It was the last thing I thought Blackmagic would do. I thought they would focus nearly all of their efforts on furthering the 4.6K URSA Mini and the 4K URSA Mini software but I was wrong. It happens quite a bit. Firmware 3.4 was just released by Blackmagic to update the 4K Production Camera. I was just as surprised as you may be.
There are not a huge amount of features added to the 4K Production Camera. Actually, Blackmagic only improved three things in the camera’s software. Not a huge update like… adding 60fps in 4K would be, but we will take what we can get. You can download the new firmware here.
- Adds support for SDI record trigger
- Adds support for RP-188 timecode output
- Improved 6G-SDI output compatibility
To me, this reads like a list for shooters wanting to record proxies to a Blackmagic Video Assist from the 4K Production Camera. The SDI Record Trigger is a keystone to using a recorder. You want every piece of 4K and Proxy recording to match up, and matching up the record trigger is key.
Matching up timecode would be another necessary thing for shooters if planning to shoot on the 4K Production Camera and the Blackmagic Video Assist. Getting differing timecodes can cause huge, and I mean HUGE, headaches in post production. Timecode not matching up for color correcting by a colorist is the #1 story I hear when I talk about post-production problems with pros. It is as if timecode mismatch has become a rite of passage.
It also helps to have a 6G-SDI output sending a beautiful 4K picture to your Blackmagic Video Assist. Without a decent, and dependable, SDI connection you might as well leave the Blackmagic Video Assist at home because it will be all but worthless.
In the end, I am glad to see Blackmagic continuing to improve, however little, their cameras. The 4K Production Camera is a good camera once one gets past its funkiness. I know I’ve made great pictures with one and it is nice to see Blackmagic update its firmware.
Btw, a little Post Script here, did you know you can pick up a PL Version of the 4K Production Camera for the same price as the EF Version of the 4K Production Camera? In the past, the PL Version of a camera cost at least $500.00 more. If it is in stock.