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On the viewfinder, I made an interesting discovery from a mistake I made.  I'm 52, so need reading glasses now.  I ordered a viewfinder http://www.amazon.com/Neewer%C2%AE-Screen-Viewfinder-Extender-Canon/dp/B0084LFED0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397073209&sr=8-1&keywords=view+finder+lcd-v3 for my EOS-M.  When it came, the eyepiece was a third of the inch away from the screen.  That actually worked well because it was enough for me not to buy an expensive one with a diopter.  I use it on the BMPCC too.  $20.  

Wow! Thanks for the tip.

I'm short sighted so i've been using an old pair of glasses & can see the Pocket screen just fine when on a shoulder type rig.

But I hadn't really thought of getting a cheap viewfinder like this & it just struck me that i could use it without any glasses at all, since i can see things really clearly up close.

This viewfinder is only £10 in UK & i can use it with my 60D - Result!

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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

Many thanks for your comment regarding LUTs etc. I didn't even know the term, so had to look it up. This is something outside of my sphere, so will have to learn more about it and read the Premiere Pro book in more depth. At least, if I can obtain some footage whilst I'm away, I can learn more about what to do with my clips when I return. I'm still new to this level of film making.

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Many thanks for your comment regarding LUTs etc. I didn't even know the term, so had to look it up. This is something outside of my sphere, so will have to learn more about it and read the Premiere Pro book in more depth. At least, if I can obtain some footage whilst I'm away, I can learn more about what to do with my clips when I return. I'm still new to this level of film making.


Basically with the Pocket you need to get three things (technically) right:
Stable, sharp and (roughly) well exposed shots. Everything else can be fixed in post, at home.

For vacations, I only use my iPhone. You could shoot with your 60D. You have a lot of options. Don't despair.

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Thanks for your response. In actual fact, I don't have any options as I don't have an EOS 60D (and have never said that I did), or an iPhone (or similar). Therefore, I want to get as much technically correct as I can.

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On the viewfinder.  Since I need it like reading glasses it worked because it is a bit off the screen.  If it fit perfectly, I'd need glasses because it doesn't have a diopter.  In other words, @bioscope, it may work well for your BMPCC but not the 60D.  Or the other way around.

 

It doesn't show the BMPCC screen completely, but enough to see what you're doing.  I find I can operate all the controls without looking away from the loupe.  

 

Contrary to many reviews, I find the camera very easy to operate.  My only gripe is if you don't hit the focus zoom (ok button) fast enough, two clicks, that stupids slate screen comes up.  

 

Not sure why they have a video setting either.  

 

@Axel, thanks.  Been changing the ISO.  Thanks for the tips. I should know better.  

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Get a hand held light meter, the on board exposure tool is crap. Handheld meter will tell you so many things an onboard can't. 

Get a loop with magnification for focusing and a bunch of extra batteries. They're cheap. And don't waste your time with anything but a manual lens.

 

For wide shots Kova makes a 6mm that's fast and sharp.

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Which Nikon 10mm? Didn't know they had one that wide for the bmpcc.

 

I was referring to the sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6

 

but there is also the:

sigma 10-20 f3.5

nikon 10-24mm f3.5-4.5

tokina 10-17mm f3.5-4.5

samyang 10mm f2.8

if you want faster

 

or the:

samyang 8mm T3.8

sigma 8-16 f4.5-5.6

if you want wider

 

All of course require the metabones speedbooster

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Many thanks for your kind assistance. I have the BM manual that comes with the camera, but this is very poor - and certainly not instructive.

 

Thanks for the explanation about using the up and down buttons, however, I still have no way of knowing if the exposure is correct, and the built in screen is not an accurate indicator. I don't want to buy a separate EVF or monitor as this destroys the objective of having a 'pocket' size camera.

 

The 10 mm lens mentioned by SleepyWill is not wide enough - that's why I went to the expense of buying the 7 mm to 14 mm.

 

I have a redrock micro adapter to fit my Canon 'L' series lenses to the BMPCC, so can control the aperture of those lenses using the adaptor. However, I don't use these lenses very often as the 7 - 14 is my most useful focal length - and, again, all these other bits of equipment destroy the portability of the camera.

 

I have used the focus peaking indicator, but it tends to slow things down hugely instead of being able to rely on an autofocus facility.

 

Many thanks to you both for your kind suggestions.

 

i don't know why you are using autofocus at all. its a computer, even the best autofocus has no clue what you want! if you bought a camera with a professional purpose and only use it in auto mode, then send it back and get a refund. these cameras were meant to be used with the operator in full control and the bmpcc only has auto functions as a bonus feature. you should not rely on it for serious work

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Many thanks for your suggestions and kind support. I'll go on my trip and shoot as much as I can and hope for the best. I've set the camera to Pro-Res and the dynamic range to video at 800 ISO (which I'll reduce to 400 ISO if it becomes too overexposed in the sunshine). The shutter angle is set at 180 degrees. I'll work in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 to increase the colour saturation  in post. I don't doubt the image quality - only my ability to make it happen.

 

alan, i'm sorry you were having these issues, and i hope you figured them out. i was a beginner when i got my blackmagic pocket. what you need to understand is that this is not like anything else. it requires very careful disciplined action to make this camera work the way you want and this will make you a better film maker. its like learning with a older film camera, because so many similarities. but unfortunately thats not for everyone. for some a sony or canon would be better :-/

 

hope you stuck to it though and mastered this camera. if you do (did) there are great rewards, as it has an amazing image

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Now BMPCC Gets Audio Levels, Remaining & Histogram, too, yay!  :)

 

Blackmagic just released a new firmware update, and this time the Pocket Cinema camera gets some of the UI goodies, too. 

 

From Blackmagic website:

 

 

  • Add histogram, time remaining and audio level indicators. Use Up and Down to reveal and hide the meters while Left and Right will adjust the aperture of your active MFT lens.
  • Fixed bug where in-camera playback may sometimes drop frames.

 

Sounds good. Although I believe most BMPCC users are using separate recorders for master audio, anyway, but those are nice to have features. Going to give them a try, as soon as I have installed the new firmware.

 

I have noticed that frame dropping bug, too. First I thought I had a dodgy SD card. Then I realised the clip was okay when played back in the computer screen. 

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Now BMPCC Gets Audio Levels, Remaining & Histogram, too, yay!  :)

 

(...)

 

Sounds good. Although I believe most BMPCC users are using separate recorders for master audio

 

Some of us are one-man-bands. Though it is no problem to synch audio nowadays, you then better have an assistant who captures (and levels) external audio. 

 

But: If, for instance, the recorder is mounted on top of your rig (without additional mic it'd need it's own shock mount!), you can as well use the recorder as a fail-safe option and use it's headphone jack to record external audio via the Pocket's mic in (set to line in in menu). Anyway, to assure that you level right (the speaker volume that is, you leave the ch1, ch2 - settings at 65), until now you had to plug a real headphone to your Pocket's headphone jack, which made the set up clumsy again.

 

Now, with this firmware update, you can watch the levels in the display. Don't know yet if they will show clipping fast enough.

 

Otherwise, for the odd wedding and similar occasions, you may find the internally recorded sound indistinguishable from the recorder's audio and forget synching in post. The Pocket turned out to be an excellent camera for a wedding. Note, that there is a device called OMP (OhrwurmMonitorPro) that allows recording without levels, I tested it >here (it worked quite well, but it wasn't comfortable to wear over time).

 

The Pocket now also features 18 (!) different Kelvin-settings between 2500°K and 8000°K. We get one thing, we miss the next: Now it would be nice, at least for ProRes, to know the actual color temperature of the scene. Arrrgh! Is there a smartphone app or something?

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Some of us are one-man-bands. Though it is no problem to synch audio nowadays, you then better have an assistant who captures (and levels) external audio. 

 

I'm mostly a one-man band, too, and my RX10 is capable of recording pretty decent sound through its own mic input, but I still sometimes use an external recorder off-camera, anyway. If it's not recording master audio, I use it to record 'ambient audio,' which I then mix into the final edit. It's sometimes handy when you're shooting multiple short clips or with two cameras. Maybe it's just me, but whenever I've got the luxury of time and gear carrying capability (or slaves), I don't mind the extra work.

 

 

But: If, for instance, the recorder is mounted on top of your rig (without additional mic it'd need it's own shock mount!), you can as well use the recorder as a fail-safe option and use it's headphone jack to record external audio via the Pocket's mic in (set to line in in menu). Anyway, to assure that you level right (the speaker volume that is, you leave the ch1, ch2 - settings at 65), until now you had to plug a real headphone to your Pocket's headphone jack, which made the set up clumsy again.

 

I've had the BMPCC only for a couple of weeks now (and for the most of that time I've been too busy with other things to play with it), but I've already established that the Zoom H1n is a handy and inexpensive companion for the BMPCC. I just need to figure out ideal levels for both BMPCC input and the H1 output for optimal results. I think I'll also experiment with my Røde Videomic Pro directly into the BMPCC input. Just for the heck of it.

 

 

Now, with this firmware update, you can watch the levels in the display. Don't know yet if they will show clipping fast enough.

 

I installed the firmware update and did a quick 'yawp test,' and things looked pretty fine to me. Didn't really do a proper clipping test with a mic, though, and although my louder yawp didn't seem to cause clipping, I can't (yet) say is it fast enough. No doubt we'll find out soon enough after some shooting. 

 

Other than that, I find this update worth installing. It changes the way the arrow buttons work with the aperture blades, but you get used to it quickly. The down arrow also hides the histogram and the audio meter if you wish to have a clear screen.

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