Friday, August 2, 2013

Blackmagic CEO: BMCC Price Drop to $1995, Pocket Camera Now Shipping!

Okay - just one more Blackmagic post.  Grant Petty, CEO at Blackmagic Design, continues to shake up the camera industry.  Here is an excerpt from an email he sent out overnight:

"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 are some new features in the software for the Pocket Cinema Camera. You can now focus by pushing the focus button when using an active MFT lens. This makes it very easy to accurately focus. The focus peaking feature is still there and you enable it by double pressing the focus button. The focus zoom feature is enabled by double pressing the OK button. 
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.

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! 
I think people will be able to use the savings to invest in some exciting lenses and rigs to really boost the creative possibilities. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a fantastic design that's now well proven. The advantage of the 2.5K sensor is it has enough resolution to eliminate the bayer resolution loss of a HD sensor, but when shooting RAW it produces files that are too not to big to store and work with easily. It's a fantastic solution. 
All orders placed that have not yet been filled, can be reduced to the new lower price."
There is lots to digest here, but at least two groups of people should take immediate action - if you are still within the return period for your new BMCC EF or MFT - you should probably send it back.

And, if you have an order in for the BMCC at $2995, you should cancel it and re-order at the new price to make sure your card isn't charged the full $2995.

Although there has been a lot of (understandable) gnashing of teeth and rending of clothing from people who have had their Cinema Cameras for long enough to be outside of the return window - overall, this is great news for the community.

This puts a 2.5K projection quality image in the hands of film schools, high schools and consumers who would otherwise never have had access to a cinema camera.  It will also force the hands of the big manufacturers, who will, I predict, have to include RAW and native ProRes in their next generation of cameras below $5000.

And, lost in the buzz over the price drop, is the great news on the Pocket Cinema Camera firmware upgrade. Now, push-to-autofocus, in addition to auto-aperture, is enabled with system MFT lenses.  This is a critical addition to the camera's feature-set, and will make it much more usable out of the box.

Here are the links to the latest firmware upgrades for Windows and Mac (sorry Linux users, you're out of luck).

Now, back to waiting by the mailbox for my Pocket Camera.  If you haven't ordered yours yet, please use this link.  If you can't wait, and you need a BMCC at the new $1995 price right now, please order the EF from Adorama here (with a free set of handles) or the MFT from Amazon here - or click on one of the display ads below.  Thanks for your support.

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