When watching films at the cinema , or in HD on your TV at home, there is a notable difference between the quality of the footage on the screen, and whatever you can capture yourself, using an everyday HD video camera. This is mainly due to the truth that professional filmmakers typically use cameras worth in excess of Â£100,000, and a complete host of additional professional kit, such as for example lighting rigs, lenses, filters etc.
Taking this under consideration, its highly unlikely that the average hobbyist, cash-strapped student or up-and-coming filmmaker would be able to afford this type of equipment. However, there is an alternative solution.
At just over Â£2000, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a fraction of the expense of most ‘cinema quality’ cameras, and is set to be always a real game changer when it comes to putting professional-standard video capture in the hands of the ‘domestic/pro-sumer’. The Blackmagic is capable of recording 2.5k Raw footage, that is more than enough for the average home user. At almost twice the size of HD, most people’s home computers will struggle to actually display video on that scale.
The Blackmagic helps considerably with post production workflow: The editing and colour grading process takes place after shooting, which gives a much wider range of colour to work with compared to the average camera. Depending what codec the video was recorded in, it might be digitized directly into editing software, such as Final Cut Pro without the need for transcoding.
Included with the camera is a new version of Davinci Resolve 9 Colour Correction software. Providing you have the hardware to handle the file sizes in the home, this software will allow you to colour grade your footage to achieve whatever look you want, i.e. you might like to create a cloudy day look sunny.
You can find 13 Stops of Dynamic range featured in this Camera, which put simply, means the picture is awesome. For all those in the know, the ability to harness light entering the lens of the camera in such a way allows them to achieve an extremely specific ‘look’ or ‘feel’.
To check the camera’s dynamic range, it has compatibility with EF (Electric-Focus) lens mounts – the typical lens found on Canon DSLR and SLR cameras, and ZE lens mount, that exist on all Carl Zeiss DSLR/SLR lenses.
For actually recording on the camera itself, it comes with a SSD (Solid State Drive) recorder, that is compatible with a bunch of card brands including OCZ Vertex 3, Crucial C300, Crucial M4, Kingston V100 (64GB, 120GB, 240GB), Kingston HyperX 240GB.
For easy navigation, the camera features a neat 5″ touchscreen, which allows you to label and mark your clips easily, while on the fly. The opportunity to edit direct from the on board HDD (hard disc drive) is incredibly ideal for those doing quick turn around edits.
In order to transfer data quickly, the Blackmagic includes a Thunderbolt port – an input on the camera allowing a super-fast link with a computer or input at the opposite end. Specifically, the Thunderbolt port transfers data at an astonishing 10Gb/sec, via two channels – that’s 20Gb/sec! To provide you with a comparison a typical 2.0 USB port will transfer data at 480Mb/sec.
Overall the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is really a complete game changer: it has the potential to completely revolutionise the way in which film and television is produced, and opens up the world of cinematic quality footage to small production outfits. The seamless workflow of the camera throughout all stages of the production process has the potential to reduce post-production turnaround, shooting schedules, and inevitably budgets.