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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

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2 hours ago, mercer said:

Well, I know one person that owns a Canon (myself) one person that owns an Olympus and one person that owns a Panasonic, so obviously only Canon, Olympus and Panasonic have sold any cameras in the past year... ūü§™

But yes seriously... I really wonder how many units have been delivered. If I were to use this site and online videos as a metric... it could be in the hundreds or low thousands.

Either way what BM produced here for the price is pretty spectacular... I’m just curious if maybe they were using preorders to finance production and that is the reason for the hold up?

I mean, for a niche product, I would think 10,000 preorders would be a respectable number and I cannot imagine why it would take more than a month or two to fulfil those preorders. We’re almost 6 months out since September. It just seems odd. 

The good news is that most people that received theirs is really happy with it.

Perhaps Blackmagic just has a weird way of generating their serial numbers, but I have three P4Ks that I purchased at the same time. The three serial numbers are tens of thousands apart. The first is 502xxxx and the other two are 509xxxx. By the way, the 502xxxx camera is the one with the glitching screen, which is back for repair. One of the 509 cameras had a battery door that wouldn't close. I gently filed the catch with a nail file and it works properly now.

So, I suspect that Blackmagic had produced 100,000 cameras by October or November of 2018. I think they just have a popular product on their hands. It may also be that they are constrained by a component, like say...the sensor. 

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44 minutes ago, drm said:

Perhaps Blackmagic just has a weird way of generating their serial numbers, but I have three P4Ks that I purchased at the same time. The three serial numbers are tens of thousands apart. The first is 502xxxx and the other two are 509xxxx. By the way, the 502xxxx camera is the one with the glitching screen, which is back for repair. One of the 509 cameras had a battery door that wouldn't close. I gently filed the catch with a nail file and it works properly now.

So, I suspect that Blackmagic had produced 100,000 cameras by October or November of 2018. I think they just have a popular product on their hands. It may also be that they are constrained by a component, like say...the sensor. 

They may also use the third digit in the serial as an identifier of some kind, like if they had multiple production lines, or something like that.  Of course, 100K cameras might be right too.  It is a spectacular camera if it suits your needs.

The problem with working out how many of these have been made or sold is that the typical buyer for something like this would basically be invisible.  They are busy shooting real work, aren't visible on social media, or if they are then it's not to geek out about cameras, and when the footage ends up in something you'd never know.  If every person with a RAW-shooting cinema camera bought two P4Ks then they'd sell a bunch of them and there would basically be no ripples to show it.  This is the problem with the XC10, the people who wanted it as an A-cam found the fixed lens and high-ISO NR to be too restrictive.  The people who use them for C-cameras or as BTS don't go online talking about it a lot, so it seems like they don't get used at all, but Cinematography Database YT channel kept seeing them in BTS pictures of big Hollywood productions and Canon said they sold more than they expected.

The cheaper cameras that can create great images could be 10% of all shots in every movie and TV series and we'd never know.  The GH5 can be made to look like an Alexa, the P4K should be able to match basically anything.

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5 minutes ago, kye said:

The cheaper cameras that can create great images could be 10% of all shots in every movie and TV series and we'd never know.  The GH5 can be made to look like an Alexa, the P4K should be able to match basically anything.

I agree. Most people with any product are not online talking about it, unless they are having problems with it :) 

I do a lot of live broadcasting from events and a good bit of corporate work. I have yet to see a P4K in the wild (other than mine). The P4Ks also still cause a bit of a stir. I have had several people come over to see them and want to geek out and talk about them while we have been broadcasting. One wedding videographer swore he was dumping his Canon gear to switch to P4Ks (C100Mkii's). I am sure that will die down when you can actually buy the things in stores :)

Speaking of color matching, I created LUTs that match the P4K film to GH5s natural profile. My editor prefers to start with the colors from that profile, so the LUT for the P4K makes them match almost perfectly. My clients all seem to love it, so I don't care what colors they use :) 

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11 hours ago, mercer said:

That’s unbelievable. I wonder how many cameras are actually out in the wild... for all we know there could only be a hundred cameras shipped and the preorders are paying for each manufacturing run. 

If that's the case I'm a very lucky man.¬†ūüėĀ

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18 hours ago, drm said:

According to the specs, even V90 cards should not be able to record the highest resolution/bit rates. We use the T5 1TB disks and have not had any trouble recording to them. Best of luck!

It's a 'no brainer' - why waste your money on very expensive internal cards when there is a faster, larger capacity and vastly cheaper external solution. 

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11 minutes ago, Shirozina said:

It's a 'no brainer' - why waste your money on very expensive internal cards when there is a faster, larger capacity and vastly cheaper external solution. 

Portability, reliability, size, not risk of damaging cables or ports, no risk of a cable snagging on your thumb as you reach to focus. Just a few reasons why many people might want to use card internally.

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20 hours ago, Jonesy Jones said:

So my client decided to go over and above and buy the 256GB sandisk sd's instead of the 128 ones that I recommended. Thoughts or experience with the 256 cards? Think there will be stability issues? Should we return them and just go with the 128 ones?

@Jim Giberti @Emanuel @xzobinx

sorry mate. I have no experience with the 256gb card. I shoot ssd only for faster editing workflow and sometime same day edit. 

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4 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

Portability, reliability, size, not risk of damaging cables or ports, no risk of a cable snagging on your thumb as you reach to focus. Just a few reasons why many people might want to use card internally.

I much prefer internal cards and media as well. Having things sticking out from the camera is just an opportunity for problems.

One of my cameras had to be sent out for repair a couple of months ago because the HDMI cable got bumped somehow and broke the HDMI port on the camera. The bad thing is that I was carrying the camera from one location to the next on a shoot and I broke the camera but I have no idea how it happened. I don't remember anything touching the camera hard enough to break something. Now, I have HDMI clamps on all of my camera.

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On 2/18/2019 at 12:01 PM, Jonesy Jones said:

So my client decided to go over and above and buy the 256GB sandisk sd's instead of the 128 ones that I recommended. Thoughts or experience with the 256 cards? Think there will be stability issues? Should we return them and just go with the 128 ones?

@Jim Giberti @Emanuel @xzobinx

Just read now. I stand drm's input : )

 

18 hours ago, Kisaha said:

I asked the BM importer again today, and he told me that if I pre order now, I may have the camera in autumn, but he can not even guarantee October!

This is kind of ridiculous..on the other hand, this camera is a bigger success than most people believe.

Makes no sense at all. Reason why I've struggled from past with these BMD guys, tiptop hierarchy included. Seems they don't like to listen, it is what it is though.

 

16 hours ago, mercer said:

(...)

The good news is that most people that received theirs is really happy with it.

Well, a game changer and a no-brainer as matter of fact. You simply won't want to shoot with anything else. Hope this helps! : -)

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6 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

Portability, reliability, size, not risk of damaging cables or ports, no risk of a cable snagging on your thumb as you reach to focus. Just a few reasons why many people might want to use card internally.

SSD's are hardly big so is portability really an issue? , reliability? - any experience of SSD vs CFAST vs SDXC failures with this camera? Size ( ee first point), Cables and ports can be protected by clamps if it's in a cage. 

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5 hours ago, Shirozina said:

SSD's are hardly big so is portability really an issue? , reliability? - any experience of SSD vs CFAST vs SDXC failures with this camera? Size ( ee first point), Cables and ports can be protected by clamps if it's in a cage. 

Think about putting it in and out of bags, I wouldn't want to leave any cables plugged into the camera while packing down, with or without clamps. Which means you also need to rebuild the kit when you get to the next location. So portability is affected.

There have been many reports of SSDs not mounting on the camera once connected. I've never had that issue with the internal cards. The fix is easy, just a quick restart, but the problem is easy to avoid in the first place.

----

It's all about how you like to use the camera, but don't judge others for using it differently. In most cases, I want to keep my camera as small and cable free as possible, others like to rig it up until it's as big as their torso. I do have a T5, and the only time I used it was to test the workflow the day my camera arrived. While it was very easy to go from camera to editing, you need to backup the files anyway, and you need to clear the drive for a shoot the next day, so I found that advantage was lost in an instant. 

Now, I mostly use the T5 as a working project drive. After a shoot I instantly copy everything off my cards and format them in camera, so I know it's a fresh start every day. If I pick the camera up and see something on the card, I know it's not been backed up. I worry if I used the T5 to record, I would never know what's backed up and what's not. If anyone's interested, I use these very cheap C.fast 2.0 cards and they keep up very nicely with ProRes. I haven't tried RAW, but I'm sure they can at least handle 4:1.

https://www.mymemory.com/integral-128gb-ultimapro-x2-cfast-2-0-card-550mb-s.html

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2 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

I use these very cheap C.fast 2.0 cards and they keep up very nicely with ProRes. I haven't tried RAW, but I'm sure they can at least handle 4:1.ÔĽŅ

https://www.mymemory.com/integral-128gb-ultimapro-x2-cfast-2-0-card-550mb-s.html

That card (if it runs as advertised) has specs that are faster than the T5 drive. The card lists 550MB/s read & 540MB/s write. The T5 lists 540MB/s read & 515MB/s write. Of course, the minimum speeds are what really matters. It is a shame they don't have higher capacity cards as 128GB doesn't last very long at the higher quality settings.

That is a crazy low price for that drive. The cheapest CFAST 128GB on B&H is $179. Thanks for sharing the find.

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8 hours ago, seanzzxx said:

Just a quick question - in Davinci Resolve in Color Space Transform, Input Color Space still doesn't have a Pocket 4K FIlm option? Am I missing something? Thanks!

I think it uses the Blackmagic Design Film colour and gamma spaces?  This would be for Prores clips.  If you're shooting RAW then you would be using the RAW Tab and you wouldn't have to specify what the inputs were.

I haven't used this though, so maybe someone can confirm?

6 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

Think about putting it in and out of bags, I wouldn't want to leave any cables plugged into the camera while packing down, with or without clamps. Which means you also need to rebuild the kit when you get to the next location. So portability is affected.

There have been many reports of SSDs not mounting on the camera once connected. I've never had that issue with the internal cards. The fix is easy, just a quick restart, but the problem is easy to avoid in the first place.

----

It's all about how you like to use the camera, but don't judge others for using it differently. In most cases, I want to keep my camera as small and cable free as possible, others like to rig it up until it's as big as their torso. I do have a T5, and the only time I used it was to test the workflow the day my camera arrived. While it was very easy to go from camera to editing, you need to backup the files anyway, and you need to clear the drive for a shoot the next day, so I found that advantage was lost in an instant. 

Now, I mostly use the T5 as a working project drive. After a shoot I instantly copy everything off my cards and format them in camera, so I know it's a fresh start every day. If I pick the camera up and see something on the card, I know it's not been backed up. I worry if I used the T5 to record, I would never know what's backed up and what's not. If anyone's interested, I use these very cheap C.fast 2.0 cards and they keep up very nicely with ProRes. I haven't tried RAW, but I'm sure they can at least handle 4:1.

https://www.mymemory.com/integral-128gb-ultimapro-x2-cfast-2-0-card-550mb-s.html

BM could have a major win with some tools that let you transfer files between media sources in the field.  I'm not sure if that's possible, but if you could record to an internal card and then periodically download that card to a HDD to free up the card again that would be great.  This would allow small fast cards to work with large slow HDDs and get the best of both worlds.

In the absence of the camera doing it, I recall @BTM_Pix was talking about such a device for transferring files from any media to and other media in the field?

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6 hours ago, drm said:

The card lists 550MB/s read & 540MB/s write. The T5 lists 540MB/s read & 515MB/s write. Of course, the minimum speeds are what really matters. It is a shame they don't have higher capacity cards as 128GB doesn't last very long at the higher quality settings.

Well, as with all theses things, those speeds seem to be a bit of an exaggeration. I only have a C.Fast 1.0 reader, but these are the speeds I can get through USB 3.0 - maybe a 2.0 reader through USBc would give faster results? Either way, this is still more than adequate for most situations.

image.png.40d2d2dc349ea4e08ef20f75a5687f58.png

3 hours ago, kye said:

BM could have a major win with some tools that let you transfer files between media sources in the field.  I'm not sure if that's possible, but if you could record to an internal card and then periodically download that card to a HDD to free up the card again that would be great.  This would allow small fast cards to work with large slow HDDs and get the best of both worlds.

In the absence of the camera doing it, I recall @BTM_Pix was talking about such a device for transferring files from any media to and other media in the field?

I fear that would be very slow, and also drain the battery, which is no help in the field. Having a coffee stop and a laptop is much more preferable to me (or even an assistant to do that part haha) I do have this WD drive that has a longish battery, USB in, SD card slot, and a 3tb hard drive. It auto backs up the SD card and any USB drive to it's internal storage. It also works as a USB charger for anything that can charge with USB. It can be very useful to back things up without a computer, but I've always found it hard to trust that everything's copied correctly. I don't like to format the cards until I'm 100% sure, so I rarely actually use it for it's intended purpose. 

image.png.b29ba86cc8758f156fae96b5788ed27b.png

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Don't rely on manufacturers published write speeds for video. Data transfer to a computer or device is not the same as uninterrupted data streams for recording video real time without frame drops ( hence the need for the  V rating). Always test it on your camera.....

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3 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

I only have a C.Fast 1.0 reader.

If you are looking for a 2.0 reader then I use one of these Roketek ones.

61YmstT5IyL._AC_SL1500_.thumb.jpg.2b667b08b644d474192f697aa0290920.jpg

The additonal trick it has is that it is also has a sata port that works simultaneously so you can connect bare SSDs to it to do backups.

They are about £15 on Amazon.

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