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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K


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29 minutes ago, Axel said:

The whole philosophy, one could say religion, of the BM cinema camera series is to apply as much internal processing as absolutely necessary and as little as possible. It's a kind of analog-ish purism. No OLPF, only the most basic anti-IR-coating. A "dumb" camera, compared to any modern Sony.

IMHO it's an excellent approach.

Light comes into the camera and hits the sensor.  Everything that happens after that will have both technical and aesthetic impacts - depending on what you're trying to do those impacts may not align with what you are trying to accomplish.  The purist philosophy is the most flexible and requires the most amount of work / skill.

Maybe it's just me, but I find that mostly when computers make decisions for me (as they've been instructed to make by their designers) the decisions are not what I would have chosen.

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22 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Everybody likes big screens, but they are not comfortable for monitoring purposes on the field. Try to use one before buying, even the Video Assist is "significantly" bulkier and heavier than the Focus. 5" are just right. For big rigs and sets 7" could be fine I guess, but the last couple of jobs I used 7" IKAN and TV Logic monitors and I didn't like it!

I've got a SmallHD 702 Bright and I love it. Had there been a 502 Bright at the time I purchased it I probably just would've bought that, but the size doesn't bother me too much.

21 hours ago, Snowfun said:

The SmallHD sidefinder add-on makes the monitor “usable” irrespective of the ambient lighting - but does make the compact 502 look and feel far too cumbersome. The swing-out mechanism also permits it to be set up for a more casual framing view which is good. It does a good job overall although I find that changing the visible screen isn’t easy with limited access to the joystick. Was hoping to sell it once the Pocket arrives but I suspect it’ll still be needed... 

Sell it and buy the Focus. You can still get great money for one, especially with the sidefinder included. I just sold mine without the sidefinder on eBay and would be able to buy the focus and twice as bright and still have plenty of money left.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

IMHO it's an excellent approach.

Light comes into the camera and hits the sensor.  Everything that happens after that will have both technical and aesthetic impacts - depending on what you're trying to do those impacts may not align with what you are trying to accomplish.  The purist philosophy is the most flexible and requires the most amount of work / skill.

Maybe it's just me, but I find that mostly when computers make decisions for me (as they've been instructed to make by their designers) the decisions are not what I would have chosen.

Agreed. If you're at all into post-processing and grading, the BM cameras are godsend, because they leave all the processing off to your own consideration. That's why they come with Resolve included - and I'd dare say it's way more powerful as a processing tool than any in-camera processors.

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I’m not sure I can agree with the absolute claim of “not useable” because...well I use them all the time in pretty bright situations.

Yes in some situations the glare makes it impossible but I can make it work the vast majority of the time.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/johnbrawley/10XBcm

Here’s an operator making do on a shoot in colombia.

Queen Videos

 

And here’s a shot on a recent rig  

30481357410_d6021ffc36_b.jpg

Yeah it could be brighter. But it’s not unuesable if you want a camera that’s small and compact. Or it functions well enough as your camera function screen once you fit an external monitor that better suits your needs. 

 

JB

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Does the brightness required depend on the depth-of-field and focus assists?

I just got back from shooting my kids football game in full Australian 31degC / 88degF sunlight and had no problems because the players were mostly 20-150m away and I was at f5.6 on a 1" sensor, so everything was in focus and all I had to do was keep framing.  If I had shallow depth of field I would have been screwed, and would have needed either a very large/bright monitor or spectacularly performing focus assist features.

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

John Brawley must have amazing eyesight, because I can’t see the Video Assist screen in bright light at all. And with the Ninja V coming out soon, I can’t see why anyone would get the BMD, unless you absolutely needed SDI.

Well SDI is the defacto standard. I’m disappointed they went HDMI on the P2.

Im no better than others I don’t think, but I’ve somehow gotten away with it. A shade helps a lot. Tilting the screen can help too (when you can)

Focus peaking on both the Camera and the VA is very good in my view too.

JB

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

John Brawley must have amazing eyesight, because I can’t see the Video Assist screen in bright light at all. And with the Ninja V coming out soon, I can’t see why anyone would get the BMD, unless you absolutely needed SDI.

Would you buy the Ninja V despite the fact that it's heavier and more expensive than the smallHD Focus (yeah, I know, only 800 nits, but it works well in bright sunlight) and that you couldn't record anything bigger than 1080 through the Pocket 4k's HDMI (see one of Anacondas Q/A)? I wouldn't. Bought - let me count quickly - 3 external monitors before - won't sell this one!

Zacuto built a viewfinder loupe for the old Pocket, I hope they do for this new "Batcam" (your name). You'd need no rig with one - perfect 3-point stabilization (though on the long run it's more comfortable for me if the right grip is in a 45° angle).

This time I will not use a shoulder rig.I am already thinking about the right-arm-only "exoskeleton" isometric contractor. Imagine your right arm was in a sling made of rubber (problem with just a sling is that it will slip). To extend the arm to the position in which you can hold the camera, you'd need to use some force. And concentration. Left hand cradles the lens and pulls focus. Should be as lightweight and easy as possible. Any ideas/suggestions? Let's build this together!

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21 minutes ago, John Brawley said:

Well SDI is the defacto standard. I’m disappointed they went HDMI on the P2.

Im no better than others I don’t think, but I’ve somehow gotten away with it. A shade helps a lot. Tilting the screen can help too (when you can)

Focus peaking on both the Camera and the VA is very good in my view too.

JB

 

 

 

I think SDI is "too professional" for the market Blackmagic is in.  Unless you need external recorders, a lot of monitors in the lower-tier are HDMI only.  I don't know how feasible it is to offer both connection types, but I think HDMI is more in-line with the average $1300 camera user.  For pro use, that's a different story.  Hopefully the full-size is a good compromise and offers decent durability.

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14 minutes ago, Axel said:

Would you buy the Ninja V despite the fact that it's heavier and more expensive than the smallHD Focus (yeah, I know, only 800 nits, but it works well in bright sunlight) and that you couldn't record anything bigger than 1080 through the Pocket 4k's HDMI (see one of Anacondas Q/A)? I wouldn't. Bought - let me count quickly - 3 external monitors before - won't sell this one!

Zacuto built a viewfinder loupe for the old Pocket, I hope they do for this new "Batcam" (your name). You'd need no rig with one - perfect 3-point stabilization (though on the long run it's more comfortable for me if the right grip is in a 45° angle).

This time I will not use a shoulder rig.I am already thinking about the right-arm-only "exoskeleton" isometric contractor. Imagine your right arm was in a sling made of rubber (problem with just a sling is that it will slip). To extend the arm to the position in which you can hold the camera, you'd need to use some force. And concentration. Left hand cradles the lens and pulls focus. Should be as lightweight and easy as possible. Any ideas/suggestions? Let's build this together!

I’m sure the Focus is an excellent monitor. If I did purchase the Ninja V, it wouldn’t just be for use with the Batcam. It would also be for shooting Prores RAW with the GH5 next year. ?

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50 minutes ago, Savannah Miller said:

I think SDI is "too professional" for the market Blackmagic is in.  Unless you need external recorders, a lot of monitors in the lower-tier are HDMI only.  I don't know how feasible it is to offer both connection types, but I think HDMI is more in-line with the average $1300 camera user.  For pro use, that's a different story.  Hopefully the full-size is a good compromise and offers decent durability.

Are you saying that Blackmagic  are not in the Pro level of market because of their price or picture quality? 

We need to change our thinking as to who a camera is aimed at thanks to BM. Are you saying the Pocket 4K is aimed at amateurs because of its price alone? I'd say it's not based on it offering 4K RAW, phantom powered XLR, High level flavours of ProRes etc. Surely an amature doesn't need features like that? 

Any camera company who is smart will choose SDI over HDMI. SDI is a far superior connection and its locking function is critical for any work in the field. SDI can also be found on small Sony camcorders so not sure you can say it's 'too good' for BM. HDMI is a home media connection, was never designed to be used in the field at all! 

I agree with John, I would buy the Ninja V if it had SDI, without it, I won't consider it. 

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25 minutes ago, jonpais said:

I’m sure the Focus is an excellent monitor. If I did purchase the Ninja V, it wouldn’t just be for use with the Batcam. It would also be for shooting Prores RAW with the GH5 next year. ?

There are reasons to remain skeptic. If Apple tries to keep PRR just between FCP and Atomos, I predict a still birth. Since December (launch of 10.4) I'm quite disappointed with the direction FCP goes. There is no well thought-out color workflow ...

 Go to 5'25" to see what I mean. This is ridiculous if you really want to grade in earnest. Not to mention that with PRR *free* EXIF readers show you the camera's metadata like ISO, white balance and so forth, but FCP doesn't!

And : they keep adding effing features without addressing some really bad new bugs. And as you know, there are color-related bugs. Apple remains silent, and the usual suspects openly deny that they exist in the first place. Still think FCP is the best NLE, but the other stuff isn't good. 

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1 minute ago, jonpais said:

And USB-C is ten times worse than full HDMI. 

Yep, but the Pocket4K offers far better alternatives to USB-C so I shouldn't have to use it. HDMI port on the other hand is the only option to get an image out of the camera. 

I'm not really complaining about the lack of SDI but it would have been nice. 

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8 minutes ago, Axel said:

There are reasons to remain skeptic. If Apple tries to keep PRR just between FCP and Atomos, I predict a still birth. Since December (launch of 10.4) I'm quite disappointed with the direction FCP goes. There is no well thought-out color workflow ...

 Go to 5'25" to see what I mean. This is ridiculous if you really want to grade in earnest. Not to mention that with PRR *free* EXIF readers show you the camera's metadata like ISO, white balance and so forth, but FCP doesn't!

And : they keep adding effing features without addressing some really bad new bugs. And as you know, there are color-related bugs. Apple remains silent, and the usual suspects openly deny that they exist in the first place. Still think FCP is the best NLE, but the other stuff isn't good. 

It’s only to give Atomos a head start - after all, they worked with Apple on this. And you’re right about FCP - they keep adding features, but they’re all buggy. I don’t seriously expect the GH5 to add Prores RAW either.

4 minutes ago, Tone1k said:

Yep, but the Pocket4K offers far better alternatives to USB-C so I shouldn't have to use it. HDMI port on the other hand is the only option to get an image out of the camera. 

I'm not really complaining about the lack of SDI but it would have been nice. 

How is HDMI the only option? Not sure I’m understanding. You mean the only way to monitor outside the camera? Because I don’t think you are correct.

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16 minutes ago, jonpais said:

How is HDMI the only option? Not sure I’m understanding. You mean the only way to monitor outside the camera? Because I don’t think you are correct.

Pretty sure I am correct. The HDMI port is the only way to get an image out of the camera for monitoring. The USB-C output is a data stream, not an image stream. 

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8 minutes ago, Tone1k said:

Pretty sure I am correct. The HDMI port is the only way to get an image out of the camera for monitoring. The USB-C output is a data stream, not an image stream. 

My bad. I thought the iPad app (!) allowed viewing of the image, but I was mistaken.

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I think the bluetooth thing is just for controlling the camera. Since it also doesn't have lanc, they've made it so you can use your phone, or a hardware control to start-stop, and most likely adjust your settings too. 

Maybe you can also use a USB controller? Just a wild guess. 

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2 hours ago, Axel said:

This time I will not use a shoulder rig.I am already thinking about the right-arm-only "exoskeleton" isometric contractor. Imagine your right arm was in a sling made of rubber (problem with just a sling is that it will slip). To extend the arm to the position in which you can hold the camera, you'd need to use some force. And concentration. Left hand cradles the lens and pulls focus. Should be as lightweight and easy as possible. Any ideas/suggestions? Let's build this together!

If I'm understanding this correctly it actually sounds quite interesting.  Are you proposing a strap or sling that would alleviate arm fatigue in a hand-held (or, I suppose, chest rig) setup?  Got a diagram? 

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