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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K


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5 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

I don't actually need it until 2019 and even then it might not actually be the right fit for what I'm going to be doing. 

Fotokina may also have given me pause for thought.

Plus, I can see it potentially being a time drain during the early months and I would rather observe that from the sidelines. 

 

Hmmm ... the BEST thing about the BMPCC 4k is actually the price. Maybe battery life gets much better with an accessory (that perhaps dds other features including a cheap and ergonomic SSD option.

I guess you may be right about Vlackmagic ironing out issues with firmware as people start testing the cameras. And I guess with better innovation and more features, come more noticeable issues.

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My dear erstwhile member can you please stop attacking John Brawley now. I have long since given up on camera forum arguments so might not be completely up on who is right and who is wrong-evil /

I like the pictures. A lot.  This camera will probably replace the micro cinema camera for me as it’s not much bigger and is much easier to work with.  I didn’t feel as strongly about the 4K

What a shame. Who are these "deep state" BMD insiders that are here pushing an agenda ? Myself and Hook.  Who else ?  What do you guys think, there's a plot and conspiracy ?  You guys don't wat t

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38 minutes ago, sanveer said:

Hmmm ... the BEST thing about the BMPCC 4k is actually the price. Maybe battery life gets much better with an accessory (that perhaps dds other features including a cheap and ergonomic SSD option.

I've got no issue with lashing together a battery solution and there are enough CFast to SSD converter options out there now to sort that out fairly inexpensively.

I'm going to swap pre-orders with a mate of mine where I have it for the first two weeks so I can test it with my controller and then hand it over and take his place in line to give me some pause to see how it shakes out but also what happens at Fotokina.

I've obviously got a big investment in Nikon glass for work so I need to see what if anything they come up with in Cologne and how soon it will be available.

39 minutes ago, sanveer said:

 

I guess you may be right about Vlackmagic ironing out issues with firmware as people start testing the cameras. And I guess with better innovation and more features, come more noticeable issues.

I don't necessarily think its nailed on that they are going to have a load of issues but I'm way too far behind with all my other projects to get involved in the hand wringing and witch hunts about them if there are ;)

 

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32 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

I'm going to swap pre-orders with a mate of mine where I have it for the first two weeks so I can test it with my controller and then hand it over and take his place in line to give me some pause to see how it shakes out but also what happens at Fotokina.

I didn't realise that photokina is in the same month as the proposed/ promised released of the BMPCC 4k. That would be interesting ... 

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7 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

I don't actually need it until 2019 and even then it might not actually be the right fit for what I'm going to be doing. 

Fotokina may also have given me pause for thought.

Plus, I can see it potentially being a time drain during the early months and I would rather observe that from the sidelines. 

 

I guess what is confusing people is none of that requires an alarmist post.  I thought you had some new information.

There hasn't been any game changing new information in months.

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54 minutes ago, Damphousse said:

I guess what is confusing people is none of that requires an alarmist post.  I thought you had some new information.

There hasn't been any game changing new information in months.

Apologies to anyone I may have inadvertently alarmed.

I have absolutely no new information about any announcement or development that will unduly impact any purchasing decision anyone may have over this camera.

I have simply decided it is no longer suitable for the purposes for which I, personally, had intended to use it.

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23 minutes ago, Savannah Miller said:

It is a cinema camera after all, and Blackmagic does try to exaggerate the purposes for which the camera is most useful.  

Even in documentary scenarios, you might find a GH5s or GH5 with autofocus more useful.

It would be the last camera I might want for Doc stuff LoL Heck I want a Canon C300 mk II or a C100 mk II at best for Doc work. GH5, ehh not good enough AF for me at that task.

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On 7/8/2018 at 11:34 AM, Tone1k said:

Hi JB, 

Thanks for your input here on this forum. 

While you say that BM have asked most of the questions asked here already in the devolopment stages, I'm a little more interested in the product testing stages pre release.

While the Ursa Mini line have had a lot less image quality issues than 1st Gen BMD cameras like the Production and Production 4k, image quality issues like sunspots in highlights, high levels of flicker and FPN (in the UrsaMini 4k) seem like obvious  issues that should be picked up on pre release of the camera. Why do issues like this get through if product testing occurs prior to release? Surely a test of the original Production camera would have included shooting a frame with a light source on it and the sun spot show up? 

While I trust that BM have learned from their past mistakes, and I know that a working version of the Pocket 4K has been doing the rounds with viewings in retailers here in Australia to hopefully get feedback pre release, do cameras go through more thorough testing now compared to a few years ago or can we expect the Pocket 4K, with a new sensor (to BMD) to have image quality issues on release and then BMD address them afterwards? 

Cheers. 

I'm definitely not JB, but I can talk about testing, having been involved in software development and testing in my day job.

The short version of why things are released with bugs is this:

  • A company figures out that they can build a camera with X features in Y time, and they think that it will fill a niche and make money
  • They start to develop it, and due to how dependencies in projects work, development takes longer than anticipated
  • The company knows that releasing a product late is a huge mistake, especially in a rapidly developing market, but they also know that releasing a product that is flawed is also a bad idea
  • The company goes into TESTING, where people are using the camera, noting down issues, annoyances, and product features in a big database
  • Everything in the database is ranked (according to importance) and then allocated to a tech to fix
  • Once an issue is fixed it is then sent back to the person who found it to test it again
  • It is common for a change to fix something but break something else, and it's also common for a problem to be caused by two things (eg, hardware and software, or two different software modules) not being completely aligned.  Communication needs to occur, discussions to understand what is happening, what to be done, implications etc..
  • At some point (normally the publicised release date) a huge meeting is held and all the remaining items to be fixed are reviewed by management and the decision to release it anyway is made.  It is very very very rare for something to miss the delivery deadline because of the number of issues.
  • The process of identifying, tracking, fixing, testing, continues during the lifetime of the product (and is why there are firmware updates to a product)

In reality there will be thousands, maybe tens of thousands of items involved in a process like this.  Nothing is ever perfect.  It is not possible to test every function with every combination of data. 

Here's a quote from an article about developing the software for the space shuttle:  [Edit: here's the link to the below]

Quote

Because of the nature of the software as it is delivered, the verification team concentrates on proving that it meets the customer's requirements and that it functions at an acceptable level of performance. Consistent with the concept that the software is assumed untested, the verification group can go into as much detail as time and cost allow. Primarily, the test group concentrates on single software loads, such as ascent, on-orbit, and so forth146. To facilitate this, it is divided into teams that specialize in the operating system and detail, or functional verification; teams that work on guidance, navigation, and control; and teams that certify system performance. These groups have access to the software in the SPF, which thus doubles as a site for both development and testing. Using tools available in the SPF, the verification teams can use the real flight computers for their tests (the preferred method). The testers can freeze the execution of software on those machines in order to check intermediate results, alter memory, and even get a log of what commands resulted in response to what inputs147.

After the verification group has passed the software, it is given an official Configuration Inspection and turned over to NASA. At that point NASA assumes configuration control, and any changes must be approved through Agency channels. Even though NASA then has the software, IBM is not finished with it148.

[121] The software is usually installed in the SAIL for prelaunch, ascent, and abort simulations, the Flight Simulation Lab (FSL) in Downey for orbit, de-orbit, and entry simulations, and the SMS for crew training. Although these installations are not part of the preplanned verification process, the discrepancies noted by the users of the software in the roughly 6 months before launch help complete the testing in a real environment. Due to the nature of real-time computer systems, however, the software can never be fully certified, and both IBM and NASA are aware of this149. There are simply too many interfaces and too many opportunities for asynchronous input and output.

I highlighted the relevant passages in bold.

Obviously, NASA has more at stake with software problems than a consumer electronics company, and even then, they can't possibly test everything.

There is a typical divide in culture in an organisation around Risk.  

  • IT and engineering professionals are normally trained in a culture of excellence, where due to advanced mathematical training, there is often an underlying and often unconscious mindset of there being one answer to a question, and therefore one solution to a problem, with the rest being sub-optimal.  These teams are often incentivised by having KPIs and bonuses around system reliability.
  • Sales, marketing, and product managers operate in "the market" which is complicated, messy, and is basically a shit-fight, and know that sales (and therefore profit) are more related to perception rather than facts, and they know that every day a product shipping date is delayed is lost sales.  They know that nothing will ever be 'perfect' and are fully ready to 'explain away' any shortcomings of the product once it's in the market, but they can't do a single thing or sell a single unit until it is actually released.  These people have KPIs and often have large percentages of their income based on sales bonuses.  They care about quality, but only as it impacts sales.
  • Often, Sales, marketing, and product managers think that IT and engineering professionals are ivory tower elitists who will 'gold plate' everything until the company goes bankrupt and products have to be ripped from their hands in order for the company to ever be finished and for anyone to ever get paid.
  • Often, IT and engineering professionals think that Sales, marketing, and product managers are reckless, dodgy, cowboys who have no pride in quality, no understanding of shafting the consumer by fast-talk and no integrity, and they need to prevent products from being released too soon otherwise their lack of quality will immediately sink the company and no-one will get paid ever again.

I hope this illuminates why products ship will bugs.  It's a fundamental issue, and the final result is always a compromise.

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1 hour ago, Savannah Miller said:

It is a cinema camera after all, and Blackmagic does try to exaggerate the purposes for which the camera is most useful.  

Even in documentary scenarios, you might find a GH5s or GH5 with autofocus more useful.

That's a tough one since the GH5 doesn't have capabilities like Canon DPAF or even Sony a7III-level AF. The tradeoff for hit or miss AF in the GH5's is compressed raw and things like a built-in mic jack eliminating the need for mic module add-ons. Personally - I'm eyeing one to shoot a doc and possibly some ENG style promo videos for a major brand. I'll take the IQ and flexibility of raw over the GH5's AF. If I don't like it, the fallback is the GH5s and a Ronin-S. As always, YMMV.

Chris

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33 minutes ago, Trek of Joy said:

That's a tough one since the GH5 doesn't have capabilities like Canon DPAF or even Sony a7III-level AF. The tradeoff for hit or miss AF in the GH5's is compressed raw and things like a built-in mic jack eliminating the need for mic module add-ons. Personally - I'm eyeing one to shoot a doc and possibly some ENG style promo videos for a major brand. I'll take the IQ and flexibility of raw over the GH5's AF. If I don't like it, the fallback is the GH5s and a Ronin-S. As always, YMMV.

Chris

Well if you are doing a lot of the Doc work on a Tripod you can certainly use a wide DoF aperture and overcome AF problems, or use a heck of a wide angle lens and not worry much about it. I mean no doubt people have been doing Documentary shots for years and years on film cameras with No AF and it somehow worked.

So yeah I can see the GH5s as maybe good enough AF wise, and damn good at the rest getting the job done. But the DPAF and Color Science would be a damn nice bonus to have! Only Canon drawback I have is the 1080p is a little too soft at times for Doc work. For people ok maybe, for say Animals, I want stuff sharp as heck. I can Always soften it if I want in Post. But the C300 mk II has 4K so that would work, but pretty big money for one of those.

 

Speaking of Canon C series stuff that does 4K. Pretty good deal on this C500 on ebay, $3,499.99.

 https://www.ebay.com/itm/Canon-EOS-C500-Digital-Cinema-Camcorder-Body-EF-Mount-w-1995-hrs-Case/192530442546?hash=item2cd3b56932:g:SYwAAOSwzC9bPmNb

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C500 is older and only has 12 stops of DR and highlights look quite poor compared to modern cameras.

Pansonic has improved their contrast detect autofocus a lot, but Olympus does have a good phase detect autofocus available for Micro 4/3.  Combined with IBIS and a front-facing flip screen, it would possbily be the perfect vlogging camera if it had better codecs.

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2 hours ago, Savannah Miller said:

C500 is older and only has 12 stops of DR and highlights look quite poor compared to modern cameras.

 

Yeah hell I wouldn't take it LoL. Sort of like saying the 1DC is crap also, or the Sony PMW F3 etc. These cameras cost over 10,000 bucks new for a reason. They suddenly don't stop taking great video anymore. Most modern cameras look digital as hell now. 12 stops is pretty much all 35mm Movie Film has. Looks pretty good to me.

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22 minutes ago, Savannah Miller said:

C500 clips pretty harsh in the highlights, unlike film.  But generally I don't expect wonders out of the pocket 4K either.

If the C500 is not enough camera for you, it’s worth considering that perhaps the camera is not actually the issue. After all, if it’s good enough for a major motion picture... and with that said I as high a hopes as I have for the P4k, I’m not expecting it to live up to a C500. Just keeping it real.

 

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2 minutes ago, DBounce said:

If the C500 is not enough camera for you, it’s worth considering that perhaps the camera is not actually the issue. After all, if it’s good enough for a major motion picture... and with that said I as high a hopes as I have for the P4k, I’m not expecting it to live up to a C500. Just keeping it real.

 

Well I was not impressed with the cinematography of that film either. It looked kinda off from what I am usually seeing (ARRI or RED). 

Is highlight rolloff all about the sensor or is there processing afterwards that affects this as well? (if terra 4K and GH5S have the same sensor, I am curious between a camera side by side, to see if there is a differene in highlight rolloff)

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