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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

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2 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

I have to say that my takeaway from it was wondering why he bought it in the first place because those list of reasons in his description were all there before he wrote the cheque.

I'm not sure it particularly validates the P4K either to be honest as that camera wouldn't move the story on significantly for him either in a lot of those criteria that he listed against the RED.

  • * My clients don’t need or ask for 4K  - So its no different there.
  • * I don’t end up taking it because I’m worry about it getting stolen and it is so heavy - Obviously different there.
  • * The batteries only last an hour, so I have to bring a bunch - So its no different there.
  • * No autofocus (which matters more when you’re a one man band or are filming yourself) - Obviously different there.
  • * I find the image is actually really noisy. - From what I've seen, the Pocket4K will be a win there.
  • * Filming with it is just slower and more work. - So its no different there due to it sharing the same issues he lists in his next 4 points.
  • * Footage takes a longer time to backup. - So its no different there (relative to the type of cameras he lists that he does want to use in his last point)
  • * Takes longer to make proxies. - So its no different there (relative to the type of cameras he lists that he does want to use in his last point)
  • * Takes longer to export. - So its no different there (relative to the type of cameras he lists that he does want to use in his last point)
  • * No built-in ND Filters - So its no different there.
  • * No built-in XLRs - Its singular but obviously different there.
  • * $1750 for the module with a mic input jack + HDMI/SDI out - Obviously different there!
  • * Really want to go back to using hybrid cameras (I hate packing two kinds of cameras for photo + video needs) - So its no different there.

I think the video could equally have been called "Why I Don't Need A 4K RAW Cinema Camera Irrespective Of How Much It Costs" as when it comes to the most important aspects the only difference between the two is where the decimal point is in the price.

Totally agree.

I think I worded that part of my post badly..  I should have separated the two points, that Caleb said the RED was a mistake for a number of reasons, and that MY interpretation of those reasons applied to the P4K.

Like @Mattias Burling said - this is a cinema camera.  If you accept that it's a cinema camera then it needs to be understood in that context.  Including the size...  for a cinema camera it may as well be called the Black Magic Microscopic Cinema Camera! :)

It's another effect of convergence of technology.  People who are part of the DSLR revolution don't understand how cinema cameras work (thus the complaining about the battery life, screen, file sizes, AF, etc) and so they compare it to cameras of the same price or physical size.   Just like you wouldn't do any serious overall comparison between a $1000 iPhone camera and a $1000 DSLR because they're the same price (what do you mean the camera can't make phone calls???), or a 5D with a film camera because they're the same shape (why doesn't the 5D take Ektar???), comparing the P4K with A7III GH5 etc also makes no sense because they're built for completely different things.

10 minutes ago, Chrad said:

Usually a battery is placed behind the camera on a real cinema camera, but you can't do that here without obstructing your view of the screen.

I wonder how people see the screen on the back of their real cinema cameras?

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Sorry kye, that’s not how I understood your comments, and you are a pretty articulate man.

But what I wonder about is how you come up with how AF suddenly doesn’t matter to you anymore. Don’t mean to put you on the spot: just curious what changed your mind about autofocus.

3 hours ago, kye said:

I want IBIS and was also wanting AF until I recently changed approach.  

 

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19 minutes ago, kye said:

I wonder how people see the screen on the back of their real cinema cameras?

Isn't the whole point of the big monitor that this is a pocket camera and you don't need an external monitor? 

If you need to rig up a monitor to mount external power without some unorthodox rigging whatsit designed to prevent blocking the view of the screen, then the rear monitor is just a waste of space and energy. 

Or are you saying this isn't a real cinema camera because they included a screen on the back? 

Broken design: halfway between a cinema camera that requires rigging and a low form factor device, in ways that are trampling on each other. The least they could have done here is add a hinge for the screen and then this would be a non-issue.

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2 minutes ago, jonpais said:

Sorry kye, that’s not how I understood your comments, and you are a pretty articulate man.

But what I wonder about is how you come up with how AF suddenly doesn’t matter to you anymore.

Which bits Jon?  I've said a few things :)

In terms of me moving away from AF, it's a complete change in philosophy.  I'm moving from wanting a camera to record whatever shots I can see (and therefore being really flexible), to having a camera that I love the images of and then just accepting that it won't capture everything I want.  In that sense, I think I want manual primes, and potentially vintage ones.  Once I switched philosophies in my head I worked out what that setup would look like and it makes sense that approaching my work in a different way would mean the equipment would be quite different too.

I shot a few videos testing various elements of the setup and concluded that MF is fine if I get good focus assists.  I shoot in MF for my kids sports games anyway so I'm kind of used to it.

6 minutes ago, Chrad said:

Isn't the whole point of the big monitor that this is a pocket camera and you don't need an external monitor? 

If you need to rig up a monitor to mount external power without some unorthodox rigging whatsit designed to prevent blocking the view of the screen, then the rear monitor is just a waste of space and energy. 

Or are you saying this isn't a real cinema camera because they included a screen on the back? 

Broken design: halfway between a cinema camera that requires rigging and a low form factor device, in ways that are trampling on each other. The least they could have done here is add a hinge for the screen and then this would be a non-issue.

You don't need anything - just put a lens on it and go.  Sure, the battery doesn't last long, but it lasts long enough for some people.  If you want longer battery life then put on a V-Mount, and if you put it at the back then add an external screen too.  Rig it as large as you like, then it's like a normal cinema camera.  My point is that if you get the brain of a real cinema camera then you can't even put a lens on it, let alone record any footage.

This is both a "pocket" camera AND a cinema camera.  Most cameras this size aren't good cinema cameras rigged up, and no cinema camera is this size.  They've designed it for both and everyone is moaning that it's not perfect.  It's not perfect - neither is any other camera.

I agree that a hinge on the screen would have been nicer.  But for a cinema camera, it's a bonus they gave us a screen at all.

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My take on it.

All cinema cameras I know of have a built in screen of some sort (there probably are those without any screen as well). Many of which cant display the image at all. Its for settings only.
On the Blackmagic cameras however they can also display the image so you could, when needed, use only it,

I view the screen as I do the battery. It is a Cinema Camera. Cinema Cameras use external power.
However BMD has built in an internal hot swap battery in their cameras. Ment to keep the camera going when changing power source. So in a pinch you could use it. And on some of their models its even intechangable, so you could, when needed, use only it for long shoots as well. 

And the size. It is a Cinema Camera. Cinema Cameras are big.
However BMD has made the brain of two of their models really small, pocket sized actually. So you could, in a pinch, strip it down and use it with just a pancake. Making it really light and small.

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48 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:
  • * No built-in ND Filters - So its no different there.
  • * No built-in XLRs - Its singular but obviously different there.

However the BMPCC4K can much more cheaply get an adapter to use a ND "built in", while far more difficult to do so with the RED for that price

And the BMPCC4K has mini XLR with phantom power, good enough for a simple sit down corporate interview 
 

39 minutes ago, kye said:

I wonder how people see the screen on the back of their real cinema cameras?

They don't have screens there. They usually would have a screen on the side of the camera. 

5 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

And the size. It is a Cinema Camera. Cinema Cameras are big.
However BMD has made the brain of two of their models really small, pocket sized actually. So you could, in a pinch, strip it down and use it with just a pancake. Making it really light and small.

Exactly, there is nothing stopping a person from rigging the BMPCC4K up into a 15lb beast. 


But also if you need to let it be very compact, for a lightweight car rig, or a Snori Rig, or on a lightweight gimbal, or a simple overhead shot, or in a very cramped bathroom, etc... you can do all of that as well!

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4 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

However the BMPCC4K can much more cheaply get an adapter to use a ND "built in", while far more difficult to do so with the RED for that price
 

I did make exactly that point in the last line though?

"I think the video could equally have been called "Why I Don't Need A 4K RAW Cinema Camera Irrespective Of How Much It Costs" as when it comes to the most important aspects the only difference between the two is where the decimal point is in the price."

6 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

And the BMPCC4K has mini XLR with phantom power, good enough for a simple sit down corporate interview 

Again, I did actually mention that as a difference in favour of the BM though ?

"No built-in XLRs - Its singular but obviously different there."

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8 minutes ago, Mattias Burling said:

My take on it.

All cinema cameras I know of have a built in screen of some sort (there probably are those without any screen as well). Many of which cant display the image at all. Its for settings only.
On the Blackmagic cameras however they can also display the image so you could, when needed, use only it,

I view the screen as I do the battery. It is a Cinema Camera. Cinema Cameras use external power.
However BMD has built in an internal hot swap battery in their cameras. Ment to keep the camera going when changing power source. So in a pinch you could use it. And on some of their models its even intechangable, so you could, when needed, use only it for long shoots as well. 

And the size. It is a Cinema Camera. Cinema Cameras are big.
However BMD has made the brain of two of their models really small, pocket sized actually. So you could, in a pinch, strip it down and use it with just a pancake. Making it really light and small.

This makes sense. 

But man, all they had to do is add a hinge to the monitor and this design would be so much more flexible. If you have a V-mount or some such power supply on the back, you could flip out the screen to the side of the camera and use it alone. It's a high enough quality screen that it seems wasteful for it to be treated as just a backup that you could use if you need to. 

And with an external monitor attached? There's your DP and director's monitors. Or, one for the DP, one for the focus puller.

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I am looking into a better camera for concert video recording, or short shoots of a few classical pieces. Currently I use a Gx80 for that.

The pocket 4k seems a very good option. Mainly tripod shots, fixed power available, I need decent low light, good focus assist, can attach an external battery if needed. Some shots I do handheld, but then 30min (admittedly very low, my GX80 goes 65 minutes) is OK for a couple of takes. The idea of attaching a SSD drive makes me quite happy as well.

Only, with p4k I cannot use my Ipad to do some quick edits ...

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5 hours ago, kye said:

I think this thread needs a reality check, and luckily Caleb Wojcik just posted one.

Some of the points he made were:

  • He loves the image but the camera is a pain to use and so often stays at home in favour of his 2 x C100 mk2
  • It was expensive, and the battery life, proprietary accessories like touchscreen, storage, media readers, handle, chargers, and everything else cost about $25K US about two years ago
  • In fact it was so expensive that he left it locked up because of fear of using it (despite having insurance)
  • It's hugely heavy and impractical to use, he had to buy four batteries because two wasn't enough, and it basically requires a team to build and operate it

In summary - two years ago one of the most affordable cinema cameras cost $20K plus, was such a PITA to use that he didn't take it places, and he used C100s instead.

 

Why the hell did he buy it in the first place?  Surely you would realise all this before spending $20,000 dollars on something.  Clearly more money than sense.

Really if he was honest he could sum up his video with "I thought I was a cinematographer but then I realised I was a videographer"

Its pretty ridiculous when you think about it.  Its like a taxi driver buying a Ferrari and then posting an earnest video explaining all of the reasons why it wasn't right for his taxiing as if people would be surprised.

Rich people problems.  

Though you wonder why someone who could afford a Ferrari so casually would continue to taxi-drive.

 

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2 minutes ago, MattH said:

Why the hell did he buy it in the first place?  Surely you would realise all this before spending $20,000 dollars on something.  Clearly more money than sense.

Really if he was honest he could sum up his video with "I thought I was a cinematographer but then I realised I was a videographer"

Its pretty ridiculous when you think about it.  Its like a taxi driver buying a Ferrari and then posting an earnest video explaining all of the reasons why it wasn't right for his taxiing as if people would be surprised.   Rich people problems.  

Though you wonder why someone who could afford a Ferrari so casually would continue to taxi-drive.

Good points.  He does talk a little about why he bought it in the video so I'd recommend watching it if you haven't already.

What is your definition of cinematographer vs videographer?  Not being sarcastic - I googled this very thing some time ago and there didn't seem to be much consensus.

People have commented before that many people will buy the P4K and then get a shock and sell/return it and others have said that if it didn't do RAW internally then there probably wouldn't be the hype around it that there is.  I think these are symptoms of it being a cinema camera and people not understanding the differences.  The original pocket kind of taught the average person a bit about the difference, but I think this version will have quite an effect on people.

They will realise the file sizes are huge, they're not good all-in-one solutions like an A6500, and most importantly that RAW won't make them a better cinematographer.  I've looked at RAW RED footage before and been surprised and disappointed because it wasn't magical.  

I think the Ferrari is a good analogy, except if the analogy was that people were trying to take it off-road.  It can do it, but it's really not the best tool for the job.

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1 minute ago, kye said:

Good points.  He does talk a little about why he bought it in the video so I'd recommend watching it if you haven't already.

What is your definition of cinematographer vs videographer?  Not being sarcastic - I googled this very thing some time ago and there didn't seem to be much consensus.

People have commented before that many people will buy the P4K and then get a shock and sell/return it and others have said that if it didn't do RAW internally then there probably wouldn't be the hype around it that there is.  I think these are symptoms of it being a cinema camera and people not understanding the differences.  The original pocket kind of taught the average person a bit about the difference, but I think this version will have quite an effect on people.

They will realise the file sizes are huge, they're not good all-in-one solutions like an A6500, and most importantly that RAW won't make them a better cinematographer.  I've looked at RAW RED footage before and been surprised and disappointed because it wasn't magical.  

I think the Ferrari is a good analogy, except if the analogy was that people were trying to take it off-road.  It can do it, but it's really not the best tool for the job.

I watched half of if before being compelled to write the comment.  I will watch the rest.      Maybe I should have said "I thought I was a big-shot cinematographer, but then I realised I was a one man band videographer".       As technically in the age of digital there isn't a hard and fast distinction between the two.   Its just that Reds seem to be used on big budget projects, tipically feature films, whereas he clearly makes talking head corporate videos.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but a high quality camcorder would do the job.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

 If you want longer battery life then put on a V-Mount, and if you put it at the back then add an external screen too. 

So I'm wondering, if you go this route don't you lose access to the nice BM user interface? This one of the selling points for me actually. If you cover the screen with v mount and add an external monitor is it still possible to easily make camera setting changes? I get your point though, but it seems like we're going to need another solution. 

I think there is a wide open market for "creative" power solutions. Make a rosette side handle that doubles as a battery. Or a quick plate that is a battery. 

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Just now, jonpais said:

I think Caleb makes a six-figure income.

He could make a million dollars a year. 
$5K is still $5K 
(Only 120hrs on the camera!)

And as he said in the video, he mentioned it didn't make financial sense even for him! And was probably a mistake for him to buy. 

 

1 hour ago, MattH said:

Really if he was honest he could sum up his video with "I thought I was a cinematographer but then I realised I was a videographer"

Yeah, he said something very similar to this during the video. 

 

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49 minutes ago, MattH said:

I watched half of if before being compelled to write the comment.  I will watch the rest.      Maybe I should have said "I thought I was a big-shot cinematographer, but then I realised I was a one man band videographer".       As technically in the age of digital there isn't a hard and fast distinction between the two.   Its just that Reds seem to be used on big budget projects, tipically feature films, whereas he clearly makes talking head corporate videos.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but a high quality camcorder would do the job.

IIRC he said something about wanting to improve his outputs.  I'm not quite sure if that was in output or in learning, but he's hardly the first to think that new equipment will help creatively.

Unfortunately it can be true sometimes, new equipment can inspire, or challenge you to work in a new way, or make you overcome new challenges and learn something useful etc.

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9 minutes ago, Jonesy Jones said:

So I'm wondering, if you go this route don't you lose access to the nice BM user interface? This one of the selling points for me actually. If you cover the screen with v mount and add an external monitor is it still possible to easily make camera setting changes? I get your point though, but it seems like we're going to need another solution. 

I think there is a wide open market for "creative" power solutions. Make a rosette side handle that doubles as a battery. Or a quick plate that is a battery. 

I think its crying out for a 3D printed DIY battery grip with a high capacity power bank in it.

Even just buying this £34 kit and rehousing it would do as it has not far off the capacity of it is not far off 5 batteries.

With enough space left over for an additional XLR input to connect to the 3.5mm socket and a more robust home for the USB-C drive.

 

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So many YouTubers (and so many others) are promoting Red Cameras (maybe due to the RED affiliate program), it's not difficult to assume for people using Canon's Cinema cameras to assume that it (RED) would be a better option (for whatever curious reasons). Plus cinema cameras have so many hidden costs along with shit loads of noise at MOST ISOs, that they are mostly prohibitive for smaller crews. People should probably be aware of these, before buying them. 

Also everyone on FB and everywhere else believes that he or she will become Roger Deakins by getting a RED camera.🤣🤣🤣

Atleast Caleb sets the record straight about not becoming better or more talented after using a RED camera. Atleast now we Know. Hahaha

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