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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

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29 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Bit worried about the screen really.

As it's a touch screen, a loupe is going to disable a lot of the menus and controls. There is no d-pad or joystick. Is it possible to navigate the menus without the touch screen?

I've heard people describe the screen as "good"... For me a "good screen" is one you can actually see. If it goes invisible outdoors and you can't tilt it, it's not a good screen :)

Blackmagic have the guts of a great cinema camera here - and the good workflow to go with it (Resolve). Why could they not have spent more than 5 minutes on the body design? Just basic common sense stuff...

1. With such a large body and high power requirements, why only have room for one battery? Why not have a vertical grip? With it being a Canon fit, I wonder if any of the Canon DSLR vertical battery grips fit? Why not use a 1D X size battery under the base?

2. Screen should have been articulated... surely

3. The hotshoe should have had contacts for a slot-in EVF - pretty sure Olympus has one they could have made it compatible with, powered by the cam.

4. Not talking about adding too much cost or complexity here, just the basics... Like if you have a battery door, make sure it stays shut properly?!

5. They are on their 4th generation of camera now... So no excuses for badly thought out half baked solutions

6. Do a $2500 version next. Use the classic slim Sony NEX 7 form factor - twin dials, corner EVF, tilting screen, slim body, IBIS, power efficient processor, XQD card slot, lighter, that would be a major winner.

I think for me its got enough off screen controls to be usable with a loupe but certainly a flip up loupe would solve it.

Not that its a problem that should have needed solving to be honest.

The justifications for some of this stuff being related to the price of the camera are a bit of a double edged sword in my opinion as lets go absolutely wild and say a tilting screen would have  added £100 to the price of it, would anyone have baulked at a price of £1200 instead of £1100?

I seriously doubt it, particularly as to correct the issue it causes is going to cost a lot more than £100

And its not like BM haven't got experience of how awkward it is shooting handheld with a camera that has a large fixed screen even when its on a rig.

c1d035c6fb430363442e8788d034b06b.jpg.8a6fef8cfbfb93a9710eb9e32b7494a1.jpg

So to use this camera handheld you are going to have to have a rig of some sorts (and still have a strain because of the size of the screen affects the mounting position as in this pic and every other pic of someone using a BMCC without an EVF) or hope someone comes up with a 5" loupe.

All for the sake of a tilting bracket and some cable that we all would have happily given them a tidy bit of profit on.

In reality, this camera isn't a boosted up version of the original Pocket, its actually a slimmed down version of the Cinema Camera/Production Camera.

The Canon DSLR battery grip modification was something that I was thinking about but the heat coming off the bottom if you don't have free space underneath it would concern me. 

I had it sat on my desk switched on for about 30 minutes yesterday and the area around the tripod mounting point was pretty hot to the touch.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

Bit worried about the screen really.

As it's a touch screen, a loupe is going to disable a lot of the menus and controls. There is no d-pad or joystick. Is it possible to navigate the menus without the touch screen?

I've heard people describe the screen as "good"... For me a "good screen" is one you can actually see. If it goes invisible outdoors and you can't tilt it, it's not a good screen :)

Blackmagic have the guts of a great cinema camera here - and the good workflow to go with it (Resolve). Why could they not have spent more than 5 minutes on the body design? Just basic common sense stuff...

1. With such a large body and high power requirements, why only have room for one battery? Why not have a vertical grip? With it being a Canon fit, I wonder if any of the Canon DSLR vertical battery grips fit? Why not use a 1D X size battery under the base?

2. Screen should have been articulated... surely

3. The hotshoe should have had contacts for a slot-in EVF - pretty sure Olympus has one they could have made it compatible with, powered by the cam.

4. Not talking about adding too much cost or complexity here, just the basics... Like if you have a battery door, make sure it stays shut properly?!

5. They are on their 4th generation of camera now... So no excuses for badly thought out half baked solutions

6. Do a $2500 version next. Use the classic slim Sony NEX 7 form factor - twin dials, corner EVF, tilting screen, slim body, IBIS, power efficient processor, XQD card slot, lighter, that would be a major winner.

It's a £1000 cinema camera FFS - you get to add the rest yourself if you want or need it. They put a good sensor and codec options inc RAW in a body with connectors to power it and get data out and did it for an absolute steal of a price. No excuses for badly thought out half baked solutions.......🙄

Hang on - this list of gripes is a wind up right. I mean you can't actually be serious can you?

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There are battery bases for the Pocket 4K, I wonder if they even knew about the fan outlet when they designed those?

https://www.3dbroadcastsales.com/core-swx-pb-edge-powerbase-for-blackmagic-pocket-cinema-camera-4k-core-pbe-bmpc4

Does it get pretty hot then?

31 minutes ago, Shirozina said:

It's a £1000 cinema camera FFS - you get to add the rest yourself if you want or need it.

That's not the real price though is it?

By your own admission, the screen is "good" and "unusable outdoors". So, erm, screen's shit then! There's distortion with the Pana/Oly native M43 lenses and the battery situation is a joke.

So add a monitor, add the power base or v-lock battery.... and to support / mount all that you need a cage and possibly more. All that is another £1000 to do it well.

Quote

They put a good sensor and codec options inc RAW in a body with connectors to power it and get data out and did it for an absolute steal of a price. No excuses for badly thought out half baked solutions.......🙄

Hang on - this list of gripes is a wind up right. I mean you can't actually be serious can you?

You had a lot of gripes of your own on the previous page.

So you can't have a go at another user for his gripes can you!?

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That looks cool, but I’d rather go with a VMount on the back of a rig. This thing is going to make it harder to handhold without an extra support, so doesn’t offer much of an advantage. 

Mine doesn’t get hot, a little warm maybe, but no more than the front end of my LS300 - which also has vents by the sensor. 

That looks cool, but I’d rather go with a VMount on the back of a rig. This thing is going to make it harder to handhold without an extra support, so doesn’t offer much of an advantage. 

Mine doesn’t get hot, a little warm maybe, but no more than the front end of my LS300 - which also has vents by the sensor. 

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27 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

There are battery bases for the Pocket 4K, I wonder if they even knew about the fan outlet when they designed those?

https://www.3dbroadcastsales.com/core-swx-pb-edge-powerbase-for-blackmagic-pocket-cinema-camera-4k-core-pbe-bmpc4

Does it get pretty hot then?

They are an existing product that they are re-purposing as a BM4K product by virtue of adding an LPE-6 dummy battery, hence why it has a less than aesthetically pleasing fit to the actual design of the camera ;)

It was warm enough for me to notice but short of saying "Ow fuck" when I touched it.

But I wouldn't want to mount anything in the way though.

 

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8 hours ago, Shirozina said:

As of yesterday I'm a P4k owner! Here are a couple of initial observations;

  1. Battery door is faulty, flops open
  2. Battery gets stuck
  3. Lens mount has a worrying amount of play.
  4. Battery life is rubbish
  5. Massive barrel distortion on native M43 lenses
  6. Screen unusable outside
  7. 1TB USB C drive "is a must" (add £600 because it needs to be Samsung T5 or equally fast / approved)
  8. Add cage
  9. Add power base or v-lock battery
  10. Add monitor

Not so Pocket now and not so £1000 camera now is it?

Solutions for Blackmagic when the do the next camera

  • Use multiple batteries in a vertical grip style form factor and allow USB C power while camera is running
  • Do better Q/A on the lens mount. No more reports of infinity focus being off. No more reports of play and wobble.
  • Support digital correction of native M43 for ProRes recordings
  • Put a built in EVF in it
  • Put a screen on it that is bright enough or daylight use
  • Put an articulated joint on said screen
  • Raise price to £1500, to save us the hassle of having to double the camera price to make it usable and bulk it up.
  • Keep the body as light as possible.

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57 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:
  • Battery door is faulty, flops open

My battery door is fine. The person who's door was faulty had it replaced within a day.

  • Battery gets stuck

I had 1 battery got stuck once and it's never happened since.

  • Lens mount has a worrying amount of play.

Not for me, in fact its less than on my Panasonic camera.

  • Battery life is rubbish

Yup, as advertised. The real issue is the battery meter being so unreliable. Maybe fixed in an update, we’ll have to wait and see.

  • Massive barrel distortion on native M43 lenses

I only have 1 MFT lens, and it's a cheap one, but I have no distortion or CA from it.

  • Screen unusable outside

I found it fine to work with and it's been sunny here.

  • 1TB USB C drive "is a must" (add £600 because it needs to be Samsung T5 or equally fast / approved)

This is totally dependant on your shooting style - I'm more than happy with 128gb Cfast and 256 SD, in total that cost me €250 at the most. I do also have a 500gb T5, but will only use that for long form shoots.

  • Add cage

Nice, but not necessary. I feel like people who want a cage on this, will often buy a cage for any camera they get... though I might be wrong.

  • Add power base or v-lock battery

Same issue as your battery life comment, just reworded.

  • Add monitor

Depends what your shooting. I'm happy with it for most of what I shoot.

I do get there should be better quality control for many things on this camera, and it's far from 'perfect'. But a lot of these comments, not just from Andrew seem quite nit picky. For example, complaining you need expensive media is a result of having such a big codec. If you don't want the codec, there's other options with cheaper media. If you want RAW and ProRes out of the camera, expensive media is the price you have to pay.  That said, as soon as BRAW hits, this whole issue is out the window.

Same with the M43 lens distortion, if you're buying this for the an unprocessed image from the sensor, don't complain that it's not been processed. Granted, for ProRes recordings it could be nice, but then people would complain the ProRes looks so different form the RAW. I like that they're almost indistinguishable until you hit heavy grades.

Andrew, you mention the battery door in almost every comment about this camera, but as far as I know, only 1 person here has had an issue with it, and it was solved by BMD or the reseller quickly. It just doesn't seem to be an issue, just one faulty unit. 

Then adding cages and monitors - that's 100% optional and is far from a requirement to make it work. 

Anyway, I don't wish to rant or persuade people one way or the other about this camera. I'm enjoying using it, I'm enjoying editing it, and I'm enjoying riging it up and stripping it down. 

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24 minutes ago, Anaconda_ said:

I do get there should be better quality control for many things on this camera, and it's far from 'perfect'. But a lot of these comments, not just from Andrew seem quite nit picky. For example, complaining you need expensive media is a result of having such a big codec. If you don't want the codec, there's other options with cheaper media. If you want RAW and ProRes out of the camera, expensive media is the price you have to pay.  That said, as soon as BRAW hits, this whole issue is out the window.

Same with the M43 lens distortion, if you're buying this for the an unprocessed image from the sensor, don't complain that it's not been processed. Granted, for ProRes recordings it could be nice, but then people would complain the ProRes looks so different form the RAW. I like that they're almost indistinguishable until you hit heavy grades.

Andrew, you mention the battery door in almost every comment about this camera, but as far as I know, only 1 person here has had an issue with it, and it was solved by BMD or the reseller quickly. It just doesn't seem to be an issue, just one faulty unit. 

Then adding cages and monitors - that's 100% optional and is far from a requirement to make it work. 

Anyway, I don't wish to rant or persuade people one way or the other about this camera. I'm enjoying using it, I'm enjoying editing it, and I'm enjoying riging it up and stripping it down. 

Yeah, I had the camera before most and I have written about my experience, which has been amazing. But NO ONE ever quotes me in here. And Andrew, yes, he just keeps talking about that battery door, I switch my batteries a lot cause I keep the camera on while testing so burn through them pretty quickly (yes it drains your batteries if you have third party, listen to AaronChicago or what his name is, OFFICIAL CANON is the way to go for maximum running time) so I open and close that battery door A LOT with ZERO problems. 

 

I’ve used the camera ALOT outdoors and yes the screen gives of glare but I can still use it without problem! I also shoot handheld, and haven’t felt a need to “rig” it up for more money, I bought a half cage with handle because I am used to shoot with ANY camera, that style. Getting a holder for T5 was just a plus as I had it hanging out (and let me tell you, with zero problems) before and it was just ugly. 

 

Everyone complaining and raising concerns are people that DOES NOT have the camera. 

4BCEB055-38DD-4B36-AB2F-1F4799BC4437.jpeg

59CCDD7F-1444-4302-B888-B27E8DD82EBC.jpeg

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58 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:
  1. Battery door is faulty, flops open
  2. Battery gets stuck
  3. Lens mount has a worrying amount of play.
  4. Battery life is rubbish
  5. Massive barrel distortion on native M43 lenses
  6. Screen unusable outside
  7. 1TB USB C drive "is a must" (add £600 because it needs to be Samsung T5 or equally fast / approved)
  8. Add cage
  9. Add power base or v-lock battery
  10. Add monitor

Not so Pocket now and not so £1000 camera now is it?

Solutions for Blackmagic when the do the next camera

  • Use multiple batteries in a vertical grip style form factor and allow USB C power while camera is running
  • Do better Q/A on the lens mount. No more reports of infinity focus being off. No more reports of play and wobble.
  • Support digital correction of native M43 for ProRes recordings
  • Put a built in EVF in it
  • Put a screen on it that is bright enough or daylight use
  • Put an articulated joint on said screen
  • Raise price to £1500, to save us the hassle of having to double the camera price to make it usable and bulk it up.
  • Keep the body as light as possible.

1 - battery door does not flop open. I just removed it as it serves no purpose.

2 - Not had any battery sticking issues and was just pointing out a possible reason for it with other users.

3 - Maybe just my body as it's not been reported by others

4 - Battery life is not rubbish and It's just as expected.

5 - Barrel distortion on M43 lenses - that's a Panasonic and Olympus fault.

6 - All screens are unusable outside without a shade unless they are very high nit 

7 - Don't need to add a 1tb drive as I already have one and it was less than £200  and BTW a 1TB T5 is about £250 which is cheap, cheap storage compared to V90 SDXC or Cfast.

8  Cage - nah

9 - Add on power - already have it with an Atomos Powerstation.

10 - Monitor - already have one

So yes it is a £1000 cinema camera (FFS) as I haven't spent a penny more on it an it's ready to go. (once I make a screen shade)

Now how about your suggestions for a £1500 camera.....

More batteries - yes if you have a higher nit screen you will need them. 

No idea what others are saying about infinity issues but that's not a design feature you need to pay for is it?

In camera lens distortion correction means substandard resampling as it's speed over quality so I'd rather do it afterwards. Not a feature I'd pay for in a 'cinema camera.'

EVF - articulated I suppose well that would be nice but the cost will be significant.

Articulated screen - yes. Bright = more battery drain and heat

Raise the price to £1500 - i.e give them away. I reckon £3000 easy for that spec and 2-3 years away. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also people saying “oh this is a must, and this is a must” and then people on here quoting and saying this like “that’s fucking crazy, I thought this would be an amazingly easy camera to use”, like what the hell people! We all have different ways of using the camera. I don’t shoot/use my equipment like everyone else of you. E.g it doesn’t apply to all of us. If they came out with a paintbrush for a painter and he was like “I don’t like the strokes of the squirrel hair” do you think every other artist in the world would have gone bonkers and screamed hell at this new brush?!

 

It’s become a witch hunt in here. It’s sad because a lot of you are tech enthusiasts like myself and your clouding your minds for no reason. Be happy this technology exists, it’s a wonderful camera.

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I sometimes rig up even my NX500 with a riser, external monitor, rails, matte box e.t.c 

Haven't used any hybrid/dSLR that its monitor is sufficient for our Mediterranean weather, and all are a lot less than 5". A few days ago I had to use an a6500 (on a Crane 2) and a7sii in 4K/Slog3 on a ancient Greek theater under the worst scorching sun. Is the P4K that terrible (genuine question)?

Most best selling cameras have terrible battery life. Fuji is traditionally terrible, and Sony (best selling APS-C and full frame mirrorless) until the A9 and A7iii have/had laughable - or tragic - battery life, at best. 

Also, noone other camera can record on a USB-C drive flavors of raw. How that is a minus in any imaginable way?!

A lot of cameras have QC issues at first (plenty of examples from all brands, including Nikon, Sony, Olympus, we all remember one or two per brand), if the battery door is the only problem they have, and for 1% or less, then it is great news! In anycase, I never pre-ordering anything.

The most stupid issue with this camera (which I do not care, because I won't use it anyway) is the huge crop for high speed recording. Just stupid.

I would love such a camera with an improved XC15 form factor and ergonomics. It is just too wide for no particular reason.

I am going to buy a camera for video use between February and April 2019. As it is, P4K is my best bet.

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With regard to the lens corrections.....

I'm playing devil's advocate here because I haven't got native MFT lenses that would particularly cause a problem (aside from the cheap collapsible wide zoom in the picture above which is not a bad lens for the original pocket or a GX85 etc but which I know from the LS300 isn't exactly going to benefit from more sensor area to play in).

But....

BM have let themselves in for a few problems when all of their literature features this :

831806975_ScreenShot2018-10-27at21_35_36.thumb.jpg.63e4233f7469704e04295cc9949bc43c.jpg 

As I say, I'm purely playing devil's advocate here but I definitely think they will have to address it either with an update or at the very least a clear statement of which lenses will suffer.

Fixing it in Resolve can't just be the panacea either when they are also promoting a straight out of camera workflow.

 

10 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

How's the Bluetooth LE stuff going?

"Interestingly" is one way of putting it.

Frustrating would be another but I'll get there.

Its interesting now having spent some time with it to work out what it does and doesn't need functionality wise.

I think the physical interface its got is quite decent to be fair but it definitely needs a remote option. 

Why they took the LANC port off it so that people could at least start and stop a recording while its on a gimbal or a rig is a mystery to me.

It would also help with the photo function, which I actually think is pretty decent but is compromised considerably by the shutter button being too recessed (at least on mine) which means you are inducing movement in the body when you press it which brings the obvious problem with its low shutter speed.

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“BM have let themselves in for a few problems when all of their literature features this”

They may not be part of the MFT consortium?  If they are then they should have access to other MFT manufacturers lens settings corrections, distortion, CA, vignetting.  The over-reliance of Oly and Pana on software corrections for their lens designs means that non Oly and Pana lens, with or without adapters are probably better corrected and will have fewer issues.  Opticalimits, photozone, gives distortion values with and without corrections.  Any mft lens starting at say 12mm have real issues without autocorrection.

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