BlackMagic Cinema Camera: Whopping 2.5K Resolution for Under $3000

Image for article titled BlackMagic Cinema Camera: Whopping 2.5K Resolution for Under $3000

Post-production hardware and software company Black Magic Design has just announced their entry in the camera-making business with their Cinema Camera. The cam rocks 2.5K recording in RAW formats, meaning the image won't suffer due to in-camera compression and will presumably preserve extremely broad dynamic range. More impressive, though, is the price tag.


The Cinema Camera's $3000 asking price is insanely cheap, given that it packs features that the most high-end video capable DSLRs have thus far lacked. One of the biggest complaints against cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II and Mark III is that the h.264 compression really muddies up the image. The BlackMagic Cinema Camera's RAW workflow looks to eliminate that.

Image for article titled BlackMagic Cinema Camera: Whopping 2.5K Resolution for Under $3000

Notable specs include:

  • Shooting resolution: RAW at 2.5k (2432 x 1366)
  • Frame rates: 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p
  • Sensor size: 16.64 mm x 14.04 mm (significantly smaller than DLSR sensors)
  • Lens mount: EF and ZF mount compatible with electronic iris control
  • Battery: Integrated Li-Ion with 90 minute life
  • Recording Formats: RAW 2.5K CinemaDNG, Apple ProRes (compressed), Avid DNxHD (compressed). All compressed recording in 1920x1080 10-bit YUV with choice of Film or Video Dynamic Range.
  • Storage: Removable 2.5" SSD

The guy with the inside scoop on Black Magic's new device is Director of Photography John Brawley. He's been toying around with the camera and has reported copious notes on his blog. He also has a bunch of footage that he shot, all of which looks extremely promising. We can't wait to check it out for ourselves when it ships this July. [Black Magic Design]

Images via John Brawley, Black Magic Design


C. Ryan Stemple

Am I really the only one here that's so incredibly excited about this camera that I'm picking up pieces of my blown off face from the ground?

You simply can't fairly compare this to the Red One, Scarlet, Alexa or practically any other digital cinema camera outside of the 1D C or C300/500. Matching up $30-100,000 4K systems against a $3,000 2.5K camera is like bemoaning a Prius for not being an Aston Martin.

This camera is in direct competition with Canon and (with the D800) Nikon for the hearts of low-budget productions, commercials and HD TV. The fact that this shoots in a RAW, incredibly color-flat format at the same price-tag as the current go-to, compressed formats should be enough for this to potentially become the new standard for those industries. And that's without mentioning it having functionality with the lenses that filmmakers already own.

For the independent film-making crowd, this may very well be - and forgive the predictable, NAB-time cliche - a serious game changer, that if nothing else, will light a fire under the industries collective asses.