Blackmagic Cinema Camera Gets More User Input On Firmware

Camera production to be ramped up with new features

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

The silver lining in Blackmagic’s production delays with their 2.5K Cinema Camera is that the engineers haven’t stood idly by just waiting for production to ramp up. While BMD was correcting failed sensor issues and faulty testing procedures, they were also quietly tweaking the camera’s firmware and adding additional features that users will find helpful, and making the camera that they pre-ordered back in the Spring even more functional.

So I received permission from Blackmagic Design to talk about the latest Cinema Camera 1.2 beta firmware update I’ve been testing the last couple of weeks. It includes aperture readout on display, 2.5K rez time-lapse recording, exFAT format support, improved CinemaDNG file naming, better overlay options on SDI output, fix on RP188 output over SDI, and my Canon 35mm f/1.4L lens is working again! Gotta say, these are really nice improvements … Yes, there are some wish list items missing in this release, but I’m sure many features are still to come. And even if you don’t have your camera just yet, at least you’ll get it with added features we’ve been requesting and testing by the time it gets in your hands. – Marco Solorio, One River Media Facebook page

BMD has been listening to users all along, and have been adding features to the firmware even before they locked the final build in place.  Back in June, they added ProRes support, made DNG more efficient, and added additional white balance settings. They also recalibrate the sensor design to eliminate potential dead or hot pixels.  That was all before the firmware was locked in place.

But this time around, they’ve added such features as aperture readout on display, 2.5K rez time-lapse recording, exFAT format support, improved CinemaDNG file naming, better overlay options on SDI output, fix on RP188 output over SDI.  The exFAT support is huge for Windows users as it makes importing without dealing with cross platform issues far easier.  And the ability to time-lapse record at full resolution is a nice feature that was long overdue.  And continuing to make DNG more efficient with improved file naming will keep the BMCC more organized for easier workflow.

But perhaps the biggest news is that BMD is committed to updating the firmware on a regular basis based on user feedback.  How many features have Canon DSLR users been wanting that forced them to look to Magic Lantern for because they’re requests to Canon met with deaf ears for several years?  That BMD is taking feedback seriously is good news.  And since they’ve now begun ramping up to full production of the camera, it’s likely they’ll get more suggestions which will end up in future versions of the firmware.  No Film School, for instance, thinks the ability to format the SSD drive in camera would make media management and on set shooting far easier when needing to swap out the drives and starting fresh.  Currently, a format can’t be done on the fly.  That would be a good feature.

What other features would you like to see Blackmagic add to the Cinema Camera firmware?  Leave a suggestion in the comments below.


About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.


  1. Will McElroy says:

    I would like to have autofocus and aperture control over my canon ef 85mm 1.2 L II.
    id like to be able to have full funality from my Manfrotto SYMPLA Clamp-On Remote Control
    id like for the mft rsion to be active with aperture and autofocus
    id like to see a fullframe or super 35 version