First pictures and preorder of the new Black magic Micro Four Thirds Cine Camera!

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And here are the first pictures of the new Black Magic Micro Four Thirds camera! You can read the full spec, price and preorder it at BHphoto (Click here). As I told you today all m43 lenses will work in manual mode only but this cine camera shoots video with a dynamic range of 13 stops into 12-bit DNG files for a true “filmic” look. Don’t know if the upcoming Gh3 can match that kind of quality!

And if you are a pro film maker you may be interested to preorder that beast of a Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 135mm/T2.1 MFT Mount with Imperial Markings (Click here). Damn cheap or not? :(

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  • Note

    How do we control aperture on something like the 20mm or the 12-35 if its passive?

    • spam

      You don’t, it’s difficult to see the point of this camera. It will work with some manual lenses and of course with other brand lenses with adaptor though. So maybe they see mFT as a generic mount (because of the short flange distance) where you can mount any manual lens with aperture control (via adaptors). The question is how many would be interested in working like that.

      • vincent

        this video camera is for voigtlander lens only

        • … and PL mount cine lenses via an adapter, and Canon FD lenses via an adapter, and most other manual lenses via an appropriate adapter.

          Both the m43 & EF mount versions of the BMCC professional cinema cameras that record very high-quality video, and include a very powerful software bundle, for only $3K US.

      • CobyD

        Which manual lenses WOULDN’T it work with – hard to think of many ….

        • spam

          Should have been clearer there. What I meant is that any lens with a passive adapter becomes a “manual” lens. So lenses without aperture control on the lens is out (like Eos lenses).

      • Cinematographer

        Who would want to use this camera? Who would be interested in “it working like that?” Every single DP, or cinematographer I’ve ever met. This camera is aimed at the narrative film, and creative video market. Servo zooms, and auto-iris lenses need not apply. Obviously having an active vs. passive mount would be ideal, but for the people this camera is intended for it’s almost irrelevant.

        The MFT format allows DPs to adapt any lens they want via adapters. Not any manual lens, which is what they almost all exclusively use. This isn’t a run and gun documentary camera, you don’t whip this out and shoot some video while on vacation. This is a true budget cinema camera. Sure it has some shortfalls, but for $3,000 there really isn’t anything like it out there today.

  • The Real Stig

    What’s with the transparent bodied lens? ;)

    • Antoine

      Absolutly all the professionals or semi-professionals.

  • Two days ago when only the EF version existed I attended a presentation that featured the BMCC, BMD reps, and shooters with advanced product. The raw dynamic range is stellar.

    Of course, because I have no EF lenses I wrote off this camera, but today things have changed. Something to ponder, and I’ll get the GH3 in addition to or in lieu of the BMCC.

  • pdc

    Sweet!

  • Jedd

    > Don’t know if the upcoming Gh3 can match that kind of quality!
    For $3k/body I bet they can.

    • The “GH3” will record video in a much more highly-compressed format than does the BMCC. It’s like the difference between RAW & JPEG stills, but for video.

      Having said that, I might buy a GH3, too, if it can record fairly good-looking 1080p60/50, because the BMCC does not offer this frame rate. I’d use that GH3 feature mostly for slo-mo, and sometimes intercut the two cams’ footage in scenes where it can “work”.

  • Austin

    No active mount, making pretty much every m4/3rds lens useless. No competition for the GH3 at all. I mean does this even have the normal sensor size? Won’t that limit adapting lenses even? What’s the point of this?

    • Cinematographer

      It’s not a stills camera. It’s a digital cinema camera aimed at narrative film-making. The MFT mount allows DPs and Cinematographers (whatever word your prefer) the greatest range of flexibility when choosing lenses because literally every type of lens can be mounted on a MFT mount via adapters.

      Passive doesn’t mean squat to narrative film, short, music video, and other set-based shooters they literally only use all manual lenses with de-clicked aperture rings so they can ride the aperture if need be.

      So yea, this camera isn’t for you the amateur video-maker, but for independent film makers and other film professionals this camera has an insane amount of value.

  • As there are no electrical contacts, the m43 lenses will not work in manual mode. Only truly manual lenses can be focused or change aperture while mounted to this camera.

    • Kargo

      And exactly this is the most special part of this thread. It is obvious that more and more comanies will produce more manual mft lenses…come on Voigtlander give us more f0.95 for GH3 :D !!!

  • Renato S.

    It’s weird to make it so you can’t take advantage of m4/3 lenses, even more the wide angles. Why make it a passive mount, isn’t it? Or am I missing something.

    I know that there are some good manual lenses but, still, it doesn’t make sense. And don’t say about the expensive lenses because it doesn’t make sense to have a cheap RAW camera just for expensive lenses.

    Why a passive mount? Just so you can use other mounts adapters? You could have done that with a active one as well – it would’t cost so much more. I’m not the target of this camera, but I’m wondering why.

    • Anonymous

      Renato S.
      “And don’t say about the expensive lenses because it doesn’t make sense to have a cheap RAW camera”
      Who says anything about cheap, this thing retails at $3K, hardly your budget brand…..

      • chris

        A RAW video camera at $3000 is ridiculously cheap, since you’ll be out $25,000+ for anything RED makes, which is the next step up in RAW video recording. Everything else gets dramatically more expensive. When looking at the alternatives, its quite affordable – especially since it also includes a full copy of Resolve grading software, which costs $1000 by itself. I find it amazing that there’s such an affordable option, especially when you look at the number of 8-bit 4:2:0 AVCHD cameras that sell for much more than the BMCC that can do 10-bit 4:2:2 or RAW. I have the FS100, I wish this camera hit the market 6 months ago…

    • spam

      The reason for passive mount can only be lack of time/resources/knowhow to make an active one.

      • It’s not due to a lack of know-how. After all, the other BMCC model has an electronic EF mount, so BMD knows how to make such things.

        I think the passive m43 mount is intended for medium to high-end video productions that want to shoot with very expensive manual PL mount cine lenses. These lenses can be rented relatively inexpensively in most cities, and some production companies own them.

        A small, relatively inexpensive camera that’s compatible with PL lenses, and which is capable of recording extremely high-quality video, is something these customers wanted ASAP. So I think BMD expedited the process by offering a passive m43 mount for now. Maybe next year they’ll offer an electronic m43 mount. We shall see.

  • Esa Tuunanen

    You think more serious filmographers are interested on typical m4/3 lenses which use software to sweep optical deficiencies under the rug?

    Short flange back distance of m4/3 is excellent for adopting all manual lenses made for various film/photography systems.

    • uiti

      why don,t you think that software collection is much better than optical one.

      • The problem of geometr. distortions of m43 is pertinent mostly to the wide angle. On the normal range it is hardly noticeable on most of m43 lenses and it will be further mitigated by crop of BMCC. If they fully support EF there is no reason not to support m43. I well hope it will be done in the next generation of BMCC.

        • Vincent

          I agree that a future version of this camera will have electronic control of the MFT lenses. They might even decide to engineer this in the first gen MFT camera. It would likely mean pushing back the release date, but it is a possibility.

      • Esa
        PS When you use good Oly lenses on Panna and wise versa, the correction is not applied, nevertheless distortion is usually not a problem. It mostly relevant to the cheapest kit lenses at wide. And buy the way many manual legacy wide angle lenses has the same problem.

        • Vincent
          4/3 sized sensor on future BMCC would be cool and very practical, I already commented on it somewhere.

  • chris

    The beauty of this move is not manual m43 glass (since there isn’t much), its the ability to easily adapt lots of stellar legacy lenses such as Leica R, M and Zeiss C/Y, Canon FD and so on because of the short registry distance. I’m holding off on buying the BMCC till the Photokina announcements, but if I do decide to get one I’ll be ordering the m43 version.

    • There are excellent Nokton 25 F0.95 and 17.5 F0.95, an excellent SLR Magic HyperPrime 12mm T1.6 and so many excellent M-mount lenses that can be adapted easily.

      I think this camera is an interesting option although the GH3 will be much more universal.

  • Nic Walmsley

    We could turn this discussion on its head: why aren’t there more m43 lenses with manual aperture control? It would be fun.

  • MikeH

    Are there any videos out there that wow us with the dynamic range and overall quality of the raw output? The videos that I have seen spun about the interwebs have been less than awe inspiring. They might have been early attempts from people that aren’t that good, however, so can someone put up some relavant links (unlike Christian does with his responses) that knock us out of our chair with the awesomeness of the BlackMagic cam?

  • beavis

    That´s a new king! You can use any lens you want via adapter, so no budget limitations. Ultimate combination. I´m going to buy it, no doubts.

  • Ben

    This is brilliant.

  • Incessant Troll

    did a third grader design the record button? it looks like it was designed by someone in the 1960’s making a non-cartoon jetsons movie. sure you can have a jet pack! but no electronic controls

  • This is great news. I didn’t see this one coming, but it makes sense considering the reputation m4/3 has built in video mostly thanks to the GH2 and the fact the vast majority of legacy lenses can be mounted on there.

    The more manufacturers join in the better. This is another plus point for m4/3 especially those with a keen interest in video. There is actually something better than the GH3 out there now, and that’s got to be quite exciting if you’re into it.

  • Nic Walmsley

    can anyone recommend examples of the legacy lenses? maximum quality/maximum bang for buck?

    • RMA

      Bang for the buck, the standard prime lenses (50mm to 58mm) from all the major manufacturers are amazing.

    • CobyD

      Most of the Rokkor MDs.

    • Ben

      Nikkor AI/AIS they put FDs to shame.

      • RMA

        Nikon, Canon FD, and Pentax Super-Takumar (screw) have all been tested to death and are excellent lenses. Some lenses in each line are better than others. Many people switch back and forth between Canon and Nikon, an the worst thing about it is the split second it takes to remember which lens focuses clockwise and which focuses counter-clockwise. However, the “right” time to buy FDs and FLs was five years ago, when no one could use them for much of anything. Same with OMs and MC/MDs. The Nikons have always been useful, as have the screw mounts. The mirrorless cameras have revived a lot of dead lenses. :-)

    • nicwalmsley

      Cool thanks guys, will have a look. The nokton 17.5 0.95 is already on my “maybe, one day” list.

  • st3v4nt

    I wish some of m4/3 lens have dual mode, active and passive, so that we can choose which one we want to use ….and Olympus create the lens with physical aperture dial and scale distance again.

  • agachart

    uhmm,my idea i think video camera must provide e-sata port for record (near hdmi ^_^).

  • David

    Wow pair this up with the Zeiss cine primes and you have an amazingly cheap system!

    http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/micro-four-thirds/lenses/specialty

    • There is Thunderbolt (also on BMCC) which is an update of e-sata.

  • Gabriel

    Is the crop size 2.3x for this m43 version as well?

  • What about wide angles for the smaller format than m43rd’s. The only one I know is the SLR Magic 12mm. My 7-14mm will not work. Also all these natives lenses won’t work. No OIS, so not handheld work as well. Too many negatives for some positives. Come on the GH3.

  • You wanted a video review / samples? Look no further than Philip Bloom:
    http://philipbloom.net/2012/09/05/bmd/

  • mountainwalker

    What exactly does “passive MFT” mean? Obviously, there are no gold contacts. Voigtlaender f0.95 lenses should work, the Samyang fisheye, too. But how would a regular (active) mFT-lens behave, e.g. made by Panasonic or Olympus. I think they are completely useless here.

    • Correct. As explained in the comments above, the BMCC m43 model is primarily for use with fully manual lenses.

      Electronic m43 lenses aren’t supported.

  • E-1

    If you want to understand this (no IBIS, manuel lenses,…) you need to see

    https://vimeo.com/47108324

  • Jack Lam

    Come on BlackMagic! You really dropped the ball big time on this one.
    You think supporting electronic m4/3 lenses are unimportant? To me they are not willing to think in the cinematographer’s perspective.

    Anyone who thinks electronic lenses are crap, just look at the excellent Olympus 4/3 2.0 14-35mm. I own one. This lens MAKES the system from a shooter’s POV.

    Also think about the Olympus 12mm/2.0 and the Panasonic 7-14mm/4.0 Without support for electronic lenses, how do we get a decent wide angle on this camera?

    • Matt

      Dont start with ‘BMD really dropped the ball on this… Blah blah’ and finish on such a dumb question. Seriously. You’re an idiot and this camera isn’t designed for you. Get a GH3.

      • jim

        he has a point… if its a 2:1 m43 crop factor – how do you get a wide fov with old glass??

        Be nice if you wernt such a condercending cock about it too…

        • Tim

          Tokina 11-16

          • jim

            Still no 7-14mm!

  • When you’re doing fiction work you have to have complete control of everything. You can’t have the camera make adjustments for you. Fully manual lenses is the way to go.

    • Bart

      Using electronics to control aperture and focus does not mean the camera will automatically make adjustments, it merely means the camera could make such adjustments if instructed to do so.

      • The target group is people shooting controlled environments with manual lenses with iris ring and mechanical focus.

        • Bart

          That is likely the target audience yes, and consequently, not being able to control electronic lenses isn’t a big issue most likely.

          However, that was not what you said initially, and not what I was commenting on.

          What you said is:

          “When you’re doing fiction work you have to have complete control of everything. You can’t have the camera make adjustments for you”

          An electronically controlled lens can still give you ‘control of everything’, and the camera won’t just ‘make adjustments for you’, unless you explicitly set up the camera to do so.

          This basicly excludes the Panasonic 12-35/2.8 and upcoming 35-100/2.8, that does seem a somewhat relevant issue.

          • When I wrote “You can’t have the camera make adjustments for you. Fully manual lenses is the way to go” I was mainly thinking of better manual control over such things as selective focus (vs. autofocus), rack focus (and to a somewhat lesser degree aperture). Sorry if I was being unclear.

            • Bart
              “That is likely the target audience yes, and consequently, not being able to control electronic lenses isn’t a big issue most likely.”
              With the price tag of 3000$ its target audience will surely expand to the “DSLR/M43 territory”, and for this audience the lack of native support of m43 will be very unpleasant.

  • To hell with ergonomics.

    • Bart

      This is not a camera intended for handheld operations, or for walking around with, it is a camera that you use on a solid video mount, on a set, preferably using an external monitor and external power supply. Hence, ergonomics requirements are totally different from what is required from a typical handheld camera.

      I have no idea if this camera suits the ergonomics requirements of its target audience since I’m not part of that target audience, but, considering the rather enthusiastic responses from the intended target audience, I’d rather think that its ergonomics are not an issue at all for them.

  • Tobi

    Anyone knows if preorders are available in Europe already? Just read that international orders at bhphotovideo.com will be charged immediately.

  • P4INKiller

    Passive mount?

    I had been waiting for an MFT version, but this is like a cruel joke.
    Most MFT lenses are electronic; I don’t like it, but that’s the way it is.

    I’m hoping it’ll inspire lens manufacturers to create more MFT lenses with mechanical focus and aperture rings.

  • Most of this camera is wrong. The look is lovely (doorstop anyone?) the concept is great, the price-point specious. BUT the predicted lifespan is about… two years. As Moore’s law progresses in the smaller removable storage media, the BM SSD drives will lose value and seem like dinosaurs in two years.

    • Two years? This is a prototype, an experiment. It will be obsolete within a year from today (within months after people get theirs in the mail). If BM can create an MFT camera overnight because of grievances, they are obviously working on an improved model to be released right after interest in the first one wanes. This is business. Savvy filmmakers are already lining up gigs so they can accrue revenue from this device while it’s hot. There’s a very short window of opportunity and lifespan for this lunchpale camera.

    • I’ve been using video cameras for decades. A camera that costs only $3K and is capable of recording uncompressed 12-bit 2.5K RAW CinemaDNG @ 5 megaBYTES/frame, or 10-bit 1080p ProRes 422 HQ @ 220 megabits/sec, both with high-quality sound, and can use a wide variety of lenses, and which has a sensor more than twice as big as the ones used to shoot movies such as “Slumdog Millionaire” & “Avatar” (just to name 2), will not be obsolete for quite some time.

      The BMCC will be used alongside other cameras years from now as an A or B cam. Only cameras that cost >3 times as much can do what the BMCC does “today” (it’s just barely started shipping).

      Also, if one is shooting professionally (for pay) then the BMCC should pay for itself very quickly. No need to wait “years”.

  • ArtP

    It’s too bad they didn’t include at least m43 power contacts so one could at least focus PanOly lenses, even if you’d be stuck shooting wide open.

    • As an owner of several electronic Lumix m43 lenses I agree.

      But the BMCC m43 passive mount is not for us, it’s for people who wanted a version of the BMCC that can use manual lenses ASAP. Simple as that. By making a passive m43 mount BMD probably saved months of development & testing time.

      Ever since the original BMCC was announced at the NAB expo in April, pro shooters who use manual lenses have been _screaming_ for a version with a passive m43 mount. In a few months they’ll have one. It’s actually great news, but not for you and me.

      In the meantime I’ll keep my mid-April pre-order for an original BMMC EF so I get it ASAP. If it arrives “soon” I could be shooting for weeks or months before the BMCC m43 is available. It’s all good.

  • Someguy

    Welp, I guess ill throw all my panny lens away now. Bye bye 12-35 x, I hardly knew ye.

  • Gud

    First pictures? Lol!
    Pictures of this camera have been on the net for months! Even on the official website…
    Even Raw footage has already been made available…

    • “First” pictures of the new BMCC m43 version announced this week, not the original BMCC EF model announced this past April.

  • Larry Young

    Blackmagic MFT camera is also available at the best camera shop I know, http://www.hotrodcameras.com. Can’t support the B&H corporate monster!

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