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NAB 2014: Blackmagic Design Going on in the Studio

Front of camera with large monitor on rear

Among the great camera discussions, Blackmagic Design has brought forth some unique topics, workflow being one of them. The Blackmagic Studio Camera and seeks to dispel the notion that broadcast cameras are the only ones well-suited for live production. Even then, with so many variables in live production (for reference, in all of our webcasts we've had different setups each and every time), we can't name many cameras that are really built just for live production. Back to the studio camera, it's durable, can talkback, tally, and show off video with a large display. If those don't cue you up to live production, maybe you're among those that aren't in a major studio!

We're vigilantly searching for competitively priced cameras and the Blackmagic Studio Camera falls right in many of our budgets at $1,995. The features address many questions that have been brought to Blackmagic Design, here are some answers: two XLR mics, SDI connectors, a massive 10-inch display, four-hour battery life and the full complement of frame rates for 1920x1080. One question will be how the dynamic range is and how easily the side panels let you control the camera? The question of recording also comes to light, since it simply might not be necessary. Beyond the camera if the crew behind a production can't communicate, entire cameras can become useless, so the capability for digital two way talkback is great.

Little touches that make a difference in repetitive productions may include but are not limited to the following: a sunshade for the monitor, phantom power for mics, active Micro Four Thirds mount, optical fiber, and LANC control. The Blackmagic Studio Camera may really fall in stride with many productions, so it'll be exciting to watch. The team at Blackmagic Design also brings more relevant news, for one, the ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K live production switcher. It'll work well with studio cameras, and costs $3,995.

Large cinema camera in a glass case

Rather than get wrapped up in all the goodness that is studio production, our press pass takes us to the URSA, a beast of a camera that is meant to be handled by both number operators or one. The URSA grabs the 10-inch monitor from the little Blackmagic Studio Camera, and adds options for an EF or PL mount. The sensor allows 4K video through a Super 35 global shutter and sends images to internal dual Apple ProRes or RAW recorders. The features of the camera have been divided into their jobs for a director of photography, audio engineer and camera assistant.

We'll do our best to see it in Las Vegas, but we're talking about in-the-field swaps of the image sensor so it sounds like there's some true magic happening with the four versions of Blackmagic URSA. We'll look to get more answers from Blackmagic Design come this June and July when it's set to become available for $6,000.

Now all we need to do is determine the company name from the actual camera!

Large camera with side meters and a DSLR in front
Jackson
Wong
April 07th, 2014

Press Release

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Studio Camera Introducing the world’s smallest live broadcast camera with the world’s largest viewfinder! NAB 2014, Las Vegas, USA - April 7, 2014 - Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic Studio Camera, a new camera specifically designed for live production and available in 1080 HD and Ultra HD models starting from only $1,995. Blackmagic Studio Camera will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2014 booth at #SL219. Blackmagic Studio Camera is one of the most advanced broadcast cameras for live production because it includes features specifically targeted at the requirements of live production! Currently customers often need to use cameras designed for general video production for live work and this means they don’t get features that live production demands, such as large viewfinder, talkback, tally, optical fiber and a super strong metal design. Inside the incredibly tough and lightweight magnesium alloy body, the Blackmagic Studio Camera features a very large 10” viewfinder, long duration 4 hour battery, talkback, tally indicators, phantom powered microphone connections and built in optical fiber and SDI connections that let you connect to a live production switcher with a single cable! One of the problems of cameras used in live production is small viewfinders and the Blackmagic Studio Camera includes a massive 10 inch screen that allows incredible creativity when framing and accurately focussing. The viewfinder’s LCD is extremely bright and has a very wide viewing angle so it is perfect for use even in direct sunlight. The camera also includes a large fold up sun shield making it perfect for outdoor use and the sun shade also acts as a privacy shield when in use. The Blackmagic Studio Camera features an active Micro Four Thirds lens mount that is compatible with an incredibly wide range of lenses and adapters. This allows customers to use high quality photo lenses for smaller setups or fixed camera use, and then use high end broadcast ENG lenses for large live broadcasts using an MFT to B4 lens mount adapter. This means customers can start out with a more affordable setup based on photo lenses and then move to larger but more expensive ENG lenses as they grow their business. The Blackmagic Studio Camera includes a built in fiber optic connection, allowing customers to get the many advantages of long lengths and small size and weight of optical fiber for a single thin tether cable to connect cameras to your live production switchers. The optical fiber connection is bi-directional and carries HD or Ultra HD video with embedded audio, talkback, tally and even camera remote control. The built in talkback allows the camera operator and crew to communicate at all times during production using commonly available and very robust general aviation headsets for better quality talkback with better noise canceling at a much lower cost. The Blackmagic Studio Camera supports the tally SDI standard used on the ATEM range of live production switchers and tally lights illuminate automatically with a light on the front for talent, and a light above the viewfinder for the operator, making it easy for the cast and crew to see which cameras are on air. To allow independent operation with only a single optical fiber cable, the Blackmagic Studio Camera also includes a massive 4 hour battery that means the camera has enough power for use on long live productions as well as setup time before the event starts. The operator side control panel allows instant access to focus, iris and on screen menu settings. On screen menus are overlaid on the viewfinder and slide on and off as needed. “I have dreamed of a camera perfectly designed for live production for a long time”, said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design, “When we looked at how we would design a camera for live production what really surprised us was how small we could make it, but then the viewfinder would also become small. We did not want a small viewfinder, we wanted a very large viewfinder and so we ended up with this amazing camera that’s incredibly tiny, but then the viewfinder is incredibly large. It’s really a dream to operate a camera with such a large viewfinder and it’s amazing the detail in focus and framing that’s available to the operator! I totally love this camera and it’s my dream product!” Blackmagic Studio Camera Key Features High resolution 1080HD in HD model and Ultra HD sized sensor in 4K model. Built in large 10 inch super bright wide viewing angle LCD viewfinder with sun shade. Built in optical fiber and regular SDI connections for camera output and monitoring input. Compatible with high quality Micro Four Thirds lenses. Compatible with other mounts via common third party adapters such as B4 broadcast lens mount. Built in, two way digital quality talkback using high quality affordable general aviation headsets. Includes front and rear tally indicators using tally over SDI protocol. Features all standard connections, including dual XLR balanced mic/line audio in with switchable phantom power, headphone and microphone jack for talkback, LANC remote control and standard 4 pin XLR broadcast standard DC 12V power connection. On screen menus for all camera settings. Supports 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 and up to 60 fps in HD model, up to 30 fps in 4K model. Compatible with ATEM range of live production switchers. Availability and Price Blackmagic Studio Camera HD is available now for US$1,995 and the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K will be available in June for US$2,995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.