Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?

Here's a bit of a surprise: Blackmagic Design has pre-announced a version of their Cinema Camera with an m4/3 lens mount. The original Blackmagic Cinema Camera, shipping now, has a Canon EF mount, but come December you can get it in a passive m4/3 mount, as well. 

If you're not familiar with Blackmagic Design or haven't heard of their Cinema Camera, you're probably not a videographer or filmmaker. Based in Australia, Blackmagic is a long-time provider of interesting and affordable video gear. When the Cinema Camera was introduced at NAB earlier this year at US$3000, it made waves in the pro video business for being the first affordable 2.5k raw video camera (the camera records to a built-in SSD recorder). Moreover, it comes with a US$1000 piece of a software (DaVinci Resolve), which is a widely used color grading product in Hollywood. Oh, and did I mention the SDI video output and Thunderbolt ports for external video capture?

The Cinema Camera is interesting in more ways than just its 13 stops of dynamic range and ability to shoot raw video (as well as direct to ProRes 422 or DNxHD codecs). The camera has a great deal of flexibility but with a user interface that pretty much doesn't require a manual to understand. This camera has many of the features and approachability we all wish the Japanese would get around to designing. It's a no-nonsense product with an elegant and understandable design. 

That said, I don't get the need for a passive m4/3 mount version of the camera. (Passive means no autofocus or electronic transfer of aperture/exposure information.) Which brings us to the headline: m4/3 is now to the point where it doesn't matter which camera first, chickens (bodies) or eggs (lenses). We now have enough products on both sides of the coin where we have lens makers attracted to the body base (e.g. Samyang, Scheider, Sigma, SLR Magic, Tokina, and Zeiss, with more coming), and with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, our first camera maker attracted to the lens base. 

Every day m4/3 seems to get more traction.  Blackmagic's pre-announcement is just one more example.

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