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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

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There seems to be a lot of speculation in here about how the original looked more cinematic than the p4k, which I believe. But has anyone shot any side by side videos to prove it? And to ascertain whether it is simply due to the higher resolution or is it something more?

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6 minutes ago, Inazuma said:

There seems to be a lot of speculation in here about how the original looked more cinematic than the p4k, which I believe. But has anyone shot any side by side videos to prove it? And to ascertain whether it is simply due to the higher resolution or is it something more?

Still waiting for mine or I could compare P4k to OG Pocket, Micro and UM4.6kP. Hopefully soon.

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19 hours ago, Oliver Daniel said:

While there's people pointing a finger at Blackmagic, the big boys put out the most dismal, boring and often unflattering "launch videos" you're ever bound to see. What happens in the creative process?? - "Hey - we've got a $10k camera to sell here. Let's shoot some trees, houses and people walking around. Throw on that Yoga music you like." 

I wish Blackmagic gave the camera to more 'filmmaker' types and less 'promo' types for their sample shorts. The Colour of Light video was nice as a demo but the voice over was poorly written, and the Lost Generation video was pretentious bro douchery. The wedding video was actually the most interesting and artistic footage they put out!

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3 hours ago, Inazuma said:

There seems to be a lot of speculation in here about how the original looked more cinematic than the p4k, which I believe. But has anyone shot any side by side videos to prove it? And to ascertain whether it is simply due to the higher resolution or is it something more?

From what I have seen I think the resolution plays the largest factor.  The lower resolution of the og pocket helps to mask other amatuer/video looking things (lighting, colors, composition).  A slight amount of added blur should soften up the image nicely and eliminate most of the difference between them.  (For the record, this would be for narrative work only, if its a documentary you would leave it sharp. Though luckily this proviso is mostly redundant as most people sharpen anyway).

I also think the og pocket may have had a tone curve that is favourable to highlights.    The pocket 4k has different tone curves at different iso's (shown drastically by the dual native iso) so the discerning user will choose the ISO with a tone curve that matches the look they are going for at that particular moment (narrative/documentary), which is a trade off between highlight latitude and noize performance.  In prores the tone curve is baked in,  while the raw iso increments are only metadata but the native iso comes into the equation even in raw, and the chosen iso will indirectly effect how the user chooses to expose.

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5 hours ago, Inazuma said:

There seems to be a lot of speculation in here about how the original looked more cinematic than the p4k, which I believe. But has anyone shot any side by side videos to prove it? And to ascertain whether it is simply due to the higher resolution or is it something more?

Trouble is most PK4 stuff is in 4K, so it has no hope of looking like a OG one in that resolution. We need more 1080p, "Normal Speed", videos from the PK4 to compare.

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3 hours ago, MattH said:

I also think the og pocket may have had a tone curve that is favourable to highlights.    The pocket 4k has different tone curves at different iso's (shown drastically by the dual native iso) so the discerning user will choose the ISO with a tone curve that matches the look they are going for at that particular moment (narrative/documentary), which is a trade off between highlight latitude and noize performance.  In prores the tone curve is baked in,  while the raw iso increments are only metadata but the native iso comes into the equation even in raw, and the chosen iso will indirectly effect how the user chooses to expose.

And the technically proficient and discerning user might also shoot a test scene with a bunch of ISOs (controlling exposure via SS) and then compare, select the nicest curve, and then build a set of curves that turn the lesser tone curves into the good one.

If you're careful and organised such a thing would only take a few hours to do from start to finish.

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12 hours ago, Jim Giberti said:

Thanks.

That was in the first hour or so after the Micro arrived. I was still charging the battery and looked out the studio window at the farm and saw the snow falling so I stuck the battery in and ran out to the pasture to grab a few shots of some of our critters.

Still love the image from the Micro.

Think of the P4K as that on steroids as far as a camera is concerned. The image itself is a bit more detailed (in 1080).

I would have gladly paid the same to have the Micro sensor with the new P4k body/interface.

Good to know. The Micro was one of my favorite cameras, I just hated rigging it up to make it usable. I still wish BM released a Micro with a screen and maybe a small bump in resolution to 2.5K or 2.7K. Have you noticed any IR issues with the P4K? In some of the Raw samples floating around, the greens seem like they could be affected by some IR pollution. 

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13 minutes ago, kye said:

And the technically proficient and discerning user might also shoot a test scene with a bunch of ISOs (controlling exposure via SS) and then compare, select the nicest curve, and then build a set of curves that turn the lesser tone curves into the good one.

If you're careful and organised such a thing would only take a few hours to do from start to finish.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but why would you do that?  (build a set of curves that turn the lesser tone curves into the good one).

The way I saw it that with prores you are first choosing a native iso band and then the iso within that band defines were the midpoint is within the exposure range.  With raw you just choose the native iso. The increments within those bands just alter how bright the image looks on your screen to act as a guide for how much light to put on the sensor.

Are you talking about raw or prores?

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30 minutes ago, MattH said:

Perhaps I'm missing something, but why would you do that?  (build a set of curves that turn the lesser tone curves into the good one).

The way I saw it that with prores you are first choosing a native iso band and then the iso within that band defines were the midpoint is within the exposure range.  With raw you just choose the native iso. The increments within those bands just alter how bright the image looks on your screen to act as a guide for how much light to put on the sensor.

Are you talking about raw or prores?

I wasn't talking specifically about either.

When you said "The pocket 4k has different tone curves at different iso's (shown drastically by the dual native iso) so the discerning user will choose the ISO with a tone curve that matches the look they are going for at that particular moment (narrative/documentary)" it made me think that for people shooting in less controlled situations they could use whatever settings was appropriate (full sun or low light etc) and still benefit from being able to choose which tone curve they want.

If you're on set then you can just dial in whatever lighting hits your favourite ISO, but that doesn't always work for everyone.  Does that make sense?  Maybe I'm the one missing something :)

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Assuming Raw works on the P4K like it did with other cameras, ISO doesn’t matter so you would shoot at Native ISO. With previous cameras, you’d also get the cleanest ProRes by shooting at the native ISO as well. If that’s still the case, the P4K is still a great advancement because you have 2 native ISOs... one for daylight and one for lowlight. 

@kye

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1 hour ago, kye said:

I wasn't talking specifically about either.

When you said "The pocket 4k has different tone curves at different iso's (shown drastically by the dual native iso) so the discerning user will choose the ISO with a tone curve that matches the look they are going for at that particular moment (narrative/documentary)" it made me think that for people shooting in less controlled situations they could use whatever settings was appropriate (full sun or low light etc) and still benefit from being able to choose which tone curve they want.

If you're on set then you can just dial in whatever lighting hits your favourite ISO, but that doesn't always work for everyone.  Does that make sense?  Maybe I'm the one missing something :)

Well that functionality is essentially built in to raw already.   Your only choices are the physical exposure and the native iso.

Even in prores, the way I understand it is that if you were at iso 100 and you adjusted your exposure so that the sky was just on the edge of clipping, you could increase the iso up to 1000 and the sky wouldn't clip.  Just the average brightness would increase.  So (not that I'm saying you said this) I don't think you would ever gain anything by shooting at one iso and then adjusting it so it resembled another.  It would be preferable if you knew before hand.

But if you are just talking about flexibility, I guess shooting in the middle of the range would make sense.  Probably at the native iso's themselves of 400 or 3200. Then you would have a balance of noise performance and highlight latitude with a little bit of leeway either way. 

But to leave significant leeway to boost the brightness you would have to bake in what looked like an under exposed image and shadow detail would be lost due to insufficient bits in the shadows, or to leave significant leeway to crush the noise out you would have to bake in what looked like an over exposed image and highlights would potentially be clipped.

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10 hours ago, Inazuma said:

There seems to be a lot of speculation in here about how the original looked more cinematic than the p4k, which I believe. But has anyone shot any side by side videos to prove it? And to ascertain whether it is simply due to the higher resolution or is it something more?

Honestly I've been too busy setting it up and incorporating it into our workflow to do direct comparisons but we've been shooting all Blackmagic for a few years including Pockets and Micros.

I have personally shot it on three client films in two weeks and it's definitely not lacking in mojo.

What I think people are dealing with is the new color science which is a big deal - and like the original BMCC and Pocket it took a little time for people to learn how to get the best from it.

And because so few of us have them there isn't any reall workflow buzz and discussion moving things forward.

I've gotten great footage from day one but I'm still tweaking the post process and getting comfortable with it.

I'm thinking of it as a lens with great micro contrast where the image has that presence and 3D pop without being too sharp/contrasty.

But it depends on who's shooting it and how they're posting it and once you start seeeing numbers of good creatives working with it you'll see how it's next level IQ but in a good way.

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Well I know what happened to a lot of you guys cameras LoL. Sorry. I wanted the one on the Very bottom. 😮

 

BMCamera_n.jpg

7 hours ago, Jn- said:

Focus pulling, interactive guide ... 

http://www.focuspulling.com/bmpcc4kguide/

In the Conclusion he sure doesn't sound too enthusiastic about it! Interesting.

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"Blackmagic Pocket 4K's ISO10,000 still usable? Yes, with Neat Video.

The noise level in ISO10,000 from the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is as noisy as ISO3200 from the Panasonic GH5. The best part about the Pocket 4K's HFR is that there are no signs of banding. Keep in mind that in ProRes, even in 120fps, it is still 10-bit."

source:

https://vimeo.com/294680968

 

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9 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Well I know what happened to a lot of you guys cameras LoL. Sorry. I wanted the one on the Very bottom. 😮

 

BMCamera_n.jpg

In the Conclusion he sure doesn't sound too enthusiastic about it! Interesting.

Is that at the Blackmagic offices? :lol:

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11 hours ago, Jim Giberti said:

Honestly I've been too busy setting it up and incorporating it into our workflow to do direct comparisons but we've been shooting all Blackmagic for a few years including Pockets and Micros.

I have personally shot it on three client films in two weeks and it's definitely not lacking in mojo.

What I think people are dealing with is the new color science which is a big deal - and like the original BMCC and Pocket it took a little time for people to learn how to get the best from it.

And because so few of us have them there isn't any reall workflow buzz and discussion moving things forward.

I've gotten great footage from day one but I'm still tweaking the post process and getting comfortable with it.

I'm thinking of it as a lens with great micro contrast where the image has that presence and 3D pop without being too sharp/contrasty.

But it depends on who's shooting it and how they're posting it and once you start seeeing numbers of good creatives working with it you'll see how it's next level IQ but in a good way.

Great to hear your thoughts, and I agree about post-processing being critical.

I specifically went with Resolve because it had the more advanced colour and image processing, which I believe is more important to the feel of the footage than people realise.  After more than 18 months of trying to learn colour grading I can do a lot of stuff, but putting magic into the footage still eludes me and is a deep art indeed!

The best footage is yet to come.

I know from playing with my GH5 and some vintage lenses that an image can be detailed and yet still soft and film-like, and this is the kind of thing that can be done in post if the colourist has the skillset.

1 hour ago, TurboRat said:

Is that at the Blackmagic offices? :lol:

You'd think that they'd know better than to let @webrunner5 in there in the first place!!

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Since everybody is going on about what a masterful knowledge is required to render a "Video" raw file, I am wondering how it differs to  exposing a photo raw? And what other knowledge and skill set is required compared to an experienced photographer?

 

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