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NAB: Blackmagic Launches $4000 4K Camera

UPDATED: The company additionally introduced a pocket-sized cinema camera and a new version of Da Vinci Resolve color grading software.

Blackmagic Production Camera - H 2013
Courtesy of Blackmagic

LAS VEGAS--Technology developer Blackmagic Design launched a 4K camera for just $4000, generating plenty of attention as the NAB Show opened on Monday.

The 'Blackmagic Production Camera 4K' is built on the same body as the company's 2.5K cinema camera (which was unveiled at NAB 2012) but features a Super 35 size sensor and 12 stops of dynamic range.

Priced at $3,995 - 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.

Its designed to output a 4K feed over a single cable using 6G-SDI, an industry standard interface which is four times faster than HD-SDI.

Blackmagic also unveiled a $995 'Pocket Cinema Camera' that contains a Super 16mm sized HD chip and offers 13 stops of dynamic range. Available in July, it records to SD cards and can be fitted with Micro Four Thirds lenses and via an adaptor, any PL mount lens.

“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,” asserted Stuart Ashton, the company's EMEA director.

The 4K camera is one of a number of products that Blackmagic is showing to support Ultra HD, including an ATEM Production Studio 4K live production switcher and new ATEM studio format converter. “We now have a whole production workflow from capture to post for filmmakers and broadcasters to quickly generate Ultra-HD content,” said Grant Petty, chief executive.

The company also reported that it has sold "thousands" of the 2.5K sensor Blackmagic Cinema Cameras, despite a four month halt in manufacturing while issues with its sensor were solved. “We won't have the same problem with the new cameras,” Petty 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.”

Most projects using the Blackmagic Cinema Camera to date have been short films, corporate and commercials. It was also used for Hero Punk, a feature length scifi film directed by Kanen Flowers for Scruffy.TV, which was largely shot against green screen.

Also at NAB, Blackmagic reported that it has upgraded color grading software DaVinci Resolve, which is widely used in Hollywood postproduction facilities for feature and TV work. Version 10, in beta testing at several L.A. facilities, includes the capability to plug the software into a camera live on set and perform realtime color correction.

“Resolve Live is a massive deal for Hollywood,” asserted Ashton. “It means a colorist can interact with the cinematographer on set and then take that information into final editorial with 70 percent of the work already done.”

A new editing tool within the software allows for the online finishing of edits begun in editing tools like Media Composer, Premiere Pro and Final Cut and then for the generation of a Digital Cinema Packages directly from the camera RAW files.