Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera
What 1080P video camera features include Super 16 size sensor with 13 stops of dynamic range with both RAW and ProRes recording onboard? Meet the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera, announced today at NAB 2015, Las Vegas, USA. Blackmagic Design today announced the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera, a miniaturized Super 16mm professional digital film camera with a revolutionary new expansion port that lets customers use PWM and S.Bus model airplane remote controls to operate the camera wirelessly for capturing action anywhere.
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera will be available in July for $995 and is presently being demonstrated at the Blackmagic Design NAB 2015 booth #SL219 if you want to have an early look at this tiny but powerful “flying video fortress.”
The unique feature of this new camera is the built in expansion port that provides access to many of the camera’s unique functions via common remote control solutions such as radio model aircraft remote controls.
The expansion port features PWM and S.Bus connections that are used on model aircraft remote control gear for connecting to servos to control the aircraft. These radio control receivers are low cost because they are consumer hobby products and they feature multiple “channels” that can be connected direct to the camera itself. This means these channels can be mapped to any camera or lens setting in the camera and then remote controlled via the radio controller. Customers can then remote control features such as iris, focus, audio levels, and start and stop recording all remotely. Because a standard easy to solder DB-HD15 connector is used, even simple wire cables and switches can be created for controlling the cameras.
The expansion port also includes composite video out with overlays so the customer can use the same low cost video transmitters to get real time feedback from the camera for framing, confirming camera settings and to see the state of recording. Being able to start and stop recording and see confirmation of recording is vital in a camera that features a built in RAW recorder as then customers won’t fill the recording media with useless content and will only record the shots they need.
The expansion connector includes 4 PWM channels for using all brands of control gear, or custom wiring, as well as a single S.Bus connection which can accept up to 18 channels of control using the single cable. S.Bus is a more modern digital connection than PWM and allows more control channels. S.Bus is commonly found on Futaba and FrSky radio control equipment and S.Bus can also be used to design custom embedded controllers.
Unlike regular cameras designed for hand held shooting the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera can be mounted in cars on walls and then controlled directly from buttons positioned on the front of the camera itself. This means customers don’t need to reach around the back of the camera to start recording, and the front mounted tally LED allows easy confirmation that the camera has started recording.
The miniaturized design of the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera features a body that is not much larger than the Micro Four Thirds lens mount, making it as small as a camera with a professional lens can be. Its core is made out of a lightweight and strong magnesium alloy so it’s durable enough to use anywhere, from the ocean floor to the stratosphere or beyond, or so Blackmagic claims. We didn’t take it to any of these extremes to test it ourselves; not yet at least ;=)
The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera is perfect for use on quadcopters, as a crash cam, or even hidden on set for reality TV. It’s small enough to be used anywhere, like on a skate board for spectacular extreme sports shots, mounted to a drone for recording panoramic fly overs, or even strapped to a helmet for amazing point of view shots. The Blackmagic are positioning the Micro Cinema Camera as the high end digital film camera for action shots. It is certainly not your daddy’s GoPro.
The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera has been designed to overcome the limitations normally associated with producing extreme shots on DSLR and other small consumer action cameras. Unlike these consumer cameras, the Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera features a global shutter that exposes the entire image at the same time so customers get pristine, full 1080 HD images. Plus, the built in recorder saves lossless 12-bit log CinemaDNG RAW and broadcast quality Apple ProRes files, both of which can be easily edited and color corrected with the included DaVinci Resolve Lite for Mac and Windows. The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera delivers truly professional, crystal clear digital film images that are distortion and ripple free when the camera pans, moves or vibrates.
“The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera is the smallest and most expandable digital film camera in the world,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “For the first time, customers will be able to get incredible action and point of view shots that look better than anything they’ve ever seen before. The new expansion port allowing radio remote control is exciting because it opens up entirely new shooting possibilities that will let customers shoot things they’ve never been able to shoot before!”
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera Key Features
- High resolution 1080 HD, 13 stops of dynamic range.
- Switchable 60 fps rolling shutter or 30 fps global shutter.
- Features built in 12-bit RAW and ProRes recording and captures true digital film quality images.
- Features an active Micro Four Thirds lens mount. Easily adaptable to other lens mounts.
- Includes built in buttons along the front to quickly and easily change settings.
- Includes an expansion port with a DB-HD15 connector and breakout cable.
- Includes remote camera management, using the expansion port remotely start and stop recording, adjust focus, change the iris and also connect to video transmitters to monitor recording status, battery life and audio levels.
- Includes a HDMI connector for monitoring video output on any monitor or TV.
- Includes SD card slot for recording to high speed and low cost SD card media.
- Includes 3.5mm stereo input for connecting external microphones or to other line level devices.
Availability and Price
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera will be available in July for US$995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.
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