NAB 2012: Blackmagic Unveils Surprise 2.5K Cinema Camera for Unprecedented $3,000

Blackmagic Cinema Camera - H 2012

Blackmagic Cinema Camera - H 2012

The postproduction technology developer draws crowds as it enters the camera business.

LAS VEGAS--Attendees expected announcements from camera makers such as ARRI, Canon, Red and Sony this week at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show -- but fewer expected postproduction equipment maker Blackmagic Design to unveil its first camera, a 2.5K camera for just $3,000.

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is targeted at uses including feature and TV series production.

The manufacturer's exhibition stand was crowded with those wanting to get a look at the new camera, which Blackmagic reported would offer 13 stops of dynamic range; a 2.5K sensor; a built in SSD recorder; support for open file formats including CinemaDNG RAW, ProRes and DNxHD; a built-in Thunderbolt connection; and a built-in touch screen LCD with metadata entry.

The camera -- scheduled for availability in July -- is being developed to support 2.5K and 1080 high definition resolution at frame rates of 24, 25, 29.97 and 30.

Blackmagic -- best known in Hollywood as the company behind the DaVinci Resolve digital color grading software -- has also included a copy of its DaVinci Resolve version 9.0 (which was also introduced Monday at NAB) for color grading and Blackmagic UltraScope software for waveform monitoring.

Canon EF and Zeiss ZF mount lenses can be used with the Blackmagic camera.

"Ever since I was a telecine engineer back in the 1990s I have wished that video cameras would include features that allowed them to perform creatively similar to film," said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic, in a statement. "However current digital cameras are too heavy, way too expensive and need costly accessories to work. We felt there was a need for a camera that delivered these features in a design that's optimized for professional video shoots, as well as being a compact, elegant design that's easily affordable."

Blackmagic’s product lines include video converters, routers, live production switchers, and disk recorders, for production, postproduction and television broadcast industries. The company has offices in the US, UK, Japan, Singapore, and Australia.