Fremont, CA—Blackmagic Design introduced a new family of Blackmagic Studio Cameras for live production. Their compact. all-in-one design will help a wider range of live production customers who need cameras with professional features that are also fast to set up.
The new cameras have carbon fiber reinforced polycarbonate builds as well as large, integrated 7-inch viewfinders. They have the same features as large studio cameras but miniaturized into a portable design. What’s more, they are very light weight, making them much easier to transport than larger traditional studio cameras.
“These new studio cameras are built on all the knowledge and customer feedback from the original Blackmagic Studio Cameras,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “These new models are a big step forward; they were designed to be high-end cameras, not entry-level cameras. They might be small and self-contained, but the features such as the built in 10G Ethernet, low-light capability and professional viewfinder make them very high-end cameras for high-end work!”
Key Features of Blackmagic Studio Cameras
The cameras employ a digital film camera dynamic range as well as color science; they also handle extremely difficult lighting conditions while producing cinematic-looking images. Furthermore, the new line’s 4K sensor has an ISO of 25,600; this allows cinematographers to create images even in dimly lit venues. Other advanced features include talkback, tally, camera control, built in color corrector, as well as Blackmagic RAW recording to USB disks.
While Blackmagic Studio Cameras are for live production, they are not limited to use with a live switcher. That’s because the cameras record Blackmagic RAW to USB disks and can be employed in any situation where customers use a tripod. In fact, Blackmagic includes a tripod mount with a mounting plate for fast setup.
Moreover, the large 7-inch viewfinder is suitable for work on chat shows, television production, broadcast news, sports, education, conference presentations and weddings. Furthermore, the large bright display with side handles, touch screen and physical controls makes it easy to track shots and operate for extended periods. Plus, on-screen overlays show status and record parameters; histogram; focus-peaking indicators; levels; and frame guides. Customers can also apply 3D LUTs for monitoring shots with the desired color and look.
The studio cameras also feature gain from -12dB (100 ISO) up to +36dB (25,600 ISO). Consequently, they’re optimized to reduce grain and noise in images, while maintaining the sensor’s full dynamic range. In addition, operators can set the gain from the camera or remotely from a switcher using the SDI or Ethernet remote camera control.
Notably, the 4K sensor (4,096×2,160) combines with Blackmagic generation 5 color science; this gives videographers the same imaging technology used in digital film cameras. Users can also control the color corrector from the switcher. What’s more, with 13 stops of dynamic range, the cameras have darker blacks and brighter whites. Plus, all models support from 23.98-frames-per-sec to 60-fps recording.
Furthermore, the line uses the Micro Four Thirds lens mount; this makes it compatible with a wide range of affordable photographic lenses for high-resolution photography. Moreover, to eliminate the need to reach around to adjust the lens zoom and focus, the optional focus and zoom demands let customers adjust the lens from the tripod handles. Subsequently, customers get the same feel as an expensive B4 broadcast lens.
Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro
Unlike consumer cameras, the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro model has SDI connections; they include talkback so the switcher operator can communicate with cameras during live events. That means the director can talk to the camera operators to guide shot selection. Also, the talkback connector is built into the side of the camera and supports standard 5-pin XLR broadcast headsets.
The cameras also have connections for both consumer and broadcast equipment. All models feature HDMI with tally, camera control and record trigger, making them compatible with ATEM Mini switchers. In addition, there are headphone and mic connections and two USB-C expansion ports.
For broadcast workflows, the advanced 4K Pro model also has 12G-SDI, 10GBASE-T Ethernet, talkback and balanced XLR audio inputs. The 10G Ethernet allows all video, tally, talkback and camera power via a single connection. It’s like a SMPTE fiber workflow; however, it uses standard Category 6A copper Ethernet cable for a lower cost.
The 4K Pro model also supports connecting cameras via a single Ethernet cable. It has a more economical 10G Ethernet as an alternative to SMPTE fiber. The Ethernet includes all camera video, program return feeds, tally, talkback, camera control and also power. Moreover, the Blackmagic Studio converter handles all video conversions at the switcher end plus adds power to the Ethernet cable.
Blackmagic Studio Cameras also employ a high-speed USB-C expansion port that enables customers to record to external disks or connect to a range of accessories. When users plug in an external USB flash disk, the camera records 12-bit Blackmagic RAW files for later editing and color correction. In addition, the USB port will power any phone or disk.
Some file formats such as H.264 are highly compressed and may add noise and artifacts; this can cause a loss in sensor detail. Blackmagic RAW eliminates this to create images with details and rich color throughout the postproduction pipeline. Blackmagic RAW also saves camera settings as metadata; as a result, users can change ISO, white balance and exposure later in DaVinci Resolve.
Audio Benefits & Power Options
Blackmagic Studio Cameras include built-in microphones that are shock and wind resistant. There’s a 3.5mm audio input for connecting video camera microphones as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Furthermore, because the most common location to place microphones is near to cameras, the 4K Pro camera boasts an enhanced audio system. The professional two-channel balanced XLR inputs support +24 dBu line level; they also have an ultralow noise microphone preamplifier with P48 phantom power alongside an equivalent input noise (E.I.N.) of -131 dBV(A). Add to that two 117 dB high dynamic range analog to digital converters. This means any microphone plugged into the XLR inputs will have a higher level of noise than the camera’s audio.
The cameras also offer different power options. All models have a common 12V DC locking power connector, so the cable won’t accidentally pull out. However, when using a single Ethernet cable to connect to the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro, the Ethernet connection powers the camera and its accessories.
In addition, the Blackmagic Studio converter has a large power supply that adds PoE power to the Ethernet cable. This means users don’t need any power connection to the camera.
What’s more, cinematographers can add the optional zoom and focus demands to turn affordable photography lenses into broadcast lenses. The focus and zoom demands have USB-C connections so they work with all Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K models. Each zoom and focus demand has two USB-C ports for daisy-chaining them and connecting to the camera with a single USB connection.
Blackmagic Studio Cameras are available starting from $1,295.