August 20th, 2013, and still waiting…
Blackmagic Design announced the Pocket Cinema Camera in a press release on April 8th, 2013, during the NAB convention.
I pre-ordered the pocket camera from B&H the very same day, April 8th. And as of today, almost a month after the “release” of the pocket camera, B&H clearly hasn’t been able to fill even just the first day of pre-orders. I’m writing this not to put a spotlight on B&H (I love that store) or even to wag a finger at Blackmagic really. But I think it is important to note the situation for the many people out there wondering when their camera will arrive. If you ordered from B&H or really any major retailer, know that they are still working through their first 24 hours of pre-orders a month out, and extrapolate your ETA from there, depending on when you pre-ordered.
I received word from a Blackmagic Design representative that the status of the 4K camera hasn’t really changed much in the last 4 weeks. They didn’t give many details, but if I had to guess, I wouldn’t expect to see the 4K camera REALLY shipping until late November or early December of 2013. From the day they say it’s shipping, give it at least a month before they work through their first 24 hours of pre-orders, and then they may start to make real headway toward the holidays.
In related news, the very very small quantity of cameras that have shipped are getting reviewed, and the results are interesting. One big red flag, according to Cheesycam.com, is battery life. Blackmagic rated it at about 1 hour, which is not that impressive, but workable. Cheesycam is saying they’re getting about 20 minutes of battery life in the camera. If true, that will be a dent in the usability of the pocket camera for sure. Perhaps a software update with better power management can fix the issue.
I know this is disappointing to many of us who thought they’d ship on time this go around. But it is what it is.