Over the past year, the BlackMagic Design HDMI to SDI mini converter box has proved to be extremely popular with clients using the Canon 5D and 7D. It accepts both HD HDMI and SD HDMI signals from the 5D Mark II camera, but as some of you may recall from Andy’s blog back in May, the 5D Mark II outputs HD HDMI until you hit record, and then the signal changes to SD. BlackMagic’s firmware version 1.5 would break the SD conversion, leaving you with a blank monitor while recording. The fix was to downgrade your firmware to 1.4, but Blackmagic has finally addressed the problem in their latest firmware, version 1.6.1. What’s new? Well, now you can see your Canon’s SD signal while recording, but there’s also Closed Captioning support for up/down/cross conversion and overall performance and stability improvements. You can also set your downconversion settings to anamorphic 16:9, center cropped 4:3, or letterboxed 16:9.
To upgrade your converter box, download the 1.6.1 Utility Software for Mac or Windows. After opening the utility, plug your converter into your computer using a USB cable and power it up. The utility will automatically upgrade your firmware if it’s not already at the current version.