In terms of capture formats, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera uses CinemaDNG, which is an open file format led by Adobe that enables 12-bit RAW recording. With 12-bit RAW and DaVinci Resolve, you'll be able to pull out extra information and detail in your highlights and shadows, unlike working with a DSLR or the Rec. 709 environment. If you don't want the hassle of working with large RAW files, you also can record compressed yet near lossless Apple ProRes and Avid DNxHD in 2.5K or 1920x1080 resolution in 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps. For me, one of the genius aspects of the camera is the internal SSD recorder. SSD drives are becoming pretty affordable now (64 GB for roughly 80 bucks) and with an integrated system, you won't need to cable out to external recorders that will typically set you back $2K or more. After recording, you simply pop the drive out of the camera, connect to your computer and begin copying files to your NLE or edit straight from the disk.
The camera also contains an EF-mount that enables you to shoot with Canon EF, Zeiss CP.2 and ZE lenses.
The only thing I can criticize about the camera system on paper is its sensor, which, after speaking with Blackmagic employees on the NAB floor, was revealed to be a 4⁄3 sensor, the same size as the Panasonic AG-AF100. Super 35mm-sized sensors tend to be the most popular for film production with the Sony NEX-FS100U, Canon C300 and RED cameras containing them. Finding a fast wide-angle prime lens will be difficult with a 2x crop from full frame. (Essentially a 24mm will now become more like a 50mm when compared to a 5D Mark III or Nikon D800.) If I were to take a guess, it might be because a 4⁄3-sized sensor is more efficient and easier to cool when capturing RAW files, which uses a lot of processing power.
Another small quibble is there are no XLR inputs so you'll still probably have to stick with dual-system sound as you would with a DSLR.
But for a price point under three grand, this is as close to a perfect system as you're going to find. Although 4K will soon be the norm for production, I would still take wide latitude and high dynamic range any day over higher resolution. Also, at this price point, it's going to force camera manufacturers to rethink their own price points and margins. These lower margins will further democratize the filmmaking landscape (e.g., Autodesk Smoke 2013 for a price point of $3,495).
In my opinion, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera is the most forward-thinking digital camera system in years, and at this price point, it will definitely disrupt the production industry like the 5D Mark II and RED ONE before it. But before we put such high expectations on the camera, let's wait until we see a few images first. As I've said previously, real results in the field always trump tech specs on paper.
For more information, please visit www.blackmagic-design.com.