December 16th, 2016. Florida to Atlanta. Today was an exciting day.
Yesterday evening a very important package came in the mail! FedEx brought our new Blackmagic Studio Micro camera – right in time for our live stream from KirtanFest Atlanta. Needless to stay we were very excited.
The day today started very early – by 4:30am we were getting up and packing our equipment into my car. Space was at a premium today since we decided to do the 5 hour drive to Atlanta in my Camaro. By 6am we’re all gathered and all of our equipment is filling every cubic inch of my trunk. We buckle in and make a quick pit stop for our morning coffee and bagels at Dunkin’ Donuts. Then we drive.
A little less than 5 hours later we’re finally at location in Atlanta. 6 hours till the start of our broadcast.
We quickly stop to grab lunch and then head to the site. Today is going to be a relatively small broadcast with 3 cameras using our blackmagic system. My favorite kind of broadcast because I know that sticking with one brand and system will just work as designed.
Everythings great so far. Lightning is fairly bad in the hall but luckily the micro and full size studio cameras are more than equipped to handle the task.
But what would an event be without its own set of problems? The Atlanta sound guys aren’t able to give us anything except an output piggy backing off a speaker located near our desk which produces a terrible hum every time we connect. Great.
Brainstorming time. Luckily Uddhi remembers that the full size studio camera takes XLR input as an audio source and are able to take audio in for the event directly from the desk into the camera, which then embeds the audio from the mixer into the SDI stream which then goes into the Blackmagic ATEM switcher. 26 minutes till showtime!
By around 7pm it is pitch dark outside and the inside lights are dimmed. The new studio micro camera has a 25mm f1.4 lens mounted on it and is serving our needs admirably. Low light performance is a+ with all three of us agreeing that the quality is nothing short of stellar.
One major issue however was the lack of a screen on the camera itself. We knew that from the get go but we didn’t expect it to be this much of a problem. Sure, the camera is now tiny and fits in the palm of my hand – does his matter though when can’t frame the shot without constant assistance over talkback?
ill be sure to write more soon.
This was just as just a quick report and review that I thought of sitting here in the back while my team handles everything else. Please forgive any grammatical mistakes or other issues as I typed this up on my iPhone.
A little History:
Over the past few years Blackmagic Design (BMD) has helped to change the face of live streaming. They can get a bad rap from time to time, but frankly they are meeting a need and bringing capabilities to production companies that they could never dream of achieving with other manufacturers. Up to this point, BMD has had its entire focus centered on capture and processing of live video. But as it continued to grow its line of products, the next step was to produce a camera.
In 2012 the company released the Cinema Camera, a high-resolution, feature-packed and, most importantly, affordable camera. Now that they had the technology figured out, all they had left to do was pair it with their already popular line of Atem switchers to create a complete video production package.
The 10-inch viewfinder is huge. It’s basically like having an iPad on the back of the camera. It’s quite impressive. The 1080p version of the camera uses a Super 16-mm sensor—the same sensor as in the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. It has a micro four-thirds (MFT) lens mount
, but through third party adapters it can use an assortment of lenses. There is also a 4K version available that costs only $1,000 more.
So what makes this camera different? Why do you need a studio camera at your company? I’ll dive into the nitty-gritty here and try to explain all that this camera has to offer. In the studio, as opposed to field recording, you run all your cameras back to a central location and connect them to a switcher. The Blackmagic Studio Camera has no onboard recording capabilities for this very reason. Instead, it features both optical fiber and HD-SDI connections. Here at Veuwr we try to use fiber instead of SDI because of it’s versatility.
Both options function simultaneously, which is nice and allows for some flexibility in use. With this you could also connect a recording drive like a Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle via SDI, and capture an isolated feed from the camera while transmitting to the switcher via fiber. The Studio Camera also features built-in talkback that is transmitted over the fiber or
SDI along with the camera audio, tally, and control commands. A “Program” button below the camera’s viewfinder allows for the operator to quickly check and see what is coming out of the switcher’s program feed, as well. The talkback connections take a standard ¼-inch plug, which is nice because you can use a variety of headsets, depending on your budget. With the XLR audio connections, each camera can embed audio from an external microphone and transmit it with the video signal to the switcher.
The image quality of this camera is superb. We used it at the Chant 4 Change event in Washington DC and even though the lighting was terrible the camera did an amazing job. Definitely the best MFT camera that I’ve laid my hands on.
This screenshot on the right was taken with 0 frontal lighting. Let that sink in for a minute. Very impressive.
Recommend this camera to everyone!