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 anything you would be able to capture yourself, using an everyday HD video camera. That is mainly due to the fact that professional filmmakers typically use cameras worth more than Â£100,000, and a complete host of additional professional kit, such as lighting rigs, lenses, filters etc.
Taking this into consideration, its highly unlikely that the average hobbyist, cash-strapped student or up-and-coming filmmaker would be able to afford this sort of equipment. However, there is an alternative.
At only over Â£2000, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a fraction of the cost of most ‘cinema quality’ cameras, and is set to be always a real game changer with regards to putting professional-standard video capture in the hands of the ‘domestic/pro-sumer’. The Blackmagic is capable of recording 2.5k Raw footage, which is more than enough for the average home user. At almost twice how big is HD, most people’s home computers will battle 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 selection of colour to work with compared to the average camera. Depending what codec the video was recorded in, it really is digitized straight into editing software, such as for example Final Cut Pro without any need for transcoding.
Included with the camera is a new version of Davinci Resolve 9 Colour Correction software. Offering you have the hardware to handle the file sizes in the home, this software will allow you to colour grade your footage to accomplish whatever look you want, i.e. you might like to create a cloudy day look sunny.
There are 13 Stops of Dynamic range featured in this Camera, which put simply, means the picture is awesome. For those in the know, the ability to harness light entering the lens of the camera so allows them to achieve an extremely specific ‘look’ or ‘feel’.
To complement 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 includes a SSD (Solid State Drive) recorder, which is compatible with a host of card brands including OCZ Vertex 3, Crucial C300, Crucial M4, Kingston V100 (64GB, 120GB, 240GB), Kingston HyperX 240GB.
For easy navigation, the camera includes a neat 5″ touchscreen, that allows one to label and mark your clips easily, while on the fly. The opportunity to edit direct from the up to speed HDD (hard disc drive) is incredibly useful for those doing quick change edits.
So that you can transfer data quickly, the Blackmagic includes a Thunderbolt port – an input on the camera allowing a super-fast connection to 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.
In general the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is really a complete game changer: it gets the potential to completely revolutionise the way in which film and television is produced, and opens up the planet of cinema tic quality footage to small production outfits. The seamless workflow of this camera throughout all stages of the production process gets the potential to reduce post-production turnaround, shooting schedules, and inevitably budgets.