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Blackmagic builds Ultra-HD production platform

Blackmagic Design wowed NAB 12 months ago with the launch of a 2.5K $2,000 Cinema Camera, but it has pulled several rabbits out of the hat at this NAB, including a low-cost 4K camera and Ultra-HD support in many products.

Blackmagic Design wowed NAB 12 months ago with the launch of a 2.5K $2,000 Cinema Camera, but it has pulled several rabbits out of the hat at this NAB which has got the show floor buzzing.

“We have been working on Ultra-HD for two years and we now have a whole production workflow from capture to post for filmmakers and broadcasters to quickly generate Ultra-HD content,” said CEO Grant Petty, CEO.

In truth though, the Australian firm’s main and initial market for Blackmagic Design’s Ultra-HD product line is in the AV market where live 4K production and display is taking off.

“The broadcast market for 4K has still got to find its feet and work out what the workflows are going to look like, so it could still take two to three years before 4K takes off,” said senior communications manager Patrick Hussey. “There is big and immediate demand for Ultra-HD in a live environment for live events, houses of worship and digital signage.”

The new Blackmagic Production Camera 4K (pictured above) is built on the same body as the existing 2.5K Cinema Camera but features a Super 35 size sensor with global shutter offering 12 stops of dynamic range.

Priced $4000 – body only – it will operate with EF mount lenses from Zeiss and other glass manufacturers and records either Apple ProRes 422 or lossless CinemaDNG RAW files.

For live 4K video production it is able to output the 4K feed over a single cable using 6G-SDI, an industry standard interface that has four times the bandwidth of HD-SDI.

Also available in July will be the $995 Pocket Cinema Camera, which contains a Super 16mm-sized HD chip and offers 13 stops of dynamic range. It records to SD cards and can be fitted with the full range of Micro Four Thirds lenses and via an adaptor, many other lenses, including PL-mounted units.

“This is a true cinema camera with a dynamic range that looks like film and in a form in which you can be inconspicuous filming in environments like crowds, warzones or airplanes,” said Stuart Ashton, the company’s EMEA Director.

The company said that it has sold thousands of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, despite a four month halt in manufacture while issues with its sensor were solved.

“We won’t have the same problem with the new cameras,” he said. “We have a good idea of potential orders and we’ve done significant evaluation on the sensor so we are a lot more confident it will ship when say it will ship.”

Aside from the camera, Blackmagic is introducing multiple new products that support 6G-SDI connections, including the ATEM Production Studio 4K switcher, an audio monitoring device and the ATEM Studio Converter 2.

“All of these products will support Ultra-HD video resolutions, meaning that Blackmagic Design has a complete workflow for both live production and post production that supports Ultra HD today,” claimed Petty.

Adrian Pennington