Blackmagic Camera Update 1.8 is now available for download free of charge and updates all Blackmagic Design cameras including the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC), the 2.5K Blackmagic Cinema Camera (BCC) and the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K (BPC). This update is based on a completely new code base bringing these cameras’ user interfaces (UI) into line with that of the recently announced Blackmagic URSA.
With this update the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K gains compressed raw DNG support leading to wider dynamic range and higher quality images for post-production and grading color. DaVinci Resolve 11, available now as a public beta, supports raw grading and output from raw camera originals.
Other features included in this update include improved lens control support for Blackmagic’s EF lens mount cameras – the original BCC EF and the BPC 4K – making mathematically-optimized autofocus available when pushing the focus button on active EF lenses. This is a bonus when shooting 4K given how crucial accurate focus is to making the most of this super-sized video format.
Other improvements for the original Blackmagic Cinema Cameras include better audio performance and higher quality de-Bayer processing. The cameras’ dynamic range also gets a boost when shooting at 1600 ISO. Dynamic range and image quality markedly improves with this update.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is not left out of this latest update adding Blackmagic’s modernized UI as well as focus peaking, de-Bayer improvements and extra active Micro Four Thirds (MFT) support for Sigma and Panasonic’s Lumix lenses to the camera’s original capabilities.
Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Camera Update 1.8
From Blackmagic Design Press:
Blackmagic Design today announced the release of Blackmagic Camera Update 1.8 software which includes updated features for all Blackmagic Design cameras. Blackmagic Camera Update 1.8 is available now for download free of charge for all existing Blackmagic Camera customers from the Blackmagic Design support page on the website.
The new Blackmagic Camera Update 1.8 software features a completely new code base for all Blackmagic digital film cameras so provides a foundation for new features. This update supports the original wide dynamic range 2.5K Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K.
This all new code base also improves performance and includes a new modern user interface similar in design to the new URSA camera announced at NAB. This new user interface is included in all models of cameras available from Blackmagic Design, allowing a nice clean fresh look.
Blackmagic Camera 1.8 adds compressed RAW DNG support for the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K model, and this allows RAW recording in real time so all sensor data can be captured allowing more range and much higher image quality when doing post production and color grading. DaVinci Resolve 11, also available today, fully supports RAW grading and rendering to final output direct from the RAW camera original files. This means customers get incredible first generation masters, with a solution that edits RAW files as easily and as responsively as a normal video file.
New features in this update include enhanced lens control support for EF lens mount cameras such as the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K models. This means customers can now get auto focus when pushing the focus button on active EF based lenses and the cameras will mathematically analyze the center of the image and optimize the focus for maximum sharpness.
This is important with high resolution 4K cameras where images are so sharp that accurate focus is critical for the best results. Because this update uses the focus button for auto focus, the focus peaking feature is now enabled by double pressing the focus button.
This release also improves the focus peaking display allowing incredibly accurate and super sharp manual focus, critical when using cine lenses. The focus peaking is now green in color so it’s much easer to see, and the filters generating the edge peaking have been optimized allowing for better detection and display for maximum sharpness. In addition, the iris control has been changed, due to customer request, to hold its setting between record and playback.
This new Blackmagic Camera 1.8 also includes major improvements for the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera models including improved audio performance and a completely rewritten new higher quality de-bayer processor. This new de-bayer means when customers record to normal video files such as ProRes or DNxHD they will get sharper and cleaner looking images. This new de-bayer processing features algorithms that have been incorporated from DaVinci Resolve, which means that Blackmagic camera customers get the benefit of DaVinci Resolve’s research and development in image processing and its partnership with major Hollywood studios.
Other benefits for the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes enhancements to the cameras dynamic range when shooting at 1600 ISO. This means, with this new software update, customers will get even more dynamic range and image quality, free of charge, even if they purchased their camera 2 years ago.
Improvements for the Pocket Cinema Camera are also included in this update, including the modern updated interface, new focus peaking and improved de-bayer quality, plus additional active MFT lens support for lenses including Sigma and Lumix.
“We have been working very hard to incorporate camera feature requests that customers have been sending us” said Grant Petty CEO Blackmagic Design “There are major changes and improvements in this update and we are very excited to see the wonderful creative work done with the benefit of this software. Of course, we are working very hard on more features we want to add into our cameras and you will see more and more of what we have been working on in updates that will be release over the upcoming months.”
Availability and Price
Blackmagic Cameras are available now starting from US$995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com
(cover photo credit: snap from Blackmagic Design)