Blackmagic Design has issued Blackmagic Camera 6.1 Update, adding a few features, and lots of improvements and fixes for issues with company’s popular Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Among the most eagerly awaited fixes in the BMPCC 4K firmware update is the one where the camera shuts down arbitrarily, with the battery around the 20% mark, or even earlier. DaVinci Resolve has also been updated to 15.2.3 bringing some improvements to multicam workflows and performance. Here’s what you need to know.
The BMPCC 4K has been one of Blackmagic’s most coveted cameras and has generally received very positive reviews. Among the less positive aspects of the camera was battery life and with regards to battery life one issue in particular, where the camera shut down with 20% capacity still remaining on the battery. Apparently this issue was more common with 3rd party batteries and some reviewers even reported shutdowns with higher percentages remaining – sometimes as high as 30% or more (see our own review here). This had people questioning the cameras reliability and stability in general, as particulary when recording in ProRes the file that was being recorded when the camera shut down was most commonly lost. The BMPCC 4K firmware update contained in Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.1 seems to address this rather pressing issue and many more.
Another issue that was reported in Blackmagic Forums was the camera containing seemingly dead pixels. As it turns out, those pixels mostly weren’t dead (as in not able to detect light and thus black), but rather programmatically stuck to one color – a software issue. Blackmagic added Pixel remapping to solve this issue.
Here’s a full list of issues that were added to the BMPCC 4K firmware update:
- Added support for pixel remapping in camera.
- Added 2:1 monitoring frame guide.
- Improved media formatting user interface.
- Improved audio monitoring latency performance.
- Improved auto focus performance.
- Improved signal to noise ratio performance of camera internal microphone.
- Improved power efficiency for improved battery life.
- Improved 3.5mm audio input selection interface.
- Improved AV sync performance.
- Fixed an issue where time and date is not updated on camera when connected to the Blackmagic Camera Setup utility.
- Fixed an issue where the 3.5mm audio input level is 6dB lower than expected.
- Fixed an auto focusing issue with Lumix 20mm f/1.7 lens.
- Fixed an issue where some USB-C external SSDs were not detected when connected before camera is powered up.
- Fixed an issue where some batteries might shut off earlier than expected.
- Fixed an issue where low battery indicator is not displayed appropriately.
- Fixed an issue with camera not being detected by host computer when connected to certain USB ports.
- Updated dynamic range and ISO chart in user manual.
Other cameras were not updated with this release of Blackmagic Camera Update.
DaVinci Resolve 15.2.3
DaVinci Resolve has had a very good year. The application, which was already the de-facto king of color grading software has made significant strides as an allround NLE, massively improving the editing interface and capabilities contained in it, as well as adding the Fairlight and Fusion tabs to its repertoire. With a update cycle that steady and heavyweight it was about time to have a release which addresses only smaller issues and focuses on improvements of stability and performance. This is what version 15.2.3 seems to be. Here’s a list of improvements:
- Improved UI responsiveness and playback performance on the Edit and Fairlight pages
- Improved playback performance on MacOS when processing using Metal
- Improved multicam playback performance
- Improved performance for ganged playback on the Edit page
- Improved save performance for projects with live save enabled
- Improved color consistency with QuickTime player on MacOS when display color profiles is enabled
- Improved support for H.264 and H.265 hardware acceleration on Windows laptops
- Added support for decoding DNxHD clips on Linux systems with AMD processors
- Added support for additional shortcuts when using the cinema mode viewer
- Multiple performance and stability improvements
What do you think about the updates Blackmagic has released? Can you verify the fixes to the BMPCC 4K’s battery problems on yours? Let us know in the comments!