We managed to get in touch with representatives from Blackmagic Design to get a progress report on the Production Cinema Camera, Pocket Cinema camera, and more!
Here are excerpts from the interview:
TNFO: Can you give us a progress report on the development of the cameras and Resolve 10?
BM: Yeah, so last week we had said the pocket cameras are shipping from the factory, we needed a few more days to get the last bits tightened up, and get a few more clearances before we let them go. We just got that yesterday afternoon so the first few cameras that we’ve kind of already been receiving actually left Blackmagic U.S. yesterday (Tuesday, July 30th), and I think the rest of the world will start shipping their cameras today (to retail outlets). So the pocket cameras are now shipping. We’re obviously running a limited run from the factory, but we’re getting new cameras everyday, so those will continue to ramp through the next couple weeks.
Not much progress on the 4k from last week. There’s still probably still 2 to 3 weeks more work to be done before those units start leaving from Blackmagic so we’re hoping to see those leaving in the 3rd week of August and shipping out from there. Again , that’ll be a limited production run, when we start doing the production on those. But we’ll continue to ramp those out as time goes on.
And Resolve 10 should be good. We’ve got some seeds out there that people have been playing with. We’ve kind of always said Q3, it’ll probably be on the back half of Q3. But we’re feeling really good about the product that’s being made on there.
TNFO: Back half of Q3, that’s for the BETA or for the retail version?
BM: I think they would like to actually get it out. They very well could be posting a beta sooner rather than later and trying to get that beta finished by then but certainly, every time we do a public beta for the product, it’s usually pretty much done, and we call it beta to be able to convey that we have to get these last couple things tightened up but certainly our goal is to be working towards delivering the final product by the end of Q3.
TNFO: I know that you can’t give us exact numbers, but can you give us any idea on pre orders for the cameras, has it been more than usual or about in line with your average?
BM: The cameras are a much broader platform than say, a Decklink or something like this. It’s a much bigger stage for us so the camera order, to our eyes, is tremendous. It’s not like the volume itself is necessarily scary, but for a single SKU item, yeah, it’s a lot. It’s not so much the production capabilities that are the challenge there, the last thing we want to do is go out and say, I want to built twenty thousand units on day one, or whatever the numbers is. A; that’s tens of millions of dollars tied up into building that part but also to make sure that we’re doing it right and have the process down the correct way. It is a lot more complicated than building a Decklink card, which, you put in the machine, its spits on the chips, QC and it’s done. On (the cameras), it takes a lot of process, a lot of QC there to make sure that they’re acceptable for everyone out there. So that’s really kind of the challenge on the ramping of the (cameras). We look at that backorder, and it’s exciting/terrifying I guess. We’re thrilled to see the excitement behind the product, obviously that’s why we do what we do, to empower our customers.
TNFO: Can you tell us a little about Blackmagic’s process and thinking in creating the cameras and who you hope will benefit from these new cameras?
BM: Yeah, Blackmagic is privately held, and really the ownership is driven by wanting to create products that we want to use. When we start talking about building a new product, generally the end game thinking is, how do we build a product that isn’t available to people right now? It’s not about wanting to beat some other manufactures fantastic product. We think there’s a lot of opportunity for people for people to have a product like this. In the case of the pocket camera it was, how do we create a cinema camera that’s under $1000 that people can take anywhere. They’re going to change the way people acquire professional video.
Now that the first units have been cleared to ship to retail, and production is ramping, it shouldn’t be long before those of you who pre-ordered the Pocket cinema camera early get your units in hand. And by the end of September, the company seems confident that both cameras, and Resolve 10, will be shipping. As Blackmagic Design fan, September can’t come fast enough.