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Blackmagic Production 4k Camera - NO SUPER 35 SENSOR!!!

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Rasmus Doolengs
Blackmagic Production 4k Camera - NO SUPER 35 SENSOR!!!
on Sep 24, 2013 at 4:13:57 pm

Hey, I looked around, and found out that the blackmagic production camera, has NO super 35 sensor! A Super 35 sensor would be 24.9mm x 14mm (28.5mm Diagonal), theirs is 21.12mm x 11.88mm - (24.2mm Diagonal). Which means instead of getting the 1.3 crop factor, you now get an 1.7 crop. Worse then a normal APS -C sensor with 1.6?!

I wrote to Blackmagic Support Center and this is what they wrote back:

Hi Rasmus,

Thank you for contacting Blackmagic support.

The camera does use a super 35 like sensor, it is slightly smaller than a super 35.
The crop factor would be 1.7 as you have pointed out.

A Super 35 like sensor? What does this mean? We have the facts it looks nothing like a 35, so why?
I would call it false advertisement, what about you?


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Rick Lang
Re: Blackmagic Production 4k Camera - NO SUPER 35 SENSOR!!!
on Sep 25, 2013 at 1:49:08 pm

When the BMPC4K was announced at NAB 2013, most references to the sensor were calling it a 35mm sensor. The BMPC4K sensor is very close in size to Academy 35mm film in terms of the width although the sensor is in a 16:9 aspect ratio. The marketing dept at BMD likes to refer to it as a Super35 sensor but as you point out, that is taking some liberties with terminology. Apparently other camera manufacturers have been known to also describe sensors as Super35 when they are not really quite that size.

When we are talking about digital camera sensors, most appear to have an aspect ratio of 16:9 so it may not be the best practice to compare the diagonal to 135 film since that aspect ratio is 3:2. The physical size of digital sensors are all over the map and often have a 4:3 aspect ratio. But the active size of digital sensors is often 16:9 regardless of physical size. When you look at digital sensors, I think you will find Super35 like sensors are a truly not at all consistent. Some are very generous like the Epic and some are cheating a little but are close to what one expects. If you normalize all sizes to have the HD aspect ratio, I think you will find the crop factor of digital Super35 compared to 135 film is closer to 1.45x, not 1.3x.

Although the widest possible horizontal angle of view will not be achieved with the BMPC4K sensor, there is one advantage of the sensor being a little smaller and that is that you will avoid the slight vignette and loss of sharpness that many lenses have in the corners.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Rasmus Doolengs
Re: Blackmagic Production 4k Camera - NO SUPER 35 SENSOR!!!
on Oct 1, 2013 at 3:21:28 pm

Okay, thank you for the very detailed answer ;)

The biggest problem with this 1.7 crop compared to Full frame, is what lenses to buy? APS - C are 1.6, and it seems like the 1.7 crop is kind of an in-between. Do you have a solution, or a guees of what I should buy in terms of lenses?

Thanks for your time ;)


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Rick Lang
Re: Blackmagic Production 4k Camera - NO SUPER 35 SENSOR!!!
on Oct 4, 2013 at 2:46:06 pm

Apologies for the lateness of this response. I have been travelling in an uncivilized part of Colombia for the last week. I define uncivilized as not having Wifi access! Now I've returned to civilzation although still travelling here.

As you have pointed out, there are no lenses designed specifically for the BMPC4K camera sensor size. However any lens with an image circle that covers Canon APS-C or larger including EF and EF-S mount lenses and other lenses such as Nikon mount lenses with an adapter will work. As for traditional cine lenses such as PL mount, very few will work when adapted to the EF mount. Many people hope that BMD will release a version of the BMPC4K in native PL mount. BMD has commented on that as a possibility but made no commitment to any timeframe for native PL mount support.

The only other consideration I can think of at the moment is that you may want a lens designed to resolve 4K but most modern stills lenses will do that. I say "may want" because some people feel the cinematic quality of some video may suffer with too great an emphasis on image sharpness. Compared to watching the beauty shots of an old movie shot on film, perhaps the digital age can be obsessed with sharpness to the point of it being a distraction in a narrative film. Seems to suit men that have battle-scarred craggy faces. but perhaps not as desirable for your leading lady.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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carlos rubio
Re: Blackmagic Production 4k Camera - NO SUPER 35 SENSOR!!!
on Oct 12, 2013 at 10:42:41 am

Señor:Rick Lang aunque este mensaje no tiene nada que ver con detalles técnicos sobre la Blackmagic me llamo la atención en la forma en que ud se dirige a mi hermoso país COLOMBIA como incivilizados porque en ciertas regiones no hay wifi lo cual es un termino ofensivo sepa ud que esperaba mas de una persona como ud que viene a nuestro territorio en donde recibimos bien a nuestros visitantes y lo cual esperamos dar una buena imagen y hablen bien y no mal de COLOMBIA así hago un llamado muy cordial para se disculpe por su denominación de INCIVILIZADOS ese calificativo no ayuda para nada la imagen de nuestro país que ha sufrido ya bastante y da una mala imagen la cual intentamos mejorar.

si ud viene a hacer sus negocios o turismo sera bienvenido al igual que cualquier persona que asi lo desee

Carlos Rubio


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Rick Lang
Re: Blackmagic Production 4k Camera - NO SUPER 35 SENSOR!!!
on Oct 12, 2013 at 3:43:10 pm

Carlos Rubio, no hay ningún problema. Mi esposa es Colombiana y yo amo Colombia.
Estaba haciendo un chiste y siendo tonto al comentar que un sitio no es civilizado si no tiene Intetnet. Como dicen en Colombia "mamando gallo".

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Jabbar Kallarackal
Re: Blackmagic Production 4k Camera - NO SUPER 35 SENSOR!!!
on Jun 3, 2014 at 3:24:34 pm

Black magic design always cheats its customers by giving wrong informations and specifications about their socalled products. I have many Black magic products but non of them are not really relieble. Recently i bought one 4K camera as i saw their claiming on 4k raw recording in all their ads and uploads but nor mentioned it anhywere that it needs a future upgrade. Even in the pack itsselt its written theat the camera inside will record 4k raw. When I wrote to the black magic centere and i warned them i m going legal, they agreed to take back my camera and return my money, but asked me to wait for some time for the new firmware. I waited 2 months and got fedup so decided to give back the camera. But this time they denied to take the camera back becos it has a scratch on it. Anyway i got the camera back and i m planning to move legal very immedaitly.
Jabbar Kallarackal
jaabsfilms@yahoo.com http://www.jaabsfilms.com


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