Something for Blackmagic to look into here on the EOSHD Forum thread for the Pocket 4K. Anecdotal evidence say the camera is suffering from macro-blocking and banding in blue skies which you don’t expect to see with a 10bit codec let alone a RAW codec. Since the BRAW codec update, various users have been claiming it’s a backward step for the film-look of lossless Cinema DNG raw.
Hard to believe it, but EOSHD is nearly 10 years old!
2010 was a big year for digital cinema. The 5D Mark II was in full stride kickstarting DSLR filmmaking. Arri’s first proper digital film camera the Alexa was released and revolutionised filmmaking at the highest levels. Now all these years later I’m still looking – not for the sharpest, highest K, most featured packed modern camera but for a camera costing less than $1000 which has the most Alexa-like image.
Not on a technical level, of course, but in terms of the feel of the images and how cinematic the end-results are when viewed on the big screen.
NAB 2019 begins this weekend and exhibits open to the public on Monday 8th. One of the big talking points this year I think will be DaVinci Resolve 16 and hopefully we will see a big swing away from Adobe Premiere for editing as a result. Adobe will also unveil updates at NAB but I am uninterested, as I really do think their reliability isn’t fit for pro work any more, or any kind of work for that matter.
On the camera side it looks a bit quiet so far. Canon confused us all with the EOS R external RAW recording tweet, but it’s entirely possible their reps don’t know the difference between external HDMI recording and RAW any way.
Blackmagic RAW has arrived on the Pocket 4K camera, meanwhile Cinema DNG has been remove due to patent claims, and basically being an obsolete format with poor performance and compatibility. I don’t really mourn Cinema DNG, but it’s a shame they had to remove it for legal reasons.
What’s very interesting on the hardware side is how Blackmagic are able to deliver such a dramatic firmware update. A lot of consumer cameras have hardware based on ASIC chipsets. The Blackmagic Pocket 4K has a FFPGA (Fast Field Programmable Gate Array) which is a type of chip that can be completely reprogrammed at the hardware level by software commands. This is how Blackmagic are able to deliver such fundamental features as an entire new raw codec, which would have necessitated a hardware change on a normal camera.
Blackmagic are providing a BRAW Player as well for MacOS which allows quick preview and playback of clips from the Finder. BRAW clips are a single file unlike Cinema DNG, which is a folder of still DNG frames in sequence.
Of course we all know “there’s no such thing as a ‘bad’ camera” any more but there is such a thing as a dull, boring rip off. Then there’s the stuff that has a shelf life of a few months, that you just know is a stepping stone before the real deal arrives. In many ways 2018 was a good year to keep hold of what you have and wait for the dust to settle. An eventful one for technology, especially in the second half where we saw some glimpses of the future. In 2018 we had six truly great cameras for filmmakers and a few that didn’t make my top list like the M50 or RX100 VI but which are nevertheless still useful in one way or another.
For the first time ever I’ve come face to face with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has come face to face with me. It’s time to face facts without doing an about-face.
I am certainly not bigger than a camera company, or more important than Blackmagic and I think people may have seen the hysterics as a bit silly. I apologise for that and will be covering the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K on EOSHD. I accept that yes, possibly I have shot myself in the foot, having said that, EOSHD is bigger than one person too and a real community. That’s worth defending.