This is the news that a lot of Blackmagic Camera users have been waiting for. It's what amounts to a complete rewrite of the code base for the Blackmagic cameras
The need to do this has held up several new and improved features. Not all the cameras were running the same base software and now it seems that it has all been brought to the same point, which means that new features - where appropriate, given the physical capabilities of the cameras - can be rolled out across all of them.
Nevertheless, there have been some very specific fixes and improvements in this version 1.8, as it is being called.
There's a long and detailed press release from Blackmagic that explains all of this, and we've reproduced it on the next page, but here's a summary:
The update, known as Blackmagic Camera Update 1.8, is available now for download free of charge, from the Support page on the Blackmagic website.
It's a completely new code base and runs across all the cameras, including the very earliest ones.
It improves performance across the board and brings a new, more modern-looking interface.
The look of the new interface is similar to the new URSA 4K camera, which is not yet available.
The new software supports enchanced lens control for EF Lenses, on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and the Blackmagic Production Camera. What this means is that customers can now autofocus by pressing the focus button on Active EF lenses. As Blackmagic says, this is essential when working in in 4K. With this change, focus peaking is enabled by double pressing the focus button.
Focus peaking itself is improved and is now an easier to see green colour.
For the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera, there are major improvements including better audio and a rewritten de-bayer processor, which, Blackmagic claims, will give ProRes and DnxHD recordings sharper and cleaner results. Some of this has been possible by borrowing DaVinci Resolve's technology.
The new software has even extended the dynamic range of the original Cinema Camera.
The improvements extend to the Pocket Cinema Camera. You'll see changes in de-bayer quality, focus peaking and active MFT lens support, including those by Sigma and Lumix.
There's a lot to take in here so we've reproduced the entire Blackmagic Press Release below, followed by a video with Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO, talking about the new software update.