Monday, April 8, 2013

Blackmagic Blows Away Everyone Else... AGAIN

I haven't had much time to write recently, but this could not be passed up.

About a year ago, Blackmagic announced the Cinema Camera. It offered unparalleled technology for one-fifth what other companies were charging. It was a game-changing camera and even now, Blackmagic corp. is unable to meet demand for its wonder-product.

Well, right after Panasonic decided to charge far more than it should have for the GH3; right after Canon released even more wildly overpriced crap; right after Nikon released a camera with awful video yet again; right after all of that, Blackmagic has done it again. Twice.

Blackmagic is releasing the not-unexpected 4K camera. What was a surprise was the time -- less than a year after the first camera -- and the global shutter. A 4K, global shutter, for $3999. Holy. Fucking. Shit. Canon can take its hyper-expensive C-Series of cameras and shove them were the sun don't shine.

The camera does lose a stop of dynamic range in the switch to the new shutter, but I remember reading that global shutter designs had a number of significant considerations that negatively affected other elements of the sensor, most notably in noise. I'm assuming that this is the reason for the loss. Frankly, it doesn't matter. One could purchase both cameras for less than the cost of a RED or Arri camera.

Perhaps the more exciting revelation is Blackmagic's compact, 1080p video camera undoubtedly aimed at competing with the Panasonic GH3. It has an active Micro 4/3 mount, does ProRes, and uses the same sensor as the original BMCC but employs a crop.

I say that this is the more exciting announcement because it appeals to a far larger demographic and is, I think, the more disruptive piece of technology. Currently, all camera companies are desperate to keep anything high-end away from their more entry-level pieces of technology, no matter how easy it would be to implement. They're doing this to service what's know as artificial segmentation.

There are many aspects to this process, but the end result as far as the consumer is concerned is that companies do not make the best product they can make. They make a product that fits into their catalog of products and thus forces customers to spend more than they should for certain features.

Blackmagic has come out of nowhere and completely schooled the entire industry in less than a year. This is what happens when an industry ossifies and becomes conservative and greedy. When true innovation comes along, it is such a stunning breath of fresh air that it creates an instant star. And that's what we have here -- a star. Blackmagic is going to be one of the industry's biggest players in the next five years. I guarantee it.

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