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Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera: does it make sense to buy it now?


JazzBox
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​I agree that for an all around camera, the GH4 is better, but well shot pocket camera footage still blows away the GH4 footage. I was on the fence for a while, but glad I never sold that camera. I just can't get over how good well shot pocket footage looks.

Did you own the speed booster, sigma 18-35? 

Edit: I remember you saying you bought a c100mk2. I would prefer a mk1 or mk2 over the gh4 for reliable commercial use.

​I did have a Speedbooster/Sigma (still do). There were times when the pocket would get great looking shots but it was just too unreliable in my opinion.

The C100 MkII is awesome. The image itself isn't much different from the GH4 but it's a better all around camera. I'll be using GH4's as B cams, and hopefully with LOG it'll match up nice to C-Log.

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​Thank you Escapist! :) 
If you have other kind of lenses (like Canon FD, Zeiss M42 etc...) I'm curious if it's simple to match them :)

​Ok I just tried the 14-140mm f4.0-f5.6 panny lens out. The 14mm side translates to a 40mm view from FF, so it's slightly wider that the "normal" 50mm on a FF. It's pretty wide I'd say but you could probably go wider with a wide lens + speed booster and something else if you wanted to.

Due to the lens being slower, I found that it's hard to get any background blur but that was probably obvious. Shooting in dark doesn't seem to be a major issue at the native 800 ISO, as long as the scene is normally lit. The Mega OIS is amazing though, even zoomed in all the way it eliminated a lot of jitter. 

I think I'm going to keep this lens around, it's very versatile and could help get some difficult shots. 

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Yesterday I caught the Pocket: after 20 minutes the battery was out.
The screen is very dark and the simple things you need to set quickly a proper shoot (at least ISO, WB, Shutter angle) are in an internal menu, so you can't change them on the fly just pushing a button. It's difficult, because with GH4 I can instantly compare different settings whereas with Pocket I have to enter again and again in the menu.

In "natural" light I had to select 800 ASA: the screen was barely visible and it was very difficult to understand what I was shooting and what was in focus while, with the same settings, the GH4's screen was dazzling!
The histogram is minimal... but quite ok...

I was near to give it back, but.... watching the files in the computer I was AMAZED by the quality! Super great looking flat images! Unbelievable! 

Today I made some test and I'm very happy about the quality of the ProRes files. I tried a couple of RAW shots, but at the moment I can just see some (great looking) .DNG files with my laptop. 

Working with GH4 I normally end up using one, sometimes two batteries for each shooting day, so it's difficult for me to get used to 30 - 40 minutes batteries' life, but luckily EN-EL 20 are way cheap, so I can buy some spare batteries.

What is very difficult for me it's the display: very dark, too dark for the great files you can see after on the computer' screen. It's not articulated and the magnification is very basic, just the center. 

BUT: superb images (great dynamic and perfect skin tones), excellent focus peaking (in good light conditions), very comfortable guide lines for various aspect ratio.

It's a difficult camera: since it's little (and is called "pocket") you think you can run and gun with it, but probably (at least for me) it's not like that, unless you use it with a proper rig, an external monitor and an external battery pack. 

But the image's quality worth the discomfort. I rarely saw a so nice tonally balanced image straight from a camera. Of course you have to grade it, but it's REALLY beautiful. 

It would be nice if Blackmagic could improve this little monster with a firmware upgrade with a nice 1080 50p, a better batteries' life and maybe a more bright setting for the display.

Or if - for a funny miracle - tomorrow morning I had an unique GH4Pocket in my backpack: the GH4 simplicity and usability with the 1080 ProRes codec of Pocket :)

Dreams apart, if you have any advice for a better workflow with it (even with RAW) I'd be grateful :)



 

​First off, Blackmagic did themselves a great disservice by calling it the "pocket" camera. That name led everyone to believe it was a "point and shoot". While technically it is, if you are shooting professionally, it isn't. And really, a pro wouldn't expect it to be anything more than what it is. It's a small compact platform that produces pro quality (all be it cropped sensor) images. But as with any pro camera, there are support accessories required. ALL pro cameras require external batteries. 45 minutes on a battery is pretty standard stuff. All pro cameras require external monitors for viewing and focusing. So does the BMPCC.  The images this little camera produces are amazing. i've used it extensively to shoot background plates to put behind arri raw foreground elements. beautiful results. If you want to be happy with this camera, buy a good external battery or two, an atomos ninja for recording and viewing and for 3K or less, You've got an amazing B cam than can be a saving grace on any set. If you're looking for a point and shoot.......stick with the GH4

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​First off, Blackmagic did themselves a great disservice by calling it the "pocket" camera. That name led everyone to believe it was a "point and shoot". While technically it is, if you are shooting professionally, it isn't. And really, a pro wouldn't expect it to be anything more than what it is. It's a small compact platform that produces pro quality (all be it cropped sensor) images. But as with any pro camera, there are support accessories required. ALL pro cameras require external batteries. 45 minutes on a battery is pretty standard stuff. All pro cameras require external monitors for viewing and focusing. So does the BMPCC.  The images this little camera produces are amazing. i've used it extensively to shoot background plates to put behind arri raw foreground elements. beautiful results. If you want to be happy with this camera, buy a good external battery or two, an atomos ninja for recording and viewing and for 3K or less, You've got an amazing B cam than can be a saving grace on any set. If you're looking for a point and shoot.......stick with the GH4

​You're right. After few days testing it for personal shoots I just love it and I'm ok with 4 batteries (very cheap, so I'll buy 2 more, in order to shoot outside for a whole day).

The only reaI big drawback - for me, as an ex-CanonDSLR shooter and now GH4 shooter - is the lack of a dedicate button for shutter angle and ISO. 
I don't like to use ND filter (all the filter I had, included an expensive variable Tiffen) made some unexpected "green ghost" (flare) in the image in some rare situation, but always in some work, not during testing... so I prefer to not use ND.

And when I shoot out I need a quick way to change shutter speed seeing how it affect the image: with the GH4 it's super simple, with the Pocket I have to go inside the menu, change, exit and repeat. But - of course - the final images are so good that it does not matter. 

It's a little magic camera that I like a lot! 

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The Rokinon 12mm is excellent, and I own the 10mm and like it quite a lot, so far, but I haven't used it a ton. You can put filters on the 12, but the 10 has the option of being used on APS-C (S35) later on, so it's more versatile to own, albeit heavier. Both are rectilinear. 

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