The Blackmagic URSA & Studio Camera

Leave it to NAB and, in particular, Blackmagic Design to shake me out of a blogging hiatus.

Earlier this week, Blackmagic Design announced the new URSA camera right here:

And then they followed it up by announcing the Studio Camera:

After the sparkliness phase wore off I started reading about the specs of what each camera offered. Then I waited for more news from Blackmagic because surely on the heels of this announcement there would be new firmware for their current lineup of cameras, including the Pocket Cinema Camera that I possess. There wasn't.

I think it's pretty incredible that Blackmagic decided to make two distinct cameras aimed at different markets, especially considering that just two years ago they didn't make cameras at all. In doing so, though, I can't help but feel they've pushed the folks who helped support them to the backburner as their focus has shifted.

The URSA is pretty much the exact opposite of the Pocket Cinema Camera while the Studio Camera is the active-mount Micro Four Thirds Cinema Camera I've always wanted but lacking the recording capability. 

There is no such thing as a perfect camera, but Blackmagic has come incredibly close to building the right configuration of hardware. The software, however, leaves a lot to be desired. As of this writing owners of current Blackmagic Cinema Cameras (EF and M4/3, Pocket, and 4K) still don't have:

  • Audio meters
  • Time remaining indicators
  • On-device formatting
  • Ability to delete clips
  • Compressed Cinema DNG support (on the original and 4K Cinema Cameras)

I really like Blackmagic, they're pushing the envelope of image quality, not gauging on price cough Canon cough, and don't seem content to rest on their laurels while competitors like AJA enter the same space. But in order for me to continue buying their forward-thinking products I need some proof that they won't be forgotten about for months after an update or two.

Show us you care about the early adopters who often waited despite months-long delays, Blackmagic, and you'll have a userbase that will follow you to the ends of the earth. And for the love of God put an active mount on your Micro Four Thirds Cinema Camera. It will literally sell like crazy at that perfect $2K price point.