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Andrew Reid

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Review - Part 1 - Worth the hype?

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http://vimeo.com/75728395

"The Pocket" is a polarising camera. It's as tempting to rave about the camera as it is to criticise it for obvious shortcomings.

However - bottom line is that this is an extraordinary tool. It is 90% of what I loved about the Blackmagic Cinema Camera without the bulk and strange form factor. In my mind it replaces the Panasonic GH2 as the cult favourite of prosumer video because it has an absolutely beautiful film like output and a very accessible price.

Read the full article here

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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

Thanks for the review!  From the perspective a photo nut who just wants to shoot family and friends and maybe some artsy footage of a garbage can

 

1. The 5D3 is 3x times the price of the BMPCC; they are not competitors in my budget.

2.  I have not found a way to get any H.264 to approach the quality of a 4:2:2 codec, period.  So the Panny G's are not an option.

3.  You turn the camera on.  Set ISO, Aperature, Shutter, focus and shoot.  Everything after that is a lazy-boy.  I use Sigma cameras for true 3-color pixel data--you're all a bunch of babies ;)

4. The only competitor near the price and size is a hacked EOS-M.  They are artificially cheap now.   Even if Canon decided to make the new EOS-M a competitor to the BMPCC it would have to either change the sensor or down-sample all its pixels, like the 5D3, both options requiring serious engineering.  We do NOT know if an EOS-M, configured to shoot Pro-res, would NOT have all the problems the BMPCC is having in battery issues, etc.  

 

In sum, like the Sigma cameras (for full-frame IQ in your pocket), if you want to shoot film-like video at $1,000 the BMPCC is the ONLY game in town.  

 

I know you have to be balanced.  That's what the forum is here for.  Nothing you have said indicates the camera does not deliver on its promise. No one should let themselves get lost in the weeds on this one.

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You are great at discussing details nobody else thought worth mentioning. I enjoy your articles.

 

With vintage Super 16mm glass the image has tons of life and focus is very manageable – much more forgiving than Super 35mm or full frame 35mm.

 

 

I doubt that this is true though. The sensor is small, and you get relatively deep focus. Yet it still is not a thumbnail camcorder-chip, and some of the shots I've seen so far seem to be slightly out of focus. As we all know, peaking as focus assistant gets rather useless when you have a big DoF. 

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A very useful first half, Andrew, thank-you.  Do you suppose the micro-hdmi port will hold up for cabling to an external monitor?  Are you familiar with the Wooden cage and its optional clamps for the side ports?  Tell me this toy-like tinyness is not an achilles heel, set my mind at ease...

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A very useful first half, Andrew, thank-you.  Do you suppose the micro-hdmi port will hold up for cabling to an external monitor?  Are you familiar with the Wooden cage and its optional clamps for the side ports?  Tell me this toy-like tinyness is not an achilles heel, set my mind at ease...

 

I've used the Wooden cage, and it's crap. Only my opinion like. You might like it. 

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Looking forward to future review segments.

 

Regarding the iris glitch... correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't you just hold your hand in front of the lens during start-up (or leave the lens cap on) to get a wide open aperture?  Seems that might be an easy work around for either setting exposure or bypassing it at the time of start up.

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On the iris thing. The issue is that you have to keep turning the camera on and off to preserve battery life. If you could just leave the camera on, the iris reset on start up wouldn't be an issue. Leaving the lens cap on doesn't work because it's not about keeping the lens wide open, it's about keeping the lens f stop at the perfect setting for the shot you are attempting.
I'm using old manual lenses, so it's not something I found until Andrew brought it up.
On the cage, I have a Viewfactor on the way. It seems very good.

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Very good review thank you. I've recently been in a trip and used the BMPC. I have 2 issues/bugs that I'd like to share with you and get some feedback.

In the review you mention that it pairs well with NIkon batteries. Well I have a different experience.

I was in India, it was humid and hot and the 2 extra nikon batteries failed after 2 uses. The camera powers up but it shuts down right after. After several attempts it fails to power up too. On a closer inspection I noticed that the blackmagic battery is 7.4V and the nikon only 7.2V.

I'm wondering if anyone else had this issue.

Second is filming in low light. I really like the performance of BMPC in low light but mine crates perfect circular hotspots over each light bulbs, fire or any bright objects. Does anyone else seen this. I have experiencing the black spot when shooting the sun but not the white hotspots. 

I'll try to upload a proof on vimeo.

 

cheers

calin

 

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I got it on the Sept 8th from adorama in US so I'm guessing it's an early one. I did update the firmware once. I didn't recalibrate the sensor, don't know how. I'd appreciate if you could tell/point me on a tutorial on recalibration.

 

cheers

calin

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...and yes great review Andrew as usual... I got mine today.. extremaly excied.. now I m collecting the lenses.. if someone could answer me abot weather I should get Pana 14mm or Kern Poillard 15mm I would greatly appreciate it. Also what's the difference between film convert as a FCP plugin and as a standalone application?

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Calin,

If you are getting overblown lights with hard edges, it's called a 'blooming sensor'. It's an issue with early pocket cameras and BMD have set up a return and recalibration service.

You can't do the recalibration yourself.

Contact your dealer and arrange to return the camera for the calibration to be done.

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