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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K


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@mercer I've just read your wondering on 1080p ProRes from this new P4K.

It is so good, I don't even feel the need to shoot 4K there, go figure : )

Only private stuff so far, so I'm sorry to not have it for posting online. I don't want you or anyone else now can feel I am patronizing over here but trust me, this is the capture device a camera shooter can be looking for.

 

E : -)

On 1/18/2019 at 8:14 PM, mercer said:

Being an FCPX user, ProRes is definitely the most interesting aspect to me. With that being said, I have zero need for 4K right now, so even though the camera is a steal, for a second camera, a Micro would/could make more sense for me. But then the allure of that Dual ISO sensor is appealing. Has anyone shot and shared any 1080p ProRes? In my brief search for it, I haven’t found much 1080p from the P4K, especially in 24p. 

 

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
1 hour ago, drm said:

The BMPCC4K gives you the ability to have an A, B, and maybe even a C cam for roughly the same money as one of the traditional mid-tier cinema cameras, but gives you higher-end features like RAW recording and good dynamic range. I think that many people would be better served with a 2 or 3 cam setup of BMPCC4K's instead of 1 big A cam and a cheaper B cam. I run a 3 cam setup on almost every shoot. Having 3 matched cameras lets you have redundancy, makes matching footage easier, and has many other advantages.

Excellent points.  People often discuss camera bodies in isolation without thinking about lenses or media, or often talk about those things as a single rig without thinking about those who have multiple camera setups, or those who talk about multiple camera setups often do so without taking into account that they're running a business and have to make money etc.

Having three matched cameras also guarantees things like compatibility of batteries, lenses, media, and then in post things like exposure / DR / bit depth as well as technical aspects like compatibility of file formats, etc.

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1 hour ago, Emanuel said:

@mercer I've just read your wondering on 1080p ProRes from this new P4K.

It is so good, I don't even feel the need to shoot 4K there, go figure : )

Only private stuff so far, so I'm sorry to not have it for posting online. I don't want you or anyone else now can feel I am patronizing over here but trust me, this is the capture device a camera shooter can be looking for.

 

E : -)

 

Well, get out and shoot some stuff... you owe it to the community to show me some 1080p ProRes.

But I’m sure it’s great... it sounds better, or at least as good as a Red.

I’m going to wait and see how a few things pan out before I make my next move, but this is definitely on the list.

@Ehetyz makes some amazing films on his UMP, so his endorsement of the P4K has pushed me a little closer, but since at this point, any camera will be a 2nd camera, I wonder if a Micro would make more sense. And then there’s the Ursa Mini 4K with its global shutter. Or a GH5. Or Z-Cam E2. Or X-T3...

Just saying there are a lot of options available to us right now. I’m smack dab in the middle of two projects, so I have zero reason to change systems until the summer or next fall by the earliest... maybe BH will have some P4Ks in stock by then... lol... of course by the time BMD has the preorders filled, they may have to offer a price cut because the camera will be 2 years old.?

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

Well, get out and shoot some stuff... you owe it to the community to show me some 1080p ProRes.

But I’m sure it’s great... it sounds better, or at least as good as a Red.

I’m going to wait and see how a few things pan out before I make my next move, but this is definitely on the list.

@Ehetyz makes some amazing films on his UMP, so his endorsement of the P4K has pushed me a little closer, but since at this point, any camera will be a 2nd camera, I wonder if a Micro would make more sense. And then there’s the Ursa Mini 4K with its global shutter. Or a GH5. Or Z-Cam E2. Or X-T3...

Just saying there are a lot of options available to us right now. I’m smack dab in the middle of two projects, so I have zero reason to change systems until the summer or next fall by the earliest... maybe BH will have some P4Ks in stock by then... lol... of course by the time BMD has the preorders filled, they may have to offer a price cut because the camera will be 2 years old.?

LOL I wish this community would pay my bills to match the countless responsibilities I have to fill the cup!

Time is short. I will tell you something though.

One of these days I'll have posted some paid gig shot with this same unit. Count on it : ) When people will probably be hysteric with some other new release over here.

That's my cup of tea, takes years to fulfill... : -)

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1 hour ago, Emanuel said:

One of these days I'll have posted some paid gig shot with this same unit. Count on it : ) When people will probably be hysteric with some other new release over here.

That's kind of the challenge isn't it.

We see people doing small budget fast turn-around projects like news reporting or micro-docs and doing a great job but these people are often too busy to talk about gear or just don't care about nerdy things, so we don't know what they're using or get their impressions.  Also, these people often have a really solid understanding of the fundamentals like exposure and controlling DR with excellent lighting, etc, and so for them most cameras with pro features are really the same because they can get great results with almost anything.
We see people doing small budget fast turn-around projects from nerds who like to talk gear, but most of the time they don't do a good job so their output isn't really demonstrating the potential.
And finally, we talk to people who are doing higher quality larger budget productions where we could really see what the potential of the equipment is, but things don't air for ages, so even if the person is willing to talk about gear and techniques etc we have to wait ages before the end result is broadcast and we can see things for ourselves (like John Brawley for example).  These people are often late adopters too, so they'll wait a year to pick up a camera, then after production it will be another year before the footage sees the light of day.

In a sense, the only chances we really have are the amateur YouTubers who have an interest in high-quality film-making to buy the latest gear and talk about it, who have the money from their full-time job to travel and point their camera at interesting things, and who have the time to do more than just slap on a LUT and upload.  

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@mercer and anyone else, I couldn't get to some woods, but I shot some high contrast spots. As I said before, I don't shoot RAW, so I exposed as I normally would. I hope you can get the info you wanted from this.

Total size 1.72gb - https://mega.nz/#F!3Fs0mSSS!0gMCbZYRQ47KKrmY8WN_YQ

All shot with Sigma 18-35 f1.8 (set to f4) on the Viltrox booster. All handheld, so excuse the shakiness. 

The RAW files are 4:1 and the others are ProRes HQ. The last 2 clips are the same shot, from the same position to show the crop when you shoot 1080p RAW. I believe its a 4x crop in RAW and 1.9x in ProRes - With the booster, those crop factors change, but maths isn't my strong suit, so I'll leave it to someone else to work that out.

 

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9 hours ago, Davide Roveri said:

A very interesting video about how to optimise exposure on the BMPCC4K from one of the best channels about filmmaking and cameras on YT (IMHO), hope you guys will find it useful! ?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8hHFt3ChZ8

^^^This one is very useful and informative.

It shows in great detail just how different P4K is to the earlier Blackmagic products ISO performance-wise.

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On 1/20/2019 at 9:57 PM, Davide Roveri said:

A very interesting video about how to optimise exposure on the BMPCC4K from one of the best channels about filmmaking and cameras on YT (IMHO), hope you guys will find it useful! ?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8hHFt3ChZ8

It only describes exposure using the 'middle grey' method which may not be the best approach with this or any digital camera.

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41 minutes ago, AlexTrinder96 said:

What's wrong with that? Surely the best method is using False Colour to set exposure with middle grey for reference? (Most of the time).

Depends on what your subject matter is, what the contrast ratio of the scene is and what the DR and profile of your camera is. 'Middle grey' was a method for exposing for film stock.

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2 minutes ago, Shirozina said:

Depends on what your subject matter is, what the contrast ratio of the scene is and what the DR and profile of your camera is. 'Middle grey' was a method for exposing for film stock.

Well we're talking about the pocket 4k, I have not seen any evidence to suggest a better way to expose? ETTR doesn't seem to be necessary in this camera.

 

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So I've seen some derision about Pocket4K regarding it crashing or behaving erratically, as well as issues with the batteries. I thought I'd share my experiences with these.

 

Short version: The battery that comes with the Pocket is utter, utter shit. Use original Canons instead and you'll see way less issues.

 

Long version:

That battery really is shit. I really can't overemphasize how shit it is.

So, for me Pocket 4K was a no-brainer because I already had a lot of it's necessities lying around - Cfast2-cards, tons of compatible batteries. So, the latter has meant that I've been able to run the Pocket with not just the battery it comes with, but with a couple of relatively fresh (2-year old) OG Canon batteries as well as a few different off-brand ones (4-5 years old). So here's a short summary on how they have performed:

 

Original Canon LP-E6:

- No problems, can be charged in-camera or with my canon rechargers. Displays remaining battery accurately. No surprise shutoffs.

- Drains the slowest of all the batteries I've tested. Still pretty fast, but quite manageable. Usually end up using 1-2 batteries a shooting day (b-cam).

 

Off-brand LP-E6:

- Like Canon, can be charged anywhere.

- Depending on the off-brand battery, might or might not display the remaining charge accurately.

- Can go from 40% to empty in seconds. So the 0-40% range is a bit of a wild card. May be due to inaccurate charge display or these might just be plain old and tired.

- Drains faster than the Canon.

 

The Blackmagic... thing:

- Can't be charged with Canon chargers, causes them to enter fault mode (continuous blinking.) Occurs with both my chargers. Googling the issue has led me to find others with same experiences. Can only be charged through the camera.

- Charge display is just whatever. Can go from over half-full to camera shutdown in seconds.

- Sometimes works like an off-brand one. At worst, from full charge, lasted me around 3 minutes of recording before the first shutdown.

- And notice the above? "First shutdown"? That was today. So, apparently the blackmagic battery is prone to just dying momentarily when there's a large power drain present. So what happened was, I set the camera to record, with battery at around 75-80%, and after a few seconds the battery meter goes haywire and the camera shuts down. Then it boots up again, and the battery shows up at 75%. Guess what happens when I hit record? Rinse and repeat. That was the moment I chucked the battery. Switched to Canon originals and the rest of the day went without a hitch.

 

So, taking from this, I think some of the reported erratic behavior can be traced to the completely all over the place quality of the original battery. Having the camera reboot itself during recording is something that could be blamed on the camera if you have no way to troubleshoot and find the real culprit - which was the blackmagic battery. Maybe there are good ones too, but to stay on the safe side, I'd recommend just using it as a last resort backup at most, and sticking to Canon originals or maybe some higher-quality off-brand ones.

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5 minutes ago, AlexTrinder96 said:

Well we're talking about the pocket 4k, I have not seen any evidence to suggest a better way to expose? ETTR doesn't seem to be necessary in this camera.

I asked the pro colourists if I should ETTR with the 10-bit footage on the GH5 and they said it wasn't necessary and it would be better to expose as normal.  I thought that people used ETTR to get better signal:noise in 8-bit, so anything 10-bit or more should be fine.

Although, the exposure video from Filmmaker IQ wasn't talking about ETTR as much as adjusting where the DR was around your middle-grey.

It would be interesting for someone to do some tests with setting skin-tone by exposure levels at the various ISOs and seeing how the different shots grade in Resolve.

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