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2K BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, active m43, $995
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  • @kholi, you're already shooting RAW? Are you a beta tester?

  • @_gl

    I'm averaging 10-10.5 minutes to each 32GB Sandisk 95MB/s card. So, that's about right.

    @29.97/30 I'm around 8 minutes or so.

    I was definitely able to provoke a 2.4mb stream during stress testing.

  • My first shoot on the BMPCC - all handheld with the 14-140 Panasonic lens, and a little rough around the edges. Graded with one of Visioncolor's Osiris LUTs and a few lens flares added.

  • BMC v1 2.5k RAW is (apparently) 5MB/frame. It shoots 1.6x more pixels than the Pocket's 1080p, so: Pocket uncompressed RAW: ~3.1 MB Pocket compressed RAW (~1.5:1): ~2.1 MB @ 24fps = 50 MB/s (compressed) @ 30fps = 62.5 MB/s (compressed)

    jbrawley says 2.0MB-2.4MB per frame, matches my numbers early in this thread. So you're looking at around 20mins @ 23.976fps on a 64GB card.

    @atagunov, yeah if you read a few posts up, you can do that.

  • @atagunov Yes, this is how I use my Pocket. I set the display to Video (REC703) but record in Film mode. Works just fine.

  • Guys, somewhere else on the net somebody asked a question I'd also like to know the answer to. While shooting is it possible on BMPCC to save to the card in 'film' mode (e.g. maximum DR) but to view on display and/or external monitor as 'video' (e.g. clipped DR)? The idea is to judge exposure better - eye, zebras, false colors and/or to give the external monitor more contrast so that focus peaking works better on it.

    And on a separate note - is there some problem with bmpcc "forgetting" the settings you make?


  • as @crisvpl hinted, jbrawley has teased imminent (compressed) RAW on the Pocket on his Twitter feed. Says Sandisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s is required:

  • The first date with my BMPCC was quite weird... I felt like a newbee, even I had GH1/2/3 for 3 years... I just passed trough menu, prepare the camera and pressed the Rec. button, hopping that after grading I will be very pleased. Unfortunately I choose to slect film mode for viewing (very dificult with that flat image... today I will set the display to video mode), but I used zebra and some time I use iris (point a spot wich I want to be exposed properly, and when I pressed iris button, the camera set the aperture of the lens. Anyway, it apeares to me a little bit overexposed... I will try 90% zebra... I have several SD cards, but only Sandisk 32 GB, 45MBs work fine (did not worked with GH3 format, but exFAT 128b allocation unit). I will buy the faster and biger one for future raw (it is just aver the corner, see J Brawley blog!!!!). Is there something over 95MBs? Since now I am very hapy and confident. I am not afraid anymore... But I wish desperately they do something for sleeping the camera (I use a 7Ah/12V lead acid battery in a purse...) and asigned buttons for ISO and WB, like arows up/down for exposure. The only big problem for me is that I find not a way to export 10 bit 422 (PPro CC) for final use (usualy I will use part of my production for future projects, so I need a good export... Somebody help, please!... Thanks!

  • This is a bit of an older video by 'A Couple of Night Owls' and compares the BMCC ProRes to 5Diii RAW. Not exactly the same, but relatively close.

    5D3 FW1.2.1 HDMI Out vs Internal Codecs and BMCC

  • @matt_gh2 I believe for the majority of his tests he used H.264 in the 5Dlll vs the Pocket. But if you go a little bit more than half way down his page you’ll see he ports the 5Dlll RAW vs 5D111 H.264 vs BMPCC with a side by side picture of his face. Right below it this is what he says:

    “Speaking of Magic Lantern, how does the Pocket camera compare to my 5D3 in raw? I didn’t really want to spend too much time on this because I will review this camera again when it shoots raw, but in terms of resolution the pocket camera seems to have the same amount of detail as 5D3 raw, but in terms of dynamic range I would give the win to the 5D3 raw.”

    @Kholi yeah you’re right…I have not seen any proper testing of the BMCC when it comes to this. I’m not sure but I think Frank over at DVXUser has a blog where he tests it against a Red, Alexa and F5. But against the ML 5Dlll I’m curious about his statement because to me, or at least through my naked eyes, the Canon doesn’t even come close to the BMCC (and like you suggested the BMPCC will be in the same territory). We all know what it says on paper but to see actual side by side test results would be telling.

  • Don't know if anyone else is experiencing this, but sometimes when I hold the power button down to turn off the camera it turns off, then turns itself back on after a half a second. I filmed it happening, and will send it in to BM as it's seriously tripping me up when I try to conserve battery power.

  • @Ian_T

    To be fair in either case, neither cameras have been scientifically measured as far as DR, and I'm not even sure the 2.5K has been. Which is strange, because that one has been out for quite some time.

    What's to be noted, though, is that Dave still doesn't know how to expose the camera, and two, the camera's DR is mapped differently than the 5D3, the latter having most of its DR down bottom and the former certainly up top.

    I can only say from experience that the 2.5K certainly has a solid two to three tops up top over the MK3, and around a stop and a half or less down bottom (noise floor), which puts it about a stop under the 2.5K.

    The Pocket is certainly right in line with the 2.5K in ProRes, and likely right on in RAW.

  • @Ian_T Is Dave Dugdale using a ML-hacked to shoot RAW 5DIII, or just regular 5DIII? I watched some of his review, can't remember him saying anything re RAW, but I could be wrong.

  • Is this guy accurate in saying he thinks the 5Dlll RAW has more dynamic range than the Pocket? Then again he's comparing RAW (5Dlll) vs ProRes (Pocket). Another thing that struck me was his comment about the 5Dlll RAW having the same resolution as the Pocket's ProRes. Makes me wonder how much of a boost we expect to get with RAW applied to the Pocket.

  • From a comment I saw in another forum... anyone else want to try this:

    Have you tried a “lens cap” test yet? Where you take a second or two of video with the lens cap on at every ISO setting?

    I am in VFX and have done this test for years with other digital cameras to help me understand what the digital noise looks like for a particular camera. I just tried it with my BMPCC and unfortunately, I am seeing “hot” pixels at iso 400-1600 with it getting worse at each setting. By a hot pixel, I mean the same pixels on the sensor stay brighter, I expect noise and flickering throughout the image, but I have never seen a camera do this.

    I was wondering if you have noticed anything similar in your camera?

  • Another review of the Pocket. It compares the BMPCC favorably with the 5D Mk III and even the Red Epic.

    Let me start off by saying I do not have enough experience yet to do a proper review of this camera. Why? Because I am not a professional colorist that works on log images on a daily basis. However, I can give you a good run down if you are just starting out or at a level like me. The Pocket camera has taught me a lot in the past 30 days, in fact the images that I tried to grade a month ago I have since re-graded with much better results. I have asked several colorists and others many questions over the past month to help me get better with this thing. Guys I really think this is where things are heading so if you like me you need to start investing in yourself by either taking some advanced grading courses or experiment a lot with a camera like this, and at this price point this looks to me THE camera to learn on.

    About half the time I am frustrated with the pocket camera because I can’t get the results similar to my 5D, and the other half when I do get the results I want I think it’s a wonderful image. Why is this? It’s not the camera’s fault, it’s because I am not an advanced colorist. The Canon 5D has spoiled me because I never had to work the image that much, but with the pocket camera in film mode you have to work each image a great deal. I understand the basics of color correction using ProLost settings and CineStyle, but correcting a log image is a different animal and a different workflow is needed, such was which node to place the LUT in to.

  • @kholi I agree on the WW. I just received a replacement for the 2.1 and it's still unusable. Those Schneider are more constant aren't they?

    Also I know we talked about the monitors not seeing the same thing as the camera does, per say, but when I had Ultrascope up, all of my Ikan scopes lined up the same. That's reassuring.

  • It was about 1.5 safe on the 2.5K, but on the Pocket Camera it seems like 1 stop above that, which isn't massive.

    I've never actually checked Ultrascope, but sounds like it lines up. The important thing for me is saturating all three channels without clipping one too quickly on anything important.

    IR Pollution, ND color casts, etc., all of those play a part.

    I'm fairly sure I'm switching over to Schneider Platinum from Tiffen WW. The former's much more neutral to begin with and I think they may actually suit the camera(s) better. Still have to test... Platinum's expensive.

  • Just comparing my Ikan waveform to Ultrscope to see how accurate it was, I've noticed that when zebras are set to 75% it seems I just have a stop or 1.5 stops left till I clip the sensor. This is on both waveform monitors too. They are dead even in terms of exposure. I switched over to 100% zebra and it seemed that was about 1 stop+ away from 75% as well. Is this what you're finding @kholi?

    Edit: Shit, probably wrong topic. I'm on the 2.5K of course.

  • Here's some graded footage I shot yesterday from the BMPCC using the Panasonic 14-140mm zoom. Sound is from the on-board mic.

  • At 100 percent it's supposed to be sensor level clipping.

    Setting zebras below 100 percent shows the range from that setting up to 100 percent, so 90-100, 80-100, etc.

    If you set the camera to 100, anything with zebras = clipping at the sensor.

    HOWEVER, it does not tell you if you've clipped a single channel earlier than the others.

    You can set to 100 percent, expose without zebras, and still clip a channel. That is the issue.

    I'm using a Waveform now in conjunction with 75% to set exposure at a certain stop (if shooting for a certain stop), so 75% is fine for me. I'm largely ignoring the zebras as long as they aren't crawling all over something that I don't want to lose to highlights.

    As for the underexposure, if you rely on 100 percent zebras to tell you everything it's likely that you'll either under or overexpose footage as well.

  • @kholi thanks for that very detailed explanation. I am sorry I am still slightly confused about how the zebras now work.

    Are you saying that if you set your zebra level to say 75% then if you see zebras in your shot then it isn't necessarily blown out ? can you tell at such a low zebra level? I am assuming 75% is a very safe level.. And if you make sure when you shoot at this level none of your footage displays any zebras then you can guarantee none of your shots are blown out.. But at the same time how can you be sure you haven't completely underexposed your entire scene?

    I know it's not an extract science (exposure) but I think if I understand more what the zebras are doing and telling me on the bmpcc I might be able to understand better. I think originally I assumed if you see zebras those areas must be blown out but I now believe this not to be the case???

  • Few points:

    Everything above 75% would read, but you don't necessarily have to say that it's "blown out". That's just a readjustment of how you're using the tool. It's been a while since I've touched an HVX, actually last time I had one in my hands I couldn't figure out how to turn it on... but the HVX has two zebra levels that you can set as triggers, independent of each other. W were using those as skin (I believe 70%) and then overexposed areas (around 95... it's been a while). You actually wouldn't see the zebras detail anything exposed beyond 70%, just whatever was in the 70% range.

    By setting Zebras to 75% and making sure that only the brightest highlights on skin or any object in frame that I want to keep are at 75%, I'm insuring that I never lose a single channel on that surface.

    As @balazer explained, 100% doesn't actually tell you when a single channel is clipped, just that more than one has not clipped. That is very dangerous, especially if you clip a value in skin. You cannot recover clipped information, but you can reduce noise, clip levels simultaneously, etc. if you have the information.

    Example: Girl has on shiny make-up (hopefully not SPF based) and you expose just below one hundred percent on her face. When you get back to Resolve, you notice that her skin refuses to balance out, there's a strong magenta cast at the highest range and the more accurately exposed she is, the worse the magenta cast. That's because you clipped the green channel.

    Second to that, exposure is only scientific to a degree, you need to learn how the image responds to over and underexposure by shooting a ton of real world footage, then apply that while using your tools as guidelines, not as hard rules. A meter is great for ratios, but can also be used as a guideline to keep an image over or underexposed by a certain measure. People are trying to save skies in footage without the proper hardware... this isn't a good idea, IMO. 13 stops? That's a lot, but you still need grads, polarizers, etc.

    Lastly, this is why you've seen what you called "bad footage" all over. It takes conversations like these and a lot of mistakes to actually nail the most important portion of getting a great image. No one picks up a digital camera day one and poops gold. =] When you do get your camera, you'll have a lot of knowledge early users did not.

  • Am I right in thinking that if you set your zebra levels to say 75% then anything in your shot that shows zebras isn't always actual always blown out highlights but could be just areas of your shot that exceed the levels that you have set on your zebra?......

    If it is the case that at 75% your footage that displays zebras which could be both blown out highlights or areas that simply exceed the zebra levelthen isn't it easier to set your zebras to 100% so that when you do see a zebra on your screen you know for sure that that area is blown out and not just an area that exceeds the level set on the zebra?...hope this makes sense!!

  • @kholi solid advice, I was hoping the Rec709 video setting would be more usable on the pocket cam. I occasionally accept contracts for some ultra low budget web videos, often for not-for-profit organizations or the like (I'll go solo or with a +1 crew) and any way I can save time grading in post on tiny budgets means I have a better margin and more time to play afterwards! I'd love to shoot in film mode all the time, but realistically that could be a black hole on some smaller projects. I could always fall back on ol' standby: trusty MoonT7 hacked GH2, but I would prefer to take advantage of the beautiful ProRes 422 codec and the extra DR every chance I can get.