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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

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9 hours ago, Tone1k said:

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. 

I think the pocket 4k is intended to deliver professional level quality, which it will. But given it's priced at $1300 and had been marketed at vloggers, I don't think it's being marketed for the traditional/typical professional. Think about how they have emphasized the pocket 4k's microphones, which no traditional professional would use. While the camera can definitely work for a cheap studio set up, I think it can really capture market share from Panasonic and Sony prosumers, and that's a really big market.

I've been really confused by people pitching the pocket 4k as a vlogging camera. But I think I'm starting to understand the idea. Personally, I don't really watch YouTube. So I thought it was basically just people like Logan Paul making light of suicide or PewDiePie being anti semitic. However, I then thought about stuff that I've seen some of my past girlfriend watch. There are a lot of fashion and make-up vloggers who really need incredibly high quality images even though they are basically running the channel on their own. Same thing for food and travel vloggers. No one wants to travel to the Rift Valley, Grand Canyon, Colosseum or Great Wall and capture anything less than the best. The price tag along with things like the low light capability mean that semi professionals, who might have more knowledge about fashion or travel than video, can capture incredible video even if they don't know how to or have the ability to light their scene. I'd bet that they could make great user of the baked in lut capabilities as well. 

I'm not trying to suggest that prosumer vloggers are the primary target audience of the pocket 4k. But I do think that using an HDMI port and also the USB-C connection make the camera accessible to users from a big market that companies like BM don't typically get to tap into. I'm really excited not just for the camera itself, but also to see who uses it and what they produce. If travel vloggers start using the pocket 4k, I might actually start going to their channels instead of watching national geographic reruns. (Though YouTube could certainly improve it's codec)

Just my 2 cents. I understand that there are good reasons to prefer SDI over HDMI.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I've been building up a shopping list for when this comes in the post and I noticed something pretty strange here. 

The Samsung T5 drive prices are: 500gb - €173 or 1tb - €385

By my math, you save €40, if you just get 2 500gb drives, and that's going to be much easier to manage. You can then also split the costs over time if you need to. 

Similarly, the WD SSD USBc drives (which are tiny by the way) are priced: 512gb - €169 or 1tb - €355

So you save €15 and get an extra 24gb if you get 2 x 512gb

Does that strike you as strange? I always thought if you get the bigger drive, you'd save some money. 

EDIT:

The 250gb T5 is €109 and 256gb WD is €107, so you do save money if you get the 500gb/512gb versions. I wonder why this 'saving' isn't replicated on even further. 

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12 hours ago, Tone1k said:

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. 

No. I'm saying Blackmagic is a PRO camera but it also is affordable for the average user.  If Blackmagic builds a camera that's TOO high-end, you risk losing a lot of mid-range customers.  There aren't a lot of cheap SDI monitors, and the everyday user of this camera will be using HDMI.  

Sure it's a professional camera, but Blackmagic's greatest strength is making their cameras affordable to the masses.  And you have to compromise and build something that both the masses and working professionals agree on.

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11 hours ago, John Brawley said:

The more I see of BM, the more I like!!

and considering that these days it's more and more about 'ecosystems' rather than discrete products, things like this make me more likely to invest further into the BM system with things like the BMPCC4K.  I understand that their products in the past haven't been completely bug free, but the fact I'm a Resolve user (for end-to-end workflow) makes me think a BM camera would be worthwhile.

5 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

I've been building up a shopping list for when this comes in the post and I noticed something pretty strange here. 

The Samsung T5 drive prices are: 500gb - €173 or 1tb - €385

By my math, you save €40, if you just get 2 500gb drives, and that's going to be much easier to manage. You can then also split the costs over time if you need to. 

Similarly, the WD SSD USBc drives (which are tiny by the way) are priced: 512gb - €169 or 1tb - €355

So you save €15 and get an extra 24gb if you get 2 x 512gb

Does that strike you as strange? I always thought if you get the bigger drive, you'd save some money. 

EDIT:

The 250gb T5 is €109 and 256gb WD is €107, so you do save money if you get the 500gb/512gb versions. I wonder why this 'saving' isn't replicated on even further. 

I've played this game of calculating the $/Gb every time I buy a hard disk and there's normally a sweet spot in the middle of the range somewhere.  Most product cycles start with a new product being marketed to early adopters who are willing to pay a premium for having the latest-and-greatest and this helps pay for the overheads of developing a product, then when they've recouped some of that and the product has some competitors they'll reduce the cost over time.  Then it reaches a point where the next model up has also gotten into the low-cost-high-volume part of the product cycle and so this product can't compete, which in the case of hard drives it means that buying the smallest ones isn't economical, except when they go on run-out sale for end-of-line.

In terms of buying drives for post I'd suggest that buying a larger drive might be more useful down the track - I've got many smaller drives that are now too small to bother with but add up to be reasonable storage, so if you're using them for archiving purposes then there's extra value in having your drive space spread over fewer drives.

If you're buying media for recording I chose two buy two 128Gb CFast cards instead of a single 256Gb card, because if there's a card failure then I will have a spare to keep shooting on and I may lose less footage when it fails.

 

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On the contrary to most views here, I think that if you are going to use an external monitor on the Pocket, you would want one that is fairly high end. I mean the camera already has a 5" 1080p panel. Surely if you want something better, then you don't want to be cheaping out on a 'budget' hdmi panel that's worse than the one the camera already has. I've used many budget panels and none of them are that great outdoors. Considering the price of the camera, you should be looking at something like the smallhd focus sdi as a minimum with all that money you have saved. 

If you do want to cheap out, there are monitors with sdi for around $300 on B&H. The main thing is though, that an sdi cable won't fall out when  you're shooting and won't get damaged nearly as easily as an hdmi port. 

Please BM, there's still time to swap out that HDMI port for a SDI port..... Please! 

 

Edit: actually I'll correct myself, an sdi monitor can be had on B&H for $250 if you're really on a tight budget. 

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59 minutes ago, Tone1k said:

On the contrary to most views here, I think that if you are going to use an external monitor on the Pocket, you would want one that is fairly high end.

Well, that depends what you want the monitor for in the first place. If you just want to be able to frame the shot while you're not directly behind the camera, anything will do, even a $30 monitor. Just set the exposure etc based on the built in screen. I'm planning to use my Zacuto ZFinder EVF for outdoor shoots, and can also use it as an articulating monitor should I need to. That's far from a high end monitor.

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2 hours ago, Anaconda_ said:

 

Well, that depends what you want the monitor for in the first place. If you just want to be able to frame the shot while you're not directly behind the camera, anything will do, even a $30 monitor. Just set the exposure etc based on the built in screen. I'm planning to use my Zacuto ZFinder EVF for outdoor shoots, and can also use it as an articulating monitor should I need to. That's far from a high end monitor.

What I mean by high end is something at least as good as the built in one. 

Either way, there are plenty of budget sdi option out there.

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Gotcha. I don't think they'll be adding SDI into this camera though. It's too late in the game and if they do hit delays, as so many people are expecting them to, it'll be blamed on adding SDI, which is a feature not a great deal of users will want/need. It's not just a port you stick on the edge of a camera, there's a whole load of extra wiring/programming needed.

I understand there are plenty of people here that would want it, but there are likely just as many, if not more silent people looking to buy this camera who aren't that bothered either way, and are perfectly happy with HDMI.

Excuse my ignorance, but aside from it's locking connection, what does SDI offer that HDMI doesn't? Can't you just get those HDMI locking systems and call it a day?

 

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If you are recording internally it only outputs 1080p on the HDMI port unless I misread it?

That being the case if you really need SDI out purely for monitoring (or recording the 4:2:2 HD signal externally) then one of BM's micro converters will do the job for you for about £35.00

As per the BMCC etc there will be cages that will trap the HDMI in place to the camera and at £35 it won't be that much of a hardship to epoxy the other end of the HDMI cable into the converter permanently.

BM cameras can be remotely controlled through SDI (they even make an SDI Arduino shield specifically for people to create their own controllers for the cameras and their ATEM switchers) but I doubt that it will be doable via the converter unfortunately so that would've been a good use for having a native SDI port for me.

But, as I say, for purely monitoring purposes then the solution is there and inexpensive.

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Looks like it outputs 1080p max via HDMI period. it's a bit  an odd limitation but then again with internal RAW/ProRes, not much reason to record externally so it seems the video out is there mainly for external monitoring purposes. I hate HDMI, it's unreliable on the field but hey can't have it all at this price point!

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1 hour ago, Django said:

Looks like it outputs 1080p max via HDMI period. it's a bit  an odd limitation but then again with internal RAW/ProRes, not much reason to record externally so it seems the video out is there mainly for external monitoring purposes. I hate HDMI, it's unreliable on the field but hey can't have it all at this price point!

And USB-c ? Why bother with HDMI external recording at that point ?

But as a long life connector BNC is much better.

JB

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BM have confirmed the HDMI is 1080p only, at whatever frame rate you're set to film in. So if the camera is recording 4K60p, HDMI is outputting 1080p60.

I have a question for anyone who knows about C.Fast. I have the Atomos Star with a 128gb C.Fast card (not 2.0) it's rated 80mb/s write speed.

Can I use this in the C.Fast 2.0 slot? If so, in a stretch, what formats/resolutions do you predict I can record. Would it manage 4K Prores 422 or LT at 50p? Am I limited to 1080p25? BM website states 4K prores422 is 73.6mb/s and LT is 51mb/s.

If it can handle any kind of 4K, even if it's the lowest possible configuration, it's going to be great to have that card as an in camera backup to get me out of any tight spots... fingers crossed.

 

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5 hours ago, Django said:

Looks like it outputs 1080p max via HDMI period. it's a bit  an odd limitation but then again with internal RAW/ProRes, not much reason to record externally so it seems the video out is there mainly for external monitoring purposes. I hate HDMI, it's unreliable on the field but hey can't have it all at this price point!

Exactly.

Im only interested in the external output for monitoring not recording. I do believe they could have chosen sdi though without adding much at all to the price. 

HDMI is a dicky system and considering BM have made such a fuss about the Pocket containing 'pro connections' and "locking power and xlr ports" strange to then put a hdmi port on there. 

In terms of buying external cages with an hdmi port lock, that kind of defeats the reasoning of choosing HDMI for budget reasons as you may as well spend the money on an SDI monitor. 

As for Epoxy on my camera connections... No thanks!

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1 minute ago, Tone1k said:

As for Epoxy on my camera connections... No thanks!

The locks are available as add ons rather than buying an entire cage and the epoxy was on the cable to the adapter, not the camera, to make it permanent at that end.

Just offering a £50 SDI output option to be honest ;)

But, yes, if the output is limited to HD only then I'd have preferred to see SDI (especially for the remote control element) and convert at the monitor end if necessary if I only had HDMI but can understand they'd get more moans that way round. Probably people would be citing a conspiracy to sell more Video Assists!

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2 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

 

Just offering a £50 SDI output option to be honest ;)

 

Fair enough but converters require power and the whole thing just starts to get messy. 

Maybe they didn't want to canibilise their  own micro cameras and Ursa Broadcast. If the Pocket had sdi, people would want sdi control and start using it for multicam as it's an extremely attractive camera. HDMI only means that can't be done. 

On one hand you have a pocket camera that people think is aimed at Vloggers and amatures because of the price and on the other hand BM have given the Pocket 4k RAW, phantom powered XLR, locking Lemo for power, LTC timecode input, CFast slot plus many other features that clearly a vlogger or amature won't really use. 

Terrible marketing in their part really as I suppose they do say themselves that it's aimed at those lower end users. 

 

 

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Really, if they had gone with SDI instead of HDMI and bumped up the price to $1500, I think most people in the market for what the P4K can do would be very happy, but no matter what port you leave out or limitation you build in, somebody is going to be unhappy. I think it's unfortunate they've limited the HDMI to 1080p, but in the end, it's not that big a deal considering the other options. I'd only use it for framing, but if BM decides not to put ProRes raw in this camera, that was the last chance to get it via an external recorder at full resolution.

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With the exception of locking connections the HDMI standard is superior to SDI. It supports 18GBit/s vs SDI’s 3Gb, 6Gb or 12Gb/s options. Longer runs can be accomplished with cat6. 

 

The official hdmi spec is as follows:

up to 16 bit RGB / 4:4:4 / 4:2:2 @30hz

If HDMI spec is not good enough for you, where exactly are you planning to play back your content, as everything supports the HDMI spec anyway?

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24 minutes ago, DBounce said:

With the exception of locking connections the HDMI standard is superior to SDI. It supports 18GBit/s vs SDI’s 3Gb, 6Gb or 12Gb/s options. Longer runs can be accomplished with cat6. 

 

The official hdmi spec is as follows:

up to 16 bit RGB / 4:4:4 / 4:2:2 @30hz

If HDMI spec is not good enough for you, where exactly are you planning to play back your content, as everything supports the HDMI spec anyway?

The HDMI spec is pointless on this camera for two reasons. The camera only outputs 1080p via HDMI so you're not getting the HDMI spec benefits anyway. Secondly, even if they did enable 4k RAW out of the HDMI port, why would you choose to record it externally when you have better options in camera that don't rely on a risky connection that HDMI provides. 

It's not the tech spec of SDI that I want. 

I only need 1080p for monitoring but a SDI BNC connection is far more secure and I guarantee you that a BNC connection will outlast a flimsy HDMI port. 

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On 30/04/2018 at 5:39 AM, Anaconda_ said:

I've been building up a shopping list for when this comes in the post and I noticed something pretty strange here. 

The Samsung T5 drive prices are: 500gb - €173 or 1tb - €385

By my math, you save €40, if you just get 2 500gb drives, and that's going to be much easier to manage. You can then also split the costs over time if you need to. 

Similarly, the WD SSD USBc drives (which are tiny by the way) are priced: 512gb - €169 or 1tb - €355

So you save €15 and get an extra 24gb if you get 2 x 512gb

Does that strike you as strange? I always thought if you get the bigger drive, you'd save some money. 

EDIT:

The 250gb T5 is €109 and 256gb WD is €107, so you do save money if you get the 500gb/512gb versions. I wonder why this 'saving' isn't replicated on even further. 

FYI, I believe the Samsung T5 has a much faster write speed than the WD USBc drive.

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