Cut|Color|Post

excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry, and other stuff of interest

BlackMagic Shipping Rumors

I've covered numerous times about Blackmagic's shipping challenge with this latest round of product releases, specifically the camera division (see here or here). It appears the Internet is not yet satisfied dragging Blackmagic around with its constant demands for exact shipping dates. Blackmagic did a little PR yesterday in hopes of calming down the outcry around the Pocket Camera and 4K Production Camera.

Andrew Reid from eoshd.com quoting Simon Westland of Blackmagic Design EMEA:

“Blackmagic Design is making significant progress in production of the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K. Full production manufacturing is underway on the Pocket Cinema Camera with first production units in final testing. This is inline with our initial expectations of the end of July and means the camera will start to ship in quantity during August. There are several weeks of work to do on Production Camera 4K before this will enter full production manufacturing, however we expect to ship the first quantities of this model before the end of August.”
“We do our best to show off new products at shows like NAB and provide realistic dates these products will come to market. But a lot goes into getting products such as the new cameras to the stage where we’re completely happy with them and can put them into full production. The good news is that we’re pretty much on the schedule we said we’d be on. We said July for both cameras and we’re really not far behind that.”
“The Pocket Cinema Camera is now in full production. We have the final units in test now and expect it to be a matter of days or, at worst, a week or two before we’re ready to shift the camera out to customers. We’re in full product manufacture with the camera and there are no issues with it whatsoever. We have a considerable number of orders for the camera so it will take a period of time to fulfill all these orders.

Andrew Reid goes further in his next post:

That is a little concerning. Production is ramping up OK but not to the quantities required to match the number ordered by customers. If you’re in the first 1-20 units on a large dealer pre-order list or 1-5 at a smaller one, you should expect the camera by the end of August. (Note: that is my best guess / opinion).

I don't believe BM has to fulfill all (or even nearly all) pre-orders on day 1 shipment. Save for Apple and a couple of others, every company I deal with that has a new product has to ramp up production. Very few companies have the manufacturing pipeline (let alone capabilities) to deliver in mass on day 1. Microsoft, IBM, and Apple come to mind. So I've softened on my previous position. I'm happy to cut BM a little slack here and say, "Get the 4k Production camera rolling by September and hopefully within 3-4 months you'll have filled all pre-orders and be moving into surplus stock for manufactures to sell."

If they ship the 4K camera in  September, and if within 3 months of BM shipping the camera they've fulfilled all pre-orders then I think that's a strong success for BM, especially compared with the original BMCC rollout. And I'm only focusing on the 4K camera here. The Pocket Camera is pretty much on track according to the rep. I don't think I need to remind anyone reading this blog about a small camera startup that still has trouble hitting shipping targets 8 years and several camera bodies after its inception.