Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

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That is good news!

#3
Kingswell

Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:34 PM

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They're moving forward which is a good thing. But from my reading of Grant's update they haven't used any of the new glass yet, so problems could be encountered, and they're still dealing in small amounts. Trying to stay optimistic but i've been waiting since April 17th for this, and things never go as planned for BMD.

#4
Andrew Reid

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:46 PM

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Never? They have built a camera for $3000 that rivals the Alexa, I'd say it was pretty much going according to plan :)

#5
OzNimbus

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:21 PM

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There are an awful lot of "ifs" in the update. To say the issues are resolved is premature, imo. when the product starts hitting the shelves, that is when the issues have been resolved.

#6
kirk

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:51 PM

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I'm sure BM didn't plan to have this delay, having to deal with all these impatient customers, like Toyota didn't plan to recall 7.4 million cars B)

And waiting a bit for such a milestone treat at an unbelievably low price shouldn't be that hard...
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#7
Andrew Reid

Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:40 PM

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OzNimbus yes there are always "ifs" but do you really want to wait until the camera has hit shelves and all pre-orders filled before I report an update? The supply of dirty glass was the issue and that has been resolved.

#8
kitchentable

Posted 15 November 2012 - 11:13 PM

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If the early 2013 date sticks then the next can of worms for them will probably be the MFT version hitting at roughly the same time?

Given the choice today, I'd certainly choose the MFT version but was told by CVP that whilst its no problem to change my order I'll be leaving the front of one queue to join the back of another.

Theoretically, after ordering on 17th. April, I'm 5 months ahead of the queue of any MFT order and was already 2 months overdue when that was announced. If they had shipped on time or even at IBC when they announced the MFT then I'd have at least had 4 months of advantage out of it.

The annoying thing is that at IBC time they were still giving it the 'its shipping now' schtick so switching the order to something that wouldn't ship for another 4 or 5 months didn't make sense.

But as it stands, it looks like I'll probably have a 6 month late camera whereas I could have just torn my order up and got the more appealing MFT version at potentially not far off the same time (with the proviso, of course, that the MFT version is on schedule).

To me, that doesn't seem like much of a reward for ordering the camera sight unseen, trusting their delivery time and putting up with what looks like will be a 6 month delay.

Under the circumstances (basically the myth that there would be a 4-5 month advantage to sticking with the EF mount) , I'd very much like to see Blackmagic offer the option to switch an order to MFT without joining the back of that particular queue.

#9
galenb

Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:06 AM

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Under the circumstances (basically the myth that there would be a 4-5 month advantage to sticking with the EF mount) , I'd very much like to see Blackmagic offer the option to switch an order to MFT without joining the back of that particular queue.


They seem like reasonable people. You should bring this up with them.

To be honest, I almost pre-ordered when they announced the MFT mount. And I go through this every few weeks now, "Should I order one? No, I should't order one." Aside from it being a finical hardship at the moment, I decided to wait for them to get all the kinks ironed out. I also have a feeling that the "passive" MFT mount is just a phase. I really think they will release an active one. I mean, think of all those Panasonic lenses that are focus by wire. You simply will not be able to use those due to the focus mechanism requiring power. I'd rather wait for that for an active mount if that's in the cards.
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#10
OzNimbus

Posted 16 November 2012 - 02:48 AM

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OzNimbus yes there are always "ifs" but do you really want to wait until the camera has hit shelves and all pre-orders filled before I report an update? The supply of dirty glass was the issue and that has been resolved.

Please report away, I certainly have no issue with that! I read the same report you did & drew a very different conclusion..... that the issues still haven't been fully resolved & next week will be a litmus test to see if the glass is truly up to spec or not. I have 19 years experience in manufacturing to draw on, and until a finished product is actually rolling off the end of the line in quantity, and passes QC, it ain't fixed. There are many things that have to go right for the issue to truly be "resolved."
That being said, I really hope that it passes next week & they start pumping these out. I'd love to buy one.
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#11
Kingswell

Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:12 AM

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Never? They have built a camera for $3000 that rivals the Alexa, I'd say it was pretty much going according to plan :)


No arguing the concept is brilliant, but 4 months and still no mass production is an absolute disaster of a release. Since the end of July its been week after week of problems.

#12
galenb

Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:30 AM

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No arguing the concept is brilliant, but 4 months and still no mass production is an absolute disaster of a release. Since the end of July its been week after week of problems.


I love how everyone has been treating this like they haven't been letting us know what's up the whole time. Like Grant hasn't been disregarding expected industry norms by giving us regular reports (and they are ridiculously in-depth!) every time he knows something. Get a grip people. I understand you are angry because you want your camera and you want it now but have a little compassion. This is not some kind of debacle where people are sneaking around trying to keep things secret because they are worried that it might cause a fuss. I for one feel that they have been up-front and caring the whole way through. I don't know any other company that would give a damn enough to keep us all in the loop like they have. Geez guys.

And think for just a second what it must be like on their end. You think it's fun waiting around for a week for some company to send you samples only to find that they are bad... over and over?
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#13
kitchentable

Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:33 AM

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I also have a feeling that the "passive" MFT mount is just a phase. I really think they will release an active one. I mean, think of all those Panasonic lenses that are focus by wire. You simply will not be able to use those due to the focus mechanism requiring power. I'd rather wait for that for an active mount if that's in the cards.


Far less of an issue for me personally for it not to be active but I agree that if they can they should.

I love how everyone has been treating this like they haven't been letting us know what's up the whole time. Like Grant hasn't been disregarding expected industry norms by giving us regular reports (and they are ridiculously in-depth!) every time he knows something. Get a grip people. I understand you are angry because you want your camera and you want it now but have a little compassion. This is not some kind of debacle where people are sneaking around trying to keep things secret because they are worried that it might cause a fuss. I for one feel that they have been up-front and caring the whole way through. I don't know any other company that would give a damn enough to keep us all in the loop like they have. Geez guys.

And think for just a second what it must be like on their end. You think it's fun waiting around for a week for some company to send you samples only to find that they are bad... over and over?


For me personally, the only bone of contention is being told at IBC that cameras had started shipping.

That is something that was a bit naughty really.

It wasn't particularly good form to be announcing a new version of something that was already several months late, particularly with it being a more desirable product for many people, but with the differential in delivery time it wasn't a major issue.

Just bad luck for them that whilst the chickens have not exactly completely come home to roost they are certainly wandering back to the coop at quite a lick !

#14
galenb

Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:14 AM

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Far less of an issue for me personally for it not to be active but I agree that if they can they should.



For me personally, the only bone of contention is being told at IBC that cameras had started shipping.

That is something that was a bit naughty really.

It wasn't particularly good form to be announcing a new version of something that was already several months late, particularly with it being a more desirable product for many people, but with the differential in delivery time it wasn't a major issue.

Just bad luck for them that whilst the chickens have not exactly completely come home to roost they are certainly wandering back to the coop at quite a lick !

Yeah, I guess I can understand that. If you were told that they were shipping cameras by someone on the show floor, then yes, that's not to cool. I wonder if they were considering the fact that they had shipped out some cameras to reviews and such as meaning that they were indeed shipping? Just a thought.

I just keep thinking that they were totally ready to ship cameras. The hardware development was done and everything was ready to go. They had even been receiving small batches of sensors from the manufacturer and assembled quite a few cameras without any errors. If you go back to some of the earlier messages from Grant you can see that it wasn't until later that they started receiving bad batches of sensors. And even then, some of them where good. So, I would think that they assumed that if they just keep bugging them, they would eventually receive good ones. That's the part where things get really weird. The sensor maker actually switched companies who fussed the glass to the raw sensor just as they went into production. So, it was kind of a bait and switch thing. BMD didn't have any reason to believe that they were going to start receiving bad sensors because up until this point everything had been going great. And, it wasn't until just recently that they even tracked down the problem and found out about the switch. Obviously, the sensor manufacture is totally at fault here. I can only assume that the show floor guys who you talked to either didn't know about the issues and just said what he assumed was true or, he was a bad egg who was just trying to get your money. I'm hoping it was the first one. ;-)

#15
jeffdeponte

Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

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Please report away, I certainly have no issue with that! I read the same report you did & drew a very different conclusion..... that the issues still haven't been fully resolved & next week will be a litmus test to see if the glass is truly up to spec or not. I have 19 years experience in manufacturing to draw on, and until a finished product is actually rolling off the end of the line in quantity, and passes QC, it ain't fixed. There are many things that have to go right for the issue to truly be "resolved."
That being said, I really hope that it passes next week & they start pumping these out. I'd love to buy one.


Careful, Oz, you're sounding awfully negative. The forum Nazi might ban you!
Jeff DePonte
Honolulu, HI

#16
Andrew Reid

Posted 18 November 2012 - 12:16 PM

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I don't ban people for negativity, rather then they have absolutely zero of interest or knowledge to offer the place...
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#17
Kingswell

Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:04 PM

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I love how everyone has been treating this like they haven't been letting us know what's up the whole time. Like Grant hasn't been disregarding expected industry norms by giving us regular reports (and they are ridiculously in-depth!) every time he knows something. Get a grip people. I understand you are angry because you want your camera and you want it now but have a little compassion. This is not some kind of debacle where people are sneaking around trying to keep things secret because they are worried that it might cause a fuss. I for one feel that they have been up-front and caring the whole way through. I don't know any other company that would give a damn enough to keep us all in the loop like they have. Geez guys.

And think for just a second what it must be like on their end. You think it's fun waiting around for a week for some company to send you samples only to find that they are bad... over and over?


Not angry, just starting to become very annoyed.They have 19 working days left of the year to pass quality control on the new glass, ramp up the production line and then ship thousands of cameras around the world. I personally think that is a tall order and can't see it happening till the end of January 2013 at the earliest.

As for Grant's updates i would have to disagree on the detail part. They lack the most important details of dates and potential volume, so even though we know about the problem we're still stuck in the dark about when these things are going to ship and how many they can ship. That's the thing i only care about now.

#18
galenb

Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:09 AM

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Not angry, just starting to become very annoyed.They have 19 working days left of the year to pass quality control on the new glass, ramp up the production line and then ship thousands of cameras around the world. I personally think that is a tall order and can't see it happening till the end of January 2013 at the earliest.

As for Grant's updates i would have to disagree on the detail part. They lack the most important details of dates and potential volume, so even though we know about the problem we're still stuck in the dark about when these things are going to ship and how many they can ship. That's the thing i only care about now.


Well, I have to disagree with you there was well. Mentioning dates is what got them into this mess in the first place. The biggest mistake that Grant and co. made was assuming that the sensor manufacture could deliver as promised. At this point, I think it's pretty clear that this is under some suspect. If they were to tell you that they can get up to speed and make so many cameras per day and that you can expect you camera by a specific date, can you imaging the amount of outrage and utter furry they would face if that date or capacity slipped? And, at this point, with all the delays and manufacturing issues, how could you even answer that question reasonably? No, I think explaining the known facts not giving anymore "projections" based on assumptions is the best they can possibly do at this point.

I'm really sorry you're annoyed and I don't blame you. It's normal to feel that way in this situation and I think it's fine to blow off some steam too. I just don't like it when people place blame in the wrong place or don't think things through all the way. Most companies wouldn't tell you a thing other than issuing a lawyer written public statement. I'm sure this isn't going to make you feel any better but if I were you, I wouldn't expect to see your camera until after the first of the year. Probably mid January if everything goes "Perfectly".

#19
Kingswell

Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

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Maybe not dates, you're right this is how the sorry mess started, but knowing how many limited shipping means in quanitifable numbers and how many they can roughly produce at 100% capacity should be coming to light so people can make a decision whether to cancel their pre-order for time being. I factored in a delay when i ordered April 17th, but never did i imagine that i'd still be waiting past November. I think part of my annoyance is the lack of distribution to UK and Europe, whilst seeing B&H recieve multiple cameras.

I do give BMD credit for keeping in contact via their updates, like you say, none of the big players do that. However when you come out with your first ever camera and suffer multiple delays your hand is somewhat forced into being more vociferous.

#20
Andrew Reid

Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

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I really don't see any logic in cancelling a pre-order, at all. People have waited this long, they should hold out. Even if you don't like the camera, they are so rare that it can be rented out to a film production as a B-cam, or indeed anybody who wants raw and can't afford a Red. You'd make your money back.




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