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Blackmagic not just by name - why the Cinema Camera is the future

Andrew Reid

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[url="http://www.hotrodcameras.com"]Photo by Illya Friedman – Hot Rod Cameras[/url]

[url="http://blackmagic-design.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/"]Pre-order the £1925 / $3000 Blackmagic Cinema Camera here
Click ‘How to Buy’ and follow link to your preferred dealer

[url="http://***URL removed***/news/2012/04/16/blackmagic-announces-blackmagic-cinema-camera"]See Blackmagic’s summary of their new Cinema Camera at DPReview[/url]

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/404/disruptive-technology"]From the archives: Read EOSHD’s explanation of Disruptive Technology[/url]

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is to the digital cinema market what the iPhone was to Nokia and Motorola.

Here I explain why it is so significant for everyone with an interest in moving images – filmmaker or consumer.

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/7951/blackmagic-not-just-by-name-why-the-cinema-camera-is-the-future/"]Read full article[/url]

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One of your best articles yet - but you predicted this would happen almost a year ago.

If this sells as well as I think it will and Black Magic builds their customer base - I can see them working on an 4k version and Black Magic customers will be "pulling stills (ala Red)" from their RAW video streams to edit and print. 

What will Canon, Sony, Panasonic do then?  No only will their video segments be in danger, many customers (like me) will say, heck with it, an 8megapixel frame grab will be good enough for small prints, web, and promotional work.  There goes the need for any low end digital camera (as if the smart phone hasn't killed this yet) and possibly some mid range ones as well.

And then there is the software that you mentioned - Canon, Sony and Panasonic can't compete with Black Magic there.

And then there is the media that Sony pushes that nobody wants - Black Magic gets ballsy and says, screw it, SSD's for everyone!

The big manufacture's complacency will see them getting hit from quite a few angles - sales will shrink - brand image will suffer.  Kodak anyone?

(disclaimer - the Sony FS100 and FS700 are still awesome because of their larger sensor, lens mount, and frame rates)
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Cool article but i see 2 majors errors :

First one : Apple is everything but a company with low marges !!! Its the company with the biggest marges on the market...

Seconde one : the CinemaCamera is a very promising project, i have no doubts about it, but it will be a game changer only if it becomes a good PRODUCT ! What do we know about the build quality, the capacitive LCD durability or outdoor visibility ?

Im not saying it wont be a wonderful camera but lets wait for like 6 months to see if this great announcement becomes reality in our hands !!!
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Well this throws me for a major loop as I was planning on picking up one or two more GH2s in the next few months as it does (with the hack) 90% of what I need for pennies on the dollar compared to other cameras out there.  There is something supremely satisfying about getting ridiculously amazing images out of a sub-$1000 camera. 

However, given the specs, now I can't imagine NOT ordering the BMD camera and putting the GH2 on B duty.  There is the low-light question, but most of what I do is in controlled settings, so I'm sure I can make it work regardless.  And I'll just PRAY that BMD will develop a 4/3 mount so that I can use my existing lenses. 

Here's a question for Andrew or others - what kind of hardware do I need to grade and edit a RAW workflow?  I was also planning to pick up a new Macbook Pro later this summer and I have a 4TB Raid, but maybe together those won't be enough?  My projects are almost entirely short form - 20 minutes or less - so I won't be juggling huge amounts of data.  Though with 9gb/minute, maybe I will!

Thanks in advance and Viva la Revolucion!
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Great post.  The business practices of companies such as Sony, Canon and Panasonic have worked to the detriment of consumers for a long time.  But fortunately a few enterprising companies have woken up to this fact.  Not only can smaller companies compete, they can better the giants in so many ways. 

The price gouging, crippling, and artificial market segmentation of the big companies to protect their vested interests has left a gap in the market so wide you can drive a bus through it. 

And think about this too: in an interview at NAB Blackmagic said they developed this camera in a year.  One year.  And this company has never even made a camera before.  Compare that to the four years the Canon spent doing nothing but adding ISO 100,000 and a headphone jack to the 5D mark II.  Canon, the largest camera manufacturer in the world. 

I think Blackmagic's move will wake up a lot of other small companies with similar expertise: AJA, Atomos, Matrox, Convergent Design to name but a few.  The next year is going to be very interesting indeed.
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Really good article, i like it, but i have to agree with ReflexVideo.  Apple charge double the price of competitor's products, (mac book pros for example) and yet people can't get enough of them and they get away with charging what is essentially a premium product tax.  So it is possible to get away with ripping people off if your customer feels they're buying a luxury/premium item, but maybe these digital camera companies are asking too much :)
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I applaud BMD, as a Canon man myself I've been completely disenchanted by the Mk3 and the C300, these companies like Canon and Panasonic just can't help reverting to their old wicked ways, so thank goodness companies like BMD can come along and start to give people what they want (I say start because I do still yearn for s35), they'll get my money!
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yeah there are big similarities with Apple.  I had been thinking about "what would I design as the next generation video camera" - better than HD resolution, raw, large touch screen interface, break-away design, EF lens compatible etc..  and then boom - Blackmagic beats me to it! b@stards..  Honestly guys, it isn't rocket science what we wanted

Blackmagic have delivered this obvious vision of the future (from the spec sheet anyhow), given it an Apple-like touch screen interface experience + the solid block of aluminium construction thing (which looks uber cool, but will be rubbish to hold, just like the iphone 4..), AND... the real icing on the cake - the beginning of the ecosystem which is how Apple have managed to hold onto it's zillions of customers - ie packaged software that we might actually use & like!  Camera hardware specs aside, keep an eye out on what they do with the software - that's where things might get real interesting..

Don't worry, BMD will turn nasty just like Apple has done too - it's the evil corporate way free market economics works..
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Let's hope that this time next year we are long past worrying about whether Canon will throw us a bone and give us 1080p60 and are instead anticipating the Atomos Shogun Super35 Cam, the Convergent Design Scorpio 4K camera and the Matrox IrisCine SuperSlowmo Cam.  All shooting raw, Cineform, Prores or DNx to 2.5" SSDs.  And all less than $5k.
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[quote author=popalock link=topic=613.msg4328#msg4328 date=1334836272]
Camera hardware specs aside, keep an eye out on what they do with the software - that's where things might get real interesting..

Yep, Resolve 9 now includes a 'Conform' tab where you can edit clips and also renders out audio.  It is within a hair's breadth of being a full linear editor.  Blackmagic are not only taking on Canon, Sony and Panasonic.  They are taking on Apple, Adobe and Avid too. 
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Hi Andrew,

This is specifically for you, before RED we had a system of Extortion by all camera manufacturer, RED changed the game and I am glad Blackmagic is going to take this forward. It was two OUTSIDERS, if it was not for RED we would probably not have been here, with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

Yes now RED's focus has shifted to so call high end, and a lot of guys our disappointed that there is no 3K camera for 3K from them. Well we now have one from Blackmagic, and I am glad the RULES again are being changed by non camera company.

I posted this two days back on the RED forum, it gives a lot of perspective  to where we stand, the article link is at least two years old.


Finally I will buy the Blackmagic Camera the moment it is available, because I believe in Blackmagic as I do in RED,
Incidentally I also own a Epic besides a RED ONE.

Default Yesterday, 10:31 PM

    Quote Originally Posted by Jarred Land View Post
    We love Blackmagic.. we been fans of them for years. It is nice to have another company in the game that is willing to shake things up and not follow the "rules" :)

    There are two companies I truly respect one is RED and the other Blackmagic, I have bought Decklink products
    for the last twelve years, they make products which have truly contributed to our business and growth.
    Reasonably priced and game-changers in workflow. The first product I bought was the original Decklink HD for US999/-
    an unheard of thing in 2000-2002.

    Here is an article that covers the RED ONE camera and Decklink products.


    Strange the two best announcement on RAW workflow and compact cameras are from
    an American company and a Australian. One was expected but where are the answers to WHY.

    Yusuf Thakur
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It certainly looks like progress in video on dSLR is taking a different route albeit a less impressive one and that video companies particularly small independent ones have been inspired by the budget film camera market.
Canon, Nikon, Sony and Panasonic are not daft, well not always, and they have anticipated something like the Blackmagic, Digital Bolex, etc, will arrive that is why they refuse to charge a big premium for video features on dSLR. Clearly if you want o shoot film with a $3k budget you will be looking at a BM. If you wanto shoot still with a casual interest in video you you would consider a 5DIII. The D800 video implementation however is dead on the water. You would never want to pay extra for an external device for poor quality uncompress HDMI output that offer little or no improvement over internal card recording.
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What kind of processing power do you think will be needed to properly work with the camera's files especially the DNG RAWs.

Right now I'm editing all my Mark 2 footage on a late 2009 iMac. native h264 or prores both work pretty flawlessly in Final Cut or Premiere Pro.

I can imagine the 2.5k DNG RAW files could be a problem for my machine. What kind of power do you think you would need to process these files?

I really can't afford the Camera, SSDs and a new Computer.
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[quote author=Simco123 link=topic=613.msg4335#msg4335 date=1334840021]
Canon, Nikon, Sony and Panasonic are not daft ... that is why they refuse to charge a big premium for video features on dSLR.

Have you been following the news in recent weeks?  What is the $8k mark up on the 1D C over the 1D X, if not a (very) big premium for video features?  Check Westfall was interviewed at NAB and asked why the 1D C was so much more expensive.  Apart from the headphone jack his answer listed only firmware features.
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