Blackmagic Design has updated its Blackmagic Camera software to 1.8, which is available now as a free download for all existing Blackmagic Camera customers via the Blackmagic Website. Blackmagic Cameras are available now, starting from $995. Resolve 11 is also available for download via a public beta. More on that later in this story.
The Blackmagic Camera 1.8 software update features a completely new code base for all Blackmagic digital film cameras and provides a foundation for new features. This update supports the original wide dynamic range 2.5K Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K.
All Blackmagic cameras now have a GUI similar to the URSA, which was introduced at NAB 2014.
This all-new code base also improves performance and includes a new user interface similar in design to the new URSA camera announced at NAB in April. This new GUI is included in all models of cameras available from Blackmagic.
Blackmagic Camera 1.8 adds compressed RAW DNG support for the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K model, and this allows RAW recording in realtime so all sensor data can be captured allowing more range and much higher image quality when working in post production and color grading.
DaVinci Resolve 11 fully supports RAW grading and rendering to final output direct from the RAW camera original files. This means customers get incredible first generation masters, with a solution that edits RAW files as easily and as responsively as a normal video file.
New features in this update include enhanced lens control support for EF lens mount cameras such as the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K models. This means customers can now get auto focus when pushing the focus button on active EF-based lenses and the cameras will mathematically analyze the center of the image and optimize the focus for maximum sharpness.
This is important with high-resolution 4K cameras where images are so sharp that accurate focus is critical for the best results. Because this update uses the focus button for auto focus, the focus peaking feature is now enabled by double pressing the focus button.
This release also improves the focus peaking display, allowing incredibly accurate and super sharp manual focus, critical when using cine lenses. The focus peaking is now green in color so it’s easier to see, and the filters generating the edge peaking have been optimized allowing for better detection and display for maximum sharpness. In addition, the iris control has been changed, due to customer request, to hold its setting between record and playback.
This 1.8 update also offers improvements for the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera models, including improved audio performance and a completely rewritten de-bayer processor. This new de-bayer means when customers record to normal video files such as ProRes or DNxHD they will get sharper and cleaner looking images. This new de-bayer processing features algorithms that have been incorporated from Resolve.
A side view of the Pocket Cinema Camera.
Other benefits include enhancements to the cameras dynamic range when shooting at 1600 ISO. This means users will now get even more dynamic range and image quality, even if they purchased their camera two years ago.
Improvements for the Pocket Cinema Camera are also included in this update, including the updated interface, new focus peaking and improved de-bayer quality, plus additional active MFT lens support for lenses including Sigma and Lumix.
“We have been working very hard to incorporate camera feature requests that customers have been sending us,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic. “Of course, we are working hard on more features we want to add into our cameras and you will see more and more of what we have been working on in updates that will be released over the upcoming months.”
DaVinci Resolve 11, now available for public beta, offers over 100 new editing and color grading features. This update includes major improvements in online editing plus context sensitive trimming, on-set file cloning, photographer style color grading tools and a new collaborative workflow that allows multiple users to work simultaneously on the same timeline.
The collaborative workflow tools in Resolve 11 allow an editor and multiple colorists to work on different workstations, sharing the same timeline and working in tandem as they complete shots. As an example, a colorist could be color grading or tracking windows while another colorist fine tunes grades that are all immediately updated as the editor edits. Each user can see the timeline update so they are all working on the same job at the same time. This helps creative teams stay in sync and work faster on large complex jobs such as feature films and television programming.
One of the enhanced editing features in Resolve 11 is the better round-trip collaboration with Apple Final Cut Pro X. This is possible because more of the features in each application are compatible so projects can be moved back and forth easily.
Color correction features have also been upgraded in Resolve 11, including all new RAW image and color grading controls that are designed for photographers who are moving into cinematography. The new camera RAW palette features highlight and shadow recovery, mid-tone detail, color boost, saturation, lift, gain and contrast.
For on-set work Resolve 11 can now back up and save digital camera files. The new clone tool copies media drives, memory cards and camera packs to multiple destinations simultaneously. All copies are checksum verified, that means users get exact bit for bit digital copies of their source media. The new clone tool is included in the free DaVinci Resolve Lite and can be installed on a laptop for on-set use.
Resolve 11 also features an automatic color chart color balancing tool that works on all types of footage, including video, RAW and even film. The new color match tool automatically gives a primary base grade by analyzing shots containing standard color chip charts even if they were shot in different lighting conditions with different exposure and color temperatures.
Resolve 11 also adds optimizations to OpenCL image processing, which allows improved rendering speeds on the new Apple Mac Pro systems. The Mac Pro features dual GPUs so it is the ideal solution for customers looking for an “off-the-shelf” solution that easily handles the high processing speeds when working on Ultra HD work in the deepest YRGB 32-bit float processing quality.