Blackmagic release firmware 1.9 with a new “heads up display.” To say the new features found in firmware 1.9 is good news is a massive understatement. If you own or shoot with a Blackmagic Production Camera download this firmware as quickly as possible, because these features will only make capturing great footage and sound easier.
Since the Blackmagic Cinema Camera wowed and surprised at NAB 2012 there have been few features more requested… no, begged to be added to this camera. Those were: Audio Meters, Time Remaining, and a Histogram. I, like many, made do with the camera lacking these basic tools, and lived through the added stress of guessing how much media we had left or whether or not our audio and exposure was spot on. Well, Blackmagic has not added these features to the Cinema Camera yet, but they just released firmware 1.9 for the Blackmagic Production Camera.
The New Features
- Audio Meters
- Time Remaining
- The Menu Swipe
The Feature Details
These are all found on screen. No menu diving. No having to choose which to see at any one time. No these are all right there for you on screen, which is where they should be.
1. The histogram, found in the bottom left on the screen, will help to set shot exposure and help show if highlights or shadows are being clipped. This will only help shooters have the utmost confidence in the material they're capturing.
2. The audio meters include a peak hold feature to allow Channel 1 and 2 to be set accordingly. These audio meters work both for the in-camera microphone as well as connected audio like a lav or shotgun. These are found on the bottom right in the new heads up display.
3. The time remaining, will it's just that. This shows you how much time you have left on your SSD. The time remaining will change if either the codec or frame rate is changed. When this goes red, you're disk is getting full. Nice little bonus if you forgot what size SSD you put in your camera.
4. Then there is the swipe. You can know access the camera's menu by simply swiping you finger up from the bottom of your screen. Much like a smart phone. This is a nice added feature for that time when your camera is on your shoulder and you want to change the settings quickly.
What About The Cinema Camera & Pocket Camera?
Is this new firmware only for the Production Camera? Well, yes. At least for right now. Blackmagic has spoken a lot about getting the older cameras' software on the same footing as the Production Camera so those writing the code don't have write these firmware features for three totally different camera systems. My opinion… I think we will see these new features in the Pocket Camera and Cinema Camera soon. Maybe we will get these before the end of August… at least I hope so. Let's hope more features like 1080 Raw recording and a Swipe right or left to change the aperture are arriving soon as well. Just a thought.
Blackmagic's Official Press Release
Blackmagic Design announces new “heads up display” for Blackmagic Production Camera 4K
Fremont, CA – July 24, 2014 – Blackmagic Design today announced the immediate availability of Camera 1.9 software which includes new “heads up display” on screen metering that provides customers with histogram, peak audio meters and recording time remaining for the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K.
Camera 1.9 update is available now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design website.
Using these additional displays for the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K means that customers can easily and quickly check important camera settings such as exposure, audio level and the remaining space on their recording disk.
Using the histogram scope, customers can now easily and rapidly set exposure in a shot as the histogram shows the the distribution of luminance in their images and if highlights or shadows are being clipped. Images with clipped highlights or shadows make it much harder to color grade the shots in post production, so having the histogram feature helps DOP’s shoot with confidence. The histogram scope is real time so highlights and shadows can be adjusted interactively with the lens setting, ensuring images are not clipped and maximum detail in tonal ranges is preserved, critically important for allowing colorists to create amazing grading effects in post production using the full contrast range of the camera.
Camera 1.9 software update also includes a new audio metering with peak hold feature to allow setting audio levels for Channels 1 and 2 when using the built in microphone as well as externally connected audio sources. The audio meters make it fast to view audio levels and adjust camera audio gain so that audio is not clipped or distorted.
The new heads up display also includes a recording time remaining indicator that shows remaining space on the recording disk. The time remaining indicator is automatically re-calibrated to ensure an accurate time remaining value if the either the frame rate or codec are changed, and displays red when the disk is getting full.
This update is available to our Blackmagic Production Camera 4K customers free of charge. Customers can download this update now and install it onto their camera from either Mac or Windows computers using a simple USB cable connection to the camera. Once the update is complete, customers can view the new on screen menus by simply swiping their finger up from the bottom of the capacitative touch screen.
This new heads up display will be released for other models of Blackmagic Design cameras over the coming weeks, so an even wider range of Blackmagic Design camera customers can get the benefits of this new display.
“We are extremely excited that we have been able to provide yet another release for our camera customers ,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “Having this new heads up display with on screen scopes will enable film makers to shoot the most amazing images with confidence that they will get incredible results in post production!”
Blackmagic Production Camera 4K Key Features
- Large high resolution 4K Super 35 mm sized sensor with superior handing of image detail
- Professional global shutter for smooth pans and image motion.
- Wide 12 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
- Compatible with extremely high quality EF mount lenses.
- Built in SSD recorder allows long duration recording onto solid state disks.
- Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software, such as Apple ProRes and compressed CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW. No custom file formats.
- Features all standard connections, including jack mic/line audio in, 6G-SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay, headphone mini jack, Thunderbolt, LANC remote control and standard DC 12 power connection.
- Built in touch screen LCD for camera settings and metadata entry compatible with popular video editing software including Final Cut Pro X.
- Supports Ultra HD and 1080HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps.
- Includes UltraScope software for live scopes via the built in Thunderbolt connection.
- Includes DaVinci Resolve color grading software.