Buying Guides

Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Plus & 4K Pro

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The Ultimate Self Contained Live Production Camera

Introducing the world’s most advanced self contained studio camera. Designed specifically for use in small studios and live events, Blackmagic Design Studio Cameras have the same features as large studio cameras, miniaturized into a single compact and portable design. Plus with digital film camera dynamic range and colour science, the cameras can handle extremely difficult lighting conditions while producing cinematic looking images. The sensor features a dual native ISO ranging from 100 ( -12dB gain) up to 25,600 (+36dB) meaning the camera is very versatile and you can create amazing images even in dimly lit venues. It even works under moonlight. Advanced features include talkback, tally, camera control, built in colour corrector, Blackmagic RAW recording to USB disks and much more. You can even add a focus and zoom demand for lens control.

Two Great Models:

Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Plus
Designed as the perfect studio camera for ATEM Mini, this model has a 4K sensor with Dual-Native ISO, MFT lens mount, HDMI out, 7″ LCD with sunshade, built-in colour correction and recording to USB disks.

Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Pro
Designed for professional SDI or HDMI switchers, you get all the features of the Plus model, as well as 12G-SDI, professional XLR audio, brighter HDR LCD, 5 pin talkback and 10G Ethernet IP.

Blackmagic Design has developed the new Studio Camera 4K Plus and Studio Camera 4K Pro to specifically meet the needs of the growing small studio and live events sector. These models are specifically designed to combine technical simplicity with the efficiency of broadcast studio and live events style operation for users of the ATEM Mini series switchers in smaller scale productions. In recognition of the trend for successful content creators to upgrade and expand their facilities, Blackmagic have included a model with the capability to interface into SDI-based environments with the more sophisticated ATEM Television Studio and ATEM M/E model switchers.

Let’s look a little more closely at each model.

Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Plus

Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Plus

Perfect studio camera for ATEM Mini 

The Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Plus has been specifically designed as the perfect camera for the ATEM Mini. It provides an all-in-one solution for small multi-camera studios and live productions such as podcasts, webinars and live events where content creators have typically used mirrorless cameras or consumer camcorders for HD production over an HDMI Infrastructure with ATEM Mini series switchers. It’s the same high quality broadcast camera, but the HDMI centric design removes all the expensive broadcast connections so it’s much lower cost. The HDMI is incredibly powerful as it connects video to the ATEM Mini, while at the same time camera control, tally and the remote record trigger is sent to the camera using the same HDMI connection. That makes it very fast to set up for a job.

Main Features:

  • Perfect studio camera for ATEM Mini
  • 4K sensor up to 25,600 ISO
  • MFT lens mount
  • HDMI output
  • 7″ LCD with sunshade
  • Built in colour correction
  • Recording to USB disks
Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro

Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Pro

Studio Camera designed for professional SDI or HDMI switchers 

It’s an all-in-one solution for multi-camera productions in 4K where content creators might otherwise look to use DSLR cameras or prosumer camcorders with bolt-on accessories to achieve a more professional set of features. Designed for powerful SDI switchers, Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro adds professional 12G-SDI and 10G Ethernet connections. That’s perfect when the camera is located a long distance from a switcher.

The Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Pro comes complete with XLR audio, SDI and HDMI video for 4K native production over an SDI infrastructure with the ATEM Television Studio and ATEM M/E switcher models. There’s a 12G-SDI output and a 12G-SDI program return input that includes camera control, talkback and tally. You also get the same powerful HDMI output with control features. Plus the 10G Ethernet connection allows all connections on a single cable for a SMPTE style workflow that’s much lower cost.

Main Features:

  • Designed for professional SDI or HDMI switchers
  • 4K sensor up to 25,600 ISO
  • MFT lens mount
  • 12G-SDI
  • Professional XLR audio
  • Brighter HDR LCD
  • 5 pin talkback
  • 10G Ethernet IP link
Studio Camera 4K Plus Studio Camera
4K Pro
USB-C x2x2
HDMI YesYes
SDI OUT NoYes
SDI IN NoYes
Ethernet NoYes
XLRNox2
Power 12v DC locking 5.5mm barrel 12V, locking 5.5mm barrel 12V 4-pin XLR, PoE++
7” viewfinder 1920 x 1200 pixels, 600 nit 1920 x 1200 pixels, 2000 nit
Talkback No 5-pin XLR, broadcast headset 3.5mm jack, consumer headset
Why purchase a Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Plus or Pro?
  • The all-in-one design is extremely robust, removing the risk of bolt-on accessories being knocked out of alignment during use. Integrating the key components of the camera system into one unit removes the need for additional cables and cable-adaptors for bolt-on accessories that risk failure or poor connections.
  • Using the cameras with ATEM switchers enables a deeper level of integration normally only found in mainstream broadcast systems which brings quality, exibility and efficiency benefits to camera operations and the production overall. The ATEM control software allows control of:
    • Image white balance, colour temperature, black level, gain, shutter
    • If the lens is motorised; iris, focus and zoom
    • Primary colour correction: lift, gamma, gain, saturation, contrast, hue
  • The Studio Camera 4K image sensor captures UHD 3840 x 2160 resolution images at up to 60fps with a wide dynamic range of 13 stops.
  • Exceptional low light performance & high sensitivity up to 25,600 ISO/+36dB
  • Use of MFT Lenses – which are more compact, more lightweight and more affordable than larger format lenses
  • ISO recording Blackmagic RAW on external USB disks – The Studio Camera 4K Plus and Pro are designed for multi-camera live production where the output is fed to an ATEM series switcher to provide the programme output. NB (There is no on-board recording with these cameras)
  • A technically simple, yet extremely powerful multi-camera, small studio configuration centred around the ATEM Mini series switchers that can be used to stream podcasts and other live content.
  • Up to 4 x Studio Camera 4K Plus/Pro cameras can be connected via HDMI Studio Camera 4K Plus allows the use of low cost microphones connected to an ATEM Mini but 8 could be connected to an Extreme model.
  • Studio Camera 4K Pro can also integrate into this HDMI environment giving the upgraded capability to use balanced audio and high grade microphones requiring phantom power connected into the camera’s professional XLR mic/line inputs.
What are the key differences between the units?

Once you’ve decided the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K is the right camera for you, its then to decide which model is the one you need.

A combination of four key factors will determine the choice of this system:

  • The requirement for higher quality 4K live output
  • Where camera cable runs are likely to exceed the 10m limit for HDMI cables
  • Requirement for enhanced hardware control of features including Talkback for crew communication, Return Video for visual feedback to the camera operator
  • Larger, multi-camera productions requiring a larger crew under a live director with more sophisticated workflows

Studio and live production in 4K is based on professional SDI video and XLR audio connectivity. Mirrorless and DSLR cameras and most prosumer camcorders use HDMI, so are not a natural fit for this environment. However, the Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Pro with professional interfaces is specifically designed for multi- camera 4K studio applications centred around a more sophisticated switcher like the ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K.

Up to 8 x Studio Camera 4K Pro can be connected to an ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K switcher

Adopting 4K quality can help differentiate your productions from the competition as part of a brand strategy as well as to access new features not available on HDMI-based equipment.

If you require long cable runs then the Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Pro is the right model for you. The 10G Ethernet connection from each camera provides the same, full camera signalling and control as an SDI-based system but replaces the cable loom with a single, easy-to-deploy cable, capable of long cable runs, that can be located up to 70m away. Cable runs greater than the 10m limit of HDMI allows more flexibility in positioning the switcher and cameras.

This makes the Blackmagic Design Studio Camera 4K Pro ideal for covering business and social events in halls, conference centres, theatres, music venues and houses of worship as well as high-end podcasting and training, facilities serving high-end corporate clients and corporates communicating with stakeholders where they are likely to require 4K studio quality for impact and brand projection.

Live productions requiring 4K quality and covering large venues will require the long camera cable capability offered by SDI along with the talkback facility to manage distant camera operators.

SDI signals support high quality 4K video, multi-channel audio plus Tally, Talkback and camera control signals. All of these features are fully utilised in live event coverage.

Talkback ensures effective communication between the Director and camera operators when the production crew are working in a larger space with greater separation.

Large clear Tally lights are especially effective in signalling to on-stage talent which of the cameras distributed around the venue is on-air.

Return video allows camera operators to quickly switch their view finder display between camera output and the main programme output to help with framing shots.

The balanced XLR audio inputs on the Studio Camera 4K Pro can be used for wireless microphone receivers covering presenters/performers or other mics to capture the energy of the audience and route the signals down the SDI to the switcher’s built-in Fairlight audio mixer.

The ATEM software control can be used to remotely optimise and match the colour balance of all Studio Camera 4K Pro Cameras.

The Blackmagic Design Studio 4K Pro allows you to make the production environment as simple as you like while moving up to outstanding 4K image quality. But the capability is there to expand the number of cameras and the size of crew and still maintain an efficient production workflow by taking advantage of the additional features inherent in an SDI infrastructure.

Potential workflows:
To recap:

Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Plus: Designed as the perfect studio camera for ATEM Mini, this model has a 4K sensor up to 25,600 ISO, MFT lens mount, HDMI out, 7″ LCD with sunshade, built-in colour correction and recording to USB disks.

Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro: Designed for professional SDI or HDMI switchers, you get all the features of the Plus model, as well as 12G-SDI, professional XLR audio, brighter HDR LCD, 5 pin talkback and 10G Ethernet IP.

Producing in 4K elevates the quality and impact of your content to satisfy the needs of the most demanding clients and audiences. This configuration is also suitable for round-table discussions and presenting from the studio floor, but the move to SDI connectivity gives the flexibility to operate a small studio at the highest quality or expand into a larger space with more cameras and a larger crew.

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