One of the more exciting digital cinema cameras to be released recently is the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is designed for handheld use, utilizes a Super 16mm size sensor to capture 1080HD video, has a Micro Four Thirds lens mount, and shoots with a full 13 stops of dynamic range. The sensor size and dynamic range, as well as the camera's suggested retail price of $995, are what sets the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera apart.
Blackmagic Design is the owner of DaVinci Resolve, a premium color grading suite for digital cinema. The combination of the camera's dynamic range and the use of high end color grading, such as DaVinci Resolve, allow the user to generate cinematic quality footage at a fraction of the costs associated with most digital cinema rigs.
Up to this point the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera recorded files using Prores 422(HQ) compression, an industry standard for digital cinema post production workflows. Yesterday Blackmagic Design released an update to change that.
CinemaDNG RAW Added to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
Blackmagic Design released Blackmagic Camera 1.5 software which adds the capability of recording in CinemaDNG RAW to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. CinemaDNG RAW is a form of lossless compression that preserves details in the highlights and shadows, allowing the video editor to craft a sharper and more detailed image during the color grading process. Images recorded in CinemaDNG RAW and processed through a color grading suite are remarkably noticeable for the detail and dynamic range associated with digital cinema.
CinemaDNG RAW is an open standard and is being integrated into more and more post production workflows. For editors whose editing software is incompatible with CinemaDNG RAW, Blackmagic Design offers the scaled down DaVinci Resolve Lite that users can download for free to grade CinemaDNG RAW footage and transcode it to a codec compatible with their editing software.
Chris “Ace” Gates is an Emmy Award winning writer and producer