The Blackmagic Cinema Camera and the democratization of the industry


Welcome to the thoughts section! I am going to begin sharing my thoughts and ideas on local happenings, industry information and other thoughts on cinema and photography. These are my own opinions and should be taken as such, so I hope you appreciate them. Now onto the first post!


Recently released were samples of RAW video files from the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. This is great because now we can actually see how the camera performs before we drop the $3,000 on it. The top image is the ungraded RAW image simply exported as a jpeg for this blog. In my opinion it looks really nice, which is a great start.

Shot 1: Ungraded, ISO 800, 24 FPS, 172.8 degree shutter, 5600k, 35mm @ T2.1 w/ Zeiss Compact Prime

Why is this camera important?
Democratization of the industry.

You may remember a couple years ago when the first DSLRs with video were being released and in a week the dreamy “film look” was found in videos all the way down to the prosumer level. This revolutionized the film industry. Independent filmmakers were able to produce films of movie theater quality.

Like Crazy was one of those films. It was shot on an $1,800 camera with a small budget and ended up winning the Grand Jury Prize and the Sundance Film Festival. This camera takes the idea of good quality video in an inexpensive kit to a new level. For only $3,000 you have the image quality of a $60k camera rig. So how did the images do? Check them out yourself! They are available for download on the Blackmagic website and can be edited in many different pieces of software.

Below is my test image. I timed myself to what I could do to the image in just one minute and see how it looked. And personally, I found the ease of using RAW cinema files from an affordable camera incredibly useful. I’m excited to see what this type of technological development will bring next.

Shot 1: Graded, edited in Adobe Camera RAW and saved as jpeg for web.

Not bad, right?

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