NAB 2018: Blackmagic Goes Big with 4K Pocket Camera and Resolve 15
Blackmagic always has a good time at NAB, which is no surprise considering every year the company seems to come with more and more stuff. Of course, there are the staple updates to software and consoles, but there is usually one big announcement in the camera world, and this year it’s the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Also, Blackmagic is launching DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio with built-in Fusion effects, as well as a few Mini and Micro Converters, a new ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K switcher, and so much more.
In terms of surprises, the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is both expected and loaded with hard-to-guess features. Primarily, the addition of 4K recording is almost mandatory these days, though the use of a Four Thirds format HDR sensor with dual native ISO is a significant improvement. This does mean that the camera is not quite as pocketable as before, though I don’t think anyone will complain about the new form factor once they consider the potential quality. The highlight is going to be 4K at up to 60p—quite impressive specs for this type of camera. Also, it has a Micro Four Thirds lens mount, sensitivity range of up to ISO 25,600, 13 stops of dynamic range, and version 4.0 color science.
With the body redesign, we have some new functions and operation tweaks, with the biggest change being a large 5″ touchscreen for operation, as well as internal UHS-II SD and CFast 2.0 card slots. You even get the ability to record directly to an external USB Type-C hard drive. It has a bigger grip and a carbon fiber polycarbonate build, making it strong and lightweight. It takes a standard Canon LP-E6-type battery pack and has all the buttons you need for improved shooting performance. It runs the Blackmagic Camera OS with built-in LUT support and has Bluetooth connectivity for wireless control. For audio, there is a four-mic array for built-in audio and a mini-XLR with phantom power for external mics. There is also full-size HDMI and USB Type-C ports, a two-pin power input, and your standard 3.5mm audio input and output. Blackmagic says it is planning to officially release in September 2018 and it will come with a DaVinci Resolve Studio license.
While not super new, the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Camera is still a star of this show, with its 4K sensor, various recording modes, B4 lens support, and other broadcast-centric enhancements. The company is also announcing a Camera Fiber Converter and Studio Fiber Converter for enhanced control ranges when used on location or in the studio.
Getting to the essential updates, Blackmagic has revealed the Mini Converter UpDownCross HD with SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs, as well as a re-sync function. Also, there is the Mini Converter Optical Fiber 12G to extend distances by using optical fiber to SDI and supports up to 12G-SDI and 2160p60. The Micro Converter BiDirectional SDI/HDMI can perform various conversions at up to 1080p60. Another update is the MultiView 4 HD to simultaneously monitor four SDI sources on a single display.
In terms of panels, the newest releases are the ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel for using with ATEM switches, which offers button tables with dynamic screens for customization, and the ATEM Camera Control Panel, which can be used to operate up to four URSA or Studio Cameras at the same time. The most advanced option is the ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K, with eight 12G-SDI inputs, a Fairlight audio mixer, ATEM Advanced Chroma Keyer, and support for Ultra HD live production.
Blackmagic has yet another impressive showing at NAB; what was your favorite announcement? Let us know in the Comments section, below!