People have a deep admiration for Blackmagic Design, and I’m no exception. Since 2001, this pocket cinema camera manufacturer has consistently impressed us with innovative and affordable products. It’s no wonder they have developed a loyal following over the years.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the Blackmagic Design products that can greatly enhance your next cinematic shoot or live production. If you’re a student, be sure to check out your university’s equipment lending program as they often offer these user-friendly products due to Blackmagic’s popularity.
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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) 6K Pro
The 6K Pro is currently the flagship model of the Pocket Cinema Camera line. Priced at $2499, it offers exceptional performance at an affordable price. Equipped with the Super 35 sensor, an EF mount, a bright touch screen, and built-in ND filters, this camera is perfect for achieving the “Hollywood Look” in your digital films.
With 13 stops of dynamic range, 6K resolution, high-end color science, and the Blackmagic Raw (BRAW) format, the 6K Pro consistently delivers stunning visuals. Plus, if you prefer even more affordability, there’s the BMPCC 6K G2, which lacks built-in ND filters but saves you $500. Alternatively, the BMPCC 4K is a great option if you’re satisfied with 4K resolution and a Micro Four Thirds mount.
It’s worth noting that Blackmagic frequently releases hardware updates. Therefore, if you’re not ready to make a purchase, you can easily find these popular cameras through your university’s equipment lending program.
Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro
The Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro is ideal for conferences, concerts, news broadcasts, and sporting events. This camera packs a host of features, including full-sized tally lights, talkback capabilities, focus/zoom controls, a large LCD touchscreen for image monitoring, and a physical peaking knob for precise focus adjustments. It even comes with a full hood for outdoor shooting and multiple input/output connections.
To ensure professional-grade production quality, the camera supports SDI, which is superior to HDMI, and you can also utilize the 10G Ethernet SMPTE fiber alternative. With just one cable, you can handle camera video, program return, flash tallys, talkback communication, remote image control, and even power the camera (if you have a Blackmagic Studio Converter). For larger productions, simply run multiple cables and put your setup to the test.
For the ultimate broadcasting experience, consider the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2. It works seamlessly with top-of-the-line broadcast lenses, offers built-in ND filters, dual media slots, robust audio options, fiber converter compatibility, and v-mount battery capabilities for extended handheld shooting. Remember, though, that these setups can become quite heavy, so make sure you have a stable tripod to support them.
ATEM Mini Extreme ISO
The ATEM Mini Extreme ISO is a game-changer. This compact switcher combines numerous functions into a single piece of hardware that can fit in your backpack. While it does have a few downsides, such as small buttons that may be easily pressed in haste, its benefits outweigh the negatives.
Featuring eight inputs, four chroma keyers, six independent DVEs (digital video effects), and two media players, the ATEM Mini Extreme ISO offers versatility and convenience. It also includes quick access to stored still images, two downstream keyers, a 16-way multiview, and two USB connections. Moreover, it allows you to simultaneously record all eight inputs, switch between programs, and livestream directly from the switcher.
If you’re interested in streaming, the Connect2 team has some valuable tips and tricks to enhance your streaming experience.
DaVinci Resolve Non-Linear Editing Software
DaVinci Resolve is a powerful non-linear editing software that is gaining popularity among editors. While Adobe Premiere has been the go-to choice for many professionals, Resolve offers a superior editing experience. Its renowned color grading tools, coupled with its robust post-production capabilities, make it a top contender in the industry.
Even if you’re a Premiere user accustomed to the seamless integration of Adobe apps, it’s worth exploring DaVinci Resolve. Many professionals have already made the switch and found it to be a refreshing alternative. The free version of DaVinci Resolve is highly capable and available to everyone, while the advanced DaVinci Resolve Studio retails at $295, often included at no additional cost with the purchase of other Blackmagic products.
Blackmagic Micro Converters
The Blackmagic Micro Converters are incredibly useful, especially if you rely on HDMI connections. These affordable converters allow you to convert HDMI signals to SDI, offering greater flexibility and signal stability for longer cable runs.
For extended distances between camera positions and tech tables, consider investing in the BiDirectional version of these converters. They provide added convenience and are well worth the slightly higher price. It’s important to note that while the Micro Converters are excellent, there is a premium alternative called the Decimator that includes a scaler and a black video signal for backup purposes. However, the Decimator comes at a higher price point.
The newer models of the Micro Converters are powered via USB-C, which, although rare, may occasionally cause minor issues. Some users swear by the older models that were powered via mini USB, as they seemed more reliable.
HyperDeck Studio HD Plus
When it comes to production, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. That’s why investing in a Blackmagic HyperDeck is a wise decision. Unforeseen events or technical difficulties can occur during a shoot, but having a HyperDeck on hand can provide peace of mind.
The HyperDeck Studio HD Plus, along with the Pro and 4K Pro models, is a well-made device that ensures reliable recording. Equipped with two memory slots, it automatically switches to the second memory device once the first one is full, ensuring uninterrupted recording. When working in the field, you can connect the main camera feed to the HyperDeck along with room audio. This way, if anything happens to the program feed, you can reconstruct the presentation in post-production using the slide deck from the presenter.
In conclusion, I highly recommend checking out these Blackmagic Design products through your university’s equipment lending program. Once you experience the exceptional quality of their gear, you’ll understand why Blackmagic has such a dedicated following. And don’t forget to follow Blackmagic Design on social media for their legendary live release demos featuring founder Grant Petty.
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