Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K gets BRAW in extensive FFPGA hardware update delivered via software

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Blackmagic RAW has arrived on the Pocket 4K camera, meanwhile Cinema DNG has been remove due to patent claims, and basically being an obsolete format with poor performance and compatibility. I don’t really mourn Cinema DNG, but it’s a shame they had to remove it for legal reasons.

What’s very interesting on the hardware side is how Blackmagic are able to deliver such a dramatic firmware update. A lot of consumer cameras have hardware based on ASIC chipsets. The Blackmagic Pocket 4K has a FFPGA (Fast Field Programmable Gate Array) which is a type of chip that can be completely reprogrammed at the hardware level by software commands. This is how Blackmagic are able to deliver such fundamental features as an entire new raw codec, which would have necessitated a hardware change on a normal camera.

Blackmagic are providing a BRAW Player as well for MacOS which allows quick preview and playback of clips from the Finder. BRAW clips are a single file unlike Cinema DNG, which is a folder of still DNG frames in sequence.

Read moreBlackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K gets BRAW in extensive FFPGA hardware update delivered via software

Panasonic S1 4K 10bit video mode to be present at launch with Hybrid LOG Gamma

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Overlooked in the first articles about this camera is the 4K H.265 mode of the Panasonic S1. Similar to the Fuji X-T3, this will allow 10bit internal recording in HEVC with launch firmware version 1.0 – no need to wait for the paid 10bit update.

3840 x 2160 is available in 10bit at 24p, 25p and 30p with no crop – it is full frame.

The later paid update is for a higher bitrate 10bit 4:2:2 mode and V-LOG, but in the meantime 10bit H.265 provides the silky smooth colour of 10bit with HDR and much smaller file sizes.

Read morePanasonic S1 4K 10bit video mode to be present at launch with Hybrid LOG Gamma

Canon EOS RP and Fuji X-T30 announced – a Grand Canyon sized gap in 4K technology

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Oh look! It’s time for Canon to roll out their old chips again! The EOS RP has an identical sensor to the 6D Mark II, with a micro-lens array design more suited to mirrorless lenses. Canon openly admit in interviews that the RP cannot even do cropped 4K/30p without overheating. Even the modest bump in frame rate would have necessitated “a larger body design”, they say. Not sure I believe them, but clearly the technology is behind the curve.

Most disappointingly of all, it turns out that the EOS RP lacks Dual Pixel AF in 4K video mode,┬álike the M50, which means it’s a “no-buy” from me and better to stick with the EOS R until the pro body is released, which perhaps, is the intention.

Fuji on the other hand – an even smaller, lighter (380g) and cheaper camera has a full-width 6K sensor readout without overheating and most of the 4K video features of the superb X-T3 for under $900, with F-LOG, 120fps 1080p and bonus 10bit 4:2:2 external output.

There is a GULF between Canon and Fuji in their video technology.

Read moreCanon EOS RP and Fuji X-T30 announced – a Grand Canyon sized gap in 4K technology

Nikon Z9 and Z5 plus affordable 4K shooting D5700 in the works?

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Nikon has registered several new models with the wireless agencies worldwide, with rumours that a high-end mirrorless Z9 is due to be released this year, along with a more affordable Z5 aimed at the lower-end of the full frame market around $1200. The first affordable Nikon APS-C DSLR to shoot non-cropped Super 35mm 4K is expected to be the Nikon D5700.

Read moreNikon Z9 and Z5 plus affordable 4K shooting D5700 in the works?