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2K BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, active m43, $995
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  • After I saw this "blooming" thing (or whatever someone may call it) in various clips, thoughts on cancelling my pre-order started to visit me pretty often...

    As far as I know, BM's team still hasn't fixed "the black spot" issue with BMCC... How much time will it take to fix the same issue and the "blooming" thing with BMPCC :-)?

    I've always thought that having a great ("Hollywood's standard") dynamic range along with a correct exposure in your camera is some sort of a guarantee that "you won't see blownout highlights/black spots" in the night (as we see with the professional cams - ARRI etc.)... Looks like I was wrong I could do it for $1000 :-)

    Despite the ability "to see deeper through the night", a real great dynamic range helps you "harness the excessive light".

    Actually I can't blame BM for that >-) What else could we expect for $1000!?

  • Based at least on the examples found at this link

    the bloom/blob issue is far more common (Canon 50D, Sony 700, etc.), than has been generally acknowledged. Then again, once folks persuade themselves that their otherwise superlatively written, acted, lit and designed unmade feature film will be destroyed by dastardly BMPCC blobs, there's no turning back.

  • @jrd as has been pointed out elsewhere, overexposed white blobs are not blooming. The examples in this link are overexposure, not blooming, which had distinct edges with no halos.

  • @philiplipetz

    Overexposure is involved in all cases, and I'm not persuaded it's a different issue, when in the examples provided, over-exposure also results in blobs which don't represent the underlying shape of the light. I don't know where you see distinct edges, or on which shots. But never mind, this will play out as it plays out.

  • I just saw the same orbs on an episode of House of Cards which is shot with the Red Epic.

  • my GH3 doesnt produce strange black dots ;)

  • @Sph1nxster

    Your GH3 doesn't do ProRes, RAW, have 13 stops of latitude...

  • I don't know if it's the same.. but the thing with the black dots happens as well with Alexa. I remember having them in every single take where the sun (also light equipment) was in frame. They call it "sensor overload". Take a look at this:

  • I don't get a word of what they're saying, but videos pretty much speak for themselves:

    Problem seems to be big. And as @philiplipetz stated, most of those examples on the Flickr thread are not the same as the "golf ball blooming" issue.

  • @Flaaandeeers The white blooming is very bad on their tests. A least BMD replied in the comments... "Tony Rivera, Blackmagic Design: We did realize this is an issue and take questions seriously synthesis. We are addressing this and wants to give you folks an update When we have more information."

    EDIT: it seems that answer was given somewhere else, maybe at BM forum...

  • Yuck, those moving, sensor "blooming" or whatever spots really call attention to themselves. As stated many times, the black spot is a non issue. Takes 2 sec to correct in Resolve but the flashing orbs are not good. I can probably overlook stationary ones but the others look like something out of Close Encounters!

  • @laaldeapro So, on the Arri it looks like the "Black Hole Sun" comes from a 6-7 stop overexposure. I'm guessing it's probably similar for the BMPCC (can anyone test this?). Luckily this is an easy enough fix - and VERY common in other pro level digital cine cams.

    @Flaaandeeers Thanks for that link, these look like good examples of the white orb. Interestingly, as stated by Fuji in regards to their White Orbs fiasco, higher ISO's appear to suffer less from this phenomenon (more tests?!?). Their firmware fix automatically adjusted ISO when this problem was detected. For BMPCC, we'll have to do it manually (if that soution even works on this camera).

  • Agreed, the black holes are acceptable (if it really shows up only on extreme situations and can be easily fixed on post) but the white blooming can actually ruin an important shot. Now the big question: is it firmware fixable?!?!?

  • @rlima Judging by Fuji's early firmware 'fix' (auto adjusting the ISO), I'm going to hazard a guess: no. But one can always wish and dream.

    Fuji eventually did replace the cameras that suffered from this issue, since the firmware 'fix' didn't actually fix the problem, it just helped to disguise it a little better.

    In many situations (certainly not all) this can be shot around - as it's been noted, a lot of the BMPCC footage floating around right now has too much headroom in the shadows. So, in some cases underexposing (when possible) should help to mitigate damage, but of course at the expense of more shadow noise as you push them up. I'd expect a statement from BM this week (as it appears to be on their radar now).

  • Dont think its firmware fixable Joe Rubenstien(Digital Bolex Guy) told me this on facebook yesterday...

    " I don't have hard data, but my understanding of the issue is that it has something to do with the optical block in front of the sensor. There is a block of glass in front of all sensors I know of. In cheaper cameras, BMPCC included, it is literally glued to the sensor. You probably remember that this glue was the issue they sited when not delivering the original BMCC on time.

    The optical block is where this blobbing is most likely happening, so you can't get rid of it without probably changing the sensor.

    This optical block usually has IR / AR (anti-reflective) / OLPF built in. In the case of the D16 our optical block is actually removable so in the future you can purchase optical blocks with stronger OLPF or no OLPF or no IR if you want to do infrared images for some reason."--Joe Rubenstien

  • Out of curiosity. Does Philip Bloom review mention sensor blooming? It's strange he didn't notice it...

  • Well, mine has just shipped from Adorama. My problem is that I'm in Brazil and will count on a friend (that lives in Miami) to bring it to me, probably next month. So returning, if I keep it, is almost impossible. I have to say that this blooming effect is almost making me give up and return it. If the effect/issue is actually exclusively sensor related and no firmware fixing is possible I see myself having big headaches with it. Really, don't want to overrate it but those car lights (and also the boat highlights) are terrible in my opinion. Sadly no word from BMD, right??

  • @LongJohnSilver I wouldn't say he didn't notice it just because he didn't post a frame on Twitter, which he did earlier on with the black spot. The second part of his review is all about actually using the camera, so it could be he mentions it in that one.

  • So based on the criticism presented thus far (blooming, black spots, extremely short battery life, limited recording times, etc) is the general consensus to have faith or.... pass up the BMPCC and wait for something better?

  • If you see these kind of blobs on footage that is not over-exposed (in cam) we might have to start to worry.

    Is there a possible fix? I don´t know, but there sure are ways to avoid getting these issues (if over-exposure is a key factor).

    Joe Rubinstein doesn´t seem like a good authority on camera manufacture - in regards to his hypothesis I wonder why glass would produce an artifact that doesn´t look like an optical effect? And why would he know anything about the issues bmd had with the bmc? (other than what was publicly told). It´s not like he has anything to gain by adding fuel to this matter. :S

  • @LongJohnSilver Philip is a better business man than a DP. His massive ego and the ability to BS everyone has brought him a long way in life. In my opinion nothing he has done is ground breaking in anyway. He just somehow gets to be one of the first to play with new toys, so we all pay attention. He doesn't have the eye a lot of DP's have, so it doesn't surprise me if he didn't see it.

    @WarrantyVoided The way Philip tweets about nearly everything including if he has to go to the bathroom, I would think if he noticed it, he would have tweeted about it. I bet he is recutting his "Part 2" to include it now, like he saw it the whole time.

  • @RRRR Not that I know what you do for a living(beyond cinematography)... but Joe certainly knows more about building cameras than the two of us I would image ...granted Its kinda like asking Darth Vader why the good side of the force is screwed up.

  • @No_Surrender Most likely true (on both accounts).