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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K


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It's always been that way.  Blackmagic cameras have always been really cheap, but they use professional accessories so the price seems really high in comparison.  Rigs have always been a significantly priced in comparison to the cameras, CFast 2.0 was expensive when it came out, and SDI montors are more expensive than HDMI although there are a lot more available now.

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My dear erstwhile member can you please stop attacking John Brawley now. I have long since given up on camera forum arguments so might not be completely up on who is right and who is wrong-evil /

I like the pictures. A lot.  This camera will probably replace the micro cinema camera for me as it’s not much bigger and is much easier to work with.  I didn’t feel as strongly about the 4K

What a shame. Who are these "deep state" BMD insiders that are here pushing an agenda ? Myself and Hook.  Who else ?  What do you guys think, there's a plot and conspiracy ?  You guys don't wat t

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1 minute ago, jonpais said:

I wonder what it really cost to design and manufacture the camera. ?

yeah that too.  I wonder if the GH5s is significantly cheaper to make than the GH5 because it lacks IBIS and is based around an existing body and color science but since it's a PRO model they have to price it higher

I think when blackmagic fist came out and DSLR was all the rage the costs of accessories were significantly different to DSLR's because DSLR's  came with a kit lens and included batteries that lasted for hours.  They were basically usable out of the box, and because the files were so compressed, you could use cheap SD cards too.  This camera with a DSLR form factor, high quality screen and micro 4/3 mount is the closest they've come to a camera that's usable with minimal accessories.

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29 minutes ago, Savannah Miller said:

That cage is priced exactly 1/3 the price of the camera, so I'm not suprised if they did it on purpose.  Makes me wonder what it really costs to design and manufacture something like that.

I was just going to say something along the same line. You can bet that thing doesn't cost 50 bucks to make. The big cost is the CnC work for all of those holes in it for 1/4-16 threads I would think.

Really the camera cost 995 bucks. The Resolve is 300  bucks. They will be selling just the camera for 995 down the road you watch. If a studio wanted to by say 10 of them no way in hell are they going to stand still buying 10 copies of Resolve months after the release of it.. You won't be able to give away a Dongle on ebay there will be so many of them on there.

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30 minutes ago, Savannah Miller said:

yeah that too.  I wonder if the GH5s is significantly cheaper to make than the GH5 because it lacks IBIS and is based around an existing body and color science but since it's a PRO model they have to price it higher

Uses a new sensor however, maybe extra cost there. 

Plus they will certainly sell less of them than the GH5, so GH5S R&D costs can't be spread around as much over as many units shipped.

 

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30 minutes ago, Savannah Miller said:

yeah that too.  I wonder if the GH5s is significantly cheaper to make than the GH5 because it lacks IBIS and is based around an existing body and color science but since it's a PRO model they have to price it higher

I thought the GH5s had Panasonic's newest Color Science in it?

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

I wonder what it cost to make the X-H1, the a7r III and the RX100 VI too! ?

Probably less than we imagine. I would think the R&D is more cost than the manufacturing in this day and age. Not much Human cost involved anymore making stuff. Assembling lenses maybe, but that might be about it other than stuff like satellites for space. Robots are building Robots already.

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Does panasonic sell higher volumes than Blackmagic?

The Rx100 series of cameras has tons of features packed into it, so I can see how development costs are high, but I do feel that the Panasonic cameras are just priced like everyone else, with higher pricing given to their better models.  Blackmagic just prices things however they want, so you really see how cheap it is to build cameras.  They priced this one at $1295, but if they could get it down to $1000, I'm almost certain they would.  It does sort of put into perspective what stuff really costs, because this camera is basically an entirely new body design with a new type of sensor as well, with tons of PRO features as well.  Blackmagic is the only company building cameras less than $2000 that license Prores inside of them.

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are you saying the RX100 has more tech than the GH5? Does it have anamorphic mode, 10-bit internal, full HDMI out, the ability to save all settings to an SD card, waveform monitor, truly usable touch screen, fully articulating LCD, 4K 60p unlimited recording, and on and on? If the batcam had all the features of Sony, Panasonic or Fuji, it would cost in the same ballpark. 

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5 hours ago, jonpais said:

I wonder what it really cost to design and manufacture the camera. ?

Well here are a few numbers.....

What does it cost to manufacture a camera?

So here are Olympus's financials (admittedly for the whole company)

1531442548_ClipboardImage(177).thumb.jpg.4e8c2b85d15b2f6f70acf88a8fd36c2d.jpg

Note that their gross margin is 'massively' high at 65%. Historically they used to breakout the gross margin for their cameras which was around 50%. To put that in perspective Apple's (a company that gets away with charging a lot for stuff) chugs along at around 38%.

So manufacturing cameras - especially mirrorless which is just a bunch of chips on a motherboard - doesnt cost a lot (Nikon and Canon's gross margins are lower.) However, SG&A expenses are also incredibly high - these are largely fixed costs and so if you dont sell much they end up as high (Nikon and Canon's are a lot lower as a percentage.)

When it comes to R&D, Olympus reports for 'imaging'....

1717272055_ClipboardImage(178).thumb.jpg.fd36b2e67a4ab925b5499b32e2779cd2.jpg

4bn yen (US$40m) which is around 6% of revenues (and Japanese Cos overstate R&D for taxation purposes.) And even US$40m isnt a lot...

So if you take the Panasonic GH5s, I dont think there is a whole lot of cost or R&D. The sensor is made by Sony (and by most accounts) is an off the shelf security camera (Starvis) sensor. The shutter will be made by Nidec Copal, the EVF most probably by Epson etc... etc...

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Rx100 doesn't have more tech, but it has a lot packed into a tiny body.  Look at the zoom range of that lens.  The internal ND filters, that pop up viewfinder.  Crazy stuff for a tiny camera.

There's a few things Blackmagic does not have that the Panny cameras do have, but largely I feel if Blackmagic had more experience building a smaller dslr/mirrorless form factor camera, then the Pocket would cost exactly the same AND have more features.  Blackmagic didn't add a waveform monitor because they said it's very computationally expensive, and probably not worth the tradeoff when they can add other features.  They probably also felt that anamorphic is seems pretty niche and if you really need it, they have other cams that can do it.

Rotating screen they do not have, but not sure how easy it is to build a 5" rotating screen.  They did take the easy route and use a display they know that people are happy with.

Autofocus is the main thing that Blackmagic doesn't have.  If they were able to add phase detect autofocus and used some of the newer Sony sensors, allowing higher ISO performance, they would steal more business from other manufacturers.  In many ways this cam at least fixes some of the gripes that people have about blackmagic's being either too big and heavy or poor ISO range.  The aggressive pricing of this camera and better ISO performance is a huge step in converting a lot of new people to Blackmagic.

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1 hour ago, Robert Collins said:

Well here are a few numbers.....

What does it cost to manufacture a camera?

So here are Olympus's financials (admittedly for the whole company)

...and that makes the numbers worthless (sorry). Olympus is primarily a medical imaging company (holding, among others, 70% of the world's endoscope market), and these products have a high margin. For sure, their consumer products don't make these profits.  

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It costs millions.

From what I've seen (first hand experience that is) at several companies it's a two year development cycle at minimum to make a camera. 

That's dozens of engineers.  Many iterations of sensor fab customising alone. Not to mention the in-house development costs. 

And there's no such thing as off the shelf sensors.  Just ask Apertus. They still haven't made a feasible camera after how many years ?

JB

 

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1 hour ago, cantsin said:

...and that makes the numbers worthless (sorry). Olympus is primarily a medical imaging company (holding, among others, 70% of the world's endoscope market), and these products have a high margin. For sure, their consumer products don't make these profits.  

....Or you could at least look it up....

1566952691_ClipboardImage(180).thumb.jpg.6bb12c9961606f803ff5333d911960f6.jpg

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12 hours ago, Savannah Miller said:

That cage is priced exactly 1/3 the price of the camera, so I'm not suprised if they did it on purpose.  Makes me wonder what it really costs to design and manufacture something like that.

That cage looks like it's one piece and I don't see any welds. If it's machined from a single block of aluminum it is probably on the higher cost side of manufacturing. Aluminum prices are or are about to start going up as well because of tarifs. We'll see cheaper cages made with multiple parts (think of wooden camera's original half cage for the bmpcc) that will likely be cheaper. I've got a design started that is designed to be machined from aluminum plate. 

That said, it's a pretty cage. I wish BM had considered third party mounting when designing the new 4k, the design gymnastics required to make a functional cage is significant.

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