NAB 2: Another day, another camera! Blackmagic Cinema camera announced

This really is the NAB of new camera releases. Hot off the heels of the Canon C500, 1D-C and the Sony FS700, Blackmagic Design who are known for their recorders and transcoding boxes, have announced a new cinema camera! Bloody hell!

Its specs that have been released are very impressive and it’s damn cheap, especially bundled with Davinci Resolve and Ultrascopes which by themselves would cost you $1600! It’s going for the low budget crowd and that is great news!

Edit: The sensor is a little smaller than the M43 and a little bigger than super 16mm… so a direct competitor to the digital bolex.

I got to check it out at NAB and it is a very interesting camera. Obviously the price and features are astonishing. The key thing when anything like this is using it. So I hope to test it out soon and report back!

Initial impressions are that the form factor is rather odd and will need a rig to hold it. Touch screens are fine when there are physical alternatives but it’s all touch screen here. The Canon EF mount is limiting. Wide angles are going to be a problem with this sensor…Otherwise I rather liked it, the quirky design could well grown on me and having thunderbolt/ raw/ prores/ dnxhd on board is fantastic. Let’s see how she performs now!

Key features:

Raw recording


13 stops dynamic range

Integrated SSD to record Cinema DNG Raw, ProRes and DNxHD

EF Canon mount

SDI and Thunderbolt (!)

Integrated touch screen LCD

Free full copy of DaVinci Resolve and Ultrascopes

$2995! Shipping in July.

You can check out some videos here

There is more info on John Brawley’s site here who shot the test footage

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Tech Specs

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Camera Features
Sensor Resolution 2592 x 2192
Raw Resolution 12-bit RAW files recorded at 2432 x 1366
Shooting Resolutions 2.5K RAW at 2432 x 1366, compressed at 1920 x 1080
Frame Rates 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p
Sensor Size 16.64 mm x 14.04 mm
Sensor Size – Active 15.6 mm x 8.8 mm
Dynamic Range 13 stops
Focus Focus button turns on peaking
Iris Control Iris button automatically adjusts the lens iris settings so no pixel is clipped
Lens Mount EF and ZE mount compatible with electronic iris control
Screen Dimensions 5″ and 800 x 480 resolution
Screen Type Integrated LCD capacitive touchscreen
Metadata Support Automatic camera data and user data such as shot number, filenames and keywords
Controls Onscreen touch menus and physical buttons for recording and transport control
Microphone Integrated mono microphone
Speaker Integrated mono speaker
Mounting Options 3 x 1/4″ thread mounting points on top of camera.
1 x 1/4″ thread tripod mount with locator pin.
Power Integrated Lithium-ion Polymer rechargeable battery.
12V-30V DC port for external battery power or use included 12V AC adapter.
Battery Life Approximately 90 minutes
Battery Charge Time Approximately 2 hours when not in use.
Camera Dimensions 166.2mm by 113.51mm x 126.49mm excluding detachable sunshade and turret dust cap
Camera Weight 1.7 kg / 3.75 lb
Storage Features
Storage Type Removable 2.5” SSD
Storage Format Mac OS Extended format. SSDs can be formatted on any Mac or use Mediafour MacDrive (not included) on a Windows PC.
Storage Rates 5 MB/frame in RAW 2.5K fits about 30 minutes of 24p video on a 256 GB solid state disk. Compressed HD formats fit more than 5 times the amount of RAW video.
Uncompressed Recording Formats RAW 2.5K CinemaDNG
Compressed Recording Formats Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD. All compressed recording in 1920×1080 10-bit YUV with choice of Film or Video Dynamic Range.
SDI Video Output 1 x 10-bit HD-SDI 4:2:2 with choice of Film or Video Dynamic Range
Analog Audio Input 2 x 1/4” jacks for professional balanced analog audio, switchable between mic and line levels.
Analog Audio Output 1 x 3.5mm stereo headphone output
SDI Audio Output 4 channels in HD-SDI
Remote Control 1 x 2.5mm LANC for Rec Start/Stop, Iris Control and Focus Control
Computer Interface Thunderbolt port for capture of RAW video and audio.
USB 2.0 mini B port for software updates and configuration.
External Power 12V-30V DC port for external battery power or use included 12V AC adapter.
SDI Compliance SMPTE 292M.
SDI Audio Sampling 48 kHz and 24 bit.
Software Included DaVinci Resolve grading software including Resolve USB dongle for Mac OS X and Windows.
Media Express software for video capture from the camera’s Thunderbolt port.
Blackmagic UltraScope software for waveform monitoring from the camera’s Thunderbolt port.
Accessories Detachable sun shield, camera strap, turret dust cap and 12V AC adapter.
Product Warranty 12 Month Limited Manufacturer’s Warranty.
Optional Accessories
Camera Handles Blackmagic Cinema Camera Handles

Here are some images from John of him with the camera…


Here is the press release…

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

We have been thinking hard about cameras and some of the limitations in quality that video cameras run into. Working with DaVinci color grading has only made these limitations more noticeable. 

 Some of the reasons why video cameras look like “video” is because they have limited contrast range, are limited to HD resolutions, use heavy compression for file recording, have poor quality lenses and of course they don’t integrate into NLE software with metadata management. 

We decided to address these problems by developing a camera that provides feature film quality in an extremely compact portable design.

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, large 2.5K sensor, integrated SSD recorder that has the bandwidth to capture CinemaDNG RAW, ProRes and DNxHD files, integrated capacitive touchscreen LCD for direct metadata entry, standard jack audio connectors, refrigerated sensor and it’s fully compatible with EF and ZF mount lenses. 

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera also includes SDI and Thunderbolt connectors and it comes with a full copy of DaVinci Resolve and UltraScope software. Imagine plugging in your laptop for on set grading and scopes!

The 13 stops of dynamic range is one of the most important reasons why this camera looks like film. Often people focus on more pixels, but that is just a larger video image. The real way to get film quality is to capture a wide contrast range to retain more detail in the black and white levels of the image. Then once you color grade the images, it looks amazing! Combined with amazing EF and ZF lenses, the result is a true film look!

Of course the quality is killed if you compress the images when recording them, so we built in an SSD recorder. That means you get the recording speed you need to record the full 2.5K RAW sensor data into completely uncompressed CinemaDNG files. This means you get all the detail and quality of the sensor. 

No files on this camera are custom in any way and this is the first camera that’s designed to make the whole post production process simple. It records into CinemaDNG format for RAW files, and DNxHD or ProRes for HD resolution files compatible with Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro. 

You can play back all recorded files on the LCD, and there is a built-in microphone and speaker for reviewing audio. Of course you will want to plug in high quality audio into the standard jack connectors and the audio is always recorded uncompressed for highest quality.

The integrated LCD has a touchscreen and when tapped, a window called the “slate” appears where you can type in shot information just like typing on a smartphone. This is then recorded into the file as metadata in the Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve format. Common data like shot number can auto increment to save time. 

 You can also change camera settings on this touch LCD, such as frame rate, shutter angle, color temperature, dynamic range, focus assist settings and more. The SDI output also has overlays showing you all the camera data when monitoring on set, and even the same data when playing back recorded files!

The design is machined from a solid block of aluminum and looks amazing. It’s strong, very compact and designed to be easily hand held. I am still amazed we have fitted all this into such a small design, when normally features like RAW recorders and monitoring can be optional extras on cinema cameras. 

A cinematographer friend of ours, John Brawley, has been working with the camera for the last few weeks. He’s shot some test clips in the process of working out what the camera’s capabilities are and we have posted them online for your to see. Even though some of them are just hand held test shots near John’s house, they are still great to see as examples of what’s creatively possible. Remember to select HD when viewing them!


NAB 2012: Blackmagic $2995 Digital Cinema Camera – Detailed Interview from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

Dslrnewsshooter technical editor Matt Allard talks to Black Magic design about their new Digital Cinema camera at the NAB 2012 show.

For full coverage go to


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  1. why does the the press release not say anything about sensor size? strange… but from the looks of the videos i would say i looks like super35ish, John Brawley said he used a 35mm lens

  2. Holy smokes! Has somebody finally done it? Given us a box with a great sensor in it with a mount for interchangable lenses and decent audio/video signal I/O for a reasonable price? Bow down to BM if so!

  3. Okay. Now we have to compare it with Digital Bolex. Which doesn’t have (yet) aperture control of EF lenses and such a fancy screen, but has HDMI-out instead of thunderbolt, so you can use your EVF.

    1. I asked the same of you.
      But I have an idea, if the thunderbolt it´s the same port as a Mack Book Pro, I asked the BlackMagic People´s about
      an adapter thunderbolt to HDMI and they told me it is work. I wold like to see it, but if it real, it´s supper.
      I have an adapter in the macBook pro from the thunderbolt to HDMI and it work perfect.
      I bought it in ebay for 5 dollars (china)

  4. BMD should change its name to Disrupting-Technology-INC

    Once again taking everyone by surprise and releasing a product as capable as the rest, at a 10th of the price.

    If the BMD camera delivers, this is the death of DLSRs as video cams and a very serious wound to RED, Canon, Sony and the rest.

    This thing will fly off the shelves.

  5. Well, if I can only figure out how to do some slow motion with this camera then it’s no more fs100 for me! Thanks Phil for being my source for NAB this year!

  6. Active Sensor Size = 15.6 mm x 8.8 mm. So it’s Super16-like.

    This is a bit sad for those Digital Bolex guys. I would reckon people will take their money and buy this instead. But so is life in the technology lane. Exciting times! Cheaper than the Ikonoskop! And the design is so simple and pretty decent with capacitive touch screen and all the right ports. Wow.

      1. Sad because in the technology lane, people choose what is available first. And people choose a trusted brand first. Meaning I hope that they can get their customers to stick, of course. But that Digital Bolex anouncement was before the people saw this. So I wonder how many people will withdraw, or can’t you withdaw from Kickstarter once you pledge? In any case, it will cause more difficulty in the market. By no means is it too crowded. It’s just hard for a startup.

      2. 1. Beyond pre-production, ready in July, Bolex? When?
        2. EF controls for lenses.
        3. Higher resolution.
        4. Touch screen, color
        5. FULL VERSION of Davinci Resolve + scopes included 🙂 🙂

    1. If they really release it for the announced price tag, it will be THE camera to have for every small indie production (feature film, short film, music video and so on…) that want a good HD quality and an affordable RAW solution for color grading work. (but let’s don’t forget that RAW is an heavy format that needs quite a good computer^^)

  7. wow. this may very well make a dent in the market of dslr filmmakers who’ve felt ignored by canon’s recent big-ticket cameras, and are disinterested in the mark 3, which just isn’t a big enough leap forward. the similar ergonomics to the dslrs will also make this appealing to amateurs not interested in buying new equipment/rigs.

    of course, the big trip-up will be blackmagic itself… some of their high end products can be pretty high-maintenance. this seems quite intuitively designed though, based on what they’re showing.

  8. Is it just me or is that footage ridiculously unimpressive? It’s really soft, the colours are all a bit wishy-washy and it’s all just rather… average. There’s no WOW involved in looking at the image. No moire/alisasing, though which is nice. However, if that is all you’re after the mk3 is a much better option. If RAW is a must (which I don’t think it personally is) then it would be kinda useful, but hey… one feature can’t sell a camera. I guess the 13 stops of latitude is nice. Okay REALLY nice, but a one trick pony as I said before defeats the object of a camera. It needs to have all the features of the competition AND a little bit more…

    1. Well, that’s 16mm for you… it comes down to style preference. Filmic softness does have a place, it’s just jarring to see it done digitally. I am interested in seeing whether or not rolling shutter is a problem, although I suspect that with a smaller image sensor it isn’t an issue.

    2. 13 stops of latitude is perfect!
      And think about the post production workflow; f****ing DnxHd , f****ing ProRes , on SSD??? It s so much better for professional work. And the 12 bits raw is just amazing for any colorist work.
      It is a true step up in my point of view! Hope the result won’t be disappointing!

    3. Why? The 5D3 is a good camera, but still contains plenty of its own compromises. One feature? So being able to record to RAW OR 2 different compressed codecs is not a feature? On off the shelf drives? SDI out? Or the free copy of Resolve? A headphone port on its first iteration? If this cam was the price of a Scarlet I see your point. But its actually cheaper than a 5D3. In real terms its 20% cheaper than the original 2008 5D2. That buys a LOT of leeway. (FD: I own Canon DSLRs)
      It’s not a perfect camera, but come on. $3k. 3 THOUSAND DOLLARS. For S16 RAW. The pics look good not ‘epic’, but I can assure you more and better will come. Always been the BMD way.

      1. That’s not true. I love film. I ADORE film. If I had unlimited budget and no clients breathing down my
        neck for “that more modern look” there’s no way I’d shoot digital. Film is beautiful. Elegant. I love film.
        That isn’t film, though. It’s digital trying to look like film. And it doesn’t work, in my opinion. Digital
        is sharp, and take that away what advantages does digital have over film? None. People spend
        hours in the editing room trying to put film grain on digital images. And what does it look like?
        Digital trying to look like film! It pulls up a gigantic red flag screaming at the audience “I’M EMBARESSED
        get over that “it doesn’t look like film” thing. And it doesn’t. Because it’s not. The average viewing
        audience is going to prefer the sharpness of digital anyway! Only us nerds who can even tell much
        difference… Only my opinion, but hey 😀

        1. I’ve got to say that even Oscar winning cinematographers like Roger Deakins ASC, BSC would disagree with you there… but who is he to disagree, I mean what would he know about film right?

          “The Alexa is a game-changer,” Deakins maintains. “This moment has been coming for a long time, really, but with the Alexa I believe digital has finally surpassed film in terms of quality. What is quality? It’s really in the eye of the viewer, but to me, the Alexa’s tonal range, color space and latitude exceed the capabilities of film. This is not to say that I don’t still love film — I do. I love its texture and grain, but in terms of speed, resolution and clarity of image, there is no question in my mind that the Alexa produces a better image. There is a beautiful roll-off between highlights and shadows [on the Alexa] that I haven’t seen before. There’s a subtlety in color rendition that is fantastic. I tested it in candlelight, and it was beautiful how the camera picked up variations in skin tones and texture. If you shot that same scene with film, you’d get a very monochromatic feel — just a color wash — but the Alexa can read subtleties that film cannot.


          “Sometimes I get annoyed with the garbage I hear about film vs. digital,” the cinematographer continues. “Most of it is simply nostalgia and silly thinking. I love film, sure, but this camera has brought us to a point where digital is simply better. In my opinion, there are now more advantages than disadvantages to digital cinematography.”

    4. Having another look at the footage – not going in with an eye already “knowing” what it was going to see, on second viewing I’m really really rather impressed. I’m afraid I’m having to eat my words. It look’ incredibly awesome, actually 😀 Especially after reading the guy’s blog, it looks fantastic. Definitely very useful as a b-cam to an f3 or an alexa. Apologies for being too hasty and not looking at it with a fresh eye!

      1. I agree, I wasn’t blown away initially. But upon my second viewing of the footage, I kinda grew on me. I like the softer image, it has a Filmic quality. As for sensor size, It’s roughly the same size as my GH1, and I don’t think I’m going to loose too much Bokeh if I were to upgrade. Although, I’m still waiting on more info on Rolling Shutter though.

  9. Wow thought it was April 1st when l fist saw the camera and price, until l realised its the 15th. Looks really great camera with great looking pictures, and so compact, be interesting to see the full specs and a great addition to my C300, which is a truly lovely camera to use.

      1. Yes you have a point, however they were shot with expensive PL mount glass that was made for Super16 whereas this is a digital sensor with EF/ZE mount lenses that will have a crop factor of around 2.3x… which will present it’s own problems (like having a 30mm lens that shoots with a focal point of 69mm).

    1. Why? Or does your film memory only go back to 2008? I have been longing for someone to make a S16 camera (other than the ikonoscope I could never get my hands on). S16 is the perfect format for indie drama. You can make a decent film without needing a top grade focus puller, and killer onset monitoring. That’s why the AF100 has been so successful in indie features. S16 is a great format: Don’t believe me, ask Darren Aronofsky.
      If it was 15k, sure, quibble. At 3k??? And I’m with Mr Bloom – this doesn’t affect the digi Bolex at all. More S16 cams (KinoRAW have one coming too) the better. Each will be different. It does affect some of the Scarlet market, and now the Welshman who made THE RAID has a plethora of camera options for his next one.
      Finally, as to the pics so far, they are only ok, to very good, not jaw dropping. But its VERY EARLY DAYS and its only 3k. I still have to pinch myself. If you’ve worked with BMD stuff, you know upgrades/options will come. I hope to hell they aare ready to manufacture a LOT of these.

  10. Amazing! I know its not full frame sensor but wow the images look hot! Fantastic time to be a filmmaker! I was going to pledge for a Digital Bolex and was going to by a 5D3 but I decided to wait to see what is announced from NAB. I’m glad I waited!

  11. With a “crop factor” of about 2.5x what kind of lenses would be used if you are limited to the flange depth of a Canon DSLR? Most of the lens options would be considered to have a telephoto quality on this camera. Not necessarily a bad thing but what if you want to shoot a really wide shot? Would a fisheye lens wide enough still distort?

  12. FINALLY someone who understand WHAT its all about…

    Thanks BlackMagicDesign….

    This will make Canon scramble again and probably ANNOUNCE another 21 cameras that are all “in the lack” over the next 8 weeks….

    Novermber 3rd 2011, was the day Canon’s next decade decay started. Just wait n see 😉

    Thats my order. Do you have one?
    If you want thin DOF we all know you can get it! Not too hard on an EX1. Lets all be honest…sensor size is soooo over emphasized! Latitude and small form factor is mostly why the 5d blew up…remember? This has that …on paper 😉
    Razor thin DOF is cool but absence of rolling shutter in the hand held stuff is cooler.
    $3000 for IN CAMERA recording w/ audio, 13 stops latitude, BOTH nikon and canon mounts all in a body built like a brick? Blurry backgrounds in place of tack sharp noiseless wildly graded masterpieces with uncompressed audio. This is a very very nice tool to have!

  14. Daaaaaamn. Color me impressed! Love the box + sensor concept. I won’t say what everyone else is said but here’s what I’m thinking in addition to all those comments:

    – Looks like all the right ports; two audio in, audio out, SDI video
    – SSD storage doesn’t need to cost you a kidney, RED and Sony!
    – Could cover a LOT of aesthetics in a small package where 2″ depth of focus isn’t preferable or feasible
    – This could be the Fuji X100 of camcorders. Slap a stubby prime on it, deeper DoF makes focusing easier, go for a walk or a vacation, come home, do a funky color grade using Resolve, have actual fun with your stuff

  15. The active part of the sensor is actually a bit larger than a S16 window. I wonder if it isn’t gonna be a problem to find lenses that fit without vignetting.

    I love Zeiss ZE/ZF lenses , i love Nikon ais lenses, but with these kind of sensor size i need a f/1.4 at least to have the choice of depth of field , and the only true wide angles(below 20mm with a S16 sensor) that i can find on these mounts aren’t very fast. A PL/B4/C-mount would be so much better(Zeiss mk power!!!) .

    But the on-board SSD + RAW/DNX/PRORES is one of the most exciting news of this NAB so far. At least an affordable camera is conceived do fit all kind of project.
    Bolex , Black Magik Design… Indie Film-making is coming back , by the oldschool S16 way!!! As a huge fan of the french “nouvelle vague” , i just can’t wait to try these baby on a set!

    Thanks to Philip! Like always, you were very fast on this “breaking news”.

  16. this camera brings back some memories, remember when the scarlet was going to be 3k raw for only $3k. I sure do, that promises kept me renting cameras for over a year awaiting it’s arrival. 3 years later we finally get 2.5k raw for under 3k and best of all they didn’t jerk us around for year and years with false promises, just Bam! here’s your camera!

    it is so exciting to be tuned into innovation in our industry right now! thanks philip for your updates and great insights.

  17. This is defiantly a competitor to the digital bolex. with that said I Don’t know why people are so concerned with the sensor size. I actually like the s16 format. s35 is too shallow of a DOF to work with. especially with digital. Every thing looks amazing. I am trying to grasp how I can rig that up to a shoulder mount with battery. it says it only has an Hr of battery life.

    I really want to convert these into cameras that can do reality programing not just filmmaking. I don’t want to use the conventional broadcast cameras ether.

    another thing is the rolling shutter does it exist in this camera. I’d like to see some one do tests on that. and Moiré and anti-aliasing. those are my bigest concerns.

    1. I was thinking the same thing about the battery. In fact, I think the internal battery is the biggest drawback of this camera. It would be impossible to shoot a wedding on this camera unless you have some sort of external power system. I was really excited about this camera until hearing about the battery situation.

      However, for music videos and short films this is amazing.

  18. Looks quite good to me (be sure to watch in HD). I love the innovation that these smaller companies are showing. I would really like to own one of these cameras, as collectors’ items and to have a somewhat original look.

    1. Totally agree. This sensor is closer to 16mm film or a 2/3 inch chip than super 35mm.
      A 2/3 inch chip is not large enough for DOF options.
      The crop factor is also a bit of a headache unless you love hanging out on the long bottle.
      I’ll wait until they wack a larger sensor into this thing and improve the ergonomics. Maybe even a viewfinder so you can actually see what you’re shooting. Happy to pay more for the essentials.
      On a positive note – This is the first camera since the 5DMK2 that embraces the spirit of a stealthy camera with great quality at a realistic price. It’ll sell like hotcakes if the resolution really is as stated.

  19. Pretty amazing. I thought the images were very nice especially how it handled the highlights and the fact that it takes EF lenses and has thunderbolt. I think they got something nice here. Having an SSD downloading right into thunderbolt is a time saver.

  20. Holy moly! Glad i still do not have money right now, it forced me to wait long enouhg to find the camera that tackles all of the compromises that the big names do to caneras in this price range! This is the most exciting camera announcement so far, the fs700 just went to 2nd place! RAW, prores internal, xlr, zebras etc. thank you BMD!!!!

  21. $3k for a 2.5k 16mm sensor capable of raw (even if only up to 30fps) is a complete steal, and I’ll tell you why. Whether people are overlooking this or not, the camera includes full versions of both davinci resolve and ultrascopes. Yes, this is mere software, so it costs black magic nothing more, but if you price it out, you as a customer would have to pay $1700 for those products alone. So think of it this way. If you were considering upgrading to Resolve, and getting ultrascopes to accompany it, you get a nice camera with it for essentially $1.4k. Judge the specs as you see fit, but there’s no question this a deal.

  22. Not sure why people feel the need to compare this camera to a 5Dm3. Totally different product. I for one would get much more use out of a camera like this. I’ve never liked shooting on DSLR’s. But people have become somewhat obsessed with them. I have people asking me to cover conferences on a DSLR! They have no idea why, they just know it’s a buzz word. There’s plenty of situations where an XF305 will do a much better job. There’s also a huge amounts of situations where you don’t want shallow depth of field. Including films.

    The footage is TEST footage. And you’re watching it over the internet. It’s designed to give indi film-makers a proper professional workflow with a filmic clean image. It looks like a great little camera for $3k!

  23. Guys, this is a paradigm shift. Cheap, fast high capacity media (SSD), Small form factor. Larger than 1080p capture. (2.5k is great), Canon mount, 13 stop latitude, LOG, RAW, PRORES, DNx. Low price. SDI – high bit depth 12 vs. 8 bit. Thunderbolt (modern interface, not microUSB or HDMI).

    There will me many more of this class of camera coming. With bigger sensors, higher frame rate (freed-up by the faster SSDs).

  24. It’s not really s16mm equivalent. it’s a bit bigger actually (between 4/3 and s16mm) do the math!

    But I’m curious about lenses. what will be adaptable? C-Mount? But will it be possible with the native Canon mount??

  25. Well, after a day to digest the new BMD baby, all I can think is this:

    Seat all top executives from RED, Canon, Sony, and Panasonic at a table and tell them you’re starting a company that will produce a cine camera with an interchangeable EF and ZF mount…

    that will record uncompressed 2.5K 12bit RAW on camera, on cheap SSDs,
    and also 1080p 10bit Prores and DNXHD,
    and have 13 stops of DR
    and include SDI out and Thunderbold and AES/EBU input
    and generate user metadata on the fly

    and that you’ll sell it for $3k

    You’ll have all those excutives laughing to tears, thinking you just went insane.

    Now tell them you’ll also include a $100k high-end grading application and $10K scope metering, for FREE.

    You’ll now see the executives on the floor, laughing at the point of collapse.

    Now tell them the company name is BMD and the product is actually shipping in 3 months.

    You’ll now see the executives jump back straight to their seats, with an expression of horror in their faces, reaching for their cellphones in total fear.

    The above is sort of a joke, but it’s essentially what BMD has accomplished. In the “4k NAB”, BMD has stolen the show with a 2K RAW camera at a “ridiculous” $3k price point.
    I have to say that the footage from the new BMD camera is the closest thing I’ve seen to pure stock film from a digital device, since the ALEXA.

    What’s more enticing is that this is just BMD’s v1.0 camera. By NAB 2013 these guys might very well present a similar camera with an S35 sensor and 60/120fps, for just $4,999 (a tenth of what an ALEXA costs).

    I’m very much looking forward how RED, Canon, Sony and Panasonic are going to response to that one.

    1. Canon was an excellent contender, but with MK3 they got greed 1k more for a camera that has a few minor changes too is a joke, my jaw dropped when they thought they could make fools out of us. This will be an amazing alternative I really look forward to using for VFX

    2. “Now tell them you’ll also include a $100k high-end grading application and $10K scope metering, for FREE.”

      Dude? What are you smoking? Or do you have a problem with adding zeros?

      1. You must be new over here (Broadcast and Film fields)

        Do you know what Resolve cost just 2 years ago? In fact $100k was just the entry level, as it easily went for half a million dollars when sold with a few linux boxes and drives.

        Same for Tektronix Scopes.

        BMD has turned upside down the industry with disruptive products. For a decade already.

      2. A bit agressive but right. DaVinci Resolve costs about 1K, not 100K ! (BUT is one of the greatest color grading software I’ve ever used. Can’t wait to test out Speedgrade CS6, but I just LOVE DaVinci Resolve. So brilliant to me)

    3. I very much need to point out that BMD did the same thing last year with the ATEM switchers and the Hyper Deck Studio both of which I now own. Hardware live video switching starting at $945 USD with up to 6 live feeds between 4 hdmi and 4 sdi BRILLIANT! I am very much looking to pair the Cine cameras with ATEM switchers and the new Hyper Deck Studio Pro.

      1. Sigh I should have read back what I wrote most of it was still in my head.

        My primary is not filming, a lot of my budget goes into software and machines, sure I can rent the cameras needed,
        but its nice to go out and shoot test stuff.

        Canon have not brought anything(significantly) new to the table and now we are seeing
        really cool start-ups offering serious bang for budget. Looking at what BM offers and what Canon offers
        it is a massive kick in the teeth. I cant wait to get my hands on this or even the Bolex

  26. You’ll get plenty of depth of field. The major issue I have with this is the mount- EF?! Am I going to be able to get my old C-mount lenses, or Arri mounts on here? What about 4/3 glass, we are going to need wide angles for this guy and Canon EF just won’t cut it enough. That’s just an odd flange depth for a cinema camera with such a small sensor. And with EF I can’t get Minolta or Pentax or FD lenses on this thing. Hmm…I have no EF lenses and would avoid this camera just because I have no lens options unless i start fresh. I wonder if they will address this type of concern. I know Blackmagic won’t be releasing super wide angle ef lenses, or would a third party jump on this?

  27. Thats what i am waiting for.
    13 stops is so great! It´s not all about the dof with the film-look,
    Latitude is the way more important factor for me and combined with the 16mm sensor its perfect.
    I like the sample clips already, i think they have a really great look.
    If you would see them with no comment, could you say it´s 16mm or video?

  28. I LOOOVE it. but , a MAJOR problem: The Mount.
    With such a small sensor a Sony E-Mount would make more sense. You can mount ANY lenses on it: C-mount, PL-mounts, COntax G, Leica M, Canon EF ( metabones ).

    With a Canon EF lenses you will never have a wide angle wide enough.

    1. TOTALLY AGREE! With all the open standards and open ports their placed in the camera they should have added an open mount too, and e-mount is the most open of all. I bet it would have been cheaper to license too since Sony openned it up.

      Oh well, my guess in 3 months from now Sony will announce the FS50. A little bit bigger than Nex 7 sized camera with the FS100’s 3K sensor, and shoots 1080p 60p for 1.5K USD. It will have HD SDI. Internally it would record the usual 8bit .h264 but with a promise of ProRess and 3K RAW capture to their eventual recorder that they will release…for maybe 1K USD. This wil be the lower end version of their pro recorder that will pair with the FS700 which can record 240fps Proress and 120 fps RAW 4K for maybe 5K USD. Yeah, sony is fast and aggressive like that. They dont want to be another RIM, where they’ll wake up and its already too late, Apple already burried them.

  29. Looks great, especially for the price! I’m a fan of Blackmagic, so good to see them pushing the bar. DNXHD!! 🙂

    Shame about no overcrank fps but hopefully fixable with firmware.

  30. My goodness, I’m happy again. Red didn’t think it wise to deliver on it’s 3K for $3K promise, understandable;) Now we have BM to fill that empty void. I’m all in. Love everything about the camera. Did this little camera keep the highlights and shadows?, Lol. I Love it.

    1. I kinda miss the Scarlet Fixed concept. I’m might be the only, but I really fell in love with the concept of the “cheap” 3K camera (for 3, 6 or 8K lol) with its fast “high quality” zoom lense. Too bad it didn’t work out.

      Any, the BMD and the Digital Bolex are nearly there and will rooooock ! (my preference goes to the BMD because the sensor is a bit bigger)

    2. Liking the look of this, has positives and negatives compared to the 5D mark III !!

      Am I right in saying we don’t know the ISO levels/range yet? or do we?

      How does this 13 Stop Dynamic Range compare to the 5D Mark III, what is the Dynamic range of the Mark III?

      Who really needs 4K…2K is a great choice to go with!

    3. One thing that I don’t see mentioned is the quality of the touch screen display. Is it suitable for use in bright sunlight? How good is it for critical focusing in such conditions?

  31. There seems a lot of concern regarding the lens-mount vs the sensor size. I have an idea that BM might be thinking of the next model with this decision. I’m no expert whatsover on camera development, but I think from a standpoint of manufacturing it takes a lot of money and time to develop a camerabody and its (hardware)components, Software can be upgraded realtively simple but hardware needs to be largely build again from the bottom up. So I was thinking that maybe BM has the intention to fit V2 of this camera (which is in itself an excellent example of an innovation in an already crowded market) with a Full Frame or (more likely) a S35 sensor. If they would have chosen to use a lens-flange distance for M3/4 or c-mount, they would be stuck with a smaller sensor, or not? Again , I’m no expert on building these thing, I just shoot with them. Anyway such a version 2 with a bigger sensor would mean that they will be a big competitor for the Alexa and Red , but even more for the chines KineRawS35, especially if they keep the pricetag more or less the same (under $4k preferably).
    Other issues I read about can be tackled easily:
    No HDMI for EVF: use SDI-HDMI convertor,
    Short battery life: any rig should include professional 12V battery solution. At least it’s 12V and not 7,2 or something, this menas that AB/V-mount can be used directy without convertors.

    Another thought: how would a an 2/3” HD broadcast lens fare on this baby? I guess it would create some vignetting, but could that be cropped out from the raw file when cropping to 1920×1080 for delivery? I mean I’ve got a Fujinon 4.5 x 13 Berm, can somebody with math skills calculate what FOV it would do on this sensor? My calculation is 4.5 x 2 (extender on lens for enough coverage) x 3(?) cropfactor is 27mm . Mmm that would satisfie me for a wideangle, the 1.8 aperture would be effectively 3.6 but hey, that’s anough for me anyway. DOF is overrated LOL ☺

  32. A non-removable battery? WHY, OH WHY?! You’ve got all those ports, a removable SSD, and then you build the stinkin’ battery into the case? Blackmagic should fire whoever slipped that stinker into the design. I’d rather get one without a battery at all. The feature set is damned compelling, but c’mon. Non-removable batteries are for disposable cell phones, not $3000 cameras.

  33. Don’t get all worked up about the sensor size folks. If you have any idea at all what looks cinematic, and what’s important for capture and workflow and color correction, then you will be over the moon with this new camera. Look at the test video: I know they are quick tests, but they are ALL very cinematic. It has enough shallow DOF, trust me, full sensor size is too much Shallow DOF…go watch a movie and tell me they use that shallow of DOF very often…they don’t!

    I know I will be shooting with this full time as soon as I can get a hold of it.

  34. My 2 Professional Cents…..This camera could be a welcomed addition to an already chock full digital camera landscape. I personally love the idea of another S16mm sized sensor entering the market. The film out could be great for projection. I think we are all punch drunk from FF sensors…that said there is so much compatible FF glass of all varieties available and inexpensive compared to cinema glass.

    I’m with Philip I’m personally tired of the DSLR thing. I cant wait to NEVER even have a production consider co-opting/holding hostage shooting with one for budgetary reasons (Ok maybe for B camera). The only way I worked with DSLR’s is the PL variety, it was the only real way to work with them and I’m over it.
    My major concern (besides testing the system out for myself) is the lens choices. If I can mount all if not most S16 primes and zooms (as well as ENG B4 glass) to this thing..I’m sold. Relatively speaking S16 glass is inexpensive at this time (caveat).
    This camera fits onto so many rungs on the run and gun/eng, documentary and indie feature market. Great possibilities!

  35. Have watched the test-videos from this camera… WHY is there such a strong grain and noise??? And the noise is colored, very digital! What’s this??! Is it cool? Or I misunderstand something? Explain me this, please!

  36. This camera feels and looks fantastic! Love the dynamic range.

    I wonder what the Thunderbolt port is outputting when recording to the SSD? Could I record files, or reference files, to MBPro via Thunderbolt, with same uncompressed files on SSD?


  37. This might be a bit of a silly question but I know when I use my EF lenses on my 60D obviously my 50mm lens becomes more of a 70mm what would the same effect be with a 50mm EF lens on this camera, if any?

  38. sounds pretty cool…but I’m wondering how it looks at finished graded and sharpened end product frame grab or video in 1080p or 2k in the web. at the moment these video’s on web are not blowing my mind in compare to the specs of blackmagic. maybe i’m wrong and have to wait for more test video on web, don’t know …sorry for my english I’m a swiss guy…..cheers

  39. This is VERY exciting and at this price are you kidding me. I think some of you better go back and read the spec’s on this camera and look at the videos again all for US $1395, yeah $1600 worth of soft stuff. This is their first camera too, thats crazy. I can’t want to see this camera in your hands Philip. We can depend on you and your reviews, love them. Thanks! Thank you too Blackmagic, for most of us this could become one of the best tools out of NAB 2012.

  40. Hi Philip,
    I’m making a short doco over the next few months and I’m deciding which cameras to use and I feel I’ve hit a dead end – can you point me in the right direction? I would love to use the 5d iii but I’m worried about the sharpness compared to something like a fs100. Our budget is tight, I know this is somewhat vague but I wonder if you’ve run into this dilemma in your own work.

    MUCH light and appreciation,

      1. We should have a budget of around 4k for production, some of which is reserved for a ts3 cine rental – we’re going to be mounting a few cameras in planes so we’re really looking for size and weight vs. quality of picture – gopros are totally out of the question.. – I was really blown away by your “Portrait of a Boxer” short and how beautiful it was all around. The b-roll will be mixed with interviews and some verite. Mainly, I’m just tired of dealing with the codec in DSLRs even though I do love them, I really want this film to be amazing in every way, and I feel that the 5d mkii or mkiii just won’t cut it.

  41. To those who think the dof is too deep, wait until they come out with the 4/3 mount version of this– people will probably start putting the voigtlander 25mm on it and will be getting nice shallow dof along with the amazing dynamic range. And here I was hoping the Voigt would drop in price…not anytime soon I guess.

  42. As always, thanks for your info, Philip! Other than the smaller form factor, I think this camera is an incredible little powerhouse for the money!! I’m looking for a camera that with the appropriate memory can do longform recording, and this may very well fit the bill. There are just too many things to love about this camera (and the camera package w/software). This camera is going to be a very popular item, I think. I’m going to get one, I have no doubt.

  43. Only 90 minutes of a non-switcheable battery? That’s a HUGE NO-NO, Is it me or is the 800 ISO footage extremely noisy on the “dusk” video? Latitude and detail looks amazing though…

      1. Yeah, that is a good solution, B&H is offering a Switronix Powertap BlackMagic Converter Cable w/ XP-L90S Battery and Charger. It’s looking better and better, I’m guessing that the camera was designed to be used plugged to a power source 90mins worth of battery is pretty poor. Dunno how long this batteries will last though…

  44. this camera is like iphone .i main that you can’t change the battery !!! it is a dealbreaker!!! and the sensor it to small 🙁 but very elegant design 🙂

  45. B&H is offering a Switronix Powertap BlackMagic Converter Cable w/ XP-L90S Battery and Charger, might be a good solution to the 90min fixed battery. Getting this camera with a 17-55mm f/2.8 Canon L lens, might do the trick, I’m really looking forward to updated tests…

  46. Man, how could they get everything right except that sensor size! Super 35, dummies! Nobody in the indie cine scene wants small format anymore. God!

    1. I actually miss the S16 format a lot. I ve shot about 10 short movies with an AAton xtr prod and they don’t look outdated at all. With fast lenses(Zeiss mk1 for example), DoF is short enough . In fact i think its way more cinematographic, less “parfum commercial style” , less “5D vimeo style”. Even if i shot a lot for TV, i still make indie shots and i don’t mind a S16 or 2/3″ format with good lenses. With a good compression , I’ll take it 100 times over a 5DmarkIII. So don’t call them dummies please 🙂 , i actually think it was very smart from ikonoskop , digital bolex and Black magic to think more about less moire, less aliasing and better compression than Dof or lowlight performance(I always light my night shots so 800 iso is plenty enough for me).

      S16 true cine lens are less expensive , and you can actually rent them for barelly nothing since digital went to S35 format.
      In my opinion , they are truly wrong on the mount choice, it makes truly no point to use this couple “format/mount” . A PL/B4/C mount option would have been so much better. I’ll buy it with no hesitation as soon as they release one of these mount!
      In fact if a simple PL to EF adapter is enough , i ll buy it as soon as i can!

      1. Gotta disagree. You don’t have to shoot shallow depth of field with super35. It’s a choice. Of course all the geeks buy a %D, slap on a 50mm and crank open the iris to f1.4 and shoot their whole film like that. It’s inexperience and a lack of artisitic vision, not a flaw of the format size. Plus, many of use already are invested in lenses and aren’t going to get a new set for a new $4K camera that shoots small format. At least I’m not. JMO.

  47. Hey Philip are you planning to do a review on this, we are very interested in getting this for our first full production feature, it looks amazing on paper, will work with l series lenses and red rock gear I’ve already invested in, but just not seen much actual great footage from it yet!

    Does anyone know of any good films already made on this?


  48. Hello Phillip,
    Thank you for this wonderful review/insight. Why would a wide lens be a problem since the sensor on these guys are, I don’t know…2.6X crop?
    Can you shed some light on that?
    Thank you!

  49. Well, its July. Hopefully we see some reviews of this thing coming out soon! I am anxious to see how it performs. Could be a great tool for those of us with tight pockets

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