Back in April there were lots of cool toys to see at NAB. When you walked by the sitting areas or eavesdropped on chit-chatters in line for food there was definitely a reoccurring theme. Everyone was talking about Blackmagic’s newly announced camera. Still slated to ship ‘sometime in July’, this much talked about $3K camera could be arriving any day now. Until then, we have a hands-on impression from broadcast supplier and news site, CVP.
The camera still boasts 2.5K resolution and is currently listed on B&H for $2,995. Given the smaller size of the sensor you won’t be seeing the same shallow depth of field as the larger sensor DSLRs. The camera body alone weights 1.8 kg (4 lbs) – comparability, the Canon 5D MkIII weights just under 2 lbs. The touch screen and menu system were spoken highly of and I have to agree. The prototype I briefly played around with at NAB had a responsive touch screen and the menus weren’t difficult to navigate. Don’t forget that this camera comes with the advanced color grading software, Da Vanci Resolve. That about covers all the good stuff…
The rest of CVP’s impressions are somewhat discerning as the drawbacks seem evident. The crop factor is the biggest concern as the micro four thirds size sensor has a crop of 2.1. Your 24-70mm lens is actually going to be closer to 50mm-147mm. That’s fine for getting close-ups but what are you going to do for wide angle shots in tight quarters? The camera’s battery is non-removable and lasts for 1.5 hours of constant operation so you’ll obviously need a 3rd party power source as an alternative.
There has been some talk of the awkward form factor but I don’t see it as a huge drawback. Shooters will be putting rails systems, shoulder mounts, EVFs, and all the other gadgets around this camera as they do with DSLRs so I wouldn’t be too worried about the form factor in that regard.
Ultimately, the camera will speak for itself when we get our eyes on some production model footage. As is common practice, sharing footage from prototype bodies is a no-no and CVP wasn’t able to share any footage as the model they had was in fact a prototype. Even with the drawbacks I’m still excited to see what the camera is capable of, especially considering the price point. One thing is for sure, if you haven’t pre-ordered one yet you might be waiting a while as it sounds like the lists are already quite long and without any notification of quantities shipping it could be months before pre-orders are even filled.
You can check out CVP’s full blog post here. So does any of this sway you one way or the other? What do you think? Will you be picking up the camera later this month (or whenever it actually ships)? Do the drawbacks outweigh the good? Let us know in the comments below.