Maybe we shouldn't be surprised, but Blackmagic says the 4k Blackmagic Cinema Camera will be delayed. I feel sorry for them having so much trouble with vendors… but things happen and at least they're being up front about it.
This is also another reason why you pay more for other brands – they often control the entire manufacturing process and they also don't announce products until they're confident they can deliver.
Blackmagic Updates on 4K Blackmagic Cinema Camera Delay
From James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS):
Blackmagic Design’s president Grant Petty took to the user forums yesterday to update everyone on the state of the production delay for the 4K Cinema Camera. Petty was frank about how differences between the prototype, pre-production sensors and the final design have caused calibration issues in the camera firmware. Not wanting another sensorgate on their hands, BMD is taking a real cautious approach to their 4K design. And can anyone blame them?
Here’s the full text of Petty’s update:
“Hi, I just want to give you an update on the 4K camera.As we mentioned a few weeks ago, we received the production sensors much later than we expected. When we built cameras from them we saw some big differences in the images between these production sensors vs the pre production samples we originally received. What this means is that we have been working over the last few weeks to replace a bunch of the software in the camera that handles the sensor calibration and image processing.
It’s taking a bit longer than we expected to do this and we think its going to take about 3 to 4 weeks more to get those changes done and to get the QA process completed before we can start shipping. We apologize for the delays from the original promised date. Ultimately, image calibration is a very important step so we want to make sure this is done properly before shipping.”
4K Blackmagic Cinema Camera Delay Continued
[ Via doddleNEWS ]
As anyone over at Digital Bolex will attest, design of hardware and the dialing in of the camera’s firmware can be a time consuming affair. And with 4K providing four times the resolution of 1080p, any issues pertaining to firmware calibration of the image would be really glaring. So it’s understandable that in light of what happened with sensors on the original Cinema Camera, that Petty would take the design of the 4K sensor one step at a time and make sure that every single issue is buttoned up tight before they move on to releasing the camera.
But the camera development schedule is another animal altogether. Witness RED’s release schedule for, well, just about everything they’ve put out. The RED ONE took longer than expected to come out, and Scarlet was largely considered vaporware for most of its development life until it was finally released after the EPIC around 2011, 2012, three to four years after the promised date of 2009. And the Dragon Processor took over a year to finally get upgrades going (and after some nifty kabuki theater at NAB showing the process).
So while the consumer world can expect updates of hardware annually, and sometimes several times a year, in the professional world, I think we’ve learned that it’s far better to keep our powder dry and let a camera design get completely finalized before release. And sometimes, we’ve had to relearn that lesson the hard way. The good news is that BMD’s new update indicates only another 3 or 4 weeks to get units out. So kudos to Petty, for keeping the BMD faithful in the loop.
(cover photo credit: snap from the site)