What Could We See from Blackmagic Design in 2022?
Let’s explore what we can possibly expect from popular digital cinema company Blackmagic Design. The prospects are exciting!
In what is starting to feel like a repetitive statement, we have to say that “this has been another big year for Blackmagic Design.”
The much-beloved company, which is a hybrid camera manufacturer, software developer, and post-production hardware manufacturer, has continued to make serious strides in a digital video industry traditionally dominated by big-name legacy brands like Canon, Sony, and Panasonic.
Yet, while we’ve certainly covered many of the manufacturer’s more significant announcements over the years (like the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K or the URSA Mini Pro 12K), at the industry’s current pace, it’s naive to think that we’re not in store for more exciting releases and updates here in the next year.
But, what might that mean for Blackmagic Design here in 2022? Let’s look at some prevalent rumors, popular requests, and other fun speculations for this year . . . and beyond.
Pocket Cinema Camera 8K?
So, this seems like the most obvious one to me. As someone who’s used the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K quite a bit and loved it (as well as being an adamant admirer of the 6K version), it certainly doesn’t hurt for an even better version to come out.
And, as we’ll go into below, it’s not like Blackmagic doesn’t have the technology to make this happen, with 8K possibly and 12K cinema cameras already available. However, the other question might be: Is the time genuinely right for another version of the BMPCC?
By all indications, the BMPCC6K is still quite popular (as is the 4K). And, while we certainly know that every brand loves to have the new, hot camera at NAB every year, it might be understandable for Blackmagic to let any BMPCC8K (or 12K?) sit in development for just a bit longer not to nerf its own products’ value too much.
Over the last few years, we’ve increasingly seen manufacturers—like Canon, Alexa, and Sony—truncate their powerful cinema cameras into more handheld-friendly devices. Such as the Alexa Mini, the C100, and Sony FX6.
All of these devices house the core features of their powerful counterparts, yet miss some things here and there in order to keep the size to a minimum. We could say that Blackmagic has done this with the Pocket Cinema Camera line, but I’d argue that they belong more in the realm of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras due to the lack of functional body features typically found on ENG cameras.
With that, I can finally get to my point in saying that Blackmagic has kept the URSA body similar throughout every variation since its inception. While we’ve had an URSA Mini and various URSA formats, they’ve all maintained the cumbersome body that often isn’t optimal for solo professional shooters.
In 2022, I’d love to see the functionality of the URSA brought into a more manageable body that houses more features than the Pocket Line.
Box Format Camera
Following along in one of my favorite camera subreddits, r/blackmagicdesign, I had a pretty strong discussion going from a few months ago on this very subject, about what potential (and hypothetical) new cameras might the manufacturer try to roll out in 2022.
The consensus appears to be that Blackmagic’s 12K URSA Mini Pro sensor might make a nice addition to other body and camera types. A new cinema “cube” camera, a more updated broadcast camera, or even a new micro-studio camera are all floated as destinations for this new sensor.
The sweet spot that I like from these comments and my desires seems to land somewhere in the range of a new camera between that of the BMPCC line and the URSA Mini Pro. It would be aimed directly at indie filmmakers looking to shoot cinema-quality footage, yet still approachable, so you don’t need a full production build-out.
Alliances with Other Brands?
Another popular topic that’s surfaced on Reddit threads, and other corners of filmmaking Twitter, has been a dream desire for Blackmagic to partner (or form alliances) with different brands and manufacturers.
And, while we can’t tell you any insider knowledge as to if BMD is even open to this, we can say that there have been a few examples of alliances like these happening in the past and working out for both brands.
So, speaking hypothetically, a Blackmagic partnership with a brand like Fuji could yield an entirely new camera that features a BMD sensor (like the aforementioned URSA Mini Pro 12K or an updated version of the BMCC6K sensor) in a body similar to the Fujifilm GFX100 (or possibly a Fujifilm X-T4).
Again, until we hear of any substantive talks between brands (which are still competitors in many factors at the end of the day), this might be a bit of a wishful pipe dream, as well.
More Updates for DaVinci Resolve
Since the announcement and eventual release of DaVinci Resolve 17, more and more video editors are turning away from other programs like Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro to (at least) give this new version of Resolve a try.
Originally thought of more as a colorist’s platform, Resolve has already stepped up its game with more design and function for all your typical, everyday video editing needs. However, while it shines in color, it can still be a bit confusing to new users, and not quite as built-up in terms of outside resources and plugins.
It’s safe to assume that, like its NLE competitors, there will always be new updates and releases for DaVinci Resolve under development. However, there should be expectations (or, at least hope) that any desired dynamic linking or other features for Resolve are surely being explored and could be on the way soon.
For more camera and gear rumors, as well as Blackmagic Design news and resources, check out these articles:
Cover image via Blackmagic Design.