Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera

Hey, its Dawson Boyle here and just wanted to talk a little about Black Magic Designs NEW camera. The reason i really like the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera, is because it has 13 stops of dynamic range, 1980pX1080p (which is basically 2k), It shoots raw footage so i can get a beautiful color correction. also shoots good lo-light. My heart is set on the BlackMagic but i wanted to see some opinions from some other filmmakers. What do you think?
Test Footage: http://vimeo.com/70676876

 

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Comments

  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    Not really excited about it because there are becoming more options that fill that small gap.  Its nice that for a grand you can get raw on sd cards.  Just now Magic Lantern has started cracking how to get RAW from a normal EOS line.  They can safely get raw out of their cameras that get 12-13 stops of dynamic range... and the limitations are shrinking.  If I was a professional would I use hacked software?  No at that point I'd also pay more to get more... like the production camera.  Also, its a super 16 sensor vs a full frame sensor and the accompanying glass.
    Your post sounds a little like an ad
  • MatthiasClaflinMatthiasClaflin Website User Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    This is how I feel; for just under $1000, there is no better "off the shelf" deals. I find it hard to find anything in that price range that can shoot not only at 13 stops of dynmaic range but also 4:2:2 color space. Idk what DSLRs shoot at but I know that the cheapest camcorder with 4:2:2 is something like the Canon XA10 which is $500 more (and it only shoots 4:2:0). So that being said the BMPCC is breaking ground, even with the things Magic Lantern is coming out with.
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    The magic lantern stuff is using the available tech that most of us already had.  So for me I personally feel that its a bigger accomplishment.    Instead of even needing a canon 5dmark ii...  for about 300 bucks I could go get a canon t2i I could get 14 bit raw at 720p(due to it being a very old camera with hardware limitations) and then spend  $700 on glass. 

    It really is a personal choice. 
    I went through this in December.  I had a my deposit on the normal black magic cinema camera and the Canon 6d dropped and I cancelled it to get a grand in decent glass.  I wanted the BMCC since it came out but the low light performance of a full frame sensor beat the hell out of the cropped BMCC. 
    I see the BMPCC as a nice back up if you have one of the 2 other cameras.  The nearly 3X crop factor of a full frame sensor is going to leave you very limited in lens options because you'll already have to buy pretty wide lenses to get the standard fov.
    The form factor will mean it needs to be rigged 100% of the time or on a tripod. As long as you understand the camera's quirks (because each camera has them) then you are fine.
    I am either going to save 5k to get the production camera(which is 4k for 4k) and needed toys or  wait till the next canon full frame camera comes out with video features. that got added into the 70d.

    I included a video of Raw on a Canon 5d Mark iii.  Expert color grading + Quality product
    http://vimeo.com/69526296
  • MatthiasClaflinMatthiasClaflin Website User Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    I disagree. You would not have to have it mounted to a tripod "100%" of the time. Maybe a shoulder rig would be nice, but the form factor is nearly identical to a light weight DSLR. I am not saying that it is better than a 5d of any caliber, because it isn't even in direct competition with that camera. The 5d costs $3,500 and the BMPCC is $1000 and it can easily match the 5d's quality. For someone buying a new camera, the BMPCC is a far better deal than any DSLR on the market right now.
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    Wasn't being literal.  The form factor is around point and click and cell phone size.  I used the 5d as the second example.... there was the t2i example that came first to show that you don't even have to be anywhere near the bleeding edge of video technology to still get 14 bit raw video.
    T2i Raw Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHfpKQzgCL0
    Im just a permanent fan of full frame sensors over anything else.  For anyone buying a new camera the BMPocketCC needs to actually hit the market and be free from major defects.

    To focus and manipulate the device that is going to be small and possibly unevenly balanced depending on the lens you stick on it makes the bm pocket cc very much less appealing to me.  You are free to disagree Matthias.  I believe someone buying a new camera who would find a DSLR still the best bang for your buck and even more so with raw coming to almost the full canon eos line up....  WIth the 70d having stereo audio, continual focus during video and an articulating screenyou can get a lot more bang for your buck over a bmpcc. 
    4:2:2 color space is terrific for green screen and color grading.  If putting magic lantern on a canon takes away the competitive advantage of the bmpcc's current prores output(not raw till they finish that update) then what is left?  Not price because I could get a t2i and shoot raw for 300 bucks and probably get a nifty fifty with it.
  • SimonKJonesSimonKJones Moderator Website User, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 4,450 Enthusiast
    Main issue I have is that for no/low-budget serious-amateur work (like the stuff I do with It's A Trap), I'm not sure a raw setup really brings any particular benefits. It mainly overcomplicates the workflow.
    For bigger/more pro shoots, then there are evident benefits, but at that point you're talking having a budget and then a whole different range of equipment is available to you anyway.
    Seems to me that where cameras and computers are currently, raw is a bit like trying to run before you can walk, in terms of small, non-professional productions. I know it's not a zero-sum game, but I'd much rather save up and get something like a movi which would massively, dramatically enhance all my filmmaking, rather than invest in a raw camera which I'll rarely see the benefits from.
    Which isn't to say that the cameras aren't great. I just don't personally have much interest in them - at the moment.
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    @Simon if you scope out youtube there is a $500 dollar DIY build of the movi that you could go with.  There are only 3 movi's available.  I am definitely a fan of saving money and doing projects on my own.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSpDA1Qv7wg
  • SuroSuro Website User Posts: 26
    Just like Blackmagics cameras are not the answer to everything, the Magic Lantern has its own ups and down.
    One down is stability.
    A co-worker installed magic lantern on one of our 5Ds, and while it worked great most of the time, the occasional hick ups appeared. Freezing, crashes and so on. It's never a big deal, since a simple removal of the battery brings the camera back to normal, but I'd hate to mess up a take because of camera malfunction. I have no doubt that the raw hack will be 100% stable at one point (the GH2 hacks show me that it is possible to have high quality, reliable hacks) but until then I'll not touch this.
    I actually look forward to the Pocket Cam. As a GH2 user I already have MFT compatible gear.
    I remain skeptical though. They are supposed to ship this month and I'm eagerly awaiting a comparison and pixel peeping reviews :D
  • DewrDewr Website User Posts: 129 Enthusiast
    I'm looking forward to getting a Pocket Cinema Camera.
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    @Suro of course when shooting a paid project stability is key.  The hacks stability for raw depends on the model being used.  Its still in Alpha but to see quality as good coming out... makes me excited for the beta.
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    As I've read, T2i and similar are not yet working with magic lantern's RAW-breaktrough, it needs an CF-card. SD-cards don't have enough bandwidth for the technique.
    The cheapest possible might be the 50D, that's and old cam, but has CF-slot and decent performance I think.
    Btw, about the dynamic range: http://www.redsharknews.com/technology/item/915-magic-lantern-hacks-canon-5d-mk-3
    T
    here's no more 12-13 stops, that was actually closer to 11. Now it's 14 stops. That's incredible.
    But about the stability. That's a serious issue. No-one want's to tweak camera all the time @ a shoot. It basicly means you cannot use that professionally, or even in a serious indie-productions. Yet. Maybe they'll get it more stable.

    Blackmagic pocket camera is a groundbreaking because of it's price. It has downfalls, the Crop factor is heavy, ~2.3 compared to fullframe as DSLR are about 1.6. This means you'll need a incredible wide lenses like 10-14 mm to get the wide angle shots. Also , rolling shutter is a bigger issue because of the smaller sensor. It also needs some heavy duty F-stops to be able to deliver heavy dof comparing to fullframe. But everything is because of the price, that is so fitting, I could live with those problems. I'm actually planning to get one.
    Simon is right about the RAW. It needs dozen times more GB's, it has to have grading, and will require lots of work and more complicated workflow. Luckily, as Blackmagic is a creator of Resolve, it must be greatly integrated with it. It helps a ton, and the lite is free.

    I am really interested of 1 grand RAW-shooting camera, just because I can get the benefits of RAW, and I'm such an Hi-fi-nerd...

    the 4K production camera would be a great choice that has ability to scale with demands. It's abit pricey though for a consumer, and it needs SSD's, external batteries, etc. to get it fully working and that'll cost nicely. But that price still is quite cheap if you compare the specs; 4K sensor, global shutter(!), RAW, enough dynamic range... Those alone make it a high quality cam. Oh, and yes, 4K footage is a heavy burdain, and requires insane amounts of GB. But you can always shoot fullHD(supersampled, great sharpness), record that into ProRes, as long as you don't actually need 4K. Down-scaled fullHD will look incredible. No need to upgrade your gear anytime in close future with this one.
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    One thing that seems to be often overlooked is the ergonomics. Neither canon DSLR's(even 5D MK III), Nikon DSLR Or blackmagic cameras(any of them) has good ergonomic for videoshooting.
    I used abit older Sony HVR-V1 @ school. It records 1080/25p HDV onto a miniDV-cassette, and the picture quality is horrible comparing to 660D.
    But the ergonomics. You can literally use it without a steadicam, and the picture is as smooth as with DSLR + steadicam. Ofc not with running, but walking. Also, panning/tilting with it bare hands really is as good as doing the same with a good tripod and a videohead. It makes shooting video enjoyable comparing to shaky DSLR that's a pain to keep steady without decent rigs.
    That said, if there would be a cheap and ergonomically pro camera, I'd choose it over picture quality. 660D/t3i picture with sony V1's body would beat the crap out of blackmagic pocketcam.
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    @Masqutti There is a video above showing T2i raw.  SD cards do have the read and write capability, you just can't use the low end ones without dropped frames.  The T2i has a hardware limit when it comes to the write speed that will gimp its raw capability down to  below 1920X1080  It think to like 1920 X540.
    It being in Alpha means its not ready for regular use by the average joe.  The 5D mark iii build is the most stable and has the most work done, followed by most of the full frame sensors.  The cropped sensors are the newest ports that are less stable and has less work going towards them in comparison to the full frame bodies at the moment.  So hopefully no one will work with Alpha level stuff when its important because its just asking for trouble.
    The nice thing with the 4k production camera is it uses standard SSDs which are dropping in price and there are wide varieties of external power solutions.  The internal battery is as a back up and should not be the primary power source.  That is true for the pocket cam too.  The battery life is about the same and if you have it rigged up or mounted you will lose access to the swappable battery.  That's part of why its a cinema camera.  4k is completely unnecessary but the nice thing is being able to reframe an image after the fact.
  • RodyPolisRodyPolis Website User Posts: 613
    I for one am looking forward to getting a BMPCC. All the factors point that it will be a good step up from the t2i as my personal camera. My biggest problem is the crop factor, but that shouldn't be a problem once the Metabones for Canon is released. Until then I could always just rent a 12mm.
    @Michael, the Pocket camera uses batteries so you can change them unlike the 4K or 2.5k cameras.
    The biggest step up is of course the dynamic range and codec. I've had it with color grading t2i footage, so dealing with 4:2:2 Prores or raw will be a huge benefit. I don't understand the hate this camera seems to be getting in this thread. It's a $1000 camera that shoots raw, has high dynamic range, and shoots Prores (a way better codec than that h.264), what more do you want from it?
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    @Rody I did mention that the pocket camera has a swappable battery. It just faces down so as soon as you mount it or rig it up then it becomes less accessible.
  • RodyPolisRodyPolis Website User Posts: 613
    Ahhh, I think I get what you meant.
  • SuroSuro Website User Posts: 26
    What more do you want from it?


    Higher frame rates!
    I could understand not having the option of 50/60 fps for raw, but I'd really really really love that option for Prores. I'm a bi fan of being able to half 1/2 slow motion if I have the chance. I'm not even asking for anything higher, but to have what other cameras have in that price range (GH3 for example does 1080p with 50/60. The is "p", not "i"!)
    I mean, I can understand BM only wanting "cinematic frame rates", but yeah. I'd LOVE to have other standards as well.

  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    edited July 2013
    @Masqutti There is a video above showing T2i raw.  SD cards do have the read and write capability, you just can't use the low end ones without dropped frames.  The T2i has a hardware limit when it comes to the write speed that will gimp its raw capability down to  below 1920X1080  It think to like 1920 X540.
    ...
    The nice thing with the 4k production camera is it uses standard SSDs which are dropping in price and there are wide varieties of external power solutions.  The internal battery is as a back up and should not be the primary power source.  That is true for the pocket cam too.  The battery life is about the same and if you have it rigged up or mounted you will lose access to the swappable battery.  That's part of why its a cinema camera.  4k is completely unnecessary but the nice thing is being able to reframe an image after the fact.

    Ah, There and I missed it! That is great! So they've improving the plugin really quickly.  Can't wait for the more stable releases to test on my T3i !
    4K is unecessary until some time passes, or then for HQ professional use. That's why I said it to be scalable. Use it now, and use it 5 years from now. :) Maybe even 10 years, depending on the usage.
    4K reframing sure is nice! 
     

     


    Higher frame rates!
    I could understand not having the option of 50/60 fps for raw, but I'd really really really love that option for Prores. I'm a bi fan of being able to half 1/2 slow motion if I have the chance. I'm not even asking for anything higher, but to have what other cameras have in that price range (GH3 for example does 1080p with 50/60. The is "p", not "i"!)
    I mean, I can understand BM only wanting "cinematic frame rates", but yeah. I'd LOVE to have other standards as well.


    That is true and maybe the worst deficiency. I don't thing it is BM's wanting to have that, I read somewhere it's just a lack of camera performance, and that namely does have to do with the low price. They had to make compromises.
    I believe that it may well be because of the lower performance on the "CPU". RAW requires really high bandwidth to "move the stuff" from the sensor to the memory card, but not so much CPU-usage I think. ProRes will actually need more processing on CPU because it has to be compressed and that's a demanding process. Not enough power to do the same with 50-60p.
    That said GH3 must have pretty kick-ass CPU.. ;)

  • SuroSuro Website User Posts: 26
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    @Suro I was big on Blackmagic but being blinded by the luster from BM's camera line faded in December.  I started making my self a practical producer.  "Survive or Die" as 30 Dollar film School says.  There is always going to be a new piece of tech that that will catch your eye realistically what are you getting out of it?  
    @Masqutti I wouldn't push 4k power out 5 years.  Maybe a year and a half.
      I had a Canon 6D when it came out, it didnt record raw or 422 prores but it did record in their All-I codec which was more then then the average DSLR.  It was a cheaper alternative to the BMCC and coming with a proven track record.  I am in the market for a new camera and I will hopefully scope something nice out this fall..  1080p is still 1080p from a canon T2i to a BMpocket CC.  The glass is going to play way more into your picture then anything else.  When you know that people have turned out professional quality work with a Canon 7D, 5D mark 2 or 3 and a T2i... Before all the extra enhancements then the enhancements are not a game change. 
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    edited July 2013
    Sure there is already 8K cameras and yet-to-be released RED Dragon 6K, but 4K footage will be evidently usable for many many years. Even FullHD will be, because of the lack of interest in movie theaters to update their systems. Mostly theaters play fullHD As I recall. 
    There's been alot of debate about megapixels vs. image quality, and the tides seems to be turning slowly against the fact that 4K or 8K image is so precise, our eyes won't see a practical difference, so there should be more development put onto the other aspects of the image, like noise, contrast, dynamic range etc.
    I disagree about the 1080p being all-the-same between different cameras. I cannot but to think that for example my 600D is really lousy in terms of picture quality. And that isn't about lenses; Still pictures look great! Video doesn't. It's blurry, and there's not a big difference between 720p and 1080p recording. The same cannot be said with higher quality cameras. There's a huge difference between video quality, and that's not all about compression either, althought the "blocks" do look bad. :(
    That also applies for VFX guys, who want's to chromakey.
    This technical jargon doesn't deny the fact as MJ said, that professional videos are being shot with even T2i. The quality is good enough for it. a Bad camera is not an excuse these days not to do something. ;)
    Edit: And my limited understanding in english is present... If MJ meant that after 1,5 years 4K is workable footage for average Joe, I didn't quite catch it! :D Might be!
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    Before someone jumps in and says well my cellphone takes 1080p video and its not the same.  Yes Sensor size plays a part and cellphones have small sensors.
    @Masqutti
    If someone can get beautiful video from a T2i then the T3i will land you the same video quality.  They are both cropped sensors and the Black Magic CInema Camera and Pocket Camera are all cropped too(more cropped).  I am curious which picture style you use because that limits dynamic range immediately to use any (even neutral) picture style.  The Technicolor Cinestyle will land you the most dynamic range for a non hacked canon.  There is a couple good finished picture styles which are good if you are not going to do any color correcting.  Also, color grading is a must.  Throwing a light unsharpen effect on your video will definitely help too.

    When the the sensor is the same size the only difference is lenses and skills.  What lenses do you use?  Lens quality plays a major part in the quality of your image.  I would rather shoot with a T3i with L lenses than a 5D Mark iii with kit lenses.  A 2.8 nifty 50 will not give the same quality as a 1.8 or a 1.2  canon even at  middle F stop.  Also, are you using Zoom lenses or Prime lenses?  You will easily get a better image with a decent prime then a decent zoom.
    If you are shooting an epic a higher quality camera will be better for those fine details as you pan across the battle field.  There are tons of movies that you've seen in theaters which were shot on tape or and lesser quality cameras.
    Before I list the films made with dslrs here are 2 comparisons from well known internet personalities.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73TNSnXY6ow
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkFwZjuTues
    Iron Man 2... can you tell me which scenes were filmed with a 5d mark ii?
    Redtails(which had bad vfx) by George Lucas was partly filmed by Philip Bloom who used A canon 7d.  The 7d shares the same or similar sensor to the T3i so the capable image quality is exactly the same.
    Act of Valor used a 5d mark ii
    Holodad(indie film) used a T2i

    List of films which used a 7d.
    List of films which used a 5d mark ii
    So people may not really film with the t2i because they big productions don't need to cheap out that much.  I mean they can just rent a 5dmark iii for like what 50 a day?
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    I've always thought that if my 600D is made on monday.
    I've used L-series lenses, tho I don't own one myself.
    I use mostly primes, because the fact you mentioned, although they're not all that sharp. My 50mm is pretty good, vintage lense.
    The L-series gives somewhat better image and sharpness, but it don't quite satisfy even then.
    Interesting links you gave, gotta check em out! Also, it's surprising to hear that even blockbusters have been using cheap cameras like 7D!

    I use cinestyle, but it presents evil and quite noticable noise, so I've been trying to avoid it. The noise really is that bad. I don't know if other t2i / t3i's have that noise, coz of the videos seen @ internet has so much compression, and possibly heavy noise reductions.
    The thing that's bothering me is not any color related, or dynamic range, but a blurriness of the image. That's hard to fix in post.
    Even tho cropped sensor may give worse results, there are ofc always developing tech that will produce better and better sensors, given the same size. BBMC sensor must be created for film/video in mind, whereas canon t2i and such are made for mainly still images, not for HQ video.
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    DSLR footage needs a little additional sharpening in post but it works well.
    To Sharpen HD DSLR Footage or Not?
    That's why I posted in the color grading thread I started a video test where a guy took a image of his face and then added way more depth and detail then you get from the standard dslr image.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPIOPc71REY
     


    Heres a "funny" video where someone resubbed a war movie which really I think captures the BMCC vs Magic Lantern raw debate.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHsSKpFzxYI
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    edited July 2013
    :D Was maybe the best "hitler-dubs" I've seen! The dramaturgy in the dialogue closely followed the actual scene, haha.
    I didn't know the sharpness set to 0 is actually the picture that's untouched. Still... I find 600D sensor lacking something vital.
    Luckily I haven't sold my canon yet, as did Hitler... ;)

    Looking forward to the magic lantern.
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    Even without magic lantern... the unsharpen effect will give you what you need.  I had a Canon 6D(full frame camera) and have some sharp glass.  The image was in focus but not sharp.  Going back to some of that old footage and applying a small unsharpen effect would give bring out some of the minor lines and details of the skin. 
  • MasquttiMasqutti Website User Posts: 340
    Ok thanks for the experiences & thoughts :)
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    Philip Bloom has an interesting post on 4k and raw production on why its nice but also unneeded.
    http://philipbloom.net/2013/05/28/4kraw/
  • MichaelJamesMichaelJames Website User Posts: 2,038 Enthusiast
    edited August 2013
  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,262 Ambassador
    To 4K or not to 4K, that is the question. Whether tis nob'ler in the frame to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous resolution. Or to take arms against a sea of upgrades and, by opposing, end them? To shoot, to sleep no more--and by sleep I mean to say to end the headaches and the thousand physical shocks the editor and animator is heir to. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To shoot, to edit, to sleep--to sleep--perchance to dream: Aye, there' s the rub, for in that sleep of fatigue, what dreams may come when we have shuffled off these dailies and rough cuts must give us pause. There's the calamity that makes the filmaker's life!
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