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Blackmagic 4K Production Camera 'now due in September'


Andrew Reid
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What I was told today (from one of the dealers) is this:

 

Pocket camera is shipping is low quantities (i.e. less than 100 units, I was actually told about 10 at a time). The manufacturing is apparently happening in Singapore. 

 

The same dealer told me that the BMCC is also still a slow trickle as well. He mentioned that even right now he doesn't have any in stock and the only way to get some in is to start calling their distributor and raise some stink to get them to move quicker. In all fairness, he did say that BM is not as much to blame as their distributors who sometimes tend to play favorites (i.e. prioritize bigger dealers like B&H vs. some of the smaller dealers).

 

His opinion is that the BMCC's image quality is likely to outperform the new 4K camera, he also feels that the data management will be an even greater issue since 4K footage (at the Pro Res file size) is still quite huge.

 

FWIW, I recently ran a test on the Alexa, the BMCC and the 5D3 (video coming soon), and even though I feel that the Alexa produces an amazing image, the 5D3 raw was IMHO a much better image than what I was able to get out of the BMCC. 

 

Thank you very much for your prompt reportage and refreshing candor. I am disappointed but not surprised about the BMD4K output being worse than the BMCC, this sentiment coming from Brawley as well is the nail in that coffin. They will hold the product for the rest of the year trying to rectify that (perhaps abandoning global shutter) but I'm going to wager now that it's killed by the spring. I.e. no 4K camera from BMD for at least another year, until they can source a better sensor and one hopes create a more ergonomic casing.

 

I have no doubt the 5D3 has a better picture in more situations than the BMCC. I'm not even sure you need the RAW hack to get there.

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What I was told today (from one of the dealers) is this:

 

Pocket camera is shipping is low quantities (i.e. less than 100 units, I was actually told about 10 at a time). The manufacturing is apparently happening in Singapore. 

 

If this is true, what on earth are they playing at?

 

Surely they must have the ability to scale their production to demand.

 

At a rate of 100 units per month there's a good chance it will take a year to go through the pre-orders and that is a VERY conservative estimate of 1000 pre-orders. I expect they had a lot more than that given the consumer pricing and attractiveness of the spec AND the temptation of people to keep the Pocket pre-order open whilst they cancel others, or even move their pre-order from a more expensive model to the Pocket.

 

You can't ship such low quantities in this market, even in a niche part of it. Just doesn't work.

 

Blackmagic need to give us proper answers on their production capacities and whether they can ramp up, otherwise all we're going to be lead to do is speculate that it might take a year for some people to their cameras and that isn't useful or constructive for Blackmagic.

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Andrew they already had a costly recall with the EF mount flange distance problem and if they ship too many pocket units too quickly and have to suffer a major hardware recall (worldwide shipping to and from Oz at their expense) they could lose all profit on the entire project. Especially if refunds are justifiably demanded. They may have production resources but clearly lack enough QA resources and have to restrict and enlist the early adopters as unpaid beta testers.

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