Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera now does 12 bit raw

Written by David Shapton

Blackmagic/RedSharkBMPCC now does raw

 

In a surprise announcement, Blackmagic design has released version 1.5 of their firmware for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

The new update, which adds 12-bit log Cinema DNG raw recording is avaialble now for download for existing users. It's something of a surprise because BMD has been criticized in the past for being slow to update firmware. So although we knew this was coming, very few were expecting it right now.

We were the first to try the new camera, and our unboxing article quickly reached 40,000 hits. In the short time we had the camera, we found that it was extremely versatile, recording to ProRes in either Film Mode, for a flat but highly gradable look, or in Video Mode, for a more saturated style that was usable if necessary without further processing.

But what was missing was the ability to record raw video, which is this and the other Blackmagic cameras' forte.

Even though ProRes in Film Mode is capable of extremely good results (in fact, absurdly good results when you take the price into account) it does not use the full potential of the camera. With 12 bit raw recording, the dynamic range is extended almost into HDR territory in comparison with non-raw cameras. Used with skill and sensitivity, this new capability will make recordings with the new camera unlike anything seen before at this price.

Completely unique

In fact, the BMPCC occupies a completely unique place in the roster of video cameras, in that it can outperform virtually any unmodified DSLR (with the possible exception of the Canon 1DC - at twelve times the price of the BMPCC  and even that does not have raw, recording instead, at 4K, to MJPEG).

Here's what BMD has to say about the release:

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera uses the open standard lossless compressed version of CinemaDNG RAW. CinemaDNG RAW lossless compression works in a similar way as a ZIP file where the RAW files are compressed during recording without the loss of any part of the image, so all images retain the same quality when they are decompressed. That means customers get back the mathematically perfect high quality RAW file image that they recorded.

High quality lossless CinemaDNG files are fully compatible with DaVinci Resolve 10 for seamless color grading and editing workflows. Lossless CinemaDNG RAW files are an open standard however not all video applications can open them, although those that can are increasing all the time. Customers can download the free Davinci Resolve Lite and transcode to popular editing formats like ProRes andDNxHD for compatibility and round tripping with editing software like Final Cut Pro 7®, Final Cut Pro X,® Avid® Media Composer® and Adobe Premier Pro®.

With this new Blackmagic Camera 1.5 update, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera gives customers the choice of recording CinemaDNG RAW or high quality ProRes 422 (HQ) in video or film mode. Cinematographers can simply remove the SD card from the camera, insert it into a laptop or computer, open the file and immediately start editing or color correcting media in any location! Working directly from the SD card eliminates the time wasted copying files and dramatically speeds up post production workflows.

 

Full press release and download readme after the break

 


Blackmagic Design Releases RAW Recording for Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera!

InterBEE 2013, Chiba, Japan - November 12, 2013 - Blackmagic Design today released Blackmagic Camera 1.5 software which adds new 12-bit Log CinemaDNG RAW recording to the popular Pocket Cinema Camera. Blackmagic Camera 1.5 update is available now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera can be seen at the Blackmagic Design InterBEE 2013 booth, Hall 7-7105.

The new Blackmagic Camera 1.5 software update adds CinemaDNG RAW file recording so customers can now capture super wide dynamic range in a single file. Wide dynamic range RAW image recording allows users to capture the brightest highlights and the darkest shadows simultaneously, capturing more of the scene than is possible with a regular video camera. CinemaDNG RAW files give users incredible freedom to be able to adjust the exposure manually during color correction with Davinci Resolve allowing more flexibility for incredible feature film look color grading.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera uses the open standard lossless compressed version of CinemaDNG RAW. CinemaDNG RAW lossless compression works in a similar way as a ZIP file where the RAW files are compressed during recording without the loss of any part of the image, so all images retain the same quality when they are decompressed. That means customers get back the mathematically perfect high quality RAW file image that they recorded.

High quality lossless CinemaDNG files are fully compatible with DaVinci Resolve 10 for seamless color grading and editing workflows. Lossless CinemaDNG RAW files are an open standard however not all video applications can open them, although those that can are increasing all the time. Customers can download the free Davinci Resolve Lite and transcode to popular editing formats like ProRes andDNxHD for compatibility and round tripping with editing software like Final Cut Pro 7®, Final Cut Pro X,® Avid® Media Composer® and Adobe Premier Pro®.

With this new Blackmagic Camera 1.5 update, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera gives customers the choice of recording CinemaDNG RAW or high quality ProRes 422 (HQ) in video or film mode. Cinematographers can simply remove the SD card from the camera, insert it into a laptop or computer, open the file and immediately start editing or color correcting media in any location! Working directly from the SD card eliminates the time wasted copying files and dramatically speeds up post production workflows.

Featuring a high resolution 1080HD Super 16mm size sensor, wide 13 stops of dynamic range, MFT lens compatibility, LCD screen for camera menus, metadata entry and monitoring, standard connections and more in a compact size, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has everything users need to shoot high quality digital film images in even the most remote or difficult places.

"Adding CinemaDNG RAW recording to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is incredible," said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. "It's amazing that we are now able to record the highest quality RAW images on such small SD cards! We think customers are really going to enjoy the extended creative flexibility that color grading wide dynamic range RAW files will bring to their productions!"
About Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has been designed with a dramatically smaller size that is less than an inch thick and can be held easily hand held. This compact design allows the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera to be used in more situations where a larger camera would not be practical. It’s so small that it can be used in situations in the field where a larger camera could be dangerous. The camera’s film look even allows personal video to be shot with the style and creativity of a motion picture film!

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera features an industry standard Super 16 sensor size, so it’s perfect when using Super 16 cine lenses via MFT adapters, as the shooting experience is the same as using the same lens on a Super 16 film camera. The 13 stops of dynamic range look of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is almost identical to shooting on a professional Super 16 film camera. The Micro Four Thirds lenses offer a wide range of low cost lenses with amazing image quality, and they are compatible with mount adapters such as PL mounts for large lens and professional motion picture film rigs.

One of the most important features of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is its super wide dynamic range of 13 stops, allowing feature film quality images. A common mistake in the television industry is the assumption that more resolution means higher quality. Most cameras, even ones with higher than HD resolution, can produce "video" looking images that suffer from highlight and black clipping that limits details. Blackmagic Pocket 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, DaVinci Resolve Lite color correction software can be used to adjust images and take advantage of this extra range in the images.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has been designed as the perfect companion to editing software such as Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer. Unlike other cameras, which require the use of custom video file formats, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera includes absolutely no custom video file formats, and every file type included is open standard.

The built in large LCD display makes focus easy, and allows playback of captured files. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera includes a built in microphone, as well as external jack based mic/line level balanced audio connections. When reviewing recorded clips, audio can be played through the built in speaker and routed through the headphone port or micro HDMI output. The HDMI output includes all camera data such as timecode, transport control, shutter angle, color temperature setting and ASA information overlaid in attractive anti aliased fonts.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Key Features:

    High resolution 1080HD Super 16mm sized sensor with superior handling of image detail.
    Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
    Compatible with extremely high quality Micro Four Thirds lenses. Compatible with other mounts via common third party adapters such as PL mount and Super 16 cine lenses.
    Built in SD card allows long duration recording with easy to use media.
    Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as ProRes 422 (HQ) and lossless compressed CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW. No custom file formats.
    Standard connections including mini jack mic/line audio in, micro HDMI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay, headphone mini jack, LANC remote control and standard DC 12 power connection.
    Built in LCD for camera settings via easy to use menus.
    Supports 1080HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps.
    Compatible with DaVinci Resolve Lite color grading software.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is available now for US$995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Readme for the Download after the break


About Blackmagic Camera Utility

Welcome to the Blackmagic Camera Utility for Mac OS X!

This software package allows you to update your Blackmagic Camera to the latest software release for new features, bug fixes and other enhancements.

What’s new in Blackmagic Camera Utility 1.5

• Adds CinemaDNG RAW recording support for Pocket Cinema Camera

Minimum system requirements

• Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks or later
• Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or later
• A suitable USB 2.0 port
• Thunderbolt port for UltraScope and Media Express when using Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Installing Blackmagic Camera Utility

Before installing the software, we recommend that you run "Uninstall Camera Utility” first.

After loading the software on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF or MFT, you may notice a slight flickering on the built-in LCD screen. This is normal and expected behaviour. The flickering will go away after a few minutes of operation.

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera Installer package installs:

• Blackmagic Camera Utility
• Blackmagic Media Express
• Blackmagic UltraScope
• Blackmagic Disk Speed Test

Additional Information

Please check www.blackmagicdesign.com for additional information on third party software compatibility and minimum system requirements.

© 2013 Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd. All rights reserved. Blackmagic Design, Blackmagic, DeckLink, Multibridge, HDLink, Workgroup Videohub, Broadcast Videohub, FrameLink, and "Leading the creative video revolution" are trademarks of Blackmagic Design Pty. Ltd., registered in the U.S.A and other countries.

 

 

Tags: Production

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