Blackmagic Studio Camera - 2021

Studio Camera, family of studio cameras for live production of Blackmagic Design, adds 4K Plus and 4K Pro models to complete its broadcast solutions offering.

The Blackmagic Studio Camera, ready to provide professional features and deploy quickly, have been built in polycarbonate reinforced with carbon fiber, include an integrated 7-inch viewfinder and are “extremely” lightweight, so, according to the manufacturer, “are easier to carry than other traditional studio units”.

These new models aim to offer the same functions as other large cameras. Thanks to their colorimetry, ISO value of 25,600 and wide dynamic range, they are designed to perform well in challenging lighting conditions. Other features include a communication system, pilot light, color correction functions and USB disk recording.

Although these models are designed for live productions (such as talk shows, news bulletins, sports, conferences or presentations), they can record Blackmagic RAW files via USB and can be used in any type of situation where a tripod is used.

Blackmagic Studio Camera - Detalle


The Blackmagic Studio Camera features the same 4K sensor and fifth-generation colorimetry as the manufacturer’s digital cinema cameras. In fact, even the color grading functions can be controlled from a mixer. On the other hand, its 13-step dynamic range provides “deeper blacks and brighter whites” that are “ideal” for color adjustments. The sensor’s 4096 x 2160 resolution facilitates HD and UHD recording, and all models support frame rates from 23.98 to 60 f/s.

The gain of the Blackmagic Studio Camera models ranges from -12 dB (100 ISO) to +36 dB (25 600 ISO) to optimize noise and grain reduction in images while maintaining the full dynamic range of the sensor. This parameter can be adjusted on the camera or remotely from a mixer via SDI or Ethernet connection.

Thanks to the MFT lens mount, Blackmagic Studio Camera models are compatible with a wide range of photographic lenses. Controls can be added to modify focus and focal length from the tripod handles, just like on larger studio cameras, and the same experience is achieved as with more expensive B4 lenses.

In addition, its high-resolution viewfinder “revolutionizes” the way you work with the camera by making it easier to frame shots. It displays drive and recording status, histogram, focus indicators, audio level, framing guides and other data superimposed on the image, and allows you to apply 3D conversion tables to your shots to see them in the way you want them to look. In addition, its touchscreen display includes side handles and physical controls that make it easy to follow shots and use the camera for extended periods of time.

Blackmagic Studio Camera - Side ConnectionsSDI connections

The Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro includes SDI connections that facilitate communication between the person operating the switcher and the cameramen during live events. This allows the director to select different shots and avoid multiple units capturing the same image simultaneously. The 5-pin XLR connector for communication is located on the side of the camera and is compatible with all types of professional headphones.

The Blackmagic Studio Camera models are compatible with a wide range of equipment. The HDMI connection allows you to connect them to ATEM Mini mixers, activate the pilot light, control the cameras and start recording from the cameras. However, the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro version is designed for professional workflows and offers XLR inputs for balanced audio. It can also be connected via a single Ethernet cable, allowing the images and the return signal to be transmitted, communication to be established, and the unit to be controlled and powered via a 10G Ethernet connection. In turn, the Blackmagic Studio Converter device facilitates the conversion of the signals transmitted to the mixer. This eliminates the need to connect a power cable to the camera.

Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K - Side ConnectionsUSB-C and audio expansion ports

The Blackmagic Studio Camera models include a high speed USB-C expansion port that allows you to connect a wide variety of accessories and external drives to record high quality 12-bit Blackmagic RAW files. Similarly, these units can be connected to computers for editing without the need to copy the material beforehand. The USB port can also be used to power any device connected to it.

It is also possible to add focus and focal length control devices in order to use inexpensive photographic lenses in a professional manner. These systems have two USB-C ports, so they are compatible with all Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K models and can be connected in series.

On the audio side, the Blackmagic Studio Camera models feature microphones that simplify job set-up and are shock and wind resistant, making them suitable for recording sound “with high quality, even in extreme conditions”. Also included is a 3.5 mm audio input for microphones similar to those used in camcorders, and another for headphones.

Since the best location for microphones is close to cameras, the Pro version has been designed for the best possible sound. It includes XLR inputs with two channels for balanced audio supporting +24 dBu line level, a P48 phantom powered preamp, -131 dBV(A) equivalent noise floor, and two digital converters with 117 dB dynamic range to achieve the quality demanded by broadcasters and sound engineers. Thus, any microphone connected to the XLR inputs will have a higher noise floor than the camera audio.

Blackmagic Studio Camera - Visor

Powering the Blackmagic Studio Camera

The Blackmagic Studio Camera models can be powered in a variety of ways. All have a 12V DC power connector with a locking mechanism to prevent accidental disconnection. In the case of the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro version, the unit and all accessories can be powered via the Ethernet connection. In turn, the Blackmagic Studio Converter has a PoE-compatible power supply, so there is no need to use other accessories for this purpose. This is very useful when there is no power supply where the cameras are located.

Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design, believes that these solutions will mark a turning point for the company: “These new studio cameras are built on all the knowledge and customer feedback from the original Blackmagic Studio Cameras. These new models are a big step forward and they have been designed to be high end cameras, not entry level cameras. They might be small and self contained, but the features such as the built in 10G Ethernet, low light capability and professional viewfinder design make them very high end cameras for high end work!”

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For • 30 Jul, 2021
• Section: In depth, Capture