New cinema camera has potential

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This is the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. It looks promising and has the potential to put professional feature-film-quality results within reach of those on a tight budget. It lists for $2,995 USD and although that’s not cheap what you get can take you a long way.

Some of the Black Magic’s features include a superwide dynamic range (13 stops), a large high-resolution 2.5K sensor, and full compatibility with Canon EF and Zeiss ZF mount lenses. The 5-inch touch screen on back can be used for direct metadata entry as well as all settings such as frame rate, shutter angle, color temperature, dynamic range, and focus assist.

Blackmagic used no proprietary ports. What you get is two standard 1/4″ mic/line audio-in jacka, a BNC 3Gbps SDI out, headphone jack, a Thunderbolt port, LANC remote control, and standard DC 12-30V power connection. It records to a removable 2.5” SSD that provides 5 MB/frame in RAW 2.5K for about about 30 minutes of 24p video on a 256 GB disk. Compressed HD formats fit more than 5 times the amount of RAW video. The included disk is 480GB.

Similarly, the camera supports open file formats compatible with NLE software such as CinemaDNG 12-bit raw, Apple ProRes, and Avid DNxHD. Everything gets recorded to a solid-state drive meeting the high-bandwidth demands of raw video capture and long-duration compressed video.

Like the Sony FS-100 it’s a box that leaves you with the ability to set it up as you see fit. It’s exciting to see newer cameras coming out and challenging the market.

This is a test by John Brawley:

Vimeo’s Matt Allard looks at the new Blackmagic Design digital cinema camera at NAB 2012:

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(Credit: Blackmagic Design)

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