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2K BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, active m43, $995
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  • The power-on problem persisted for a few reboots (needing the external power cut each time), now everything is fine again.

    Can be anything, it is FPGA based thing. Sometimes they can glitch in amazing ways.

  • @Peter123456, thanks for doing that audio test. I've been using an Olympus LS7 to do off-board audio, but after your test it makes sense to also run it live into the cam for backup and not having to mess with syncing a separate file in post when the audio isn't super-crucial. It's far better than the built-in mic either way.

  • Can be anything, it is FPGA based thing. Sometimes they can glitch in amazing ways.

    Right, it was definitely in the sensor capture/processing somewhere. You can see the readouts are still fine, I could even go into the menus and they were fine too.

  • Hi, what firmware was this on? If you can reproduce it again please let me know and the steps to do so, or contact one of our support offices (which ever is closest to you).

  • @CaptainHook, this is on 1.9.10 (I hear there are RAW recording issues on 2.0? so I haven't installed that yet). Only happened once so far, I'll let you know if I get a repro.

  • @_gl,did you think the audio sounded good on the bmpcc in my test? I detected a constant hiss at every setting I tested. (Hmm... I wonder what 100% line in would have been like.) That hiss was gone when I recorded the same setup on a zoom h1. By the way, oddly, the best setting for the h1 for minimum noise is 37 out of 100.

  • @Peter123456, not perfect, but much better than the on-board mic. I tend to shoot outdoors with lots of ambient noise (or wind noise), so a superlow noisefloor doesn't always matter to me, but overall fidelity does. Plus it's harder to wind-jam the internal mic.

    Obviously different for speech in a quiet setup. Although there are good denoising audio plugins that can work well, even just basic noise gating can sometimes work wonders. You often hear an extreme version of gating on old TV shows and movies that had very noisy mics (eg. the original Star Trek IIRC), where you get dead silence between sentences (the gate kicking in), and then the noise bursts up with the speech as the gate opens (but is reasonably well masked by it sometimes).

    I'll try running my Olympus LS7 PCM recorder in soon (it has an optional dedicated bass mic to get sub-bass unlike most of their other models, lotsa rumble if you want it). Probably won't have time to do a video, but I'll report my findings.

  • @_gl - There are no known reproducible issues with RAW on 2.0 that we're aware of. Again, if you know or hear of anything please let us know. :-)

  • @CaptainHook roger, I was going by the BMPCC FAQ Thread:

    "Community Notes: - CAUTION: Some Pocket users have reported that video is not being recorded whilst in RAW mode on the latest firmware."

    which links here, but I see you already replied there. I've got an important shoot coming up, but after that I'll try 2.0. Is there a way to downgrade worst-case?

  • BMPCC kit offer - $995

    Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera Kit with LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 Lens + battery and 64Gb SD card -

  • @_gl sorry for the late reply, i didn't get an email notification of your post for some reason. Yes, you can always downgrade by installing an older version of the camera utility onto your computer, then plugging in the camera and "updating".

  • My conclusion after nearly two years with the BMPCC:

    If you want even close to accurate color, you must shoot raw and process the DNG files using 3rd-party software. Davinci Resolve does not decode DNG files accurately, and the BMDFilm color space is useless, being proprietary and unspecified. If you've played around with the Pocket's DNG files in Adobe Lightroom, you know how much better of a job it does. But the workflow in Lightroom is impractical for video.

    So I've built an ACES workflow for Sony Vegas Pro using dcraw to decode the DNG files:

    For all that effort, the humble hacked GH2 with its ACES IDT delivers better images more easily than the Pocket. The Pocket's large dynamic range and high quality recording are wasted on a camera with poor color accuracy and poor tools for adjusting the exposure.

  • GH2 is dead. The pocket killed and buried it. End of story.

  • @Trumpetman I've been using a GH2 for projects, but was interested in the Pocket when it came out, but I never came across good looking work from it, probably because it cost too much(with all needed stuff) so I didn't follow it for too long. As price is coming down for Pocket, I'm interested in maybe trying it. If by chance you have some links to some of the nicer films/videos shot with the Pocket, I'd definitely be interested in checking those out. I'm okay with using GH2, but if dynamic range and other benefits of Pocket can be had with keeping color accuracy, I'd definitely check it out and try. Thanks.

  • I had GH2's and bmpcc. I found what Balazer found. You've got to finkle with the BM footage. Who has time for that? The screen was also total crap, and not really usable. I still have a GH2 and use it for back up or going to sketchy places. GH2 is still a rock solid performer IMO. YMMV.

  • Here's a cool article about Ben Davis where he talks a lot (over half the article) about enjoying using Pocket Cameras on the latest Avengers movie:

  • @captainhook that is awesome. I'm betting the new Micro Cinema Cam will get tons of use in features with global shutter and 60fps.

  • the gh2 also takes pictures. I've used it for years and it's been great with the patches. But the only reason I still have it is the hybrid bit. Otherwise, pocket all the way.

    RAW wins. More important than anything else. The lcd is awful. You must use separate sound device. Battery is too short, you have to carry lots of cards. You need to learn how to grade it.

    And... RAW wins.

  • Can't argue with Chaucy. If you can live with the shortcomings, yes, it's a WMD.

  • Theres a great price drop for the SanDisk 64gb 95mb/s cards now. :)

  • I have used the pocket for the last 1,5 years, both in ProRes and RAW and it is totally clear that it blows the GH2 away image wise. BUT you have to learn to grade and use Davinci Resolve. Have a look at my latest films with the BMPCC on my vimeo channel:

    I started using the GH1 in 2009, bought the GH2 in 2011 and still have both (hacked of course) and use them regularly, along with the BMPCC. It all depends which camera you need to get the job done. When I need to go light (on the bike) I use the GH1/2. When I'm recording performances I go for the GH1/2's. If I have time and need the cinematic look, I go for the BMPCC.

    If I'm skiing I use a GoPro. Use the tool yu need to get the job done. You can see all these variants in my last 4 films on Vimeo.

  • @Balazer


    “Color rendering is definitely one of the Pocket Cinema Cameras strengths, particularly when you are working with a DoP that takes advantage of color as a dramaturgy tool. Slawomir’s cinematography has a very distinctive style, in which a vivid color palette determines special visual rules. Creation of these visual worlds required gels on lamps, glass filters in front of the lenses, as well as some creative digital grading steps. Take the progression of Fania’s illness, distinguished by a cyan-green light on her face. Once you start playing with skin tones, it’s a minefield, particularly facial tones – only a gentle touch can turn pale into sick or disease into deceased. This was definitely a challenge for the Blackmagic camera, however I am pleased with the way the CinemaDNG RAW was able to render all of those color nuances.”

  • The Blackmagic cameras are basically Davinci Resolve cameras. They're great if you like to push and pull on the colors to get interesting artistic effects. There's a lot of gradation in the recorded images.

    But let's not say color science and Blackmagic in the same breath, because the cameras and Resolve stink for color science. The colors are not accurate. You won't get a true-to-life image without a lot of manipulation, and I don't mean the basic exposure compensation and color balancing that all raw images need. When I balance for white, the greys turn blue and skin looks wrong. You can't balance the colors and get the whole image to look right. You need to go and adjust every little part of the image differently. That's just not how I like to work. I like to start with accurate color, and if I want some kind of artistic color effect, I'll add it on top.

    Color science is a real thing. Light spectra excite neurons in your eyes, and your brain interprets the signals. Human perception of color is subjective, but measurable. Lots of studies have been done to quantify and model human perception of color. For a camera to have accurate color, it must be created to approximate those models, and that's exactly what most cameras do. Blackmagic has taken a much different approach, with emphasis on tools to manipulate color, and not on color accuracy. I contend that a better camera does both, not just one or the other.

  • @balazer

    Have you tried using the V2 version LUT available in Resolve -- placed on the last node? Tastes differ, but I find it fairly neutral starting point.