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NAB 2013: Blackmagic Design Debuts an UltraHD Workflow

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CreativeCOW presents NAB 2013: Blackmagic Design Debuts an UltraHD Workflow -- NAB Expo Editorial


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UltraHD was "the theme for the year" at Blackmagic Design, declared President Grant Petty, who reported that the company has been focused on 4K products for almost the last two years. Blackmagic Design has adopted 6G-SDI video, a low cost solution that allows Ultra HD video to be sent down a single common BNC type cable and switches between SD, HD and Ultra HD formats. Thus, any Ultra HD product that supports 6G-SDI can also easily operate in SD and HD video formats via the same BNC connections. "We now have products for a whole workflow for live production in Ultra HD," said Blackmagic Design President Grant Petty. "It's perfect not just for professional video but for worship, education and other markets."


NEW BLACKMAGIC DESIGN CAMERAS
At the point of acquisition, Blackmagic Design unveiled its 4K camera, the Blackmagic Production Camera featuring a Super 35-size sensor and professional global shutter, combined with precision EF mount optics and recording, via a built-in SSD recorder, to Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) or CinemaDNG RAW. The price? Only $3,995 (available in July). Needless to say, throughout NAB 2013, this camera drew in the crowds to look at the imagery of a 4K camera for under $4K. The camera also supports the new 6G-SDI video connection-out and can be used on live video productions.






Other features include an LCD display showing shutter speed, color temperature, aperture and timecode; a built-in capacitive touchscreen for direct access to menus; and the ability to enter metadata via the touchscreen that is compatible with editing software including FCPX. With the built-in EF compatible lens mount, cinematographers can use lenses from Canon, Zeiss and others.








Blackmagic Design introduced a second camera: the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, with a Super 16mm-sized 1080HD sensor and 13 stops of dynamic range. Small enough to pop in a pocket (it's less than one-inch thick), this camera is priced at $995. Available in July, it also features a built-in SD card recorder for Apple ProRes, lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW capture and active Micro Four Thirds lens mount. The camera can use Super 16 cine lenses via MFT adapters. Frame rate capture, in 1080HD resolution, can be in 23.98, 24 25, 29.97 and 30 fps. The camera output is compatible with DaVinci Resolve Lite color grading software.



Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera


In addition to the regular CinemaDNG RAW format, Blackmagic Design will also be implementing a QuickTime wrapper for the open standard CinemaDNG and companion codec, allowing the camera to record in a format that allows RAW editing in popular editing software including Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer. The camera includes no custom video file formats, and every file type included is open standard.
It features a built-in microphone, as well as eternal jack-based mic/line level balanced audio connections and a built-in LCD display that allows playback of captured files.

"It's nice to use it as a personal camera," said Petty, who reported he created the camera to be able to shoot family movies. "You have a lot of control. It can be a big camera if you put a giant lens on it. And it takes all kinds of rigs. A big camera can't be small but a small camera can be big. The pocket camera has a very flexible design."


ULTRAHD WORKFLOW PRODUCTS FEATURE 6G-SDI
With regard to other UltraHD products relying on 6G SDI technology, Blackmagic Design introduced the ATEM Production Studio 4K, a 6G SDI production switcher for SD, HD, and UltraHD. The switcher allows customers to connect up to 8 SD, HD or UltraHD 4K video cameras, disk recorders and computers for live production, and includes all the features of a typical professional switcher including chroma key, transitions, media pool, downstream keyers, audio mixer, multi view and 6G-SDI and HDMI 4K video connections. This switcher will be available in May for $1,495.

ATEM Studio Converter 2 is a new model with 6G-SDI support as well as enhanced talkback features and upgraded design. It is priced the same as the former model, at $1,995. Blackmagic Audio Monitor also features 6G-SDI video as well as analog audio and SDI video inputs, integrated video monitor and LED level meter, for $1,495. Also boasting new 6G SDI technology is the UltraStudio 4K for Thunderbolt; Deck Link 4K Extreme; and HyperDeck Studio Pro.


DaVINCI RESOLVE 10
Also unveiled at NAB 2013 was DaVinci Resolve 10. "This version is all about the workflow," said Petty. Features include integration of post production workflows of many software products, new on-set tools, upgraded editing and color correction, and OpenFX plug-in support with an unlimited number of plug-ins per clip.






The new Resolve Live feature allows color grading direct from the video input live with primaries, secondaries, power windows, custom curves and more. Grades can be stored and then relinked when the camera files are loaded. DaVinci Resolve 10 permits online finishing of edits performed in other editing software programs, from original camera RAW files. Other new editing features include multi-track editing with 16 channels of audio per clip and unlimited video and audio tracks in the timeline.

DaVinci Resolve 10 can be used for stereoscopic 3D projects with full support for left and right eye clips in the media pool and the edit timeline. Using timecode and reel name, DaVinci Resolve 10 will automatically associate the left and right eye of the stereoscopic clips. DaVinci Resolve 10 will be available Q3 2013 as a free upgrade for existing DaVinci Resolve customers.







SUPPORT FOR ADOBE AND AUTODESK
Blackmagic Design also announced that its entire range of desktop video products will support the next versions of Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects. The integration will be available as a free download from the Blackmagic Design site.

Blackmagic Design will also collaborate with Autodesk on future integration between the two companies' technologies. This on-going arrangement will include the testing and development of integrated workflows between Autodesk software and Blackmagic Design's PCIe and Thunderbolt-based desktop video capture and playback products, including the DeckLink, UltraStudio and Intensity product lines.


CONCLUSION
Blackmagic Design President Grant Petty calls himself "bullish on Ultra HD" for two reasons. "HD isn't cutting it on these big TV screens," he said. "The big screens are so large that the HD content is actually quite low res, and UltraHD solves that problem. The other side of the coin is that computers are putting high res on smaller screens, and you don't want to see scaled-up HD. People are getting used to those sharp, clean images and Ultra HD is the only way to solve that problem. We've got to get going so the content matches the platforms. This is the computer industry's killer application."

His assessment is right on the money. Fortunately, Petty is in a position not simply to extol the benefits of UltraHD for to do something about it. Blackmagic Design showed a tremendous commitment to UltraHD/4K at the show, from the new Production Camera through the workflow into post production. Depending on your viewpoint, the company either just made it a lot tougher to put off that 4K shoot…or a lot easier to just go ahead and do it. I'm betting a lot of content creators out there will pick the latter option.









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