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

What is Blackmagic Doing?

I received an email from Blackmagic Design early this morning (as did anybody subscribed to their email list) that I thought was worth commenting on. With all the talk over how BMD can't hit shipping targets and how their reputation is taking a beating and on and on and on...well just take a look:

Camera Update
The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is now shipping and there is a software update for it posted on our web site.
There will be an update for the 2.5K Blackmagic Cinema Camera soon that will also add these features, plus new de-bayer processing that will improve the cameras sharpness when shooting non RAW files.
The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K is not yet shipping as we need some more time. Our first batch of sensors was delivered only this week, so we have not been able to complete the software for the camera. We expect to start shipping in about 3 to 4 weeks once the final software work and testing is completed.

Great! A free firmware update for the just shipped Pocket Camera and one for the 2.5K BMCC camera making them both better, and an update on the 4K camera status. Provided the 4K camera starts shipping around early September, then who cares that it came a mere 5 weeks later than they said at NAB? Not me.

HyperDeck Software 3.8
We have an exciting new version of software for the HyperDeck SSD recorders and this new update adds 6G-SDI support on the output for HyperDeck Studio Pro and adds on screen menus to both HyperDeck Studio models where you can set formats and other features. We have also added a new ethernet remote control support.

Helpful little free update for big and small facilities alike. Remote access to these recorders is a welcomed addition.

ATEM Switcher Software 4.1.1
We have a new software update for the ATEM switchers and it's a big update with lots of new features. It includes a new save and restore that allows you to save the state of the switcher into an XML file, including all your media pool, into a folder of images. You can load that XML file back into the switcher to fully restore it with all settings and media back online.
We have also been opening up some of the power of the new ATEM Production Studio 4K model that includes HDMI and 6G-SDI that operates in SD, HD and Ultra HD resolutions. This update now adds new 1080p progressive video formats including 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 50 and 59.94fps. This really opens up the number of devices you can plug in.

Another free update for their hardware. With the addition of those frame rates it makes the ATEM 4K switcher really difficult to beat at its price point (currently less than $2K).

DaVinci Resolve 9.1.5
We have a small software update for DaVinci Resolve 9 that adds improved compatibility with Avid Media Composer 7.0 round trip, supports reel names in Final Cut Pro X XML, adds support for Avid EuControl Software Package Version 3.0, improves handling of multi track Quicktime audio files and adds improved Cinema DNG file format support.
This update is available for download from our web site.

Again, this update adds several useful features for those artists on current gen software like MC7 or FCP X or the artist who use the Avid Artist Color Panel to interact with Resolve. It's noteworthy that Avid just released EuControl in June breaking the communication link between the panel and Resolve for most users. BMD patched their software in less than 3 weeks to accommodate the change in code (Resolve 9.1.5 was released in mid-July). And by the way, that's a free download as well.

And oh yeah....then there's this: 

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Price Reduction
We have worked very hard over the last year to be able to build the Blackmagic Cinema Camera at a lower cost so we can reduce the price and allow access to digital filming to a wide range of cinematographers and photographers.
We have done it and from today the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and MFT models will be reduced in price to US$1,995. This is very exciting and is one of the proudest moments of my life to be able to do this!
All orders placed that have not yet been filled, can be reduced to the new lower price.

What?!! That's a ridiculous price for a great camera! BMD is aggressively pursuing the camera production market. They now have $1K, $2K, and $4K price points for cameras that shoot RAW video (or will as all the firmware rolls out). You should stop and think about that for a second! Remember too that the BMCC also includes a full version (not Lite) of Resolve.

So cut BMD a little slack if they ship the Pocket Camera 3 days late or they miss their 4K ship date by a month. It's not like they're watching paint dry....