Cinematographer John Brawley Picks Blackmagic Camera for TV Dramas

Blackmagic Cinema Camera - H 2012

Blackmagic Cinema Camera - H 2012

He is among the earliest users of the new technology.

Cinematographer John Brawley (The Perfect Host), who is among the earliest users of the new Blackmagic Cinema Camera, says TV drama is a great application for the new technology.

Post-production equipment manufacturer Blackmagic Design stunned many in the production community when earlier this year it announced that it was developing a cinema camera with a price tag of just $3,000. The first model, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF, is now available, and a second model, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT, will be available December.

Brawley has already used the EF model as a secondary camera on Australian TV miniseries Puberty Blues. The main camera on the series is ARRI’s Alexa.

Of the new Blackmagic camera, he said the “amazing“ technology offers “huge dynamic range, small form factor, low cost … and latitude and flexibility in post production.”

The upcoming MFT model features a passive Micro Four Thirds lens (MFT) mount, supporting any Micro Four Thirds with manual iris and focus. This means that it can be adapted to accept a wider range of lens mounts such as widely-used PL via third party adapters.

In a recent conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Brawley said he views this MFT option as a particularly good choice for TV dramas, where it is not uncommon for a cinematographer to use more than one type of camera. “This means on set I can use one common set of lenses if I’m using more than one camera,” he said.

Both Blackmagic camera models include 13 stops of dynamic range, a 2.5K sensor, and a built-in SSD recorder. They also include Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve software for color correction and UltraScope software for waveform monitoring.

Resolve is widely used by colorists in post production. Brawley commented that since he has started to learn Resolve, he now has a “new language” when he collaborates with colorists.