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Andrew Reid

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

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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

Excellent review of the Pocket: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/camcorders/black_magic_pocket_camera.shtml

 

Two things shocked me: Hot pixels, dead pixels? What a horror. I once had a hot pixel on my 7D (which had much more pixels to be able - in theory - to skip the bad ones) and it still appeared occasionally after the Canon service did something about it. I complained again and got a new body.

The description of the display sounds much worse than I had expected.

I didn't bookmark the link, but I read somewhere about a month ago, that Sony SDXC cards 95MB/s were usable too. The Sandisc Extreme costs almost twice as much. Can someone confirm this?
 

I know that shaky camerawork is the norm on many productions these days, giving that "reality" look. Bah humbug. Camera moves are an important part of the language of film, but not those caused by hand shake.

 

Handheld is completely impossible, but my understanding is, that there are so many ways to stabilze a camera, that I can as well use all. A pistol grip with a Z-Finder will be the most basic rig I will test (see avatar). People kept telling me it didn't give enough stability, but they just don't know where or when it works or how to hold in the first place. And maybe it won't be long until China gets the mini MOvi clones right and affordable ;-)

I actually muse about an external viewfinder (there are at least two with 'retina' resolution by Cineroid and TV logic). Many BMPCC clips on the vimeo channel look soft, but only because the focus is set to infinity while the main motifs seem to be less than thirty feet away, which lets them look unfocused, especially with the comparatively long lenses used. For me this is proof that peaking is unsufficient for these situations.

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Another thought: If there is no AWB, how do you set white balance? Thungsten or daylight? Seems to be a little too imprecise.

EDIT: I see

 

 

Your Blackmagic Camera includes 6 white balance presets for a variety of color temperature conditions. These are:

3200K for tungsten light
4500K for fluorescent light
5000K, 5600K, 6500K and 7500K for a variety of daylight conditions such as time of day 

 

 

Not so easy, since I learned a camera "sees" differences roughly in steps of 300°K, the human eye doesn't ...

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The lack of green/magenta tint correction is a bigger issue when recording ProRes.

(I wonder, btw., what happened to part 2 of the EOSHD review.)

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On almost all digital cameras, white balance can not only be adjusted for light temperature (basically, on the yellow-blue axis), but also on the green-magenta axis, in order to compensate for tinted light; typically, the green tint of fluorescent light and energy saving light bulbs. The Pocket, unfortunately, does not offer this. It's irrelevant for raw video recording where you can adjust all white balance parameters in post, but it's a shortcoming for recording in a debayered 10-bit codec such as ProRes.

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It's not that big of a shortcoming. The little variations of green can be easily corrected in prores. They can be easily corrected in 8-bit jpegs too. How come little things like this are nowadays huge issues?

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I can confirm that the Sony 95 MB/s cards work flawlessly.

 

Do they need to be formatted in a certain way, because my Sony 95MB/s card didn't work at all.

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It's not that big of a shortcoming. The little variations of green can be easily corrected in prores. They can be easily corrected in 8-bit jpegs too. How come little things like this are nowadays huge issues?


Well, 10 bits color depth per channel are nice but not exactly luxurious. If you have to correct such major color shifts in post, you'll lose quite a lot of them. It would be better if you could record the best white balanced image right away and gain optimal headroom for grading.

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about noise: "shouldn't be surprised when your footage shows a bit of "character".

now: this piece of technology cost around 800 euros. I will not define noise = character.

Sorry if my reply sounds rude: Sometimes, there's a point where people who haven't used the camera and don't understand the concept of a digital cinema camera versus a camcorder should just shut up.

You only get noise-free images from consumer and ENG cameras because they have built-in noise filtering algorithms that, in most cases, can't be turned off. Likewise, your consumer or ENG camera will algorithmically sharpen the image and punch the colors.

A cinema camera records an unprocessed image: without noise filtering, without sharpening, and with "dull" colors that optimally reproduce the sensor's dynamic range but don't optimally match the human eye. Noise filtering (if wanted), sharpening (if wanted) and color correction (absolutely necessary) must be done in postproduction.

Judging from the Vimeo videos shot with the Pocket that run in ungraded Cinema log, it seems as if this camera asks too much from most people who buy it. They will be better served with a G6 or GH3 - and I don't mean this pejoratively at all. I'm just tired of these misunderstandings.

It's as if we'd be on blog for audio production, and people would complain that the Korg synthesizer they just bought as an upgrade from their Casio keyboard has no built-in rhythm section and auto chords and no built-in speakers, and sounds dull over Mackie studio monitors. (In audio production, btw., the difference between consumer and semipro technology is no longer really a difference of price point. Video production now just catches up with something that has been the reality in audio production for more or less a decade.)

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Do they need to be formatted in a certain way, because my Sony 95MB/s card didn't work at all.


Strange, I just format them as exFAT with Disk Utility under Mac OS X. No problems under whatever firmware version I had the camera running.

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As shown here, there is actually an even cheaper card for ProResHQ, the Transcend 64GB:

51kkX5eHvNL._AA190_.jpg

 

What nobody knows so far: What cards will work with the compressed DNG?

 

A friend of mine bought the TV Logic Alphatron EVF, and it's not as heavy as it looks bulky. Contineo cage (just the cage, the rest can be assembled with cheap enjoyyourcamera stuff or parts I already own), rods, follow focus, small matte box (for the inevitable ND fader). Can still be a compact setup, and with the Pocket is about the price for a 5DMIII body (which also needs rigs).

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Sorry if my reply sounds rude: Sometimes, there's a point where people who haven't used the camera and don't understand the concept of a digital cinema camera versus a camcorder should just shut up.

You only get noise-free images from consumer and ENG cameras because they have built-in noise filtering algorithms that, in most cases, can't be turned off. Likewise, your consumer or ENG camera will algorithmically sharpen the image and punch the colors.

A cinema camera records an unprocessed image: without noise filtering, without sharpening, and with "dull" colors that optimally reproduce the sensor's dynamic range but don't optimally match the human eye. Noise filtering (if wanted), sharpening (if wanted) and color correction (absolutely necessary) must be done in postproduction.

Judging from the Vimeo videos shot with the Pocket that run in ungraded Cinema log, it seems as if this camera asks too much from most people who buy it. They will be better served with a G6 or GH3 - and I don't mean this pejoratively at all. I'm just tired of these misunderstandings.

It's as if we'd be on blog for audio production, and people would complain that the Korg synthesizer they just bought as an upgrade from their Casio keyboard has no built-in rhythm section and auto chords and no built-in speakers, and sounds dull over Mackie studio monitors. (In audio production, btw., the difference between consumer and semipro technology is no longer really a difference of price point. Video production now just catches up with something that has been the reality in audio production for more or less a decade.)

 

why should I just shut up? cant you just explain what people does not already know without hurting them?

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why should I just shut up? cant you just explain what people does not already know without hurting them?

I did not refer to you but generally wrote that people who haven't used the camera and don't understand the concept of a cinema camera should better shut up. If you feel that this was a personal attack, then it's your problem.
Your second sentence doesn't make grammatical sense.

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I did not refer to you but generally wrote that people who haven't used the camera and don't understand the concept of a cinema camera should better shut up. If you feel that this a personal attack, then it's your problem.
Your second sentence doesn't make grammatical sense.

 

I have never used a RAW cinema camera.... I only know h.264 thx to canon DSLR.

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Interesting comments from a beta tester on the cooling system and how it impacts battery usage.

 

"it uses a Peltier effect or thermoelectric cooling system to maintain consistent sensor temperature.."

 

"So on a hot day when the camera is struggling to dissipate heat through the chasis it will use more power to maintain the sensor temperature.This is also the case with the larger BMCC..."

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