Preparing for the Next Wave of 4K: What’s Possible with the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

It’s been a year of energetic anticipation since Blackmagic Design announced the 4K Production Camera at the 2013 NAB Show. Since it began shipping in February 2014, Blackmagic engineers have already responded to feedback from beta testers and early adopters with improvements—both current and planned—to optimize the camera’s performance.

This breakthrough 4K offering shares at least two attributes with its predecessor, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera: form factor (they have the same body) and price reduction (they both received a $1,000 price cut shortly after being announced). Does the price break indicate concern on Blackmagic’s part about the camera’s acceptance in the increasingly competitive 4K camera field?

For $2,995, the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K has a Super 35 sensor (actually 21.12mm x 11.88mm) equipped with a global shutter and the ability to record Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) in 4K. Although the pre-release announcements used the present tense to describe the camera’s ability to shoot in the visually lossless compressed CinemaDNG raw format, that capability isn’t yet active. The feature will be enabled via a future firmware update. 

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