Drones

Blackmagic's drone-friendly Micro Cinema Camera ups the ante for aerial video

Blackmagic's drone-friendly Mi...
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - light enough to fly on a compact quadcopter, but with an unprecedented level of camera control
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - light enough to fly on a compact quadcopter, but with an unprecedented level of camera control
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - sample of a remote control setup.
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - sample of a remote control setup.
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - composite video output allows live view monitoring and transmission
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - composite video output allows live view monitoring and transmission
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - sample of a remote control setup.
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - sample of a remote control setup.
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - compact dimensions but a massive degree of control
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - compact dimensions but a massive degree of control
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - 3.5mm audio jack allows external microphone where required.
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - 3.5mm audio jack allows external microphone where required.
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small and cheap enough for harsh conditions such as tornado chasing
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small and cheap enough for harsh conditions such as tornado chasing
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - using a video transmitter, live view can be sent to a monitor on the ground
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - using a video transmitter, live view can be sent to a monitor on the ground
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount opens up a massive range of lens options
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount opens up a massive range of lens options
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount opens up a massive range of lens options
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount opens up a massive range of lens options
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - mount points, ports and controls
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - mount points, ports and controls
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount can be fitted with an adapter to work with PL-mount lenses
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount can be fitted with an adapter to work with PL-mount lenses
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount can be fitted with an adapter to work with EF-mount lenses
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount can be fitted with an adapter to work with EF-mount lenses
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - light enough to fly on a compact quadcopter
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - light enough to fly on a compact quadcopter
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount opens up a massive range of lens options
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount opens up a massive range of lens options
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - massive expansion ability opens up the possibility of FPV flying
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - massive expansion ability opens up the possibility of FPV flying
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - design your own setup to allow multi-controller aerial videography
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - design your own setup to allow multi-controller aerial videography
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - expansion port makes it easy to add wired controls
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - expansion port makes it easy to add wired controls
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - hugely expandable system designed for keen pro videographers
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - hugely expandable system designed for keen pro videographers
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - a compact rig for wildlife shooting and hidden cameras
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - a compact rig for wildlife shooting and hidden cameras
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - cinema-level control in a package small enough for action cam use.
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - cinema-level control in a package small enough for action cam use.
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small enough to fit on a helmet, but three times the weight of a GoPro even before a lens is added.
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small enough to fit on a helmet, but three times the weight of a GoPro even before a lens is added.
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small and cheap enough to be put in harm's way close to the action
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small and cheap enough to be put in harm's way close to the action
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - a compelling alternative for pro aerial videographers
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - a compelling alternative for pro aerial videographers
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small and light enough to suit most action camera applications
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small and light enough to suit most action camera applications
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - with a light enough lens, the BMCC should be able to fly with a compact DJI Phantom quadcopter
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - with a light enough lens, the BMCC should be able to fly with a compact DJI Phantom quadcopter
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - raw video capture allows a massive degree of image editability in post production.
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - raw video capture allows a massive degree of image editability in post production.
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount opens up a massive range of lens options
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount opens up a massive range of lens options
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - light enough to fly on a compact quadcopter, but with an unprecedented level of camera control
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - light enough to fly on a compact quadcopter, but with an unprecedented level of camera control
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small enough to fit on a helmet, but three times the weight of a GoPro even before a lens is added.
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small enough to fit on a helmet, but three times the weight of a GoPro even before a lens is added.
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - HDMI video output allows easy external monitoring
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - HDMI video output allows easy external monitoring
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - Canon DSLR-compatible LP-E6 batteries
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - Canon DSLR-compatible LP-E6 batteries
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - compact and lightweight pro video capture
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Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - compact and lightweight pro video capture
View gallery - 32 images

Blackmagic Design has just announced yet another disruptive pro video product – the US$995 Micro Cinema Camera. Weighing just 10 ounces (300 grams), the BMCC is designed to be a GoPro killer action camera that puts an unprecedented level of control into a package small enough to be carried by a compact quadcopter. Here's a drone camera that will let you mount your choice of micro 4/3rds lenses, and control everything from focus to iris and even zoom from your remote control. Plus it will record everything in uncompressed CinemaDNG raw video for extreme editability in post production. The world of drone videography just got a lot richer.

Blackmagic has been a disruptive force in the pro video market since the launch of its first Cinema Camera back in 2012. Now, the Australian-based company is setting its sights on action and drone videography with the announcement of the Micro Cinema Camera (BMCC), set to hit the market in June.

Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - compact dimensions but a massive degree of control
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - compact dimensions but a massive degree of control

Smaller than the Pocket Cinema Camera, the BMCC is clearly intended to be a GoPro killer for video and film professionals. It weighs in at just 10.65 ounces (301 grams), which is about 3 times the weight of a GoPro Hero 4, but it should scrape in just under the payload limit for a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter.

It may not shoot 4K vision like the top-end GoPro cameras, but it can output uncompressed CinemaDNG raw video at 1080p, opening up superb post production capabilities, or it can downscale to the highly editable Apple ProRes formats to save space on your SD card. Dynamic range is an impressive 13 stops, meaning plenty of detail is preserved in the shadow and highlight areas of the picture that can be brought out in post.

Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - raw video capture allows a massive degree of image editability in post production.
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - raw video capture allows a massive degree of image editability in post production.

Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount opens up a massive range of lens options
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - micro 4/3rds lens mount opens up a massive range of lens options

Unlike its action camera competition, the BMCC has an active micro 4/3rds lens mount, so you've got access to a vast range of excellent glass, and even more if you use an adapter. And there's nothing on the market that's more expandable. S.Bus and PWM pins on the expansion port let you set up remote or wired camera controls for total flexibility so you can build a setup that allows you to control everything from exposure to focus and even zoom from a remote location. A stabilized drone camera with a remotely controlled zoom lens on it? Scary stuff.

It's very much a pro video tool. If you want to mount the BMCC on a drone, you'll have to bring your own lenses, stabilizing gimbal, wireless video transmitter, external monitor, and you'll have to work out how to get your camera control signals through to the camera itself through the expansion port. On the other hand, it runs on Canon LP-E6 batteries common to DSLRs, and it mounts to anything with a standard 1/4" camera thread, with mount points on the top and bottom of the camera.

Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small enough to fit on a helmet, but three times the weight of a GoPro even before a lens is added.
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera - small enough to fit on a helmet, but three times the weight of a GoPro even before a lens is added.

Blackmagic is positioning the BMCC not only as a drone camera, but as a do-it-all action cam that can strap onto helmets, into cars and into hidden camera setups. Certainly the most exciting set of possibilities here is for stunning aerial footage though, with an unprecedented level of control in such a compact package – you won't need giant, heavy octocopters carrying massive cinema or DSLR cameras to capture pro-level aerial footage any more. And knowing how quickly Blackmagic tends to iterate, surely it won't be long until we see an upgraded version that handles 4K video and higher framerates. Very cool technology!

The BMCC will begin popping up in June, with a retail price of US$995.

Product page: Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera

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1 comment
The Skud
I think I will start up a company that sells DIY curtains for hi-rise apartments! No longer will height be a factor for being overlooked.