NAB 2013: Have Blackmagic made their own camera obsolete by their new announcements?

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This is my 6th NAB in a row (and ever!) and if you have ever been it’s a monstrous show. Just enormous and to even attempt to see everything is insane. You make a list of the key things you want to see…you plan a route that doesn’t see you zig zagging back and forth. I realised this quite quickly and now I go to a small fraction of the stands I used to. Why? Part of the reason is the internet. A lot of stuff at the show won’t be new or will already be announced. Often you just go to a stand to either see the product in person or to meet the people behind it. Very rarely do we get big product announcements these days, especially cameras. Manufacturers don’t want to announce an exciting new camera at a time when a rival might do. They want the limelight on themselves, understandably, so that’s why they generally announce them separately from major shows now. The exception to this is Blackmagic. Prior to April 2012 they had never made a camera, then on the morning of the first day they dropped the bombshell of the Cinema Camera coming out for $3k.

This really took everyone by surprise and gave the big manufacturers a kick up the backside, implementing features at an unheard of price point. Everyone ordered one, including myself. The problem is many people who ordered that day have still not received their cameras, and today Blackmagic may well have made their current camera obsolete already. My order for my one came through in February, and I placed the order the day it was announced! The vast majority still have not received cameras. Blackmagic have had some serious issues with supplying the cameras in any quantity.

Screen Shot 2013-03-12 at 23.38.55

I got one to review back in September. I made a very in depth video review which you can watch by clicking here and shot my first project in October with it in South Africa which you can read about and watch here. The camera itself with its awkwardly-sized sensor never sat well with the Canon EF mount, that was why at IBC last year they announced a micro four thirds versions. I actually just got one of those to review and you can watch that here!

The Blackmagic 2.5k camera offers a lot of bang for your buck, it’s far from perfect, but there is a lot in there that is terrific. Many people said they liked it but would wait for version 2. Well here it is, version 2. Just a year since the first announcement, they have unveiled a 4K super 35mm version and pocket S16 one.

Both of these cameras look terrific in their own way. The pocket S16 one is further along in development according to John Brawley whose in-depth blog post about it here. It’s really small and looks a lot like a Sony NEX6, just without an EVF

Pictures all courtesy of John Brawley

2013-04-02-15-22-50 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 2013-04-02-09-35-54 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 2013-04-07-09-50-57 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The 4k Super 35mm version will be of huge interest for a lot of people for a number of reasons:

4K super-35 Cmos sensor

Global Shutter!?

12 stops of DR

compressed CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes recording, Thunderbolt and EF lens compatibility

Includes DaVinci Resolve and UltraScopes

The specs of the S16 pocket one are:

13 stops of dynamic range.

Super 16 sized 1080p HD sensor

SD card recording

ProRes and Lossless CinemaDNG RAW recording

Active Micro Four Thirds lens compatibility



Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 16.35.46

So the 4k version is priced at £2700+VAT and the pocket one at £699+VAT. Both incredible prices for what they do, but they do raise a number of questions.

With the announcement of these cameras, have they made the current two for sale obsolete? John Brawlsey says no. I am more hesitant. Here are the my thoughts both for and against the obsolete statement…just my opinion, so feel free to disagree! This is for the 4k camera not the pocket one, which for me seems a no brainer spec and price wise (although as I always say the proof is in the pudding. Once I have tried it then I can actually give a proper opinion, until then it’s pure speculation)

4k or 2.5k?

4k is way more useful that 2.5k is, 2.5k is great for scaling down to the 1080p but 4k is the new acquisition medium. 4k wins. One thing I don’t know is if the camera can do scaled down 1080p or is it cropped or can it do it at all!

S35 or the 2.3x crop sensor?

Super 35mm is way more desirable than the 2.3x crop of the original Blackmagic sensor which is not one thing or the other. S35 is the industry standard and is hugely desirable. It apparently has inferior dynamic range and less sensitivity. So there is a cost. Not a massive one though. They say 1 stop less dynamic range. Again, until this is tested, it’s hard to say. S35mm wins for me. I am still waiting for official word on if its a ccd or CMOS sensor. If its CMOS Sensor with global shutter that is impressive!

Lossless compressed raw vs compressed raw

This is a no-brainer. Lossless compressed is enormously desirable. The raw in the current camera is way too inefficient. Although this lossless compressed raw won’t be in the 4k camera from day one. Prores only, at first. It’s a “future firmware upgrade”. If this firmware comes out not long after the camera, then great! If it doesn’t…well let’s just see!

Now for me, if I was deciding between the 4k and 2.5k version now and they were both available in the shops now, I would get the 4k one. It makes way more sense. But the unknown ability about full hd from the 4k is important to know…

I would love them to bring out a camera more designed for docs and run and gun…neither of the new ones really fit that bill …we need better ergonomics and audio….more like a proper camcorder.

Now Blackmagic have a PR issue to sort out here too. They have all these people who ordered the EF mount version and have waited patiently (and some not so patiently) for them to ship, the vast majority still don’t have cameras, even though they ordered them a year ago. A lot of people also switched their orders to the MFT version when that was announced in September….this is also still not shipping. I only just tested a BETA version the other day. Now they have announced an effectively better camera with the 4k version for a comparatively small amount more money. I am sure many will now switch again, and for some this would be their 3rd Blackmagic camera order without seeing any of them! Then there are the people who have only just received theirs, and suddenly their camera is almost obsolete. It’s technically not though, as the camera is no worse today than it was yesterday just because new models have been announced. I don’t even know if the current ones are being discontinued. If they were, then yes, the obsolete argument could be used. If you buy a camera one day and the next day the camera has been dropped then that is an obsolete camera!

To announce new cameras before coming even slightly close to supplying their pre-orders is not necessarily good PR. It is great to have innovation and features at this price point, but with a shipping announcement of July for the new cameras, how many people will be worried as to when they will actually get them. If you ordered the EF version in April last year and have not got yours yet and are about to change it to the 4k version, you could be looking at a hell of a long time waiting to get your Blackmagic camera from that first order! If you have been refusing to buy any other camera (or worse, sold you camera to pay for this) because you kept on thinking yours would arrive soon, that’s not great.

I am a big fan of announcing your new product on the same day as you can order it. RED pissed off a lot of people with the Scarlet debacle. Finally, shipping cameras hugely late that resembled the originally-announced cameras in nothing but the name. They learnt their lesson from that and change their whole marketing. This whole announcing stuff and not bringing it out for months and months I hate.

BUT lets not forget how truly great what Blackmagic are doing and how they are pushing so hard and so aggressively at that price point. They have to be careful though. They need to deliver on their promises and get these cameras to customers soon. I also think they should not announce any more cameras at next year’s NAB….let’s catch a breath can we please? 🙂

In fact this is a thought…after this, can we not have any new cameras come out for three years please? I would say 5 ideally but that may be too long for some people. So with that thought here is my open letter to all camera manufacturers! 🙂 (Now some people don’t get my sense of humour so I have now added these words…this is TONGUE IN CHEEK!)

Dear Sony, Panasonic, Canon, Blackmagic, Red and everyone else who is making a camera,

Please just stop! Please stop bringing out new cameras and stop announcing them. Just go back into your top secret bunkers and concentrate on refining and perfecting your current ones and ideas for your future ones. Let us filmmakers have a chance to really enjoy our purchases, really get the best out of them…because you know what? The cameras out there today are incredible and there’s one for every budget. We don’t need anything new. Not yet. There was something special about owning a camera for years that was wonderful and wasn’t replaced a year later! Look at the Panasonic DVX100…a marvellous camera that for years was the darling of the no budget filmmaker, or for the broadcast the ever reliable Digi Beta. A lovely camera that for almost 10 years was the main camera for the industry.

In 3 years time, it would be incredible for you to all reveal what you have been working on AND have them ready to ship. I know you would blow us all away. For now, can we just be happy in our current relationships? It’s nice to be monogamous for a while, you know? 🙂

Yours Sincerely,

The filmmaking community

P.S. My accountant has asked me to write this! 😉

P.P.S. I pre-ordered both of the new Blackmagics…any high speed Canon cameras coming out soon?!

Please remember specs tell us only part of the story…never trust them. The proof is always in the shooting and working with them!


So there we go. NAB day one. I won’t be doing much posting here but I will be talking! You can catch me at these times:

Monday 1pm KESSLER/ ZACUTO booth: Keeping the passion alive…how to stay creative and not fall out of love with filming.

Monday 5pm KESSLER/ ZACUTO booth: A general Q&A session where I will answer all the questions I can in the allotted time! A chance to get advice, ask those burning questions and much more!

Tuesday 1:30PM Live online at the TERADEK booth: You can watch that online here and here. I will be talking about new tech and will be discussing with my good friend Dan Chung.

Tuesday 5PM MILLER TRIPODS stand: “How to make it overnight!” A tongue in cheek title for a talk Q&A about how I got to where I am today and how what I did can help you!

WEDNESDAY 1pm KESSLER/ ZACUTO booth: A general Q&A session where I will answer all the questions I can in the allotted time! A chance to get advice, ask those burning questions and much more!

For more info on the two new blackmagic cameras here are the official brochures. Enjoy and remember…they are just tools! 🙂





  1. “The problem is it’s using old tech. The 4k sensor is CCD, yes this means global shutter, but it also means inferior dynamic range and less sensitivity. So there is a cost. They say 1 stop less dynamic range. Again, until this is tested it’s hard to say. S35mm wins for me, just. I just wish this was a newly developed 4K cmos sensor. Yes we would have rolling shutter but it can be controlled with good processing. Look at the rolling shutter in the Alexa and Epic/ Scarlet for example. It’s do-”

    I think you’re being a tad harsh here. You have to remember this camera cost $4,000, price wise its not even in the same league as the Alexa or the Epic. Sacrifices have to be made somewhere, and if saving $50,000+ means losing 1 stop of DR thats worth it in my book.

    1. You are missing the point/ context this is written in. This is in comparison to the current camera as to why you would choose one over the other. If I don’t point out the major differences and what to and not to expect why bother writing an article on this at all?


      1. Of course, I understand that.

        However this section makes it sound like you think its an easy thing to just conjure up a 4k high dr cmos sensor.

        “I just wish this was a newly developed 4K cmos sensor. Yes we would have rolling shutter but it can be controlled with good processing. Look at the rolling shutter in the Alexa and Epic/ Scarlet for example. *It’s do-able*.”

        It would be like me complaining that my new BMW doesn’t have the same engine as a 200k Ferrari, yes technically it is do-able but that doesn’t make it a negative. There’s a difference between “pointing out what to expect” and being unrealistically critical. I think everything else is spot on though, just thought I’d mention it.

          1. Wow, thats great news! Well in that case then I guess (hardware-wise) the only things I have left to complain about are: the passive mount (whats with that?), the awkward form factor, and the lack of a compressed raw format. Outside of those things I’d say this is nearest the perfect camera anything has gotten for me. Also EOSHD seems to think this is the same sensor used in the new Leica M which could only be a good thing.

            1. Correction, I meant *EF* mount not passive. Although with the full 35 sensor that should allow for far more options regarding lens choices with the proper adapter, so perhaps EF was the best choice in this scenario.

              1. Not the same sensor as the Leica M Cole. What I said is that I suspect it is from CMOSIS, the supplier of the Leica sensor. They have a sensor available on the free market with identical specs to the one used in the Blackmagic Production Camera and the pin-layout matches.

      2. Hi Philip,

        Great thoughts on the new offerings from BMD and I now have an preorder in for both the MfT V1 and the new 4K V2.

        Just a quick note on the sensor for the new 4K BMCC, John Brawley has stated that it is in fact a CMOS sensor and not a CCD sensor. How does this affect your thoughts on the camera?

      3. Pretty sure the sensor is a newish CMOS with global shutter like the F55, not old tech CCD.
        However, still too many question marks for me. I’ll wait and have a play at my local rental house later this summer.

        The pocket camera is astonishing though. At that price it’s not even a gamble.

        Whatever the pros and cons, BMD have really turned the prosumer world upside down in only 12 months. I second your plea Philip. I need to catch breath and see which of these incredible new tools are best for me.

  2. I was thinking about buying the Canon EOS 1dc and for much less money now encounter the BCM 4k. Think it’s best to wait to see how it works the BCM. For me it is very important to work with high sensitivity, what camera I’m interested but the BCM or 1dc?

      1. Curious about how this camera might work in low light. I see no ISO info on their website. If you have a chance, please have a look for us! If you can glean any other low light info, bonus! 🙂

            1. In a normal market driven economy, one would hope that this BCM would drive prices down amongst competitors. Canon and, to a lesser extent, Sony don’t seem to care much about ‘normal’ market forces though. Fingers crossed the prices drop on 1DC and C300/500. Amazing as the specs are, I still think the form factor of the BCM limits it to very controlled situations and, as you said, well-lit ones.

  3. Thank you Philip for this open letter to manufacturers.
    It’s so true.
    I started myself with a Sony PD-150, I used it for years and was so happy to have it.
    Almost the same happened with my Canon 7D, but for the last 3 years, I stop buying stuff because I’m so lost !
    Everyone is saying “they are just tools they dont make the movie” but everyone secretly desire the new cam…

    Maybe my next gear will be the Canon C100, or should I wait this BMS16 ?


  4. The answer to your question is YES.
    And they know it, this is probably why so much production delay of the original BMDC, if the pocket camera and the 4K are coming of the dates they promised it can only mean the production line was busy building the new models.

    1. If am am not mistaken, the BMCC product team found a “deal-breaking” flaw in the sensors.. and had to batch fix a whole series of clean sensors… which led to a massive delay.. It looks like these new ones will go out when they said… I just have a gut feeling that the BMD guys are doing everything they can to out-deliver Jim Jannard.

    2. Philip,

      You say you should look elsewhere for a more sensitive camera but according to the chatter on reduser the BMC 4K is as sensitive as a Red One MX which ok isn’t planet shaking but still pretty damned impressive.
      Also what’s your thoughts on CCD vs. CMOS


        1. The specs look fine to me Philip, I agree 100 per cent so much talk about specs, if the camera fits the need then it’s perfect. I’ve never concerned myself with specs, or low light and such, if the shot needed more light then i would ligh the scene. I was looking at the bolex but I don’t think thy will ever release it, oh well I’ll be vey happy with he bm pocket rocket, fits my filming condition better anyway. And the price can’t beat that.

      1. Can’t make something obsolete that doesn’t exist (Bolex). Nor can something that has yet to exist make an existing thing obsolete (Scarlet). That said, the D Bolex development looks promising and if they deliver on spec and design, it will have some distinct advantages in terms of in/outs and EVF. They’re going the CCD route as they feel the colors are more natural (I agree) over CMOS. Scarlet’s are transforming into Epics. With the frame rates, excellent mount, better I/O and more DR, it’ll be in a different league both price and performance.

          1. The only intriguing specs for me from BMC was Pro Rez, Super 16 in pocket size cam at 13 stops DR. That was enough for me to put money down on two of them. This is an arena in which there is no competition. I can see myself using such a camera for a variety of things from discrete doc acquisition, car mount, go pro style apps, etc. I won’t be mounting a full size Alura on it, since if you can afford that glass, support, etc, might as well get a real full size camera behind it.

            The BMC 4k is a bit of a miss for me. Why not 2k and get better sensitivity and DR? Doesn’t hurt Alexa’s bottom line. And nobody outside the first 8 rows in a theater will perceive the difference. And for the over 40 crowd (like myself), 1k is fine. LOL.

  5. I’ve noticed the cameras with 4k (internal) capability are the cinema cameras, that typically capture RAW.

    However, there has yet to be a Documentary Styled Camera (Similar to C300 and FS100/700) to be able to capture 4k internally. Is there a strong need for documentary styled cameras to be able to record 4k internally?

      1. Not sure if this answers my question.

        Is there a strong need for documentary styled cameras to be able to record 4k internally? because there is alot of Cinema cameras with 4k internal recording but there isn’t one for documentary (at least yet).

        1. Have to say not sure what my answer was as am replying via WordPress which doesn’t show me what the thread is …I can’t take a guess…

          Until I have shot with ANY camera I will not speculate…it’s like a broken pencil. Pointless. Proof is always in the pudding. I can’t wait to try them but until then I cannot say anything more…if I gave advice on which one to buy I would be a fraud talking out of my arse. Would you ask a film reviewer to recommend a movie before seeing it?

          The pocket cam looks interesting indeed…the 4k? Possibly. I am just not sure where I would use it…all exciting stuff though, just hope they deliver!


  6. Really agree with you about having a 3-5 year camera break. There are so many decent cameras out there it’s not really necessary to change them every five minutes. That and it’s driving me and everyone else nuts no sooner do you purchase a camera than its feels like you have made the wrong decision as the next big thing has just turned up once you have emptied your wallet. Anyway seems to be the way of things these days but with the pace of change you just can’t keep up… So I will be buying the newest 16K camera I can with the Lettuce leaf upgrade or maybe the carrot upgrade, after all I don’t want to regret it further down the line ;-).

    Out of interest knowing you are a very busy chap Mr Bloom but is there any chance that you will be doing a future blog post on Keeping the passion alive as per one of your NAB talks above? Would have loved to visit NAB but money and other things mean its not possible.

    1. I disagree on this. Time waits for no man – and the way technology is moving at present, you can’t hold back. Someone will always come along and ‘out do’ you.

      I find it a strange and flippant comment from Philip – he always states to do the best with the equipment you’ve got. I’d hate to see the tide of technology upheld just because some people feel their equipment is out of date within a year – because its not.

      Companies trying to produce the best products they can drives technology forward and shouldn’t be at the mercy of the consumer feeling they don’t have the next big thing. Besides, I’ve seen too many people with ‘the biggest and best’ producing fairly shoddy looking work.

      1. Sorry to disagree with you Derren but you kinda miss my point. First off you are focuisng on one TINY little part of the post. A joke letter, clearly not real or ever intended to be real, harking back to the “good old days”. To take it at face value means you don’t get my sense of humour which is the foundation of this blog. That’s fine but it does mean a lot of what I say will be taken completely the wrong way. Like this.

        1. I was responding to Mark’s comment who agreed with you so my point is valid in context. I had suspected it was tongue in cheek but then, I don’t know you, so second guessing your sense of humour with nothing to go on is going to be difficult, wouldn’t you say? =)

            1. Crumbs I was about only joining in on the joke hence the 16k and carrot upgrades (I guess my humour doesn’t translate well to the written word… well not the way I do it 🙂 ).

              Of course technology can’t stand still and there will always be something bigger and better around the corner and you can at least predict when announcements are likely(ish) around the bigger trade shows of the year. It doesn’t mean that some times it’s not frustrating as i guess most people have made a purchase at some point in their life only for the upgrade x or y to have come out what feels like the next day, but that’s life.

  7. Great first thoughts on the new 4K BMD camera! I would be all in for the 4K version as I have been holding out for the first year seeing how Blackmagic gets the kinks out of Gen1 camera and the crazy back log reduces itself but the reduction in DR to 12 stops is holding me back now! The reason I loved the Gen1 camera was for the 13 stops which gives it an even more organic feel as it can render out better lighlights and shadow details. That’s more important for me than very high rez images as I dont see myself shooting for the big screen where 4K+ really makes a difference. I WISH that BlackMagic would make a S35 version with say 2.5K or even 3K (similar to the Gen1 BMC and even the ALEXA) while maintaining the 13 stops of DR!!! Lets see what happens in the next few months as I have the luxury of time. Crossing fingers…

  8. Okay this little camera just blew my mind! I’m kind of glad now that I did not buy the GH3 as of right now.

    Thanks for posting this Philip this is why I love your blog:)

    I kind of feel like technology just jumped like five years into the future or just woke up from the Matrix.

  9. Hey Philip, it’s long time I am following you and first of all I want to thanks for all the things you have created and shared with us. Secondly, I agree with you: companies must slow down and concentrate on create “excellent and complete cameras” (understanding that perfection is a “mirage”). I am working since 14 years and I have been following the evolution of technology like you and many others… on the last 4 years we have seen a massive evolution, but the said thing, is that we keep being presented with new camera, whose in many cases have more imperfections respect than winning characteristics. Honestly, as you said, I would like to find cameras that fully satisfy the needs of professionals, instead to “offend” their intelligence. I understand its a difficult economic moment also for important brands, but I think they should try to aim to a “complete fully working camera”, instead of just fight each other, just to grab more costumers. At the end we need them, but maybe, from some point of views, they need us more then how much we need them. At least this is my point of you. Anyway, thanks for posting from NAB, keep us updated. All the best. Jack

  10. Hmmmm, I’m thinking that my 7D replacement could be the Pocket Cam and a M43 Speedbooster when the two are available? There would probably be a slight crop due to the smaller S16 sensor but I could live with that.

    Any thoughts?

  11. I ordered the BBCC day 1 when announced at NAB last year, took delivery last month, and is already superseded??

    I haven’t been one to whinge (out loud) on the lack of communication and issues to do with delivery of the cameras over the past year, I get there were production issues that were less than ideal. Fair enough. Also the new cameras are pretty amazing, the design/specs for the price point is revolutionary. Awesome. But as a patient, loyal customer, it’s hard to not feel more than a little screwed over here. Obviously they were hard at work on the NEXT camera, while the camera we were waiting for still had/has so many issues. I love what they are doing with their new products, but I have a 1 month old camera I would not have purchased today had I known. But I didn’t buy it today, I paid a year ago! They would be better working on a solid camera and supporting it rather than chase the next hot spec in my opinion. It’s not a business model for a loyal long term customer base, there is value in looking after customers. But I get that if you can make the next camera now, why wait, just I am sure I am not alone in feeling a shitty this morning, when I should be excited about the new gear. Engineering wise, awesome news. Customer relations wise, very poor form.

    1. Feel your pain. As a former Red MX/Epic Owner, I got a similar corporate shaft when they had all of us Epic Stage 1 and 2 users waiting patiently and what did we get for our loyalty and early adoption? The Epic M, priced for those who want to skip the line. So we watched from the sidelines as either the rich or rental houses scooped up the M’s as the day rates on our expected Epics eroded. When our Stage 2’s finally arrived, the day rate had dropped by at least a third.

    2. You still have a great camera though with better dynamic range then the new 4K. I completely understand the frustration because I would be equally ticked if I ordered it and it took this long. As Philip said though it is just specs on a page right now so we will see how much better this new 4k Production camera really is.

  12. If they’re not presenting a new camera next year, then BMD should enter the gear industry.
    They already have affordable hardware and software. Gear is the natural next step 😛

  13. Master Bloom,
    Two quick ones (I know you will probably never use it, but):
    1) Can you auto focus on EF glass with this camera?
    2) Any idea if an adapter for Nikkor glass will permit auto focus (any on the horizon?)?

    Thanks mate 😉

    1. I think you will find that nothing aimed at professionals or even prosumers will be autofocus. There never has been, and probably never will.

      If you learn how to pull focus manually, you’ll get a lot more out of your shots than autofocus anyway. Practice, practice.

        1. @phillip I shoot manual focus for action sports, on century optics adapted canon fd glass,
          Its weird i shoot stills like a cinematographer, peaking on magic lantern with a eye loupe.
          A cool work around for my 800 5.6 and 300 2.8 which are 30 years old, almost double my age.
          Truely amazing what a hacked firmware can do, makes my old glass usable for both ef mount
          stills and video and when i need can just switch back to pl mount for heavy cameras.
          Focusing this way definitely has its quirks but makes the impossible possible for me.
          I get razor sharp images of kitesurfers moving at high speed with manual focus, thank you magic lantern.
          I can only wonder about the new ways we will focus in the future as you allude to.
          thanks for your great info!
          I can only recommend to all readers that it is smartest to invest in equipment that will hold its investment.
          #1 Get good universal glass (interchangeable mount, ex: nikon with manual aperature)
          I invested in century presision optics adapted canon fd lenses, (pl, ef, e, nikon, whatever you need)
          Universal mount is important so you can use your investment on any future camera. They should have manual aperature, and good manual focus gearing.
          #2 Get a good tripod (100mm ball, fluid head, counter balance) best investment i ever made was sachterl video 18p
          no matter how old they get they work perfect and will hold there value.
          be smart where you spend your money
          buying cameras is sketchy at best, you never know where the tech is headed
          so buy the things that you know will always be necessary and rent the camera for the project

  14. I so admire what BlackMagic is doing. But I can’t help but think that so many NAB announcements and demos are for the shareholders and stockholders in a given company. A “little” company like BlackMagic needs investment to bring something like a revolutionary new camera to market, so I totally understand their need to do this . And the market is so unbelievably hungry for new cameras, nothing ever seems good enough. I love your idea of a new camera “moratorium” Philip, just to let things cool down, but we all know this isn’t realistic, given what drives these things forward. What I WOULD love to see though is some kind of rule in place where anything announced at NAB (or anyplace, for that matter) must demonstrate that it’s working as advertised upon announcement and will ship within the month. I think this would make life a lot more sane. Probably equally as futile, but, I think, fair to ask ;~)

    1. what do you consider a “small” company? They are an International Corporation who has many big partners, Apple for one…

      i thought they were small at first too..

  15. I really don’t like companys that will announce and announce and announce but not deliver.
    This info of their company policy made my decision a lot easier.

    No blackmagic at all. Until the day a lot of shops say go or “green” for their models.

    Ok the trailers and “has been done shots” are amazing.
    The facts trigger dreams. And thats what they are made for. To buy, not to practice!
    But if i will get one at the time when the iPhone 7 or 8 is able to deliver the same quality, i have been pranked.
    I work for about 3 years now with GH1 and then GH2. GH3 is not that way forward i would like to. But i can produce 2 or 3 years with GH2 further on. In this time i do get more expert knowledge in filming at all. When those who ordered blackagics, dont even start to get the skills to handle their never arrived cam.
    And maybe meanwhile another company is able to deliver something outstanding thats beating all?

  16. I echo your sentiments on can we just enjoy our cameras now. I began with an HVX 200 and got an amazing amount of use out that, at least three years of solid use. Better ROI than Apple stock. As someone who started in film, three years is still something of a joke. We’d use the same camera for ten, fifteen years or more. Hell, Godfather was shot on a forty year old Mitchell.

    Recently, we unloaded all of our company’s high end gear, as it became apparent that cameras have entered the “lap top” stage of camera evolution, meaning unless it can be improved via modification or firmware, it’s old hat in 18 months. We still hold on to and buy small light and tight stuff (DSLR’s, Go Pros, Miller 3 Pods, Etc) but as our main line of work became more involved, the renting from an owner operator who sub rents all the stuff he doesn’t have from the local rental house, just wasn’t a viable business model. Sure it made money, but took your focus from what we feel was our calling – shooting.

    No sooner had we paid our Epic off, it’s business fell precipitously because, yes, believe it or not, no one really cares about 4k or 5k except gear nerds, pixel counters and marketing staff. The people who carry Red baseball cards. What audiences do relate on an emotional / dramatic level are faces. Fleshtones our paramount in the audience’s eye. If I see another comparison test with just buildings, I’m going to puke. Audiences may not be able to identify what it is, but when the color looks “thin”, lacking sublety, I believe they feel the experienced has been cheapened.

    Which brings me back full circle in that of all these flavors of cameras from Red/Sony/Canon, Alexa ironically seems likely the one that gets the most use on Dramatic TV and Feature production at 2k ! Because while everyone else was putting lens mounts on a computer box, they put a solid computer into a camera. While everyone thought productions cared about pixel count, they designed something that takes about half an hour to figure out, rests on your shoulder without a rig, doesn’t have top heavy Franken monitors sticking out the top, etc. And the nailed fleshtones.

    I read much of the NAB cheerleading about this spec and that like trekkies having spotted Nemoy at Comicon, but I’ve yet to hear a peep about – how are the colors? Do the faces look natural? Can I throw it on my shoulder?

    That’s my rant. Enjoy NAB.

  17. Oh BTW, regarding BMCC, they dropped the ball with the sensor size on the 2.5 k. Too awkward for finding good lens choices, especially at the wide end. I’d take the pocket cam over the 2.5k. It’s super 16 meaning there’s a lot glass out there, cinema glass no less, that’ll work on it.

    We ordered two.

    Also, Phillip, did you have a chance to try on the MoVI rig? That’s the other item at NAB that really gets the juices running. Will it drive any steadicam ops to drink?

  18. Hi Philipp !

    There’s definitely one question in my mind with all these coming 4K products :

    Wich lens can we use with these cameras ? For example, on the canon lineup, wich lenses are able to deliver a good 4D definition and sharpness image ?

    Let’s be honest, if we can afford the Production Camera 4K, we wont ever buy a Cinema Prime Lense form Canon 🙂

    One blog post about that would be REALLY cool… 🙂

  19. Mr. Bloom, thanks for your review!

    You got SSD-disks with you by any chance? If so, please put your SSD-disk into the new BMPC, I’m real curious how different the ‘look’ of the image is. (New sensor, new look?).

    I got my BMCC here.. For 2 weeks or so.. Now it feels a bit !@#$%, for 1000,- more, I would’ve an s35!

    Curious if BlackMagic will give the BMCC users an firmware-update with 4K recording possibility.

    Have fun there!

  20. so true Phil ..! this company’s they just release and release the cameras one after one so they preacher the filmmaker !!
    who gives a shit about the 4K or what ever.. just go and shot something spacial…we get lost in the spec and sensor type!! and we lost the performance and the creativity …..and again your right let us calm down BTW many of my friends are already ordered the 2 of them that’s just insane !!!

  21. Hello Mr. Bloom

    First off thank you for the info. I shoot a lot of music videos using slow mo and it seems to me that the BMC doesn’t have a high frame rate to shoot slow mo in. So how can I shoot slow with this camera?

  22. You’re quite right PB. New cameras should let us at least be sure that tomorrow we don’t ending with another new model to think about again…
    About CCD vs CMOS not quite sure is a bad thing. Yes less sensitivity, but better rolling shutter issues and jello effect. Specially when working with flashes nearby. I think I prefer a little less light and a way better image processing that a CCD can give. I think CMOS are only good for manufacturers – they are cheaper, smaller, lighter and easy to process, but not so much better and the issues had never been quite well overcome.

    1. I remember the first time we had an MX and Varicam’s on set. We couldn’t get them to match because the Red coudn’t accurately resolve fleshtones and blue (in this case subject’s sweater) at the same time, either one or the other. While the Varicam handled it with ease. I’ve always found fleshtones on CCD’s especially from the 3 CCD chips to be richer and more accurate.

    2. Phil….I was never fooled by your “The camera is only a tool” shennanigans…..You seem to have bought ever camera that has ever been made….I bet you have the Shoebox with the hole in it….it was probably made by Canon (easy guys…the Mark III is fantastic and a big step up)
      It is probably a better evf than on the C100.

      I was excited to see if Canon had a rumoured Camera to sit between the C100 or C300…..but you have it right about the Big Guns not announcing at NAB and a coming Canon event on April 23rd will be more likely.

      BlackMagic have really shook the others with this announcement.
      Fantastic features.

      Just praying for William Gallas out this Summer and a C100 with a better evf in.

  23. I was so thrilled when i got my 2nd 5D Mark III in february, now i sit and read this and fell like crap about them. Too bad i`m born in the wrong country, here you have to undersell yourself sometimes to have something to do and video gear is so expensive.

  24. Hi Philip!, sorry for my bad english i´m from Venezuela. i would like to make some questions because i´m beginner, so i do not have some stuff very clear. SO… what is “large super 35 sensor” ?, is the same that full frame? or is other format?. I really thanksful if you could explain me this of the sensor sizes. Also many time i see formats more wide that HD format (for example) ; this is for a sensor? , lens? or is a simple crop of the video?. Like i said, i will really thanksful if you explain me all the stuff. I know, are many question but you know ” beginner” jeje . thanks philip! i´m fan of your works

  25. Hey Philip,
    I am always grateful for your site and love reading it. A wealth of knowledge for free with every post.
    Just wondering if you know if BM will roll via firmwareout compressed raw to the v1 Cinema Camera? I’ve been drooling over it for the last year but the storage issue has held me back. Could this be the clincher for me?
    Also I’m picking/guessing BM will release another cam next year and it will be a high frame rate doozy to round out the BM family quite nicely 🙂

  26. Hey Phillip :), great blog btw

    What do you think are the chances of black magic implementing lossless compression and/or ProRes at 2.5k for the BMCC? Or perhaps just the 108059.94i seen in BMPC?


  27. I was grousing about this just yesterday… is the new cinema camera business model some elaborate almost-pyramid scheme whereby you simply keep announcing new cameras, accepting pre-orders, and then allowing customers to change their pre-orders to whatever new thing you just announced?

    Initially the Pocket seemed a simple “must buy.” Looking a bit more at this, I don’t think the BMPC will necessarily nix, for instance, the GH3 from my upgrade thoughts…
    Apparent advantages:
    BM PocketCC – 13 stops DR, onboard PR422HQ and RAW, smaller S16 sensor allows use of available wide-range and/or servo S16 lenses (and likely some small 16mm lenses), ~$400 cheaper
    GH3 – full unequivocated m43/43 lens compatability, 50/60p, (likely) better sensitivity, vastly superior controls, weather sealing, multiple levels of available compressed recording for long shoots, useable for stills, internal intervalometer, better contact surface for a tripod plate, strap attachment grommets, better handheld ergonomics

    A stop or two of DR doesn’t seem worth the sacrifices, and I can’t afford both. Of course either may have significant other advantages or disadvantages I haven’t discovered yet… looking at how close-packed everything is on the “BMPCC,” I’m hopeful that it won’t have rampant overheating problems… perhaps those are alleviated by that aluminum heat sink within which it resides.

    …but the more new announcements and ever-changing whims of hiring producers just makes me want to throw my hands up and let some rental house take the depreciation. Naturally doing that would screw oneself because more and more often, hiring producers don’t have inclination or budget for even a reasonable rental when they can just find the newest equipped chump on the block to shoot their talking head for $100/day.

    Something tells me I made a bad career decision. Oh well, wouldn’t be the first.

    1. I took shipment on a GH3 last week. I also ordered two BMC Pocket cams. Aside from size, I find it hard to compare. For one, the GH3 has a sensor almost 2x the dimensions. So why buy the pocket cam? Aside from 13 stops of DR and better recording codec, I happen to like the aesthetic of smaller sensors as well as the convenience. Not for everything granted. But certain types of narrative, you don’t always need super shallow DOF. But it’s large enough to to still make your foregrounds pop. It’s also more forgiving for focus, which may make ideal for solo work. I’ll still keep the GH3 as it takes amazing stills, is smaller than my 5D by half, and takes a much sharper image. But contrary to what some may think, it’s still a ways off from being what I’d call a video camera. And it does have a few idiotic hindrances (another forum, another day).

    2. In my opinion, buy the camera which suits you the best. Don’t look at the specs too much. Look at the picture the camera provides. Which do you like best? (Pocket Camera isn’t there yet, so you can’t say anything about it atm). And check what kind of camera-man you are, what kinda shoots you do mostly? What camera suits your jobs best? I’ve got the BMCC 2.5K, this suits me best. I don’t have to deliver 4K yet, I do quality/controlled shoots. I need as much dynamic range as possible (within budget), I love the look of the picture!

      Just check which camera suits you best, then THAT camera is best for you. And pls wait till you see the ‘look’ of the Pocket Camera and BMPC. Can’t say anything yet tbh (unless you have to deliver 4K to an client).


    1. Oh absolutely not…there is nothing about the bmd line that comes close to a C camera for easy use, broadcast ready (not the c100) and all round flexibility. I shoot mostly docs. I used the current one for one once…far from ideal…quite the opposite. I see these as controlled environment cams!


  28. My open letter to camera manufacturers would simply read – “keep em coming” …..why? Because now we all know it’s possible to record ProRes422 in a NEX5 sized camera. The faster the development and deployment, the faster we reach a point where we can all finally enjoy “Full HD” in a variety of form factors at a reasonable price. It would irritate me though if I was purchasing almost every camera that came out! Instead, I’m happy to wait while I enjoy what I’m using.

  29. I’m very excited about Blackmagic’s announcement. Especially excited by the pocket camera. I’ve got several Lumix lenses I’ll be using on that puppy. The 4k camera is cool, but not quite what I want…yet. I would like to see a future version of the 4k camera have an E mount, so I can fit more lenses on it with an adaptor, or a Nikon mount, but not holding my breath for that. Also would like the future s35 version to have 13stops of dynamic range. Anyways, I’ve already preordered the pocket cam. Thanks Blackmagic!!!

  30. pocket cam looks cool. however can you really use it for documentaries? I was planning to get a Canon C100. at 6.5k it seems unresonable at this point. really hard to choose a camera these days.

  31. I think the camera company who develops the Ikonoskop A-Cam should drop their price to match the 4K BMPC. A bit of healthy competition! Movement looks great on the Ikonokop and it’s CCD. Great article as well Philip – very relevant.

    1. Perhaps they can’t for a very good reason. These cameras are made in tiny numbers and the components are for the most part designed for the camera. Not off the shelf. You can’t compete with mass manufactured product with mostly off the self components

  32. I was pretty amazed by the new Black Magic cameras. The Pocket camera for me is very attractive. I read in blogs that many already have enlisted for pre-orders. Now, I don’t want to spoil the fun, but isn’t anybody of the users/bloggers/reviewers/journalists skeptical about the economic model that Black Magic Design has for their cameras? In the past, BMD never succeeded in producing a decent number of cameras of their previous models. Very few of the original EF BMCC were built and sold; the m4/3 BMCC still has to hit the shelves and already they present these new models which make the ‘old’ ones obsolete. The explanation they gave for the delay, is actually very telling: they had problems with producing the sensor. Isn’t that a very serious issue for a camera manufacturer?
    If one looks at their past history, they don’t present themselves as a reputable, reliable company. Would you want to buy a car if you didn’t know when it would be built and delivered? As technology is evolving so fast, in two years time, these new cameras too will have become obsolete, you see… For me, up to now, BMD has produced only cameras ‘on paper’ or ‘ideas of cameras’ and it worries me that users and bloggers aren’t much more skeptical about all this. BMD seems to fool all of us with nothing but a well marketed ‘Kickstarter’ project.
    Like Philip, I prefer that a company announces a camera when it is available in decent quantities.

  33. Actually I think BlackMagic have demonstrated a refreshingly naive approach to camera production which in many ways is a good thing.

    Yes they have upset some of us by launching improved models just as the older model ships, but on the other hand they are not holding back technology. If a company this small can put together cameras this sophisticated using just off the shelf components, why can’t bigger manufacturers launch a competing product at a similar price? Because they would rather drip feed the same technology with minor mostly mediocre enhancements over a very long period of time.

    As to the issue of announcements ahead of actual availability – I agree it is very annoying. But then again without strong sales in advance, a company their size might not have enough capital to get the manufacturing in place. A bit like Kickstarter – they need lots of money before the project starts?

    1. Well for me they do have a great spec list but a camera is way more than that. There is more to a camera than raw. So much more. So few people I know shoot raw video for a very good reason. If you have ever dealt with it then you know why.

      I don’t think you idea about announcing in advance has anything to do with money. Remember they don’t get a penny until the cameras ship…you pay dealers a deposit. Dealers place orders but don’t pay until delivery.

      1. BMCC v1, v2, v3, v4…
        Canon C300, C100, C500…
        Sony FS100, FS700 (4k now, with external recorder) F3, F5, F55
        Panasonic AF100, 100a? is it an “upgrade”?
        Arri, Red, etc, etc (very high priced pro gear)

        A lot of choices in the large sensor arena today, and laughably I still work with a Canon 7D &60D, and compared to the 3-tube camera I started with shortly after the last ice age, I am still very impressed with an image from those cameras that cost less than the annual maintenance fees the old cameras required to keep it running. I think there is some need for perspective when ogling cameras, or any equipment, it’s easy to loose sight of what they are for, recording an image, that’s it, they are not objects of worship.

        I find it amazing, and a bit daunting, to read all the “camera tests” only to realize how far the inexpensive consumer priced equipment has come in such a short time. Do I covet a “pro” camera, which may be obsolete in a year or two? Of course I do, but I also know that continually capitalizing my company with new cameras is not profitable, so I wait till whatever I’m using is bettered in a meaningful way by new gear. Every one has to determine this for themselves, as we are all in different segments of the market, but I have found it’s better to be behind the “bleeding edge” and have reliable, profitable, gear than to place an order for equipment that has not been put into professional service. Mr Bloom’s lament for continual model releases is understandable, the past few years have been phenomenal with all teh cool gear released, but till there is a “raw” camera with a very efficient codec, so that it’s affordable to shoot, I’ll be reading your posts about how your expense for hard drives is adding up to the film and processing bills I used to get when shooting film at $20/min running time. If you think digital cameras are expensive, try shooing 10,000 feet of film, processing it, getting a workprint, synching sound, fullcote transfers of your 1/4″, renting a steenbeck and a room for months and then conforming negative, paying for “opticals” one at a time (a fade in and a dissolve were $20each) etc. etc.

        The gear is amazing, but the costs of being a film maker have dropped tremendously and that is what is so amazing about the digital revolution, for me, not the dynamic range of XYZ camera or it’s resolution.

        A few thoughts…


    2. I found this official explananion for the delay on the Black Magic forum:
      “If you have read my other posts about the causes of the camera delays then you know we have been dealing with a problem with our sensor supplier related to contamination of the glass that’s bonded on the front of the sensor. It’s not been clean and so we had to stop production of cameras.

      There have been two issues here we have been dealing with, the first that the sensor supplier has not been able to see the contamination because their tests were not good enough, and secondly that they need to find a way of bonding the glass on the sensor without contamination.

      The good news is that we got a small shipment of sensors that the sensor supplier had tested with their new test setup and they were all ok when we built cameras with them. This is good because they will now be able to see sensors that are contaminated and not ship us anything that’s unable to be used to build a camera.

      Also, the sensor supplier has done a small run of sensors at the new company that’s bonding the glass and they got almost a 100% pass rate, which is also great. This means they finally have a solution to bonding on the glass that looks like it will work.”

      My point is: they are not using ‘off the shelf components’ and there exactly lies the problem: they could not find suppliers which can produce large quantities and have reliable quality testing. The result was that their first large batch of cameras wasn’t up to standards and failed to deliver. This is exactly where large companies as Nikon, Canon, Sony etc. beat BMDesign: they deliver a reliable, high quality product, in large quantities.

      Now you may think I’m a CanikonPan fan-boy, but I’m not. If my local (Belgian) shop where I buy all my equipment has the Pocket in stock in July, I will buy the little thing. But when I lay down my hard earned money I expect the camera to be delivered within three days, with firmware on it!

  34. It’s funny to see guys here saying “I’m not interested in this camera, it has only 12 stops dynamic range”.
    I bet their cameras are doing less and without 4K and SSD internal and open source format, and… with this price tag. Folks, this camera seams to have everything, or at least the major ones:
    Some of the S/W points:
    – Battery – yes not so good, need a cable and a external one for long days.
    – Audio in – not so pratical – not XLR 48V.
    – Don’t have hdmi for monitoring with external LCD.
    – It can record full time video (till SSD full or bat dead).
    – S35 sensor
    – Global shutter (even if CCD)
    – EF lenses support (for iris control)
    – 12 stops dynamic range (yes less than 13, but still great, lighting is still an art in filming)
    – Have low ISO values (only 1600, at least 2500 would be nice)
    – Not heavy or bulky (good to use with MOVI and other small and cheap rigs)
    – The prior model has shown very good picture quality

    Probably the worse and risky factor: BMD is not famous in delivering cameras, so we don’t have many users and real work reviews to base our judgement.

  35. This was my first NAB and I was very excited to check the news, handle the cameras and check what interesting people have to say. I’ve been visiting this blog every single day for years as I love PB footage and tips. A really great place to learn!!! Passing by Zacuto booth, I could see that Philip was there and I’d like to tell him how his work inspired me to begin filming and traveling to film. I had 3 tv shows as a host (national tv), several radio shows..well I’ve been a public person before and with lots of audience. Philip, you are a great shooter, but as a person, you disappointed me and 3 other people that were talking about your coldness as a human being. As you wrote before that you don’t have a life (and I loved that point of view) can change this ..beginning by yourself. To be honest, I just tried to talk with 2 people ,,you and Vince Lafforet . Seriously ..I like your work better..but he knows how to treat people.

    1. Daniela,

      Is this for real?

      I spent about 90% of my time at NAB spending time with people and talking to them. Some people I gave a substantial amount of time to. Others less if I was in the middle of something or was in a rush to get somewhere.

      I have never once in my entire life been accused of being cold, quite the opposite. I am an enormously open and friendly person so what you have said really hurts. When exactly did you approach me? Was I in the middle of something. Was I replying to an email that I was stressing me out perhaps? Were they ANY mitigating circumstances you noticed or perhaps didn’t notice?

      I have NEVER been deliberately cold to anyone, especially people who came up to me to chat. I had about 250+ random people talk to me over the 4 days. I am pretty certain the vast majority would disagree enormously with this comment.

      The only time I can be accused of being short with people is online when brevity is all I can offer with my the huge amount of things I am juggling.

      Sometimes people don’t get my dry English humour and can mistake that for something…not coldness though. I rarely take things seriously at these things and I am always messing about and being extremely cheeky….it’s who I am.

      I have to say this is probably the single most hurtful comment I have ever had posted on my site in 7 years. Seriously. You can critique my work, attack it. I don’t care. Those are opinions about my work, not me. But talking about “My coldness as a human being”. You really don’t get more of a punch in the face than that. I am about as opposite from cold as you can get. I get my warmth from my wonderful French mum…I am certainly no stereotypical cold Englishman!

      I am sorry if I came across that way. You must have found me at a really bad time…there were a number of very stressful situations I had to deal with on email and in those times I am unable to be able to give people the time I wished I could. This show has easily been the most exhausting one I have ever done. What with making the film for the cosmopolitan and being at the show every day. All i can do is try my best and hope people don’t judge me personally purely from the internet or by a fleeting meeting at a crazy trade show. I honestly don’t know how anyone can assess a person from a fleeting encounter anyway. It takes time to get to know people and certainly to come to such a hurtful negative assessment. If I was a cold person (which I am not!!) it should take you quite a lot more time than however long I spent with you at NAB to come to such a conclusion. I remember when I worked at Sky someone said to me “Phil, I don’t like the new sound man, really cold and arrogant”. I got to know that sound man and he was just incredibly shy and he was completely misread…he was actually an amazingly warm human being once he came out of his shell. Those people were so wrong and they too realised it after spending time with him. Now, of course I am not shy…not at all…I used to be, but confidence in myself came with the years! 🙂

      Oh well that’s it from my reply 3am. Up in 4 hours to de-rig all 8 cameras and then leave Las Vegas. It so sad as I had such a great time and met so many incredibly nice people for my last night to end with me reading what you wrote. At least I know that many of the people I spoke to, hopefully just about all of them, actually found me to be quite the opposite!



      1. I can only think you got Philip at a bad moment as I met him at BVE this year and one of his workshops in London and he couldn’t have been friendlier. In fact he goes out of his way to meet people that he has interacted with through Twitter or the blog.

        I’d struggle to think of anyone that does more for the filmmaking community to be honest.


      2. I’ve met Philip on 3 separate occasion. It’s not really my style to jump to someone else defence, but I thought it worth while to share my experiences to bring some “balance”. Each time I met Philip I found him nothing but approachable and engaging. He meets loads of people whenever he travels. He’s a working pro and has commitments. So it’s understandable that on some occasions he will be engaged in something which won’t allow him to just drop it and start talking. But from my experience at meetup’s and IBC he’s made time for people. I’ve chatted with him and he’s listened. I’ve asked him questions and he’s given his insights.
        As Andy says, he does a huge amount for the filmmaking community…

      3. Such personal and negative comments should never exist on public forums. Eventually in a private message, should it prove to be beneficial.

        I find Philip very generous and open-hearted overall on this website that is bringing so much to the videographers community.
        Even the time he took to reply to that comment proves it.

      4. DISCLAIMER:
        I have never met Mr. Bloom in person, nor have I even been in the same city as he (that I know of).
        I wish I had the opportunity to attend NAB this year, but as a middle school teacher, it’s not always possible. I wanted to see the new gear, discuss techniques AND meet many of the people who I have read about on these here interwebs. I’ve been to NAB before, as well as numerous educational conferences, conventions, and workshops. I fully realize that the people working the various booth’s are BUSY! If I can get a “hello”, then I feel that I’ve accomplished something.

        I’ve met a few people in my life that I would say are truly “cold” and heartless. I know a little about “fame”, (not much, just a little) because my father was and my son currently is a local on-camera news reporter.People would approach them and want to say hello, ask for autographs or just get a pic with the “famous” person. Sometimes you have an off day but most times you smile, give what time you can, and move on.

        Philip appears to have been extremely busy the past few days, being on the show floor, doing his timelapses, going to meetings, etc. There’s never enough time for anyone! I feel blessed that he responded to a tweet or two I may have posted. The fact that he did… to a known nobody in the business, a simple middle school teacher, proves to me that he’s not a cold person. If he were, he would just ignore my inane ramblings.

        I am as disappointed in Mr. Azulai’s post as Philip is. Philip may have been swamped at the time, as can easily happen at these things. Mr. Azulai may have been worn out as well, as can also easily happen at these things. I suggest you give the guy a break and don’t judge too quickly. If the fates allow, you’ll have another opportunity. Delay judgement until then.

        Rant over. Now back to smelly middle schoolers…..

      5. I have had pleasure of meeting Mr. Bloom a couple of times and I have to say that the only thing cold about him was the gin and tonic in his hands. 🙂 He’s always been very eager to teach and took the time to answer questions when asked.

        Trust me I have met my share of douches in this industry and he’s not one of them.

        But unfortunately perception is ones reality and I suppose people may misinterpret any given situation.

        Bill Cosby said it best – “I don’t know the secret to success but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone.”

        On another note has BM ever disclosed the compression ratio on their raw settings? I know that on the Epic and Scarlet you can change these and know what you are getting but it seems not to be the case with BM.


      6. I have not met Philip personally but he was the first person I asked a question to on Twitter that replied back to me and not just reply back but to do so in less then 30 minutes. That says something about how a person cares about people when he has a lot of stuff he is doing that do not just involve his work. I am grateful that people take the time to help people like myself learn how to use cameras and be a better filmmaker. Thank you sir!

      7. Philip,
        One negative post doesn’t negate seven years of warmth and enthusiasm! You, of all people, who put so much time and effort in meetings, good causes and genuine, open-hearted advice… this criticism doesn’t make sense at all. If anything shines through in your reviews, films and writing, it is your kindness and humanity. Don’t let the b*st*rds grind you down!

      8. Daniela, the fact he’s so concerned at what you said should also show you the kind of guy he is. Who knows what the heck was going on when you were trying to talk to him.

      9. Philip, ignore that. “Coldness as a human being” is almost a cliche one applies to nazi characters in action war films, you know that guy with the blond hair, flaming blue eyes and the peaked officer’s cap who always seems to be played by the same dude.
        She’s entitled to her opinion, but has expressed it very badly, and comes across as pretty cold herself. Of a brief encounter which you can’t recall during a very busy event she now asks you to undergo some sort of spiritual transformation !? And who were those three other people !?
        Forget it; thousands of people the world over can testify to how warmly your character comes over to us.

      10. When I met Philip for the first time this year after his Q&A at Kessler/Zacuto, there was a large group people around me all trying to talk to him. It’s easy to see how extremely busy Philip is. When he’s not shooting video and time lapses, giving Q&A’s, answering emails, replying to a huge amount comments on this website, posting blogs, and probably getting very few hours of sleep, he’s trying to give the time of day to as many people as he can.

        “Hey Philip, I’ve been watching you for a long time —err”
        “Well that was a bit creepy, were you the one standing outside my window last night?”

        lol stay cheeky dude!

      11. Wow wow wow! What am I reading there… Well, it was obvious than one day, you’d be to much known, at the point that anybody would say anything based on dumb facts… It’s sadly the case for every celebrity…! Phillip, prepare yourself to be pursuied by paparazzi transforming your lunch at MacDonald as a fact for saying “he’s getting into depression”
        Don’t worry about it… I’ve met you during two days in Brussels at your workshop, and I now know a bit about you.
        Daniela, i can assure you that he was SO OPEN and warmth! He stayed every night with the all of us, talking and laughing (and drinking…;) ) about any kind of subject.

        If he was coldhearted, he would have stayed in his hotel room.
        I think it was a bad timing, during which he just could’nt think about people that where around us.
        Cheers from france

    2. Daniela, I’m saddened to see this here. Obviously you came into the situation with the knowledge that Mr. Bloom was a busy man, so it seems to me that you should give him a little more compassion and flexibility. Get this: I don’t follow Phillip on Twitter or read his blog because he offers great industry advice. I follow him because he’s literally one of the most personable, snarky, and witty camera guys out there. I expect I’ll meet him in person one of these days at a trade show or convention, and when I do I seriously doubt he’ll be as hellishly cold as you make him out to be. Cheers!

    3. Daniela, first off, I’d like to say I have no notable achievements about which to brag here. However, I have felt a cold shoulder recently as well: some time ago, Philip posted an instagram, gushing over some new light. When I couldn’t find anything on their site but a list of vendors, and the ones I checked just wanted me to fill out a form to request a quote, I tired of chasing it down and asked on the instagram about pricing, and I was basically told to look it up on Google, which sounded really condescending. Another person asked, and again he said “Is Google really down?” Seems it would have been easier to say how much it was than to be sarcastic, but though it did seem hurtful, I reconsidered the perceived snub; I let it go, and did not retort in kind. After some reflection, I came to the conclusion that I probably was being too sensitive and this was his way of saying “I’m not sure.” This is a far more realistic scenario than him being purposefully hurtful.

      And that brings me to my point: In talking about people skills, it seems that a knee-jerk reaction like your seemingly emotionally-charged rant about how someone treats people might be a worse faux pas, than perhaps being a wee bit curt whilst attending to throngs of fans at a convention, no? While I wasn’t there, I can certainly say even if it was downright unkind, which I doubt, certainly lashing back with harsh criticism that is less than constructive, all while lecturing about “how to treat people” seems a bit hypocritical, I feel.

      It stings when people we look up to don’t live up to the preconceived notions we have. That’s because they are human, too. Cut them some slack. Don’t be so sensitive, and goosfraba. In our industry, I PROMISE you this will pay off later.

      1. hey ben! cheers for comment! the reason i said check google was because i didn’t know the exact price…i would have to google it to find out to tell you, it was on loan…i was saying literally check google especially given we all live in different regions and prices vary wildly. when i do say things like that i always use an emoticon 🙂

    4. I saw him speak at Zacuto/Kessler and was taken back at how accesable and easygoing he was. Must have been bad timing. My experience was: Wow, this guy is super busy, has a consistent blog, a solid following of people that he’s connected to and still has time to be kind and approachable. Just my opinion…

    5. Just a quick point. Watch pretty much any of Philip’s videos where he interacts with people. His short documentaries for example. To get people to open up like that, to trust you, you need to be a certain type of person. It’s glaringly obvious what type of person Philip is, and it shines through his work!

  36. I think these two cameras do make the BMCC camera redundant, at least as it stands now.

    The Pocket camera gets the sensor size and mount right, which the BMCC didn’t, at 1/3 of the price. Plus you get to use cheap media and batteries.

    The 4K camera also gets the sensor size right, compressed raw fixes another big issue with the BMCC, and global shutter is a HUGE FACTOR, regardless of how many steps one has to lose. I shoot a lot of handheld style footage and rolling shutter is one of the things I hate the most!

    However, IMO the BMCC can still have a place in their lineup, but they need to get a couple things right first:
    -Ditch the EF mount and focus on just one ACTIVE MFT mount
    -Compressed raw codec
    -$2500 ($3000 makes it too close to the 4K camera, not worth it anymore)
    -Improve all the known limitations with the firmware

      1. True, but most of the original BMCC’s short comings were obvious from the spec list (battery, mount, cumbersome uncompressed codec), and those things seem to have been improved in the new cameras. Of course image quality (and usability) is king, but that wasn’t much of a problem with the BMCC.

  37. 4k. Raw 12 stop range, Super 35mm sensor and a GLOBALSHUTTER!!! for 4grand here in America? Ok I am sold. I am glad I waited..I knew one of the players was going to come out with a global shutter. I bet the folx at Red and Canon are burning the midnite oil since this announcement. I now can shoot this feature without renting the Red. Shooting a fight scene with the 5dMIII would be a challenge with the rolling shutter. Philip, I can’t wait to see your work with this camera. Man this is exciting.

  38. I disagree with slowing the pace of cameras. I think of them like computers in terms of advances and prices. Once you lower the price bar to £2-3k, they aren’t coming fast at all 🙂

    I’m using Canon 550Ds which have familiar HDSLR problems. BMD seems to be fixing the problems. Last week I spent half a day on fairly sophisticated visual effects to fix a shot of people moving in front of architecture with line-skipping artefacts. It involved making a clean background plate, motion tracking and matching, and rotoscoping the people. Normally I just throw these shots away as glitchy shots, but it was needed. BMD is eliminating this. And for me, there have been zero cameras since the HDSLR burst of cameras. I have felt stuck! I have complained about the lack of development. With a small budget, everything slows down.

    I got my BMCC camera in February and I’m thrilled with the two new cameras in the lineup! My 2.5k camera is good for 6 months and then we’ll see about an S35 sensor. I’m not really well positioned for MFT. I feel I need a specific IS lens for it. And a viewfinder. I still can’t even shoot outdoors. But everything sloowwwly gets better. I imagine I’ll be using a Movi-like device in a 2-3 years too! It will cost £699. In the meantime, I’ll be practicing Glidecam.

  39. Thank you for the post Mr. Bloom!
    I’m just curious, was the IS working with that Lumix lens when you tried the pocket camera? Also, what would be the highest ISO sensitivity of the pocket camera in Canon ISO terms? Thanks!

  40. Great Post.

    I’m kinda new to digital cinematography. (I shot film before and I own a 16mm film camera).

    Based mainly on your review of the EF mount BMCC camera I realized this is a good starting point…
    And then I saw the MFT review and the announcement of the Pocket and the 4K, and things got a bit confusing… now I keep thinking if I’ll ever see my BMCC if I’ll end up buying one, and what if I’ll go for the EF mount 4K and by the time I’ll get it, they’ll announce an active MFT version?

    So I can totally relate to the bad PR part as well as the stop-announcing-new-stuff-all-the-time part.

    I’m a great believer of get what you need not what’s new, but it’s hard to follow this mantra when new innovation comes before the old one even had a chance to be called innovative.

    I’ll probably end up buying the BMCC, but defiantly gonna wait till supply chain will level and I can get my camera when I actually buy it. (Plus the Israeli supplier of BM wouldn’t let me pre-order based on the first BMCC debacle 🙂

    1. You should be safe from an active mount MFT for a while, they’ve already hinted that PL will appear on the 4k next. That and the MFT mount is designed to cover a smaller sensor than super 35 so many MFT lenses may not cover it.

  41. For a lot of people, including myself, the Pocket Cinema Camera is also a very viable and interesting device. Can’t wait to get my hands on some straight-from-the-camera footage. The small’ish sensor might be an issue though – to give some insight into that I’ve come up with a small tool to calculate the effective focal length of lenses on the BMPCC. Hope it’s of use to someone else except for myself 😉

    Can be found here: — feedback and comments are welcome 🙂

  42. Hi! Philip
    just a crazy idea, do you think, hardware wise the original BMCC can upgraded to the new 4K? especially the super 35 censor. coz it seem to be build in the same body.. ,as a new and feel very shi**ty owner of original BMCC that the first question that comes to my mind. many thanks.

    1. Since the sensor size on the pocket camera is 12.5 by 7, a speed booster would increase the field of view to 21 by 12, which is slightly larger than the size of the 4k camera! The resolution is 1080p so you lose some resolution, but I much prefer this. Film has a softer look than plenty of ultra HD cameras, and is a much more forgiving format, especially on actors. The pocket camera could potentially (jury is still out) give this slightly softer look, yet have all the DR and color science one would need.

  43. Do you expect to see the EF mount on the 4K model to have IS support? And if I’m not mistaken, it does support the iris electronically? Maybe this information is in plain sight but I haven’t read anything about it so I thought I’d ask 🙂

  44. Was it just me or did the rolling shutter look much less visible on the pocket than the older BMC. I shook it pretty solidly and it seemed fairly minimal.

      1. Fairly minimal =)

        I was looking at it on their monitor and not on the screen. Then again, my excitement for all the new gear could have biased me a bit. I’m assuming that, since it’s the same sensor, it should be roughly the same

  45. Nothing to do with anything techy, just a word of appreciation as a rebuff to the ‘Daniela’ unpleasantness.

    A fella more generous with his time dedicated to offering free pertinent advice and insight in this mega confusing world of film making than Philip Bloom would be hard to come by.
    How you manage all that you do whilst keeping it all together is testimony to the decent chap that you obviously are and I for one amongst the thousands of followers immensely appreciate your dedication and devotion.
    The old adage ‘You can’t please all of the people all of the time.’ applies in this case.

    Keep up the great work and thanks for everything so far

  46. Fantastic insight Philip. I want to ask, how does the footage from the 4K BMDC cam flow with Premier pro CS6. In other words is it. Editable, or do u need to convert the footage or get codecs elsewhere. Pls throw more light.

  47. I was so psyched to get the Canon 100D when it comes out soon as an entry level video/stills camera. The ideal small camera for holidays and the odd video for MOFILM, web videos etc…

    And now this! The pocket BMC looks like the natural next step for manufacturers after the success of DSLR videos.
    If this does stills, to very basic level, then this would be perfect. Could the original BMC take stills?
    Also, does anyone have any idea what kind of “weather proofing” this pocket camera might have – it looks quite delicate. The fact that its so portable means its bound to come into contact with the elements at some point.

    1. I am still adamant that the way blackmagic are pushing with their cameras they are not replacements for DSLRs. The current one in no way is…check my review for why…

      These are specific tools and the 4k one is an even more extreme version of this. The pocket one is a curiosity…a raw camera that size is impressive…not sure of the applications I would need it for though! Wish it was super 35mm too…super 16mm is rather small…still can’t wit to try it!


  48. I am curious on how easy it will be to get 10 bit Pro Res HQ and 12 bit Raw onto an SD card for the Pocket Cinema Camera? I know the Raw will be compressed but I have heard of people having issues with the hacked GH2 with higher bits rates above 100 with an 8 bit codec. Pro Res HQ is 10 bit with a 220 bit rate if I am not mistaken, do not know the specs around Raw just that it will be more. I love how this camera sounds just seems like a lot for an SD card writing capacity to handle. I am by no means an expert on such things but wondering if that could create some problems?

    1. The requirement for the SD cards are pretty hefty. ProRes recording required 40 MB/sec cards. RAW wil need at least 70MB/sec. There aren’t too many cards which can handle that, but they are out there 😉

  49. As impressive as this, and other cameras like it are, the data rates for 4K need to be taken into consideration.

    In ProRes, the BMPC runs @ 880Mbps. That comes out to…

    1 second = 110MBs
    1 minute = 6.6GBs
    1 hour = 396GBs


    1TB = 2h30min of footage (roughly)

    Compare this to what a Scarlet in 4K spits out, running 7:1 compression @ 24fps, gives…

    1 second = 40MBs
    1 minute = 2.4GBs
    1 hour = 144GBs


    1TB = 7hrs of footage (roughly)

    So, if I want to shoot a 90minute feature, where I need to take into consideration shooting ratios. Something realistic would be maybe 10:1? That means 900 minutes (15hrs) of footage to edit into a 90 minute feature.

    On the Scarlet, that means 15 x 144GB = 2.16TB
    On the BMPC, that means 15 x 396GB = 5.94TB

    Thinking about it, 10:1 seems really conservative. Indy feature, making mistakes, trying out different ideas, I’m probably looking at 20:1, so double those numbers…

    Scarlet = 4.32TB
    BMPC = 11.88TB

    With a Scarlet, that still seems feasible, but on the BMPC, we’re reaching levels that, for me at least, are hard to manage as I haven’t even taken back-ups into consideration. Those numbers are starting to hurt.

    The nice thing about the Scarlet is that I can compress the footage even more. Seeing as I’m obviously not making a big, superhero action movie anytime soon, I’ll most probably finish in HD with a 2K master for the occasional screening (if I’m lucky).

    So, what about HD? Okay, I’ll have to blow up the footage a bit to get that 2K master from an HD source, but what about storage? On something like the Atomos Ninja and recording HD ProRes @ 220Mbps, the numbers give…

    1 sec = 27.5MBs
    1 minute = 1.65GBs
    1 hour = 99GBs


    1TB = 10hours of footage (roughly)

    On a 20:1 ratio 90 minute indy feature, that’s 1.98TBs, double that for a back-up and we’re looking at just under 4TBs. Now that’s a number I can work with and even have two back-ups to ease paranoid nerves. Heck, at those numbers, I might even treat SSDs like they were film and never erase them.

    That’s an added bonus as I wouldn’t need to worry about erasing precious footage. Peace of mind = priceless.

    All of this begs the question, how important is 4K?

  50. I’m with you on the embarrassment of the riches in camera choices. At the end of the day, having a camera in hand that you can use with ease (editing, postproduction) is far better than better tech specs. I’m actually worried that some cameras will become “too good” with workflows and formats that make it hugely costly to make indy feature films. Do you think this is a possibility?

    For a decade people worked in digital and edited in FCP studio – creating professional grade films at low cost. Is it still possible to do this with the dramatic resolution and format changes? Could you realistically edit a feature film for a 5-10K investment in computer, software, memory cards, and hard drives? Or are the back-end production costs going up while the camera costs are going down? What is your sense of the independent (i.e. micro-budget <10K ) production landscape with these changes?

    (as a side note, I'm Digital Bolex backer and am concerned about not being able to handle the RAW workflow)

  51. Thanks for the Blog Post! Totally agree with You, I wanna enjoy my FS-100 which I got for a hell of a lot money (for me)

    One Question (not sure you can answer it):

    They have impressing new stuff (at least in the Specs), but why in hell they have the old adapter (ergonomic wise) and not the one the MFT has? Not getting that….

    Thanks for your answer.


  52. I’m an FS-100 shooter and extremely happy with my camera and what it produces, especially with Frank Glencarn’s Picture Profiles!

    I’m so excited about the BM Pocket Cinema Camera, the idea of having a Super 16 Camera that I could effectively whip out of my Think Tank bag with my FS-100 is amazing, if what the BM website claims it can do performance wise.

    Alright, I might have to have a couple of extra MFT lenses but… so what!

    The best thing it’s optimized for ProRes 422 (HQ) absolutely perfect for online.

    My only suspicion is the audio, (No XLR’s but hey it is only £650) but I reckon put in a nifty Rode Video Mic Pro and you’ll be well away.

    Out of everything I have seen from NAB the BM Pocket Cinema Camera is hands down the best thing I seen, or haven’t seen if you get what I mean?!?

    I simply cannot wait to see what the filmmaking community will do with this thing.

    My one thought is, if someone brought out a splash proof, crash proof housing for it, would Go Pro and others like it be defunct?! Interesting thought.

      1. Yeah granted….

        Juice Link box or equivalent would be good.


        Wireless tie mic with mini jack connector? I think the film-making community is buzzing for this.

        Interestingly…. what ever happened to Panasonic?? Thought they would of brought a Large Sensor Camera
        to rival these lot by now “AF202” ??

  53. Just trying to see clearly here:

    1. Does the 2.5k camera actually have 13 stops of DR?
    > if it’s not the case, the Pocket won’t either.

    2. Is the Pocket actually going to record compressed RAW or is it just wishful thinking?
    > if it is only ProRes in 1080, that could be a deal breaker for many, I guess.

    3. BMD’s CEO just gave an interview (can’t find the link, sorry), saying that the Pocket will “loose a bit of sharpness” compared to the 2.5k model. This needs to be taken into consideration.

    4. for $995, do we really get a ready-to-shoot camera?
    – I can’t really see myself point-and-shooting in RAW, what would be the point of heavy shaky footage?
    – I can’t see myself focusing properly as the focus ring is so close to the actual camera body. That sounds like too many hands in a tiny space.
    > Why not attach a pistol grip ala D16? Even so, I am under the impression that the hands would fight against each other for space.
    > it would require a rig and a follow-focus and therefore is not very “pocket” anymore
    – No articulated (reflective) screen means external monitor attached to a mini-HDMI connector (not the best) on a rig, so again, this turns the Pocket into a not-so-pocket camera.

    Filming your family in hi-res? Why not, but is a camera that does not take stills, has a 1-hour only lasting battery and records heavy files really better than an iPhone for the average Joe? Not sure.

    Overall, now that the WOW effect is fading away, I find myself wondering if this is not just one more too-many-compromises camera from BlackMagic, even though it remains interesting as a crash cam or/and for aerial shooting.

    Overall, the Digital Bolex D16 sounds like a much more reliable, flexible, community-based and fun product as a cinematographer tool.
    I can’t wait to see D16 test footage!

    1. I think it could be a good B-cam. Or a cam for tight spots. Don’t think you should see this camera as your main filmcamera. For out of the Pocket shots, ProRes 1080 is perfect. 4K shots, then you’ll need rigs and stuff, too expensive/overdone for vacation shots.

      I’ll wait till I actually see the ‘look’ it’s creating. And what different reviews (after testing) will tell. It sounds amazing, so very curious!!

    2. I much prefer the thought of purchasing a blackmagic pocket camera for theatrical release. You’re right, you need rigs that will make it not so “pocket” any more, but that is precisely what I prefer. Also, I absolutely love that it’s 1080p resolution. A few DP’s have noted that the 2.5k version is too sharp when capturing actors since it doesn’t contain a filter (alexa and red both use filters to soften the image). Capturing actors under too sharp conditions shows too many wrinkles and it’s quite unpleasing to see. Film as a softer, kinder look. The pocket camera looks to have everything I’m seeking. Of course, all of this is speculation since the camera hasn’t come out yet. We will wait and see if these specs pan out.

  54. My understanding from what I have read, heard and seen is that BMD has introduced the 4k Blackmagic Production Camera to join their 4k multi-cam ecosystem.To be used in a multi cam situation with their switchers.( Atem)
    Hence the name with a lot of emphasis on “Production Camera”. This is not being pushed as a replacement for the “Cinema Camera”.

  55. Black Magic looks good, but when I see such a small camera, I always think how can a good mechanic still inside it.
    That’s also why I don’t really like generally DSLR.
    They’re cool in many ways, but they have an own style, in my opinion different from what is a cinema look and a video/film look.

  56. its freaks me out when camera company puts new stuff out all the time. I just got a C300 and i love it. my friend goes on about BMCC all the time but I feel like with all the problems and workarounds you need for the camera its not worth it.I have never shot on one so I can’t say to much about it, but you get what you pay for sometimes, and with quality control problems and back orders and the rate they drop new cameras, who knows what will happen. I worry that my C300 will be old unless tech in the market of today . although i think a 2k out update would be awesome for the C300 if the camera even able to do so. It might keep it up to date with the newer cameras coming out.

    I also think people look to much into hard specs. when I saw the video off my c300 on a large screen for the first time I knew I had the camera that to meet my needs.

    great article, keep up the good work.

  57. Can’t wait to see some test footage from the pocket cinema camera. Any estimation on when you can get your hands on a pre-production model?

    I’m hoping that with its smaller sensor it’ll be possible to mount broadcast zoom lenses. Would make event videography a million times easier having a decent video lens yet again.

  58. I for one am very excited about the 4K pocket camera. I bought into the micro 4/3 system via the Panasonic GH2, So have several nice pieces of glass to utilize in that mount.

    The reasons I like this new camera runs along the lines of weight actually. The form factor and weight will go well with my Hexi-Copter with 3 axis gimbal.

    I like pretty pictures,but like making money also. That little 4K camera is gonna make my broadcast clients happy AND make me a few coins.

  59. Phillip,
    My question to you is this, regarding your MFT review of Black Magic Cinema Camera. This Pocket camera has Active MFT which you wanted as much as black magic wants a viable manufacturer to produce their cameras. Anyway can you tell me if since it is Active, is there an adapter that will allow me to use my canon glass and will the IS work. Or is it a situation where 2ndary controls have to be used no matter what ? If thats the case will IS work in either situation?

        1. If they want to appreciate the camera, they will have to reinvest. Using Canon EOS glass on a BMD MFT or Pocket is like commuting to work in Central London on a Semi truck, because “it’s what I got”.
          EOS glass is completely the wrong choice for a short flange / small sensor camera.
          Actually even people who bought the BMD Cine EOS because they had loads of Canon Glass ended up buying new lenses like the Tokina 11-16mm because the normal lenses you would use on a Canon FF were no longer that useful.
          Even if Metabones can deliver a Speed Booster for MFT, it will not solve the problem of the Pocket Cam sensor size. It has a S16 sensor, use S16 glass and learn to love it.
          All the best.

  60. I think the pocket camera is really exciting to cause its the only one that is Possibly affordable for me as student 😀 but I got a bit confused about the crop factor of the camera. Some people say that it s 1.3x crop and others say that that means 3x because its only compared to the current camera. So could you tell me what the crop factor on this camera is?
    Finally I just wanted to say that I think that your videos are amazing! They are really helpfull and I already learned a lot from them. I really appreciate all the work you put into this!!

  61. I totally agree! Please stop making new cameras and give us a chance to enjoy our existing ones. I fondly recall the days of the DVX-100. To this day it is possibly the camera I enjoyed the most. It was revolutionary, and it was the first camera accessible to the relative masses that allowed us film and video production people to start thinking in more filmic terms. At the moment I feel inundated with the options, but the good thing is that there are infinite tools available, so really no excuses!

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