Blackmagic Cinema Camera – Setup & Overview –

Hello, I’m Jonah with Magnanimous Media and this is the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The Cinema Camera delivers high-end recording and dynamic range in an inexpensive package. Its 4/3rds-inch chip delivers 13 stops of dynamic range nd 2.5K 12-bit uncompressed RAW or edit-ready Apple ProRes and DNxHD in 1920×1080. Available in EF and micro 4/3rds mount, it is ready for the inexpensive glass that many indie filmmakers and videographers are already using on their DSLRs. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is an excellent indie or shoestring-budget cinema camera. The image quality and cost savings that it delivers certainly rival DSLRs, which became opular for the same purpose. The 2.5K 12-bit uncompressed RAW is something that cameras at twice or three times the price don’t deliver. The Cinema Camera’s normal lens is 18mm, and that’s going to give you a field of view comparable to a 50mm with a full frame, or a 28 mm with a Super 35. Now, that sensor size may cause some to pause concerning depth of field, but you can always pair the Cinema Camera with high-speed lenses—and you’re probably not even going to notice the difference. Now, that depth can actually be a benefit in some cases when you need to shoot wide-open, when you have very little light, the depth will actually give you something acceptable for depth of field, so you won’t run into a situation where you have somebody’s nose in focus but not the rest of their face. The Cinema Camera has available 200, 400, 800, and 1600 ISO, so you can increase your exposure by 3 stops in 1-stop intervals. Now, 1600 ISO generates a pretty noticeable noise pattern, so I would say that 800 is probably your highest acceptable ISO. At 800 ISO, you may start to notice that noise pattern in your shadows, so keep in mind that you won’t be able to pull back detail in the shadows at 800 ISO. So, plan your exposure appropriately. DaVinci Resolve and a key dongle is included with the cinema camera, so you will have that option for ingesting footage shot in 2.5K RAW. But, be aware that this must be returned with the rental, so you want to plan to ngest the footage accordingly, or download DaVinci Resolve Lite for working with the DNG files and finishing in 2K. UltraScope software is also included, which is utilized with the Thunderbolt outlet on the camera to give you a preview monitor, histogram, vector scope, and waveform monitor on a compatible laptop or desktop. he Blackmagic Cinema Camera does have an internal mic. However, his mic doesn’t give you much in the way of quality; it’s really going to be better for a reference for slating. So you should plan on having an alternate means of recording audio. If you rent a mic from us, you will receive a 1/4 inch 2XLR adapter. We include the Blackmagic Hand Bracket, which makes the camera more manageable for handheld use. If you require more substantial support, we suggest the Redrock Cinema Camera Cage, which gives you 15x60mm rod support, as well as 1/4-20 mounting points throughout the cage. This is the suggested method of mounting a matte box, which you may require, as there is no built-in ND. The Cinema Camera has an internal battery, which provides about an hour and a half of run time. As the battery is internal, it cannot be swapped, so plan on charging during production or downtime. But you can also utilize an alternative power supply. We can supply Anton Bauer batteries and DTAP adapter, which provide over 4 hours of run time when starting with a fully-charged battery. The Cinema Camera records to 2.5-inch solid state drives, the same used in laptops. We provide two 256 GB solid state drives, which provide over 30 minutes of 24p 2.5K RAW recording per card. When recording to ProRes or DNxHD, each 256 GB card will hold a little over an hour of footage. We provide a disc reader that has FireWire 800, USB 3.0, and eSATA interfaces. These drives cannot be formatted in-camera, so you’ll need to use a computer. Format to Mac Extended (Journaled) on a Mac or exFAT on a PC. On the left side of the camera body is a Thunderbolt output for UltraScopes, USB 2.0 for software updates, 10-bit 422 SDI output, 3.5mm headphone output, and two 1/4-inch balanced audio inputs. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera is available in EF or micro 4/3rds mount. Remember that an 18mm lens delivers normal field of view, so plan your lens package accordingly. Simply press the power button to power up the camera. Power-up will deliver you to the main screen. If you tap the screen, you’ll have access to the metadata screen. This is a very useful function for maintaining shot notes for logging clips, editing, or color. The Cinema Camera has peaking focus assist and zebras. Peaking is activated via the focus button on the outside of the camera body, and zebras are set in the main menu
under display settings. Adjust the aperture by making use of the skip forward and backward button. There is a start/stop button on both the front and the back of the camera body. In the camera settings menu, you can set camera ID, date, time, ISO, white balance, and shutter angle. The Cinema Camera can be set to 200, 400, 800, and 1600 ISO, though it is suggested that you do not exceed 800 ISO, as a noticeable noise pattern is evident at 1600 ISO. White balance can be set to a number of typical temperatures. The color balance is not baked into RAW, but will be baked into ProRes or DNxHD. Levels for the mic inputs, internal mic, and speaker for playback can be set in the audio settings menu. Recorder settings is where you’ll set your record format, dynamic range, or gamma, frame rate, and time lapse interval. Dynamic range refers to the color profile, or gamma, applied, and you can choose between video and film. Video will give you Rec709, which is typical contrast and saturation for a TV monitor. Film gives you a log image that gives you maximum dynamic range. The display settings allows you to change the loop for display as well as LCD brightness, zebra exposure assist, and SDI overlay for SDI output. Be aware that shooting RAW will not marry your footage to any given profile. But you may make exposure decisions based on these profiles. Video, or Rec709, will appear to clip the highlights faster, when the eality is that you still retain detail in RAW. Resolve is useful in post to both set up offline edit for grading later or ingest RAW footage to an editable format. 2.5K RAW comes in the form of DNG files. DNG is like DPX: individual files that make up an image sequence. In the media window, you can bring your footage into the media pool in the master bin, or create subfolders to organize your footage. This could be a good opportunity to filter your footage and root out unwanted takes. In “Conform”, you can either divide your footage into individual timelines for organization, or work from the master timeline. If you’re doing an offline edit, this is where you will reconform by importing an XML and leaving the “automatically import source clips” unchecked, which will allow the proxies, if clip name and time code were maintained, to link back to the DNG files that you brought into your media pool. In color, you’ll be able to affect changes to the RAW files and adjust shadows, midtone, and highlights individually. This is also where you can use power windows for secondaries and other effects. If you are setting up an offline edit, it may be a good idea to set burn in data for the proxies, which will give you a great reference point if anything goes wrong in conforming. The gallery is where you can organize and store grading profiles to apply to clips. Delivery is where you set up output. These settings will depend on your intent for the footage. If you’re setting up an offline edit, you’ll be outputting proxies. The important settings here are the codec, frame rate (which should match your original footage exactly), individual clips should be rendered, and the output and timecode should match the original clip. If you are simply using DaVinci to ingest the footage to a workable format, then many of the settings are the same, but clip-naming and timecode are less critical. So that’s the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. It’s going to be a great step up in quality without necessarily stepping up in price. For more videos and tutorials, check us out at


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