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My Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Review


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#1 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 12:40 PM

Howdy Gents, 

 

I've been working with the pocket camera for almost a year now. It's been a non-stop learning process and I finally have an abundance of material to use for a demo.

 

My goal with this video is to share a cinematographers point of view. I was tired of watching still photographers or home-video makers, review cameras designed for filmmaking. The workflow for cinema is entirely different and I have yet to see a review discuss the elements I have in this video. 

 

It's unfortunate there is a severe disconnect between the final Prores file out of DaVinci and what it looks like on Vimeo. However, only a few shots are effected, it's something I haven't quite resolved yet and with every posting I get closer and closer to a solution, but haven't yet cracked it. So mind the odd-ball random color shifts, they are invisible in my pro-res file. :shrug: 

 

 


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#2 John E Clark

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 08:13 PM

I liked the presentation. The only one 'minor' nit that I have is the use of 'crop factor'... I know this has crept in to become some what of a standard phrase, but it is actually more confusing, especially when discussing 'movie' cameras.

 

In the olden days, one would usually ask what is a 'normal' lens for a given film negative aperture, and the rule of thumb was 'the negative diagonal'. While here and there one may round to the next nearest even number or the like, but from there one could easily judge what was a telephoto such as '2x the normal', or 'wide angle', like 1/2 the normal...

 

But it was always in terms of the given negative aperture. Similarly with current sensors.

 

Why is this a problem... because a 35mm movie film camera, depending on the aperture, can have different so called 'normal' lenses, and of course still DSLRs were never used for 'movie' purposes, although there is a movie film negative aperture that does have more of the 35mm still film aperture, it was more likely that the horizontal was across the negative relative to the film feed direction than along the line of travel...

 

There is also the rule of thumb that a 'normal' lens has about a 40 deg horizontal angle of view.

 

So, I estimate that the BMPCC has a 'normal' lens of about 18-20mm. So a telephoto would be about 40mm, and a 'really' wide angle would be about 10mm.

 

But in any case these days I use pCam or Tolland apps on my iPhone for critical parameter calculations...

 

I would also point out that even 35mm DSLRs till the advent of Full Frame cameras, were not the 'standard 35mm still film negative aperture'. So there are a large number of people who have never used Full (still) Frame values.


Edited by John E Clark, 08 October 2014 - 08:14 PM.

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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 23 October 2014 - 01:13 AM

I posted a new version of the video, a little bit more professional and discusses some of the issues people had with the first version. 

 

Thanks for the comments and hope you enjoy it! Use the same link above to see the new version! :D


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#4 Oleg Zayanov

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 04:52 PM

Like it, interesting...now i thinking about this camera...one of problem I thing is crop x3((( its no good, when I want shooting wide angle shots..8 mm = 24mm ((( What you think about it? 


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#5 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 06:18 PM

one of problem I thing is crop x3((( its no good, when I want shooting wide angle shots..8 mm = 24mm ((( What you think about it? 

 The Pocket camera has a Super 16mm sized chip, which means that an 8mm lens will have roughly the same field of view as a 16mm lens on a s35mm sized sensor, which would be the standard comparison.


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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 18 January 2015 - 02:40 PM

I was just shooting yesterday with a BMPCC and the Metabones Speedbooster for it. This adapter fixes many issues I've had with this camera.

 

  • Gives you a Nikon mount (or Canon I believe)
  • Increases aperture by 1 2/3 stop
  • Makes the lens .58x wider

 

One issue with the adapter for me has been that I need to use ND filters to control the light on bright days; can't shut the aperture enough to get the exposure right since it "magnifies" the light coming into the sensor.

 

http://philipbloom.n...-speed-booster/


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#7 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 03:10 PM

Like it, interesting...now i thinking about this camera...one of problem I thing is crop x3((( its no good, when I want shooting wide angle shots..8 mm = 24mm ((( What you think about it? 

 

If you watch the video above, you can see my lens comparison test which explains in greater detail visually what to expect. Personally, the 8mm lens I've got is plenty wide enough. 


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#8 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 02:59 PM

That's probably the most informative review I've seen on this camera yet.  Thanks, Tyler.


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#9 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 12:11 AM

Thanks Bill! 

 

I love the BMPCC and it disturbs me so many people put out bad publicity about it. I just wanted to turn that frown upside down and explain some of the technology behind it. I'm very excited about a potential rev2 in the works for maybe later this year. Maybe we'll see something at NAB, but I know for sure they've been working on it. I would gladly pay another grand to get 2k Pro Res 4444 capture and perhaps 60FPS, but that's asking a lot! :)


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#10 Freya Black

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Posted 13 February 2015 - 07:12 AM

Thanks Bill! 

 

I love the BMPCC and it disturbs me so many people put out bad publicity about it. I just wanted to turn that frown upside down and explain some of the technology behind it.

 

I'm sure that bad stuff is around but here on cine.com there is nothing but love for the Pocket!

Blackmagic really got so much right with that little camera.

 

Freya


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#11 Will Montgomery

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 11:52 AM

I would gladly pay another grand to get 2k Pro Res 4444 capture and perhaps 60FPS, but that's asking a lot! :)

Totally agree. But keep the sensor the same size! Love using the Super 16 glass!


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#12 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 17 February 2015 - 02:05 PM

Totally agree. But keep the sensor the same size! Love using the Super 16 glass!


Yep, it would be a simple update of the imager and processor. They could use the A9 chip, which is what the new GoPro uses and that will give it enough processing power to potentially run at 2k AND reduce the rolling shutter effect. Adding Pro Res 4444 is no big deal, it's down to the card speeds at that point.

I really hope we see something at NAB.
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