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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

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6 minutes ago, kye said:

I'm surprised to see it's the 2.8 zoom, which I assume is like most modern lenses and doesn't have much flavour, which means it's the BM side that is where the magic is coming from.

On the spot. This camera brand has mojo...

 

There's (regular) MFT and MFT by Blackmagic.

Not the same camera format (better than calling it sensor/mount format ; -)

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
Just now, Emanuel said:

On the spot. This camera brand has mojo...

in which case, I'm looking forward to seeing it used with more flavourful lenses..  the 0.95 Voitlanders, the Hellios 44M-4, etc etc...  even adding a Tiffen Black Pro Mist filter.  Damn that would be something!

Does anyone know if it does auto-exposure using ISO or SS?  I saw something about auto-iris in the specifications, but nothing else.

If it doesn't then that will give a lot of YouTubers unboxing shock!

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I see some nostalgia here for the old pocket. It was an interesting camera and a great deal for the time, but it had dozens of issues that this new camera doesn't.

This one appeals to a bigger audience and a lot of young filmmakers (the 21st century kind of) will use these cameras like 16mm/8mm cameras of the past.

This one pushes the democratisation of film making a lot more than, let's say, Canon mirrorless cameras that cost more. 

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29 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

I see some nostalgia here for the old pocket. It was an interesting camera and a great deal for the time, but it had dozens of issues that this new camera doesn't.

This one appeals to a bigger audience and a lot of young filmmakers (the 21st century kind of) will use these cameras like 16mm/8mm cameras of the past.

This one pushes the democratisation of film making a lot more than, let's say, Canon mirrorless cameras that cost more. 

We'll see. People said the same about the original Pocket when it was being released. This one is plagued by the same issues that stopped that camera from becoming more widely used among the amateur filmmaker base: terrible battery life that necessitates rigging and enormous file sizes. 

It is a great advancement in bringing down the price for pro features like raw, but I don't see these cameras as democratising filmmaking as much as smartphones, or even more expensive ILCs.

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Are any of these tests showing the difference between the Pocket 4K and GH5S?

Are any showing the actual benefits of RAW vs H.265?

It's all just eye candy.

I want to know what the actual image quality is relative to the competition (X-T3, GH5S, Z7, Magic Lantern and A7 III).

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27 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Are any of these tests showing the difference between the Pocket 4K and GH5S?

Are any showing the actual benefits of RAW vs H.265?

It's all just eye candy.

I want to know what the actual image quality is relative to the competition (X-T3, GH5S, Z7, Magic Lantern and A7 III).

X-T3 vs GH5s vs Pocket 4K 

Would love to see:

  • skin tones (to see smoothing)
  • wide angle shots (to determine aliasing, moire and oversharpening) 
  • dynamic range and low light tests (properly exposed and please no LUT comparison like wolfcrow did)
  • sharpening and nr off or turned down as much as possible for best performance
  • RAW (seems to have the more aliasing and moire issues as well as ugly noise) vs non-RAW

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I think it's a bit unfair to expect absolutely top end images from a camera that is only now getting into the hands of customers. When we shoot a film, we test cameras, lenses, filters etc. Then we know what works, what doesn't and what limitations we need to work within. The P4K is still in that testing stage so comparing it to films that were shot with the OG Pocket many years after it was released don't really make sense.

 

Give it time.........

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Getting a bit bored of the slow-mo & the RAW footage! Would really like to see what this camera can do all by itself - ProRes & No Log. I really think this would be the best way to see what this camera is all about & what they've put together. As far as no mojo, think that's all down to it being a 4K camera & the OG Pocket was S16 - they couldn't be more different beasts. To me 4K cameras just look like 4K cameras - not much to choose between them TBH. Yeah it's cheaper than the GH5 or whatever other camera, but it does do just 1 thing - the others take photos, so at least you've always got that handy option.

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1 hour ago, Chrad said:

We'll see. People said the same about the original Pocket when it was being released. This one is plagued by the same issues that stopped that camera from becoming more widely used among the amateur filmmaker base: terrible battery life that necessitates rigging and enormous file sizes. 

It is a great advancement in bringing down the price for pro features like raw, but I don't see these cameras as democratising filmmaking as much as smartphones, or even more expensive ILCs.

Do you know how many Sony a6xx/A7x/Fuji cameras with terrible battery life have been sold already?

The previous one needed almost everything to be usable, this one just some batteries (I have half a dozen of those without even owning a Canon camera), plus they offer 5" touch screen monitor, dual ISO sensor (and similar in size with the competition, bigger than most m43 cameras at least), mini XLR (how great is that?), usb C, usb c SSD recording and great great user interface (second favorite after my NX!).

They go head to head with the competition, and then add some more.

It isn't a hybrid camera, it is a cheap video camera, if the touch AF is OK with the Olympus 12-100, can be a great run and gun camera also. IBIS? No, but none of my cameras have it now, and none of the C and F cameras (or EVA) has it, and they are the tools of choice for most of my jobs and most jobs I have been around. 

Plus, there is a license there for a full editing suit, that is very important for a tiny tiny business like mine, that I usually need a second editing desk for some months per year, and I hire someone to do some basic editing in my office.

My next hybrid system will have amazing AF and maybe IBIS (do not really care but it is a selling point at No4 or No5), this camera doesn't need them, especially for the price.

I would be waiting for real world reviews of course.

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18 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

Do you know how many Sony a6xx/A7x/Fuji cameras with terrible battery life have been sold already?

The previous one needed almost everything to be usable, this one just some batteries (I have half a dozen of those without even owning a Canon camera), plus they offer 5" touch screen monitor, dual ISO sensor (and similar in size with the competition, bigger than most m43 cameras at least), mini XLR (how great is that?), usb C, usb c SSD recording and great great user interface (second favorite after my NX!).

Yep, for years Sony's mirrorless cameras (a7s, A7r MKII's a6XXX series) all had bad battery life and that was without powering a fan to keep them cool. They overheated and became unusable for 5-10 minutes.

I know what I'd prefer.

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6 hours ago, kye said:

in which case, I'm looking forward to seeing it used with more flavourful lenses..  the 0.95 Voitlanders, the Hellios 44M-4, etc etc...  even adding a Tiffen Black Pro Mist filter.  Damn that would be something!

Does anyone know if it does auto-exposure using ISO or SS?  I saw something about auto-iris in the specifications, but nothing else.

If it doesn't then that will give a lot of YouTubers unboxing shock!

Page 33 and 32 respectively below, in the manual, auto exposure.

 

07A47901-19A5-431D-BE60-1E4AB7DB2979.jpeg

BC342409-659B-486C-8328-C190FD9F2212.jpeg

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27 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

Do you know how many Sony a6xx/A7x/Fuji cameras with terrible battery life have been sold already?

The previous one needed almost everything to be usable, this one just some batteries (I have half a dozen of those without even owning a Canon camera), plus they offer 5" touch screen monitor, dual ISO sensor (and similar in size with the competition, bigger than most m43 cameras at least), mini XLR (how great is that?), usb C, usb c SSD recording and great great user interface (second favorite after my NX!).

I agree that it's a little less quirky than the original, but I don't think by much. 

Yes, the sound situation is better, but you're still going to need to use an adaptor if you're not going the 3.5mm jack route. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

The battery situation here is truly horrific and shouldn't be downplayed. People are reporting 40 minutes or so. Blackmagic are once again shipping a broken design - the camera should take larger batteries or have been engineered in such a way as to save power if it is to be advertised as a 'pocket' camera. 

Yeah, you can carry around half a dozen batteries with you, but who wants to do that? Or more to the point, who wants to be changing batteries every 45 minutes (of usage, not shooting) in a run and gun situation?

The screen is great, but reportedly hard to see in bright sunlight, so depending on your shooting conditions you might need to buy a monitor anyway. 

The USB-C features are neat, but they require carrying and rigging up a power brick or hard drive. 

And once you're going to that kind of effort, we get back to what I was saying originally. You still need a lot of accessories and effort to make this thing practical, and that's what's going to stop it from being the kind of film-democratizing modern super 8 type thing for amateur enthusiasts. Needing to rig the thing up is prohibitively intimidating, expensive and slow and gets in the way of the fun of getting out and shooting.

For small production companies? Sure, it brings down the cost of professional codecs, particularly raw.

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1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

Are any of these tests showing the difference between the Pocket 4K and GH5S?

Are any showing the actual benefits of RAW vs H.265?

It's all just eye candy.

I want to know what the actual image quality is relative to the competition (X-T3, GH5S, Z7, Magic Lantern and A7 III).

“I want to know ...”

Well, buy one and do a review.

Is this the first example of a blogger trolling his own blog to diss a thread/camera, i’d say so.  Really, move on, get over it.

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1 hour ago, Chrad said:

Yes, the sound situation is better, but you're still going to need to use an adaptor if you're not going the 3.5mm jack route. The more things change, the more things stay the same.

The adaptor for the mini XLR isn't really an issue as it locks in place at both ends so just like having one cable really.

1 hour ago, Chrad said:

The battery situation here is truly horrific and shouldn't be downplayed. People are reporting 40 minutes or so. Blackmagic are once again shipping a broken design - the camera should take larger batteries or have been engineered in such a way as to save power if it is to be advertised as a 'pocket' camera. 

When I first received my camera, I was horrified at the battery life and how unreliable the battery meter was. For a minute, I thought about selling the camera straight away. Once the included battery was charged and discharged a few times, the battery life started to improve and the accuracy of the meter did too. I bought four Wasabi batteries as I have used Wasabi in my GoPro's and X-T2 and had been happy with them but the LP-E6 versions only gave me 25mins of battery life. Even after a few discharges and charges, they didn't improve at all. 

I have now switched to Genuine Canon LP-E6's and now getting just over an hour of continuous run time with the screen at 65% brightness so the battery life is not really a concern for me any longer. Also, the meter accuracy is spot on and I get a good warning when the battery is low

1 hour ago, Chrad said:

The screen is great, but reportedly hard to see in bright sunlight, so depending on your shooting conditions you might need to buy a monitor anyway. 

 It was me who reported that the screen was hard to see in bright sun and that was to do with the reflectiveness of it rather than the lack of brightness. I have just fitted an anti glare protector to it. Unfortunately it's night time here, and I can't test it in full sun until tomorrow but even indoors it's obvious that the reflections have been cut substantially without quality loss so hopefully this results in my second major gripe (the battery was my first) with this camera being resolved.

The camera really is fun to use without any rigging at all, the only thing I do now miss is a tilting screen but I knew it didn't have one before I bought it. I might get a SmallHD Focus to remedy this.

 

Ultimately, we need to compare Apples to Apples so let's recap your issues below.  90% of the issues you describe here will be issues for many other mirrorless cameras anyway.

The screen Issues: I have used the A7 series a lot over the years and while it did have a tilting screen, I hated using it for video as it was just too small and also wasn't great in direct sun (most mirrorless screens suffer the same issues), so it too needed an external screen as do most Mirrorless camera for critical work.

Battery Issues: Again, the A7 series battery life sucked, as it does on my own X-T2 (I carry 4 batteries with my X-T2 when I go in holidays!) so apart from the GH series, you need to carry around batteries for any prolonged shooting anyway with most mirrorless cameras. As they are so small, I'm not seeing this as a major problem.

The USB-C/ Hard drive issue: You don't have to use the USB-C feature if you don't want to (and no other camera even gives you the option) so can't see that as being a negative. Once the camera gets BRAW, you will have RAW to SD Cards. To do that with any other mirrorless, you need an external recorder (more rigging, more batteries). 

The Audio XLR adaptor issue: Audio wise, having phantom power is great as is the XLR connection, minijack input and Timecode in. Adding those to a mirrorless camera requires external recorders so more bulk, rigging and batteries. I'll take the XLR- Mini XLR adaptor over a H4N or similar any day.

While it's easy to look at all the negatives of the Pocket4K, you need to compare apples to apples and any camera in the ballpark price range (and even thousands $$$$ more) is going to need external accessories to get the same job done as the pocket. 

The fact is, 90% of of the time, you can easily get away with shooting in a bare bones config on the pocket. I'd only really recommend using an external monitor for shorts where the camera is low to the ground or up above your head. 

BMD really have given you so many options and ways of using this camera.

 

 

 

 

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In regards to camera and battery size, I think the comments about the design being flawed or broken because they don't meet all your dreams is silly.  

You can make a small camera larger by adding things, you can't make a large camera smaller by not putting in the huge battery.

The P4K is small and portable, making it a very capable travel setup.  Sure, you carry a bunch of batteries, but if you're turning the camera on, taking a few shots, turning it off and then changing locations then small is great and batteries can go in your bag with your water and you won't even notice the weight because they're in your bag not in your hands when holding the camera.  If you want to add huge batteries and a cage then that's fine too, they're available and it has the ports.  If you want to set it up for an interview then carry a huge battery setup and plug it into the camera when you need to.  It's modular.... just like all cinema cameras.

Assuming other people shoot the way you do it either naive or arrogant or fundamentally fail to understand modularity at all.  

Buy the camera if it fits your needs, otherwise, buy a Venice or other huge camera and shut up about a camera that isn't made for you!  The clue is in the name - "pocket" cinema camera.

Seriously...

<rant over>

1 hour ago, Jn- said:

Page 33 and 32 respectively below, in the manual, auto exposure.

Thanks Jn, out of likes for today.

Those modes are really well thought out and should do well.  It's good they have the hybrid modes that change one and then the other, considering that cinema cameras often don't have the SS range of hybrids that some might be used to.  My XC10 has a range of about 3-4 stops with SS so I carry a 4-stop fixed ND in addition to the 3-stop internal one in order to be able to expose when the sun is in shot without blowing out a large circle of the sky around the sun.

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