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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

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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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5 minutes ago, tonysss said:

 

I still see GH5s everywhere  🙂  

I have to wait with the purchase...

That’s the problem. I’m sure the image from the P4K is more pure, but for the extra bells and whistles, it’s hard to justify the P4K over the GH5/s.

In about a year, I’ll have updated my computer and will probably want to move up to 4K. If ML does some miracles with the 5D4, then that’s the way I’ll go, if not the P4K will be a serious contender for me. Unless Olympus or some company offers ProRes and IBIS. John Brawley is an Olympus ambassador, so it may be possible the E-M5iii has some great video features.

We are cursed with too many options.

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28 minutes ago, tonysss said:

 

I still see GH5s everywhere  🙂  

I have to wait with the purchase...

So, worst case scenario is that the Pocket 4K is a 'GH5s Cinema Series' camera? Like the GH5s but better colour science, better codecs, internal RAW, Phantom powered XLR, Timecode capability,  and includes a full version of Resolve for $1000USD cheaper than Panasonics Vlogger/ stills focussed GH5s that has a flappy screen, Autofocus and takes stills which the latter two functions are features I never use on my video cameras anyway............I'm cool with that! The GH5S is a great little camera.

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1 hour ago, A_Urquhart said:

So, worst case scenario is that the Pocket 4K is a 'GH5s Cinema Series' camera? Like the GH5s but better colour science, better codecs, internal RAW, Phantom powered XLR, Timecode capability,  and includes a full version of Resolve for $1000USD cheaper than Panasonics Vlogger/ stills focussed GH5s that has a flappy screen, Autofocus and takes stills which the latter two functions are features I never use on my video cameras anyway............I'm cool with that! The GH5S is a great little camera.

The GH5S has an option for XLR inputs with phantom power and they sound clean. It also supports timecode. Let’s not forget it’s not made of plastic, is weather sealed, has great battery life, supports anamorphic modes and has an EVF. There’s more... but you get the idea.

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33 minutes ago, DBounce said:

The GH5S has an option for XLR inputs with phantom power and they sound clean. It also supports timecode. Let’s not forget it’s not made of plastic, is weather sealed, has great battery life, supports anamorphic modes and has an EVF. There’s more... but you get the idea.

Yeah I really think a used GH5s is serious tool, with a ton of features, for a fair price for what it offers.  New, they are 2000 bucks.

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I love the GH5, particularly IBIS. I do love the image that I've seen coming out of the GH5s, but I just couldn't see paying $2000+ for that camera. The image is too close to the P4K (or GH5) for me to switch or buy the GH5s.

So for me it'll either be to stay with my GH5, or go to the P4K. And really this comes down to trading IBIS, ETC, and battery life for image/color science, codec (and upcoming .braw), better lowlight, Resolve, and great menu. And honestly, that last one is yuge. I really dislike working on the GH5 because of it's menu. It slows me down, and that is the point of these cameras in the first place. 

Though I do go back and forth on the P4K, the more footage that comes out, the more I am liking it. I plan on keeping my pre-order on q. Maybe even testing them side by side before deciding which to keep. 

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2 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Yeah I really think a used GH5s is serious tool, with a ton of features, for a fair price for what it offers.  New, they are 2000 bucks.

It is 2499 euros here (3000 bucks almost) and that XLR thingy someone mentioned starts from 320euros. 

The price in difference is vast, and honestly, I do not consider the GH5s a serious photo camera. I need at least 24mgpxls to be safe on photo jobs, I do not know any professionals shooting with such a small resolution (that applies to A7s too), or that wpuld be confident using one for paid jobs.

I double on the menu system. It is really terrible on most cameras, and Sony still has limited touch screen interface. For some of us those 2 count. I have worked extensively with Sony cameras through the years and I hated the experience.

Does anyone know what gimbals are compatible with the Pocket4K? Especially these 2 new Moza and Zhiyun are really interesting.

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As far as menus go, I haven’t particularly liked any of them, whether Fuji, Sony or Panasonic.

But being able to assign the most frequently used items to function buttons and having a customizable ‘my menu’ takes some of the pain away.

Sony’s also got that fn menu with room for 12 additional customizable items which is pretty great if you ask me.

Just how many fn buttons are there on the P4K anyway?

 

B6808344-E370-4162-B4E0-069D58A4C900.jpeg

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7 minutes ago, Jonesy Jones said:

Have you personal experience with the OS on newer BM cameras? It's awesome. So nice. 

And I believe there are at least 3 assignable buttons.

I own the Video Assist and I’ve watched several tutorials showing off the P4K menu interface. But I’m afraid I much prefer fn buttons to diving into a menu, however nicely thought out it is. But that’s just me.

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There are three function buttons. You can set them to toggle a setting or do a preset. 

With the BM interface there is really no diving into a menu - it is so intuitive and easy to use. Certainly one of cleanest and efficient interfaces of any device.

Possibly a consequence of only having limited options available (cf Sony A7x) but that notwithstanding the interface just works.

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1 hour ago, Kisaha said:

I do not know any professionals shooting with such a small resolution (that applies to A7s too), or that wpuld be confident using one for paid jobs.

I disagree. I just used a Nikon d4 on a pro job and heard not one complaint from my client.

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