Blackmagic Design announces the new Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro and Studio Camera 4K Plus models for live production.
During last night’s Live Production and Broadcast Update, the company’s top boss Grant Petty unveiled the new Studio Cameras sporting an improved lightweight carbon fibre reinforced polycarbonate construction paired with better low-light performance.
In case you missed it, you can watch the full live stream a bit further down below in this post.
Not to mention, the new Studio Camera 4K Pro model comes with all the bells an the whistles you’d need for live production and/or streaming.
Micro Four Thirds lenses and Better Low-Light Performance
The Studio cameras come with a handy all-in-one design to facilitate a fast setup on location as well as more manageable transport. Setup is also sped-up thanks to the integrated large 7″ viewfinder, while some of the advanced features usually found on large studio cameras, have been miniaturized into a single compact and portable design to make live production easier than ever.
The MFT sensor and ability to use affordable Micro Four Thirds lenses combined with the dynamic range and colour science enables the new Studio Cameras to handle extremely difficult lighting conditions while producing cinematic looking images.
In addition, the 4K sensor can crank up the ISO to 25,600 enabling decent capture even in the most dimly lit venues.
Furthermore, Gain can be adjusted from -12dB (100 ISO) up to +36dB (25,600 ISO). And also, according to Blackmagic Design, the camera is optimized to reduce grain and noise in images, while maintaining the full dynamic range of the sensor.
The gain can be set from the camera, or remotely from a switcher using the SDI or Ethernet remote camera control.
Other advanced features include talkback, tally, camera control, built in colour corrector, Blackmagic RAW recording to USB disks and much more.
Built-in 7-inch Viewfinder
The large 7″ viewfinder is always welcome especially in situations when filming talk shows, television production, broadcast news, sports, education, conference presentations and even weddings.
The large bright display with side handles, touch screen and physical controls makes it easy to track shots while being comfortable to use for long periods of time.
The touchscreen has menus for camera settings, and there’s knobs for brightness, contrast and focus peaking. Plus a tripod mount with mounting plate is included for fast setup.
In addition, the OSD (on-screen overlays) show status and record parameters, histogram, focus peaking indicators, levels, frame guides and more. Camera operators can even apply 3D LUTs for monitoring shots with the desired colour and look.
Records Blackmagic RAW to external disks
While Blackmagic Studio Camera is designed for live production, it’s not limited to use with a live switcher. That’s because it records Blackmagic RAW to USB disks, so it can be used in any situation where customers use a tripod.
Plenty of I/O for any budget level: 12G-SDI, HDMI, 10G Ethernet
The new Blackmagic Studio cameras have lots of connections for connecting to both consumer and broadcast equipment.
Both the 4K Pro and 4K Plus models feature HDMI with tally, camera control and record trigger, so are perfect for ATEM Mini switchers. In addition, both cameras get headphone and mic connections, and two USB-C expansion ports.
Now, where it gets more interesting is with the more advanced Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro model. It has been designed for broadcast workflows, therefore it features 12G-SDI, 10GBASE-T Ethernet, talkback and balanced XLR audio inputs.
The 10G Ethernet allows all video, tally, talkback and camera power via a single connection, so setup is much faster. That’s just like a SMPTE fiber workflow, but using standard Category 6A copper Ethernet cable so it’s much lower cost.
Traditional broadcast studio cameras use SMPTE fiber to communicate and power cameras, however SMPTE fiber is quite expensive.
However, thanks to the 10G Ethernet port on the 4K Pro model, the camera offers a more budget-oriented alternative to SMPTE fiber at a lower cost. The Ethernet includes all camera video, program return feeds, tally, talkback, camera control and also power.
Unlike consumer cameras, the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro model has SDI connections that include talkback so the switcher operator can communicate with cameras during live events. This means the director can talk to the camera operators to guide shot selection, eliminating the problem where all cameras could have the same shot, at the same time.
The talkback connector is built into the side of the camera and supports standard 5 pin XLR broadcast headsets.
Optional Zoom and Focus demand Control Units
It was about time Blackmagic Design offered their own Zoom and Focus demand units. Priced at $245 each, these optional accessories can be added to turn affordable photography lenses into awesome broadcast lenses.
The focus and zoom demands have USB-C connections so they work with all Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K models. Each zoom and focus demand has 2 USB-C ports, so camera operators can daisy chain them then connect to the camera with a single USB connection.
You can check out the full Live Production and Broadcast update livestream from last night below in case you missed it.
Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro and 4K Plus Features
- The new cameras have been designed specifically for live production
- Lighter thanks to new carbon fibre reinforced polycarbonate chassis
- Better low-light performance – up to 25,600 ISO
- 5th Gen Colour Science
- Native Micro Four Thirds 4K sensor
- 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 at 23.98 and 60p
- Full HD up to 60p
- 13 stops of dynamic range
- Compatible with a wide range of popular Micro Four Thirds lenses
- Large 7-inch high brightness viewfinder
- 1920 x 1200 resolution
- 2000nits brightness
- 12G-SDI, HDMI, 10G Ethernet connections (4K Pro model)
- HDMI for 4K Plus model
- Single 10G Ethernet allows SMPTE fibre style workflow
- USB-C port allows recording directly to external disks
- Support for Blackmagic RAW recording to external drives during live production
- Built-in stereo microphones with wide separation
- Professional mini XLR inputs with 48 volt phantom power (4K Pro model)
- Includes tripod mount for quick location setup
- Powers by 12V or Ethernet connection
- Optional focus and zoom demands for lens control
- Blackmagic Studio Converter allows all connections via Ethernet
Pricing and Availability
You can now pre-order both models from authorized dealers such as B&H at the following prices:
To dive deeper into the technical specifications of the new Studio Camera 4K Pro and 4K Plus model head over to BMD’s website.