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Almost Live From NAB: Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera and Micro Studio Camera

Blackmagic Design president Dan May gives Streaming Media Producer editor Shawn Lam an early look at two new Micro cameras in the Blackmagic booth at NAB 2015

In an Almost Live with Streaming Media interview on the show floor at NAB 2015, Shawn Lam and Blackmagic Design president Dan May discussed Blackmagic’s key new releases at the show and how they will impact streaming video production.

Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera

They kicked off the conversation with a look at the Micro Cinema Camera, which won a Best of NAB award from Streaming Media for its ability to bring RAW video capture to drone production in an unprecedented small form factor.

May described the camera as follows: “One of the first things we did was to look at our Pocket Camera, which is a great handheld camera, and explore how we could make that even smaller and even more applicable to other environments. This Micro Cinema Camera is basically an upgraded version of the Pocket Camera. It's still HD. Still 13 stops of dynamic range. Still using the Micro Four Thirds.”

Part of the innovative physical design of the camera is its lack of an on-camera LCD monitor. “We wanted to put all the transport controls on the front, so I can literally tuck this into the corner somewhere and hit record,” May explained. “If I need to make any adjustments to the camera, I do want to go ahead and use an HDMI monitor with it… A nice flexible camera doesn't need the monitor, but it can use the monitor if we want to do any adjustments. Otherwise, just hit record, and the tally light comes on. You know it's recording.”

The Micro Cinema Camera also includes an expansion port, which enables the use of hackable protocols. The Micro Cinema Camera lists for $995.

Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera

May also highlighted key features of the Micro Studio Camera, another of the 17 new products introduced by Blackmagic at the show. The Micro Studio Camera differs from the Micro Cinema Camera in that, like Blackmagic’s larger Studio Camera, it’s designed to pair with the company’s ATEM switchers. “The big thing [with] our normal Studio Cameras that came out last year is being able to do the talk-back, the tally, and the color shading,” May said. “Because this isn't going to be really driven by an operator, the biggest thing is to have that tally, which we have on the front, and all of that color shading as well… I keep walking into studios that are doing streaming… from multi-cam shoots where they don’t have operators. They’re not going in, pulling focus, and panning and zooming. They literally have 6 or 7 cameras that are focused around going back to a switcher and just doing streaming.”

The Micro Studio Camera brings not just compact size to the Studio line but also the ability to add a B4 lens mount. “A lot of people that are using our ATEMs are using smaller, kind of HDV cameras right now,” May explained. “The Studio Camera’s going to be a big upgrade for them; let’s use this very cost-effective and highly adaptable Micro Four Thirds lens. That market was pretty happy, but this much larger market said, but hey, I would totally use that camera if you could use a B4 lens on there as well.”

The Micro Studio Camera lists for $995, with a 4K version available for $1,295.

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