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Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Cinema Camera with Passive Micro Four Thirds

IBC 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands – September 7, 2012 - Blackmagic Design today announced a second model of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera that features passive Micro Four Thirds lens (MFT) mount, so customers now have an even greater choice of lens options when shooting. The new Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT model supports any Micro Four Thirds with manual iris and focus, and is also easily adapted to other lens mounts such as PL via third party adapters. The ability to use third party adapters to allow other types of lens mount is due to the Micro Four Thirds lens mount being much closer to the image sensor and allowing space for adapters to other lens mounts.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design IBC 2012 booth in Hall 7, Booth H20.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT is identical to the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera model, however does not include lens communication so manual lenses are used. The current model of Blackmagic Cinema Camera will be renamed Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF to let customers easily differentiate between the models.

About Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT

Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, large 2.5K sensor, a built in SSD recorder that has the bandwidth to capture open standard CinemaDNG RAW, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD files, a built in capacitive touch screen for direct metadata entry, standard jack audio connections, built in high speed Thunderbolt connection, 3 Gb/s SDI output, a refrigerated sensor for low noise, and is fully compatible with an even wider range of extremely high quality Micro Four Thirds mount lenses, plus other lenses such as PL mount lenses via common third party adapters.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT also includes a full copy of DaVinci Resolve for color correction and Blackmagic UltraScope software for waveform monitoring. This means the user can simply plug into Thunderbolt laptop and run UltraScope to get full waveform monitoring scopes on set!

One of the most important features of the camera is its super wide dynamic range of 13 stops, allowing feature film quality images. Commonly people focus on more pixels, however often this just creates a higher resolution, but “video” looking images that still suffer from highlight and black clipping that limits details. Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s wide dynamic range eliminates this problem and provides film quality with dramatically more detail retained in black and whites in the image. Once the shoot is complete, the included DaVinci Resolve color correction software can be used to adjust images and take advantage of this extra range in the images. The high quality Micro Four Thirds lens compatibility also helps create sharp and cinematic images that look incredible.

To eliminate the damage that low bit depth and high compression video storage creates, Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a fast SSD recorder. The built in SSD recorder can record the full sensor detail in 12 bit Log RAW files in the open standard CinemaDNG format on fast solid state disks. These files can be read by all high end video software. The full 2.5K sensor data is stored in the files completely uncompressed because the SSD has the speed to store video data at the required rate. This high quality file can then be color corrected on DaVinci Resolve for the same high quality result currently only possible on cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera has been designed as the perfect companion to Apple Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer NLE software. Unlike other cameras, which require the use of custom video file formats that are not compatible with popular NLE software, often making the post production process a nightmare, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes absolutely no custom video file formats, and every file type included is open standard. It records into CinemaDNG format for RAW files, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD for HD resolution files compatible with Apple Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer.

The built in large LCD display makes focusing easy, and allows playback of captured files. Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a built in microphone, as well as external jack based mic/line level balanced audio connections. When playing back recorded clips, a speaker is built in, and there is an included headphone socket, as well as embedded audio on the SDI output and Thunderbolt connection. The SDI output includes all camera data such as timecode, transport control, shutter angle, color temperature setting and ASA information overlaid in attractive antialiased fonts.

For easy metadata entry, the built in LCD features fast and responsive capacitive touch screen technology. When the user taps the display with a finger, a data entry window called the “slate” appears. This lets the user enter shot information just like typing on a smart phone. This data is then stored in the files and can be accessed by NLE software when editing content later. Metadata is compatible with popular software such as Apple Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve. All camera settings can be changed on this touch LCD, such as frame rate, shutter angle, color temperature, dynamic range, focus assist settings and more.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes an innovative industrial design built from solid machined aluminum metal which results in an attractive but rugged design. All of the camera, recorder and display have been shrunk down into a lightweight design that is very portable.

“One of the most common customer requests since announcing the original model of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is other lens mounts,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “We felt that Micro Four Thirds was a fantastic option and so we designed a second model with this mount. Only Micro Four Thirds lets cinematographers use a wide range of creative lenses, but it also easily adapts to other lens mounts such as PL mount, so the range of exciting lens options is virtually unlimited!”

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Key Features

  • Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT is identical to the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF model.
  • High resolution 2.5K sensor allows improved anti aliasing and reframing shots.
  • Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
  • Built in SSD allows high bandwidth recording of RAW video and long duration compressed video.
  • Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW, Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD. No custom file formats.
  • Includes no custom connections. Standard jack mic/line audio in, BNC 3 Gb/s SDI out, headphone, high speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, LANC remote control and standard DC 12-30V power connection.
  • Capacitive touch screen LCD for camera settings and “slate” metadata entry.
  • Compatible with extremely high quality Micro Four Thirds lenses and other mounts via adapters.
  • Supports 2.5K and 1080HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps.
  • Thunderbolt connection allows direct camera capture via included Media Express software and supports live waveform monitoring via the included Blackmagic UltraScope software.
  • Includes a full copy of DaVinci Resolve 9.0 color grading software.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT will be available in December 2012 for US$2,995 from Safe Harbor. The EF compatible lens mount model will be renamed as Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF so customers can differentiate the two models. Price for both models is the same, and customers can order each model depending on the lens mount they prefer.

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Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Cinema Camera with Passive Micro Four Thirds